As many as 70 monuments could be waiting delivery to grieving loved ones in the upper Snake River Region, after the closure of American Monument.
“There were 62 stones that had been started or completed and sitting in a their warehouse in Ogden,” says Pam Hunter, owner of Hunter’s Idaho Falls Monument and Vault.
Hunter’s is working with American Monument to get the grave markers and tombstones brought back to Idaho Falls for distribution to the families and friends, so they can be finished or set.
“People have to realize that some of these monuments are not completed,” she says. “They may get the upright portion, but not a base. We’re going to get as much as we can, but the customers have to have exacting proof they ordered the monument.”
American Monument, in Ogden, Utah, has been in financial trouble and was closed after owner, Devin Taylor was found dead on August 26. Initial reports show as many as 1,600 monuments were back ordered by the company that took up to 75% down payment on orders
IRS auditors and court-appointed trustees are separating what is owed creditors and debtors, including warehoused materials and blanks. They have been scheduled for return and shipping back to vendors on Friday.
Better Business Bureau serving the Snake River Region began working to secure those monuments bought earlier this year by local residents that were not delivered to American Monument’s Idaho Falls store.
“We had a number of customers contact the Better Business Bureau with complaints about non-delivery of product,” says Robb Hicken, BBB’s chief storyteller. “What we were finding is the order had been placed and filled and was sitting in the company’s warehouse.”
Shortly after this discovery, BBB worked with the IRS auditors and the Utah Division of Consumer Protection to secure release of the monuments to anyone who had proof of purchase – pictures, receipts, etc.
Samantha Gillihan, BBB consumer services, says she’s resolved the issue for about a half a dozen customers during the past three days
“We’ve had one mother and daughter already drive to Ogden to pick up the monument ordered in February of this year,” she says. “People see this as closure.”
Anyone who has proof of purchase is encouraged to contact Hunter’s Idaho Falls Monument and Vault, 3660 N. Yellowstone Hwy, Idaho Falls. Call 208-522-5938
“I’ll be making the last call at 8:30,” Hunter says. “They’ve only given us this small window to claim the monuments before they are sent back to the material’s owners.”