St. Louis, Mo., May 15, 2013 - After last year’s searing summer, some homeowners may be thinking about installing a backyard pool to cool off this summer. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers to research contractors and consider how they will use a pool before diving into the project.
Swimming pool contractors, service and repair companies have been the subject of more than 100 complaints to the St. Louis BBB over the last three years, with more than 8,500 complaints filed nationwide. The complaints range from customer service issues to failure to complete work or honor warranties.
One customer recently complained to the BBB that a pool leaked so badly it had to be refilled every other day. The contractor made several attempts to repair the pool, but the homeowner still had problems that could not be resolved.
“Given the current tough economic conditions, consumers cannot afford to make bad buying decisions,” said Michelle L. Corey, president & CEO of the BBB of Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois. “By checking with the BBB first, consumers can avoid doing business with companies that have generated complaints from previous customers or those who have failed to deal with complaints.”
Consumers need to think about how they and their family will use the pool, weigh the expense and decide what type fits their budget and space. Swimming pools can require a substantial investment, particularly in-ground pools. They require frequent cleaning during the season, and proper closing and opening at the end and beginning of a season.
The BBB advises consumers to:
- Obtain at least three bids and compare them. Make sure the bids specify the quantity, brand, size and color of materials.
- Make sure the contractor’s paperwork is in order. Ask to see the contractor’s license and certificates of insurance. If you have any questions, contact the appropriate licensing board.
- Ask for references and check them out.
- Check BBB Business Reviews to see whether a contractor has been the subject of complaints and whether complaints have been resolved.
- Find out who will be doing the actual work – the contractor’s employees or subcontractors.
- Ask the contractor for lien waivers upon completion of the project. A lien waiver shows whether suppliers and subcontractors have been paid.
- Find out whether the builder can make site and soil evaluations for your property. Consider whether grading or landscaping work will be needed to finish a pool to your satisfaction.
- Ask about warranties, maintenance and repairs after the pool is completed.
- Make the final payment only after the work is completed to your satisfaction.
For more consumer tips or to check out a BBB Business Review
or Charity Review
, go to www.bbb.org
or call 314-645-3300.
A BBB video on hiring pool contractors can be viewed online at http://youtu.be/dqfjHG92x48
.Contacts (News Media Only):
Michelle Corey, President & CEO, 314-645-0606, email@example.com
, or Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, 314-584-6743 or 314-681-4719 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org