Taking Action: Merchant Marine sailor says she was ripped off by Virginia Beach business

Posted at 6:55 PM, Nov 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-19 20:24:15-05

Virginia Beach, Va.  - A 72-year-old Merchant Marine sailor has traveled the world. But she chose to plant roots in Virginia Beach simply because she loves the area and the people.

Three months after the move, Saundra Leonard says she was ripped off by a local business.

"I told her, 'You can't get away with this, you know?' Business isn't done that way,” Leonard said.

In early November, Leonard says a woman from Safari Screens and More, LLC came out to her home at the Oceanfront and took measurements of her bedroom window.

On the day she says the screen was supposed to be delivered, nothing happened.

"Never seen her, never heard from her, she wouldn't return my calls,” Leonard explained.

That is until Leonard says she threatened to go to NewsChannel 3.

“I got a phone call to tell me that there was a death in her family,” Leonard said.

That’s what the woman also told NewsChannel 3.

She confirmed she owns Safari Screens and More with her business partner. She told us she ran out of town last minute for a death in the family and forgot her phone.

But things just didn't seem to add up. When NewsChannel 3’s Jackie Morlock went to an address listed for the company online she ended up at a condominium.

An older man answered the door. He said he moved into the home in May but the previous owner left a card with a number for Safari Screens and More.

When Morlock called that number, the man on the other line told her this whole situation was blown out of proportion.

He refused to provide an address of the company’s new location. The man also said he never promised Leonard a delivery date.

Leonard, though, says she was promised a delivery date. Luckily, she says her bank credited her account for the $35 Safari Screens charged her for the screen. She says it wasn’t about the money, it was the principle of the situation.

“This is 2014 and you just can't do things crooked like this,” Lenard said.

The owners of the company now say they have sent Leonard an apology letter and a $30 check which she should receive by Tuesday.

A screen was also delivered to Leonard’s home but only after NewsChannel 3 took action.

"I want to give thanks to Channel 3 for being so prompt. I was very surprised it was so prompt and we got it resolved, and I got a screen," Leonard said.

According to the Virginia Beach Commissioner of Revenue, Safari Screens and More, LLC is a licensed business in the city; however, a spokesperson with the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR), says the company is not licensed with the state.

Based on the list of services the company offers on their website, DPOR’s spokesperson says a contractor license would be required for work above the $1,000 threshold with a home improvement or building specialty.