<<EDIT: This guitar arrived on the 22nd Jan 2018.>> Hi Board Members, Has anybody here ever commissioned a luthier to build a guitar and then not had the luthier deliver on the deal? I’m Australian (currently living in Sydney). I have ordered/paid in part for a custom build from a luthier in California but he hasn’t come through on his end of the deal. Any ideas how to deal with this legally in the state of California? If you’re at all interested I’ve written a fairly detailed outline of the situation below. Any suggestions would be appreciated. The barebones full story (If you like long stories): Back in April 2013, during the time when I lived in East Asia, I ordered a custom guitar from a luthier who has a reputation for quality builds (but as it later became clear not for punctuality). After first contact we backed and forwarded over the specs/design for a couple of weeks. Finally, we reached an agreement (all via email mind you) and he quoted a price and an 18 month wait for completion/delivery. For me, it was/is an expensive guitar and I placed my trust in this guy based on his reputation as a world class builder. This guitar was meant to be the guitar to replace all my others so I proceeded with making the down payment at 50% of the agreed price for the build with the idea in my head that I’d be selling all my other guitars over the next year and a half. I remember the international bank transfer fees and the weak Korean won at the time really put a dent in my wallet! Ouch…but I clung to the thought of playing one of his much ballyhooed guitars... After 12 months he advised that he was behind schedule for the due delivery period. It didn’t really phase me so much at the time but he kept presenting with more and more excuses for delays. Some of them seemed pretty understandable and I like to think I’m pretty reasonable so I just let it slide believing that it would be finished soon enough. I had other stuff on my plate too. But as time continued to pass by with no results I started to worry about it, a lot! So I tried to get in contact with him to get some answers. The guy doesn’t really answer his telephone so it was terribly difficult to get in touch with him. Also the time difference made it really difficult. His email responses can take up to 2-3 months to arrive if at all. As it happened, I was in the US in September 2015. I was thinking about just turning up at his workshop to see what was happening but that wasn’t necessary as I finally got to speak to him on the phone. He assured me the guitar would be ready by January 2016. I went back to Korea and sold a couple of guitars and some studio gear to prep for the upcoming final payments. He sent some pics of the instrument in progress but of course, he didn’t come through as promised. Over the following months we would have periods of communication and I did (possibly quiet annoyingly for him) change my mind on some electronics in the build. In my defence, this was mostly because he was running so late that guitar technology was changing and moving forward in leaps and bounds. Time rolled on and he contacted me requesting another 25% payment last October. I was feeling over a barrel but not able to 'not pay' him as I wanted the guitar finished and the finished guitar. He promptly went off the air after receiving payment again. Since then we’ve had some heated words via email where I really lost my ****. I got his attention if nothing else. Now I pretty much have no way to contact him since he will not reply to my emails and doesn’t answer his phone. He did seem apologetic for the delays and has claimed the guitar is going ahead and represents his 'best work' but he has given me nothing concrete re: completion. I’m sure the guy has had some challenging times and all BUT the long and short of it all is that he still hasn’t delivered the guitar in late June 2017 (over 4 years) despite him having 75% of my payments in his pocket. What should I do? I suppose it’s weird that I’m posting this here because it’s a fairly personal issue but I’m not really sure about how to proceed with this guy. He's a human and he's a artist but he's also got a responsibility here. It’s rather embarrassing to admit I've got myself in this situation - I’m kind of clutching at any advice that may come from one of the many musicians who read this forum, especially the Americans amongst us. Also, I guess some of you might know the guy and can deduce his identity from the story. Any advice for how to deal with this situation to reach a win win outcome?