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Author Topic:  Warning About John Coop Sr.
Dave Stewart


From:
Chicago
Post Posted 19 Apr 2011 11:09 pm     Reply with quote

I have waited a long time before posting this, too long; but for the sake of other forumites it needs to be said.

I bought a nice old ShoBud through the forum in late 2009. It has a rack-n-barrel system on it, using an allen wrench to tune the raises and lowers; but it was old and wouldn't stay in tune. So I decided to have it completely rebuilt with updated parts. I was recommended to John Coop Sr. in Indiana.

I first spoke with Mr. Coop in January of 2010 and after his enticing words of a guitar that would play like butter, I agreed to send him my ShoBud to rebuild. I sent him the guitar and $400 via PayPal in January of 2010. John wanted $895 for parts, and then the rebuild fee plus shipping costs. I added about $70 just to be a nice guy. The total was $1300. We agreed that the balance would be paid when the guitar was finished.

John called me in February of 2010 and said and I quote: "My guy is polishing the parts," then he asked me to send the rest of the money. So I sent him a Cashier's Check for $900, which he cashed.

I went for major neck surgery in April and called John at the end of May. He said to me that the guitar would be done in "two weeks." The guitar never came. It was at that time that I read about the poor guy in Germany who said he waited for a year and 4-months to get his guitar back from John. I also read about Bob Case and his horror story with Mr. Coop. So I kindly e-mailed John and told him I wanted my guitar back "as is" immediately. I told him that he could keep the rebuild fee, even if the guitar was in pieces. I just asked for the parts and the guitar. John completely ignored me.

I then heard about John's cancer and Chemo treatments and felt sorry for him, having undergone failed surgery and suferring greatly myself. I had explained my health situation to John, telling him that one of the reasons I needed an updated guitar is because I have a damaged spinal cord, which causes pain, tingling, and numbness in both arms and legs continually.

I saw that Coop had posted new parts in the forum in November of 2010 that he was making. Eight months had passed without hearing a single word from him, and it was now January of 2011. I paid John completely in February of 2010, because he deceived me, leading me to believe that the guitar was almost done and ready to ship. John also lied to me in May when he said it would just be 2-weeks. I never heard a word from him. I gave him the benefit of the doubt because of his age and health.

In January of 2011 I called John but he had changed his phone number without telling me. I e-mailed twice, but he didn't respond. So I found John's new number from another forum member. I managed to contact John and put him on the spot to promise me when I'd get the guitar, no more games. I wouldn't have cared if he said 6-months, just so long as it was the truth, or some type of explanation why he couldn't deliver on time. I'm a reasonable person.

John said again, "It'll be 2-weeks." I called John in late February of 2011 and he wouldn't answer the phone. I e-mailed twice, but he didn't respond. I waited until March and hadn't heard a word from John, so I started to look at hiring an attorney, but couldn't do it. I just can't take an elderly man to court, especially a guy living alone who's overcome cancer. I won't do that to John, even though he has defrauded me.

It is now mid April and I haven't heard a word from John Coop Sr. I am out $2,800. I paid $1500 for the ShoBud and John has had the $1300 since February of 2010. I have been understanding and patient, but I don't want to see anyone else end up losing their guitar and money. You may get a fretboard or small part back if you order it, as some have said, but I wouldn't send Coop your guitar or a substantial amount of money.

What bother's me the most is that John told me "My guy is polishing the parts" in February of 2010 to get the rest of my money. I trusted the man.

John Coop Sr. won't communicate with me. When I spoke with him in January of 2011 he was bitter toward Bob Case, and blamed one of the forum moderator's (which I won't mention) for "dumping a rebuild on him" for the guy in Germany. And then Coop said, "I'm done with the forum, they bury the living in there." Coop's blaming everyone except himself, but what does any of that have to do with him keeping my guitar and money? He evades the issue. John Coop has repeatedly lied to me.

John Coop's name is mentioned all throughout the forum, and people are still unknowingly contacting him for work to be done. He's sitting on a pile of guitars. If anyone is thinking of having Coop rebuild your steel guitar, think again, because you'll never see it again. It is like Bob Case said... BEWARE THE BLACK HOLE.

I'm not glad to post this, and at some point plan to remove it; but for now as long as Coop is advertising his business here in the forum it needs to be said. I've been cheated out of $2800 by John Coop Sr. He has made no attempt whatsoever to give me a time frame, nor communicate with me.

In early March of 2011 I sent John 2 e-mails and left 2 voice mails demanding my guitar back, as is, even if in pieces. I told John he could keep the rebuild fee, but I at least wanted back the parts that I paid for or the money. He is ignoring me completely. It's been 15 months and I'm still waiting for my steel guitar back.

I take 120 mg. of Oxycontin for chronic neck pain and suffer every day of my life. I sympathize with John's suferring, but he sounded great when I spoke with him in January. He was clear minded and didn't seem incoherent. All I'm asking for is my guitar back, and hopefully the parts to have someone else rebuild it.

I know John's friends will be upset with me, and I understand; but for the sake of others who are going to victimized by Coop, at least I can sleep with a good conscience knowing I've warned them.
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steve takacs


From:
beijing, china via pittsburgh
Post Posted 19 Apr 2011 11:38 pm     Small Claims Court Reply with quote

Sorry for your physical and mental suffering, Dave. You have shown great patience in this matter; and, if what you say is accurate, perhaps a little too much empathy towards Mr. Coop. I wonder if taking this to small claims court could get Mr. Coop moving in the proper direction? I sure hope so. I'm glad you posted this, as members do need to be aware of this sort of thing. All the best. stevet

Last edited by steve takacs on 20 Apr 2011 2:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Allen Peterson


From:
Katy, Texas
Post Posted 20 Apr 2011 3:43 am     Reply with quote

I just read your other post about dissatisfaction with Emmons. You sure are having a rough go of it. Hope everything turns out OK. Good things are way over due for you.

After reading your posts, the thought occurred to me that you have enough material here to write a good country song!

Allen Peterson
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2008 D10 Rains Pedal Steel, 2000 D10 Carter Pedal Steel, BR-9 Lap Steel, Nashville 400, Nashville 112, '65 Fender Twin Re-issue, MB 200, Telonics Volume Pedal
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Storm Rosson


From:
Silver City, NM. USA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2011 6:57 am     Reply with quote

Oh Well Puts a whole new meaning to the phrase "had my Sho-Bud Cooped out".....albeit not particularly pleasant.... Sad
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autry andress


From:
Plano, Tx.
Post Posted 20 Apr 2011 8:31 am     MAIL -Fraud ?????? Reply with quote

I would do some internet research on the Mail Fraud Laws,& Penalities get with your local Postal-Inspector W/ the mail fraud unit & go from there. I would see what they have to say, & get the ball rolling.
I think a Postal Inspector From A Mail Fraud Unit will get his attention.
Please keep us posted.
Good luck
Autry
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chris ivey


From:
california - r.i.p.
Post Posted 20 Apr 2011 9:17 am     Reply with quote

i think a nice polite smallclaims action would help get things rolling. no excuse that i can see.
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Danny Bates


From:
Fresno, CA. USA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2011 10:11 am     Reply with quote

It might be time to call the district attorney or if you're out of state, the F.B.I.
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Mark MacKenzie


From:
Franklin, Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2011 10:26 am     Reply with quote

Go to his house. Thats what I had to do. Unfortunately you can't get blood from a turnip. He is a con.
Don't trust him.

He ruined my guitar. I've posted ad nauseum about it. The whole thing disgusts me.
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Bill Moran


From:
Virginia, USA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2011 10:47 am     Reply with quote

I had almost the same thing happen on my Pro II. I finally went to Indy. and knocked on his door.
When he finished, with the guitar,it was excellent.
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HWP Mullen, Evans, Music Man, MX, Walker seat, L120 , BB , Izzy, Wet Reverb, BJS, B9, Wampler tape delay,Glock 23.
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Danny Bates


From:
Fresno, CA. USA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2011 12:22 pm     Reply with quote

deleted

Last edited by Danny Bates on 20 Aug 2011 5:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bill Moran


From:
Virginia, USA
Post Posted 20 Apr 2011 5:36 pm     Reply with quote

Danny Bates wrote:
He was probably laughing when he stripped your guitars and sold off all of your parts.

It's time for you guys to qet the last laugh and let a jury decide his fate.



Danny, Is that the way things work in CA ? Neutral Rolling Eyes
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Bill

HWP Mullen, Evans, Music Man, MX, Walker seat, L120 , BB , Izzy, Wet Reverb, BJS, B9, Wampler tape delay,Glock 23.
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post Posted 20 Apr 2011 5:39 pm     Reply with quote

Mark,You drove from Tenn.to Indiana?WOW! Winking
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Tony Glassman


From:
The Great Northwest
Post Posted 20 Apr 2011 6:12 pm     Reply with quote

I don't know.....I bought a complete D-10 rebuild kit for my pot metal Pro-II (changers, levers, bellcranks, pull rods). It took about 5 months to get every thing as he fabricates the parts in runs.

I sent him the $$ and he sent a box of beautiful parts and then worked with me for about a week by phone to get the proper shims for the changer.

In fact, he paid to have the guitar shipped from Oregon to Indiana just because he wanted to make sure the changers were squared to the body. I got it back in 3 weeks.

He got pretty sick soon after that, and I haven't been in touch since. The guitar however sounds and plays great. Not a bed looker either.





Last edited by Tony Glassman on 24 Apr 2011 7:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mark MacKenzie


From:
Franklin, Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 21 Apr 2011 4:21 am     Reply with quote

I have a bunch of shiny parts on mine too. Trouble is when I hit a knee lever, then two necks push apart about 3/16". Mushy. There's no stop. Just keep pushing that knee and the necks flex apart. Any junior cadet could know "that aint gonna play in tune."

Yes. I drove all the way to John's house. When I got there, he told me to drive down the alley in back. Small back yard with grass to your knees and a worn path to his back door. Small wooden 1920's or 30's house in poor shape in a poor neighborhood. The next door neighbors house had windows broken out of it and junk everywhere. Coop said he thought it was a crack house.

Walked in to back where he had the pieces of my guitar on a small table. This was no shop, more a converted pantry. A room about 6' by 10' that used to be a kitchen. A sink loaded with junk and parts. Parts everywhere in no order. I felt uncomfortable with the dust and dirt. It looked like he had worked maybe a week on my guitar he had for a year. House was filled with junk. Steel parts ShoBud memorabilia cases etc. It looked liked a house on the tv show "Hoarders." Filled. Hardly room to turn around. And dark. For some reason, there were no lights turned on. I did see a cleared area in front of a computer. Ash trays full. Johns mustache was peculiarly stained in one place I realized was from cigarettes hanging there. I wish I would have brought my camera. There were buckets full of ShoBud single coils in a pile that looked like they were thrown in.

Of course my guitar was far from finished after more than a year. But it was in pieces. He had already pulled chunks of lacquer off the front and said he would fix that. He just taped a decal over the missing chunks.

Its kinda like... where would you take your car to get worked on? Get pictures of the workspace. I'm sure you will agree. By the way, I went to the ShoPro shop here in Nashville. It was immaculate. Beautiful shop and organized and clean.

I chalk my experience up to caveat emptor. But I have learned a lesson. I am lucky to be affiliated with some great lawyers and like I said, you can't get blood from a turnip or a stone.

-Mark



Earlier post http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=196100&start=0
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Skip Cole


From:
North Mississippi
Post Posted 21 Apr 2011 10:41 pm     Beautiful steel Reply with quote

I have a weakness for red steels. Your ShoBud is one of the sharpest i've seen. Undercarriage is just as pretty with most everything polished.

Skip
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Tony Glassman


From:
The Great Northwest
Post Posted 21 Apr 2011 11:34 pm     Re: Beautiful steel Reply with quote

Skip Cole wrote:
I have a weakness for red steels. Your ShoBud is one of the sharpest i've seen. Undercarriage is just as pretty with most everything polished.

Skip

If you're talking about my 'Bud......thanks.

BTW, John gave me the option of having 1/2" longer pull rods and spacers, so the plastic nuts stick out about a half inch past the endplate . You cannot imagine how much easier this mod makes fine tuning on a dark stage.

No more feeling, groping or bending sideways to get a look at the changers. You can see the hex tuners from your regular seated position for correct tuning wrench placement.

I'm not trying to refute the guys who've had some problems w/ Coop. I just want to let people know that there are others have had good experiences when dealing with him.
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Wally Pfeifer


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 22 Apr 2011 6:55 am     Reply with quote

Whoa!
Mark,- why are you telling us all this irrelevant stuff about John.
Some people are not as fortunate as others.
His appearance and his house(shop) has nothing to do
with his work.
But I do sympathize with the way you were "screwed"
and do appreciate your warning to other potential
customers.
Wally Oh Well
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Mark MacKenzie


From:
Franklin, Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 22 Apr 2011 11:33 am     Reply with quote

Wally, I think if you rethink that statement, you will change your mind.
His appearance and his house (shop) has everything to do with the quality of his work.

I was under the impression that I was sending my guitar, which I loved, to be well treated, to be worked on in a professional manner. It was not. There were piles of junk everywhere. Nothing was organized.
And you may be different, but I would never send something I loved to someone who doesn't take care of their own appearance or their shop knowingly.

Face it, what happened was that I was conned into believing this was a professional person and shop and I would have a valuable professional guitar after spending a great deal of money. I laugh to myself how completely wrong I was. I took this guitar once to Duanne Marrs. He said, yes, he probably built it in 1966. His shop was clean and orderly. His floor was swept. And he didn't break chunks of lacquer off my guitar.
I have visited Jeff Surratt at ShoPro. His shop was immaculate. No, this is very relevant.

Bottom line is that I was told I would have a rebuilt valuable guitar in August, then October, then December January February March April May. He told me things on the phone that were not true. I always told him, well, I know I will get an amazing professional guitar so I can wait. Well I was a fool.

And of course, it is not just me.
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Kevin Hatton


From:
Buffalo, N.Y.
Post Posted 22 Apr 2011 2:21 pm     Reply with quote

I totally disagree. Shop cleanliness is a direct reflection of the kind of work a person will do. Just as is their personal hygene and appearance. I would never take anything I own to a pig sty to have it worked on. As mentioned above, Duane Marrs always kept his shop neat and organized. Jeff Surratt does the same. I clean my shop twice a week. Treat people with respect and courtesy and you will have customers.
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Bill Miller


From:
Gaspe, Quebec, Canada
Post Posted 22 Apr 2011 6:14 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
Shop cleanliness is a direct reflection of the kind of work a person will do. Just as is their personal hygene and appearance. I would never take anything I own to a pig sty to have it worked on.


How true. I once took my car to a shabby looking place to have an urgent repair done and later noticed that the tops of both fenders were covered in fine scratches and scuffs. The mechanic obviously couldn't be bothered to cover them while he worked under the hood, dragging his coverall buttons or zipper all over the paint. Looking back on it I should have known what to expect by the general appearance of the place and the staff. Lesson learned. Details people usually project that trait to most aspects of their lives. Never trust non-details people to work at your most prized possessions. To do so is to invite disappointment.
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Russell Nugent


From:
Florida
Post Posted 22 Apr 2011 8:31 pm     Reply with quote

I used to have a couple of rental houses and I always looked at a prospective tenant's car to see how they lived. Generally speaking, a clean car means a clean tenant. Dirty car....not so much, which meant more work for me to get the house ready to rent. I would only rent to people with tidy cars!
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Dave Grothusen


From:
Scott City, Ks
Post Posted 23 Apr 2011 6:42 am     Reply with quote

Some fine artists/mechanics can work in clutter and do great work. For the most part, what you see is what you get.

Last edited by Dave Grothusen on 24 Apr 2011 3:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Henry Matthews


From:
Texarkana, Ark USA
Post Posted 23 Apr 2011 9:42 am     Reply with quote

I don't understand. I had some dealings with Coop about a year ago and everthing was on time and exactley as he said. Wound up with a great Sho-Bud.
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Henry Matthews

D-10 1975 Emmons p/p Black Woodneck Bolt-on
LTD amp, Nashville 400 amp, Hilton pedal, BJS bar, Kyser picks, Live steel Strings. No effects, doodads or stomp boxes.
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Mark MacKenzie


From:
Franklin, Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 23 Apr 2011 11:25 am     Reply with quote

There are many people I have come to realize that coop has taken. I am only telling my story. What's not to understand?
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Brint Hannay


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 23 Apr 2011 1:32 pm     Reply with quote

Mark MacKenzie wrote:
There are many people I have come to realize that coop has taken. I am only telling my story. What's not to understand?

Coop.
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