Ripped off, any ideas?


I was given a working Fisher 800C receiver from my father in law that he purchased new and had stored in his basement. It was running hot and had a few cosmetic blemishes so for my father in law I wanted to get it looking and running like new.
I did some research and found a place called AEA Audio in the SF Bay Area, about 90 miles from my home. I called and spoke to man named Ken owner of AEA audio and he spoke a good game of everything he could do to restore it to new. I dropped it of to his home April 30th of 2017. He said he was backed up and moving so it would be about 3-4 months and would call me when he was beginning work on my unit. A very nice guy and showed me his home work shop and also had a business location about 15 minutes from his home. Everything seemed on the up and up.
I have called him 5 times since dropping it off and he assured me it was safe and still in his shop but it was taking longer than expected due to his moving and it would be another 3 weeks at every call.
I called him early December and told him I wanted to pick it up before Christmas regardless of weather or not the work was completed he said no problem he should have it done by then.
I have called him three times since and no return call. I know I should have been more deligent in my hounding him but I travel so much for work I haven't had time to stay on top of it.
What recourse do I have and how do I proceed.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.

jb505
What's your option other than finding the new address, driving down there , see if he's there and take it
This them?

http://aeaaudio.com/contact-us/
Did you at least get a receipt showing Make/Model,SN and work to be done?If you did then
1:I would start with a final call to him stating your intention to use legal channels to recover your property.
2:A call to Chamber of Commerce and BBB in his area.If he's a legal business he's got a license.
3:If he's not a legal business then the local D.A.'s office...
If you did not get a receipt it could get messy as stated above meaning a drive and a front door confrontation...Good luck..
Spend some bucks to have a lawyer send him a demand letter
noromance, yes thats them.
I did not get a receipt. First red flag. I asked for one and he said he doesn't give them out and will send an email with all details. I did get an email form him stating he will get in touch with me when he begins work.
Driving away I was having second thoughts, but kept driving. Kicking myself now.
He was in about a $15 million house with a nice work shop in the back of his house. I was thinking why he want to rip me off? He obviously doesn't need the money. He has since moved but in another really expensive area.
I'm going to have to have a front door conversation if he will answer the door. He was about 70 years old and again really nice overtime we spoke. I plan to drive down there and try his place of business and his residence. Unless there a gated entrance. 
I'm so mad at myself..   :(
I just went to his "Contact us Page"  Sent this short email:  

I don’t have any business for you, I’m in Arkansas, but I belong to an audio forum called Audiogon….. You might want to be aware of This posting. Its your reputation:


See what he says, he may raise his voice now or even threaten, of course, you never know the circumstance, he may be apologetic,  but I'd simply tell him that you are very anxious to be able to post that It might have taken a bit longer than you hoped, but it was worth the wait.  Otherwise,  I'd do just as you said and show up and not leave without my receiver.    

 


Drive there and take the amp back. Bring a buddy, a big buddy 😁
Their website has a Facebook page, you can open it from the main website and post a question. Ken Leonard (if that’s the guy), also has his own Facebook, so it’s an option too. Judging by his appearance I think either he’s dying or dead already.
https://www.facebook.com/kenneth.f.leonard?fref=ufi&rc=p

In the "store" section of their website, they list a Fisher 800C as inventory (ready to be restored).

DeKay
jb505
He was in about a $15 million house with a nice work shop in the back of his house. I was thinking why he want to rip me off? He obviously doesn't need the money.
As researcher Thomas J. Stanley discovered, those are usually the guys that need the money!
You can also.....
Print Your Email from him
Call the Police,  tell them that he has your product and you are going to get it back.  Ask them that you don't want confrontation and ask them to show up with you only to Keep the piece. 
They will normally do that....    
Just read DeKay's post and indeed,  he does show an 800C for sale on his website.  I wouldn't risk it,  go get your amp. 
Sounds like you got screwed big time you should have used a business with a good track record.Good luck though!!
I just called him and spoke to him. He said he was out of the country for 3 weeks and his forwarding service didn't work. Again he was very nice and said he would try to get my unit completed by this Saturday for me to pick up, I said ok (stupid?). He told me it was located in his home and it was still there safe.
I will drive down on Saturday weather its completed or not and pick up. My father in law will be here form out of town on Sunday. I hope this works out.
Thank you for your advise. I hope he doesn't seem this and get angry.
Guy has had your unit for 10 months and you're worried he is going to get mad? Seriously? If he hassles you and doesn't want to give to you, call the police , explain situation and ask them to send a car over while you are there. 
@jb505 - Good Luck with the pickup. I hope he has it ready for you and I hope it sounds great for you and your father. Let us know how it turns out. He may end up being a great guy that is just in a little deep at the moment. Not saying it's OK to keep something for this long, but I've read worse on this site about some pretty famous audio gurus (but not recently!).
Go stake out his house and wait till he shows up. Confront him and tell him you’re not leaving without your unit. If he doesn’t give it to you, file a theft report with the local police. 15m house? Wtf. Most guys who work on these are very modest to say the least. What a pos. Good luck! Wish I was there to confront him with you. 
This same type incident has been my experience (3) times. I couldn't believe that there are so many repair scawflaws among the HiFi rank-n-file who'll shake your hand with one and stab in the back with the other.  Nowadays I'm extremely careful with whom I leave my precious gear. I triple vet and then ask for (3) recent references that can be contacted. If a Google search turns up ANY negativity the gig is up. Start again fresh. Not worth this time consuming aggravation with questionable ethic characters. 
Good luck @jb505 . I'm hoping he's OK -- maybe just got real busy and forgot about you while doing whatever..I can't think he'd make enough from a vintage Fisher amp to want to engage in theft.
Oh no. This is deja vu all over again...

(Apologies in advance if posting a link to Audiokarma is frowned on, but The OPs experience is, weirdly, almost *exactly* the same as my own. Title of the thread: "Is five months a normal time to wait for tube amp restoration?")

http://bit.ly/2FTT3tw

(TLDR: My bone-stock Dynaco ST-70 blew up when it finally came in—after waiting almost six months and having to almost threaten them to get it back. They agreed to refund all of my payments, which have financed a trustworthy local tech who is undoing all of their extremely sub-par work. I listed all of our communications word-for-word in the thread. Images showing the shoddy work are on page 7 of the thread, including a video of smoke from the chassis after it arced...)

Get it back ASAP—Ken and his son Lloyd are apparently talented techs (at least one would assume so, what with AEA’s history—) but they are clearly not in a place in their lives where they can do good work in a timely fashion.

Thanks for all your input. I'll let you know how it turns out On Saturday. My guess is it won't be ready and he'll tell me a couple more weeks, like before.
im out of town all next week so the week after it will be a face to face.
Don't get down on yourself JB, we've all been there. Just chalk it up to experience - it could have been millions invested!
Do you know any members of the Corleone family?  Do you have a trustworthy Godfather? 
Post removed 
What does the gentleman’s age have to do with any of this?
grannyring-
this is not a gentleman for openers. In this case, age=laziness.
The silver lining around this particular cloud is that it wasn’t a Fisher 500C.
When you when you go there to pick it up, have your cell camera on to INSPIRE the jerk to be “ nice”
Time to kick ass and take names!!!
I'm in the area and was going to consider them.  Hind sight is always 20/20 but most of us grow up trusting in people who make some type of mistake early in our lives that forever shape us. And kinda embarrassing too sharing stories that you have been victimized. I too have similar predicament currently with a _ company, details will be left out because it is on-going. Lesson for me is, if you cannot take advantage of paypal, most credit cards which recognize Ecommerce fair exchange laws don’t do it. And research, research about the company, financial well being and dont’ believe reviews as they can write their own and put it on a server (These companies come and go). I have a long trail of emails, text, documents and phone calls but to make a long story short after a week of money extraction, broken promises and excuses I had to send him a demand letter (below). He finally wrote back stating he couldn’t send my audio equipment himself due to his back problem/pain so I ordered FedEx to-pick up at his alleged premise, an address he provided. According to FedEx two failed attempt; a no-show. I have one more FedEx scheduled agreement with this person so I am still hopeful but I’m afraid at this point I will soon have to start with a police report at request of my counsel and document everything. There are no winners in this route and I have repeatedly told this guy. I will do a follow up and let you know the final outcome but many wishes to you jb505, I hope it turns out well. For now let’s take solace in knowing our story shared serves to protect other unsuspecting audiophiles from being victimized. Be positive!

@jafant
    Agreed. I did not call him that, but responded to the exact words of the comment just ahead of mine. 
The world is full of con men and rip-off artists. Back when I was very young (and foolish) I trusted a man who ran a store that sold and procured equipment. I wrote the check and waited and even visited him as he was close by. The gear never came and he stalled and got ugly when I brought my brother in law (a big guy) along. He proceeded to ask me if I was about to beat him up in front of other customers so I took the high road and warned the customers to not trust the guy.

I filed papers on him and lo and behold, someone murdered him on another matter. I found it out by calling him only to get his wife who was every bit as nasty as he was, asking me if I was happy now that he was dead. A very sad matter indeed. My attorney advised me to drop the matter and told me that death cancels all debts. Lesson learned.

All the best,
Nonoise
Sounds like it is time to go all ebm on the company. Better yet just take ebm with you. Just kidding. When we have helpful ones on this site the next time one needs some advice need to try to remember to ask. Sorry this happened. I have had stuff in for about 9 months for repair when I was told just about 2 months initially.  He had legitimate reasons. He was older and became ill and got back logged. He was a fine man and I got my equipment back working great with no problems for 3 yrs now. I am glad he did the work.  He is still in business doing great work.
jb505
  Ripped off, any ideas?

This tube Fischer is collectable.
I don't know about the US, but there's been a bit of this going around in Australia with unscrupulous service techs with "collectable" older hifi that can fetch good money.
They hang onto it as long as they can making all sorts of excuses hoping one day you'll either give up, forget, or die one day and it becomes their's. 

Cheers George 
Whatever you do don’t murder him over a noisy and distorted amplifier. 😀
So how did this turn out?
He called me last week and told me that it is ready to be picked up. I have come down with the flu and have been down for the last 10 days. It's been brutal. 
I plan to go down there this week and pick it up.
i'll let you know when I get it and my impressions of the work.
at least I can get it back.
I picked up the unit yesterday and hooked it up today.
He was very apologetic about the time frame delay and said he is working over time to elevate the backlog. Still 10 months and little communication is a little disconcerting when you don't know if he still has it or what's being done.
The Fisher looks and sounds great. If he can get the work done on time I can recommend his work. Just be prepaired for a wait.
Thanks for everyone's responses.
I have had AEA restore two pieces for me.  It takes time with them, and the communication not always the best, but they do great work. Agree with jb505, just need to be prepared to wait