CHICAGO (CBS) — It can be the most painful time of your life – burying a loved one.
Now some families said they’re without their money – and their gravestones.
CBS 2 Investigator Dorothy Tucker has been looking into a company at the center of the complaints.
The Illinois Attorney General’s office opened an investigation in June accusing company that makes headstones of consumer fraud. They took consumers’ money and didn’t deliver the goods.
Barry Banton buried his mother, Addie Livingston just about year ago. To mark her gravesite at Burr Oak cemetery, he ordered a headstone from Bevel Granite.
“This is what I ordered. This is what he did not deliver.”
It cost $550. In fact, he ordered two others for himself and his brother. Those were delivered and installed, but not his mother’s, whose birthday is this weekend.
“My mother was my best friend,” said Banton. “Her birthday is December 9, so you know what I’m going through. I’m sorry if my eyes are watery. I’m tired of going through a whole lot of problems for this.”
Banton’s complaints mirror those on a Facebook group page started by angry Bevel customers. The Better Business Bureau, which gave the company a “D” rating, has more.
And complaints that poured into the Illinois Attorney General’s office saying”I made several phone calls to business with no response” or “I want my money refunded…” are attached with receipts showing customers who each spent hundreds of dollars.
“I’ve been out there. I called them. They did not return the call,” said Banton.
The owner of Bevel Granite also didn’t return CBS 2’s calls. The storefront that once housed the headstone company is empty. Court documents show the owner, James Rogan, filed for bankruptcy in September.
Banton eventually bought a headstone from another company, but he still wants his $550 back from Bevel Granite.
“This is just a whole lot on me. I know I’m too old to cry but I can’t help it,” Banton said.
He will now file a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General’s office, Anyone still waiting for a headstone is asked to call the Illinois Attorney General’s office which will work to get customer’s money back.