Hall of Shame: Estate company only adds to grief, say victims
(WJBK) - Say hi to Ron Robling.
Rob Wolchek: "Can you fill me in a little bit about your estate sale business?"
"Maybe at a later time," Robling said.
That's Ron, always putting things off according to his customers especially when it comes to paying them.
Wolchek: "In months you didn't receive a check, you didn't receive anything?"
"Nothing other than lies," said Jenn, a victim.
"He had a sale, he collected whatever funds he collected," said Myron, a victim. "Why can he not pay those to me?"
Ron runs R & S Resale, but these people say hiring Ron to handle their loved one's estate sales was a big mistake sale.
"He has had well over a dozen sales since our sale," said Hannah, a victim. "He still hasn't paid us."
"I think he's sleazy," Jenn said. "I think he's unethical ... And I think he's a liar."
Robling: "Turn the camera off and I'll talk to you. You put the camera down and I'll talk to you.
Wolchek: "I'm a television reporter. The TV camera comes as part of the job."
This is the sad part. Her name is Jenn. Last year, Jenn's sister committed suicide in the home the girls grew up in.
"The estate sale in itself is tough for anybody but they knew the emotional situation as well," she said.
They are R and S Resale. Jenn says she hired Rob Robling's company to hold an estate sale with her sister's shocking death.
The remaining members of her family could use the closure and the cash, which was due 10 days after the sale minus the company's 30 percent commission on things sold in the home.
"I expected the business to follow through in 10 days as the contract says," Jenn said. "And there was the first 10 days. Then there 20 days, then there were 30 days."
"It was my dad's house," Myron said. "He's 91. He's in assisted living facility right now. So I mean he could use the cash."
Myron hired Ron Robling to hold an estate sale in January.
"What the company does is they come in," he said. "They'll sort through your things, stage it for a sale. They'll put price tags on everything. The sale lasts three days, people come through."
Ron even told Myron he could sell his dad's car.
"I don't know where it is," Myron said. "All I can tell you is we haven't been paid so and the car is gone."
"He continues on his website to talk about how ethically responsible his company is and all this other crap," Hannah said. "And he just keeps going on and doing these sales."
Hannah's husband's uncle, Walter Kohut, passed late year. His estate sale was in November. Her family is still fighting with Ron to get their money.
"And all this after the loss of a loved one," Hannah said.
So who is Ron Robling? His flyers say he's been in business 10 years and this "full service estate sale company is insured, bonded and accredited with the Better Business Bureau.”
But I found out, Ron lost his accredidation with the Better Business Bureau.
Besides running estate sales every weekend, Ron also runs a Ferndale resale shop, but we didn't see Ron here or at any of the auctions. But his employees sure talk him up though.
"He does all the work,” says one employee. “He comes in. He sets it up, he cleans it up. He does all the work, prices everything. You’ve got nothing to worry about. He just gives you your money when the sale is over."
That's sure not what these people say.
Hannah's family hasn't seen a dime and they filed suit. Jenn hired a lawyer as well and finally got paid in January - but not nearly what she thought she was owed.
Wolchek: "How much was the check for?"
"Thirty-four hundred dollars,” Jenn said.
Wolchek: "Thirty-four hundred dollars and you've got a house full of furniture and a car?"
"And a car," she said.
After hiring an attorney, Myron claims Ron agreed to pay him. Myron is supposed to pick up his check at the store at 3 p.m. Ron's not here at 2:30 but we find him down the street killing time at a restaurant.
At 5 minutes to three, he comes out.
"Hi Ron, Rob Wolchek from FOX 2. Can you fill me in a little bit about your estate sale business?"
Robling: "Maybe at a later time," Robling said.
Wolchek: "I want to talk to you right now. How come you're having new sales when you haven't paid for a lot of the old sales?"
Ron rushes to the car and says he paid Jenn in full, even though it was four months late and for way less than Jenn believes she's owed.
Wolchek: "What about Myron?"
Robling: "He's being paid today."
Wolchek: "What about the Walter Kohut people?"
Robling: "That's in two weeks."
Wolchek: "What's taking so much time."
Robling: "There's been issues. I don't want to talk about it. I will send you all that information gladly."
Wolchek: "Why don't you tell me now?"
Robling: "I can't."
Robling: "Turn the camera off and I'll talk to you."
Wolchek: "I'm not turning off the camera. So you're running a business where people are already grieving and you're not paying them."
Ron rolls out to his shop down the street where he gives Myron a check. His employees chase after Myron until they see me.
Me and my cameraman go to the door but they've locked us out. Finally, Ron realizes we aren't leaving.
Wolchek: "So how come all these people are getting paid so late. What happened?"
Robling: "There was a reason. It was discussed with them. I took care of the issue. The issue has been resolved. They've been paid."
Wolchek: "Why are these people contacting me saying that you held auctions and you didn't pay them? Are you robbing Peter to pay Paul with these auctions?"
Robling: "No. He's been paid. He just got his check. Why don't you ask him for his check, he just took it."
Wolchek: "Yeah, he told me he got his check but it's been months now."
Robling: "And I apologized to him."
Wolchek: "Don't you think that's kind of a bad deal when you're promising people 10 days."
Robling: "If you want to put the camera down we'll talk. If not, then we're done."
I'm not done with you, Ron Robling, I still gotta put you in the Hhhhhhall of Shame!"
Ron Robling did not want to talk on camera but called and left a message said Jenn was paid in full in January, but never said why it took so long. Jen said she never got an accounting of what was sold.
Myron got his check but never found out what took so long. Hannah said this week he was paid some of the money but not all of it.