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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 20, 2007

Halting plan, seeking refund can be an ordeal

 •  Funeral trusts take 30% off the top

By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer

Henry Tacub signed two installment contracts with Valley of the Temples for $8,000 in pre-need funeral goods and services in early 2000, agreeing to pay a total of $84 per month for six years and $25 monthly for another three years after that.

In September 2002, Tacub couldn't afford to continue the payments and wanted to cancel the contracts and get a refund, according to a lawsuit now pending in state court.

Tacub "telephoned Valley of the Temples at least once a week for two or three months," but was never able to speak to a company representative, his lawsuit said.

"Each time, a recorded message instructed him to leave his name and phone number and that a representative would return his call that day or within 24 hours," Tacub said in the suit.

No one ever called Tacub back and he stopped making payments, according to his lawsuit. He later learned that his contract had been canceled and the company kept all the money he had paid, Tacub said.

After he filed a lawsuit last year, the company refunded his money, but Tacub is still seeking damages for deceptive practices.

In a response to Tacub's lawsuit, Valley of the Temples said it has paid all it owes to Tacub. The company also denied his charge that it engages in deceptive practices.

Reach Jim Dooley at jdooley@honoluluadvertiser.com.