Growing list of customers claim pool company ran off with their money

Better Call Behnken

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A growing number of customers are turning to Better Call Behnken, claiming Pinellas Marcite Finishers and Sue Fortenbery collected thousands of dollars, did little work and then left them with drained pools of green gunk.

“It has been a nightmare,” said Dan McIntire, a customer in Largo who paid more than $5,200 in March. “I really worked hard for that money, you know, and this lady just took and stole our money.”

Three months later, all McIntire has to show for it is green gunk in the bottom of his pool. He says Fortenbery stopped returning his calls.

In Carrollwood, another customer Lidia Delcuardi, says she paid Sue $3,250 in April for a down payment and then $900 more a month later.

She is also left with green gunk.

“She doesn’t pick up the phone, respond to you, nothing,” Delcuardi said.

We found this isn’t the first time Fortenbery had trouble with the business she runs with her husband.

She was arrested in 2016 and 2018 and charged with unlicensed contracting and grand theft.

As those charges make the slow trek through the legal system, and new clients, step forward, it’s time for Fortenbery to answer questions. She did not return phone calls for comment or answer the door.

Pinellas Consumer Protection tells Better Call Behnken they have 12 open complaints against the company, and they are investigating.

We checked on the company’s license and found that it operates under Fortenbery’s state license, which is set to expire on August 31.

Meanwhile, the Pinellas County Licensing Board says her local license expired in October 2018, and that means she should not be doing jobs in Pinellas county.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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