• Report: #718071
Complaint Review:

American Steel Span, Inc.

  • Submitted: Fri, April 15, 2011
  • Updated: Fri, April 15, 2011

  • Reported By: M — Tendoy Idaho United States of America
American Steel Span, Inc.
3431 4th Ave S., Suite E, Fargo, North Dakota United States of America

American Steel Span, Inc. NOT ENGINEERED AND CAN'T GET A BUILDING PERMIT UNTIL MORE $$$$$$$$ to American Steel SPAN RIPOFF Fargo, North Dakota

*Consumer Comment: Being Honest Is Extremely Hard for Some

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Listening pays dividends

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I am unable to get a local building permit unless I pay American Steel Span more $$$$.

I purchased an American Steel Span building (24 X 28) on 3/18/11. The deposit was $1700.  The "salesman", one Clark Foley, promised that the building would be shipped in two week.

While I was waiting, 5 weeks later (April 15th) and I'm still waiting, I contacted my local planning and zoning people regarding a building permit.  I was told that I needed a licensed engineer's stamp on the drawings.

Of course, I contacted American Steel Span, Aaron Coggins, with the unbelieveable title of "customer support specialist".  Aaron said that they have an "engineer" in Missouri that is licensed in all 50 states that will provide me (in Idaho) with an Idaho signed engineers stamp for the structure.  BUT, it will cost $925.

That's just for the structure.  The concrete is another story.  I also have to hire a "local engineer" to engineer the concrete footings/foundation.  Estimates for that piece are $600-$800.

GUESS WHAT!  I'm at another $1700 and still don't have the product I purchased. 

I'm not a rocket scientist, but at this point I sharpened by pencil and did some calculations. GUESS WHAT!!  I'm better off telling them to shove their non-engineered building and get a local "reputaible" company to build a building over my horses heads.

I called American Steel Span and told the "customer support specialist" that I did not want their non-engineered product.  GUESS WHAT!  He wasn't even surprised, just happy that American Steel Span got my $1700.  

Good thing it's April 15th or I might feel like I was REALLY getting ripped off!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/15/2011 02:04 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/american-steel-span-inc/fargo-north-dakota-58103-2222/american-steel-span-inc-not-engineered-and-cant-get-a-building-permit-until-more-718071. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Being Honest Is Extremely Hard for Some

AUTHOR: Shon Borneman - (USA)


I would like to purchase a steel arch building, but I've yet to encounter a reputable company that is selling one. I was doing some research to see if I could find an honest company. So many of these companies do not have honest business practices and for lack of a better phrase, rip offs. Many of these companies never even sale buildings or intend to sell buildings. They make their money by pressuring the customer into making a deposit of 10% or more knowing that in all likelihood, the customer isn't going to complete the transaction.

They use the fictitious story that they are having a “special” on buildings because someone ordered a lot of buildings and didn't pick them up so they are just trying to get rid of the buildings to free up space in the warehouse. That person's loss is your gain. I know this because I contacted many of these companies and before I could really get into what I was looking for, they laid out their story on me. One even told me that the military ordered a bunch of buildings, put a considerable amount of money down, then changed their plans and ordered different buildings. Wow! And they actually gave you more money instead of having their deposit switched over to the new order? I know that our government is wasteful, but come on people, who do you think you're talking to?


Anyway, to carry on, I read a complaint against American Steel Span, Inc. Following the complaint was a rebuttal from you. Interesting. A man who no longer works for the company just so happens to be surfing the internet for complaints about said company, so he can rebut them. How noble of you. And, lets not forget that you personally know Clark Foley, the person the complaint is being made about. You came on here and wrote a rebuttal to save his reputation. What would the world do without people such as yourself?


Come on now. If you worked for this company, then you know as well as I do that they never plan on actually selling any of the buildings. They make their money by pressuring customers into putting a 10% or greater deposit before getting off of the phone, so they don't have time to think about it. You tell them that you cannot guarantee the same price, because these are special prices for left over buildings. Sometimes, they even act like one has sold right then, that they were going to offer you to add more of an importance of them getting a deposit right then. After all, these things are so discounted they are going like hot cakes and they couldn't hold one for you for even an hour for you to think it over and call back. Think about it. If they are going that fast, do you think that by putting one on hold for a few hours without a deposit is going to make a difference? If they are selling that fast, then I don't think taking one off the market for a few hours would matter. It would sell even if the customer didn't buy it, but the customer would remember the great customer service and return to you when he or she was ready to buy one or recommend you if a friend was looking to buy one.

No, they aren't looking to provide good customer service, they are simply trying to meet their quota to collect as many deposits as they can. Meanwhile, the hype of the urgency wears off after getting their money and when they do have time to think about it clearly or research it, they realized they've been had. I could go on forever about the unethical business practices of companies such as this, but let me go on to the reason for my writing this rebuttal.


One thing really stood out about your rebuttal. You wrote, “Did you do your homework in advance of your purchase or after with planning and zoning? Your story suggests that it was after. You would have known about the need for stamped engineered drawings if you had. I also assume that you didn't price out your concrete until after.” I disagree with you on this. The customer was calling about buying one building, something he had never done before. The sales person is the expert, so it seems to me that the salesperson has the job of educating the customer about all that buying a building such as this entails. From the purchase of the building itself, to the additional parts needed to complete the erection, to the need of the concrete foundation, to the need of license engineered STAMPED plans, to the fact that all of these are extra costs. The need to push the blame off on someone else seems to still be with you even though you have left the company, but then again, you never would have worked a job like this if you were honest. You Sir, are a fraud. It would not surprise me in the least to know that you and Clark are actually one in the same, and that you've just opened a fictitious account to write the rebuttal.  

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Listening pays dividends

AUTHOR: Rick - ()

I worked for this company for years and never had even one complaint by a customer. That's because we were required to go over all that is entailed when purchasing a steel building. The owner didn't want any confusion on the part of customers...basically a drill-down technique that ensures only the people who understand the TOTAL investment are buying and, therefore, happy with their purchase. Clark Foley is much more articulate than most so I just cannot picture him not following the exact same company protocol. Did you do your homework in advance of your purchase or after with planning and zoning? Your story suggests that it was after. You would have known about the need for stamped engineered drawings if you had. I also assume that you didn't price out your concrete until after. I'm sure Clark sent you a schematic of your options for concrete applications. Something you could have used with a concrete company that would have given them the opportunity to price out their work properly. You also say Clark promised the building would ship within two weeks. Are you sure he didn't say in as little as two weeks? The corporate offices in Fargo have no control over shipping logistics so I can only assume you heard what you wanted to hear. Much more I could say but the point here is that you should have done your due diligence before buying a whole building Sir!
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