• Report: #1097241
Complaint Review:

Donna's Dolphins Swim School

  • Submitted: Tue, November 05, 2013
  • Updated: Tue, November 05, 2013

  • Reported By: Anne — Colorado Springs Colorado
Donna's Dolphins Swim School
5470 Powers Center Point Suite 130 Colorado Springs, Colorado USA

Donna's Dolphins Swim School The truth about how Donna bullies her employees and mismanages her business Colorado Springs Colorado

*Author of original report: Addressing rebuttal

*UPDATE Employee: Donna's Dolphins Swim School, The Actual Truth

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 I have been quiet long enough but feel that Colorado Springs consumers should be aware of some very unethical practices going on at Donna's Dolphins Swim School. I was employed there for a month and was shocked at the behavior of the owner, Donna. I was hired at 9.75 an hour based on my experience, .75 higher than what they start at. After a month I was informed that because someone looked up my pay and was upset, I would have to take a cut and go down to 9.00 an hour. I was then told 2 hours later that maybe we could "meet in the middle" at 9.40, but I better watch what I say to the Aquatics Director, who hired me.

I had already told the Aquatics Director that my pay was being cut and when she confronted Donna about this unethical behavior, Donna then lashed out at me (in front of customers) for bringing this to the AD. I then quit later that day since I did not want to work for an unethical employer who bullies her employees. Later that day she fired my supervisor (who was loved by parents/kids and had been there for a year) for no reason and then later fired another swim instructor for accidentally using the new lead teacher's towel. Since then, the Aquatics Director quit stating she would not work for an unethical employer.

It was also brought to my attention by the new lead swim teacher that Donna had recently hired a new swim instructor who failed her initial swim test because she did not know ANY strokes, but Donna kept her on because they are friends. Is that who YOU want teaching your kids to swim? Anyway, two more teachers are leaving the swim school because they no longer have a Certified Pool Operator and the condition of the pool is so bad, they are developing welts on their body. Also, the Lead Instructor of 3.5 years left because the training program was going down hill and did not want to be apart of it anymore.

The program is now in the hands of a 20-year-old who has been there for less than a year and was NOT trained by the former lead teacher (who has a lot of experience). Anyway, I like to make informed decisions as a consumer and will not support a business who mistreats or bully their employees. Donna does both and has managed to get away with it for a long time. I just want to bring to light the very shady way she runs her business to anyone who is considering placing their child in swim lessons with her or spending money there.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/05/2013 06:52 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/donnas-dolphins-swim-school/colorado-springs-colorado-80920/donnas-dolphins-swim-school-the-truth-about-how-donna-bullies-her-employees-and-mismana-1097241. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Addressing rebuttal

AUTHOR: Anne - ()

To clarify, Donna was the person who came up with my pay of 9.75 an hour. The aquatics director had suggested I make 10.00 and Donna said 9.75. apparently she did not remember this and gave her reason for forgetting stating that her personal life was a mess  That's a very unprofessional reason. Addressing the issue of my pay being cut with the individual who hired me and told me my salary was 9.75 is not immature, it's being a concerned employee. 


Also, i would not call myself a disgruntled former employee, I was a hard-working employee who loved her job and believed in it and was bullied out by an owner who can't manage her business. 


Glad a CPO was hired, I'll retract that. The swim program is not bad. My Son was learning how to swim and loved it there. I never questioned the quality of the swim program, I am addressing how Donna treats her employees. I was told by the current lead teacher that Donna had hired a swim instructor who failed her swim test but kept her on because they were friends. That is concerning. I am not the only person who states Donna is a bully, there are several consumer reviews on various websites who have observed her behavior. I will provide links. 

My review is on here, but another person posted a review on 10/28 



Here's another review calling Donna out on her unethical behavior. 



There was a negative google review that was highly accurate. However, it appears Donna had it removed and posted a review of her own business instead, how sad she has to rate her own business to cover the truth. 




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#2 UPDATE Employee

Donna's Dolphins Swim School, The Actual Truth

AUTHOR: Anonymous - ()

I have to admit when I read this I was very sad and frustrated at the fact that an ex-employee who only worked here for a month has this type of information. It seems to me that a few of disgruntled ex-employees are getting together to share information that is not all together true.  I have been an employee at Donna's Dolphins Swim School for over 3 years now and I have to say, I love my job.  Have there been hard times? Yes there have. Have I ever been frustrated? Yes, which is to be expected in any work place. I love working with Donna and I should not be pointing fingers at any short comings because Lord knows, I have plenty of my own as does anyone else, and to say otherwise would be a lie.

I want to first address the pay rate issue. I am the one who calls in payroll every week therefore I can speak to this issue. The $9.75/hr. pay rate was not authorized by Donna, the owner of the business. Call me crazy but every other pay rate or raise should be and needs to be authorized by the owner of the business especially in a small business. For Donna to lower the pay rate once she found out about the unauthorized rate, was completely legal and completely ethical in the true meaning of the word. Donna has always been a huge advocate of raising pay rates as she sees fit, and she raises them quickly might I add. Ultimately, Donna is the one who hires and approves pay rates, not the aquatics director. The aquatics director is still under the authority of the owner therefore to go to aquatics director after already talking with the owner, was in my opinion immature behavior and caused unnecessary drama.

Donna did let A supervisor go and she legally does not have to give reason. She was not the only supervisor or employee that is loved by parents and kids in fact, many of our employees are loved just as much. The swim instructor that was let go was not let go due to using the lead teachers towel and I will not elaborate on this due to protecting that former employee who left on good terms. Again, the employer has the right to let an employee go at any time for any reason and that is absolutely not unethical.

Donna has not hired anyone that does not know ANY strokes nor would she do this. All of our instructors go through a swim test and do need to know the strokes to some degree. Their strokes do not need to be perfect but they do need to know how to swim them. Our instructors also go through a vigorous training program and MANY shadowing and reverse shadowing sessions with our lead instructors and Donna. Before they are let go to start teaching students on their own, they have to pass a test doing a lesson on their own. I would highly recommend any of our instructors for anyone as well as for my own children. I can say all this because I too am an instructor and was trained personally by Donna and loved it. 

We have had 2 more of our instructors leave because they are moving on to other things. We actually do have a professional CPO (Certified Pool Operator) on staff and he works on the pool at least 3 times a day EVERY day and the condition of our pool is great. Sometimes some of our instructors have broken out in a rash from being in the pool only because their bodies are not used to being in the pool for that long. The lead teacher that has been here for 3.5 years is moving to a new state. Our training program has not gone down hill, in fact is now beefed up and going really well.

The program is in the hands of Donna the owner, the one who started this business, as well as some other lead instructors who are doing a fabulous job. The 20 year old lead instructor has been here for going on 1 year in December and was chosen to be a lead because she understands this program and has had great success with all of her students. She was trained by Donna who is the best person to train with considering she started this swim school. If you can imagine how stressful it can be from time to time to run a business, especially a small business, than I believe there would be more grace for Donna. She has done and is doing the best she can and I am so thankful to have worked here with Donna for as long as I have. She has been more than flexible with me as well as other employees in many areas.

I believe that if people would be willing to swallow their pride and humble themselves, it would be much less stressful and more enjoyable. Again, I am thankful for my job at Donna's Dolphins regardless of anything and I always will be because I have learned so much. Donna has given me opportunities I never would have had in another job and for that I am very grateful. We are sad to see some employees go, but we also know that things are getting better everyday. We wish the very best to our former employees and are very thankful for all of their hard work.

Thank you,


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