Idaho Falls company works to bring monuments to area residents

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

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.”

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Idaho Falls company works to bring monuments to area residents

  1. Mark Burrows

    One would wonder why anyone who owned such a business whether in good or bad times did not carry insurance and instruction as to who would complete and finish the work and delivery of the outstanding monuments. These are not things anyone would wish on their family at the occurrence of their own death. Unless if it is a successful business you own,and you have a member of your family already in position of running the business and you are just sitting in as CEO do you need not to consider options. Otherwise, it is better to make sure that all customer transactions will be honored or refunded to protect the estate from legal action from that department.
    When the IRS and court appointed trustees step in, they have zero concern for customers of the family of the deceased owner. Their job is to investigate income against taxes paid and get their cut first before they dish out to creditors and debtors. Which is another thing the grieving family has to watch for, creditors and debtors have only so long to put in a claim on a closed business. If they do not, and choose to write it off as a loss. Those amounts should factor into the remaining estate. If they do not, they would need to execute their own investigation.
    When BBB steps into a situation like this, they are advocating for the end user, the consumer who has paid a substantial down payment on a monument. Protocol at this point would required the IRS to comply. They probably do not like it, but they must make way in a polite manner, it’s not like there is going to be a case of financial espionage and hostage taking. It is simply the power of consumer rights, and the protection of those rights.
    I am not saying that the IRS are the bad guys, but they will be tight lipped about as much as they can. As I said before, it is there job to grab up as much of the pie as they can. Keep in mind, the IRS are federal agents of the United States government. They are the muscle behind the coffers being filled at the US treasury. So, if they are not challenged, they will pick up any loose change that is not duly claimed by any outside influence.

    Mark Burrows

  2. Barbara Fisher

    What about Utah?. How can I get my monument ordered 7/9/13 and is all paid for? (Bountiful Cemetary)

  3. Rachel Nelson

    The same thing happened to us with my brothers headstone. They gave about a one or two day window that you could go pick up your headstone with all kins of proof. Unfortunately that passed a couple of months ago. I was told the Attorney handling this was Scott Hansen w/ Wadman investment in the Ogden area. Hope that helps.

  4. Heather

    We paid in full over a year ago and have proof. We are in UT county, so what are our options?

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