The headstone two years in the making
Danny and Lajuana Seeds have been married for 48 years. Like all things in their marriage, they wanted to plan their final arrangements together.
"We didn't want to have to put our kids through that," Lajuana said.
The couple contacted Etched in Stone in Ogden and ordered their monument. The cost was $2000 -- $1,500 up front and $500 after all the work had been completed. But that order was placed nearly two years ago and the stone is still not completed.
The Seeds say they've called and visited Etched in Stone lots of times asking when their stone will finally be done and placed in the cemetery. They say the company's owner has repeatedly offered deadlines that are missed -- and excuses.
"We like what he's done. We just want to get it finished," Danny said.
This isn't the first time Get Gephardt has reported on Etched in Stone. About one year ago, two other families claimed they were having similar problems; they had ordered monuments but Etched in Stone was not delivering. At that time, Etched in Stone blamed the delays on the loss of employees.
A year later, owner Wallis Burnside said the labor issue remains but he also blames Danny and Lajuana saying they have requested changes to the custom artwork. Still, he admits the process could have gone more quickly.
"A stone like this does not have to take two years," Burnside said. "Something that's custom work is usually going to be done in four to six months."
Burnside told Get Gephardt the stone was almost done but said he was not going to install it until the Seeds paid the $500 balance.
"I tell everybody up front, and they may not remember this, the stone remains my property until it's paid in full," he said.
Danny and Lajuana say that they not only don't remember Burnside saying anything about final payment being due in advance of placement two years ago, but that in the two years of excuses since Burnside never mentioned the $500 balance being an issue for the delay.
They promptly paid and, sure enough, a few days later their monument was placed in the cemetery where they plan to be buried when they die.
Consumer advocates say that when dealing with custom-made things it's important to get a contract, but also to make sure that contract has a delivery deadline so that you can hold the company accountable for unreasonable delays.
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