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Freedom Steel - Warning! Do Not Buy From Freedom Steel
Posted on Thursday, March 21st, 2013 at 1:45pm CDT by John
Company: Freedom Steel
Category: Building, Construction
I ordered a steel building from Freedom Steel in early 2012. I told the salesman I had to have the building on time because of a short building season in my location. I was promised the blueprints would arrive in 2-3 weeks, the building would arrive in 5-8 weeks, and that it would meet all local and required building codes.
I was told by the salesman that Freedom Steel had favorites and plants in the U.S. I later found out they were brokers, not manufacturers.
Five weeks after I sent Freedom Steel thousands of dollars in deposit, I still did not have the promised blueprints.
Three months later, the blueprints arrived and they were wrong!! Freedom Steel said they would fix the blueprints, if I sent more money, and would also schedule a delivery date.
Against my better judgement, I sent them more money. Now Freedom Steel would not guarantee a delivery date, and I still didn't have corrected drawings.
By this time, I had sent Freedom Steel nearly $20,000, and four months later, finally got blueprints.
The county development office REFUSED the drawings because they didn't meet code and wouldn't issue my building permit.
I found out that Freedom Steel was in Chapter 11 BANKRUPTCY proceedings. Without me paying the full balance of the money for the building, Freedom Steel wouldn't give me a delivery date so I would know if I could put the building up before the ground froze. I requested my money back. Freedom Steel REFUSED. The company said their contract HAD NO PERFORMANCE GUARANTEES!
Meanwhile, Freedom Steel got their lawyer to send me a letter threatening to take me to court if I didn't give them the full balance for the completed building and refused to cancel the contract, despite my sincere lack of confidence that they would ever deliver. And with good reason, because four months later, all I have to show for my almost $20,000 is unuseable blueprints, from a company in bankruptcy.
The Better Business Bureau was no help, and through the process, it became obvious to me that Freedom Steel has been through this before with other unhappy customers and never had any intention of resolving the matter in good faith.
Nine months after first deciding to buy from this company, and some hard negotiating plus consultation with the Florida Attorney General's office, Freedom Steel offered me a small percentage of my money back (under 40% of my deposit). If I hadn't taken the settlement, as the owner of Freedom Steel gloated, and went through the trustee, I might receive 15% of the actual money I had paid over 3 years.
Plus, the company could go out of business at any time and has a list of creditors dozens long.
Total Loss: more than $13,000
Time Lost: An entire year lost, no building.
I have concluded that anyone sending Freedom Steel money runs the risk of
a) not getting a building
b) getting one with missing parts
c) losing their money entirely
d) the company going out of business and leaving them empty-handed
e) seeing a tiny percentage of their money recovered in court, if at all!!!
f) becoming yet another creditor in a long list of people Freedom Steel owes money to (see http://bankrupt.com/misc/flsb12-16984.pdf for a full list of who FREEDOM STEEL owes!)