NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- It was a quest for closure. A mom from New Jersey had saved for years to fulfill a promise to her deceased son and buy a headstone. But months after paying the bill, the monument company went AWOL That's when she turned anger into action and called 7 On Your Side.
"I just knew that I had to have closure," Mary Jones said. "It was something I had to do."
She is a picture of mother's devotion. After her son Darryl passed away from heart and liver problems at the tender age of 38, she ordered his final tribute: a stately stone monument to mark his final resting place. She paid it off, religiously, $50 per month.
And last March, after two years of sending in money monthly, she had finally paid in full more than $2,000 to Toler Family Monuments. Approximately four to six weeks later, the stone would be installed.
"That's what he told me," she said.
But the monument never materialized. The owner told her he had a flood in his building, then was laid up after a monument landed on his foot.
"He was giving me a song and dance," Mary said.
And when Mary and her daughter tried to call Toler Family Monuments, their mailbox was full.
Her son's grave remained unmarked, even though the stone should've been placed here, back to back with another stone
"I just felt he preyed on an older person," Mary's daughter, Patricia McCoy, said.
Mary wasn't alone. We got calls from two other angry Toler customers. Both said they paid him thousands years ago, but their loved one's graves remained unmarked.
So we called Toler, and after weeks of calls and promises, the monument man came through. He placed markers for Darryl and the other two customers.
"Oh, wow," Mary said, weeping, when she saw the new monument.
A memorial for a beloved son and brother is finally complete.
"That is beautiful," Mary said. "He finally lived up you what he was supposed to do,"
The owner admitted his customer service has fallen way short. He's not taking any more customers and is in the middle of shutting down his business.
The big takeaway is that before you buy a monument, ask for recommendations and do online research. Don't choose a business that only has a P.O. Box. Look for an actual address, and get a delivery date in writing.
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