Rydal woman doesn’t receive son’s gravestone after apparent case of fraud

A Chattanooga grave marker business has come under fire recently for suddenly closing and not fulfilling its customers’ orders.

According to a Bartow County?Sheriff’s Office report, a Rydal woman has been caught up in the mess after she paid $385 to Wichman Monuments for a gravestone for her deceased son, and still hasn’t received the grave marker after more than seven months.

The Rydal resident filed a theft of services report Wednesday with the sheriff’s office, saying she entered into a contract with Wichman Monuments following the death of her son last year, according to the police report.

She ordered a granite grave marker with the message “In loving memory of son and brother” to be placed at?Oak Hill?Cemetery in?Rydal.

The contract was signed on?Aug. 3, 2017, and the Rydal woman agreed to make monthly installments, beginning in?September.

The woman said she met the terms of her contract, and as of Jan. 1, she had paid $385. 

However, she stopped receiving invoices and was unable to contact the business by phone. When her son stopped by the offices in?Tennessee, she discovered the business was closed for good.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “scores of customers” have been left without the gravestones they ordered.

According to the Chattanooga newspaper, the Better Business Bureau in Chattanooga began to receive complaints about the business in?February, and more than 30 such complaints have now been filed against the business.

The Chattanooga Police Department said Thursday it had opened a fraud investigation.

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