We had a semi in-ground pool installed in late summer 2013. Pool liner failed, water drained, surrounding earth slope collapsed pool.
We purchased a pool from The Great Escape in Mishawaka, Indiana on July 16, 2013. Initially we were impressed with this company, as well as our salesperson, *****. Now almost one year later, we have lost all confidence in The Great Escape.
We envisioned our pool as an investment in our family, our children and grandchildren. It was to be set in the midst of a natural prairie on our Northern Indiana farm. This idyllic vision very quickly turned into a nightmare with the arrival of A ** ********* the required pool installer. The owner of this installation company, Dave, excavated the site far more extensively than was needed, resulting in a quickly eroding slope. When we expressed our concern about ***** ********** ability to stabilize the earth and, most importantly, safeguard the integrity of a century-old building adjacent to the pool, Dave assured us that with an additional sum of money, he and his team could remedy the situation-without the use of a retaining wall.
Now, eleven months later, we understand that the additional ******** paid to ***** ******** did not address the erosion crisis. However, our deck contractor, with expertise in structural foundations, did stabilize the earth surrounding our pool. A beautiful deck was erected, but unfortunately there remained only a few weeks left to enjoy the pool before the fall season. Upon a pool inspection, ***** found the liner defective. Having just invested **** in water, we all agreed it was logical to wait until the end of the season to replace the liner.
As directed, we contacted ***** ******** in the fall to be told that we would be contacted in the early spring. Spring arrived without any contact from the installation company and after repeated calls on our part, our pool remains empty today.
In frustration, we looked to ****** our sales person, to advocate on our behalf with ***** Services. After numerous calls, coupled with a store visit, we received only promises that our concerns would be addressed. We spoke with ***** at The Great Escape in Mishawaka on Saturday, May 31st and then immediately phoned him the next day upon discovering the pool walls collapsing. We followed the latter conversation with an email and several pictures attached, to illustrate the shift in the pool walls. During our Saturday meeting, ***** admitted that the job should have been completed and was baffled as to why we were still without a pool. Additionally, he assured us that ***** Services was responsible for all damage to the pool and deck because they had taken too long to replace the liner. With no response from ***** following our Sunday conversation, we phoned him one week later, on Saturday, June 7th, to inform him of our intent to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Within an hour, ***** notified us that he had spoken to the owner of ***** ********* On Tuesday, June 10th, the crew finally arrived to replace the liner on a pool that was no longer a solid structure.
We received a call from **** at ***** ********* on Tuesday, June 10th, following his visit to our farm. He recommended that we file a claim with our insurance company because the pool would most likely need to be replaced. We reminded him that the current condition of the pool was directly a result of his company's failure to replace the liner in a timely manner, therefore, an insurance claim would not be made. Clearly he failed to grasp a simple scientific principle-equilibrium is established by opposing forces. Simply stated, it is the water in the pool that stabilizes the surrounding earth. Winter did not cause this erosion as Dave insinuated. It was the empty pool that could no longer hold back the earth.
We signed a contract in good faith with The Great Escape for a pool... we do not have a pool. We are therefore, placing The Great Escape on notice that i
We entered into an agreement with The Great Escape and
***** ******** to install a pool on our property. Upon completion of the installation and the building of a deck around the pool, it was determined we had a defective liner which was to be replaced by ***** Services in the fall of 2013. It was not. Subsequent spring rains have caused an erosion of our hillside and have collapsed the pool walls because the defective liner drained the pool during the fall and winter months.
(1) the erosion problem solved.
(2). Our 18' X 33' pool installed properly and readied for the season.
(3). Any incurred charges to be covered by The Great Escape and ***** ********
(4). Work to be completed by June 26, 2014.
Contact Name and Title: **** ******
Contact Phone: XXXXXXXXXX
Contact Email: ***********@shoptge.net
First and foremost, we would like to help Mr. ********* get his pool issues taken care of but there are more factors that need to be addressed.
When putting an above ground or semi inground pool into the ground, the amount of backfill can put the pool at risk if and when a liner needs replacing. In this case, it is apparent that the liner failed and that is not even remotely being questioned. What is being questioned is the amount of backfill that the customer put back against the pool after the installation. According to our signed installation agreements, backfilling is the customer's responsibility. In this instance, our contractor recommended that a retaining wall be built around this pool due to how far in the ground it was being installed. The foreman also noted that "retaining wall a must have" on the work order.
This apparently wasn't followed. The failure of the liner did is in fact covered, materials and labor. However, the damage to the pool and the digging out around the pool is not.
With this, we are more than willing to participate in whatever parts need to be replaced and we would like this to get resolved ASAP as would the Duszynskis. We need to evaluate what parts are needed to fix this pool safely and correctly. We are more than willing to take these steps.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Response to Mr. ******'s communication with the BBB:
1. ***** ******** did not recommend that a retaining wall needed to be constructed to secure the slope surrounding our pool. On July 27, 2013 the owner alerted us, following several hours of excavating, that the slope was a concern. He then offered us an option that did not include a retaining wall. For an additional ****** a crew with additional equipment could be sent out the following day to secure the slope. We would not have agreed to pay the additional money had we not been assured that it was the best way to address the issue. The following day the crew arrived and after a few hours, informed us that the problem had been successfully addressed without the need for a retaining wall.
2. Furthermore, had a retaining wall been recommended we most certainly would have followed this directive in order to secure our very large investment. The fact remains that we were assured by ***** Services, after an additional $****, that a retaining wall was not needed.
3. Our deck contractor stabilized the earth around the pool before constructing the deck. The
attached photos provide evidence that when the pool was filled with water it was a sound structure. Included are photos illustrating that over time, without water, the pool began to shift. Had ***** replaced the liner in early spring, we would not be in this situation today.
4. After consultation with our deck contractor, who is very knowledgeable on structural foundations, and then meeting with an architect, we learned the following:
Retaining walls are constructed specifically to secure unstable slopes.
The slope that encircles our pool is secure and has been secure since the deck was built.
If the slope surrounding the pool was not secure then soil from the slope would have collapsed onto the lower deck. The latter is certainly not the case as the ***** owner can verify.
The slope is not at issue here. Rather, the soil that encircles the base of the pool is the focus of the problem. Both experts assured us that this soil could only be held in place by counter pressure of the pool water. Furthermore, they explained that if a retaining wall had been constructed we would be facing the same situation because the pool has remained empty for over seven months. The pool is a semi-in-ground pool surrounded by soil at its base. Only a filled pool, not a retaining wall, would have headed off this problem.
Clearly the facts speak for themselves: had the pool liner been installed in a timely fashion, the walls would not have shifted. Additionally, the assistant manager *****, as a representative of The Great Escape, stated on June 1st, 2014 that ***** ******** was responsible for any damage to the pool because they had failed to replace the liner.
5. The specification for back-filling was another item noted by Mr. ****** in his response. Our deck contractor never back-filled beyond 30 inches. He was most diligent about following all the required specifications. The lower deck was erected flush with the pool on the northern end. Perhaps this is what confused the owner of ***** when he inspected the pool on June 10th, 2014.
6. Lastly, we recently reviewed all of the paperwork on both the purchase and installation of the pool with our attorney. We can verify that any work order stating the urgency of a retaining wall, as referenced in Mr. ******'s response, was never shared with us and certainly does not bear our signatures.
In conclusion, it is our genuine hope that this situation can be resolved in an honest and fair manner. We regret that Mr. ****** failed to reach out to us following the receipt of the letter sent to him on June 16th, 2014. In failing to acknowledge our concerns, Mr. ****** further reinforced our belief that customer service is not a hallmark of The Great Escape.
Final Business Response
Contact Name and Title: **** ******-VP Sales
I have been in contact with **** and we appear to be working together to get the issues taken care of properly, safely and per the manufacturer's specifications.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
We accept the proposed resolution with reservations. We requested both in conversation with the assistant manager and in writing that we needed a plan of action before anyone entered our property to begin working. We returned to our farm on 7/23/14 and discovered that work had begun without prior notification. Only when I spoke with *****, the assistant manager, today did I learn that more parts needed to be ordered and work would not resume until next week. It will be August before our pool will even be assembled. We are frustrated both with the fact that our request for a plan has been ignored as well as the unwillingness of TGE to keep us informed of the status of the repairs. To show some measure of good faith we are requesting that TGE pay for the water that will be needed to fill our pool. Additionally, we need the assurance of Mr. ****** that the plan will be shared with us, work will be completed as quick as possible, we will be kept informed of the status of the repairs, and the pool will be filled as a measure of good faith.