Jul 18, 2013 1:00 AM by Tom McNamara
TUCSON - When you lay out tens of thousands of dollars for a new swimming pool, you don't expect to be left high and dry.
But, customers of a large, established swimming pool company say they had to sweat-out whether the company would ever finish their pricey pools.
The people we met quickly got that sinking feeling that their pool experience wouldn't end well.
Kristina Garcia's family started the process of having their pool built last October. The company they hired was Premier Backyard.
They wanted their piece of the American Dream, completed in three months by January.
Turns out, that didn't happen.
"It took them seven months to build our pool. I had to constantly be calling them, asking them when they were going to be out. They'd go months without coming out at all. So, it wasn't a very good experience," Garcia says.
Another customer, who didn't want to go on camera, tells the News 4 Tucson investigators, she decided to go with Premier over other local pool companies. But she says, she had major problems with the electrical system to her pool.
"Because they were larger, they had a very good record, as far as we knew. We didn't want to take the chance of going with a smaller company that might go out of business in the middle of building our pool."
Even if you've never bought a Premier Pool, you've probably seen their big store on Oracle Road. It's now closed. The model pool behind the bars is green, with stagnant water. Possibly the only thing swimming there are mosquitoes. The main gate to the place is now padlocked shut.
Premier says they just closed the place because it was too expensive to maintain, given current market conditions. But the company's still doing business in Arizona from their Chandler office.
The News 4 Tucson Investigators pored over complaints filed against premier with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. In addition to ten open complaints with the Registrar of Contractors, Premier has also had their accreditation suspended by the Better Business Bureau.
The customers we talked with, say they're not surprised.
"We had to go to extraordinary means in order to get our pool completed. That's the way we were taken advantage of. You sign a contract, I expect you to enforce it, especially when payment has been made. Payment was back February, and our pool wasn't filled until the end of May."
"I checked, you know, the Better Business Bureau. Even if I would have checked the Registrar of Contractors, there were no complaints at the time. But, I would encourage everyone to do your homework. You know, look it up on the ROC, Angie's List, go online and see what other people are saying," Garcia says.
So now, customers who finally have their pools say they're worried about their warranties, and what will happen if they need Premier to come in and fix something.
We'll keep you posted.
And if you have something you'd like us to look into, email us at investigators@ kvoa.com