Customers grow frustrated with Detroit cemetery

‘I want my money back or some explanation of when it’s going to be done’

A Detroit woman waited nearly a year for a memorial bench to honor her mother. Now that the cemetery has installed it, she says it's not what she was promised. Sharon Hopson is not happy with what they've delivered. And tonight, we're hearing from another customer wondering what's happened with their purchase.

DETROITSharon Hopson is still an unhappy customer after her mother’s memorial bench at Forest Lawn Cemetery was finally placed following a story with Local 4 News.

Although the bench was finally installed, Hopson said it was not what she was promised.

“I went and seen it,” said Hopson. “It was like specs of color that’s in there. It’s supposed to be marble. That’s not marble.”

Hopson paid over $7,000 for the bench, and after months of miscommunication, she says it wasn’t worth the money at all.

“It’s not worth $2,000,” Hopson said.

Read: ‘It’s been an emotional rollercoaster’: Detroit family upset over memorial bench delay

But Cora Doss did pay just over $2,000 for a headstone that she also says she never received, even though she paid for it nearly a year ago.

“It’s been really stressful, giving me the runaround,” said Doss. “So, it just adds to the stress.”

The headstone was purchased back in June of 2021, and Mother’s Day of this year was still a disappointment.

“This year after Mother’s Day, we came out here, and nothing was put down,” Doss said. “I called the next day on the 9th, and someone was supposed to call me back.”

Local 4 was told that no one ever did, and for that reason, Doss, at this point, is also requesting a refund.

“I want my money back or some explanation of when it’s going to be done,” Doss said.

“I’m getting ready to the point that I say that I might have my mother switched to a whole different cemetery because I’m very disappointed and dissatisfied at it all,” Hopson said. “It’s like they dug up a hidden hurt because it’s taking me back to when mother first passed.”

Since the story ran last week, Local 4 has been able to receive some answers about both situations as management from Forest Lawn issued a statement, saying:

“Forest Lawn wants to ensure that our families get answers to any questions they have about their loved ones’ memorials.

Our management has been in touch with Ms. Hopson’s family, both last week and today, to ensure that delivered memorial installed meets the contractual agreements that were signed. We have also provided WDIV with a manager’s direct line for Ms. Doss to connect with to help get answers to questions she or her family have.

We will continue to improve our process of communicating with families as we work through memorial supply chain issues that are beyond our control.”

Forest Lawn Management

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.