Oklahoma Farmers Out Thousands, Defrauded By Alva Grain Bin Sales RepWed, 18 Sep 2019 15:57:34 CDT
News On 6 this week reported that two Webbers Falls farmers have been defrauded out of thousands of dollars while attempting to rebuild their farms after floods ravaged their town this spring. The farmers complain a grain storage company didn't fill their order after a local representative allegedly took their money.
Cody Sloan and Damon Sheffield said this year has been hard, and that's putting it lightly. They not only lost a ton of their crops and money during this spring's historic flooding. Now, they say they're out 10's of thousands of dollars for new grain bins that were never delivered."
Farmers Cody Sloan and Damon Sheffield are friends who have been through a lot together this year.
"It's been a whirlwind year for us," Sloan said. "We got our crops planted back. Worked really really hard, day and night. But the expenses just keep coming."
Now, Sloan and Sheffield are out $35,000 and $25,000, respectively, and they're not the only farmers in the hole.
"We're all out this money," Sloan said. "Collectively it's over $110,000."
They said they shelled out down payments for grain bins to Salt Fork Grain, identified by Sloan as the dealer out of Alva, OK who represents Sukup Manufacturing with which he conducted his business. Those grain bins were supposed to be built and ready by August 1st.
"To this day, we don't have a bolt, not a piece of steel," Sloan said. "There's nothing here to show for it other than a lot of headache."
Oklahoma Farm Report reached out to Sloan who shared his experience in dealing with the Sukup company to resolve the issue. According to him, little has been done to make the issue right or to move the situation forward by the company. You can listen to Sloan retell his side of the incident by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page. Oklahoma Farm Report reached out to Salt Fork Grain for comment, but has yet to recieve a response.
Sukup Manufacturing released this statement:
"Sukup Manufacturing Co. is a family-owned company and prides itself on exceptional customer service. The company has been in communication with these customers by phone and in person multiple times to resolve their complaint against the dealer. The dealer in question is an independent dealer not owned or franchised by Sukup, and it is our understanding that these customers have a signed contract with the dealer.
Sukup has not received any form of payment for the bins or equipment. We did not require a down payment for these bins, as alleged. Sukup is the manufacturer of the equipment, not a construction company.
We have worked hard to communicate with the customer and provided multiple solutions to resolve their complaint, including providing two additional construction companies who were willing to complete the job. Another party to the same dispute has communicated with us to find another dealer for this job, and they are currently moving forward with plans to construct the bin.
Sukup acknowledges that this is an unusual situation, and has made every effort to work with the customer. We want to help them resolve this issue and we hope we can work together to find a solution."
In response to that statement, both Sloan and Sheffield said the owners of Sukup have not done anything to resolve the situation. They said any additional options would have costed them more money, and that Sukup was unwilling to reimburse them for their down payment.
Sloan and Sheffield also said the dealer in question is still being allowed to work for and represent Sukup, even though they are aware of his discrepancies. News On 6 confirmed the dealer is listed on Sukup's website.
"It's something you shouldn't have to worry about and you should have confidence in their product and their dealers that are out there," Sheffield said.
"I really have a hard time understanding why they would continue putting their name at the top of his quotes,” he continued said.
Sheffield said he hopes no other farmers lose money by working with the company or the specific dealer.
Source - News On 6
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