We purchased a pool from Carlton Pools in August, 2008. We had been shopping around to a few pool companies and in fact signed with another one when Carlton continued their negotiations with us and convinced us to exercise our right of rescission with the other company to go with them. The two factors that made us go in this direction were: #1. They agreed contractually to have the pool completed by October 2008. They told us that they would open the pool, cure it, and close it in 2008 in order for us to enjoy the full swimming season in 2009. #2. They told us the quality of their construction was heads and shoulders above their competition due in large part to the fact that they did not subcontract their work out. They told us that all of their laborers and crews were Carlton Pools employees.
After agreeing to buy the pool from Carlton, construction began. They were unable to finish the pool as they promised within the previously agreed upon deadline and we entered into a contract extension with them. The delivery date was now adjusted to May 1 and the guarantee was that they would have to pool open and fully functioning by that date.
As the stages of the pool progressed, everything went relatively smoothly until the final phase of construction. They sent a crew out from Coronado's Pools to plaster the bottom of the pool. (We found out very quickly that none of the laborers were employees of Carlton, they were all subcontractors.) As the crew was preparing the plaster, their truck that was mixing the plaster kept breaking down but they applied the material and instructed us to fill the pool with water as soon as they were done in order for it to cure properly.
This is where everything went wrong. We did as instructed and as the plaster began to dry, we could see significant inconsistencies in color and finish. There were trow marks throughout the finish and the color inconsistencies caused the pool to look like a black lagoon full of algae, not a brand new $40,000 pool!!
We called our contact at Carlton Pools, and Joe Salano, Jr. (Presdient) specifically to report our concerns. He assured us that is was normal and that we should wait the 2 week period for the plaster to cure and it would change. Reluctantly, we agreed but asked to 'go on record' as stating that we did not think the color variations we were seeing were normal and found it hard to believe that they would go away.As we expected, we waited the two weeks and there was no change.
Throughout the 2 week period and immediately after, we called Carlton Pools on several occasions and requested to have someone come out to look at it. All of our requests were denied. Finally after demanding to have someone come out, they finally sent someone out to see it and that's where the problems escalated.
At first, they told us we put the water in too soon, yet we simply followed their instructions. Then, they told us we didn't put the right chemicals in... again, we were instructed BY THEM as to which chemicals to add to the water, when and how. Next, the company that applied the plaster told us that they never worked with this product before, they didn't know how to apply it and they would never even sell it. They also told us there were two more steps that needed to be completed in order for it to look right but Carlton Pools never ordered them to be done so they didn't do them. We were also told by the plaster company, Joe Salano, Jr and Bob Wood, the head of construction, that 'we couldn't expect it to be perfect.'
So at this point, they had blamed it on us, they had blamed it on each other and then they told us that we could expect to spend $40,000 and have a pool that looks good. You have to be kidding me, right?
So...call, after call, after call, after call, they then told us that there was in fact a problem and they could fix it for us but that WE would have to pay to have it fixed. So, again, we paid them $40,000.00, THEY made a complete mess out of it and they want US to pay to have it fixed. This was their solution! We let them know that they must be out of their ever loving minds and that if they did not come up with a reasonable solution and do it quickly we had every intention of contacting an attorney.
At that point, they told us they could drain the pool, acid wash it, "maybe polish it" and that would fix it. They sent yet another crew of guys out to do that. The guys drained the pool down a few feet, applied an acid wash, said there was no way that this was going to work and left. They explained that they would have to apply over 50,000 gallons of acid and it wouldn't correct the problem anyway.
When we called the corporate office to let them know that it didn't work, they told us we had to let the crew come out again and re-do the work because 'they just didn't have their hearts into it'. HA!!! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!! SERIOUSLY?!?!? Are these people for real??? At this point, I'm looking for Ashton Kutcher to jump out of the trees in my backyard, because we HAVE GOT to be being PUNK'D!! This can't really be happening. They cannot possibly believe the BS they're trying to get us to buy!!
Is it now July 29, 2009!!! Yes, that is right, almost ONE FULL YEAR LATER!!! Our pool still looks like the ugly algae lagoon, and now Carlton's solution is they are not returning our calls. Unbelievable!!! Heed this warning. NO ONE EVER BUY A POOL FROM CARLTON POOLS!!!! They do not know their#$*@ from their elbows!!! I could have built a better pool if I have my 2 year old dig a hole in the back yard!!!
Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania