Pinellas marine company was paid thousands, didn't finish work - WRBL

Pinellas marine company was paid thousands, didn't finish work

Posted: Updated:
HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Five Pinellas County consumers say they forked over thousands for new seawalls behind their properties, but have little to show for it. They all say Clearwater-based Pinellas Marine Construction started work but then disappeared, leaving heavy equipment and junk behind.

The Pinellas County Licensing Board and Pinellas County Consumer Protection are both investigating the complaints. Until now, though, this company had a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and no complaints with any of the local consumer groups. That's why it's so puzzling to these consumers that something has gone so wrong.

Kevin Fisk, owner of Pinellas Marine, hasn't returned repeated phone calls from 8 On Your Side.

Customer John Granger, of St. Petersburg, says he thought he had done his homework and had chosen the right contractor. The company came highly recommended from friends and neighbors. But Granger says he's been waiting on his seawall since May. Sporadic work stopped completely in December. He's paid $21,000 for the seawall and now faces a lien of $5,000. He says other contractors have given him estimates of $31,000 to finish the job.

"He hasn't been answering any phone calls, I've tried to find him at his place of work and at his home," Granger said. "I've tried to send certified letters to him."

Granger's not the only one to call 8 On Your Side about Pinellas Marine. It turns out the company has collected more than $100 grand from at least five customers since may.

Kim Taylor and her neighbor together paid more than $21,000 for a seawall behind their homes.

"First they were saying the holidays, then there was some bad weather," Taylor said. "Now, they're not returning our calls at all."

And even more frustrating, sub-contractors are filing liens against the homes, saying they haven't been paid by Pinellas Marine.

Taylor says she doesn't know what to do.

"He's a very nice man, and you don't want to hurt the small businessman, because they are what put our country where it is today, but they have to be honest with you and let you know what's going on."

In early January, Fisk told 8 On Your Side that he would be out to Taylor's home to finish work the next week. He said then that work had slowed because of permitting issues, the holidays and an illness in the family.

He still hasn't been back to Taylor's job, though, and has left a trailer of trash and scrap wood on the street in front of her house. She says neighbors are complaining and she worries she'll be fined by her homeowner's association.

Doug Templeton, with the office of Pinellas County Consumer Protection, says this is the first time since the company opened in 1979 that he's heard of a complaint. But something clearly went wrong.

"There's a potential violation of consumer protection laws that we would need to refer to the state attorney," Templeton said.

Templeton is currently investigating, and says these consumers did their homework. But he offers tips for anyone hiring a home contractor: Don't pay more than 10 percent down. Get an estimated completion date and payment schedule in writing. Don't pay before each part of the project is done. And ask the contractor to sign an affidavit, promising that sub-contractors were already paid.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Woman says she bought tainted Hostess donettes at Sarasota gas station

    Woman says she bought tainted Hostess donettes at Sarasota gas station

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:33 PM EDT2014-08-01 21:33:29 GMT
    Everyone loves a good donut. But not the ones Jena Slinkard bought Thursday night at gas station in Sarasota. She just wanted a yummy, powdered donut late at night. So she bought a few packs, but when she bit into her normal favorite, Hostess Donettes, she spit it right out.
    Everyone loves a good donut. But not the ones Jena Slinkard bought Thursday night at gas station in Sarasota. She just wanted a yummy, powdered donut late at night. So she bought a few packs, but when she bit into her normal favorite, Hostess Donettes, she spit it right out.
  • Back-to-School Tax-free Holiday is here

    Back-to-School Tax-free Holiday is here

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:37:09 GMT
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
  • Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:10:55 GMT
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Body found near Polk search area for missing girl

    Body found near Polk search area for missing girl

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:53 PM EDT2014-08-02 01:53:38 GMT
    Alexandria Chery, 16, of OrlandoAlexandria Chery, 16, of Orlando
    A decomposed body has been found near the search area for a missing 16-year-old Orange County girl.
    A decomposed body has been found near the search area for a missing 16-year-old Orange County girl.
  • Tampa attorney says taking cover a part of life in Israel

    Tampa attorney says taking cover a part of life in Israel

    Friday, August 1 2014 8:56 PM EDT2014-08-02 00:56:30 GMT
    Today in Tampa, young and old, Christians and Jews gathered in Lykes Gaslight Square Park. About 200 of them showed their solidarity and support for Israel in its latest ongoing bloody battle with Hamas. One bay area man watched some of that battle up close. Tampa attorney Mark Wright watched the war unfold on television. Wright is Jewish-American, has friends in Israel and traveled to the Jewish state several times. He said he felt the need to go, to help....
    Today in Tampa, young and old, Christians and Jews gathered in Lykes Gaslight Square Park. About 200 of them showed their solidarity and support for Israel in its latest ongoing bloody battle with Hamas. One bay area man watched some of that battle up close. Tampa attorney Mark Wright watched the war unfold on television. Wright is Jewish-American, has friends in Israel and traveled to the Jewish state several times. He said he felt the need to go, to help....
  • No love for Lyft in the Tampa Bay area?

    No love for Lyft in the Tampa Bay area?

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:36 PM EDT2014-08-01 23:36:29 GMT
    Kevin Ludig feels like a rock star – he loves his job at Lyft that much.“You know I keep telling people I feel like a rock star because everyone keeps talking about what I do,” joked Kevin in his sleek Mercury MKS Hybrid. “I love this job.”Kevin uses his life at Lyft as a supplement to his work in solar panel sales.
    Kevin Ludig feels like a rock star – he loves his job at Lyft that much.“You know I keep telling people I feel like a rock star because everyone keeps talking about what I do,” joked Kevin in his sleek Mercury MKS Hybrid. “I love this job.”Kevin uses his life at Lyft as a supplement to his work in solar panel sales.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.