BUYER BEWARE-AZ seller Matt Johnson @ oCarbon-ripped me off for over $500!
First off, I've been on this site for a while, and being that I found this business on AZ, I was much more patient, and nice as far as buyers go because I get that we're not all doing business here on AZ as our dayjob.
That said, it's been almost a year since I placed my order for carbon fiber dash trim kit AND a custom CF wrapped rear lip spoiler for my B5 S4 (ordered in early May '16). As an example of just how patient and nice I've been, have waited to post anything about this never-ending saga of a nightmare business transaction, but after sending several emails, calling his business number and leaving messages with no response since early November last year, my patience has worn out and the gloves are coming off.
I have kept all our email correspondence so I have record of everything, and included the emails from the point of mid-June when things started to get sketchy.
1. Ordered standard black CF trim kit on 5/3/16 and chose the option to leave a $200 deposit so I wasn't without my dash trim.
2. Also ordered custom CF wrap of my ECS rear lip spoiler and negotiated $250 price down from $300. Being that he gave me a $50 break on the price, I told him to take his time on that (here we are late March 2017, I still don't have the spoiler back).
3. Payment remitted on 5/4/16 for $1000 ($550 trim kit + $200 core deposit + $250 rear lip spoiler).
4. I received a partially completed order on 6/18/16 (missing the ashtray, shifter surround, and hazard trim pieces)-sent the following email:
to: "oCarbon. com - Matt Johnson"
Just getting a chance to open the box to take a look and looks great man! I'm assuming there's another shipment coming soon though? Couldn't find the hazard surround trim piece and the rear wing.
Let me know when you get a chance.
5. I received the following response:
Yup, we're still working on the other pieces but I wanted to get the ones that were done shipped out to you.
6. Another couple weeks go by, I install the trim pieces I did get and followed up:
Got the belt and dash trim all installed last night-cf looks awesome man, but when can I expect the rest of the pieces? Let me know.
7. I don't get a reply until 7/8 which claims his building was damaged as the reason for the delay on the rest of my order, but somehow he's still "working non stop":
"oCarbon.com - Matt Johnson
Glad you like it. Working on getting these done ASAP. I apologize for the delay in response. Not sure if I told you, but we had some damage to our old building and we?re getting setup in a new one. Has been a nightmare so far getting all the insurance and permits and electrical sorted so we can get up and running fully again.
I will try and get an update for you as soon as I can, everything is pretty disorganized right now but we?re working non stop to get back in the swing of things. I appreciate your patience on this."
8. I end up having to replace my steering rack so my car is on jacks for 2 more weeks-meanwhile, I send the following email:
Thank you for getting back to me-please keep me posted. My car is in the "shop" aka I need to get to wrenching and replace my steering rack before I can drive it daily again, lol, but I'm hoping to have it back on the road in the next week or two at most and would like to have everything installed by then. Can I count on you to get me at least the shifter, ashtray and hazard surround by end of next week or middle of the following so I can take my clients out without feeling sheepish? Please confirm.
9. He sends the following response right away:
oCarbon.com - Matt Johnson
I really don?t know yet, I can?t make any promises until we get further settled in the shop. I don?t want to make any promises I can?t keep."
10. I respond, respectfully, but rightfully concerned and looking for some restitution as it's now mid-July:
I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with all that and while I appreciate your situation sucks to say the least, we'll be at 12 weeks by mid-month, which is an already twice the amount of time you advertise (3-6 weeks). So if you can't make any promises and leave me with an unknown amount of time beyond even 12 weeks until I receive the complete standard package, I would appreciate it if you can cut me a nice break on pricing for that package.
That said, you already gave me a price break on the rear lip spoiler so take as long as you need on that, but I just don't want to have to remove the radio again (just did a custom RNS-E install) just to pull my hazard trim again, so I'm driving around with it off and I'm sure you can appreciate that the wood manual shifter surround and the missing trim piece up top is janky looking at best. Let me know.
11. We correspond a couple more times about the fact that he can't make any promises until he gets his permits, etc. on 7/12, but can't give me any kind of discount because his margins are already too thin on the B5 products. I plead my case well enough that he offers to wrap another small custom piece for free and we agree on that as restitution.
OK, I appreciate your candor and the offer for some small accent parts as a means to compensate.
Best of luck getting permits and everything back in full swing.
oCarbon.com - Matt Johnson
Thank you for your understanding. I promise you that as soon as we have everything lined up, we?ll work as hard as we can do to get the remaining parts done as quickly as possible."
12. Another full month goes by-I hear nothing, so I send another follow up email on 8/16/16:
An update would be much appreciated.
13. He responds the following day with what sounds like good news:
"oCarbon.com - Matt Johnson
The rest of the set will be done in a couple days. Then we can focus on getting the spoiler done.
Can you confirm your shipping address for me?"
14. I reply on 8/19/16 to confirm my address and inquire about wrapping my cigarette lighter top as recompense for the delayed turnaround:
"Awesome! Sounds good man-here's my address:
Hey so I have a request for a small item that would be rad if you could do a carbon overlay on-have you ever done the cig lighter housing on the b5 before? Looks like the top could be separated from the housing but let me know your thoughts when you get a min (see pic).
15. I don't hear anything until 8/24/16 and send yet another nice follow up email:
Just wanted to check in with you to make sure I didn't miss a tracking number, and let me know your thoughts on the cig lighter when you get a minute.
16. He replies same day with what again sounds like good news:
oCarbon.com - Matt Johnson
If you can get it off, we can wrap it no problem. Make sure you send it to our new address:
947 S 48th Street
Tempe, AZ 85281
UPS will email you a tracking number when they pick it up, I think we ended up clear coating the pieces one more time, so as soon as that cures in a day or two it will ship out."
17. I wait for another couple weeks with no shipment, no tracking number, and send the following email:
Was expecting this by now-please advise.
18. Despite never receiving tracking info package with remaining trim pieces was received on 9/8-still no rear lip spoiler.
19. Admittedly I was a little delayed in sending my core trim back due to wedding planning for mid-Sept-sent back my original trim on 10/14, and inquired about the spoiler:
"Hey man, sorry for the delay in getting this out-the package with all the trim pieces is shipping today, UPS tracking #
Let me know when you get it and you can refund the $200 deposit to my PayPal how's the rear lip spoiler coming-hoping that'll be ready for an Audi club drive on the 29th!
20. After receiving trim back, he replies to state that one of the front door trim pieces is broken on 10/20 even though I had prefaced this in my original quote request and he said it would not affect pricing:
(ORIGINAL QUOTE REQUEST VIA OCARBON.COM) On April 29, 2016 at 3:31:06 PM, @ocarbon.com] wrote:
Comments: I'm ready to do this for my '00 b5 s4! Please call me back at your earliest convenience-I do have one trim piece (front passenger door) that has a small piece chipped off the laminate and shows a little bit of wood near the end of the trim piece nearest the hinge of the door and would like to understand how that might affect my pricing."
"---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "oCarbon.com - Matt Johnson"
Date: Apr 29, 2016 4:01 PM
Subject: Re: oCarbon.com Contact Request @gmail.com]
It won?t affect your pricing at all. We can fix chips without an issue.
Let me know your shipping address and if you?ll be sending in your trim first and I can setup the order for you.
21. I send him the following response reminding him I prefaced the chipped off piece and we correspond a few times to the point that he says he'll try and fix it:
"On Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 4:12 PM, Sean Rojas wrote:
See below in response to your question about the chipped off corner piece on the front passenger door trim-I had prefaced this?"
"On Oct 20, 2016 4:15 PM, "oCarbon.com - Matt Johnson" wrote:
Ok, that's not really a chip though, that's a part that's broken off and completely missing, no? Chips I can fill in with wood filler and sand smooth. Can't repair a missing part.
"On October 20, 2016 at 4:19:14 PM, wrote:
I said pretty clearly it was chipped off and described seeing the door man"
"On October 20, 2016 at 4:31:07 PM, oCarbon.com - Matt Johnson wrote:
I?ll have to go through our emails then and double check. The original quote says that the laminate is chipped off and the wood is showing. I assumed that to mean the laminate plastic had chipped off and the wood is exposed, which is pretty common and an easy fix. I don?t see any mention of the piece being broken off and the door being visible."
"On Oct 20, 2016 5:05 PM, "oCarbon.com - Matt Johnson" wrote:
Do you have the part that broke off? I might be able to fix it if I can have that bit."
"On October 21, 2016 at 7:54:51 AM, wrote:
No it was missing when I bought it in '11"
"On Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 3:38 PM, oCarbon.com - Matt Johnson wrote:
Ok, I?m going to try and see if I can repair it."
22. After proving that I had prefaced this piece being chipped off and corresponding with him about it to the point he says he's going to try and repair it, I wait another week with no response, and send the following email:
"On Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 12:16 PM, Sean Rojas wrote:
Cool. Hope that works out for you. That said, can I get an update on deposit refund and rear lip spoiler?"
23. Another couple weeks go by and patience running low I send the following email:
"On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 9:09 AM, wrote:
Can we get this all wrapped up this month? Would appreciate it.
24. He sends a reply that would indicate he's in accord and still working on the rear lip spoiler as of 11/4/16:
"On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 11:25 AM, oCarbon.com - Matt Johnson wrote:
We're working on it. The spoiler was essentially just rubber weather stripping, so we've had to modify it pretty heavily to get it to work. I was expecting ABS plastic, so it's been a bit of a hassle, but I'm sure we'll get it sorted eventually."
25. I reply to his email to which is the last response I received from him to date (3/20/17):
Ok, understood-appreciate the update, and whatever you're doing to make it work is fine with me. Were you able to fix the trim piece successfully?"
As I mentioned earlier, since our last correspondence in November, I have called his business and left voice messages, sent emails via his contact form on his website, and still have yet to receive a response. My next course of action is to file a court complaint to sue him for $550 plus damages for having to put up with this shit, and I would strongly advise against doing business with this person.
Thanks for reading.