Originally, the running boards were coated with vulcanized rubber, a process that isn't used today and which only a few craftsmen know how to do. This was one of the few things we had to send out to do. A search of the internet led us to a guy in Canada who claimed to be an expert in this process. He had a very professional looking website that showed examples of the work he had done. He seemed very legit.
After communicating with him we boxed up the boards and sent them off. We were told that they had arrived and work had begun. Then we stopped hearing from the guy. For over a month we sent e-mails and made phone calls and received no response. Needless to say we began to worry, as these running boards simply could not be replaced.
To make a long story short, we started scouring the internet, searching chat rooms, and sending e-mails to anyone and everyone who might know something about the person we entrusted with our running boards. We eventually made contact with several other people who were in the same boat we were, with this same person, and were looking to recover their property.
As it turns out, he had been working out of a garage, had a falling out with the girlfriend that owned the garage, and had basically walked away from his "business". In the end, we all made arrangements with someone that lived nearby in Canada who recovered the running boards for us all, and we even managed to find a truly reputable individual to do the work. When we finally got the boards back we were quite pleased with the results and relieved that we had dodged a nearly fatal bullet on this project.