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Tombstones: Paid, but never received

November 16, 2009 8:01:44 AM PST
At least a dozen consumers say a local company isn't providing the tombstones and grave markers they paid for. Peg and Thomas Buckley were married for 58 years before Tom died in March 2008.

Peg paid $1,400 for a tombstone to mark his resting place.

Her contract with Miller Hagan Memorials indicates she should have it in 90 days, but 7 months later, she's still waiting.

"Nobody should have to deal with this when they lose a loved one. It's just hard," Peg said.

Laurel Hoyer still has no plaque for her mother's grave.

"It's almost two years later and there is still no marking on my mother's grave," Laurel said.

Laurel paid $700 to Newtown Memorials.

"It's not fair. The woman lied to me. She cheated. She took my money," Laurel said.

"If anybody really has had difficulties or felt slighted, it was not at all on purpose and we do apologize; we are trying to put everything into place," Angelina Lofaro of Newtown and Miller-Hagan Memorials said.

Angelina owned Newtown Memorials then shut it down in January after taking over Miller Hagen

"Unfortunately we do have a couple situations, but they do represent less than one percent of all that I have worked with," Angelina said.

But Bucks County Consumer Protection says more than a couple people have complained about Lofaro's old company

"So far we've received 12 complaints on the business. Gauging by the size of the business, I think that's a significant amount of complaints for them to have," Michael Bannon said.

Lofaro blames her bronze vendor for the delay on Laurel's mom's plaque. Lofaro says a new one had to be made and should be ready in three weeks.

As for Peg Buckley, Tom's memorial was delivered Wednesday morning, two days after Action News got involved.

"It's exactly what I wanted, exactly what I ordered. I'm just so happy and now I feel that he will rest in peace," Peg said.

Another common complaint from Lofaro's customers is Lofaro is hard to reach and fails to return calls. Lofaro says she is trying a couple different things to make it easier for customers to track their order status and to eliminate other issues.

Now, to reduce your chances of getting into a situation like this, the consumer advice is very simple: Research the business and the owner before buying.

Consumer Tips:

-Also call your county consumer protection office

-Ask about the business and the owner

LINK: http://www.bbb.org/us/article/576


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