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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 01/06/1994

Mermaid Pools

Phone: (613) 747-0321Fax: (613) 749-1174

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Customer Complaints Summary

8 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 2 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Guarantee / Warranty Issues3
Problems with Product / Service5
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Total Closed Complaints8

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (8)
06/24/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Installation issues resulting in hole in liner, rippling in liner & depressions in sand base. Pool has been and is still losing water.
Withheld last $1000 payment due to several installation issues. Many issues are still outstanding such as:

- Initial installation delays (2months) due to improper leveling of pool and other related issues

- Large indent/depression in sand base below liner

- Rippling of liner next to light

- Hole in liner due to lack of support material behind liner

- Pool has been leaking since installation causing additional expenses (water bill)

- Customer Service is deplorable - emails and phones calls are unresponsive and we have to constantly follow up

- Continuous change in staff makes it difficult to get any resolution

- ********** was amenable to rectifying these issues (previous new pools installation manager who is no longer with the company)

- Refusal to put agreements in writing "ie: verbally we were told that Mermaid would forgo last payment $1000 due to delay in installation and installation issues"

- In the event of the installation of a new liner, Mermaid was to confirm refilling pool with fresh water ($500-$1000) however they have failed to confirm coverage of this cost

Desired Settlement
Honor the commitment to not have to pay the $1000 final payment due to multiple issues / delays.

Remove old water, fix sand bottom depression, fix lack of support material around current hole in liner, address liner ripples around light, address pool losing water and finally replenish pool with fresh water.

Business Response
From: Myrtle M**** (mailto:mm****@****************)
Sent: Monday, June 01, 2015 12:29 PM
To: ****************
Subject: FW: ******** - Case # *******

H*******, GREG

With regards to Better Business Complaint, Case # *******

In general, the current issues seem to be due to this being a semi-onground pool which has been fully buried in the ground. As stated in the name of the product itself, a semi-onground pool is not designed or engineered to be fully buried as an inground pool.

Poor drainage caused by the burying of the pool makes the sand bottom less than ideal.

Note that Condition 10 of the Standard Terms & Conditions states: "Owner agrees that if any damage occurs to swimming pool after construction, which is occasioned by Owner draining pool or which is caused by a change in water table or ground conditions or from natural causes, Contractor shall be held harmless there from."

Also, as per Condition 12, "It is specifically understood and agreed that no claim may be filled under the warranty and no obligation to make adjustment there under will accrue until the full indebtedness (including extras if any) is or are paid to the Contractor." As noted by Mr. ********, final payment has been withheld.
1. (2 month installation delays) - We encountered some delays but always kept our agreement and continued to work until completion. Well over a dozen service calls were performed at no cost to the customer. We cannot be held responsible for shipping delays.
2. (depression in sand base) - As noted above, improper backfilling around a semi-onground pool not designed for it causes drainage issues which can cause washing out of the pool's base.
3. (rippling of liner next light) - We are prepared to attend a second time to rectify this issue.
4. (hole in liner) - In addition to any other drainage issues, the apparent cause of the leak seems to be from some damage incurred from operating or using the pool. This hole in the liner was addressed and patched promptly as a goodwill gesture from us at the time. The liner manufacturers warranty only covers defects in manufacturing, limited to the seams of the liner - not to punctures, rips, or tears of any kind.
5. (leaking/water bill) - If the leak is caused by the punctured liner, then this is beyond the scope of an installation or manufacturer's warranty and is the customers responsibility to replace any lost water.
6. (customer service deplorable) - Mermaid Pools' aim is to provide a high standard of customer service to all of our many new and existing customers. Unfortunately, due to the high volume occasioned by a seasonal business, immediate response is not always possible.
7. (continuous staff change) - Mermaid employs in excess of 80 seasonal employees at times and it is the nature of the business that we do not always have returning employees every year.
8. (Refusal to put agreements in writing, ie. Waiving $1000 payment) - Notwithstanding previous issues, Mermaid would prefer to put agreements in writing whenever possible, for the protection of ourselves and our valued customers. With regards to the $1000 final payment being waived, our notes show that an offer was made of a $500 credit being applied, contingent on the remaining $500 being paid at that time. We will honour this offer.

Proposed resolution: WITHOUT PREJUDICE - As a goodwill gesture. With the payment of the remaining $500.00 outstanding, Mermaid Pools will once more, drain the pool, remove the liner, repair the depressions in the bottom, smooth the bottom using best practices and re-install the existing liner. We agree to pay half the cost to replace the water.

Consumer Response
After reviewing my contract and contacting the manufacturer of the pool (******** Pools) and consulting the installation instructions it appears very clearly that the product is suitable for installation completely in-ground. Reference ******** Pool On-Ground Drawing reference #****-******** revised Contract June 24/13 - 16x32 ST. Back ****** (*******) and manufacturer installation reference:

**************************************************
I quote from the manufacturer: The ******* pool is designed to be suitable for installation above, partially in-ground, or completely
in the ground.

My contract validates this as such a product.

It's also simply and clearly evident that Mermaid as a trusted adviser selling and installing said pool would have made it abundantly clear that this product is not suitable for in ground installation. It only now was made evident to us during this BBB exchange of information.

I ask why would Mermaid sell and install a pool if it were unsuitable for such conditions.

Further to that the remediation is lacking in regard to addressing the immediate concern - constant loss of water. I'm amiable to the remediation of Mermaid removing water, fixing the pool sand foundation and 1/2 water refill.

But this does not "clearly" address the liner rippling around the lights and the constant loss of water.

Furthermore, the less than 1 year old failure / puncture of the liner is a direct result of no backing material behind the liner - poor installation practice. This alone I feel is a compelling story for liner replacement by Mermaid.

What considerations will be provided for any further damage to the liner during removal and re-installation? Will Mermaid replace the liner if further damage is incurred as a result of the removal and re-fitting of the liner?

Based on initial comments back from Mermaid from this inquiry / remediation it seems like Mermaid indicates that we will have nothing but more problems as a result their sales and installation practices. This very much makes us furious about of choice to trust Mermaid in the support / recommendation of any services related to pools.

I also have to counter comment on the 'multiple service' visits comments made by Mermaid and clarify that it was again a result of Mermaid's deficiencies / failures to provide a complete and satisfactory product. 1) pool not level which resulted in breaking concrete and further visits / delays, 2) Miscommunication from their sales -> installation staff in regards to access to property (skid steer) 3) Leaking pipes (lights).

It would appear as if we are made to be the unwarranted request claims client making unwarranted service request. In reality we were very forgiven in regards to the constant delays and installation failures that occurred since inception and we simply at the end of the day want a product that we have confidence in using for several years without issue.

Final Business Response
With regards to the $1000 final payment being waived completley, our notes show that an offer was made of a $500 credit being applied, contingent on the remaining $500 being paid at that time. This offer was later extended in response to Mr. H*******'s previous Better Business Bureau complaint, Case #*******, to which Mr. H******* chose not to respond. We will still honour this offer.
Proposed resolution: WITHOUT PREJUDICE - As a goodwill gesture. With the payment of the remaining $500.00 outstanding, Mermaid Pools will once more, drain the pool, remove the liner, repair the depressions in the bottom, smooth the bottom using best practices and re-install the existing liner, if possible.
If needed, to be decided by us, Mermaid Pools will provide a new liner at no charge to the customer. We agree to pay the full cost to replace the water.

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
I accept the proposed resolution. Who do I contact to proceed?

06/04/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
I bought a heat pump from Mermaid Pools that was broken before installation and I was charged the balance on my contract while product was defective.
On August 22, 2013 I went to Mermaid Pools in Gatineau and purchased a new liner, new pool pump, new filter and a new heat pump.
On September 24, 2013 the electrician recommended by Mermaid sales rep came to install the heat pump and pool pump. While putting a screw for the electrical panel of the heat pump he accidentally punctured a hole in the radiator coil. He contacted the sales rep at Mermaid pools to advise of the incident and advised to contact *******. During this time, the installers from Mermaid came to install everything. They mentioned that there was a unit in the warehouse and it would be an easy swap but needed authorization. They did ask if I wanted to connect the filter back to the pool but said they`d have to come back to finish the job at a later date. I agreed knowing I wouldn`t be using the pool during the winter months. Later this day I was contacted about final payment. I asked the sales rep from Mermaid about the broken Heat Pump and was advised they would help anyway they can. In the contract, section 7 specifically states "Title to all goods shall remain the company's until all goods are fully paid for". Meaning that when the Heat Pump was broken that was the property of Mermaid Pools. As I understood, the final payment would be taken only once the installation was completed and all purchases operating properly/installed.
On the 7 of October, 2013 I contacted ******* for follow up for an estimator to give us estimate of the damage.
On October the 8, *********** estimator came to verify the damage and gave a quote to us which we forwarded to the electrician.
On the 24 of October, 2013 I was notified that the piece would be ordered.
On November the 18, 2013 called back ******* for follow up and heard nothing.
On the 17 of December, 2013 as per message on December 16, I contacted the sales manager from ******* and I was advised that ******* would swap out the units and give me a new unit as they cannot replace a radiator coil.
On the 18 of December, 2013 I contacted Mermaid sales rep in Gatineau to advise the conversation the day before and advise them that I am to expect a new unit.
Due to the holiday season and winter months I waited for them to contact me.
On February 6, 2014 I contacted Mermaid and asked for information and was advise that ******* unit will be delivered from Toronto warehouse to Ottawa in March.
March 24, 2014 I left a message with Mermaid sales rep to follow up on the Heat Pump unit that was expected to be delivered. I also contacted sales manager from ******* and left a message for a call back.
On April 2, 2014 I contacted sales rep from Mermaid for a follow up and again, left another message.
On April 7, 2014 the sales rep from Mermaid contacted me stating that he is having troubles getting information from *******. Sales rep from Mermaid said he would ask for help from his boss.
On the 15 of April, 2014 I contacted the sales rep for follow up and was advised that the Heat Pump unit would be sent to Ottawa within the next week or two. Sales rep also advised he would check with tracking code to ensure it arrived.
On April 29, 2014 I received a call from sales rep advising that the heat pump had left the Toronto warehouse and was en route to Ottawa as of the 28th of April.
On May 6, 2014 I called the sales rep again requesting a follow up. Was advised that there was no news and he would investigate and call me back. No call back.
On May 7, 2014 My mother went to the head office in Ottawa asking to speak to a manager. No one was available to discuss this matter. ****************************************. Left information with the receptionist for someone with authority to call her or myself back. No call back. **************************************.

Business Response
Late August, 2013 the client purchased a heat pump and made arrangements with her own electrician to have the heat pump installed end of September. During the installation of the heat pump the electrician put a screw through the heat exchanger. This damage is not covered under warranty. Mermaid contacted the manufacturer's representative and much to our delight they agreed to ship a new unit as a good will gesture, no charge. It was also agreed between the homeowner and ****** that the new heat pump would arrive in the spring because it was too late in the season to use the pool. Fast forward to spring of 2014, the heat pump was back ordered from California. Mermaid worked closely with the supplier and homeowner to expedite the delivery.
A new heat pump has been delivered no charge, and the installation completed to the customers satisfaction. We did not charge the normal fee to deliver the heat pump, pick up the old unit or for the disposal fee.
**************************************
********************************************.

07/22/2013Problems with Product / Service
11/10/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Two staff attended to fix problem with our pool, they diagnosed what they thought was problem and said needed parts. Charges wereto cover return visit
August 4th. Two staff to diagnose pressure problem with one of 4 return lines to the pool. They check the pool pump and decide that the 3-way valves were leaking air and that may be the problem. however they don't have the parts and would have to get them and return. I was told the return to install would be covered by the bill given that day for the work.

I called the office to find out the price of the two parts needed. They wanted $40 each. For parts I sourced online for $17. I told them I would get the parts myself and call back. I went to ************ and got the parts for $17.99.

They called and booked them to come back to finish the work.

Two guys came August 10th and installed the new parts. They again gave me a bill for the service call and the parts they used from their truck. Some glue and connectors. I figured that was just the same service call charge as the first guys.

As no one reasonably expects to pay $140 for a 2 minute diagnosis that did not correct the original issue which has not been fixed.

The guy who showed at my house the first day said the charge includes the return to complete the service as they didn't have the parts necessary.

Desired Settlement
I want the second service charge refunded in full. They have reduced it $39 to a return service call.

I will pay for the parts they used to complete the work along with the parts I supplied.

Had I got them to come tell me what was wrong and not do any work I reasonable expect to pay the charge once. I do not expect to have to pay the charge twice because they don't have parts on the truck. 3 way valves are a very common part that should reasonable be available in a service vehicle.

Business Response
On July 24, 2015 the client requested that we address pressure problems with their pool. We scheduled a Pressure Test; the standard assessment for this type of problem. Our technicians visited the property July 28-2015. In the process of performing our assessment, our pool technicians diagnosed an issue with the suction side 3-way valve. It was cracked and allowing air into the system; a common cause of "pressure problems." Unfortunately, it was not possible to diagnose any further issues until the first one was resolved. The client signed the bill agreeing to the work performed and the charges.
The technicians did not have the necessary replacement parts. While 3-way valves are a common plumbing item; they come in various different brands, styles, and configurations. Furthermore, individual 3-way valve parts are not common stock items. The high quality Hayward valves that we carry on our truck ($39 each) were not compatible with those installed in the client's equipment.
The parts needed were listed on the service order, the price was reduced from a Pressure test assessment ($139.95 + tax) to a General Service Call ($119.95 + tax), and the client was asked to reschedule with the office. At no time did our technicians state that the return trip would be carried out at no charge. If that impression was given, it was unintentional.
The client called July 28, 2015 to schedule the follow-up repairs for August 4, 2015. They indicated that they would purchase and supply their own parts and would like to have the pool technicians return to install them. At this time we informed the customer that there would be a Return Trip fee ($85.00 + tax) to carry out the work in addition to the original charges. Prior to the second service visit, another conversation occurred between the one of our Supervisors and the Mrs. During this conversation return trip charges were once again discussed.
On Aug 4, 2015 a second technician was dispatched to complete the repairs. They replaced the supplied parts and used some misc. plumbing fittings from their service vehicle. The client signed the bill agreeing to the work performed and the charges.
In the days following the service, a series of conversations occurred in which Mr. disputed the charges; while Mrs. agreed to the charges. During these conversations, we discovered that we had overcharged the client for the return trip. We immediately refunded the difference ($39.49) to the client's credit card.
While we maintain that the second trip charges are justified and that the client agreed to them in advance, it is clear that they are a point of contention. To illustrate our dedication to customer satisfaction, we are willing to offer a $50.00 gift certificate (approx. half the disputed amount) for use on future services or in store purchases. We apologize for any misunderstanding.


Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
*****************************. Their technician told me that the return trip was included in the service charge. The only reason I signed that bill was because he said the return was included. There was no confusion I asked the question directly to the technician and received his answer. He told me to call the office to find out the price of the parts and to schedule a return. There was no mention of a return service charge when I called to say I had the parts, I told them I have the parts and they can come back and install them. I would have argued that fact at that time as their first technician had told me the return trip was included as they did not have the parts on the vehicle. Why would I pay for two service calls when the first call lasted about 5 minutes and the work they did from that diagnosis did not solve the original complaint. I thought I hired a professional company, not someone who guesses and comes back multiple times to fix a problem. The bill I signed the second time had the same service charge as the first time and the additional parts so I assumed that it was a update to the original amount. The Mrs as they call her only booked the original appointment. She did not agree to a return charge as the company claims. I called once the credit card bill came in showing we were billed twice to inform them of their error. They first claimed this was correct and then after several unreturned calls I was directed to the finance department to discuss with them. They only ever agreed to return the difference between a return trip and a full charge.. That is when the Mrs called and she was only given that option as well.

I would never agree to a practice where they show up and bill you. Tell you they don't have the parts and have to come back. And yes we are going to bill you again because we don't carry the parts on our vehicle.

The way this is working I still have to have someone come back yet again to maybe diagnose the original problem. I am left wondering what parts they wont have next time and how many trips it would take Mermaid to complete this work.

In an effort to recognize their commitment to customer satisfaction, I will accept the $50 and they can apply the $50 back to the credit card they overcharged.



Final Consumer Response
I responded that the refund would be acceptable to our credit card back before September 28th. I asked my wife to check and her credit card has not received the refund from Mermaid. Nor have they contacted us about the refund. can you provide me the name off the person who I should contact to get the refund they offered?

Thanks.

Final Business Response
*****************

You can reply to the BBB file with the following.
"There was a processing error on our end. Thank you for letting us know. The refund has been re-processed and resubmitted. Please let us know if there are any further problems. Sorry for the inconvenience."

Thanks,

Pool Service Dept
Mermaid Pools

07/17/2014Guarantee / Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Mermaid failed to honour a valid warranty on my pool heater, broke my pool, damage continues as it is now a chlorine not saltwater pool.
Pool heater installed summer 2013. I closed this my 6th pool and sucked out all lines, even removing the chlorinator. No water was in my pool lines at all. This spring the heater leaked badly. Mermaid sent ******************** for work for them, to check and were apparently told the heater is damaged beyond repair due to my negligence in closing. This is impossible. Mermaid either blame the other company for their inaction since they cut the lines to bypass the heater and turn my pool into a chlorine pool. This was early June. I last spoke to them June 8.They refuse to even look at my heater and have only offered 10% off a new heater. They did not give special instructions as to the danger of closing the pool with this heater and the manual was followed to the letter by myself when closing. **************************************
**********************************************.

Desired Settlement
Not available

Business Response
Purchased heater with installation May 10th, 2013.
May 2014 we were notified that there was a problem with leaking plumbing. We did a site visit and upon inspection it was discovered that the piping had damages resulting from improper winterization.
To enable the homeowner to temporally run the pool the technician by-passed the broken plumbing therefore bypassing the salt chlorinator and heater. It was advised that the salt chlorinator would be hooked back into the system when the heater problem was resolved.
The Manufacturer's authorized service representative was contacted and performed an inspection of the heater. He determined that the damage was comprehensive and in consultation with the manufacturer it was determined that the unit was not repairable. The damages were a result of improper winterization by the homeowner and are therefore not covered under the warranty.
Winterizing procedures are clearly stated in the heat pump manual. Neither Mermaid nor the manufacturer can be held responsible for improper winterizing by a third party or the homeowner.
Mermaid takes its duty of care very seriously. We offer professional winterizing services and we are available via telephone or email to provide free technical support for DIY homeowners. The homeowner's did not contact us for our professional winterizing services nor did they contact us for free technical support. ****************************************************

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
***************************** what is the point.

11/05/2013Problems with Product / Service
08/20/2013Guarantee / Warranty Issues
06/25/2013Guarantee / Warranty Issues

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