Tombstone company fails to deliver for quadriplegic

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THE BRONX -

After Edwin Ortega's 41-year-old wife died unexpectedly in October, he says he ordered a tombstone from Polanco Monuments, a Westchester Avenue shop.

An invoice shows he made two down payments on the $2,800 memorial.

But it was never installed above her grave.

Ortega is a quadriplegic, which means his arms and legs are paralyzed.

News 12 attempted to contact Polanco Monuments by phone. The company did not answer or return multiple calls. 

At the storefront itself, there was no one inside, and the gate was closed and locked.

The Better Business Bureau has given Polanco an "F" rating, citing 13 complaints against the business. Eleven of those have gone unanswered.

Mike Ellison works nearby. He says he's seen other people banging on the gate.

"They've called the cops and everything, and unfortunately their money has been lost," he says.

Ortega says he hasn't been returned any of his money, either.

Experts say that when making an expensive purchase of an item you don't usually buy, like a tombstone, you should check the businesses' reviews. You can do that on sites like Yelp or Google Reviews or search for the company's name on the Better Business Bureau's website.

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