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February 19, 2007

Let 100 Leos Bloom

Drink_water Beautiful Vintage stoves restored by Stevan Thomas Radakovich. (Update: See the many comments below)

Also, Meneghini antique refrigerator. (From Neatorama)

28,000 potted, blooming flowers

Mens et Manus (MIT logo) in origami, by Brian Chan

Some Hungarian home decorator

Pink Not Dead! Project

Making a little box out of a Post-It Note

Egg Bird Houses by J. Schatz

Yahoo's The Pianist

Movisi modular sofa

Seen everywhere: Folding Chair (YouTubesky). Update: Chishen Chiu's website

Petronas 2007 Chinese New Year Greetings

/// Reddit it /// Add it to your del.icio.us /// A Huge Depository of Unusual Design Concepts Here

February 19, 2007 in Home Decor | Permalink

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Comments


Agreed Jayson, I think what Todd meant was:

"they don't [KNOW] anything about it."


The point, if it wasn't obvious, of the last few posts was to illuminate that "Jim Melling" and several other posts seem very likely to be from Stevan Thomas Radakovich, again using an alias to distract and derail the conversation or investigation. I suppose one could argue that he is being somewhat successful on the former =P

But we'll leave it at that.

Succinctly, take any negative or accusatory posts against the victims or Mr. Brizendine with appropriate skepticism, and follow up on the source if interested.

The Hutchinson PD has been, and continues to be, very helpful in every way they are able. It is much appreciated.


Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Cheers,
Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Feb 28, 2008 12:47:49 PM

Stevan Thomas Radakovich, if you are reading these posts then please stop being a spectator. Step up to the plate and tell us why you decided to go down this unfortunate road. Not many times is a man given the chance to come clean, to state why he did the things he did. I am now asking you to do so. Don't lie, don't pass blame, be honest with us and yourself. I would like to read in full what you would have to say.

-Jayson Spirtos

Posted by: Jayson Spirtos at Feb 28, 2008 6:57:28 PM

Hi,

I am the webmaster of this blog. I've been reading your comments for the last year. I find it funny how a single link to a site (one of tens of thousands), caused such a community to form here.

I wrote about it in a new post on the front page -

http://growabrain.typepad.com/growabrain/2008/02/vintage-stoves.html

Posted by: Hanan / growabrain at Feb 29, 2008 6:56:16 AM

Hi Hanan,

Thanks so much for putting this on the front page of your blog today. It is sure to garner even more attention for this issue, and most importantly perhaps alert other Vintage Stoves customers that could use some help but were unaware of the current situation.

And with the realization that we're likely to get a few more readers, I would like to stress again that I don't believe anyone here(including myself) has any personal vendetta or agenda against Stevan Thomas Radakovich. It is unfortunate that events have led him and his business to this crossroads.

Unfortunately even after attempting to work with Vintage Stoves one-on-one in many cases for year or more, their customers have had to reach out to the community and legal counsel to address the problem. Hence the dialog one sees on this blog.

Thank you for providing this resource Hanan. It has been invaluable.

Wish us luck.

Al


Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Feb 29, 2008 8:19:52 AM

Ruby Shoes: Rachael Ray blog w/ Stevan Thomas Radakovich warning by Al Roethlisberger

http://ruby-shoes.blogspot.com/2007/08/rachael-ray-big-blue-chill.html

Good Job Al! Spread the word.
-Jayson

Posted by: Jayson Spirtos at Mar 1, 2008 8:20:02 AM


Perhaps just an afterthought at this point, but an update and final status on our BBB case(BBB CASE#: 7462) is that it is now closed as of 02/26/2008: "Case Closed - Unanswered"

The case had been opened on 11/28/2007, three formal letters were sent to Vintage Stoves from the BBB through 01/03/2008, followed by several updates to the case(from us) that were forwarded to Vintage Stoves until final closure on 02/26/2008.

Never once did Vintage Stoves respond to the BBB case in those three months.

The only indirect result of filing the case, or from this online blog, was a call from Mr. Radakovich on January 13th asking us to delay filing with KS AG until the end of February, when he would ship our stove. That of course, never happened.

Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 1, 2008 12:26:27 PM

The saddest part of all this is that if you folks were'nt wantonly and frivolousy spending money that could have helped some poor family or hungry child you could'nt have had any issues like this.You people sit and down this guy and his problems and none of you know anything about the real stevan!!you sound like a bunch of chicks!pardon the derogatory remarks to any ladies!

Posted by: unknown opinion at Mar 1, 2008 6:18:13 PM

What ladies?You don't want to try to pull my hair or maybe scratch my eyes out?Is it just that you feel better by running this man down?That's got to be it,because it makes me feel better to talk about you!My grandmother,rest her precious soul, said a man or woman shows they're true colors in their mode of attack!What are you man or mouse?I can't hear you,SQUEAK UP NOW IF YOU WISH!

Posted by: unknown opinion at Mar 1, 2008 7:35:41 PM

Well, I just want to say that the last poster really needs to be careful when standing in judgement. I have not posted for quite some time (my posts came way back at the top starting in April 2007) I hesitate now too because I don't want to sound "self-promoting" and I also think this is off the main subject which is, and still should be about STR. But, your comments have struck a nerve. My wife and I DO NOT have a lot of disposable income to spend frivolousy. The purchase of our stove was a HUGE decision. I'm a teacher and my wife is a piano teacher. We happen to love vintage appliances. We also have two 5 year-olds that we adopted from orphanages in China. I'm not looking for sainthood, praise, or anything else. These are our priorities. How we spend our money still doesn't absolve STR from what he has done.

P.S. We feel very lucky to be of the few who have a stove to show for our money. It still doesn't work properly, but is operational and we use it every day. I'm really sorry for those of you who don't. Hopefully, there will be a resolution.....soon.

Posted by: Mark Davey at Mar 1, 2008 8:00:54 PM

So I emailed a general warning out to all Vintage Stove Companies, Stove Repair Shops and RR Fan Blogs I could find this morning and this is one of the responses I received (please excuse the broken English):

"Sorry about what hapen to you, Stevan was in trouble before he move to Kansas, we have finish the restoration work in 4 stoves that some thing was not saticefie to the customer, And the place that we use to re do the enamle porcelain work, he did not paid his bill in full."

-antiquestove.com

All I think about is why did I give this Flim-Flam-Man my trust.

BTW please do not get sucked into the recent negative posts. These have nothing to do with the victimization of customers. It's a waste of time answering back to this ignorance and there is no reason to justify yourselves to such. Stay on subject and we will prevail.

-Jayson Spirtos

Posted by: Jayson Spirtos at Mar 1, 2008 8:38:39 PM

I also have been in contact with other dealers (seeing as I need to buy a stove) and they were all aware of the situation. Antique Gas Stoves told me that Stevan Thomas is the reason they have on their homepage recommendations to fully investigate a company before dealing with it. I wish I had paid more attention to those warnings!

I am now dealing with Christian at Dream Stoves, located in Northern California. Can anyone tell me if they have heard anything about this company? Christian was knowledgeable and credible on the phone, but then again, so was Stevan. Christian did tell me that he has received something like 24 orders from former Vintage Stoves customers since this mess started.

To no one's surprise, I'm sure, I have received no response from Stevan Thomas to my email of last week, although he seems to have plenty of time to amend his webpage and post things here.

Posted by: Cameron at Mar 2, 2008 6:42:36 AM

Hi, I am very sorry for all of you who got cheated by this company. We are in this bussines over 20 years /refurbishing stoves/ and I feel very bad this had to happen in this industry. Now all customers will look at us different ways. We love what we do, truly. I always looked this website vintagestoves.com and admired what a beautifull job they do. Anyway I believe the best companies in this bussines even don't have website. Honestly we are afraid to have website/other than local/it may make us so busy and then we may be not able to handle all the work from web advertising and end up like the Steven Thomas. I feel bad for him too, I would believe he didn't mean to do this. Just didnt know how to run his bussines.

Posted by: Catherine at Mar 2, 2008 12:55:25 PM

i have went by the property on plum several times late in the evening and lights were on and a vehicle was there as well as during the day with the same vehicle there as if someone was working in there up until the building was taken over. those of you who do live in other states would obviously not be able to know this. i am sure there are several customers that are very happy with steve's restorations and would give him the opportunity to do another project for them. the bashing of one man's livlihood shows that some people have nothing better to do than to judge another man. i have always understood that that job was left to only 1 man and he sure would not be you. i also understand that some people are not thrilled with their choices they made and actions upon those choices. when one buys from a business are you not to check out all history? your choice to not do that may have led you into the situation you are in now. i would think that one that is willing to spend an amount of money on something would want to know what they are getting and where they are getting it from. these actions by you would result in what i call your loss.......do you reaaly know that these projects were not being worked on other than not getting a phone call or not getting a return e-mail? maybe during those times you were reaching him while he was working to get your stove done. wasn't there a blog earlier on that said some products were finished and ready to be shipped indeed? does he have anyone else working with him or is he trying to do all these projects on his own to try and make you people happy? if it were just you working, would you be able to meet all deadlines? maybe no response is a good response.......well, it might have been til someone decided to pass judgement on this man. how does it feel to tear another person down? does that make you feel better.....do you need a pat on the back for a job well done? you just might have accomplished what you wanted to do. so...can you move on to your own life and let this man be?

Posted by: lisa at Mar 2, 2008 2:43:05 PM

Lisa,

I don't think most of the people here are trying to ruin STR's life. He's done that to himself, that much is obvious. Also - these people have gone WAY MORE than the "extra mile" with him, trying to be decent, understanding, and compassionate human beings, only to be taken advantage of, lied to, and cheated. Some have, apparently, even purchased the same stove from him - wait until the courts try to figure out how to divide one stove amongst multiple claimants to ownership.

Personal issues aside, I think the real problem in all of this that the people who are out their money and have no stoves or ones that don't work right is just that - they placed their orders (and their money) with STR in good faith that they would get what they contracted to receive, but didn't. True, they could have done better "homework" and discovered his shady side, but remember: we only suspect of others what we would do in their situation. Almost all those, I suppose, who've been jilted by STR expected him to be honest and forthright with them BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY WOULD DO IN HIS SITUATION. They would never cheat someone themselves, so, therefore, they never suspected STR to do so, either.

Yes, we live in a world that ought to have everything labelled "Caveat Emptor", but most Americans just don't look askance at everyone they meet thinking, "I wonder how this guy's planning to cheat me today?" Because of this, people who live, move, and have their being in taking from others - rather than giving - find them easy prey. BUT - that's where the laws are SUPPOSED to step in and PROTECT the consumer from fraud, deception, etc.

Leaving STR "be" is tantamount to letting him get away with it and allowing him to do it again - believe me: this is obviously a pattern with him. Not making sure he doesn't do it again is as foolish as these women who won't file charges on their abusive husbands/boyfriends. Following through to make SURE that STR pays for his crimes and is OUT of the consumer-defrauding business MUST be done because, like those who abuse their spouses, abusers like him will ALWAYS do it again until forced to stop.

Just my thoughts.

Posted by: A concerned bystander at Mar 2, 2008 7:42:26 PM

Most Americans practice “innocent until proven guilty” and not make claims of wrong doing as ‘A Concerned Citizen’ has as being “apparent” and “believe me: this is obviously a pattern with him”.

I am most anxious to see if the villagers will have to lay down their pitchforks and torches and go back to their Jerry Springer lives or if they will get the satisfaction of quenching their blood lust in this judge/jury/executioner blog-o-smear…

Clearly the jury of this tribunal has rendered its verdict: GUILTY. No evidence need be considered. The defendant need not offer any testimony. We need only “believe” A Concerned Citizen.

Posted by: Innocuous Poster at Mar 2, 2008 10:11:19 PM

Companies go out of business all the time; suppliers and customers lose the money/supplies they have fronted/paid and life goes on.

“More than 80 percent of new firms in the United States end up failing and about 10 percent of all American companies fold each year.” http://www.ur.umich.edu/0607/Sept11_06/10.shtml

If this guy has defrauded anyone, he will have to answer for it – but if he hasn’t, my guess is that he will probably have a more lucrative career suing the posters of this blog for defamation. And it seems that, baring the one exception of the teacher that posted, most of these folks have some pretty deep pockets. Mmm, boy!

Posted by: Randy M. at Mar 3, 2008 7:20:31 AM

Please let me introduce you to an opportunity,your opportunity!I am of vintage stoves,so to speak.See,while you folks were burning up the vintagestoves an stevan's phone,and let me say,you know who you are,there was work being done.There are as many as twelve stoves in production,eight of which were almost complete!Who am i you may wonder,i'm the one who was putting in twelve hour days at times quite frequently with stevan to complete all things contracted at present.

Posted by: outside eyes at Mar 3, 2008 11:21:30 AM


Lets start shall we with the real story of the illegal ousting of stevan and his help from a building and a buisiness we've shed are blood, sweat and tears on!Not only illeagal,but absolutely damn scoundrel like in nature.Whatever you do and this is for all of you.Beware of the the fork-tounged D.Brizendine.He is no robin hood or knight in shining armor.Rest assured you will never find a more chameleon like creature than Danny Brizendine.Stevan has made some poor choices in the past,Also can be a real dick and has a business shirt to prove it.

Posted by: outside eyes at Mar 3, 2008 11:31:56 AM


Stevan is not a crook,nor is he a maniac,monster or a swindler.I as his freind and former employee,
refuse to stand idly by and watch as you try to judge him,ruin him or try to run down vintagestove
as a whole.So you see stevan you are not alone.I
am of the opinion,and stevan and i would be the only ones who know,but most of those stoves ,i'm guessing nine and i'm seldom wrong about building these stoves,would be completely finished had not the formerly mentioned chameleon broke in and changed the locks in the middle of the night like
theif.And maybe you'ld like to get your completed stoves.Ask the nice lady with the dbl oven six-burner roper in buttercup yellow.You can find her complaint in this blog.She never botherd to chime the hell in and tell you how geourgous her roper is and that she had an attourney she hired,who took it illegally and stevan and i not only got it back,but it was stolen the day before it was to be shipped.It was shipped the naext day after court,here you find that funny?Itell you kids lot's more of the true story of how hard both of us worked,especially stevan to keep Vintage stoves alive.

Posted by: outside eyes at Mar 3, 2008 11:52:15 AM

Anonymity tends to detract from the veracity of any opinion offered, no matter what the topic.

Posted by: Todd W. White at Mar 3, 2008 4:13:13 PM

Dear Todd,Your an ass!My name should'nt matter!I can answer questions only stevan and i may be able to.If you have one of those,then by all means ask away.If not then call danny brizendine,for he can give you the name you desire.If that is what your after then ask.lets just call me D.D. for now.Rest assured that i am the person i say i am.Please all of you with legitamate complaints please speak up.

D.D.

Posted by: outside eyes at Mar 3, 2008 4:56:05 PM

A little while back,here in hutchinson ks we had a real bad ice storm that knocked out our power at my house.No hotels in the area had any vacancies do to the size of the power outage here.This man stevan t. radakovich that you so readily down,gave me and my wife and two year old daughter not only a warm place to stay,but stevan slept on the floor,so we had a bed.You hear he gave us his room and slept on the floor.

D.D.

Posted by: D.D. at Mar 3, 2008 5:15:11 PM

Danny Brizendine,your a snake and a coward for sitting idly by an watching things said you know are untrue.Atrue honorable man would'nt,you are WRONG!Most of you who have contracts currently unfinished with vintagestoves,should attempt to let me know in this blog and maybe i can help you somehow.As for mister Spirtos,the only reason you don't have your buttercup yellow high-veiw at this moment is because we had issues so we tore it down and rebuilt it.Then about two weeks before it was finished,the buildings were taken illegally and there your stove now sits,about one to two weeks from completion.And the refire on all the porc. with the buttercup yellow stipple is awesome.So lay the cards on the table.You nwant it and want it right,then with the help of he or i is the only way you'll get what you want.

D.D.

Posted by: D.D. at Mar 3, 2008 5:30:28 PM

Come on folk's,tell me what your stove is and i'll tell you what the status is or was.Understand this,your stoves are and were there.But asking Danny what,where,or how is useless,closely akin to trying to use an ejection seat in a helicopter if you catch my drift.USELESS!Now i will tell you this,if you trust in Danny in any way,you deal with the devil and noone can help you.

D.D.

P.S. if you doubt my knowledge of stevan or my status as a vintage stove builder then ask something that only vintagestoves people would know.And remember when doing so that i help only to attempt to help my freind and mentor and a man i respect and love to the highest degree!

D.D.

Posted by: D.D. at Mar 3, 2008 5:46:37 PM

good job D.D.!!!!!!!!
Keep your chin up STR......

Posted by: nickerson at Mar 3, 2008 6:04:09 PM

I said I would not post anymore but I can't resist, I ask anyone to call the local Police, the fire Captain, the local news, paper, T.V. Fox news, channel 10,12, 24 call any and all, call any 4 or 5 random attorneys you pick, the city manager, call any of the local realtors, must be 50 or more, Google search any variation of (danny , dan, brizendine, hutchinson, 67501, kansas,) search till you get tired. My name stands up for itself. P.S. ask the same Questions about Stevan Radakovich Or Duane Dossey.....goodluck! DAN BRIZENDINE 620-960-0443

Posted by: dan at Mar 3, 2008 6:08:10 PM

hey the applecart guy is back, funny! only pops in when things are tough for STR. ah' what would jesus do!

Posted by: dan at Mar 3, 2008 6:31:55 PM

Per your request DD, here is our stove experience in a summary "montage" if you will:


A photo of our stove in early 2006, in our hallway, prior to shipping to Vintage Stoves:

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l69/aroethli/estate-at-home.jpg

A photo of our stove, on or about October 25th, 2006 sitting in the Vintage Stoves warehouse, still in the packing crate we shipped it in. This is a full 10 days *after* our contracted delivery date of October 15th, 2006. At this point, Vintage Stoves had our stove in their possession since June 2006, with no progress. Source, Hutchinson News:

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l69/aroethli/estate-stove-still-in-packing-10-25.jpg


The stove was promised:

October 15th, 2006(Contract)
Spring/Summer, 2007 - "just need a couple weeks"
October 31st, 2007
February 29th, 2008

Interim time frames, Vintage Stoves is practically unreachable.

A photo of our stove as of February 25th, 2008 as it sits in the "production line" at Vintage Stoves, a rusty hulk:

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l69/aroethli/Stevan%20Thomas%20Vintage%20Stoves/DSC02206.jpg

After about 18 months, I'm not certain how this represents being "almost done". And this is only our stove.

Just the facts.

Cheers,
Albert William Roethlisberger (my full, real name)

P.S.

Ironically, and sadly, the issue isn't as simple as non-delivery, although that is the most pressing final result. If Mr. Radakovich(Vintage Stoves) had simply communicated with his customers even as much as he or his agents have here recently, much of this could likely have been avoided. I think he would have found many customers to be flexible and understanding depending on the circumstances. After all, most simply wanted their stoves, in the best condition possible. Instead the problem was allowed by Vintage Stoves to deteriorate into the unfortunate situation it finds itself now. No one is out to get Mr. Radakovich or Vintage Stoves that I am aware or, although the Kansas Attorney General's office and perhaps other legal entities do now have a responsibility to follow through investigating Vintage Stoves business practices regardless of Mr. Radakovich's or Vintage Stoves' intent. This is no fault of Vintage Stoves' former customers.

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 3, 2008 8:05:43 PM

Hey Todd, I thought I told you to go fuck yerself? You are not even a customer.

Are you some kind of fucking stove-stalker? Are you the Ralph Nader of the stove world? Who the hell asked you, anyway? Have you ever even restored a stove before? Ah, who cares.

I think the spot up there about you doing a 411 for the underground nightclub says it all - you're dumber than a bag of hammers.

Posted by: Stevan Thomas at Mar 3, 2008 8:50:18 PM

Funnier than you think, Dan... funnier than you think.

I know who that poster is... a local. Probably not a good idea to make fun of ones religious ideologies.

Remember the Brad Dillon court case you followed with me? Man, it's happening all over again - only better. ;)

Posted by: Stevan Thomas at Mar 3, 2008 11:03:46 PM

Why isn't this man in jail? He has stolen thousands of dollars. I still have no stove, no money, and had to buy a brand new stove (out more money) and I feel as though I were violated. The language he uses on the internet should say something. I too have lost trust - the AG's office seems overwhelmed so guess I'm out a lot of money for just a pretty picture.

Posted by: Stella Ledbetter at Mar 4, 2008 6:44:53 AM

Stella, your stove is there and was among those mentioned by John Green as near ready for shipment - the coup de tat of one Dan Brizendine thwarted our efforts finish...

Posted by: Stevan Thomas at Mar 4, 2008 7:26:52 AM

Danny is Vintage Stoves - he has changed the guard; he is communicating with its customers; he is communicating with the Attorney General.

Wake up people - Vintage Stoves was NOT evicted, leaving the landlord to clean up a mess. Danny has been up to his eyeballs with Vintage Stoves since he arrived in Kansas. Oh, and that crap about "being lured" to Kansas? Read this:

http://www.wecouldliveanywhere.com/randall-brizendine.shtml

Posted by: Stevan Thomas at Mar 4, 2008 7:40:02 AM

Good luck all... hope it works outs. Wasn't for a lack of trying that things didn't work out to the extent that I could effect them.

Thanks for everything, Duane. I can't say enough how much I appreciate what you have done and about the sacrifices you have made.

Posted by: Stevan Thomas at Mar 4, 2008 8:10:27 AM

What about my pink stove Stevan ? Where are all the missing parts ? I'm so heartbroken because I trusted you . The stove was a gift from a friend . It was supposed to be for her daughter , who then tragically died in an accident . She knew how much I loved it and generously gave it to me . I really loved it , and you knew that . You promised to fix the problems it had , and I begged for 2 years for you to return it . I've seen pictures of the state it's in now , and I'm just so sad . I don't understand what happened . Was it always your intention to take it and never return it , because that's what it seems like .


Posted by: Kathy Couri at Mar 4, 2008 11:33:46 AM

Hello folk's,as aforementioned,i am still listening.You at some point must try to understand that regardless of right or wrong,that Stevans livlihood has not just recently been under an ongoing threat from creditors and complete ruin.Everything he has and has worked for is at jeapordy,and he has mouths to feed just as you and i also.You have not lost your stoves or your money period.We would like to make every attempt to deliver what was paid for by or for you.This is a trying time to be jobless,homless,or removed from your buisiness with out any ability to try to reverse the course of things as they are.Thus said you should at least make an attempt to take anything Stevan say's or has said in the past two years offensively,that he does not want to verbally lash out,but is in an emotionally charged fight for his buisiness.This is the buisiness he started right out of his garage.Stevan and i both love vintage stoves as a whole.This is not easy on us.I need your simpathy not.Please also do not insult my intelligence.I am merely attempting to communicate with you all and help in any way i can.

D.D.

Posted by: D.D. at Mar 4, 2008 5:49:23 PM

Mr.Roethlisberger,
This is what i know of your stove.It would be the pinstriped estate correct?What i would have liked to hear out of you is that you have spent much time on this blog spouting the wrongs of Stevan and vintage stoves,but what you have obviously failed to mention is that you paid twenty-five hundred on a contract price of five thousand (if stevans memory is correct,and i've learned to trust it)for the restoration of your stove,and after a quite big delay,Stevan and vintage stoves sent you a showroom stove.A model 420 o'keefe and merritt,i beleive it was white w/ chrome top.You said it was a throw together stove.Is that correct?Funny that you say that,because i sir built that stove origanally for the show room.Anyway, the point being you got a five thousand dollar stove for half price.Would i loke to see you get your stove?Absolutely i would but you have played a game of self servant memory with these people listening to you and you have one of the least sizeable claim's to date.So stop bashing Stevan and vintage stoves and i am going to try be of some help.You might even be able to get stevan to discuss it further w/ you if you lose the assassination of character game.Do you for one minute think that Stevan does'nt regret the degression of talkw/ each and all of you?If that is what you think then your wrong.More tomorrow for anyone that may be wanting to communicate along these line.

Duane

Posted by: D.D. at Mar 4, 2008 8:36:53 PM

Steven,
Why did you send me a picture of my stove (in October 2007)and tell me it was complete so send my final payment (which I did) and then tell my husband you were shipping the following week and we made fools of ourselves trying to reach you (no response) and calling the freight company for over two weeks (they probably thought we were off our rocker) and then had to take matters to the AG and BBB. Now you're telling me you're still working on my stove. You wiped out my personal savings account (I'm retired) and left me without a stove until I bought one to fit the 40" opening (at Lowe's)last month. From the beginning you should have said you had too much work but try so and so company rather than build up our hopes and take the money. The only consolation I've had is that I was not in the boat alone (unfortunately). I do no anticipate ever getting my money back or seeing a working vintage stove. Lesson learned the hard way.

Posted by: Stella Ledbetter at Mar 5, 2008 6:02:51 AM

The last week of October 2007 I bought and paid in FULL for a 1949 Wedgewood stove. The person who sold me this stove is Stevan Thomas RATOVICH. He is a very,very bad man.

He was so nice and promise me all sorts of extras, free shipping, free crome cleaner for the six burner crome top and extra gtill plates that sit on top, just in case I didn't like what he had picked out for me. Once he got the money, I couldn't reach him by phone or email.

I was so excited about my new stove, what a great Christmas this was going to be. After speaking to Stevan on the phone about everything we needed to do before he shipped out my 1949 wedgewood stove, I would say we built up a very nice repore. He seemed so knowledgeable. Very helpful.

He told me about his 3 small children and even sent me pictures of them and of himself, he told me about his mentally ill wife whom he was divorcing. I felt bad for Stevan. He is the same age as my son, and I really believe this guy was an HONEST MAN, trying to make a living at what he loved to do. He told me about his privious job, making 6 figures a year but he hated to wear a tie and suit. He told me how he grew-up in California.And could never buy a place there. He told me how he bought this great old building to build the stoves. And got 2 buildings for the price of one, at a low price of $150 thousand. He told me he built a stove for Rachel Ray and it was on her show, he gave me the website. But the most impressive was the stove he built and delivered to Johnny Dep.
I was really impressed.

I suffer from a dibliating illness call'Lupus/Fibromyalgia' stress causes flare-ups not to mention a host of other serious problems.

I have been looking for my dream-stove for many years. This has turned out to be a real nightmare. I am so sick to think that Stevan Ratovich could be so curel.

I live in Canada, which makes this so much more difficult. I can't hire a lawyer. Because Stevan took Six thousand, six hundred and fifty dollars, money I have been saving just for this special moment.

I really just hope I can get my stove. If it exist.

I am very thankful to Dan for what he has done to help, and to Larry with the Attorney General's office. I have cried a few tears over this.

I guess I just had more faith in human race. Stevan you're pure EVIL and you should be ashamed of yourself for all the people you have hurt. I feel very badly for your children.

Mary Nelson

Posted by: Mary Nelson at Mar 5, 2008 7:04:28 AM

Hi Mary,

Isn't that interesting in that Vintage Stoves had:

- Removed their webpage in early October 2007 saying that they would not be taking any new orders/contracts until all outstanding customer issues were resolved. This was immediately following our attorney speaking with Mr. Radakovich and sending a letter reflecting their conversation that Vintage Stoves would finish our stove "by the end of the month". That modified webpage lasted only a week or two.

- Sometime around October 2007, agreed with the Kansas Attorney General not to take any new orders, again, until all outstanding customer issues were fulfilled. This was part of a deal with the AG to avoid prosecution of their investigation, if he would resolve the problems. I do not know the exact date of this agreement(but can find out), but I know anecdotally through conversations with the AG that it was sometime around October 2007.

I guess Vintage Stoves and Mr. Radakovich did not intend to follow through on those agreements if they were still accepting deposits/payments from new customers like yourself during "The last week of October 2007" as you report.

As I've said many times to Vintage Stoves and their representatives, don't blame the customers for this blog. Vintage Stoves, and Mr. Radakovich, have created this situation.

The facts, and the truth, are finally being revealed. ...a very sad truth unfortunately.

Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 5, 2008 8:55:51 AM

Just found the RR Show Post:

http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/club/board/thread/22481/

Posted by: Jayson Spirtos at Mar 5, 2008 1:16:29 PM

Mary Nelson....Stevan's wife is not mentally ill. Infact she is a wonderful and bright person. What these two have been through is tough and sitting here ripping them down ain't going to get none of you anywhere. As far as the other guy Dan...He's a total freakin nimb-rod who doesn't have his own life together. Seems to me, he is the problem and HAS been the problem! I love His WIFE!!! She is great!! And his three kids are a blessing as well!!!

Posted by: amber at Mar 5, 2008 2:51:34 PM

To start this off,that 6 burner wedgewood that Ms.Nelson has a contract for,was a stove that was being built for the show room and she chose it.At the time that stevan met in 10/07 with the AG's office,there were actually only 5 or 6 complaints on their desk.What stevan told them was he would take no more orders/contracts until those complaints were addressed.At that point,we did just that.Stevan did not start beating the bushes for more contracts.But we did satisfy those complaint's that were on the AG's desk.After doing so,we took more contracts.That is after all how vintage stoves works.Vintage stoves must sell stoves to survive.Is stevan guilty of bad money management?The answer to that should be obvious.Did he intentionally try to take any and or all of you?Absolutely not.Maam your 6-burner wedgewood is there and is very close to completion,alas thatmay never happen due to the fact that everything is in stasis at 201 n plum. st.Your stove is alive and well and would be done had not circumstances beyond the control of stevan and vintage stoves stopped that process.Make of it what you will,but i know for a fact that is the case,because i have personally worked on that wedgewood.6-burner,36 inch wedgewood.Keep in mind that was a stove that even the original maker never actually made.So for all of you listening or watching.don't believe everything you here.Vintage stoves is still alive at this point and all of you that have complaint's should decide in quick fashion and on an individual basis if you want blood or your stoves.You will not be able to have both.You can either try to burn stevan at the stake so to speak or speak up to the right people and help stevan get back in the shop to complete his work so you can all get what you want and what all this started over YOUR STOVES.

Sincerely Duane

Posted by: D.D. at Mar 5, 2008 8:49:06 PM

FYI,

The Federal Trade Commission responded to my filing, and have generated a reference number for the claim. FTC Ref. No. 13108344

I'm not certain if one should reference that number in your complaint description if filing any subsequent claims, but just an FYI.

The link to file a complaint with the FTC is as follows:

https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01


Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 6, 2008 8:57:48 AM

BTW, has anyone inquired with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation:

http://www.accesskansas.org/kbi/index.shtml


Or the FBI for that matter?

I'm not certain if this sort of issue is really their purview, but I thought I'd ask if anyone has already checked out that avenue.

Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 6, 2008 9:25:14 AM


Other resources we may want to pursue investigating are:

Reno County District Attorney: Keith E. Schroeder
http://www.renogov.org/attorney/


Kansas State Senate, District 34(Hutchinson):

Terry Bruce - Incumbent
http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-senate/searchSenate.do?rep=2355

Dave Inskeep - Challenger
http://www.enfosys.com/test/davidinskeep/index.htm


I've dropped emails to all three, and perhaps others here should as well in case this issue hasn't yet risen to their attention.

The KS AG is certainly doing the best job they can from the civil perspective, but in order to further protect property and other customers' interests, perhaps these other agencies/individuals can help by working together and getting the resources required for resolution properly coordinated.

Cheers,
Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 6, 2008 9:54:08 AM

How is this even debatable?!

You, Stevan Thomas Radakovich have committed multiple counts of fraud, plain and simple.

The above mentioned conditions of your wife's mental health, if there 'was or was not' a underground night club in the neighborhood of your shop or if Dan Brizendine had the legal right to lock you out of your shop; these things are 100% off subject. They have nothing to do with the falsification of images, the fact that you stated on numerous occasions that your stoves were "FINISHED", when apparently they were not and refusing to inform your customers on a one-on-one basses of Vintage Stoves Inc.'s desolvement. Your acts of deception took place months prior to your company's crash, please stop hiding behind Dan Brizendine's building closure. I myself have two counts of fraud in my possession and will try Stevan Thomas Radakovich and Vintage Stoves Inc. to the fullest extent that the KS AG and the Kansas law allows.

STR made the conscious decision to take on stove orders and the committal of their completion. The public didn't force him into working on these stoves, he took the contracts of free will, not at gun point.

You took on responsibilities, too many by the sounds of it, and did not follow through. You dodged customers when they inquired about their delayed merchandise and made excuses when finally reached.

It is extremely helpful that you left Dan Brizendine's contact information on your main page though your company's business is in no way his responsibility, it is yours. To my knowledge Dan Brizendine is not a stove restorer/repairer nor a partner in Vintage Stoves Inc., he is just a property owner/manager that got overwhelmed into your poor business practices. I signed a contract with Vintage Stoves Inc., not Dan Brizendine.

Now STR, you might be the town saint in some peoples eyes though this doesn't mean your not a silver tongued cheat as well.

Even if I wanted to believe that you were working into the wee hours of night, valiantly completing stoves, the only thing I have to ask myself to snap out of this delusional fairy-tail is just one question, "How did he get himself into this position?"

"Maybe he's having problems keeping up with demand?"
"Maybe he's being held up by a supplier?"
"Maybe he had to fire help?"
"Maybe he fell ill?"
"Maybe... ?"

If you called, actually called, and explained to your customers that there were going to be delays in their stoves then there may have been some leniency on this blog.

Did you attempt to do this, the bare basics of customer service, the answer is "NO".

Instead you decided to send misleading images of so called "FINISHED" stoves, when in all actuality they were not, and hid away from your company phone when neeeded.

When reached you stalled, made excuses and flat out "LIED" to your trusting customers. You even told my brother over the phone, might I add a miracle in itself, that our stove was "FINISHED" (which we have in writing), that all that was needed was a simple gas test and do to poor Kansas weather conditions there would be a delay in shipment. Please be reminded that you made this statement after sending us an email in which you stated that our stove was in fact "FINISHED" and were given a "FINISHED" photo.

Again, lets recap:
1) You made a statement that our stove was "FINISHED" over the phone.
2) You made the same statement that our stove was "FINISHED" in a email.
3) In that same email you sent a "FINISHED" image of that stove.

Now to later find out (by images generously provided by Dan Brizendine, http://www.hideho.net/stove/ ) that our stove is in reality a empty shell, a damaged shell may I add (warped left side), and that the stove is no way near completion is "FRAUDULENT".

These facts are in no way up for debate, Stevan Thomas Radakovich you intentionally "LIED" to a customer and have been caught doing so.

And to add insult to injury you included in that very email a invoice requesting the second half of our deposit. A deposit in which we paid up front/in full and were told by doing so that all freight charges would be waved.

All of this, months past the agreed completion deadline, way before the Dan Brizendine lock out.

You are a "LIER" sir, I have physical evidence of this and will be submitting this to the courts.

Now the big question remains, "How will all of this legal fallout effect STR's family, his credibility, his personal finances and all future business dealings?"

Honestly, this is not my problem.

These are things he should have kept in mind before defrauding customers out of their hard earned money, and in some cases, family heirlooms. If he has to liquidated his graveyard of junked merchandise, his car, his home and/or other business ventures then so be it. Maybe in the long run he might come out of this more wiser for wear.

BTW D.D. this post has nothing to do with you, this post is between Stevan Thomas Radakovich and myself.

Posted by: Jayson Spirtos at Mar 6, 2008 8:31:28 PM

I have been reading through this site and it's amazing that STR will only answer what he wants to and ignores all others. These are the facts here:

I sent Stevan my stove, (I did do research! and I had a member of the ASA go by his place and check out the shop and he verified that it looked good, he even talked with Stevan), it is a 1934 Estate 8 burner. This stove, according to the ASA, is the only one known to have made it into the 21st century. My stove is now sitting in that warehouse, just a shell of itself, rusting away. It has been used as a work bench for months it seems.

Yes, I finally complained to Stevan that I had nothing to cook on and he sent me a stove that is thrown together. The panels don't match color, the mental parts fall off on their own, the oven works when it wants to... it's considerably smaller than my stove as well, it doesn't look right in our kitchen. I would gladly give back this stove for mine... bah!

As for 'paying half price' for that stove, we sent in $3125 and our stove, as well as a donor stove and donor parts! We have paid out a ton of money on all this. If our stove were to be finished, it would be worth three times what this loaner stove is worth. So don't talk about getting this crappy stove from Stevan and that we should be happy with it!

I had been holding off for months doing anything, and even talked my husband into being patient and to give Stevan more time. I remember one of the reasons my stove wasn't being shipped right away was because he made a mistake with the internal cross bar and had to take the whole stove apart to turn it around. "It will only take a few weeks and then I can ship it to you." That was March of 2007, What a liar! I can't believe I fell for everything he said to me! Right before we got the photos of my stove in the condition it's in, Stevan told me it was on the 'production floor and it was about completed'. We all know what it really looked like!

This has been devastating for me, and for our family. We have realized that even if we get the carcass of our stove and the donor stove and whatever parts they can happen to find, it likely won't ever get put back together. My husband has been looking for another stove that would make me happy, but it is very hard to get excited about something like that now...

Stevan - How can you come here and post anything?! Look at what you have done to us, and to our stove... I can only imagine what you have done to other people. Knowing what my stove was and knowing that it was the last of it's kind, how could you do that to it?! You are a bad bad man!

Denise Roethlisberger

Posted by: Denise Roethlisberger at Mar 8, 2008 5:51:17 AM

We are in Calgary Alberta Canada. Have done the research and it looked like Vintage was the way to go. Sent the stove and some money. Now all we would like is to get the stove back and carry on with things. We have been in contact with Dan and he has been very helpful. Reading through all of these posts I have only one question.
Can anyone post step by step who we contact and what we have to do to get our stove back to Canada and try to finish the project ourselves.
Thank you to anyone who can help us with this.
Cal and Bonnie

Posted by: Cal Jesky at Mar 9, 2008 10:45:08 AM

What brand and model stove did you have?

I'll try to help you find a competent shipper and reliable source for parts that's as near to you as I can.

Posted by: Todd W. White at Mar 9, 2008 1:33:37 PM

Mr. White, thank you for your concern. I have already made contact with a shipper. I will assess the stove when I get it back as to how much it needs to be completed.
I understand that the stoves are being held by the State of Kansas until the owners come forward and make certain filings.
I am looking to find out where you make those filings and if anyone else has already done this procedure. Which lawyer they used etc.
thank you
Cal

Posted by: Cal Jesky at Mar 9, 2008 6:26:53 PM


Cal,

If you have not already, you should file your case/claim with the Kansas Attorney General's office, Consumer Protection Division ASAP:

http://www.ksag.org/content/page/id/98


You can also call their office, and ask for the attorney handling the claims regarding Vintage Stoves, and they can offer you their advice on how you should proceed.

http://www.ksag.org/content/page/id/45

Consumer Protection Division
cprotect@ksag.org
(785) 296-3751

I'll also forward you an attorney's name that other Vintage Stoves customers have used with apparent satisfaction. I can offer no personal endorsement or opinion of the attorney, but was asked to provide their contact information as resource for customers asking for legal counsel. I'll email you that contact information instead of posting that attorney's contact information publicly here.

Good luck,
Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 10, 2008 7:47:00 AM

Sage and I went down to City of Orange (Old Town Orange County California) and checked out the display for Carolina's Appliances. I know, the name isn't really impressive though their work really shines. They had a white O'Keefe and Merritt Hi-Vue and a white Wedgewood with a fold down top. The stoves were clean, all original parts, with the new nickel plate and porcelain being immaculate. The prices were about 3.4K each, much cheaper than what Stevan charged us, and really looked impressive. Since I have now seen a completed Hi-Vue oven I'm even more passionate about getting this stove.

Anyone know their track record?

www.carolinasappliances.com

Carolina's Appliances
1255 N. Batavia St.
Orange CA 92867

Posted by: Jayson Spirtos at Mar 10, 2008 9:43:20 AM

Don't forget to consider the Rolls-Royce of vintage stoves - the CHAMBERS!

Nothing like 'em!

- Todd
www.chamberstoves.net

Posted by: Todd W. White at Mar 10, 2008 1:53:46 PM

Hey Duane or Stevan,
I dont know if you read these but I figure its worth a try. Our stove was received on Sept 27. Its a 52 or 53 O'Keefe & Merritt 605G. We think we see it in some pictures and Dan has been kind enough to send us others. We are wondering if you know of the whereabouts of all the pcs. It looks like the Grillavator and the racks from inside are missing. The burner grills and the chrome from both sides are missing. The chrome griddle is there. Hard to tell from pics but I think the knobs are there on top. Also the 3 drip trays are missing.
Can you tell us anything about our stove. We are trying to decide what to do with the stove.
thank you for your help.
Cal Jesky

Posted by: Cal Jesky at Mar 10, 2008 4:39:09 PM

Oh yeah, the mrs reminded me, the whole top is missing, no clock, salt and pepper shakers, no back panel. No hide-a-way shelf.
We also think the piece that the clock attaches to is different. Possibly from a model 420 as ours did not have the ridges in the face of it.
thanks again.
Cal

Posted by: Cal Jesky at Mar 10, 2008 4:42:12 PM


Well, false alarm(mistake on my part) the last time I posted this, but this time... as of 11:20am EST, the Vintage Stoves website does seem to be down.

The prior page content: "Public Notice" with Dan and his wife's personal contact info, along with their prior attorney's contact info, and the diatribe about the eviction issues is now gone. www.vintagestoves.com now just returns a server error and various configuration spew upon reloading.

So either the site is in the midst of a rework by Stevan, or it is just now gone for the interim *shrug*

I have no idea how long the site has been down, as I only check once a day or so. Although I did check sometime mid-day yesterday, and it was still up. So it appears that something happened between then and this morning.

We'll have to keep an eye on the site to see what transpires next.

However, if anyone needs what had been on the website in the past weeks, several of us have saved that content. So if anyone needs that information or content, just ask.

Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 11, 2008 8:26:57 AM


Just as an aside, I wonder what happened to all the content of the Vintage Stoves website(Stevan)? I hope it isn't just "gone".

I only ask as a community service, as the antique stove community could surely benefit from many of the photos of various model stoves that were shown on the Vintage Stoves website.

Regardless of the current business/customer issues at hand, it would be a shame to lose all of that photo documentation of various stove types and configurations.

Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 11, 2008 8:32:23 AM

Hello ,
Have any of you filed an order of Replevin ? Someone said I would need it to get my stove earlier and , I just wondered if any of you have done that , and how you went about getting it ? Any help would be appreciated . Thanks .

Kathy

Posted by: Kathy Couri at Mar 13, 2008 2:34:10 PM

Still waiting word from the KS AG, sorry Kathy.

Posted by: Jayson Spirtos at Mar 13, 2008 4:54:06 PM


The Hutchinson News has run a third follow up article on Vintage Stoves today:

http://www.hutchnews.com/Localregional/stove2008-03-13T20-29-48

If they move this to a permanent link like the prior stories, I'll post it here later.


The prior two articles covering the recent issues can be found archived here:

http://www.hutchnews.com/Localregional/stove

http://www.hutchnews.com/Localregional/stovedispute


Many thanks to John Green and the Hutchinson News staff for following up on this.

Al


Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 14, 2008 7:28:44 AM


Ditto Jayson's response Kathy.

I plan to touch base with the KS AG early next week and some other legal counsel to try to get a handle on where we are in the process. Others may want to periodically contact the KS AG for status as well so that this issue continues to stay high on their priority list.

Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 14, 2008 7:35:47 AM

I'm not a customer of STR. I do have a vintage stove in storage, waiting to be rehabbed as soon as we can afford it. But mostly I'm just an interested observer. Having read through everything here, I'm saddened. I'm not sure whether to feel sorry from Steven or not - I don't know him and haven't dealt with him in any professional manner and I'm not privy to what has happened to cause all these problems in his professional life.

But I have to say, as someone who has been planning to send a stove off to a company like STR's, I'm really wary now. Yikes, what an unfortunate situation for everyone - from the customers who've had their stoves and money tangled up in this, to the other companies in this niche market who are having to deal with the fallout.

I'm surprised by a few of the posters here. Some of the worst comments are from people who are trying to blame customers and shame them for not continuing to trust the owner of this company. But given the information that's been presented (and Steven has left comments, so he's had the ability to respond as he's wanted) I can't imagine what customer would trust someone who's run their business in this manner.

Many people, including those who appear to be Steven himself, have tried to say that he is just a victim of circumstance. Perhaps that is part of the truth, but it doesn't lessen his responsibility to the customers who sent money and their treasured property, then waited for years for him to produce results - and after a while they couldn't even get in touch with him anymore.

Clearly, no matter what else was happening in his life, there was obviously a series of poor decisions on his part that lead to this situation being what it is today. Maybe Steven is a great person and normally a real stand-up guy who always tries to do the right thing. But in this particular case (and from his response on this forum) it doesn't appear to be so - he's talking in vulgar language to his customers while at the same time, he's ignored all the genuine questions and concerns from people who just want to get to the bottom of this and either get their money or their stove back.

So everyone jumping on here to defend him just seems ridiculous. And if he really did sell the same stove to more than one person (which hasn't been proven yet but is apparently a real possibility) then YES, that is clearly fraud. What excuse can made for that? Perhaps Steven was desperate to keep his business afloat and needed cash flow from new contracts. That still doesn't make it right to be promising new customers the same things he wasn't able to deliver on to people who had been waiting for years. At some point he should have just admitted he was in over his head and quit before the situation got worse, but maybe he didn't know when to stop.

The only thing anyone has to go on is their own dealings with him - other people may know him differently, but his customers have simply come to their own conclusion about what type of person Steven is based on how he has treated them.

These are his customers - not his mother or his wife or his best friend. They made a business deal with him. They didn't agree to love him unconditionally and trust him no matter what and just twiddle their thumbs for years while he avoided phone calls and took their money and neglected to ship their stoves. That wasn't the agreement. Regardless of how these customers feel about Steven personally, whether it's anger or sympathy, they have a right to be upset about what's happened to their money and their stoves and the promises in a contract that were never fulfilled.

He had their money, he had their stoves. It was HIS choice to take on all the contracts. HIS choice not to return calls and emails. HIS choice to send false pictures and make untrue statements. HIS choice to mislead customers. Regardless of what kind of man Steven is to those who know him personally, he obviously made very poor business decisions that affected lots of other people. Regardless of what happened in his personal life that may have affected his business, regardless of why he failed to run his business professionally, it still happened. Being locked out of the building was a recent development - it doesn't explain what happened during all the time he didn't stay in touch with his customers and didn't ship stoves as promised. And why is any of this the fault of his customers?

In response to some of the more ridiculous comments I've read on here - it does NOT matter one bit if the people who ordered these stoves are millionaires or if they work 60 hours a week in a factory and saved up for years and years. Somehow it seems to relieve Steven of his contractual obligations if his customers are rich? What? Taking money and not delivering the goods is wrong, no matter how you cut it, no matter how poor or wealthy the customers are.

As far as the website being down, you might want to check the Way Back Machine, an internet archive site that stores copies of webpages over time. If you find something of interest on there I suggest you download it and save it to your computer for safe keeping.

Best wishes to everyone involved with this. I hope that in the end it all gets worked out and there is no lasting damage for anyone. It's a sad situation all around and upsetting to hear about.

Posted by: Susan at Mar 16, 2008 2:13:42 AM

Thanks for the write up and the tip about The Way Back Machine. Unfortunately the WBM doesn't carry any info on VintageStoves.com though if anyone has a copy of the page I am more than happy to host it on my company's website.

Posted by: Jayson Spirtos at Mar 16, 2008 11:59:17 AM

Not sure you could put it up or share the pictures or info from his website without violating copyright laws...

Posted by: Todd W. White at Mar 16, 2008 3:54:32 PM


Thanks for the kind comments and thoughts Susan.

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 16, 2008 6:04:35 PM

Seems the reason it's not available on the WBM is because it's been blocked, which is only done by request of the site owner or govt intervention (investigations, etc). I can't help but wonder if the site was already blocked yesterday or if my mentioning the WBM caused someone to take quick action.

I don't know about hosting a copy of the page - probably best not to do that. But any material found should be able to be shared with investigators without violating any laws.

Al, can you contact me privately please, thanks.

Posted by: Susan at Mar 16, 2008 6:10:38 PM

No, not the whole site, just a copy of that front page STR had as the index.html/index.shtml/index.php

Posted by: Jayson Spirtos at Mar 16, 2008 9:50:57 PM


For those that need supporting documentation, such as photos and descriptions of completed or sold stoves, you can also consider looking at cached images via Google from the Vintage Stoves former website. It takes a little digging, but there is a lot of content cached.

But this will expire in short order once Google refreshes, so if you are in need of this information one may want to start looking ASAP.

Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 17, 2008 12:33:42 PM

Hello to all. I am finally writing after sorting through everything--this blog, my records, the attorney general--all of it. I want to test this post before typing anymore, so I'll just post this much.

Posted by: Christine at Mar 17, 2008 11:56:01 PM

OK, all is well. I just finished putting together my complaint to the Attorney General of Kansas. I am just so sad. This has been so difficult for me, on so many levels. I will try to recount my experiences with Stevan Thomas here, in the hopes that it may somehow benefit someone else.

My first contact with Stevan was in September of 2004. I was planning a kitchen remodel, and the only thing my husband specifically requested (as he does most of the cooking!) was that we restore our 1947 Wedgewood Double Oven. After much research on the web, I fell in love with the photos on Stevan's web site and all the information that was available there. My husband contacted Stevan, sent a picture of our stove, Stevan emailed back with a "diagnosis" and a price, and we were in business. At that time, Stevan still had his business in San Bernardino. He was a member of the BBB, and of course I read everything that they made available online. There were several complaints against him, but they had all been resolved. So we went ahead with our contract, which had a "five year unconditional guarantee". The timeframe for our restoration was 60 days.

Vintage Transport picked up the stove at the end of September, after Stevan received our initial check for half the restoration: $2,250. I contacted Stevan at the end of November, and he indicated to me that he was behind due to his porcelain vendor going out of business. I told him our kitchen was behind, too, and not to worry, if we got it in January it would be great. January came and went, as did February and March. During this time, we were in contact by phone, and each time we spoke, he gave me a later delivery date. He told me that he was moving his entire business and family to Hutchinson, Kansas, and I told him I certainly understood what a big undertaking that was. I decided to cut him as much slack as possible.

He finally came through on April 12, 2005. He and his father delivered the stove on a sunny San Francisco afternoon. I was ecstatic! The kitchen was done, and the crown jewel had just been placed! It was gorgeous. At the time, through my delirium, I did notice a few things that were not quite right: There was a small dent in the top of the cooktop cover, and when I opened the oven doors, the insides did not look like the photos on Stevan's web site. They did not appear to have been restored. There was rust! As far as the dent was concerned, I decided that it was just bad luck on the way out from Kansas. And as for the interior of the ovens, I thought maybe Stevan had decided to leave them "original" for some reason. I guess I just didn't want to see anything wrong.

Anyway, the stove did great for about six months. Then we started having trouble with the left oven not igniting. Then the right. I don't remember all of it, and I won't go through it all here. Suffice it to say that I called Stevan numerous times (one of them on Thanksgiving Day!!!), and each time he walked me through troubleshooting steps, and then in the end, he recommended that we call a repair person and have them bill him for the service.

We called a man who has been working on vintage stoves for over 35 years, and he had serviced our particular stove before we even bought our house in 1997. He adjusted the thermocouple, reconnected some wire thing in the bottom broiler on the right side, and gave us a bill for $78.00. We asked if he would bill Stevan, and he politely replied that he couldn't do that, so we paid him and sent a copy of the invoice to Stevan.

We never heard from Stevan. In the subsequent months, one or both of the ovens continued to give us trouble. The right oven would not hold temperature. It would reach the desired temperature and then just take off up to 550. It was awful. Then the clock began to stop. We developed a technique of whapping it on the back right corner, and it would start again. The next time we called the repairman, he took it off the oven (I didn't even know how to do this) and then we saw that the cord was the ORIGINAL cord, and the outer casing was crumbling, exposing wires. It had never been restored! I distinctly remember Stevan telling me that the clock was sent to Texas for complete restoration. Our repairman said he didn't repair these clocks, but told us about a man in SF that did. He adjusted the thermocouple again, charged us $78.00, and left. When we called him two months later, he came back, determined that the thermocouple needed adjustment yet again, and expressed consternation. "It shouldn't need that." Then he showed US how to do it (you have to take off the top of the cooktop and manually turn the thermocouple with a wrench), charged us $78.00, and left.

By this time I was really angry. And my husband somehow blamed ME! It was just dreadful. The stove became a bone of contention between us. I know this sounds ridiculous, but that's how it was.

Finally, in September 2007, I sent Stevan a registered, certified letter and outlined our difficulties with the stove, requesting he respond within 3 days of receipt of the letter. He called me two days after I sent it. After some discussion, he said, "Well, there are just too many things wrong. I have to come out there." He asked that I give him a few days to arrange his schedule, and that "if you don't hear from next week, if you want to keep me honest, call me and I'll tell you when I'm coming."

We never spoke again. I called every other day during October, November and part of December. Sadly, I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Wichita (Case #7334). They went through their protocol, sending letters and emails, finally determining the case as "closed, unanswered" on December 28, 2007.

Since then, I have noticed other deterioration in the cooktop. The pilot lights below the surface seem to be burning too hot, and that is causing the porcelain to pit and the nickel on the edges of the griddle to MELT in those areas.

During January and February, due to my mother's passing, I was unable to take the time or energy to pursue this any further. I was unsure how I was going to proceed when, on March 12, I received an email from the BBB advising me that Vintage Stoves had closed and requesting that I contact the Kansas Attorney General. As it was too late to call that day, went to www.vintagestoves.com and was confronted with the black page filled with Stevan's "Public Notice". Shortly thereafter, I came upon this blog.

I read through it for two hours. As I read through everyone's horrible experiences, and Stevan's responses using various aliases, I felt physically sick. I felt betrayed, like I had been stupid for trusting this man. My confidence in my ability to make good decisions has been greatly diminished. I am a real estate agent, and in the course of my work, I come across a great many vintage stoves. When people found out that I had my stove restored, they asked me to recommend someone to restore their stove, and I recommended Stevan (early on). I find own my credibility has been compromised.

I am left with a largely unfunctioning stove, a very unhappy husband, and such a profound feeling of sadness. What was supposed to be a source of pride and an object of beauty in our home has become a point of argument between my husband and I, and a focus of frustration and disappointment.

I can't even begin to imagine how other people on this blog feel, those that don't even have their stove back. In that, I suppose I was lucky. I'm really not sure anymore.

So tomorrow, I will send off my complaint, and add my voice to all the others. I don't really expect to find any compensation. After I spoke with the investigator, he told me frankly that my complaint would most likely be kicked because when I entered into the initial contract, Stevan still had his business in California.

But I have decied to move forward, and plan to use Mr. Bush's "rebate" to try to get this stove at least in working order. I don't think I can do much about the cooktop deterioration (other than get the pilots adjusted correctly), but I think with the right person, I just might get that old stove to cook right! I hope it will become a source of joy once again, and we can put all this behind us.

Posted by: Christine at Mar 18, 2008 1:07:24 AM

I, too, have been duped by Steven Thomas. My mother sent her 1953 O'Keefe & Merritt 605G series in May 2006.

After reading this blog, I have tried to contact Al at his email numerous times. Mail is returned.

I visited the warehouse last Friday to take pix of my mom's stove. Same stories as the rest of you. My stove had a serial number. Looks like he, someone, removed our plates from a fully functioning stove, and put it on a shell of a stove. We were cooking on our stove prior to shipment. The stove Dan B showed me was burned up, gutted, no knobs and was cream colored, not white.

The stove that most clearly matched ours, and after my mom later saw the pixs, was the one Dan identified as being his. The glass door had been removed but Dan's response to me was that my stove didn't have a solid door, as if doors cannot be replaced.

In the original order,Thomas dealt with me and I was paying the bill for a $250 repair job. He did a "bait & switch" job on me and started calling my mother, who lives in another state. He called her "stupid" for not wanting to do a $5,000 restoration job.
Short end of a long story, he was paid for FedEx shipping and repair of the stove, cahed both checks in Dec 2006. To date, no stove has been shipped to my mom.

I think there are a lot of people at fault. I contacted the Wichita BBB, the FTC, the Attorney Generals of KS< OK

Ave salary in 2006 of Hutchinson citizen was $30,000 a year. How could Thomas report to business journal that he was making $500,000 to a $1,000,000 a year? And if he did make, say only $200,000, how could he make such large deposits without city or state officials being suspicious? Are there kick-backs or pay-offs that have allowed Thomas to get a "get-out-of-jail" free card? Why hasn't he been incarcerated?

As far as the KS AG is concerned, they have not offered me any solutions. I was told the attorney that was handling the vintage stoves at the AG quit.

Where's justice?

Anyone interested in doing a class action law-suit? I'd be game.

Plus, I think it's time for private investigators and the like. No worms can crawl into a hole indefinitely. Sooner or later they must come out.

C

Posted by: Cheryl at Mar 19, 2008 9:52:14 AM

Forgot to mention that I also filed with white collar crime since this was an internet web scam.
The FBI internet fraud wants to hear from people who have been duped out of large amounts of money from Stevan Thomas. Contact IC3 to make a complaint and also your local FBI internet dept.

Posted by: Cheryl at Mar 19, 2008 9:56:59 AM


Thank you for sharing your story with everyone Christine. I'm very sorry that your family has also shared in this tragic tale.

And just as others have shown how this unfortunate experience has affected myriad aspects of their lives beyond just the financial impact, your experience also illustrates how these events can cause distress throughout our lives.

It is a common human practice to overlay emotion and apply human affections to inanimate objects, and any individually prized, precious, or cherished possession can sometimes become a member of the family, and the context of a home.

So beyond the financial and physical loss, there can be a genuine emotional bereavement when someone intentionally disrespects, damages, or worse, actually tears that touchstone from our home never to be returned.

For many, this wrong may never be made whole, but at least the community here offers some degree to share and provide support.

Al


P.S.

On another note, I am now seeing a "403 Forbidden" HTTP error from www.vintagestoves.com versus the script errors I was seeing for the last week. This does likely mean someone has been monkeying around with file/directory permissions on the server in the last day or so.

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 19, 2008 10:00:28 AM

Thank you, Al. As I mentioned in my email to you, you are the "voice of reason" on this blog. Many thanks to you.

Posted by: Christine at Mar 19, 2008 4:12:33 PM

I would like to thank Lucy for her kind words and email to me. Very helpful, indeed. I wrote the following to her, and would like to share it with others who may be feeling the same:

It's interesting all the different emotions one goes through. I don't think I've really fully hit the "anger" stage yet, just incredible sadness. My husband and I are not "rich"--he is retired and we are trying to hang on in SF as long as we can--so I'm not sure how much we are going to be able to invest in the stove. He wants to "throw it out and get a new one", and I, being a tenacious Capricorn, want to hang on to it and find someone to get it "right". In any case, we have to come up with something, as we are most likely going to put our house on the market next year, and it obviously must have a working stove, whatever it is.

I will call Johnny's Classic Ranges and see what he thinks is the best way to proceed. After the problems you mentioned with your stove, I kind of wonder what else is going to show up if our stove is taken apart. I don't want to know! But I guess I just have to suck it up and get on with it. I must admit, though, that the idea of taking it out of here and hauling it anywhere is just abhorrent to me. Makes me crazy. And I'm not sure I could sell my husband on the idea.

It's funny, when we first took delivery of the stove, I was so proud of it and for the first time, I started thinking about making a will (we don't have children) so that it would go to someone who would really appreciate it. Now I wouldn't give it to my worst enemy. I know it's totally irrational, but I feel sorry for the poor thing! It's made it this far, and like everything from that time period, it's built like a brick shithouse, built to last, a monument to the thinking of that era. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the people that made it. So I do feel a certain sense of obligation. Is that nuts?

It will be interesting to see how things proceed from here, what the Attorney General will do, etc. In the meantime, I guess I have my work cut out for me!

Posted by: Christine at Mar 19, 2008 4:17:37 PM

I posted a notice in October 2007 saying "Check out Vintage Stoves Inc. website. Mr. Radakoviche has posted a notice that he is not taking new orders so he can fulfill his current obligations. Looks like he may be trying to keep ahead of the State Attorney General."

I posted the note at that time because I had filed a complaint with the Kansas Attorney General's Office in August 2007 and had been told by the assistant attorney that he was soon meeting with Mr. Thomas. Immediately after I posted my note I received an email from Mr. Thomas. It was an interesting email, not only because of Mr. Thomas's response, but also because he never answered any of my many other emails or phone calls sent directly to him (sound familiar).

I won't go into all the details of my bad experiences with "Vintage Stoves". Suffice to say that I lost thousands like all the other bloggers. I received multiple excuses why my refurbished stove was delayed in shipping and then more excuses why my refund was delayed. I returned the stove, it was unacceptable.

When I spoke with the Assitant Attorney General I told him I did not expect to ever see my funds returned, but I expected that the poor business practices carried out by Vintage Stoves would be stopped. I did not want others to suffer the frustration, anger, tears and disbelief that I had suffered. I was assured that things were being taken seriously and that my complaint, as well as the other complaints filed, were being addressed.

I was surprised to see that Mr. Thomas was able to continue taking deposits/orders even after he had made an agreement with the Kansas Assitant Attorney General.

Rereading the blogs above I find it interesting that the local police officer stressed that since this is a civil matter there is little he could currently do. And, the Assistant Attorney stated to me he could not intervene in criminal matters, he could only try to intervene in civil matters.

I filed a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, but only received a file number as a response. I am frustated that it appears Mr. Thomas has been able to disappear and not be held accountable for his thefts.

Mr. Thomas knew what he was doing when he took deposits for stoves that didn't exist. He was sly enough to stay one step ahead of the Attorney General's Office and seemed to fool that office as well as all of his customers. He was very deceptive in his business practices. He had a beautiful website, with gorgeous refurbished stoves. But, the stove I received, as well as the stoves listed in the blogs above, are non-functioning, rusty, poorly finished products not worth $300, let alone the thousands paid.

I would like to find out how to do a class action suit or at the very least find out how criminal charges can be filed against Mr. Thomas. I don't want to waste any more of my time or thoughts on this person, I just want him to pay for his crimes.

Since the business no longer exists, I don't know if the Attorney General will or can do anything to help any of us. I am still hoping that the Federal Government will get involved because Mr. Thomas did the major portion of his "business" through his website.

Sincerely,
Ann

Posted by: Ann Rushing at Mar 21, 2008 5:12:58 PM

I just found this site by accident. I was trying to visit Steve's website but found it was gone. Three years ago I sent a deposit of $12,500.00 for a 'one of a kind' 1955 0' Keefe & Merrit 60 inch aristocrat 6 burner with stacked ovens. He seemed very eager to do the project. However for me I was diagnosed with cancer six months later. The past three years have been a battle trying to focus on my health. I had surgury and treatment and am now cancer free. Quite a blessing for my family and me. I was going to check the status of my wife's dream stove when I found no website and no answers to the number I had. I found this nightmare of a website instead. I feel like a fool My wife had been me for months worried that we might lose it and I kept reashurring her that it was safely secure with a deposit and is with the best restoration co. in the U.S. Im in shck right now. Is my money gone? Is my stove gone? Do I contact the Kansas da. Please point me the right way. Thank you.
Ted G. La Mesa Ca.

Posted by: ted g. at Mar 21, 2008 6:32:30 PM


Ted,

I am very saddened to hear you too have suffered additional pain via your experience with Vintage Stoves in addition to your own personal health issues and the burden that alone has put upon you and your family. I hope your health is recovering, and you are doing well.

I can not offer any additional advice other than what you have read here, and that is to contact the Kansas Attorney General's office right away and file a claim.

From what I have heard, there were only two(left stack I believe) Aristocrat models in any semblance of completeness at the Vintage Stoves facility, and those two have been seized via personal legal counsel by two customers that had paid in full for two "complete" Aristocrat models. Although "mostly" complete, even these two were not really fully restored. With that news, my intent is certainly not to further cause you distress, but I did want to set your expectations accordingly and let you know that I'm not confident that another complete Aristocrat is currently there.

In fact, it may be possible based upon other posts here and discussions that I have had that several people may have paid for the same stoves in some cases, particularly Aristocrats. It is also apparent that many stoves had been cannibalized toward the end to get a few whole stoves together, perhaps in one last gasp before the whole operation fell apart. So perhaps your stove may have been there, or is there in pieces, but I believe only two complete Aristocrats existed at the end.

But you may want to call Dan Brizendine and see if he knows for certain if another Aristocrat may be still around in whole, or in part. He can be contacted at: danbrizendine@sbcglobal.net Dan is happy to help.

Regarding the KS AG, a new attorney has picked up the case and seems very enthusiastic. Given the sheer number of claims pouring in over the last month or two, the Vintage Stoves issue seems to have finally(albeit a bit later than ideal) risen to the a high priority within the KS AG office. So I think things may begin to happen.

As before, the KS AG's top priority is to first get people's stoves back to them(as noted before, shipping will likely be at the owners cost though). Whether or not there will be any funds left or available for refunds is left to be seen. Beyond that, criminal cases, liquidation of assets, etc... could conceivably be considered, but they'll have to take it one step at a time after their first priority, which is securing the current inventory, then starting the process of identifying property to be returned to owners/customers.

For anyone seeking advice or considering personal legal action, please contact Emily Rush at the KS AG Consumer Complaint office and consult with her regarding their current activities and your options.

http://www.ksag.org/content/page/id/45

I'll provide some updates as I hear more, but as you can imagine I don't want to(and have been asked not to) share too much about pending activities/strategy as they are happening or planned.

But I do think, and hope, some progress is about to be made.


Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 22, 2008 7:45:36 AM


BTW, the latest article by the Hutchinson New from back on March 14th is now archived at:

http://www.hutchnews.com/Todaystop/stove2008-03-13T20-29-48

The prior two articles covering Stevan Thomas Vintage Stoves can be found archived here:

http://www.hutchnews.com/Localregional/stove

http://www.hutchnews.com/Localregional/stovedispute


Al


Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 22, 2008 8:14:41 AM


Also, believe it or not... there still may be other customers out there that aren't aware of this problem, and have never seen this blog, etc...

About a month ago, I posted this information at DIGG which many people use to scan for interesting news articles. But for the article to get posted on their "active" site, readers have to "digg" it, which is essentially voting for it to get posted.

If you would like to help this get additional attention via DIGG's main business new page, please feel free to view the link and "digg" it(you'll need to register, but it's free).

http://digg.com/business_finance/Beware_Stevan_Thomas_Vintage_Stoves_Kansas_AG_Investigates


Hopefully this will help others in need to find this information and get in touch with the KS AG or their own legal counsel.

Although the VS website is now defunct, we need to continue getting the word out.


Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 22, 2008 8:32:00 AM

Has any one thought about taking STR down the way the government took down Al Capone? By going after him for income tax evasion. Has the KSAG thought of this strategy? The FBI & Chicago Crime Commission's could not make any thing stick with Copone until they went after him for income tax evasion. I bet STR's tax filings and tax returns are as big a fraud as he is. That is if he even filed taxes. I know no one would get restitution, but the reality is no one is going to get anything anyhow. What is there a bunch of junked, cannibalized carcasses of stoves. How much would that all be worth? Seeing STR doing time.... PRICELESS! Just a thought.

Posted by: Susan H at Mar 22, 2008 1:31:15 PM

To Al Roehtlisberger
Thank you very much for your input. Dan B. has e-mailed me his number and I will be calling him.
Ted G.

Posted by: ted g. at Mar 22, 2008 4:40:20 PM

I just wanted to ad my condolences to Ted for his incredible ordeal. I can't even conceive of being out that much money!! And for you to be worrying about it when you are dealing with health issues! I think I have finally reached the anger stage!

Posted by: Christine at Mar 22, 2008 6:23:55 PM

Yep, Cancer is a hard one to beat.

Posted by: Jayson Spirtos at Mar 22, 2008 7:01:04 PM

To all of you who have shared your stories of lost heirloom stoves, lost thousands of dollars and lost trust in another person’s word I want to say I am very sorry for your losses and hope that something good will come your way. I still believe that there are more honest, well meaning people in this world then there are “bad apples.” Unfortunately, it is the bad folks who stand out. I also believe in “karma”. What goes around eventually comes around.

I am quite surprised that Mr. Thomas invaded this blog site to swear, post his “aliases”, blame others and just show what a shallow perspective he has on life.

But, the one thing I must say about this blog site is that those who have lost their stoves and money and shared these losses have shown an incredible restraint voicing their anger towards the person responsible. All of you/us are trusting people who are the backbone of the U.S. economy. If you/we did not trust others to provide the services promised, how would the American economy work? Actually, now thinking about this, the American economy doesn’t work when there are dishonest people involved. That seems to by why the real-estate market is currently in crises.

My husband and I built a new home and ordered household products over the internet throughout the building process. We ran into several glitches, but “Vintage Stoves Inc.” was the only company that did not provide the product promised. It was the only company that kept the funds it was obligated by “law” and the Kansas Attorney General to return.

I want to thank Al for sharing all the information he has gleaned in trying to reach the appropriate authorities to stop the business in its tracks.

Al, I did send another email to the Internet FBI complaint site and requested feedback on the original complaint I filed with them against Vintage Stoves. I also sent an email to the Reno County District Attorney. I hope that everyone who has lost their money and/or stoves will send letters to the officials Al suggested in his earlier blogs. Like several other bloggers on this site, I do not want to see Mr. Thomas get away with the mess he has left behind.

I count myself lucky in that I did not trust an heirloom stove with this company, so all I lost was money and trust. Again, my sincere condolences to all that have been harmed. Ann Rushing

Posted by: Ann Rushing at Mar 23, 2008 3:06:14 PM

Has anyone contacted 20/20, Dateline or 60 Minutes. This needs to get to the news media - I know it helped track down one person a friend of mine was swindled by and the man is now in prison.

Posted by: Stella Ledbetter at Mar 24, 2008 9:15:22 AM


Although this topic is obviously a very big deal to us, I honestly don't know if it would show up on the radar of mainstream news media, especially big-time shows like 20/20 *shrug*

Unfortunately at worst "small time fraud"(big time to us, but it's all relative after all), or at best just a small business that was managed poorly(debatable, but what some may classify this ordeal as being), probably isn't unique enough(sad but true) or sensational enough to be of interest.

That all being said, I wouldn't discourage anyone from contacting these productions if interested. I'd just be interested to hear how they respond, and frankly surprised if they were interested beyond offering empathy. I'd love to be proven wrong though =)

But in that vein, although the Rachael Ray Show production staff seemed interested in this topic when I spoke with them, that interest seemed more toward how they can help by removing sponsorship information(and offering sympathy), not really reporting the issue. And although that to me was a bit disappointing as I think it could have been an opportunity for the show to provide a service to their viewers, I also realize that the program really isn't an expose' type of show. And they likely would have been sensitive to the challenges of presenting the topic in such a way that it didn't appear they were accepting any fault, which of course I don't believe anyone assigns to the show. So I could understand that reticence.

I really do appreciate the Hutchinson News running their three articles though, although it is too bad the problem wasn't caught earlier. But that isn't their fault... just timing.

Now maybe if the local Kansas TV Station(s) News picked up the story, ala "Marvin Zindler" in Houston did years ago for consumer complaints, that would be interesting.... =P

Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 25, 2008 10:52:09 AM

I just wanted to check in and share a bit of info. Last week, I contacted Michael Finney at "7 on Your Side" (a consumer advocate reporter) here in SF. I remembered when I entered into a contract with Stevan, he very proudly mentioned that he had sold a stove to Michael Finney. It was fire engine red and quite a splashy piece. I have a photo of it from Stevan's web site, way back when. Anyway, Mr. Finney did return my email with a telephone voicemail, and in it he said that he was delighted with his stove, it was perfect, and that he was very surprised to hear about Stevan's troubles (and ours). He said that the stove was not his to begin with, that Stevan restored it to his specifications from existing stock. I did refer Mr. Finney to this blog, but I don't know if he read it at all. I may attempt to contact him again, just to keep him apprised of the situation as it develops.

Posted by: Christine at Mar 27, 2008 7:10:47 PM

Here is a link to "7 on Your Side":

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/feature?section=news/7_on_your_side&id=5814629

Posted by: Christine at Mar 27, 2008 7:11:28 PM


Thanks Christine,

It will be interesting to see if your contact brings some more attention to this tragedy. I think I remember that feature on ABC from when we lived in San Jose a couple years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few others in the Bay Area that are in the dark and have yet to realize where their stove or money is.

And on the topic of "celebrity endorsements": I can't decide if Stevan made sure to satisfy his "high profile" customers at all costs given the good(or bad) publicity they could provide(and I know of several now), or if it is just symptomatic of the business being poorly managed and getting in too deep as it grew following these high profile sales. I am leaning toward the former.

But I can say that the more I hear of these customers being fulfilled, while the rank-and-file customers went unserviced, continues to upset me more and more.

I'm honestly happy for those customers that received quality product and don't mean to suggest anything negative about them, but I can't help suspect Stevan made sure these customers were taken care of, while the rest of those that he felt offered no advantage or real threat were left in the lurch.

Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Mar 28, 2008 1:28:42 PM

Interesting observations, Al. I don't know what to think. But I do believe Mr. Finney's stove was commissioned sometime around 2003 or 2004, perhaps even earlier, "the good ol' days" or something. Still pondering the next course of action with my own stove.

Anything new with the KS AG?

Posted by: Christine at Mar 28, 2008 10:37:17 PM


Nothing new that I can report specifically.

However, with that caveat, I do believe there is some activity on a couple fronts that indicates the case definitely hasn't gone "cold" with KS AG and Hutchinson/Reno County DA. So that's interesting news, especially and literally in the latter case. The wheels just turn slowly, and we'll have to see how it progresses.

And the blog here has slowed down a bit, but I hope that can be interpreted as our finding/reaching most customers in need. If so, that's also good news.

...I have to wonder how many others are still out there though, distracted by other things and not having followed up on their project, or simply unaware yet that their order in process.... isn't =( I hope it isn't too many.


Al


Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Apr 1, 2008 8:32:39 AM


Well, perhaps a I spoke too soon.... I heard that another customer has popped up that had paid a deposit almost exactly a year ago, and of course, no stove.

I guess a few more are still out there, and will likely continue to trickle in over the next months or year. That's too bad.

I wonder how many more are still out there unaware.

Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Apr 2, 2008 8:45:33 AM

OK, so this Saturday marks one month since I sent in my complaint/file with KSAG. Should I contact the KSAG?

Posted by: Jayson Spirtos at Apr 12, 2008 12:22:50 AM


Sure, if one has any questions or concerns, I would encourage anyone to give them a call. I can't hurt to let them know that we are all still patiently waiting for news.

They've changed attorneys and investigators(at least were planning to have their lead investigator take the case) so some things were in flux when many of us filed. So that may have made it appear that things have slowed as well.

I haven't talked to them for a few weeks, but I do know they said they were getting everything together to move ahead at that time.

Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Apr 15, 2008 9:02:22 AM

So get this...

I called the KSAG last monday, was told that a new Attorney was handling the complaint and was asked to leave a voice message so they could get back to me. I honestly have to admit that the second I left the message I forgot the persons name that I was trying to reach (good going brian, no treats for you for a while).

I waited that day with no call back received. No big deal, I'll call back in a few days... or so I thought.

Today I woke up early and bright eyed, pored myself a cup of coffee, got my notes together (including a pen and pad to write everything down) and called up the KSAG.

Finally I will find out what's going on with VintageStoves.com!

Wait... no... awwwhhhh sh*t!

Instead of a listening to a pleasant receptionist willing to help me all I got was a recording that the KSAG will be on 'break' untill April 30th, 2008.

AAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing like a bit of Red Tape to start the day off.
-Jayson


Posted by: Jayson Spirtos at Apr 16, 2008 11:25:03 AM


Just as an FYI: The new attorney is Emily Rush

I have her direct number if interested, and can provide that if requested. Just email me.


I believe that the lead investigator for the AG office has picked up that role from Mr. Larry Larson as well, who was the prior investigator. Ms. Rush indicated that was the plan, and that the case had risen(as of a month or so ago) to a much higher priority in the office as it became apparent that the problem impacted so many people.

At one point, they were receiving several new complaints a day, where before the avalanche of complaints they only had a handful.

I haven't spoken with Ms. Rush for a month or more, so I don't know what is in process as of today, but as of that conversation it did seem that she had a lot of enthusiasm and urgency regarding the case.

Hopefully that translates to some progress in the near future.

Al


Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Apr 16, 2008 12:03:18 PM

Didn't know there was a new investigator - I called Mr. Larsen 3 weeks ago with no response. No wonder - my complaint has been in with them for almost 6 months with no action. Guess I will contact this Emily Rush. (Let's hope her last name speaks for itself).

Posted by: Stella Ledbetter at Apr 22, 2008 7:39:55 AM


Indeed Stella, indeed :)

I plan to call the office in the next week or so just to check general status. Like all things at a state government level, the wheels often do turn slowly, so I'll give them a little more time before bugging them.

Al

Posted by: Al Roethlisberger at Apr 22, 2008 10:21:06 AM