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If you've had dealings with Carbon One, please read.

Discussion in 'CarbonOne Industries - Buyer Beware' started by Big Top GT, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. qwk

    qwk P130DL

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    Why? So now you have to be a victim of John's to ask questions?

    Those guys brought up very valid points. My question is very simple. Why not start with the customers waiting the longest? Not just here on this board, but out of all that have ordered. That would be the smart thing to do.

    By sending parts to the cheerleaders and asskissers first, you are just following the tradition of every other case like this. Incon, Ptk, Its, I could go on and on with scam companies. The most influential customers got their parts, but the rest got f-ed.
     
  2. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    That's great that things are finally starting to get taken care of, but realize it's years of broken promises under different company names. Not just months.

    Again, kudos to Alan for taking on what to me would be a sisyphean task. I wish him the best of luck.

    ??? This I don't get. I'm not seeing any attacks on Allan's person, as he put it. qwk's tone is a bit more cynical than others, but nothing that crosses a line. We're certainly more polite here than most forums, and I don't really understand all the sensitivity to what I believe are reasonable questions.

    But our simple research shows that's exactly what John has done time and time again over the last few years. He changes the company name and walks away (or gets banned) from one automotive forum (leaving in his wake a bunch of unhappy customers that are owed money or parts), while trying to drum up business with yet another car community. These facts are not meant to reflect poorly on Alan. No one is trying to pin John's yet to be rectified sins on Alan, though Alan has graciously stepped in to help.

    Anyhow before I spend too much more time on this, I think David asked for a reasonable clarification above given Alan's statements in his first post.
    Satisfying "any and all transactions for which [John] has taken money" is certainly a rather tall order. As financially straining as that might be, my interpretation of the above was that Alan was saying he'd do that before selling CF parts to any other car community.
     
  3. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    Doug, thanks for your level headed reply. I think we are basically on the same page here, but here are a few more thoughts on the situation. I agree with you that while the posts were not directly attacking Allan as such, there was a general negative, doubting kind of tone which can be hurtful to a person who is taking on such a big task for the benefit of the community. For example, if someone wanted to ask him about orders he is taking on another forum, one might say something like:

    "Hi Alan, I really appreciate you stepping in here and trying to solve the mess that Carbon One left behind. I was however under the impression that until the Carbon One backlog was cleared, you would not be taking orders from anyone period and not just customers from the Tesla forum. However, I noticed on another forum that you sold a set of Mustang door sills. Could you clarify your position on that. Many thanks!"

    But rather, the nuance I picked up when reading the post about the other part he sold felt like, "hey dude, just caught you selling parts to somebody else, you're busted!" Maybe I'm reading to much into it, but that's the sense I got and it seems like Alan has as well. Next, regarding unfilled orders on other forums from John P's past, I'm sure there is going to be a time when Alan has to deal with that as well. But again, that's his call on when and how he deals with it. If he doesn't deal with it then likely it could damage the business he is trying to build. On this forum it seems like the focus should be getting Tesla parts taken care of, not some other forum that John Perez was selling to two years ago.

    On the topic of John Perez, despite his checkered past at least this time he is not running, hiding, or changing his name, but rather he is making a commitment to building the honest sort of business that I think he always wanted to be involved with. He can atone for past sins by working through his backlogs as an indentured servant until he gets all the way through them. At that point his name is cleared. Anyone would much rather see that happen than seeing him thrown in jail (which we all end up paying for as well) where he'd be making license plates rather than carbon fiber parts.
    But lets face it, he's not going to jail and I seriously doubt anybody really is going to waste the time and energy to go after him. Anyway, let's try to be as encouraging as we can to Alan and his new venture as he really has taken on a big and difficult task. You really have to applaud him for his courage!
     
  4. qwk

    qwk P130DL

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    Posting this:

    "Furthermore: at no time should anyone on the forums (anywhere) send additional monies to anyone for the purposes of purchasing carbon fiber products, at any time.

    Until we (he) can deliver on that for which has already been paid, the only thing more foolish than a business having the audacity to ASK for more money would be the client foolish enough to PAY it."

    And then soliciting NEW business to another group of enthusiasts, is not exactly being honest.
     
  5. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    qwk, I get your point but he also says following right below that in the same post:

    "So, if you're out there and you're owed product, or if you know of anyone who is owed product, please share this information with them. Please encourage them to email me so I can set a time for us to talk on the phone about what they're owed and how I can make sure they get it. "

    which makes it clear that people he wants all the people that are owed product to get in touch with him so he can deal with their parts as well. When he refers to "the forums (anywhere)", does that mean forums that John P was involved with or does it mean "all forums anywhere"? Not sure about that and it's difficult to understand the context in which the said Mustang door sills were sold. Anyway, I think you are coming on a bit too strong here, and even if he said something like the above and meant "won't sell any CF parts period anywhere until the backlogs are cleared", I think he needs to reconsider and be allowed to reconsider that statement. He can't run a business that for months and months is forced to solely focus on old John P problems. As long as he can consistently work through the backlog on this forum (as well as other of course which he'll inevitably have to deal with), I don't really see the problem here... can't we be a bit more welcoming Alan as he is just getting started out in this very challenging endeavor? There are a lot of positives here that I hope everyone is seeing.
     
  6. Big Top GT

    Big Top GT Member

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    #66 Big Top GT, Dec 4, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
    First and foremost, let me say thanks to Doug, Benji, and Felix for their above statements. I appreciate it and it makes me feel less personally attacked.

    As for the other fire-starters: Shame on me for not choosing my words more carefully. For not being more obvious in my language, I apologize.

    As is correct in Qwk's above "revelation" (I feel like I should look at the camera and say "dun-dun-dunnnnnn"), I did say not to give anyone money for anything at any time. What I assumed was understood, was that I don't owe anyone anything and was trying to get a handle on the outstanding orders as a way to spread a little good Karma.

    A dishonest Alan would have simply buried the name John Perez, while doing business in a market none of you would have crossed. I could have carried on and none of you would have been any the wiser.

    So, shame on me for making the ever-so-cliche mistake of assuming. It did what it always does...

    It's worth mentioning that one of the things at the top of my list of things that make me angry in life, and it's a REALLY short list, is that of a person who pretends to be ignorant simply so they can act in an unreasonable manner. This is especially true when they are obviously doing it simply to be inflammatory.

    There isn't a single person in this world of 7 billion people who have ever been screwed over by me. Not a single person out of 7 billion that I owe money for services or products not rendered. There's not a single person who can say "that guy is a liar and a cheat and doing business with him isn't a good idea."

    Not.
    A.
    Single.
    One.

    So, while I understand the ire of people who have yet to receive that for which they paid; not only don't I understand the complainers who haven't lost anything, yet insist on acting like petulant children (dare I say "keyboard cowboys"), I simply won't allow them to condescend to me as if I'm the help.

    If anyone seriously thinks that I should shoulder the burden of fulfilling back-logged orders created with zero association with my person, and all out of my own pocket before I do anything else with the business: you are the person acting ignorant simply to pour gas on the fire. No reasonable person should consider that to be a plausible scenario.

    Frankly, if you want to pretend to be stupid, I'll gladly treat you as such.

    To date, of the "millions and millions" of people in the world a few people here continue to reference as being owed product from the former C1J, only 7-8 have come forward from Tesla, two or three from Lotus, and one Viper customer. If there are more, bring them to me. I'll do what I can.

    So, for the people who haven't done business with me, which is all of you, and for those of you who haven't done business with C1J, but are insisting on trying to burn this M'fer to the ground: I'm officially at a point where there is no benefit to me actively posting updates on this forum. I get no pleasure from the conversation, since it isn't even civil, and the only people who are acting like petulant children are the ones who don't have any skin in the game.

    At this point, I'm starting to think it's best to quietly go about my way, filling the back ordered parts, while communicating directly with the affected parties.

    Instead of me being the mouthpiece of my company, I'll allow them to do it for me.

    I'm not the guy who over promised you guys anything. I certainly won't allow anyone to condescend to me as if I owe you anything, especially when you aren't owed anything, by anyone, in the first place.

    It's up to you guys. Just let me know how you want to handle it moving forward and I'll do my best to oblige.
     
  7. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    Well said.
     
  8. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Interesting turn. I don't see anyone saying filet this m'fer, or o,upright dogging you personally, but like I said, all that's left is to see what comes of it.
     
  9. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    The m'fer he's talking about there is not himself, it's Carbon One John. And yes, lots of folks including several on this forum have wanted to do much worse things at times to John P. than simply fileting him, myself included. Hopefully people are starting to reconsider that feeling now that he has turned over a new leaf.
     
  10. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    Unfortunately, the headwinds you face in your business venture is from choosing to partner with someone who has done the above. That is the crux of the "push back" you are getting. I wish you the best and success in your business.
     
  11. strider

    strider Active Member

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    To me, the fundamental item is that Alan could have told us all to pound sand and try and sue John for our money - See ipdadamages legalese about what Alan is required to do (which is nothing). But I think he understands that if there is general ill-will towards aftermarket CF parts vendors it hurts his chances at growing his own business so he's trying to build some bridges. It's none of our business why he's chosen which forums to make whole and in what order.

    My only question/test is whether G3 is accepting money from these other forum members prior to shipping product. If not, then I don't see a problem. I agree that Alan needs to keep the lights on and pay for John's food and place to live. If he is following John's MO of collecting money before product then I agree there should be alarm bells going off.

    But again, if he's only collecting when there is product ready to ship then I fail to see how anyone will be harmed.
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Alan said that he has put in a capital investment "approaching $5000 dollars". That's a pittance when it comes to setting up a business. So obviously they don't have a lot of reserves that they can fall back on while John fixes his, uh, boo-boos.

    So how can he keep the lights on, while at the same time avoid pissing off John's earlier customers in this forum? Well, basically, he can't. He's tried to avoid rubbing people's nose in it by not taking orders for new Tesla and Lotus parts. It probably wasn't the original plan, but he's had to start selling stuff elsewhere. No big surprise. I'm sure the mess was bigger than he expected.

    I guess all you can do is give him some time. If he fails he'll end up just as burned as anyone on this forum.
     
  13. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    And now we find out that what seemed too good to be true, was. Unfortunately for Alan, by associating himself with John Perez, we who have been tortured and/or burned can't help that what Alan characterizes as a honest omission is, to us, another promise not lived up to.

    For a little while, probably. But, that would have been a stupid move. Note that the Lamborghini forum was warned about John before he could really take any orders. It was a bit too late for the Lexus folks, like it was for us Tesla owners. John has an email address at G3 Composites, and presumably answers the phone sometimes. At trade shows or other business dealings, it would have come out who he was. And the backlash would have huge.

    BTW, here's a link to a Group Buy for Corvette door sills made by G3 Composites:

    Group Buy - G3 Composites Carbon Door Sills - Corvette Forum
     
  14. ipdamages

    ipdamages Roadster Sport 835

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    I don't think it's reasonable to assume that Alan has no assets available beyond $5,000 and that he is on the edge financially. In fact, if you go back to Alan's earlier posts you will see that he has indicated that this project does not financially strap him. That said, as he has said, he doesn't want to go deeply into the red on this with startup costs. So G3 is simply selling parts in the other forums that he listed in his first posting (e.g., Mustang and Corvette). Again, he's not hiding, he told us about this all up front.

    "Frankly, I'm not in a position where I need to sell a single part in order to purchase the materials necessary to manufacture another. :)"

    "So, while we work through the back log for you guys, we're also working on building a profitable business. (And making a living, while we're at it.) Fortunately, I don't have to rely on selling carbon parts to pay a bill, but I'm not doing this for free any more than you guys should expect to not get your parts.

    While this isn't vital to my existence, I also don't have an unlimited supply of funding available to take on John's mess. I can clean it up slowly and methodically, but I simply can't afford to front the entirety of his back log without selling more product."

    From his first posting:

    "I understand that I have no financial ties to anything Carbon One has done prior to today, but in an effort to put a little goodwill into the universe, I've discussed with John his existing backlog and my absolute expectation for us to satisfy any and all transactions for which he's taken money, yet failed to deliver product. I can not and will not go into business with someone unwilling to fix his/her mistakes."

    As others have written, and I agree, it would not have been a good move if one wanted to do work in the Tesla/Lotus community, and perhaps in the aftermarket carbon parts market generally, to hook up with John and try to avoid John's old obligations. That said, I have seen many, many situations in which people have done exactly that. Our bankruptcy laws are designed to address exactly these kinds of situations.

    Also, to clarify, I'm not an attorney, though I am a forensic accountant and I analyze financial and accounting issues in the context of disputes/litigation, including testifying to damages, and particularly in intellectual property disputes (hence the ipdamages screen name). As such, I have worked on several matters in which people have attempted to capture valuable assets without bearing the cost of the associated liabilities. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but as people have surmised, seeking to get something from Alan and/or John in this situation by suing them would almost certainly be a bad investment of time, energy, and money (though I have also seen people who could afford cars like Roadsters engage in these fights over matters of principle, sinking vast monies into trying to prove a point and inflict pain on others who people thought had done them wrong). Happily, here that question seems to be irrelevant as Alan is not trying to avoid Carbon One's obligations.

    Going back to the tempest in this teapot, is it reasonable that G3 is selling Corvette or Mustang carbon parts before the Tesla and Lotus orders are cleaned up? Well it seems to me that given that there appear to be no back orders to be fulfilled in those groups, it is reasonable that they move into making and selling parts to those groups. Should they just sit idly by and not commercialize that market, waiting for others to step in, and instead be solely focused on the market of the 1500 Roadsters and the finite group of Elises and Exiges, and now Evoras? I hope not, because if they did the prices to us would be higher as we wouldn't have the volume to make the business model work.

    Again, I think we all would like to see the backlog get worked off as quickly as possible, and obviously that is slowed by efforts on other projects like Corvette door sills. I also agree that the whole story was not clearly laid out up front, and Alan has taken responsibility for that. But to me that is excusable and the data here show that there was no hiding or any clandestine mission by Alan to dupe people.

    Some, like Smorgasbord, take the position that...

    "Unfortunately for Alan, by associating himself with John Perez, we who have been tortured and/or burned can't help that what Alan characterizes as a honest omission is, to us, another promise not lived up to."

    Well speak for yourself rather than the royal "us." If all of this isn't excusable to you or others, fine. You have recourse. Don't order from him. And for those with old Carbon One orders (e.g., Smorgasbord, as he had a defective sill), the good news is that it looks like progress is being made at a more rapid pace than in the Carbon One era. I'd like to think that this will all soon be in the rear view mirror.

    Oh, and one other thing. I bought the Al & Ed's door sills (available on eBay) and they are in my opinion excellent at $1,099. For me the Tesla CF sills were a non-option as they have an aluminum insert in the exact place where I want to have the more resilient CF, and are hence likely to scuff. Al & Ed's is also about to do my 2.25 front and rear conversion and install some CF door pulls. I'll post about that in the appropriate thread/forum section.
     
  15. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    ipdamages, it's refreshing to see your thoughtful, well-written analysis of the situation, and I agree with you on all points. If Allen doesn't get some cash flow going nobody will be better off down the road. To think that he should be focusing solely on the Carbon One backlog while failing to develop other business opportunities is just plain stupid no matter how you look at it. Your accurate description of the big picture should go a long way in helping clear some of the misguided, unfair thinking that's been popping up in some of the recent postings on this thread.
     
  16. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    All of us owners whether we have incomplete Perez orders or not are potential future customers. IPDamages summarized the situation nicely. Like a detective doing a summation at the end of a book.
    Now let's hope the next chapter in this story takes us closer to the happy ending.
     
  17. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    #77 smorgasbord, Dec 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
    We can only be amused that those with no skin in the game presume to school, but ye shall first remember to precede thy public chidings of nosism only subsequent to a read anew.

    In other words, I stand by my statement referring to "we who have been tortured and/or burned."

    Furthermore, had it not been for those who had publicly stated their experiences earlier, I'd today be out more than a thousand dollars. I am forever thankful to that person who braved the waters that I now apparently need to brave myself.
     
  18. Big Top GT

    Big Top GT Member

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    @ ipdamages: Thank you for such a poignant and succinct analysis of the situation.

    You're spot on.

    As for taking money up front for purchases: when I initially made the offer to JP regarding my willingness to relocate and breathe new life into a Carbon Fiber manufacturing business, the number one requirement was my absolute unwillingness to accept money up front for products not ready to ship on the day of payment.

    If you want to see a business get itself in trouble, thats the number one ingredient for disaster.

    The above Corvette group purchase js a perfect example. We're working with a vendor from that site on a wholesale basis. He is collecting money for the GP, but we don't see it until the last day of the GP when we actually start shipping.

    In fact, he offered to send us the end customer's payment (minus his markup) as he receives it, and I flatly declined.

    I don't need their money to make this, or any purchase work. (Group or otherwise.)

    John Benjamen's air vents went out late yesterday afternoon and we have another set just about ready, as well.

    We should have a third set in the mold as early as tomorrow.
     
  19. felixtb

    felixtb RsEU502,Sp+14274,XpEUSig4

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    hi there,

    how are things going.......... there has been very little news lately and was just wondering where you are with all this......?
     
  20. Big Top GT

    Big Top GT Member

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    I'm still monitoring the site and working on the back log.

    I expect to have some more product out the door next week. I had a social function that took me out of town for a few days, which slowed things down a bit, but I'm back and we're still going strong.

    We still aren't looking to take advance payment for invisible parts, either. ;)

    The good news is, the new door sill molds are almost done. We had a little set back related to my inexperience, but we're looking good to have the first set out if the mold and shipped relatively soon.

    Otherwise, it's business as usual. :)
     

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