Pool Company Won't Finish Jobs - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Pool Company Won't Finish Jobs

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It's so exciting for a family to build a pool. A place for the kids to swim, for everyone to have a party, but in South Florida, we are hearing from many people who hired a pool company, paid them thousands and they now can't get their pools finished. What can they do? Let's bring in Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser for the answer.

WSVN -- When you stand outside your house with your four children, looking at a pool that seemingly will never be finished, you either laugh or cry.

Patrick Fraser: "You have got a lien on your house, no pool and four kids who can't swim. Other than that, how's it going?"

Lena Saavedra: "Other than that, it's going good."

In October, Lena and her husband hired Genie Pools to fulfill a dream for their new house.

Lena Saavedra: "We paid extra to get a bigger lot so we could build a pool on the lot."

When they signed the contract last year the salesman said it would not take long.

Patrick Fraser: "How long did they tell you it would take to build the pool?"

Lena Saavedra: "He told us between two to three months."

Most of the work that you see done was done in those first two months. Seven months later, not much else.

Lena Saavedra: "They need to do the diamond brite inside the pool, electrical work, put the lights in. They need to level out the ground outside, put the pavers in."

Lena's daughter had planned to have a pool party for her birthday. It got canceled. Her 4-year-old looks out a window at a neighbor's pool, built by another company and wonders, when can he swim?

Lena Saavedra: "And he's always asking us when is our pool gonna be blue like our neighbor's because their pool has water and ours doesn't."

The pool company would not come out to finish the job, but Lena did get a letter about them.

Lena Saavedra: "From, I guess, another sub contractor that Genie Pool didn't pay them, so they put a lien on our home."

And Lena is not alone in complaining about Genie Pools. In the past few weeks, Help Me Howard has gotten more than 10 complaints about the company.

Odalys wrote: "To this date, we have paid Genie $26,816 and have only a formed incomplete pool."

Rosie wrote that her father signed a contract with Genie last summer, and the pool is not even close to being finished.

Debra wrote that she signed a contract in December, that all she has is a hole with rebar.

Noah wrote that his pool is 90 percent finished, but Genie won't complete the job.

Over at the Better Business Bureau's website, there is an alert posted for Genie Pools. A spokesman told me they have revoked the company's accreditation because of so many complaints, and they now hit them with an F rating.

Lena has paid Genie the entire $33,000 to build her pool and is not surprised.

Lena Saavedra: "Never answers the phone calls, text messages nothing, and we already paid them all their money. We don't owe them anything."

Howard, what can Lena and all these people do to get their pools completed?

Howard Finkelstein: "I read Lena's contract, and it does not have a completion date. However, the law goes by what is considered a reasonable amount of time, and in this case seven months is not reasonable to finish a pool. The contract requires mediation, but if that doesn't solve the problem, the customer can sue and hire another pool company to complete the job, and if it costs them additional money, the original pool company has to pay it."

The owner of Genie Pool did not want to talk on camera, but he did want to explain what was going on.

Ricardo Guardi told us his business was booming. From his book, it appears he has nearly 100 pools under construction. Does he have too many? He doesn't think so.

When we showed him the complaints from Channel 7 viewers, he went through each one, blaming permitting issues, the homeowners but never himself or his company.

He did tell us Lena would have to wait because she was number 39 on the list to have her pool finished.

Lena Saavedra: "They are working today."

But a couple of days after we left, Genie Pools did put down the pavers and installed the kids fence. That was two weeks ago. Genie keeps promising it will be finished. The question from Lena and other customers, when?

Lena Saavedra: "It's hot everyday. We want to be in our pool everyday."

Patrick Fraser: "We will keep an eye on them to see if all those pools are finished. One thing you can do to protect yourself if it's a new pool or a new kitchen, put in the contract that you pay for the work as its finished. That way, if the contractor stops or walks away in the middle of the job, you haven't paid for work that has not been done and can hire someone else to finish without losing money."

A problem left you feeling sunk? Want to make a splash? Let us dive in, we will pool our talents and forget that. OK, we will try to construct a solution for you.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:

E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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