Call 11 For Action: Multiple cases filed against Sylvania store - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Call 11 For Action: Multiple cases filed against Sylvania Twp music store

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SYLVANIA TOWNSHIP, OH (Toledo News Now) - When we bring our possessions to a store for repair, we trust the store to take care of our items. One local store that's been around for decades is apparently violating that trust.

Two different customers with similar stories about calling the business dozens of times and even visiting the store on a few occasions.

Trent Unterbrink dropped off his violin bow to get it rehaired at Richard's Music on Jan. 18 so he could play at his sister's wedding in June. The process usually takes four to six weeks.

"It feels like you're being held hostage. You drop off something, like your car, or in this case a musical instrument for repair, and you just want to know what the status is, if it's being worked on, how the work is coming. After eight months you certainly hope the work would be done," said Unterbrink.

At the end of August, he sent a formal letter asking for the bow back but still had no response.

"For someone who just dropped a violin bow off, and asked them for it to be repaired they said four to six weeks. For that to end up in small claims court, is just a huge waste of time and money," said Unterbrink.

Kelsey Novakowski is also preparing to go to court. She brought her broken keyboard to Richard's in April, and says Richard's told her they would call her with an estimate.Instead, she heard nothing for more than two months. Then she went to the store.

"Was just told that the keyboard wasn't even there and had gone home with a repair manager," explained Novakowski.

Eventually she asked Richard's simply to return the keyboard, but says they did not. The store finally did call her - weeks later - and told her they had fixed the keyboard and she owed them $267.

"I never authorized them to work on it. For almost two months, had been just asking for it back without any work being done on it," said Novakowski.

Novakowski went to the store and had the following conversation:

"Why was it worked on when I didn't authorize it?"

"I don't know. I'm not in charge of that department."

"Why was I never given a written estimate?

"I don't know, that's not my department."

"Can I please speak to your supervisor?"

"When I have a paid receipt, you can speak to him."

"Who can I speak to?"

"There's nobody here you can speak to."

"When will someone be here?"

"I don't know."

After further investigation, it was discovered multiple small claims court cases were brought by customers against Richard's Music. Also, as of June, Richard's owed more than $10,000 to the Bureau of Workers Compensation for premium and penalties. They have not paid insurance for their own employees; every business must pay by law.

Sylvania Township Deputy Police Chief Ray Carroll said his department cannot do much about the situation because they are civil - not criminal – issues. However, his department has received many calls from customers unhappy with the business.

"We've had a dozen calls out there within the last year. Mostly keep-the-peace type calls," said Carroll.

Novakowski feels it is important to bring this story to the public.

"I want other people to know this is not a good place to bring your instrument to, and I don't want them to have to go through what I've gone through," said Novakowski.

But the best way to avoid this situation is to check a company's history before deciding to trust it.

Richard's Music has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau. The public can go online to access some of the small claims cases against the store.

If you have any consumer complaints please contact our Call 11 for Action staff by calling 419-255-2555 or filling out a complaint form.

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