CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio - Lynn Centa loves horses, so it's easy to understand why she purchased an expensive horse head sculpture from a Chagrin Falls furniture shop looking to donate it to one of her favorite northeast Ohio charities.
Centa ordered the sculpture from Simpatico back in May 2013 and was told the piece would be delivered in just a few weeks. The horse head was being shipped from a supplier in New Jersey.
But weeks turned into months and Centa reports she was given nothing but broken promises via email and telephone calls.
"I've made numerous calls. I've gone into the store. She's moved her store without telling me," said Centa. "I've gone into her new store. I was told it would be delivered on a Monday. it still wasn't delivered."
After five months of waiting and plenty of promises, Centa contacted NewsChannel5 in search of a solution.
"That's all I'm asking for is the truth. If she doesn't have it, please tell me the truth and we can figure out something else," said Centa. "It was for a fundraiser and I don't have the item and I'm out my money."
5 On Your Side contacted the owner of Simpatico and the company responded immediately.
The owner quickly apologized for the long delay and told NewsChannel5 she was finally able to track down the sculpture to a warehouse in Medina.
The company owner reports she's still not sure how she lost track of the piece after it was originally shipped from New Jersey.
"I promise she'll have her sculpture by Oct. 28," explained the company owner. "It's my fault and I will make good on this."
Cleveland Better Business Bureau Vice President Sue McConnell issued a warning to consumers who pay in advance for items that are being shipped from another state or from another country.
"Ask if the item is made locally, where's the item coming from. These are good questions to ask," said McConnell. "Where is it being shipped from, is it coming from your company, do you buy these from another distributor or supplier? This gives you more information before you make your purchase."
McConnell explained consumers need to carefully check on the seller's background and try to pay with a credit card so if the purchase goes bad, they'll have some fraud protection.
Meanwhile, Centa has no problem waiting a few more days for her horse head sculpture and is now confident it will be delivered.
"I appreciate NewsChannel5 helping me track down this item," Centa said with a smile. "We'll donate it to the charity. That would be fabulous, absolutely fabulous."