OKC Homeowners Warn Of Storm Shelter Scam

Thursday, October 3rd 2013, 10:57 pm
By: News 9

Two northwest Oklahoma City homeowners are promised a storm shelter with a lifetime guarantee. But now, six days and more than $3,500 later, they're in the middle of a subcontractor nightmare.

Best friends Linda Dunn and Sharon Rippetoe split the cost of a storm shelter to be put in Linda's garage. They purchased the shelter on Sept. 2, and they say Sooner State Shelters even told them they installed the shelters News 9 gave away this summer. But that just isn't true.

"There's been some damage to the structure of my house, here at this corner, then this masonry," said homeowner, Linda Dunn.

For Linda Dunn and Sharon Rippetoe, it's been a six day fiasco.

"We paid them, we set an installation date for Friday Sept., 27, and they showed up, and this is the end result," said Dunn.

They were charged $3,500 for the installation and the shelter with a life time guarantee, and according to the owner of Sooner State Shelters, Randy Pluto, a normal installation only takes a day.

"It's not in the ground. It's been a week," said Dunn.

"And it's not supposed to stick up four inches, It's supposed to be flush," said Lisa Ingram, Flat Safe Shelters.

"They absolutely do not know what they are doing," said Ingram.  

Ingram says their crews are typically in and out in four to five hours. Not the case here, so far, it's taken Randy Pluto's company six days and three separate contractors, and the job isn't done. 

"My company does not do installations, I subcontract that work," said Randy Pluto during a phone interview. "Linda Dun knew that going into it."

"It's not the installers fault. He's the one who hired the installers," said Dunn.  

Pluto continues to reassure Linda and Sharon they'll get the job done. But the shelter is partially in the ground, garage frames and the walls are damaged, edges of the shelter are also dented and bent out of shape.

"I want this storm shelter out of my garage and I want my money back. Get rid of the mess," said Dunn.

Pluto places the blame on his subcontractors, and says he'll try to have the shelter finished Friday. Flat Safe Storm Shelters has also agreed to properly install a new storm shelter for Linda Dunn and Sharon Rippetoe.

The two have filed a Better Business Bureau complaint against Pluto's company, Sooner State Shelters.