BBB Business Review

BBB Accredited Business since 07/12/2012

The Great Escape

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(708) 339-6060View Additional Phone Numbers5901 Grape Rd, MishawakaIN 46545-1224 Send email to The Great Escape

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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since 07/12/2012

BBB has determined that The Great Escape meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Customer Complaints SummaryRead complaint details

7 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 2 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues1
Problems with Product / Service6
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints 7

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

1 Customer Review Customer Reviews on The Great Escape

Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 1
Total Customer Reviews 1 Customer Review

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (7)
03/28/2016Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details

We should of been notified at time of sale that the gazebo requires anchors and 100% level in order to be installed.
Gazebo was bought to add to out backyard oasis. At the time sale Seth the store manager never suggested pad type Gazebo is recommend to be installed or that Gazebo could shift because of weather.
Took 3 weeks to het gazebo installed and at that date crew suggested that pavered pad was uneven and recommended us having pavers taken up and releveled. We paid our landscaper at the time to do so, ****** Mind you we had just paid XXXXX to have the pad installed the year before but were willing to because we thought we had a Gazebo we could enjoy for years to come.
Landscaper finishes his work and we schedule another appt for Gazebo install. At no time did **** the installer suggest we would or "could" have problems with windows and panels in the future after having our original 20x20 taken up and redone. The landscaper took up the entire pad and made it customizable to the gazebo. Had the **** the installer told us we would still have those problems we would of never paid then $2000 to have landscaper redo the pad. And just returned the gazebo at that time. At that time no waiver was mentioned or discussed when installers installed Gazebo using new pad.

We should of been notified at time of sale that anchors are recommended so gazebo does not move and requires 100% leveled pad in order to be installed. We do not want to spend additional thousands of dollars again now or in the future on this gazebo. We want great escape to take the unit back as it was sold to us on false pretenses. We were not made aware it couldn't be installed on pavers. At time of sale or at install we should of made the gazebo would/could shift without anchors. Instead we were told by installer that the weight of the unit was so great it wasn't going anywhere. We are unhappy with quality of windows/locks and have been since 3 weeks after the unit was installed. Unfortunately I have been given what feels like the run around with The Great Escape since day 1 of our 1st issue.

In my initial call to Great Escape back in October 2015, there also was no mention at that time of paver pad being issue when 1st window broke and it couldn't be replaced. Instead The Great Escape tried to suggest that we were not properly latching windows.

Now that Great is suggesting that they will make necessary repairs to the gazebo but we have replace our pavers again. And if we want it on pavers we would now have to sign a waiver saying The Great Eacape is no longer responsible.

Desired Settlement
At the time of sale of a ******* Gazebo it should have been disclosed that the preferred base for the unit. It should have never been sold without paperwork suggesting so. I would like the broken Gazebo removed and given a refund. The Great Escape delayed repairing or taking responsibly for initial window 3 weeks after it was installed. Had they been upfront with us from the get gap that pad we had was unacceptable we would have returned it.

Business Response
The site has been evaluated and the parts needed for the repair have been ordered from the factory. TGE will replace the parts at no charge for the customer.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
We have been is conversation with the manufacture Visscher and have spoken to a manager ****** Upon speaking to ***** it was brought to our attention that there are ways to fasten windows securely and that they install Gazebos on various pads.

The Great Escape I can only assume was not aware of this during installation nor our initial complaint that windows were flying open at amount of wind. The Great Escape hasn't told me who their contact is at Visscher till this day but I have requested that ***** at Visscher be spoken to before Gazebo is touched. We have a tentative appointment for 4/04.

It is a shame that it has taken us 7 months to get to this point but glad it will finally be resolved soon hopefully.

08/25/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

I went to the Great Escape on May 25, 2014 to purchase patio furniture that I needed by the following weekend. I made a purchase for ******** and was assured by the sales associate that the delivery would take place on May 31, 2014. On this date, what was delivered was a partial order. The order consisted of two chairs and cushions. What was delivered was two chairs with only one cushion, therefore the other chair was not able to be used. I immediately called the delivery company and they told me the product would be delivered to the store and that I should pick it up there. I had my mother and sister check with the store on two separate occasions and they were told the cushion was to be delivered to my home. I then became stuck in the ping pong match of delivery to my home versus store pick up, and this went on until July 14, 2014, close to two months without my purchase. When I spoke to the store, the associate told me the cushion did come in however it was again sold! She also stated "Did you ever get that thing?" That thing was not a ***** cushion that could wait, it was a ***** purchase that she knew I needed immediately.

From there the sales associate, ******** ****** was no longer available and another man from the store called me to deal with the missing cushion. This person assured me there was no way to return these items at this point as it was greater then 30 days, as if that was my fault! I feel the 30 day time clock should start at the time you receive the entire purchase, not a partial delivery. I was then provided with their corporate service line. I called this line and spoke to ****** who then transferred me to ******** When I spoke to ******** she said, "I'm so sorry, we don't deal with patio issues." Even though, this was the direct number given to me by the man at the store location to resolve this concern. I then asked ******* what happened to my detailed email explaining my issue to the service department. She stated that she did see the email (that nobody responded too) however she forwarded the email to the Regional Manager, ****. I asked for ****'s phone number and Shannon told me she was not allowed to release the number to me. She did assure me however that **** had my email and that my cushion was delivered on July 14. I called Shannon on July 15 and then looked on my patio to find that the cushion had been delivered, unbeknownst to me and with still no contact with anyone from The Great Escape about my wish to return the items since this has taken two months to resolve and I have not been able to use the furniture.

I still have not had any contact from the store. I asked on multiple occasions to return the set at this point and the store is literally ignoring this request, and my email (written request.) I feel I was patient in giving the store two months to resolve this delivery when the items were needed immediately.

My invoice number was ****** on 5-25-14

Desired Settlement
I simply want them to come take these items back and refund my money. I will never shop here again.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ******* ***** CS Mgr
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX XXXX
Contact Email: ********
The request to return the product was not made until July 5th, at that time the product had already been outside at the customer's home for a significant amount of time. We cannot return merchandise that has been used and cannot be resold. The new cushion was ordered and delivered to the customer on July 14th. We apologize for the delay in receiving the cushion. The items are now complete and can be used for years of outdoor relaxation and enjoyment.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The delay in receiving this item is unacceptable. I will continue to seek legal recourse if necessary. I don't understand why ******* from customer service is now responding to this BBB complaint when she explained to me that she does not deal with cushions? I will be contacting other consumer advocacy organizations for additional support on the matter of this isn't resolved.

Final Business Response
RE: BBB Complaint Case# ******** (Ref#XX-XXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXX-XX-XXXX)
1 message
Shannon Hill <********>Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 11:58 AM
To: "*******" <*******>
Cc: **** **** <*****>, Merrillvillestore <************>, **** ****** <***********>


No, I do not want to arbitrate this case. I would like to propose an alternative settlement.

We will contact customer to schedule pick up of the items and credit the customer back.

Thank you,

******* ****
Manager/Customer Relations
Universal Pool/
The Great Escape/
Chicago Home Fitness
300 W. Armory Drive
South Holland, IL 60473
(708)339-6060 Ext 1109

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
This response is unacceptable due to the nearly two month time span that I waited for my delivery after spending over ***** at this store. The staff were not able to answer my questions and I spent many hours calling between the store and their delivery headquarters, something they should have been working on for me. I am not the employee, I am the customer. In addition, two visits were made to the store with no resolve. I asked to be contacted by the Regional Manager and was told by Shannon that she can not give me his number. I was also told by ******* that she did not "deal with cushions" however interestingly she is the point of contact for this complaint. Again, I am seeking a refund for these items which I needed in advance at the time I ordered them. A two month delay with gross negligence re: this matter on the part of these employees is unacceptable. The seemingly flippant attitude concerns me about the "cushions" given that I spent over ****** Thank you however for "saying sorry" via the BBB complaint site.

09/06/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

Paint peeling off all pieces of New Patio Set.
I purchased this patio furniture on 8-1-2015. I moved in my new house and put the furniture on the patio, using it for the first time on May 31, 2016. by June 2016 the paint was peeling on all pieces of the patio furniture. I called Great Escape, was told to email all photos to the Great Escape Service dept. I emailed photos to the warranty/service dept on 6/16/2016.
6/30/2016 I called the service dept to check the status, I was given another person to call at the service dept. ******* told me she would resubmit my claim. I called again a few weeks later and ******* requested I re-email her the photos again, so I did that on 7/18/2016.
On 7/25/2016, I called ******* again to check the status, she said she would call me in a few days. I have been leaving her messages, I have called the store the Great Escape in Merrillville Indiana where I purchased the patio furniture and get no answers, the Great Escape manager told me to work it out with the service dept. Can you please help me with this claim?

Desired Settlement
I'm now requesting a refund the purchase price of ******* plus tax. I do not wish to "replace" this set because I do not want the same problem again with the same set.

Business Response
We are very sorry for the delay in processing the warranty claim. We have scheduled to exchange the entire patio set on August 26, 2016.

06/03/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

our replacement pool was not installed properly, and the contractor and Great Escapes will not get back with us.
we ordered a pool from Great Escape on 4/3/14 and installed on 6/9/14 after several phone calls. the contractor himself never came out, he sent his brother and two guys who had never put up an above ground pool. we had contacted the contractor and great escapes when we noticed that the top supports were not fastened and the liner has rocks underneath and deep foot prints and rake lines in the sand under the liner. we have called Great Escapes several times in the past few months and let them know to have someone come to our residents to look at the bad installation job and no one has come. we had asked them that after the money we paid to the contractor we would like the pool to be taken down and have the liner replaced correctly. it is the time of year to close up swimming pools and before we put more money into the water, we would like someone to verify that our pool will be installed correctly. we do not want this new pool to have to have a new liner in the next few years when it wasn't installed properly to begin with. we just want Great Escapes to help find a very good contractor, yet they do not return our calls either. we are financing the cost and an installation fee, and we also had to pay the contractor another $450.00 on top of that. this was such a bad deal, people who have came to use our pool can not believe how unlevel and how many rocks and deep pockets that are under the liner. yet when we have asked someone to come out and look at this, no one will.
thank you,
****** ******

Desired Settlement
we would like to have the sand smoothed out, rocks taken out, deep pockets, and rake marks, trolled out and a the liner put back in, as long as the rocks have not damaged the liner thus far.
thank you,
****** ******

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ******* ******* Mgr
Contact Phone: XXXXXXXXXX ext 1109
Contact Email: ********
The Great Escape has agreed to pull the liner and resurface the ground, removing any rocks and re-leveling the sand. This will all take place in the Spring of 2015. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.


Consumer Response
to a point, I have a letter from **** ***** stating they will be at our residence first thing Spring 2015 to do the repairs. Until then I can only hope.
****** ******

Final Consumer Response
On 4/3/14 we bought an above ground pool from great escapes. On 6/9/14. A gentleman named **** came to put up the new pool. At the time they took old one down there were no rocks under the old liner. He took out the center drain and moved some sand around to fill that in. After the pool was up and we paid to have water delivered we discoverex that there were rocks and rake marks and deep pockdts, the steps do not sit level either. They never finished screwing the top caps on. I notified. ******* ****** of **** ***** and let him aware of these issues. They said that should work itself out. It didnt. I have a letter from **** ****** saying they aould be out this spring 2015 to fix. He is sending bis brother **** who is the one who didn't do it correctly the first time. We would like them to drain the pool and to pay for the water that needs to be brought in because our pump will not handle that. We feel they didnt do their job properly and are responsible for any monetary amounts that need to be taken care of to get the pool right. They also need to screw the top caps on.
Thank you
****** ******

Final Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ******* ***** CS Mgr

A signed copy of the Swimming Pool Installation Agreement is attached for reference. The customer purchased a replacement pool. The Great Escape does not provide sand for installation. The customer is responsible for the purchase of sand and block. As a gesture of good-will, The Great Escape has contacted the installer and the installer has agreed to drain the pool, rake out the existing sand or place additional sand (if provided by the customer), and reinstall the pool. Per the agreement, The Great Escape will not be responsible for water costs under any circumstance.


08/20/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

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

Desired Settlement
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.
We want:

(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.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: **** ******
Contact Phone: XXXXXXXXXX
Contact Email: ***********
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.


Consumer Response
(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.

07/15/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

The pool installers have not met the agreement as signed in the contract.
On May 21 2014 we purchased a 24 ft by 52 inch pool from ***** the store manager. Paid ******** was told it would be delivered June 4th, then installers would be 1-2 weeks out. It was delivered June 4th at 2:30pm. We called ***** he informed us that **** would be contacting us that week or the beginning of the next. After waiting until the following Wednesday we still hadn't heard from them. My mother in law finally got ****'s number. I called him and he told me it would be the following week around Monday or Tuesday. I even texted him to confirm, a couple of days later I called because **** had not shown up. I called great escape several times and was told ***** was with a customer or putting away the truck, I left my number and was never called back. After calling corporate I finally got to talk to ***** and was told a different installer would be helping us. He gave us his name(*****) from *** ************ out of Rockville Illinois, we were promised July 3rd by *****. ***** called me to confirm the date and told me he would be here between 12-2. We waited until 2:15 to call the store and was told ***** is out of the store. We have had to find another contractor and pay more out of our pocket to hopefully have it installed on July 9th. Over a month being installed! During the conversations with ***** and my fiancé it was a heated argument and ***** hung up the phone 3 times!

Desired Settlement
We would like to be reimbursed more than the *** for installation since we have had to use our time for calling contractors ourselves. We would like to be reimbursed for the stress of having to deal with this overall disheartening and unprofessional experience of the great escape.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: **** ******
Contact Phone: XXXXXXXXXX
Contact Email: ***********
The weather this season and some issues beyond our control definitely put a a little bit behind schedule so we did not hit our forecasted date, that's for sure.
As far as not fulfilling our contract, we actually don't use a contract. We use an Installation Agreement that is initialed and signed by every customer so that they're aware of the potential setbacks and details surrounding an installation....before the purchase is made....during the installation and after the installation is complete.
Because of these "outside factors", we have a provision that says, "installations can be delayed by weather and other factors......We ask for your patience so that your pool can be installed safely without jeopardizing materials or the safety of the workers."
These forms are initialed and signed by EVERY customer prior to installation to help manage expectations. While this provision would alleviate us from not honoring our agreement, we do everything in our power to manage expectations properly and we definitely fell short in this case. We successfully deliver and install hundreds of pools in that area and we will continue to strive to improve our system and create an even better shopping experience for our customers.
As a solution, the customer asked for and received a full refund on his purchase. Though The Great Escape has the right to charge re-stock fees on returns, all re-stock fees were waived.


Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I disagree with their response for several reason but most importantly the fact that they say the weather was an issue. We live in a different county and had several days that it didn't rain. They want to say that things were beyond their control that's fine but have the decency to call your customers instead of hiding from them. Yes, we did ask for and receive a refund for our full purchase price but why should we have been penalized for their mistakes? They were the ones who were not using customer service skills correctly. We also asked that they remove their sand from our driveway but it still sits so we are just stuck with it until we move it on our own. We had taken time off work we lost money. We also continually told our daughter the pool would be put up. That never happened with the Great Escape. All we want out of this is for other buyers to beware...saving money is not always the best way to go! In our case it's cost us much more due to missing work, having to go to a different company, and several weeks of stress. This is not the type of company I would sponsor!

Final Business Response
Contact Name and Title: **** ******

I received an email from ****** that he will dispose of the sand himself. I believe that this will conclude this issue.


Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Just admit defeat and accept that you did us wrong in many ways! Very bad business and terrible customer service!

06/24/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

Company has insufficient installer contracts to support timely installation of pools. Poor response to customer issues with contractor.
When we purchased our pool from Great Escape (GE) in Dec 2013 they stated they did had installers contracted for pool installs in our area and they would do them in the order customers paid and took possession. We had our pool delivered 4/5/14. The pool contractor they matched us with was 1.5 hr away. Multiple calls by us to the contractor-couldn't talk to a live person and messages were not returned for days. Talked to our rep at GE and asked for a different contractor, we were told there was nobody else in our area. Rep stated contractor not calling him back either. I was calling GE everyday with frustrations about no call backs. Asked again for a different contractor but was told there was none. Asked to have a contractor from a different area and was told that was not an option. I called GE corporate office and was told she would email the district manager and he would call me. She stated his response time was "48 business hours". Well it's been 12 days (AKA 64 business hours) and I have gotten no response. GE has not provided the support promised for installation of their product. If they would have told us that they did not have installers in our area we could have gotten a local installer to put it up, but by the time we were having the problems the local people were booked until July. Now it is June 8th. Our pool has been erected, but we have been waiting 5 days since it has been filled for them to return and finish the pump installation. The paperwork says they will return in 1-3 days. Their response "you guys are so far away". That is not our fault-GE is the one who picked this contractor, not us! If they could not complete our installation they should not have accepted the job! Again, our frustration with GE is the lack of response from corporate and the poor support from our local store with the installation problems and delays we have experienced.

Desired Settlement
I feel we are entitled to a refund of our installation costs due to the prolonged frustration and problems we have had with the entire process.

Business Response
First and foremost, we're sorry for the aggravation and frustration that ***** has experienced. It's never our intention but sometimes delays occur.
I know that the store had a contractor that experienced a family emergency and couldn't install pools for us this summer. Though that left us a little bit short, we have done a pretty good job of staying on task.
Our paperwork that gets signed by ALL of our customers speaks to the fact that there are several factors involved prior to the actual installation and it may delay things. Some of those things are within our control but most aren't (primarily weather). Our customers sign an agreement stating to delays in installation to help prepare them. On top of the issue with contractors, the weather this spring was unseasonably cold and wet. The cold prevents us from installing pools and delays EVERYONE.
Our company does not credit customers for delays in installation because the factors are beyond our control.
On another note, the fact that our contractor is tardy in hooking up the filter is a different issue. Especially since his paperwork states 3 days (I'm sure that is supposed to be 3 business days). This we will pursue.
I am also sorry that ***** has waited for someone above the store manager but the store manager has almost 20 years of experience with our company and can handle any and all issues that come his way. On top of that, it is without a doubt our busiest time of the year and everyone is working double duty.
We will pursue the issue of getting the filtration system hooked up and the pool operational. Once that is done, we will gather more facts and decide if a credit is due to the customer.
Issuing a credit due to installation delays never has been part of our policy due to the lack of control over the factors that go into an installation.
The store manager will be back in touch with ***** once the filter is hooked up and working properly.
We have been in business for 45 years and have had a great standing with the BBB and we will not jeopardize that.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

Industry Comparison| Chart

Swimming Pool Contractors, Dealers, Design, Fireplaces, Fireplace Equipment - Retail, Table Tennis Equipment, Bar Supplies, Bar - Fixtures, Exercise Equipment & Machines - Sales, Shuffleboards, Home Theater, Sauna Equipment & Supplies, Video Games - Dealers, Games & Supplies, Billiard Equipment & Supplies, Furniture - Rustic, Furniture - Outdoor, Patio Equipment & Supplies, General Merchandise - Retail

Additional Information

BBB file opened: 05/23/1994Business started: 07/18/1973
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

Please check your phone directory for the phone number of your County or City Building Department.

Business Management
Principal: Mr. Andrew Peilet (VP Sales)
Business Category

Swimming Pool Contractors, Dealers, Design, Fireplaces, Fireplace Equipment - Retail, Table Tennis Equipment, Bar Supplies, Bar - Fixtures, Exercise Equipment & Machines - Sales, Shuffleboards, Home Theater, Sauna Equipment & Supplies, Video Games - Dealers, Games & Supplies, Billiard Equipment & Supplies, Furniture - Rustic, Furniture - Outdoor, Patio Equipment & Supplies, General Merchandise - Retail

Products & Services

This Business offers the retail sales of leisure product, pools, spa, patios and fitness.

Alternate Business Names
Universal Pool Company, Inc., The Great Escape/Chicago Home Fitness

Map & Directions

Map & Directions

Address for The Great Escape

5901 Grape Rd

Mishawaka, IN 46545-1224

To | From


2 Locations

  • 2409 W. Lincoln Highway 

    Merrillville, IN 46410

  • 5901 Grape Rd 

    Mishawaka, IN 46545-1224Fax: (574) 243-1679

Industry Comparison ChartX

The information in the table below represents an industry comparison of businesses which are of the same relative size. This is based on BBB's database of businesses located in Northern Indiana. Businesses may engage in more than one type of business. The percent of time the business engages in a type of business is not accounted for. There is no known industry standard for the number of complaints a business can expect. The volume of business and number of transactions may have a bearing on the number of complaints received by BBB.

*The Great Escape is in this range.


Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services.


Additional Phone Numbers

  • (574) 273-2607
  • (219) 769-1720
  • (574) 243-1551

Additional Fax Numbers

  • (574) 243-1679
  • (219) 769-1831

Additional Email Addresses


BBB Complaint Process

Your complaint will be forwarded to the company within two business days. The company will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the company's response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 business days.


BBB began including complaint response text in BBB Business Reviews in September 2012. BBB reports the complaint response text for all reportable complaints against a business that are received electronically.


Industry Tips for Swimming Pool Contractors, Dealers, Design


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BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

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BBB Reporting Policy

As a matter of policy, BBB does not endorse any product, service or business.

BBB Business Reviews are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information in this BBB Business Review is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy.

BBB Business Reviews generally cover a three-year reporting period. BBB Business Reviews are subject to change at any time.