I read all the time of the bait and switch pool sales companies here. Deceptive advertising is how they set the lead and then try to get in your house first to switch you to buy the pool they came there to sell you. These are nothing more in many cases just mom and pop sales people who by some means got a franchise, dealership or jobber prices on pool kits and use independent sales contractors and installers.
Here are tell tale signs to look for if you are unwise enough to call them for an appointment.
1. The advertised pool is routinely(brown) in color. * It is brown because most people will think it's ugly and ask, "What else do you have", after all that's what they want to hear.
2. When they show you the advertised pool, it's often just an old drawing not a photo or real brochure. *The reason is deception, they don't have a real pool to show you and if they must produce one, then they just order one or go to Kmart or call a wholeseller.
3. Pool includes a deck and fence. (Icing on the cake) *Most people know that a fence is needed by codes, this encourages them to call in for an appointment. A deck is a nice touch, even though it's not real and they tell you it's thin plywood.
4. In a small town newspaper, *if you see more than one pool company with a similar ad. * In some cases they know each other and if one can't sell you, then here comes the other, split the profits and use the same installer in some cases.
5. The advertised pool all of a sudden is *a piece of junk, won't last a year, you must take it down, will rust out, expensive cartridge filter system, floating skimmer, cheap thin liner, 30-90 day warranty..Oh, what else do you have? Gotcha!
6. 100% financing, No single wide trailers, no bankruptcies, why? *Of course to get your financing approved and your house often as collateral against the home improvement pool loan, after all they won't take it back!
7. Show pools, demos wanted etc.* People even if this was true, and they even showed or you signed a paper, it is not real! Pull out a waiver and have the sales person or company sign and notorize it that you are not liable if someone is injured looking at your pool! The sales person is an independent sales contractor looking for a deal, he has no rights to sign it. It's just a way to pressure you into signing the contract today.
8. If the sales person tells you that the pool you called about is a piece of junk, or something similar, hand him his hat, it's bait and switch.
9. I am not the area rep, he had to be off today, that's commonly used, setting you up for the show pool drop later! I work in advertising etc.
10. You call in to cancel, you're hung up on, put on hold, that person is out of the office, sure we will call you right back etc, just ways to deposit your check fast and stall you beyond the recission period.
The sales rep with some of these companies must call into the office if they can not close you, then you are lowballed over the phone by a pro that does that all day long. In some companies even if you were sold by your sales person they still must call in and let you talk with the pro closer to be sure you have no intentions in cancelling and if you do then you have to lie twice and often you are recorded.