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SSMF Inc / Shutter System Manufacturing of Florida / Disorganized and unprofessional hurricane shutters company

1 United States Review updated:

After researching and calling several hurricane shutters companies which were loaded with orders (in the post-Katrina Florida) and giving us 2 to 9 months waiting period for installation of hurricane shutters, we were finally relieved to find a company that apparently was big enough to manufacture their own shutters and deliver them in until 6 weeks after obtaining the permit in the city of Aventura, where we live. In July/2006 we contracted the SSMF (Shutter System Manufacturing of Florida) and were happy for having our hurricane shutters installed in 2-3 months, still in the hurricane season.

Well,after signing up, our nightmare begun. In spite of being constantly trying to keep in contact with the company, our calls were almost never returned and the chaos seemed to have taken that company,since we hardly were able to talk to the same person twice. Eight months later we are still waiting for the installation! We had people from the company remeasuring our windows twice due to the data they sent to my city wasn't properly done and should have been updated.

In the city of Aventura (where me and my husband have been several times) we were informed that the SSMF was supposed to send reports made by an engineer and they didn't have one (which was confirmed in conversation with one of the owners) and while they don't send, we can't have the permit. Already tired of the situation and after consulting the Better Business Bureau report, we got surprised for the other 38 complaints against that company in the last year (they weren't there when we first consulted the BBB before contracting SSMF!!), many of them regarding delivery issues. I tried , then, to contact one of the owners to try to get a refund so I could be able to hire another company (more recommended).

She told me that she didn't have the sum (about 4,100 ) in her bank account at the moment and that she would be compromising herself personally to have my shutters installed in 4- 6 weeks from that day (03/02/07) and she would be sending a letter by fax to my husband's office describing our agreement. Well... The letter wasn't sent and after spending the whole day today on the phone trying to reach the office, nobody picks up the calls!!!

I'm afraid not to see any shutters or my money back, then... What to do??... Here I leave my complaint, suggesting that NO ONE that wants to have his shutters installed in peace hire this company for the job!!!

PS: The most amazing is that they keep advertising online in many website as if they are excelling in professionalism (What a joke!).

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Comments

  • Ja
      22nd of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    SSMF Inc - Shutter System Manufacturing of Florida are thieves. They collect downpayments and act like they want to do the job. They issue huge salaries and than they go bankrupt. It’s called fraud. They did this with 8 owners in my building.

  • Mi
      2nd of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    I completely agree with the above. SSMF should be avoided at all costs. They are hucksters, liars and jerks of the highest order. I have NEVER been given the run-around so hard as I have been by these guys. Do you like waiting nearly a year for your shutters to get installed (wait... they STILL haven't been installed!!)Do you like having to constantly chase down a belligerent and transient staff who like saying things like "your order should be next" or my personal favorite "we'll call you back". SSMF has had my large down payment for nearly a year now. No end in sight... I'm one step away from calling the news and a small claims lawyer.

    PLEASE... if you have had a bad experience with SSMF, leave a comment or post about it. These people should not be in business.

  • Vw
      4th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have had the same experience with SSMF, I have waiting almost 1 year for my hurricane shutters. I have had repeat promises from the so called operations and office managers. Now I am only getting a voice mail when I call. No replies to my message.

    What a group of thieves? They have preyed on all of us. There was never a hesitation to take the downpayment but to there is the run around to delivery the shutters. I have had to deal with the worse customer service ever.

  • Mi
      4th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    Hey..

    I just saw your post on the complaints board. GOOD. Keep it up. I too have been calling the past few days as I was instructed by a "Megan" to call back at that time and SURELY they'd be ready to install my shutters.

    Here is what I can tell you:

    -There has been voicemail for three days. I'm hoping it's a Passover thing.

    -I called one of the "free estimate" phone numbers to see what was going on. I spoke to a gentleman who didn't work there anymore, but was owed money by them. He told me that if I wanted, he'd talk to the owner "AVI" for me. "AVI??" I said, "the alleged new owner, Steve, told me that Avi was deported to Israel". The installer was like "uhhhhh..what??"

    -I noticed that SSMF posted on a Miami Job board 6 days ago for a new receptionist and project manager.

    -I live in Sunrise, so I decided to drive to the building on Monday. The building WAS locked up and no one was inside, BUT there WAS signs of life...it doesn't look like it was "out of business". There were desks, chairs, lots of personal effects at the desks like pictures, posters etc....even people's jackets on their chairs. It just looked like any office would look after hours. Didn't look like people were packing up or preparing to get shut down.

    -I asked a maintenance man who was sweeping up in the parking lot if he knew anything about SSMF. He said NO, but that I should go to the leasing office of the building and ask them.

    -I went to the leasing office and spoke to someone who told me that SSMF had in fact closed the lease on ONE of their offices (5011 Hiatus Blvd). She did tell me that they were still using the larger warehouse space of 5025 Hiatus (this is the one I saw and looked into). She and I both imagined the were consolidating office space to save money.

    So, there you have it...I did SOME sleuthing. This is my current take on the situation:

    -We aren't being "maliciously" ripped-off, but we have made the mistake of giving lots of money to a company that can't keep it's head above water.

    -I believe the owners (whoever they are) have temporarily closed up shop while they regroup and hire new people. (I'm assuming everyone has quit).

    I'm being optimistic I know, and while I've talked to these people and dislike their practices, I don't think they are scam artists... I just think they are incompetent idiots who are over their head and have no clue on how to handle things.

    Please write me... I'm trying to compile and SSMF "list" of people... so far I've been in contact with one other. It would be great if we could all communicate ANY progress or info!

  • Mo
      8th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    I haven't had this happen BUT I do know my parents were ripped off by a shutter company about a year ago.

    Here is my recommendation. You need to contact the state and report this before it gets worse. To be honest, I suspect everyone here has lost their money and at this point - just go for the jugular and try and get them thrown into jail before they cause more problems.

    I would start by contacting the local business licensing bureau and ask them for the state number to report fraud.

    By the way, if you've waited a year - it's fraud! The state will start an investigation and will find out what is happening.

    You can also tell both the local better business bureau and the local licensing office that you want to place a complaint. I'd recommend finding out if they are really licensed.

    Here are two web sites that will help start the healing process by hopefully sending these crooks to jail:

    http://www.800helpfla.com/azguide_h.html

    http://www.state.fl.us/dbpr/

  • Mi
      9th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    I'm already filing a formal complaint with the state contractor's licensing board. I will post all links soon.

  • Ja
      10th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    I'm in the same boat as you all. I'd like to keep up on the happenings you find out.

  • Ro
      10th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have written all of you on your personal e-mails. My family has the exact same story that the rest of you have written about. We gave them $7,000.00 last July 3, 2006.

    I dont have to repeat what has transpired since then since you all have posted our exact experience.

    I just last week sent a letter to the Better Business Bureau and the Blue Book who advertises this sham of a company.

    Would love to hear from any of you on what else we can do. From what I can tell, they are still out and about and taking money from others.

    Has anyone noticed when you call their number the voice mail answers with a new name. It sounds like
    "STANDARD STEEL AND METAL OF SOUTH FLORIDA"

    So they are operating under a different name I think...

    Please call or write
    210 698-0958

  • Mi
      12th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    SSFM is back open: 954 748 7995

  • Ma
      12th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    Did anybody think about contacting the news?

  • Da
      12th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    Hello everyone!

    We signed up in July 2006 and gave SSMF $ 3,000. Our story is identical to all those above. In reply to our complaint, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation indicated that they forwarded the matter to the appropriate regional office so that an investigation may be conducted. They ended their reply by stating that the disciplinary action which the division and the Boards may take is prescribed by statute and is limited in nature.

    They added that we may wish to also address our complaint in a civil court of appropriate jurisdiction. We have not heard yet from the Division of Consumer Services, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. We live far away from southern Florida. Perhaps a Florida lawyer might be interested in initiating a group action? Perhaps someone living year round in Florida might know such a lawyer?

    I read above that there are 38 complaints only at the BBB. So there may be out there at least 50 victims. Perhaps as a group we could get a legal action moving without risking crippling legal fees? Would anyone living year round in Florida comment on this idea?

    Many thanks.

  • Mi
      23rd of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    Anyone taking this company to small claims court will need this info:

    http://www.sunbiz.org/COR/2007/0103/50906085.tif

  • Be
      24th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    Wow, I don't know if reading all of these accounts makes me feel better or worse. Unfortunately, I am another victim of SSMF, to the tune of $12,277.00. Same story. They happily took my deposit, and then nothing. Same experience with voice mails, different people, run-around, etc. I have made several visits to their offices in Sunrise and I understand that there is now new ownership. Unfortunately, the company has no money to buy materials since our deposits left with the old ownership. When I can find a live body to talk to, they continue to insist that will be installing my shutters, and like everyone else, we are "next on the list" for installation. These are criminal offenses, and I was referred by the state DBPR to contact BSO and file a criminal complaint. I suppose someone could end up going to jail for this, but that won't help us get our deposits back or get our shutters installed.

  • Mi
      24th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    Sorry Benjamin-

    New ownership, same lies.

  • Bk
      24th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    There is nothing stopping the new owners from filing bankruptcy. Have they installed anything recently? It seems to me they are just getting their ducks in a row before they close the doors for good.

  • Da
      25th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    I believe it is important to file a criminal complaint, even if we never get our money back or shutters installed. If those responsible for this get away with it, we may bump into them in the future, hiding under a different company name. Those who close enough to do it, please submit a criminal complaint. Many thanks.

  • Mi
      25th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    DAVID,

    Submitting a criminal complaint isn't a matter of being "close". If you have a telephone and an internet connection, you can do the same thing I could do living 5 minutes away from SSMF. Don't take the attitude that because you are far away you are helpless.

    Contact these people and file a complaint:

    http://www.state.fl.us/dbpr/

    Then call the State Attorney General of Florida and DO THE SAME.

    Once you have done that, file a criminal complaint against the holder of SSMF's contractor license (you will get this from the DBPR)

  • Da
      25th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    Kennith: Thanks for the info. I will proceed as you advised right away. Hope others will do same.

  • Bk
      25th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    Fran Greene has been telling customers to go after Avi Bouman... this doesn't make any sense to me, as Avi was fired by Fran Greene several weeks ago and has nothing to do with SSMF, Inc. The truth is Avi sold his shares soon after Fran and William Greene bought the company in December. Since January Fran has been doing a lot of fraudulent things, like floating bad checks between bank accounts! She makes MANY promises to customers saying she will refund their deposits, then when the time comes to give the customer their check, there's no money in the bank! Fran is telling everyone that it's Avi's fault, but everything that has happened recently falls on her. The proof is there... her signature is on every check that has bounced (payroll, refunds, even payments to suppliers!) There were no bounced checks before she took over. She is a liar and a fraud! She doesn't care if she has to close the company, she's filed for bankruptcy before (at least that's what she said).

    Yes, there are criminal things happening in SSMF, Inc and it ALL points to William and Fran Greene!

  • Mi
      26th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    There is no one to point to except the current owners and the holder of ssmf's contractor license. End of story.

    Regardless of whether fran greene's check bounce or not, she has taken over the company and by virtue of that, she has taken over our contracts. Period!!!

    I contacted the state attorney general's office yesterday and advise you all to do the same after you have filed a formal complaint with the dbpr.

    Http://www.state.fl.us/dbpr/

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