Clearly, what we all want is a happy outcome for all involved.
Here, find all the standard terms and conditions that apply to all transactions with us. These terms and conditions are the "ground rules"; unless stated in writing by us, all these terms and conditions apply to all transactions.
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Long years of hard-earned lessons has brought an understanding of how important it is to have written ground rules for everyone. This helps ensure a positive outcome. Among the hard-earned lessons, one regards accommodating a customer who changes their mind midstream. Others have to do with payment schedule. Sometimes we're flexible, but sometimes we will not budge at all. Some "hard rules" are fixed because they were learned the hard way.
By all means, please do talk to us about what you would like our agreement(s) to look like from a legal point of view, but you must do so before we begin work or money changes hands!
"Time and materials," paid upon pick up of service item or completion of job, and sometimes with an advance payment for parts, or other good cause. A deposit may be required in some circumstances. Unpaid balance at completion triggers daily storage fee starting on the third day following completion.
"Pay as you go": As maintenance work but with biweekly (or monthly, if so noted) payment of balance total within 5 business days. Late or unpaid balance triggers daily storage fee and possible work termination until balance is paid in full.
"Administrative Service" is time spent on tasks "in the office" which are non-trivial in nature and vital to a project's outcome but which do not call upon any substantive expertise. As examples, if we are to chase down a specific paint formula or rare parts for a project, these are examples of Administrative Service. This rate may change from time to time (without notice) and is presently $25 per hour. Once a job is initiated and we are under contract or other obligation, any change to this rate will not apply to your work.
"Transport Service" is in-person time spent on tasks "out on the road" which are non-trivial in nature and vital to a project's outcome which do not call upon any substantive expertise but which does require a physical presence somewhere and for which delegation to shipping services is for some reason or another impractical or inappropriate. Examples of Tranport Services include taking parts to or from a vendor which provides required services, such as powder-coating, plating, polishing, or dropping off parts for shipping. This rate may change from time to time (without notice) and is presently $35 per hour. Once a job is initiated and we are under contract or other obligation, any change to this rate will not apply to your work.
Presumption of Service Level
When we offer a standard service, we presume from the outset that when a customer requests such a service from us that they are asking for our standard service and not an à la carte version of a similar service. Our cliant needs to explicitly request à la carte in order to receive one-at-a-time services. This most often increases costs for customers and is discouraged; here we both inform customers of our presumption and we enable customers to make this choice.
As a practical matter, this means that when someone, for example, requests we rebuild their engine, it is automatically understood that they are asking us to rebuild their engine according to our published methods and practices, and fees therefore payable at our standard prices.
Our overall policy is that everything is paid on a "time and materials" basis.
Your engine / transaxle or other major component
When we're rebuilding your unit we expect a deposit of half any estimate provided upon delivery of unit to us. We begin work when you provide funds. Storage for nonpayment may apply; in this circumstance, we provide a one calendar month grace period following receipt of your unit unless otherwise agreed in writing.
A major component we provide
In most cases, we will sell you a unit outright. However, under some circumstances we may sell you a "core," which is then treated as a unit you brought us. If sold outright, it is sold on an as-is basis unless otherwise agreed in writing. If you wish us to do any work on such a unit, the initial purchase price must be paid in full first, then the engine will be treated as a unit you brought us.
Changing Plans: These machinery are systems.
All the pieces have to work together. Where flat-fees apply, unless agreed otherwise in advance, once the unit's parameters are set and work begins, any change to the project will be counted as a new unit and a new flat-fee will apply. There may be times when we have not yet performed some particular steps in which we may permit a change without additional fee, but that choice remains our option. At our option, we may treat some situations as a maintenance task, adding time-and-materials to the finished cost.
Example: Consider that you have an engine being rebuilt and want to change out the camshaft for a different one. If we're still working on the crankshaft, then a camshaft change will be OK with us, though we will make sure to notify you if we think it's a bad choice. But once we've assembled the crankcase, a camshaft change will not be OK, though you could pay us "time and materials" to change it for you. This may also alter various quotations and delivery times. Depending on specific circumstances, sometimes we may absorb such costs, but doing so remains our option.
Quotations for prices on parts we are to supply are subject to change until purchased by us for your project, and are good for 30 days thereafter. For long-running projects, payment of the total then-current balance in full shall deem previously obtained commodity parts as paid for by the customer, however, such standing is lost should the customer fail to maintain a paid-up status on the work in question. (This means that the price for a part may change if the bill is not kept current.) For non-commodity parts, even if the bill was paid up at the time the parts were secured, the parts may be retained by us should the project be canceled or should the balance not remain current according to the terms and conditions contained within this agreement.
Our quotations typically make assumptions about what will be received before it is actually received, and therefore we rely upon our customer's assurances about the quality and condition of what we are to receive. Our customers are therefore responsible for any errors or omissions in conveying accurate information to us used in any quotation and explicitly authorize us to spend the time on any remedial action in determining the actual state of affairs at their expense. We reserve the right to update our quotations for a reasonable period following receipt of items or following discovery of problems during work to provide the necessary time to examine and evaluate the accuracy of and make update to our quote or estimate. However, it is explicitly recognized that some issues may remain hidden. When we recognize this risk and articulate it to our customers, the upper bound of the hidden risk is the valuation of the quotation or estimate without regard to any other dollar or time figure cited.
A large portion of our business is rebuilding engines, and we have a long-established pattern that serves both customer and us quite well: we receive a deposit upon receipt of the customer's engine which is an aproximation of half of the cost of the prospective long-block, a second payment upon completion of the long block equal to the value of our work and associated parts (and any taxes or fees), and then, if appropriate, we complete the engine to turn-key status, and in any case before shipment, any and all fees are due. So, for engines, our standard business model is three payments for running-engines, and two for long-blocks, but we are open to arranging other arrangements in advance.
Whether an engine or other item, unless explicitly arranged in advance, we require (at our option) a deposit (prepayment) to begin work, the size of which is generally to cover out-of-pocket expenditures on our part; the portions of any such deposit which are for parts, for non-service work or for subcontracted service work are nonrefundable. Also nonrefundable are funds provided for service work which has been completed. In the instance of funds for service work that is in-progress, this too is non-refundable. In the case of a deposit to hold an item we're selling to prevent us from selling to anyone else, we will state the terms in our agreement to accept it, or, in the case that we do not, the default of 30 days (as provided by CA law) applies. In the case of "packaged" services, such as engine assembly or dynamometer runs, the deposit becomes nonrefundable when any portion of the packaged service begins. In the case of deposits that are made to execute an outright purchase from us made in multiple installments, deposits are deemed defaulted if the purchase is not completed within 30 days as provided by California law unless otherwise arranged, in writing.
We only accept the following forms of payment, and only under the following terms:
- Cash - US currency is gladly accepted; we may accept others at our discretion, please inquire.
- Cash Deposit - In the USA, we likely have an account with a financial institution with a branch near you. On many occasions the easiest, cheapest, and fastest way to make payment is to bring cash to such a branch and make a deposit. Please be certain to only deposit cash! When cash is deposited, unless there is an error by the clerk, payment is received immediately, and you receive credit by us as soon as we are notified. If you deposit a check into our account after we asked you to deposit cash, everyone will be unhappy; please see the note about Personal Checks below.
- Money Order - Money Orders from the U.S. Government are accepted and may be obtained at U.S. Post Offices. However, it may take us until the next business day to confirm they are valid and cash them, so the official time of receipt may be delayed a small amount.
- Wire Transfer - All fees are to be paid by the payee. There are always fees on the recipient end and these must also be covered by the payee. Presently, this fee is $15 (domestic) or $16 (international) per transfer. Just because you paid all fees on your end does not mean you paid all fees on our end! We have had issue with this so many times, we must conclude that many banks lie to their customers when they say the they are covering all fees. So, when we tell you, sorry, there are fees on our end your institution did not cover that you must, we expect you not to argue with us. Over time, this fee has been as high as $30 but our bank presently charges $15 for domestic transfers and $16 for international, though it may change without notice; unless we explicitly invoice this additional fee, we expect customers choosing to pay via wire transfer to include an extra $15 or $16 as appropriate to cover this. Also note that wire transfers often take much longer than they should. We consider the date and time of receipt as that indicated by our financial institution. In summary, note that wire-transfers involve a time delay, typically cost a fair amount of money, and often have hidden fees.
- "Cashier's Checks" - So, called "Cashier's Checks," sometimes known as "counter checks," are supposed to be guaranteed fund-checks. However, after past difficulty with such checks, we require that our financial institution confirms your check behaves like one legally before we accept it. So, expect a delay for that confirmation to occur. Further, should we accept it, in the event that there is any period of repudiability, payment will have been considered made on the first business day follow what our financial institution says the last day of any repudiation period.
PERSONAL CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED
Due to way too many problems with personal (or business) checks, your check will not be accepted; please do not ask.
The first issue is simply "insufficient funds" or otherwise a "bad check"; we have received too many. It costs us money to fight such things - it's not only the delay in receiving payment. We have accepted literally tens of thousands of dollars worth of unpaid personal and business checks, and don't want any more.
But bad checks are not the only reason we don't accept personal or business checks; there is also the issue of repudiation. We have had a few unscrupulous clients give us their check, it initially clears, they then make an illegitimate claims against us, their bank takes ALL the money from us, gives them back a chunk of or all of the money, and then some short period of time later they later say, "oh, no problem, my error! They were not at fault, pay them!" and the funds are again released to us. This is in effect what amounts to a temporary loan from us for the duration of them getting over whatever financial difficulty they were having. We have had this happen often enough that this is a significant reason why we do not accept personal checks.
Please do not consider our refusal to accept your personal check to have anything to do with you - it doesn't, it has to do with hard-learned lessons of business. We have often heard from customers, "Oh, but this is ME, I wouldn't give you a bad check!" only to have them give us a bad check or pull the repudiation trick cited above. (Worse is when people say, "How dare you impugne my reputation! I'm offended!") So, please, save us the unpleasantry of having to refuse your check, and save yourself the embarrassment that you weren't able to convince us to take your check, and just don't offer us your personal check.
In the event that you make payment into our account at a bank branch somewhere via a personal check, WOW it's virtually certain will we all be unhappy. The big problem in such a circumstance is that it is basically the same thing as you forcing us to take your personal check. Firstly, there will be a delay in our receipt of funds, and, depending on the amount or other circumstance, it may be a dramatically longer delay than you expect. Further, if we are expecting a cash payment - which is what a cash deposit is - and you then cause this delay via a personal or business check, the discrepancy from our expectation vs reality will not make us happy people. In addition, in this circumstance you have just guaranteed yourself a maximal delay.
Under no circumstances will work product leave our premises prior to payment in full.
We expect our customers to drop off and pick up all items, or arrange with others to do so.
Customers are responsible for all transportation of all items to and from our facilities, or an alternate facility we designate, as appropriate, and all fees related thereto.
Customers are responsible for all aspects of all items before they get to or after they leave our facility. We are not obligated to secure insurance, nor are we liable for any issues in packaging.
Our highest published service rate shall apply to any and all activities spent assisting customers with either the packaging or unpacking of goods to be either received or shipped, including, but not limited to, crating, uncrating, meeting with shipping agents, etc.
As we are not a parts-house, we generally buy parts at retail. Therefore, we encourage our customers to provide us the parts they want installed. However, we are pleased to provide this service to our customers and to accommodate our expenses, we have a standard markup of 10 to 20% for most items. Small items have a higher overhead per piece, so they will typically have a higher markup. We may also not necessarily use the cheapest vendor - unless you want us to bill you for the time, the time spent finding the cheapest price may not be cost effective for us - so, again, we encourage our customers to provide parts they require.
Maintenance work: $125.00
Restoration work: $100.00
These rates may be superseded at any time and new values will apply to agreements made subsequent to any change.
Storage due to unpaid balance: $35/day. This applies to vehicles on-site for service which are awaiting pickup or otherwise for payment of bill as outlined elsewhere in this document.
For vehicles on-site specifically for storage which do not have payments due (other than for storage), these rates shall apply whenever no rate was explicitly specified in writing. These rates are for "normal" car sizes, roughly the size of a VW Karmann Ghia or Porsche 356 or 911. For larger cars, a rate adjustment may be required.
Automobile storage, per month (or part-month):
- Indoors, normal price: $350, Prepaid: $250
- Under awning, normal price: $175, Prepaid: $125
- Outside, normal price: $100, Prepaid: $75
NOTICE: California law provides that a lien may be placed on an automobile and possibly conduct a lien-sale for nonpayment of storage after only 30 days. Our policy is more generous: We will give you at least 90 days. It's not our job to remind you, and this is why we offer a very generous prepayment option.
Additional Notes On Car Storage can be found here.
Our use of images or descriptions we create during the performance of our work
We retain the right to use any and all images and text we create during the performance of our activities, including images and descriptions of your project, in any way we see fit, whether for advertising, marketing, licensing, outright sale (such as posters, book content, etc.), or for any other purpose, without compensation or remuneration to you of any kind, and without consulting with you or seeking your permission. For example, we may leave an ad up indefinitely that pertains to your project as a means of attracting new customers. In engaging with us, you thereby release any and all claims you might have otherwise had on any images or other such materials created by us.
Changes, Errors and Omissions
We retain the right to alter any aspect of our work, whether tangible or intangible including descriptions, and work-product in any form, until a transaction pertaining to that work is complete. Errors or omissions are always possible, no one is perfect, and we strive for perfection, however, by engaging with us you agree to indemnify us against any such errors or omissions and hold us harmless insofar as is allowed by law.
If any provision of these Terms and Conditions or any additional agreement between us is held invalid, illegal, or otherwise unenforceable, such provision shall be modified to the minimum extent necessary to make such provision, valid, legal, and otherwise enforceable, and the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining provisions shall not be impaired thereby.