Mike Gee Kustoms / untrustable
I’m Andrea from Italy, and this is my experience with Mike Gee, hope may help someone:
I contacted him because I wanted him to build me a billy-bo thunderbird.
Before the purchase, I sent him lots of mails asking questions, and he always replied me very quickly.
He told the price was 600 $ including shipping (to Italy) and I had to pay him 450$ (with paypal) first, and the remaining 150$ when finished.
As soon as I payed him the 450$, his replies weren’t as quick as before, sometimes didn’t replied at all.
I spent 2 months asking him when he could start to build my guitar, and him replying “Sorry I’m full of work right now, I’ll begin asap, etc..”
So, I warned him that next month I would file a “case/dispute” to paypal, unless he shows me any progress.
He never replied, so, after 3 months from the purchase, I filed the paypal case, asking to get my money back.
Next day, he replied “Your guitar will be ready for Shipping tomorrow. We are out of the shop today for the labor day holiday. Please close the case”.
What !?!? where this guitar comes from, all of a sudden ?! he built it overnight !? maybe with stock leftover parts ?! How could he paint it, since I didn’t decided the colour yet ?!?!
Usually during the building process (which in his case he says it takes 4-6 weeks), the liuther/builder shows you the progress, sends some photos, asks for details/clarifications, if he’s doing right, there is some communication.
I asked him to send me a photo, he replied “I am not in shop today. It is a holiday here”, so I escalated the case to claim.
Next day, he sent me the photos, the guitar looked nice, even though I didn’t told him how to paint it, but at this point I didn’t trust him anymore, so I told him “you send the guitar, then I’ll pay you the remaining 25% and close the claim, or, you give me all my money back”.
He replied “you have to pay and close the claim first, otherwise if you want the money back, there is a 15% restocking fee since it is a custom order”
Since we didn’t find an agreement, we stopped the communication, and go on respond thru paypal.
Then I received this message from paypal “A partial refund in the amount of $382.50 has been suggested to resolve this complaint. Price of the deposit minus 20% restocking fee. If you do not decide on this partial refund offer within 3 calendar days, PayPal will complete the investigation and determine the outcome of the claim. “
I refused the partial refund, and finally Paypal gave me all my money back.
The problem is that I lost 37 euros since exchange rate between Dollar and Euro changed in the last 3 months, and another 10 euros for payment and refund transactions (as usual, rate when buying, and rate when paying, are different).
So, after 3 months, I lost 47 euros (about 55$) and no guitar.