Hueytown homeowner pays almost $40K for pool, still waiting for work

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 3:47 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 10:17 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - This was supposed to be a summer of fun for a Hueytown family - a new pool and backyard paradise to enjoy.

But after doing background checks and spending almost $40,000, they haven’t seen a single square foot of new cement and are now worried they may never get the pool they paid for. It appears they’re not the only local family facing a similar nightmare.

“It was gonna be 38 feet long, so we came out and measured 16 feet wide and 38 feet long,” explains homeowner and would-be pool owner Keith Parvin.

“I think we measured, and we would end up about 5 feet or 4 feet from the edge of the fence here.”

After months of searching for just the right backyard pool for him and his wife and grandchildren, the Parvins picked a contractor and could almost see that first splash.

“We thought we’d have a pretty good setup here to have a good time this summer,” Parvin explains. “The summer’s past, we didn’t have a bit of fun. Well, we did have fun, but not with a pool.”

Keith says he decided to get a pool from manufacturer Latham Pools, so he hired a Chelsea-based contractor he found on the Latham website, paid $23,000 for the pool shell to be made, and started dreaming of relaxing afternoons poolside.

“I checked on them through BBB and googled them, and everything seemed upfront,” says Parvin. “They’ve been in business for 30 years - Latham Pools.”

That was August 2020, and Keith says he didn’t get the first hint that something might be wrong until late last fall.

“First it was too cold. He couldn’t get his workers to come out around December.”

In the meantime, Keith had spent another almost $11,000 for a plumber this contractor recommended to reroute the sewer line from under the pool site, and paid another $8,200 for half of the cost of re-sodding most of the backyard after the work was done.

Now out around $40,000, Keith was getting worried.

“Are we gonna have a pool by summer?” He says he asked the contractor. His response? “‘Oh Yeah. Tell your wife to calm down.’ because my wife was upset already.”

Then by this August, Keith had grown tired of excuses.

“I said ‘didn’t hear from you yesterday, you were supposed to give me a call back. You don’t answer your phone, you have a lot of my money, the address on the contract is even wrong. If you think I’m stupid, you’re wrong. If you don’t call me today we’ll just get a refund, a year is long enough.’”

We reached Keith’s contractor, who told us his business is having trouble and says he’s working to get Keith and other clients in a similar situation their money. When we asked him how he could do that, he said he was working with the state, and mentioned specifically the state contractor licensing board. We called that board, who told us they can’t even confirm whether they’re investigating this contractor, and we can’t find any state licensing board program set up to compensate customers who’ve paid money for work that isn’t done.

We reached out to Latham Pools to ask if they intended to help and why they had recommended this contract to customers. They haven’t returned our calls or emails.

Latham does have a disclaimer on its website that says dealers who sell its products are independently owned, and Latham warns it isn’t responsible for the performance of those dealers.

We also reached out to the BBB who gave Legends its worst grade, an “F” and has multiple complaints from customers who say they either paid for work that was never done, or paid for a pool that was never finished properly.

Keith has kept his sense of humor. “Close to $40K, yeah, just bye bye.”

He has this advice: “You really do need to learn who you’re working with and keep in contact with them. Don’t pay money up front no matter what their excuse is. If they can’t pay for the equipment and the product, they’re not worth hiring, I don’t suppose.”

We reached out again to the contractor who didn’t answer our call this time. Keith recommends checking with the BBB before you hire a contractor. The BBB now has a warning on their listing for this contractor, noting there are several local customers filing similar complaints.

Latham Pools responded to our requests for comment on Nov. 9 and said “Latham is investigating this matter on behalf of the homeowner.”


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