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By: Marcus Sheridan on September 28th, 2009

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Shady Fiberglass Pool Contractor- Disturbing Video: How Not to Be a Victim

Finding A Pool Contractor

 

Shady Fiberglass Pool Contractor Video: How Not to Be a Victim

The following video shows a homeowner in Canada who purchased a fiberglass pool from a supposed ‘pool contractor' and after giving the contractor $38,000 for simply digging a hole, the contractor took the money and ran, leaving the poor lady with a hole and her yard and 38k worth of debt.

 

Experiences such as these not only hurt innocent homeowners, but they also hurt the swimming pool industry. Personally, as a consumer advocate in the fiberglass pool industry, this particular story really gets me fired up. Unfortunately, all too often, homeowners just don't know what they are doing when they go through the process of purchasing a pool. This is the whole reason I wrote my swimming pool eBook in the first place and it's also the reason I continue to educate on this blog on a weekly basis. Having worked with so many pool shoppers across the country over the past few years, I've many times seen occasions where the contractor was trying to take advantage of a trusting homeowner. This is why I always recommend that before a pool shopper chooses a contractor, they do the following:

  • 1. Get ALL the references: Why so many homeowners are satisfied with only a few references is beyond me. The best way to handle getting references from a pool builder is to do the following: Ask the pool builder how many pools they installed last year. Once you have asked them this question then ask them for their reference list for last year. This will quickly show you just how happy they make their customers. For example, if they say they installed 20 pools last year, and then they only give you 10 references, that says to me that there is a 50% chance you'll be unhappy with their company. How do those odds sound?
  • 2. Ask the pool builder for a name/number of a customer where they had something go wrong during the project and see how they handled it. (Any builder that says they've never messed up or had any miss-haps on the job is a liar.)
  • 3. It's fine to check the BBB but I wouldn't put much stock into it.
  • 4. Understand the draw schedule upfront.  Pool construction draw schedules vary dramatically from company to company so it's important to know the payment schedule upfront and make sure it's something your are comfortable with.  Honestly, at River Pools we've changed our payment schedule several times over the years and currently secure a small deposit and collect the balance when the pool shell is delivered.  Even though this is a little unorthodox, we've found it to work very well for us and our clients, but only because we are very upfront about it and have a track record beyond reproach (900 references, never sued by a client, third party customer surveys published on our website, etc.)  It's only when you aren't made aware of the payment schedule, then are surprised by a request for a large sum of money, you are put in an uncomfortable position and frankly are at greater risk of being taken advantage of.   

So there are my recommendations. If you follow these steps, I can assure you you'll practically eliminate the possibility of being left with a huge hole in your yard and no recourse. And one last comment- Usually, rip-off artists in the pool industry are always the cheapest quote. When a pool shopper looks past the lowest price and focuses on the quality of the company, a smooth pool project will usually follow.

 

Marcus Sheridan, http://www.poolschool.us/

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