The following happend to me during the summer of 1997. To date, the Pool Depot still has not refunded my deposit. My experience happened in San Antonio, Texas, but this company does business nation wide by advertising on local television stations.
We can install a pool in your yard for UNDER $400!!
of anyone who demands that you have a credit check done even when you tell them you are paying cash.
Fact: The salesman recommends you do not buy the "cheap add pool" and "Go with one that will last you for 20 years". I believe this is known as "bait and switch". High pressure tactics include "wake up the manager in Atlanta" to "negotiate a deal" to get you the "Cadillac of above ground pools"... a 30' X 15' oval pool....for only $7,000...far below thier list price. WHAT A DEAL!! (Yea, too good to be true, right?)
The reasons I chose the Pool Depot to begin with:
LIE #1. They promised they could "install within two weeks".
Fact: took 85 days!! I removed a 35 year old Twin-Oak tree rather than delay him 6 weeks (for the electric company to move a buried cable so the pool and the tree could co-exist, but he promised(lied) to install the pool quickly, so I chopped down a gorgeous tree).
LIE #2:"We have a crew of professional installers who travel across the country installing pools. That's all they do.
FACT: A "local installer" broke 3 appointments to "start construction". 3 days I took vacation Time off from work to supervise the initial layout and installation. He finally showed up while I was not home, and built support beams for the walls of the pool out of sand piled up BY HAND under some concrete blocks. He did not backfill around these supports. This would prove to be a catastrophic mistake!!
The Fiasco climaxes:
This installer (moron) showed up on July 2 (eight weeks after the pool parts were delivered and littered my yard with boxes) with a crew of 5 men and heavy equipment. They got the hole dug and ready for sand. Well for 6 hours, this idiot ran back and fourth to the sand pit with a PICKUP TRUCK and a small trailer. he needed about 20 yards of sand, and mangaged to bring in about 8 yards. 5 men sat around for 6 hours waiting for sand. It got dark.
the next day, the moron calls me at 3 pm and says "we will have to wait until Monday after the July 4 weekend, "I can only get one more pickup truck full of sand" he said. I called a friend at a sand & gravel company, and had 15 yards of sand delivered by 5:30 on July 3. Cost me $115.
I let moron know that if the pool is not ready to swim in by July 5, I do not want the pool.
Moron showes up on holiday Friday, July 4 at noon to spread sand and assemble the pool. He had nobody to help him, since his crew refused to work on a holiday. I went tubing on the river (was going to have a party at my house, but had to change plans due to this pool fiasco).
The pool is finally assembled and filling with water when I return home on July 4. It took until July 6 for the pool to fill up. At 7:00 a.m. on July 6, while admiring this nice, cool and very pretty pool...the walls of the pool started moaning and buckling outward...they nearly collapsed from the water pressure inside pushing the walls out. It seems the main support foundations were not properly installed.
The solution was "to drain the pool, dissasemble it and install 'reinforcement plates' along the walls of the pool. I informed the pool depot's management that I no longer wished to do business with them, will not pay them a dime for the pool, and asked them to remove the pool from my yard. Took nearly 3 months and many heated discussions before they finally removed the empty, broken down mass of scrap metal and ripped plastic from my back yard. This page will remain available to the public and advertised heavily until the Pool Depot refunds my $100 deposit and compensates me for the loss of a pool for that entire summer...I figure $100,000 will do.
see updates to this story and other experiences with the pool depot at http://www.txdirect.net/~nviroman/poolcrap.htm