Pool boys in Florida, no thanks!

9 Jun

Home maintenance is not one of my favorite chores and this includes taking care of an in ground pool! With pool service in Florida, I can tell you that the Hollywood ideas about pool boys who look like models and keep a pool sparkling clean is certainly far, far from the truth!

When my children were small, it was en vogue to have a pool and I have fond memories of splashes and screams of delight on hot summer days.  Since my kids are grown, the pool has become one of the extra extended “rooms” to my house that I simply don’t use.  And pool service has become my Achilles’ heel!  Allow me to explain.

Pool servicePool companies are abundant in Florida and I had one for years and was happy with it, but I discontinued it when a friend offered to do it for me (saving me $80/month). When my “friend” reneged, I hired a new company (why not try a small local business with a good rating?)

Since January, I’ve had it with pool boys and I’ve now got plenty of first hand experience with how not to run a business!

Here’s the scoop:

  • The first week of service, the company called to say I needed $150. in repairs to my pool cleaner and a new filter (the earlier company never mentioned this). I told them I couldn’t afford it right (it’s a common scam to insist on replacement parts when they aren’t needed)  and I’d wait a month.
  • The following week, the “shop” called to say that my pool cleaner was in their shop and would I authorize the repair? I was ticked at this but authorized the $30 repair charge.
  • The shop returned my vacuum head and left it at the side of my pool. When I called to find out how I was supposed to put the equipment back together, they told me to leave it alone – it was the job of the pool service.
  • In early February I woke up to a loud male voice in my backyard proclaiming “gosh, this will cost a lot of money, yes sir ree!” and was startled to find it was my “pool guy” wandering around my pool. This was 1 month after starting the service — I called the pool company to ask for a replacement (the guy scared me) and they agreed.
  • The following week my pool was green! I called again to ask what was happening with my pool. They sent a new guy over and soon the pool looked normal again.
  • A week later on returning from a business trip, the pool was like pea soup (green and opaque), so I called again. The new pool boy came over (not the Desperate Housewives variety!) and said that my filter was gone – perhaps I had mistakenly removed it and not put it back in. I told him that the pool was like my kitchen – it came with the house and I don’t go near the equipment! He swore that they wouldn’t have left it without a filter.  He recanted when he found out that the old pool boy took it into the shop – and it fell apart so “they would have to replace it”.
  • I was charged for a new pool filter ($120.) and called to complain about the service so far. The owner promised to remove the charge as a courtesy for the bad service to date.
  • A week later, I received an invoice with the filter charge added to the bill. I called again and the charge was removed.
  • When I was in Japan a week ago, a friend watched my house and wondered why my pool looked so murky and unfiltered. He removed the filter and found it covered in green algae and strapped together with rubber bands – he cleaned it for me and the pool started to turn clear.  “There is no way that is a new filter” he proclaimed when I told him the story to-date.  And “seriously, you have pool service?”
  • This week when the pool was again green, I called the owner yet again and told her about my friend watching my pool in my absence. She promised to send over a “supervisor” and would call my friend so that he could be there to meet the guy. No call, and four notes (I’m away teaching this week) left at my house – first saying that the supervisor took the old filter away again (duh!), second not to use the pool for 24 hours (they know I’m away!), the third one said that they dumped in a gallon of pool cleaner (about time!), and the fourth that they’d be back to check on it in a few days. My house sitter says the pool is starting to look normal.

What is going on with pool service in Florida? Is it a bad company despite good reviews and a real person owner?

I know that it’s impossible to get a pool boy who looks like a model, cleans like a storm, and pool service that rocks – but gosh, for $75 a month – I expect a clean and sparkling pool!  It’s not that pool boys don’t turn up for work because it’s fishing weather (that’s all year) but what’s the deal with a pool company that just can’t get it right MONTH AFTER MONTH???

Patience may be a virtue, but given multiple chances to make it right – why is this company even in business?  So much for giving a local company a chance!  I’m about done – what would YOU do?

Regards,
Carol

Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at dekkers@qualityplustech.com or carol@caroldekkers.com or visit http://www.caroldekkers.com for details.

Copyright Carol Dekkers 2010…

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2 Responses to “Pool boys in Florida, no thanks!”

  1. Bill Ravensberg Friday, June 11, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Hi Carol … One option is to fill it in and eliminate the headache and cost!

    I’d suggest self maintenance … it really is quite simple and does not take much time … but is best done daily to keep a close eye on things. A few minutes a day and a good cleaning each week can go a long way!

    However, with your travel schedule, I realize you are kind of stuck.

    What about in your neighborhood? Are there any young teens that could come in and look after the pool? Probably for half the cost too!

    • Carol Dekkers Friday, June 11, 2010 at 11:57 am #

      Bill,,

      As always I appreciate your comments and I’d love to do my own pool service if I wasn’t traveling so often. It’s a catch 22 – when I am home I am not earning money and when I am away (earning) I can’t take care of my house. I think the solution will be to sell my house and find a condo so that the maintenance isn’t mine to do! Happy weekend! Carol

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