Alums stung: Customers seek answers regarding bankrupt company printing EHS directory

By on December 9, 2015

A bankrupt Florida business has some Ephrata High School alums seeing red.

An unknown number of EHS alumni had mailed checks for $59.99 to Alumni Research Inc. in Holiday, Fla., for an Ephrata High School alumni directory.

But Johna Good Gagnon informed the Ephrata Review that the company failed to fill her order or return phone calls that date back to March.

Gagnon, of Alexandria Va., had ordered the directory after reading an Ephrata Review story in 2014. The story promoted the Ephrata Area Education Foundation’s deal with Alumni Research to sell the books.

Sarah McBee, Ephrata School District spokeswoman, said the school had success working with the company in the past.

“The district worked with Alumni Research, Inc in 2009 to produce the first-ever complete directory of Ephrata High School graduates,” she wrote in an e-mail. “It was a very good working relationship and positive experience, which prompted the work for a new directory in 2015.”

Attempts by he Ephrata Review this week failed to reach anyone from Alumni Research for comment.

The district signed an agreement in September 2014 with Alumni Research to make the 2015 directory.

The Florida Attorney General on June 30 sued Alumni Research following more than 125 complaints against the company, which filed for bankruptcy Aug. 5.

McBee said ESD, which does not have a data base of the number of EHS alums who attempted to purchase the book, learned of the bankruptcy in September 2015.

A letter signed by Foundation president Dr. William Funk and Superintendent Brian Troop stressed that the Ephrata Foundation did not profited from the sale of books nor pay money to Alumni Research.

“The role of the Foundation in this working relationship was to provide Alumni Research, Inc. with historical data and photos,” it noted.

“There was no exchange of money, as we did not pay Alumni Research, Inc. to produce the directory or receive funds after directories are purchased. All financial transactions are established directly between the purchaser and Alumni Research,” the letter stated. (See the full letter on EphrataReview.com)

Gagnon wrote in a letter sent to the Ephrata Review: “I want to cancel my order and I want my money refunded. And I want written guarantee that my information will be destroyed and not used in any form in the future.”

But Ephrata alums may have to get in line for a response.

Ephrata is not on the list of 43 schools named in the Florida Attorney General’s suit against Alumni Research. There were 174 complaints filed again the company as of Dec. 8.

The district has advised anyone who paid for a book to call 721-1589 or e-mail Foundation@easdpa.org to obtain a formal letter from the Foundation President and District Superintendent.

Customers can use the letter as documentation for any further pursuit of litigation and/or complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau.

Patrick Burns is social media editor and staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455

One Comment

  1. Bernice

    May 9, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Has anyone ever received a refund?

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