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Willy Dog / Mechanical faults!

1 Canada Review updated:

Patricia had purchased a willy dog and unsuccessfully received a cart with mechanical faults which willy dog never repaid her or fixed the cart. Since then we have purchased the cart and made $1200.oo worth of repairs and upgrades to the cart. Today the cart is worth its original price and more. They sold an inferior cart and never compensated the purchaser or anything. We will not be buying anything from this company as they do not honor their word at all, or try to correct their mistakes.

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  • De
      14th of Jul, 2007
    -1 Votes

    I was very surprised to read the above. I DON'T BELIEVE IT.

    I have been doing business with Willy Dog successfully & profitably for a few years now and it has been nothing but good. I had a few questions in the start but once Will & his staff showed me how everything worked it has been FANTASTIC. Be careful of what you read.

    Anyone who wishes to hear of my positive experience please contact me.


  • Mi
      19th of Jul, 2007
    -1 Votes

    I have a cart that I bought from Willy Dog last year and it is GREAT! In fact I was going to buy another one when I read the complaint from Patricia. I STILL AM.

    I don't think she tried very hard as I have nothing but good to say about Willy Dog. They offered tons of great advice every time I asked. They even made it possible for me to network with other vendors in my area. Do yourself a favor. Before you believe the nasty attack above give Willy Dog a call and see for yourself how good they are.

  • El
      17th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes

    The correspondence I have recieved so far regarding Willy Dog Hot Dog Cart purchasers has been totally negative. If anyone doubts claims against Willy Dog and Mr. Hodgkiss they need only call Nancy Andrews, a former sales rep for Mr. Hodgkiss. Nancy lives in Sacramento California, her number is 1 919 434 9203. I believe positive recommendations of him and his companies on line are fictitious creations from himself or friends. Trying to get any sort of satisfaction or legal recourse is difficult as he knows all the tricks to avoid prosecution. Most people just suck it up and move on, losing their money and are stuck with defective carts.
    Mr. Hodgkiss claims he has recieved a 2006 Chamber of Commerce Award but does not specify from where or under which of his numerous companies names. He also claims he recieved this award indirectly. What does this mean? You either receive an award or you don't. So far I have found no record of him or his company with the Kingston, Ontario Chamber of Commerce but are still awaiting a C.C. detailed search. I had tracked down and finally visited his 'manufacturing' warehouse after getting bogus instructions from him and discovered little more than a garage with a few barbecues and a broken down cart inside. Hardly a sight to produce 9,000 units. Clearly the defective unit I paid for must ahve been hobbled together somewhere else.
    In the U.S. there are powerful antitrust laws via state attorney generals and I have heard they are quite successful in bringing scammers to justice with class action suits. All it requires are a handful of victims to kick off an investigation. In Canada, it takes a far greater effort to do this. BUYER BEWARE - do your research before you buy.

  • An
      12th of Jan, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I purchased a cart from Willy Dog and when I voice my displeasure of seeing a $29 bbq that he charged me $300 for, he eventually sent me a cheque for a replacement. Over all not the best experience.

  • La
      2nd of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    I bought cart from will over 6 years ago. While I did experience a plumbing problem, I had a plumber repair it, sent the bill to Mr. Hodgkiss, and rec'd. a reimbursement check in a couple of days.

    I have only positive things to say about how he handles his customers.

    Something in the above comments do not ring true.

    Feel free to email me questions at

  • Ea
      11th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    Willy Dog delivers! Complaint is bogus


    I had to write again, sorry to be such a pest. Found a complaint board and it made me really nervous... so I contacted the people on the board, and I have to tell you, nost of the feedback was actually positive!

    Kept searching around (I know it probably sounds silly to you guys, but the 3300 + dollars is a lot of money to me). Found some blogs and other vendors...all pretty much positive. I'm feeling better again and really looking forward to getting the hummer from you guys.

    I sent out the following on the 'complain' board and will try to put this to a rest. I think it's really unfair of these guys to be so negative, and to scare off potential vendors like myself. And, I don't know why no-one else has thought about it. I'll just have a photographer take picks of everything from opening the cart to pulling the trailer out and hooking it up to the car. As we discussed earlier, I work at a paper here in Texas and can get some great pictures that will just show everyone exactly what I get, perfect and irrefutable. I have a website too which gets a little traffic and have a book out ('Daydreams & Nightmares' a collection of poems and dark, short stories) and am thinking about writing about this. I've seen some books out there, but they don't seem to be hat I'd want, regarding starting up a hot dog cart business. What do you think about such a book?

    Here's what I put on the board, I hope it's okay with you. It just bothers me that a couple of disgruntled people might be scaring off people (they seem to have an ax to grind and one of them puts anyone who contacts them in-touch with someone who is selling carts themselves):


    I have been reading this board and am not sure what to think. I've contacted several of the people and basically, heard both negative and positive comments, but mainly...positive.

    I ordered my cart about a week ago, so, I have about another week to go. I ordered the 'hummer' model which seems like a good value with several extras, including 4 sinks, mounted fire extinguisher, and a stainless steel sink seperator. I ordered mine through the Fort Wayne office (U.S.Carts).

    So far, my experience has been pretty positive and everybody (the lady I bought from, and Willy himself) has been really good about responding to me with my questions, etc...and I am expecting everything will be okay.

    I will take a photographer with me when my cart arrives in Sweetwater, TX. and take pics as I open the crate, pull out the cart and attach it to my car. Assuming all goes well, this will be a great relief to me and the many people ordering carts through his offices like me...because seeing the complaints really freaked me out, and we all have enough stress in our lives when you're trying to start a new business already.

    I can not post pics here, but after the 24th (my cart should arrive on or about March 19th), if anyone wants to see what I get, please feel free to contact me at and I'll let you see the pics for yourself. Again, I think the two (2) weeks deliver date is an estimate, so a day or two one way or the other should be okay.

    Wish me luck, say a prayer and greetings to everyone out there! I am really excited!

    Jim Riley
    Jim/E.'s Chicago Style Hot Dogs
    San Angelo, Texas

  • Ea
      11th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes


    Thank you Will. We think you are THE GREATEST. You helped us get rolling in business and here we are still at it.

  • Tr
      12th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    Willy Dog does it again!

    To whom it may concern,
    My name is Troy Bolling, I am a 26 yr. old self employed mobile food vendor. I started my business in the spring of 2004 while attending Towson University where I studied business management. As a frequent bar-goer I realized the increased demand for late night food once the many uptown bars would announce last call. Knowing my love of the grill and my passion for owning my own business it was only a matter of months before the idea of late night hotdogs seemed a perfect route to achieve both interest. The next step was research, I looked into the permits needed through the local court house and of course the internet was the easiest source for obtaining the proper cart. Within 30 minutes I found the cart that I knew could do it all. I came across a website called and while clicking about I noticed the A-101 cart. This cart was the best piece of equipment to execute the type of rush I hoped to have once those drunk college kids came stumbling down the curb. I loved the fact that the cart was equipped with a large grill simply because grilled hotdogs smell better, taste better and sell better during all seasons plus the grill doubles as a heat source during colder months. At some points during the night I'll have close to 100 hotdogs grilling together, I just shut the lid and let them go. The triple sink was a must for permits purposes and is great for washing small utensils, and the triple stemmer pan work great for my sauerkraut, chili and cheese. While making burritos at a recently acquired business I use two for sautéed onions, another for stemmed rice and the biggest for clean hot rinse water. The cart pulls easily behind my small pickup and looks flashy going down the highway shining in the sun with its stainless body. The A-101 offers more storage space then I can use even with running two completely different businesses with the same cart. In all, the cart is the best priced, most effective cart for wide ranges of cuisine be it hotdogs late night or a gourmet steak or chicken burrito during lunch hours in downtown Baltimore. This is what I've accomplished with what most people would think is a small food business with a small cart but if worked diligently the money adds up quicker then I can count it some weeks. Hopefully within the next few years I can purchase another A-101 cart and continue to do well out on the corners. My thanks to Will.
    Troy Bolling

  • Ro
      12th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    Willy Dog is tops.

    Hi, my name is Rob & I have been in the business for about 2 years now.
    I bought my second cart about 6 months ago from Will himself at Willy Dog. The cart was everything it was promised to be and is far better than the one I bought earlier from a cart re seller in Miami. Less money too!

    I called the Nancy Andrews lady who lodged an earlier complaint. She is the fraud. That old lady was trying to sell me a cart that turned out to be stolen. Nothing she said turned out to be true. If anyone has any issues about Willy Dog relax. They are tops. Ask me.


  • Ro
      13th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    A used Willy Dog is better than a new competitor. Will is great.


    I am now a proud owner of a (used) A-101 built by Willy Dog.
    Although I did not purchase it new- I couldnt fork out that much money
    right now especially after losing what I did on the other one I bought new from a copy cat knock off company. I look forward to buying my next cart new from you.

    I will say this, I made a HUGE mistake by trying to save money and
    buying the cart from Sebastian out of Michigan. He is a shoemaker. I
    just sold the other cart and was LUCKY to have sold it and unfortunately
    the guy is gonna find out like I found out the cheap craftmanship on his
    new cart. I could have bought the other one from you and I wouldnt be
    in the hole but thats just how it went.

    Ouzo Cafe
    776 North Milwaukee St, Milwaukee WI 53202

  • Ba
      26th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    We Love Willy Dog

    Hi! Yes we love the Hummer! Dan is cooking everything on it. It is so nice.
    I would be more than happy to be a customer reference. Anytime!

    We are getting everything finalized for our business to launch. We will take pictures soon. My mom is getting Dan embroidered golf shirts with the CHOW HOUND name! As soon as we get those, I'll send you some pictures.
    We have been thinking of all the diffent things we can do with the cart. The griddle was a good add on. We are thinking about doing gyros for festivals.

    Oh, one other thing I wanted to ask you...what company do you get insurance from? I have called 2 places here and they do not insure moblie food carts. I have a call into a third place and I am waiting. I wonder why it is so difficult? I guess becuase people around here are not familar with the carts???

    Ok, well I will talk to you soon. THanks again for everything!

  • Ga
      29th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes




    Hi Will,
    I can't remember if I told you that my umbrella arrived. Very quickly, in fact. Thanks for the T-shirt. (Actually, I'm heading to Cuba tomorrow for a week and it is one of the T-shirts I'm taking to give away).

    I am really happy with my little New Yorker. It is constantly being admired from an aesthetic point of view. And it is amazing to work with. So compact, yet substantial enough to really possess a space. It is surprising how much volume we can do out of this thing. On a regular market day we easily sell $800.00 - $1000.00 worth of product. At special events which we often do, we make anywhere from $1500.00 to our high for one day $2200.00.
    Hope this is useful.

    Gail Bryn-Jones, Owner
    Hotties Hotdogs

    Here's what I sell:

    Gourmet Hotdogs:
    All our dogs, buns and condiments are locally made.

    1) The Wieners – 5 types:
    - Starke’s Deli, (Sidney) European and Smokie;
    - Karin’s Country (Duncan) Organic chicken;
    - The Village Butcher (Victoria) Free-range turkey
    [Four meat products: no fillers, additives; just meat and spices.]
    - Yves (Delta) Bavarian-style veggie dog

    2) Fresh Buns (baked same day)
    - Embe Bakery, (Salt Spring Island), choice of three types white, whole wheat, sourdough (no preservatives, additives; all natural ingredients)

    3) Homemade Condiments (Salt Spring Island)
    I make these condiments in a certified kitchen.
    - caramelized onions - amazingly “more-ish”
    - Hotties Cool Sweet Relish - a delicious chutney/relish which I also bottle and sell
    - Hot Mustard - 6 varieties known previously under the name Arbutus Accents. I recently bought the company with all the recipes and changed the name to Salt Spring Spice
    - Sauerkraut - I am currently looking for someone ‘local’ who makes this and would wholesale it to me. If not, I’ll look into making it also – sounds pretty simple.

    4) Other
    We also provide ketchup and regular mustard. (...for the kid in all of us)
    We can sell bottled water if desired.

    (last year's ) Price List
    Regular hotdog – European style ... $4.50
    Smokie ... $5.00
    Karin’s Country Organic Chicken on a bun ... $5.25
    Free range Turkey smokie ... $5.25
    Veggie dog – Smokie style ... $4.25

    Bottled Water

  • Ji
      10th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    We are pleased with Willy Dog. They are tops.

    Dear Readers

    Hi! I got scared when I saw the complaints...had just shelled out the money for the hummer. But, we got it without a scratch, though the crating was more of a frame than a crate, so I could see where something could go wrong. When I talked with some of the complainers, turns out they were trying to sell me their own make of carts, so it seems like they are just competitors to Willy's Dogs.

    Actually, I was pleasantly surprised. The cart had a couple of small bugs (the pump didn't work), but they replaced it immediately. No questions, just a real sense of commitment and concern. They were really nice. I had a guy re-weld the spot welds on the propane tank seat or cradle (but that was my fault, I broke it), and it coast about twenty bucks.

    The heating elements work GREAT! The propane seems to last forever! The cooler keeps ice frozen for over two (2) days straight...and the sinks and all helped me pass a thourough (and very tough), health department inspection. I think this is a good cart and I'd really recommend it to you.

    I've already been to three (3) events and sold some on the street...this works. I'd recommend contacting Debbie in the Indiana office, she'll take good care of you. And, she really seems to care. Please let her know I referred you to her?

  • Ge
      10th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I purchased a cart from Willie Dogs. Ok, I will be brutally honest, it is a true knock off of its predecessor, but Toronto Kitchens dont make the A-101 cart anymore so their cart is the next best available. Some minor flaws in effective design are no pilot lights for the steam table, and not enough storage- but I am an operator and have been for years and to start without these should not effect anyone. Other than that, mechanically the cart does work well, works well for me and I have no problems with the company. I plan on purchasing another cart from Will this upcoming winter and have no qualms about it. I also believe he will gladly give you a list of his customers who have purchased from him to speak to them about their experience. I even broke some latches on one of my other cart and explained to Will I couldn't find any and he shipped me some out the same day I was on the phone with him. Very good company to do business with and contact me with any questions or concerns about buying from him. He provides a good cart for a fair price.

  • Ga
      27th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I was a little disappointed when my cart arrived, there was a scratch (due to shipping), and the fresh water tank/ top of the bread box had separated from the body. Overall it was a smooth transaction (delayed in customs for 3 weeks), and I would defenintly buy from Will again. Next time I would like to see the cart, instead of looking at pictures.

  • Ne
      12th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Just wondered about those of you who have bought the " willy dog" is it a show stopper, how are the sales?

    thanks neil

  • We
      25th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    Well, here we are a year later. My Willy Dog Franchise business is alive and well 9 years after starting. My husband and I along with our 3 girls have run the business successfullly for many years now. We are now in business here in Fort Wayne Indiana as a factory direct showroom for our own line of hot dog carts manufactured by Willy Dogs, we would like to think that our designs are superior.. however they are made by the same experts. Call us, we will help you start your own business as we did. Best of All, we live here and we are not going anywhere, we aren't angels, nor are we God but we can show you how to do what we do.. check us out at Thank you Will for believing in us and our ability. We love you !!!
    Also, just a note, Nancy Andrews called me and tried to get me to front sales through my Fort Wayne office for California Carts fabricated by who else? Will... Sorry didn't call you back Nancy once I got the first hand story from my long time friend.

  • De
      11th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    i had gotten a cart from them in 2004 it was a waste not what was promiced or sold. i am glad some peaple are happy but i was treated like crap and this man running the show there is very rude to say the least. please take you money anywhere eles!!! why risk it ?

    dennis portland oregon

  • Mo
      27th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    willy Dog sold me a piece of crap cart, caster wheel broke, leaf springs collapsed first day we towed it, sneez gaurds blew out on the road, water heater cover blew off on the road, and to top it off the tounge snapped and the cart went backwards and ripped it to shreds-make sure you have cart insurance like me- they have helped so much, I have a hand full of people who have experienced inferior cart manufacturing from will can you say class action law suit
    Sorry Will you will be hearing from my lawyer-

  • Mo
      27th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    willy dog produces junk

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