- Report: #113323
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Blue Haven Pools
Blue Haven Pools7478A SW 60th Avenue Ocala, Florida U.S.A.
Blue Haven Pools The most expensive lesson learned ever Ocala Florida
*Consumer Comment: Blue Haven Pool Threats
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Everyday prior to signing a contract, Mr. Hardin called us both at work and at home. It was a little unnerving but we figured that this pool company was happy to have our business.
In May 2004, once the pool design was approved by us, Mr. Hardin came to the house and we signed the contract. Once the contract was signed, we were given the following instruction by Mr. Hardin:
1. Show me where the septic tank is. This statement is verbatim and is very important because its vagueness caused a loss of $2,000. We did this and it is located on the side of the lot (east side), out of the way of where the pool will be located. Now keep in mind, my wife and I have no functional knowledge of septic systems whatsoever and did not know, until later, what a drain field was.
2. Have tree / outbuilding / fence removed. There was a 40 foot maple located on the west side of the lot, along the driveway that blocked access to the backyard. In addition, a fence and an outbuilding that housed our riding lawnmower and garden tools also had to be removed. The removal of the tree cost $400.
3. Provide a plot survey of your property.' This statement is verbatim and is very important because it caused a loss of $600.
This is the exact detail of the instructions we were provided prior to any digging being done. At this point, we must point out that this is where the friendly and frequent calls from Blue Haven ceased.
In the week that followed, we paid a company $300 to come out and survey our property so that we could provide to Mr. Hardin the requested Plot Survey. We provided Mr. Hardin with our Plot Survey the day it arrived from the survey company.
In June 2004, we received a call from Mr. Hardin stating that the plot survey we provided was not good enough for Lake County to give us a permit and that more information was required on the survey. During the next 2 weeks, my wife had to do all the footwork, finding the county's requirements for getting a pool permit along the lake, requiring the services of an environmental engineer, and also paying an additional $600 for a new survey.
Finally, in the beginning of August 2004, with all the permits in place for the pool, Mr. Hardin and Mr. Gary Cooper (Manager of Blue Haven, Ocala) came to the house to conduct a pre-inspection before the excavation would begin. They walked around the yard, noting water levels of the lake, and the crawl space of the house, and then left.
On August 25, a large backhoe arrived to conduct the excavation. Eric was the foreman of the excavation and Jerry was the backhoe operator. The first action was to scrape the sod off the ground in a 53' x 24' area where the pool would be. This was the majority of our back yard. The second action was to remove the concrete back steps. The third was to begin digging. On the second dig of the excavation, up came the septic drain field. At that point, the excavation stopped. They knocked on the door to let my wife know what had happened and were contacting Blue Haven Pool to find out what to do next.
Eric said it would take 20 minutes to hear back from them. And during this time, he told my wife that this should have been located / worked out at the pre-inspection. He was extremely irritated at this point. My wife then went inside to call me at work, Eric then drove off. Jerry the back-hoe operator said that he went to the next job site as there was nothing more that could be done.
We contacted Mr. Hardin and spoke with both him and Mr. Cooper. Gary suggested that there are two ways of doing this, we can either use a guy that he knows to move the drain field without a permit to the side of the house or not. Not meaning have no pool, the decision was ours.
At this point my wife was concerned about the sewage pouring into the hole in our back yard and the smell was horrible and especially with a baby and 3 dogs in the house this was definitely not a good thing. She contacted Lake County to tell them what had happened as Blue Haven said they would but we didn't hold much hope in this happening (and to this day they have not contacted Lake County). Lake County surprised us by saying that Blue Haven should not have left the property with an open drain field and that it was a serious offense to leave the scene of an environmental hazardous waste spill. Furthermore we had to have this fixed and we needed a permit for this.
I then spoke with Mr. Cooper and he said he understood if we didn't go ahead with the pool and said he would re-sod the back yard for us. He felt that his company was not responsible for the drain field damage and refused to help us out financially with this.
The next day there was a message on our answering machine from Mr. Hardin stating that he has talked things over with Mr. Cooper and they were going to help us out with moving the drain field as they wanted us to have a pool by deducting $500 off the total amount of the pool (less than 1% of the total amount of the pool). We had quite a laugh.
On the Saturday we had made our decision not to go ahead with the pool and left 2 voice mail messages, one for Mr. Cooper and one for Mr. Hardin at their office. We let them know that in order to move the drain field (legally) it would cost a lot more than $500 and we would have to have the permit which cost another $500, and proceeded to tell them we would appreciate their offer of the sod and would also like our $210 refunded to us (this was for an extension of the pool from 13' x 30' to 14' x 30').
In order to get a permit we had to have the septic tank pumped and inspected, this cost us $280 then we had to pay for the permit which was $175. It took 2 weeks to get a permit, meanwhile the back yard was all torn up, our drain field was destroyed and Blue Haven had not contacted us. It took over a month for someone to come out and repair our drain field. We ended up paying $1,400 to have this fixed. In addition, I have spent every weekend since, flattening out the yard with a rake.
We sent a letter recorded delivery to Mr. Cooper stating that we wanted in writing a confirmation that our contract had been terminated and a check for $210. 2 days later I received a phone call at work from Mr. Cooper saying that he couldn't write the check himself, it would have to come from the head office and would take approximately 2 weeks to come. He said he would have someone come out and measure how much sod was necessary to re-do our back yard and would send a confirmation that our contract had been terminated.
This was more than 2 weeks ago and we have heard nothing. My wife has been calling every day for the last 3 days and has heard nothing from Mr. Cooper.
In the end, we've spent close to $5,000 and have dirt piles in our back yard that was formerly a lovely landscaped masterpiece. All this, we believe, could have been prevented if our salesman had better knowledge of the requirements for pool permitting and a precise listing of what the property owners should get on a survey prior to excavation. We've been told by others that their salesmen told them this, and mark the locations of all underground utilities but ours did not. We would expect these people to be professional and know their jobsnot us to know it for them.
We are very mad about this whole ordeal and will make it a point to let everyone know what happened here this summer.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/17/2004 06:23 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Blue-Haven-Pools/Ocala-Florida/Blue-Haven-Pools-The-most-expensive-lesson-learned-ever-Ocala-Florida-113323. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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