Blue Haven Pools & Spas Complaint - Quality & Service Issues with Blue Haven Pools
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- BEWARE OF BLUE HAVEN POOLS!!! Once your contract is signed, they will treat you like dirt, not keep you informed of what they're doing, build the pool they way they want it, and give you lower-grade equipment than what you paid for! I strongly recommend you stay away from this company!
In early October 2007, Blue Haven began building an in-ground gunite pool and Sundeck patio on my property in accordance with a contract I signed in April 2007 (I asked for construction to be deferred to October). My contract specified that the pool would be built within 35 days pending any adverse weather, yet the pool wasn’t completed until the 2nd week of January 2008 even though there were only 2 days of bad weather that would inhibit construction. Once the contract was signed, Blue Haven didn’t care whether it met schedule or not. There were also other numerous and significant issues encountered during the construction process, some of which are identified below:
1. The contractors hired often made changes from the original contract. Although the contract said the superintendent wouldn’t “babysit” the contractors, the superintendent was rarely present to inspect the work and intentionally avoided being present when I was at the property. When I called the superintendent on his cell phone to ask questions or set a time to meet, nearly all calls went to voice mail and were never returned. I would also send e-mails to the construction scheduler at the Blue Haven office because her voice mail was either full or she wouldn’t return calls – I would often get responses several days later, with the responses rarely addressing the issues I raised. One change made by the contractors was the layout of underground plumbing and rebar for the concrete patio. The city inspected the installation that differed from the contract. After the city performed its inspection, the pool company then ripped up a significant portion of the rebar, including grounding wires for the pool equipment, so that they could change the plumbing again, making it even further from the contract requirements. The concrete was then poured. When I argued to have the concrete ripped up and the plumbing repaired, I had to argue with the general manager of the company because no one else would work with me. The general manager did have the plumbing reworked to provide the functionality specified in the contract, but this was done by chipping and patching the concrete rather than removing and replacing the entire slab and rebar.
2. When the pool control panel for the filter system was installed, it had information inside it saying it was compatible with the AquaPod remote. I asked the superintendent how much the AquaPod remote cost -- $450 – so, I agreed to add it. The superintendent wrote a field change to add the remote. When the pool was being filled up with water the first time, the start-up team provided me with a GoldLine “Spa-Side” remote rather than the AquaPod. The AquaPod allows the control center to be reprogrammed using the remote, has a digital display that provides outdoor and water temperature readings, and provides several other functions. The Spa-Side remote has only on-off switches for the various equipment. I informed the superintendent and construction scheduler of this issue and was told it wasn’t their problem since the pool construction wasn’t complete – I was passed on to the warranty department. The warranty department told me that the AquaPod would be “overkill” for my pool since I don’t have a spa and that the Spa-Side remote is a better remote. When researching the web, I discovered that the Spa-Side remote retails for ~$180 while the AquaPod retails for ~$350. Blue Haven said they would not provide a partial refund for the Spa-Side remote or provide me the AquaPod for the $450 I paid. After extensive complaining, I was eventually told that if I unwired the remote control wireless receiver from the filtration control center and then drove 50 miles to Blue Haven, they would refund my money for the remote. I also asked if this would affect the warranty for the control panel since I was being directed to change the electrical configuration, and I was told this would most likely void the warranty. This issue still hasn’t been resolved.
3. I had a waterfall installed with the pool. I was told that when the filter pump system was started for the first time I should expect leaks from the waterfall and that the construction team would come out and fix any leaks or flow issues. Sure enough, when the pool filtration system was started up for the first time, there were leaks all along the back of the waterfall that allowed pool water to flow to the lawn. I did report this to the construction team, but was told that since the filter system had been activated, this was now a warranty issue. I reported the issue to the warranty department and was told this would be resolved. It has now been more than 2 weeks since this issue has been reported and the warranty department has yet to schedule any repairs.
4. I had a deep red flagstone installed for the coping of the pool. Several of the flagstone pieces have started to turn white, almost as if they have been bleached. This occurred just prior to the plaster being installed for the pool, but when it was brought up to the construction team during final walkdown, I was told this was a warranty issue and that they’d notify the warranty/service department of the issue. This notification never took place. So, when I reported the waterfall issue to the warranty/service department, I brought this issue up as well. I was told it would be resolved, but just like the waterfall issue, it has not been more than 2 weeks since this issue has been reported and the warranty department has yet to schedule any repairs.
5. Unfortunately, I left several hoses distributed around my yard, one at each hose bib installed on a plastic hose reel and each equipped with a trigger spray nozzle. The construction team used these hoses during their construction efforts. During use, the construction team broke all three hose bibs connected to the house such that each of the three hose bibs now has a significant leak. In addition, all three trigger spray mechanisms and all three hose reels were broken. Two of the hoses are still okay, but won’t was cut and is no longer usable. This issue was raised to Blue Haven, but was never resolved. The construction team ended up using its own equipment after this. Replacing the hoses and reels won’t be too expensive (about $100 total), but replacement of the three hose bibs and their backflow preventers is going to cost me about $350. Blue Haven won’t resolve this issue.
6. Blue Haven refused to provide me with product manuals for the various equipment it installed with my pool. I was provided an operational manual for the Viper pool cleaner that was installed, the Spa-Side remote control, and the Aqua digital control panel for the filtration system. However, I was not provided any documentation about the filter system, the pool filter pump, the cleaner booster pump, the Ozonator system, etc. When I inquired about this, I was told once again to speak to the warranty department. The warranty department acknowledged this wasn’t there issue and couldn’t help me if construction didn’t provide the manuals. I was told I could get the manuals online. The problem with getting the manuals online is that all of the equipment is marked with Blue Haven labels even though the equipment was manufactured by other companies. I went to those other companies (e.g., Hayward, which provided the equipment for most of the filtration equipment, UlraPure for the Ozonator), but there is nothing to correlate their manuals/part numbers with the Blue Haven part numbers. These companies have offered to help me if I send them pictures and part number information so that they can try to correlate the Blue Haven labels with their parts. However, I shouldn’t have to go through this step.
7. In August 2008, I met with the Blue Haven central office and finalized color selections for the patio deck, pool coping, pool plaster, and pool tile. It turned out that the pool plaster I selected to match the other colors was discontinued, but Blue Haven didn’t tell me that (or it seems even checked) until it was time to install the plastering. Therefore, I had to select another color for the plaster – none available went well with the other colors I selected. However, since everything else was already installed, I was stuck and had to pick one of the available choices.
8. During construction, the pool company destroyed a significant portion of my neighbor’s front yard. The contract did inform me to get consent from my neighbor to have the fence between our properties taken down so heavy equipment could be taken into my back yard. However, no care was taken by the construction company when working in my front yard, and as a result, the construction team destroyed a significant portion of my neighbor’s yard, plus one of the concrete sidewalk slabs in front of my neighbor’s house. (A slab in front of my house was also broken.) The pool company repaired the concrete sidewalk, but refused to repair the neighbor’s yard.
9. About 2 weeks after the pool was filled and the filtration system activated, the pump system started to fail. It would run for about 10 seconds and then trip off. (This happened two days before my submittal of this compliant.) I left messages and e-mails with the pool service/warranty department, but haven’t heard anything back yet. Granted, it’s a weekend, and I’m discovering that the warranty/service department won’t respond over the weekend. Unfortunately, temperatures are going to drop below freezing over the weekend, and my filtration system won’t work, which means any water in the filter pump and filter cartridges could freeze, thereby causing even more damage to the system. It will be interesting to see how Blue Haven responds to this – I’m sure I will be held at fault for letting the system freeze even though the system failed less than 2 weeks after start up and they’re not around to fix it.
10. While there is nothing in the pool contract to indicate that the pool company will repair the yard damage caused by the construction, the condition my yard was left in was unacceptable. The pool company did fill in trenches that were dug for electrical and plumbing, but rather than compress the fill, the pool company dropped clay everywhere the sod was damaged. Grass can’t grow in the clay, and every time it rains, the clay turns to mud and runs into the cul-de-sac and blocks water flow in front all of my neighbors yards. This was true throughout the entire construction process, yet the pool company wouldn’t clean up any of the clay that ran into the streets and blocked drainage flow. Now that the pool has recently been completed, my entire yard around the pool is literally a mud swamp. What makes this worse is that the pool company didn’t perform any grading of my yard, especially where it increased the height of my yard with dirt piles, so all of this flows right into the pool. I was able to knock all of this down when the pool company refused to, but initial estimates to remove all of the clay and repair the yard damage caused by the pool company are on the order of $2500.
11. As part of the pool contract, I was to be provided $500 in reward certificates to use toward purchasing pool items from the Blue Haven rewards catalog. I have yet to receive these reward certificates even though I’ve been told several times they should have been mailed to me already. In addition, I’ve discovered that the prices listed in the rewards catalog are significantly higher than the prices listed on the Blue Haven website for the identical products. When I called the rewards catalog to ask if I could use my rewards certificates (when received) to get items for the same price as listed on the Blue Haven website, I was told no. It was explained to me that higher prices are charged when using reward certificates than when using cash/credit/check. As a result, I’m not really going to get $500 worth of merchandise because of the inflated prices associated with the rewards programs.
12. Finally, as a general complaint, dealing with Blue Haven personnel felt like I was dealing with a bunch of crooks. The sales team was as nice as could be up until the minute the contract was signed – after that, you’re treated like a number. Phone calls went unreturned by the superintendent, the construction scheduler, and general office management. Complaints were never addressed – I was told several times that I shouldn’t be upset because my e-mails were responded to, yet no one seemed to care that the e-mails didn’t respond to the issues I raised and the issues were resolved, if at all, only after extensive argument and only after arguing with the general office manager. This company
These are just some of the issues. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY!!! It may be the biggest, but it knows that and as a result treats you like a little person. I wouldn’t recommend this company to anyone!!!