Webbers Falls Farmers Out Thousands After Grain Storage Company Didn't Fill Their Order
WEBBERS FALLS, Oklahoma - Editor's Note:
Norville Ritter President of R&R Systems Inc of Alva, OK releases this statement:
In response to the recent events in Webbers Falls we would like to assure our customers and any future customers that R&R Systems is in no way affiliated with the company mentioned in the News On 6 story involved in the ongoing dispute with Mr. Sloan, Mr. Sheffield, and others. It has been noted as of 9/20/19 the company referred to in this story has been removed from the dealer locator section of the Sukup website. R&R Systems is now the only approved and legitimate dealer of Sukup in Alva. We pray for a satisfactory resolution for all of the farmers involved.
Two Webbers Falls farmers said they spent many long days and nights rebuilding their farms after floods ravaged their town this spring. Now, they they're out thousands of dollars after a grain storage company didn't fill their order.
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 technically competitors, but in reality, they're 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 a dealer out of Alva, OK who represents Sukup Manufacturing.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."
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 cost 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.