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Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  Consumer Lawyer
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I brought my motorcycle to a local mechanic when it broke down

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I brought my motorcycle to a local mechanic when it broke down with an electrical problem. They have now had it for 4 months and I have paid them a total of $1,450.00 which is about what the bike is worth. Last month they said it was ready and I went to get it, but it broke down again with the same problem on the way home and they sent a trailer to pick it back up. Yesterday they said it was ready again. Today when I went to get it, it was not ready and appeared that nothing had been done, it was buried behind a number of other bikes in their storage shed. How can I get them to either fix the bike or return the bike and refund my money?

LADY LAWYER : Hello! I am happy to provide you with legal information today! Please give me a moment to review your question and to answer you.
LADY LAWYER : So when you went to pick it up today, they said it wasn't ready?

Hi! Thanks for helping. Yes, when I spoke with them yesterday I was told it was ready several weeks ago but that they called the wrong customer and never did call me. When I got there this morning, it was not ready and the owner told me she'd call me. I saw the bike in their storage shed, it was behind about 15 other bikes so I could not get to it.

LADY LAWYER : I see, thank you. The first thing to do is to simply ask for a return of your bike. If they have not fixed it yet, you shouldn't owe them anything. Clearly, this business is not trustworthy and I wouldn't leave your bike there for any longer. If they deny your request, or if they ask you to pay something, then your next step is to contact the Attorney General in MD and file a complaint. This is the agency that regulates all businesses in MD. While the AG cannot sue on your behalf, they can certainly mediate the claim. Most often, once a business hears from the AG, they will do what the customer has requested. The AG is able to fine a business or impose other sanctions if it finds the business is committing some sort of fraud or is not in compliance with the industry standards. Because businesses usually have something to hide, they do not want the AG investigating them and will try to get the claim closed out as soon as possible.
LADY LAWYER : However, if that does not get you the result you are looking for, then your next option is a small claims lawsuit against the business for breach of contract, conversion, breach of good faith and fair dealing, breach of implied warranty and possibly fraud.

Thank you - however I did pay when I was there last month to pick up the bike, before it broke down with the same problem on the way home, so they have $1,450 of mine. How can I recover this if they refuse to give me a refund?

LADY LAWYER : You have the option of paying them to get your bike back and then suing for all the money that you have paid them or letting them hold onto the bile and suing for the original money you paid them, plus an order from the judge for them to release your bike. You have other damages on top of just the money you spent, which would be included in the claims I listed.
LADY LAWYER : Please see my last two answers about that. I think I was typing them as you were asking the follow up question.
LADY LAWYER : Also, to clarify, the AG will be seeking a refund of your original amount, plus the return of the bike.
LADY LAWYER : So if you get the bike back but not the money, your next step would be a small claims lawsuit.

Yes, thank you very much. So just to make sure I understand correctly, I should request that they either fix the bike or return it and give me a refund. If they refuse, I should contact the AG and also be prepared to file a small claims lawsuit against them. Is that correct?

LADY LAWYER : Well, from what you told me, I think I would just pick up the bike without letting them work on it anymore. If they refuse or want payment, THEN I would contact the AG and consider the lawsuit.
LADY LAWYER : Also, you do not have to wait for the AG to finish his claim, you can file the lawsuit concurrently. But many people wait since the AG is free and easy.

I think you have a good point there. I wouldn't trust any repairs they did anyway. I should just get it back. You have been very helpful in determining what I should do in this situation. I appreciate your help!

LADY LAWYER : You are most welcome! Here is the link to file the complaint with the AG:
LADY LAWYER : And here is the info on how to file a small claims action in MD:
LADY LAWYER : If you have any further questions, I am most happy to assist! If not, would ou kindly leave me a positive rating before you go? It costs you nothing further to do but it just ensures the site will compensate me for the time spent with you today. Thanks so much!

I am giving you an "Excellent Service" rating. Thank you very much!

LADY LAWYER and 2 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thanks Ron! It was a pleasure to assist you today!