Man Has Problems With Local Piano Repair Shop


POSTED: Thursday, June 9, 2011 - 5:37pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 1:48pm

EL PASO - A piano man from New England invested in a one-of-a-kind instrument. More than two years ago, he sent it to El Paso to be refurbished, but hasn't seen it since.

Joseph Bachour had grown up listening to the sound of music. So when the day came to buy a piano of his very own, he knew "the one" when he saw it.

"There was this larger Steinway piano that was used and old but could be refurbished," Bachour said. It was love at first sight. Born in the 1920's, she had ivory keys, quality wood, and all the prospects of a great investment. Bachour paid $7,500 to call her his.

"It definitely has the mystique of being one of the very best, its the instrument used in orchestras and performers around the world," he said.

But, like any great romance, the piano needed some fine tuning. So his dealer sent it to Sama Piano here in El Paso.

"I had to pay another $7,500 to get it restored, so it was actually like having $15,000," Bachour said.

Sama Piano's website says their turn around rate is 3 to 4 months, but that time flew by, and Bachour hadn't heard a peep.

"It's this constant pattern of calling them and they would make a promise of, 'oh it'll be a few weeks, or it'll be at the end of the month,'" he said.

We called the owner of Sama Piano, and he said the piano is in a repair shop in Juarez. He apologized for the delay, saying they had ordered some wrong parts, and other parts had been incorrectly installed. But, he said Bachour would see the piano again on July 14.

"$20,000 plus all the time and phone calls and the interested I lost on money I borrowed it from," Bachour said. He added getting the Steinway back would just be music to his ears. But he won't be able to keep it, because he says has to sell it to pay off his debt.

"Maybe I got into something I shouldn't have but I just loved the idea of doing something with piano and music," he said.

We asked the owner of Sama's Piano if Bachour would get a partial refund, but he said he wouldn't comment on that. Bachour put in a complaint to the Attorney General's office, which is now investigating. Meanwhile, the business has an "f" rating on the Better Business Bureau website.

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An investment you have to borrow money to make is called a debt, not an investment. That's how we got into the housing bubble.

I wonder why the dealer chose this particular piano place. If the guy lives in New England - where did he find the piano and why not ship it for service someplace close to his home? And why did Sama then have to send it to Juarez? This story is either missing a lot of journalistic details, or is as fishy as a sushi shop.

He is not the only one who has not received the piano back from SAMA. We have sent two Knabe grand pianos to them in 2005 and have not seen two pianos nor have heard from SAMA or Salvador. We have invested over $20,000 at this point for the two pianos and the money that we wired to SAMA. We have also filed a complain with the District of Attorney in El Paso, Texas. We are waiting to hear from them. Since we wired over $10,000 to SAMA, we were wondering if SAMA could be prosecuted for wire f

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