On December 19,2005 we contracted with Blue Haven Pools of Tyler, Texas, owned by BOYCE ELDRIDGE, to build a pool at our home in Athens, Texas. It is now February 27, 2007 and our pool is still not finished properly. The quality of their work and customer service has been terrible, they have not honored their warranty, and they have done large amounts of damage to our property. In December of 2005 Blue Haven salesman Steve Harris and his assistant Creig sat at our dining room table and painted a grand picture of what a great job Blue Haven could do building our pool. They also assured us that they could have it done in about 6 weeks due to the fact that it was winter and construction was slow. They then went on to tell us that it would go much faster if we used their stone mason Shane Warren to build the retaining wall around the pool. They gave a good sales pitch and we signed the contract, not realizing the nightmare we had just gotten ourselves into. 6 Weeks soon turned into 6 months. A few weeks after we signed the contract Blue Haven showed up to dig the pool. Instead of hauling off the dirt as they said they would in the contract, they left it piled in my backyard. This was a monumental pile of dirt considering that my pool is 40′ x 24′ and up to 8′ deep. Next they sent out their subcontractor Shane Warren to build the retaining wall that Blue Haven had designed to go around the pool. Warren and Blue Haven ordered the wrong stone, and then actually constructed the wall so poorly that it had to be torn down twice, and then eventually rebuilt with the correct stone by another stone mason that I provided. Blue Haven had been paid largely in advance, and as soon as there was the slightest problem, they would disappear. I would have to call Blue Haven day in and day out asking why they weren’t there, and when would they be back. I always got the response that “they will be ther tomorrow.” They rarely showed up. In the midst of the failed retaining wall attempt, Blue Haven decided that the dirt that they had excavated from the pool was in their way. So instead of hauling it off as they should have, they decided to pile it on my landscaping, destroying thousands of dollars in landscaping. The area was not small, measuring about 100 feet long and 15-20 feet deep! Blue Haven had REPEATEDLY been told that this landscaping was not to be damaged, and considering that my backyard had about 1/2 acre of open area in which to build the pool, this was not an unreasonable request. They chose to ignore my requests. At this point I had to threaten Blue Haven and Boyce Eldridge with legal action if they did not get the dirt out of my backyard. On the last possible day before legal action was to be filed, Blue Haven crews showed up and moved all the dirt out of my backyard. but instead of hauling it off, THEY PILED IT IN MY FRONT YARD! Where it sat for months. Killing my grass.I eventually had to have someone haul it off with a backhoe and dumptruck. The pool was built very poorly. Problems that surfaced even before Blue Haven claimed to be “finished” included: 1. Cracked and Broken coping. 2. A $12,000 automatic pool cover that never worked properly. 3. Poor quality stone work. 4. Plaster that was degrading since day one. 5. They built a substructure for the automatic pool cover out of raw, unpainted angle iron and rebar. Now, anyone with common sense would know that putting exposed iron in a saltwater pool will cause rust. Obviously this started to rust almost immediately, leaving rust deposits in the pool. 6. They never even backfilled the retaining wall around the pool. My wife and I had to do this. Damage to my property included, but was not limited to: 1. Thousands of dollars of destroyed landscaping. 2. They broke a retaining wall next to my house ( nowhere CLOSE to the pool). 3. They left huge ruts in my yard. 4. They left huge amounts of trash and refuse in my yard, including about 20 TONS OF STONE. Poor Service included: 1. Blue Haven constantly promised to “be out tomorrow”, but the only way we could get them out was by constantly calling and writing letters. Side note: Blue Haven’s contract states that any requests have to be in writing. Therefore as this nightmare drug on, I sent MANY letters to BOYCE ELDRIDGE demanding that the problems be fixed and/or the pool get finished. Boyce responded by trying to riducule me for sending these letters, and kept telling us they weren’t necessary. Now that I see how they operate, I understand why he did not want a paper trail to exist that would expose what a poor quality operation he is running. 2. Some of their subcontractors drank on the job and left beer cans in our bushes. 3. Their workers decided to use our bushes as their restroom. 4. They left the unfinished pool 1/3 full of stagnant water and trash for months. After Blue Haven claimed the pool was “finshed”, 6 months after they started, we immediately began notifying them that many warranty problems existed and needed to be fixed. Their sales claim is that they provide “warranty service within 24 hours of the complaint.” We COULD NOT get them to return to the property to do the repairs. The pump has gone out on the pool, the plaster looks terrible, the coping looks terrible, the cover doesn’t work right. Basically, the pool is a piece of junk and a tremendous waste of money. Blue Haven’s salesmen, especially STEVE HARRIS, will tell you ANYTHING to get you to sign the contract. One of Steve’s biggest claims was that ” he would be involved from start to finish to make sure that everything went right.” Once the contract was signed, it was like pulling teeth just to get Steve on the phone. I have since discovered that this type of situation is evidently a nationwide problem with Blue Haven Pools. They get the money before they finish the job, do an awful job, and leave the consumer hanging in the wind. Blue Haven has designed their contract in a way that to get any kind of legal remedy, one must follow a very lengthy and expensive arbitration process to get anything done. Generally it costs more to go the arbitration route than it would cost for the consumer to just pay a quality company to come fix Blue Haven’s mess. Unfortunately for Blue Haven of Tyler, I started the arbitration process against them back in August of 2006, and intend to make them do the right thing. Blue Haven of Tyler and BOYCE ELDRIDGE operate a deceptive, poor quality operation that I feel borders on criminal.
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