There aren't many of us who do all our own work. No matter how talented the owner is, sooner or later, something needs to be shipped to "the guy", who rebuilds whatever it is that went south.
Of course, "the guy" is much in demand, since there aren't many still offering his unique services. The market is shrinking, new mechanics want to learn the newer technology, etc. So, as a result, we must approach this magician with hat in hand, as it were.
To further complicate matters, most of us don't live close enough to the maestro's shop to just drop in and see how the job is progressing. Does that mean that we have a tougher time getting high enough on the list to actually warrant someone looking at the broken piece? Of course, the answer is a resounding YES!
No tradesman in this field has it all: competence, fair price, accountability, and great customer service. Most of the guys we deal with have been doing this for many decades, and they aren't searching for new business. They (reluctantly, mind you) accept our business with lots of caveats up front: you know, I'm really backed up here--I really don't take these kind of jobs anymore, but since old Jack died, I'll make an exception--I really want to retire, ya know, but that worthless kid of mine won't pick up a wrench, yada, yada. The first comment from the great one himself is usually something like: wallll, whoever built this damned thing in the first place did it all wrong. What you need to do is run a weld bead down this a way, then grind it a touch . . .
To those of us who have run up against the above, you are nodding in agreement as you read this. To those who haven't, I wish I could suggest a method of avoiding the looooooonnnnnngggg waits, e-mails not answered, phone messages not returned, etc. It is what it is, and we, myself particularly, need to learn to accept it. Sounds easy, eh?