Fort Myers couple paid $2,000 to contractor who never showed up

One North Fort Myers couple says they paid a contractor over $2,000 to fix damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

But they say he never showed up.

“Hurricane Irma took part of the roof off—that’s where we have the office and our car port,” said Fort Myers resident Alice Austin.

Tom and Alice Austin moved quick to fix their home after Irma damaged it. They hired Stephen Parella. He doesn’t have a license, but he came highly recommended.

“We contacted and hired him, and gave him a sizable down payment. We haven’t heard back from him and there doesn’t seem to be a way to contact him,” Austin said.

The couple has a receipt from Parella for the roof and car port repairs. The total to fix it all came to over $4,600. The Austin’s paid him half.

The Austin’s say three other neighbors gave Parella some money, but got no work done. But they’re the ones that gave him over $2,000.

“We don’t want anyone else to have the same type of problem with him. If he wants to come back and finish the work or give us the money back—that would be wonderful,” Austin said.

The couple is now taking bids for the roof and car port. They say they’ll be looking for a licensed contractor.

Reporter:John-Carlos Estrada
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