HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Many Alabamians planned to use a Madison County storm shelter builder to keep their families safe. Their plans changed when a Madison County judge ordered Tornado Masters to stop doing business in the state. The customers have gotten no refunds or repairs to their tornado shelters.
Venton Blandin usually fight for one viewer at a time, but realizes Tornado Masters left a lot of our viewers in the same situation. One of those customers contacted WHNT NEWS 19 asking for an update on Tornado Masters and how to get their money back.
The signs advertise a storm shelter service, but a Madison County judge shut down Tornado Masters in April. The judge believes the company used deceptive practices to sell storm shelters to its customers.
A Huntsville homeowner says he bought one of the shelters years ago and paid cash. He emailed WHNT NEWS 19 asking when could he get his money back.
Venton Blandin made calls to the state Attorney General’s office, but was urged to call a lawyer in Huntsville instead. The AG’s office says that lawyer is handling all the cases related to the injunction.
A legal analyst for WHNT NEWS 19 says the customers should not expect much in return, but should come forward with complaints and take Tornado Masters to court.
The judge agreed with evidence that showed Tornado Masters sold approximately 220 shelters in 2011. The homeowner who emailed us is one of many who feel duped.
Prosecutors don’t believe the company has the assets for reimbursement or to fix the unsafe shelters.
Customers paid Tornado Masters anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 for the shelters. The lawyer handling the cases for the attorney general’s office is Bill Gibbons.
Gibbon’s office is located 117 Jefferson Street, North in Huntsville. The zip code is 35801. The phone number is (256) 539-0021. Gibbons provided a copy of the claim form to request refunds.