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Old 11-22-2016, 10:55 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Seattle
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Default Outfitter Warning: The Van Guys LLC in Bend

To all van owners considering an Outfitter, be fair warned of the Van Guys LLC located in Bend, Oregon. I've had to learn the hard way, and I wish I could go back in time to warn my past self of the damages that were yet to come. I had been in touch with Ian Beveridge for a while and had his shop install an Espar heater, electrical system, set cabinets, etc. After my horrible and on-going experience, I felt compelled to reach out to the van community and warn everyone.

The short story:

My brand new Sprinter van has $3400+ of body damage because of The Van Guys LLC. While they were installing my roof vent & solar panels, the roof was creased and caved in towards the front of my van, as well as the back. There are also three areas where a drillbit almost penetrated my van (one spot on roof, and two one side panel). Ultimately, my insurance is having to cover this damage. Today (two weeks later) I was also sent an additional & fraudulent bill for $2,378 after I had paid in full ($4625). If I could go back in time and warn myself of this business, I would. My van has been compromised, my insurance is paying to fix the body damage, and I have an incorrect bill that has been threatened to go to collections if I don't pay.

The detailed story:

I dropped my month old Sprinter off with less than 800 miles on ODO/ perfect condition at Ian's shop- Van Guys LLC. I left him with a bunch of parts, as well as a check for $2125 to cover the additional parts cost (Espar D2 heater, solar kit, and batteries). A week later, I showed up to pick up my finished van and pay for the labor ($2500). Once I got to his shop, I climbed my side ladder and immediately noticed roof damage and boot prints all over the roof. He had been walking around on my roof and creased/pushed in the front area of the roof, as well as the back of the roof by the doors. In addition, he pushed a rivnut almost through the roof from the inside. I pointed the damage out, but he barely recognized it as an issue. I asked him what we were going to do to fix the roof, and he said it was too late because the headliner has already been put back up. Later on in the day as he got closer to finishing, we closed the slider door and noticed two dents on the side panel. He was drilling on the inside of the van to secure wires and nearly pushed through the big side panel on the passenger wall. It wasn't until this moment that he admitted my van needed to go to a Body Shop. He said he would pay for a Body Shop near me to fix the damages he caused. I thought, he seems reasonable enough, I will go with this. In good faith, I paid Ian the remaining $2500 I owed him for his labor and said I would be in touch regarding the Body Shop estimate. The following Monday, I had two local shops estimate the damage. Both shops estimated $3400+ in damage and were within $100 of each other. I sent the estimates to Ian and he said they were "exorbitant." He said his insurance would cover the cost, so I waited for a few days to hear from his adjuster. After a week of hearing nothing, I contacted him the following Monday (yesterday). He admitted he didn't have insurance and that I needed to bring the van to Bend. I said I would be willing to do so under certain conditions (I can communicate with the body shop, you pay for my travel expenses, and you finish some loose ends you didn't have time for). He said he would contact J&R Auto Body and Bend Auto Body, so I waited. This morning, he told me to file it through my insurance. He also sent me an additional bill for $2378 for "additional parts and labor," which is fraudulent. I have two invoices from him that show my $4165 in payments and $0.00 owed, even with text reading "Final labor payment." Magically, I owe him an extra $2378 two weeks later after he finds out my insurance company will be reaching out for the $3500 in damages.

Here are the other issues besides the body damage:

He drilled holes too large to set my NOCO plugs on the exterior of the van. He used the wrong screws, which left air/water gaps and an improper seal. I found out because rusty water started dripping down the plug base from the inside and outside of the van. I had to remove both plugs, sand the rust off the body, and set them again with different screws and caulk. He also set my cabinets 1/4" off (vertically). He tried to set an aluminum light bar underneath, but there is a noticeable gap underneath it due to the 1/4" gap. The solar panel mounts included 2" stacks of washers on the driver's side of the track, and I believe they're galvanized washers (still yet to confirm).

All around, this is the worst experience I've ever had with a business. My brand new van is compromised and is sitting in my driveway with water collecting in the roof dents as I wait for my insurance to issue a claim. I'm having to use my insurance and pay a deductible. On top of all this, he's issued a false $2378 invoice two weeks after final & full payment and threatened to send it to collections if I don't pay within 30 days. You can't make this stuff up!

I hope people read this and think twice about using The Van Guys in Bend, OR. Although other Outfitters like Outside Van and Van Specialities are more expensive & have a wait, I'm sure they'd never treat a customer like this. You truly get what you pay for in this world!
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