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Old 06-22-2007, 03:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation A note to anyone who currently has buisness with Lee "Punisher" Kinney

Many people here and all across the internet have had dealings with Lee Kinney, AKA Punisher of Punisher’s Customs. Many have had good experiences, and received fine work.

However, many more are waiting for equipment, refunds or even just communication on projects. Recently a private discussion turned up some info, but lets start here.

IN response to a customer inquiring on a project –

__________________________________________________ _____________

Quote:
Still here but maybe not for long. I'm not taking new custom work for the foreseeable future. I tried guys, I've put everything I have into this, all my money, all my time, all my heart and there's nothing left to give. I've given up time off, weekends, evenings, social events, family gatherings, holidays, vacations, watching TV, going for a hike, dating consistently and a miriad of other things that you all take for granted in your important little lives, for this. I've had to take a job to keep my job open and that's pretty rough on the ol' spirit.

Everyone will get thier stuff, I'm sorry for the delays but there's nothing I can do about it. I love the guys who aren't even involved who jump at the first chance to start a **** storm, it's a need to 'be important' and I understand where that comes from. I really do, but it doesn't make this any easier. Even worse, it's only the few guys who's projects go long or have a beef for one reason or another that you hear from. I've built and shipped out 92 guns and a fair pile of bit and pieces thus far this year, the vast majority of which go to happy guys who send me an email saying how pleased they are...then not a peep. One guys however can start a pissfest with a few simple words because everyone wants to be one of the injured. Nice....

I'm going to attempt to revive and build my retail offerings but frankly there's so many losers that'll **** out some piece of crap copy, rectum load after rectum load that it's pretty disheartening to even consider doing that. I had some kid email me recently demanding the difference in cost be refunded him from an undercocking kit her got a couple years back....because of Wevo's cheap crap. How cool is that? Happens a little mroe often than I would have ever conceived.

After all of this I still can't bring myself to just shut the doors, funny huh?
All of the old guard are gone, I'm it. Yeah Doc's still around but he's selling teeshirts and comics books these days....can't really blame him.

Now I'll address this one only since he's the thread starter:
Smiley, you've already recieved more in dollar value than your deposit by a goodly amount. I've got the last two pieces of raw barrel brass in my posession that are slated to go to you for those side tubes. At that point you'll be approximately $180 AHEAD. Good enough for you?

Anyone else that has stuff here....your **** is coming. This is the last time I'll answer one of these posts, I just don't care anymore, and that stings but it's also kind of a relief. I'm not out yet but it's >< close......
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'Because the Dead-Box is a lonely place!'
__________________________________________________ ___

And a post on the Phantom Owners Group (PhOG) and the Tinker’s Guild Tinker's Guild Tech Forum

__________________________________________________ ______
Quote:
Hi guys, hope this finds everyone well and functional.

As usual, there're people who are up in arms regarding work here in the shop, my reticence toward the 'friendly' emails etc etc.
Let me say once again, I haven't run off to anywhere sunnier than here. I'm not living off the ill gotten profits from selling all your gear to Albanian gypsies. I'm working.

That's all I'm doing. I've said it a thousand times if I've said it once.....I'm going to work on these stupid toys and get them done and out the friggin' door rather than spend time on emails that are largely geared toward how much I suck. Sorry kids, that's just the way it is.

The more observant of you out there floating about the net may have noticed that I just don't post online any longer. There's a reason for that......I'M F***ING WORKING! The greatest thing is, I stopped taking new work before the first of the year in an effort to cut the backlog into manageable pile. It's working. I have however had to take a day job. So I have a job to pay for my job. That unfortunately means that there's a bit less time to spend here in the shop. I'm limiting myself to a total of 14 hour days just to protect my health is nothing more since I don't have insurance at this point. How many of you would be willing to work 14 hours a day? How many would do it when there's this much crap floating around? Not many I'm thinking.

I only ever wanted to make cool guns for people that'd like them. That was it. I'm absolutely guilty of trying to make people happy, to the point that I simply couldn't keep up. Add to that the fact that there's just no profit in this gig. None. I've put the last ten or so years of my life into what amount to a bottomless hole where I throw my time and money and heart...every day.

My business is changing. It has to if it (and I) am to survive. I'll not be taking any more custom work for the foreseeable future, the intent of that is to move into a more wholesale manufacturing oriented operation. Frankly I don't want to deal with the end user anymore. This is a market where some rich 17 year old kid will haggle and ***** and whine, in every venue available, to anyone who'll listen. The greatest thing is...all I wanted to do was make cool guns that's make people happy.

So, once again....I'm not going anywhere, I haven't absconded with anyone's toys, I'm not living it up on some tropical island. I'm working. That's it. No, I won't bump your project (no matter how deserving) to the front of the list to be finished. No you probably won't get a specific response from me via E-mail for the time being though I hope that'll change sooner rather than later. No, threatening me won't do any good either, there's nothing you can do to me that can measure up to things that have already happened. If it weren't for Wellbutrin I might be tempted to say that being dead would be a decent alternative to this, so here's to better living thru chemistry!

One last thing before I close this little piece of love. To the 'kids' who email me three of four times a week wanting to know how to become and airsmith: Don't. Just don't.
Now, I can hear a whole herd of guys out there spooling up the flame machines but stick with me for a minute. The fact is, there's just no way to do it and live. Brad at PBMaxx figured it out, Doc has figured it out, there've been tons of guys who've given it a shot and all have figured it out.....I guess it just took me the longest to come to my senses. The only way to do this kind of work is as a hobby, part time. Get a day job. Everyone who's tried this as a full time has gotten thier *** kicked.

mama's don't let your babies grow up to be Airsmiths...
make'm be doctor and lawyers and such.......

I'm not going anywhere, I'm STILL working on your stuff, I've no intentions of running off. I'm not going to be available for emails for a while longer as there's even less time for it now than before.

But whatever you do...trust me on the sunscreen!
__________________________________________________ _


Lets take a minute to point out that many people have received similar news, news of physical illness, news of accidents, runs of bad luck and now news of mental illness and a main job to support Lee while he digs out of a hole. Honorable, no? man working on the side while his business sits, trying to make things right. Its what I would do, and hopefully what you would do too. The right thing.

That’s what many optimistic customers said until a few started to look around, and connect the dots.

It looks as if Mr. Kinney is not putting the money into the debts (projects and money owed) he has built, but instead taken those monies and sunk them into his new hobby, car racing / customization.

Indications can be found at these links –

Neons.org - The best neon site on the net! :: View topic - Heh...sometimes I wanna smack my self in the ehad....

Neons.org - The best neon site on the net! :: View topic - Balad of the Angry Potato – this link in particular shows the cash he has put into 1 car, 2 engines and the time placed in custom work for a toy of his own. Speculate cost if you will, but estimates have been in the 5 to 10 thousand dollar range worth of work on that car.

Neons.org - The best neon site on the net! :: Search - a search of that forum leads us to see much activity.

One person speculated this - (original post cut)


__________________________________________________ __________
Quote:
I don't think the major problem is people sending IN the work... it's the custom dude (whoever it may be in this case) SPENDING all of the money on "other" crap, and then finding out he has no money to customize the gun.

Priorities are askew.

Sure I don't blame them for riding on the edge once in a while as a perk. Why the hell not.

But let's look at Punisher. I know nothing about any of this, so I won't criticize, but from an economic point of view.

Let's say:

9 Crowd Busters @ $800 each = $7,200.00

10 Random Project @ $400 each = $4,000.00


Probably more, but let's be conservative on this since we don't have a freaking clue right?

So that's $11,200.00 total that he has received.

Assume a 40% profit ratio

That makes his COST to build/make these guns at:

$6,720.00


Now if he doesn't have a penny to his name and needed to get a second job. Where do you think he's getting the money? It's spent already.
__________________________________________________ _____



Now take that info.. process the train of though, and take this post from another person into account –

_______________________________
Quote:
I thought - Okay ***** is overreacting. Take a chill and I will check out that Neon Board post.

DEAR GOD - the MONEY that went into that NEON!

Okay - so here is the refrain that we heard from Punisher for YEARS!

1) I have no time. I work 8,000 jobs and have no time to get to the 2,000 projects I took money and parts and guns to fix.

2) I have no money.

3) I have ROTTEN luck.

4) I am sick (The man has had more infections, colds, and general ailments than I have ever even heard of).

Then I see THIS?!?!?

THOUSANDS of dollars in two engines (he dropped one of them off a trailer - okay so maybe his luck really does suck) and hundreds of hours taking pictures, working on parts (he spends time building a custom GEAR SHIFT KNOB!!!!) and other things.

He posts consistently, he communicates well, he takes lots of pictures, he orders THOUSANDS in parts, he takes all the time in the world in a really clean looking shop to make all this stuff for a ****ing NEON but cannot make parts/guns/projects he is behind on for years?!?!

Are you kidding me?

How many thousands of dollars in money and guns have simply been given up upon? Owners just wrote it off as a stupid tax. To see this?
__________________________________________________ ______

These are just 2 posts in a sea of speculation, and sitting off to the side of an ocean of complaints. Just do a search online and you can find tons of complaints, and maybe even a bit of praise.. but mostly complaints.

Many will whine and cry about waiting and custom work… but the consensus is as follows. The man took paintballer’s money to sink into a few other paintballer’s projects, and then a bunch of it to sink into his own race car. When you are that far in the hole, you don’t start buying and showing off toys. Heck, even Doc Nickel shows us some of his things from time to time, and can reasonably say that he needs it, or even just wanted something. But he doesn’t hide it and give out stories of woes. Mr. Kinney has been saying one thing, and acting out another where he most likely wont be known for his cheery personality and schedule keeping.

Life shoots at everyone fast, and we all work hard.. those aren’t excuses for poor support, poor communication and possible contracts that will never be filled even though they are paid in full. Does the border on theft? The author of this is not a lawyer, so they wouldn’t know. Only speculation is contained here.

But it is speculation that all his current customers and debtors need to see with their own eyes.

As of this writing, we have seen very few resolutions. 1 comes to mind as of late, and it was still soured by a poor business to customer attitude.

Make your own decisions. For the time being, we are seeking contact from those who are owed equipment or services. This wont be used for nefarious reason, only to tally up and straighten out the info on the customer front.

Fill in this, and email it to punishedbycustom@gmail.com

Name:

Forum name:
Equipment shipped:
Description of work requested:
Funds sent in advance:
Extra funds sent during scope of work:
Number of tries to contact:
Number of responses:
Verbal / email Resolution? (Y/N)
Resolution honored (Y/N)


Thank you for reading.

PBC
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Last edited by Azzy; 06-22-2007 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Fixed broken links by request.
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmm...interesting read. Hard to predict just where discussion is going to go on this though...
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A disturbing collection of data for those of us who have current and overdue projects with Punisher.
I'll keep the faith.
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I hope he closes shop for good too. Matter of fact I'm glad a few have closed shop. You know what, custom doesn't take yrs. I've been playing almost 20 yrs. So I've heard it all.
Excuses don't impress me and neither do fan boys. don't make excuses for someone. There is no excuse. When I say I'm sending something I send it, when I tell someone I'm going to build something for them I do, without hesitation. That's me, I'm that kind of person.
I'll use Rainman as a good example. He works a full time 12 hr shift job, has a family, takes one day out of the week to do personal projects, and has family time, and yet has the time between all that to do custom work for customers and get it out on time.
Not only that ,does anodizing and powder coating too. So how does he do it? with commitment and time budgeting. Turning down work when he has a big load and taking a break when it's needed.
On top of all that he does limited runs of items and takes payment up front before he makes them. Then they are shipped on the date he says, unless he runs into a snag which I think delays about 1-5 days at the most.
Yes I have delt with him way to many times to count, we probably owe each other more then we care to admit, doesn't matter to me, cause my custom work is always on time when I need it.
I was his first ano job, and yes I spread the word about him fast. I bought him over to MCB a few yrs back. I don't think I have ever heard of a dissatisfied customer of his. Except for me, he treats me like dirt cause I love it lol.
I have actually held back on my return date so another customer can have their work done first.
Reason being, I have lots of guns and others don't.
Have I used the BIG 4, yes I have and not very impressed with them.
See I have this thing about money and a time line, I paid for it I want it when you said. Just like my house I had built. They gave me a date and I made sure it was done on that date. I didn't care if they had to work late or work weekends, I didn't care if the builder lost money, I didn't care if he payed the overtime out of his pocket. It was a home with a finish date and I made sure they bought it in on time.
That was also being out of State working and being away from the build.
So see I've heard all the excuses these guys can offer. Had all the hate and threat mail too. Search the net and found they gave the same excuses to everyone else.
What should be said is do the research and see what other excuses customers are getting for their work not being on time. I bet they are all consistent.
I really hope these guys form a mass law suit or small claims court type deal. Bankruptcy doesn't always work. See you have to file everyone you owe money too, then those people have to say yea or nay. It's actually up to the courts to decide once all involved are contacted. Then even if it is approved, those people still have the right to come after that person. So it's not as easy as it appears to some.
So guys don't really worry about that happening. Trust me, first thing they ask is where did the money go. With the new laws out there, it may all still have to be paid back.
Just my 2 cents, but what do I know.
Later,
Blackrain

Last edited by blackrain; 06-23-2007 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelChaser View Post

All this whining is nothing new, it's the same crap that has been going around about various 'smiths for years. I guess Lee is the 'lucky' one this time around.
Yeah...

Lee is "it" this time and for about the last three years...



Poor bastid... imagine! Customers are such pesky little creatures and having to email/update/refund them or (heaven forfend) do their work is even more burdensome.

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I still don't get that.
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I remember seeing one post on Punisher's forum where a customer had pasted some of the responses Pun had sent to his emails (the guy wanted his marker and money back), and it was something to the effect of:

I know where you live, and I am the scariest ********* you'll ever meet.


I remember thinking: "I hope if this angry man goes to beat the guy up, he at least brings him HIS MARKER AND MONEY!"
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have no project at Punishers and thus no PERSONAL commitment either way.

However, this one on Doc's nearly made me cry.

________________________________
Quote:
Hey Doc, I'm gonna level with you here.. I'm that guy who said I'm still waiting as long as it takes.. Trust me, for the past five years (2 years was gratis.. that was an acceptable backlog for me at the time) I've gone through the rollercoaster of hope and despair and realized that all the balls are in Lee's court and it is up to him to hit them back to me or pack them up in a box and go home.. The point being-- I have NO choice in the matter. I HAVE to wait as long as it takes because I was naive enough to send lots of guns and do lots of deals without ever seeing anything in person. I'm ashamed to say its not the first time and will probably not be the last time I've lost sleep over something like this.. I've also been waiting over two and a half years for a GM Throttle Body Fuel Injection kit from another small business guy who did exactly what Lee did.. Took on too many projects and wasn't able to keep up.. Unfortunately for me, EFI guy was able to refund everyone who paid their deposit with paypal with a credit card.. I paid with my bank account. I got bit for doing what I thought the right thing was-- pay with cash so I wouldn't run up my credit cards.. Damned if ya do, damned if you don't.. Ultimately I'm doing the same game with that guy-- hoping for the best in humanity to show itself. So far that guy has agreed to finish my kit for the deposit price ($600 out of $1200) and he swears it will be done by the requested date of July 15th.. Will that happen? Doubtful.. But I might be surprised.. Only time will tell..

Do I have faith that Lee will eventually have my equipment? The optimistic part of me says yes but the pragmatic side of me says to be prepared to never see my stuff again.. He was excited to hear I was still alive when I finally contacted him through HaveBlue because he heard that I had died. The entertaining thing is that I'm very much alive and my contact info has never changed. I stopped posting on message boards because I grew tired of the "I'm going to throw my wallet at you and win this game" factor in the game (I play with a pump...) and voila- dead. I guess I can take the "lost all contact info" bit, but... yeah. My balls are basically in a vice until the goods materialize, the money gets sent to me because the goods were sold because I was dead (hey, I'm a pragmatist.. no offense if you read this, Lee), or Lee dies/goes bankrupt/etc... A friend of mine went into a bad business deal with a friend and is owed over $10k.. His consolation? He's written into the dude's last will and testament.. I somehow don't imagine that happening between anyone except the closest of friends..

Anyway, this became way more longwinded than I wanted.. The point is, basically- I'm not willing to wait 7 years because Lee's work is in demand.. Hell, Doc, I gave up paintballing about five years ago.. I'm willing to wait because my alternatives are nil.. Can I bully Lee? No. He threatened me with a workman's lien on my property because I got uppity. Can I beg him? That's bull****. Can I sue him? I'm sure, but what do I gain out of it? Possession is 9/10ths of the law and I have nothing and he has my guns. Can I wait? Sure. And, I'm not kidding when I say I'd like to see my equipment with my own eyes when it hits the 10 year mark.. Heck, at the moment, I'd be ecstatic just to receive pictures of my stuff complete with serial #'s.. The only one I really can never forget is owning Blazer #009 for a few days before sending it off to be retimed.. I never even shot the gun since the previous owner had screwed with it so much.. But, alas.. What can I do? I thought about emailing the guy who started this thread, with my contact info and a list of guns Lee has.. But, to be honest, I don't even remember half the **** he has and I stopped cutting-and-pasting emails into a word document when it reached 25 pages and I was just barely 2/3rds of the way done.. He and I literally have a small novel's worth of emails back when I considered him a friend first and airsmith second.. Now I'm just another ******* customer he'll post about on his forum.. I've given up complaining because it does no good and it doesn't solve anything.. Now I just wait patiently.. and once a year I'll post in his forum or email him to tell him I'm still alive and I haven't died.

And, in case this ever needs to be google'd for my next of kin or his, my shipping info is..

Raj Rajadhyaksha
c/o Trabuco Hills High School (you think I'd post my home address? I teach high school... hehe)
27501 Mustang Run
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

...I'll be at that shipping address for the next 30 years, I hope. Let's just hope my stuff arrives before I'm ready for my retirement party

Cheers,

Raj with the 7-year old project list..
...does that make me special? pfft. hardly. it just makes me pathetic. Most people would have moved on by now and I almost had... but my friend brought it up after he say a discussion on pbnation... sigh. I figured I'd put me 2 cents in..
EDIT:
Added quotes for you --Brewtt
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelChaser View Post
Ever throw a rock at a Hornets nest? I never met anyone that enjoyed the result. How about all the whiners who can't let the man enjoy some off time just stuff it and ask him for a refund of goods and monies paid?
The problem is, that people HAVE done that and been denied. Hell, some even send their own money to pay shipping to get their OWN gear back, in whatever condition it may be in. Then they never receive it or get excuses. That is the problem with your argument, or I would agree with it.
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Old 06-23-2007, 01:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Would it be impertinent of me to suggest that this thread, from this point forward, be limited to those that currently have guns and/or money in the possession of Lee Kinney and not one of debate? I have no business with him so I shall not post again in order to abide my own suggested rule even if someone calls me a naughty name.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Question

Drum: I also work at a Law Firm, so feel free to chime in on this... But how come nobody has thought about starting a Group/Class Action Lawsuit of some sort, against Punisher?

I can understand how one person alone trying to Sue, would probably spend more money than they initially paid him for whatever project, and wouldn't seem feasible, etc. etc. But what about everyone that was screwed, joining forces, hiring a lawyer or co., and suing the crap outta the guy? (if anything, take it to a smaller claims court... or even public... judge judy? lol).

After all these years, after everything I've seen, Punisher is not just a common theif, but has evolved into a learned Con-Artist.


-baller


small edit: Maybe have to sell that raced Neon, and take public transpo, jus like the rest of us! haha!
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