OKC Family Finally Receives Properly-Installed Shelter After Scam

Wednesday, October 9th 2013, 9:55 pm
By: News 9

Eleven days, three subcontractors and more than $3,500 later, a northwest Oklahoma City homeowner finally gets a storm shelter installed correctly.

Linda Dunn says subcontractors hired by the owner of Sooner State Shelters simply didn't know what they were doing. She was left with a big mess and damage to her home. 

Best friends Linda and Sharon Rippetoe say their nightmare with Sooner State Shelters, a company that's only been in business since this summer, started two weeks ago.

"So this is the subcontractors fault, this big mess?" asked News 9 reporter Evan Anderson.

"Yeah, all faze concrete, we uh, we subcontract work, they do everything, carry their own liability, excavation, all that," said Randy Pluto, owner of Sooner State Shelters.

During a phone interview Thursday, Pluto repeatedly put the blame of a botched storm shelter installation on the subcontractors he hired.

"Basically I get the manufactured product and I sell it to the customer, and then we subcontract the work," said Pluto. "There's nothing I can do with the installer."

10/3/2013 Related Story: OKC Homeowners Warn Of Storm Shelter Scam

"Owner Randy Pluto has disavowed any responsibility for taking care of this. He has no intention of doing the right thing, and refunding our money," said Linda Dunn.

Dunn says it was a botched job from the very beginning. Pluto's subcontractors had little to no experience installing storm shelters to begin with and for 11 days, a damaged, dented storm shelter partially in the ground, sat in Linda Dunn's garage.

"And it was a mess, I don't think I've ever seen anything this bad," Lisa Ingram with Flat Safe Tornado Shelters said.

A team with Flat Safe Tornado Shelters took the old shelter out and had the new one in and ready to go in less than four hours.  

"I can't even begin to tell you how appreciative and grateful we are," said Dunn. "And trust me folks, don't use that company or that man, because he ain't going to save you any money or time."  

Last Thursday evening, Pluto and two other men went to Linda's home to begin trying to clean up the mess. The police were called and the workers were asked to leave.

Linda and her friend Sharon Rippetoe are still out of $3,500.