WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — The local Better Business Bureau says they're concerned about a Warner Robins auto shop after getting several complaints. Some customers say the shop took their money and never completed the work.
Jared Koepp says repairs on his son's car would turn into a three-month nightmare.
"My 15-year-old son worked for a year to save up money to have his first car by the time he turned 16, so we found this company, called the guy, he says, ‘Yeah, no problem. We can have that fixed in a week,'” he recalled.
Koepp says he should've recognized the red flags early, but the more he spoke with the owner, the clearer they became.
"I'm going to need the money up front so we gave him $4,000 up front. He said his printer and credit card machine was broken. I didn't really think of anything of it at the time, he asked for a Cash App so we did Cash App him $4,000 that day,” he said.
He's not the only one -- several complaints to the Better Business Bureau say owner Logan Simmons asked for money upfront on repairs but kept vehicles for up to 9 months. Some say the shop took parts from their car and wouldn't return.
"When you see 8 complaints with the Better Business Bureau, that's usually just the tip of the iceberg," Kelvin Collins said.
Kelvin Collins with the bureau says he couldn't find any Georgia law that outlines how long mechanics can keep your car. He says that's usually a civil matter but could become a criminal case.
"Really what you have to look into is intent. Is the intent of the business to defraud the consumer? If it is, then that is something that could be prosecuted criminally,” Collins said.
Collins advises people to do their research, getting agreements in writing, and using payment methods like credit cards, something Koepp, in hindsight, wishes he did.
"I would just warn people from giving this company your money, definitely read the reviews. I understand I'm in a lengthy battle right now and I just don't want anybody else to have to deal with this," he urged.
Collins says the repair shop hasn't responded to any of the complaints, so he's reported them to the state attorney general. As for Koepp, he says he plans to file a civil suit. We went to the shop and asked to speak to Simmons, but he did not respond.