5 On Your Side

In-Ground Pool Turns To Muddy Mess For Orange County Woman

Posted August 12, 2005 10:35 a.m. EDT

— Deciding to put in a pool can be an expensive proposition. An in-ground pool can cost thousands of dollars, but as Kathy Johnson found, just installing the pool is not the end of it.

In March, Johnson hired Tropical Pools in Goldsboro to install the pool and a stamped concrete deck. The total cost was almost $29,000. The pool was installed the beginning of May. Johnson has been waiting for the concrete ever since.

"I mean I called them every week to come and finish the pool and they would give me different excuses," Johnson said.

Some excuses included "the concrete guy quit" and "bad weather." The delay left Johnson with a muddy yard.

"I can't walk out here and I get a mess in the house from the mud and the dog brings the mud in the house, so it makes a lot of extra work," she said.

Johnson complained to the Better Business Bureau in early July. Tropical Pools then put in concrete forms and wire, but never finished. A couple of weeks later, Johnson called Five on Your Side.

"It was a dream, a fantasy of mine to have a nice pool in my backyard and it's been a nightmare," she said.

Five On Your Side called Tropical Pools. General Manager Jeff Goldman admits they "didn't do a real good job with this pool." He even pointed out that it did not pass an initial inspection. Then, two days after Five On Your Side's call, Tropical Pools installed the concrete deck.

Instead of being in the middle of mud, Johnson now has a pool she can be proud of.

"I plan to have a party," she said.

Owner Randy Lanier added that because the contractor they had been using to stamp concrete could not do the job, Tropical had to send one of their employees to school to learn how to do it. That contractor then went on vacation.

About an hour before the story aired on WRAL-TV, the company attorney for Tropical Pools of Goldsboro sent a letter threatening to sue if WRAL aired the story.