Friday, August 21, 2009

Fun Center Pools & Spas: you are dead to me

Okay. This is a different kind of post. I try to look on the bright side and count everything joy. Be thankful in the midst of the ups and downs of life. Not use my blog as a soapbox. I try not to be critical or negative, especially toward another human being or company.

But once in a while a person needs to use the platform they've been given. Speak out. Let their voice be heard for the greater good. Or just for venting.

This is my day. Hear me roar.

I have mentioned a time or two that we have a pool. A very green pool. A pond, in fact. We went to Fun Center Pool & Spa (Sorry, you'll have to Google them yourself since I refuse to link to them) and they got us started on a pool program. The Calm One and I are first time pool owners, so we carefully listened to all of the instructions, memorized the highlighted to-do portions of the printout they gave us and followed it religiously (I do not use that term lightly. I mean it: Religiously.).

Once we dumped all the chemicals in we got a light cloudy green color and Fun Center told us it was time to vac. the pool. We discovered that our pump was running, but the filter was broken. FunCenter told us that we needed a new one.

Imagine that.

A week later, the filter arrived and was installed. A week. The chemicals we'd used might as well have been dumped down the proverbial toilet for all the good it did us. The pool turned back to the pond color again.

We tried again with the rest of the chemicals we had on hand. This time there were no visible results and we couldn't even see to vac. And we were out of money.

Two months of saving up money and emptying (and refilling) 2/3rds of the pool later (by suggestion of Fun Center), we returned to the pool store to start the process over. We understood we had to do X,Y,and Z (the highlighted portions of the printout) so we could get to a place where we could do the weekly maintenance of the pool. Gotta get it up to a point that you want to maintain before you can maintain it, right? We bought all the chemicals they shoved at us, went through the process and - nothing.

Nada. Zip. Zilch.

We returned with a water sample, bought the chemicals we were told to buy and followed a different process that was outlined and highlighted for us on the printout.

Nada. Zip. Nothing. Zilch.

We returned to the pool store with a water sample and lots of questions. We were assured that if we just follow their highlighted guidelines all would be OK. We followed them to a T.

Say it with me now: Nada Zip. Nothing. Zilch.

I'd had enough. This was getting ridiculous. I headed to the store (a 35 minute trip) with all three chickadees.

The manager wasn't in. I returned an hour and a half later and spoke with him. Evidently no one warned him about the wild-eyed short lady with three rugrats in tow.

I explained all that had occurred. He looked at our history on the computer. Asked a couple of questions. And declared that since we hadn't bought any chlorine tablets from them, then there was nothing he could do for us. The chlorine tablets - the ones that are part of the weekly maintenance.

Which is fine, except that we never got to the point of being able to maintain it. Because we never got it cleared up enough. I explained this to the manager. He said that the chlorine is part of the weekly maintenance and needs to be done concurrent to the clean-up process.

Oh, really?! That was a new one for us. In the five visits we made this was the first time anyone told us that. Nor was it highlighted as something we had to do at. that. time.

He also told us that we didn't buy enough chemicals from them to make a proper assessment of what we (The Calm One and I) did wrong. I asked, "Do you mean to tell me that the $600 worth of chemicals we've already put into our pool isn't enough? Do I need to put $1000 worth of chemicals in? $1500? We've done everything you guys have told us to do. I want satisfaction."

His response was to look at me blankly for about 15 seconds and then say, "Ma'am. You didn't buy chlorine tablets from us. All your water samples read that your chlorine was low. You needed to put the chlorine in the water."

"That was never outlined for us to do. You never told us to buy the chlorine in the first place. Certainly if we needed the chlorine, you would have told us and been willing to sell it to us. Right?! We were only supposed to do the start-up process. We weren't to do the weekly maintenance until the pool was clean. It never got clean."

This was the third time I explained this to him. Do you get the idea that I was talking to a brick wall?

Truly, The Calm One and I are pool newbies. And the pool people knew this. We reminded them of it each time we walked in so that they would be very specific for us in what we needed to do.

I left the store in tears and with so much frustration that I could not even make a good exit (I WAS in drama, you know . . .) I just swallowed the lump in my throat, kind of waved to the manager that I'd had enough and herded the chickadees out of there as fast as I could.

The Calm One also made a trip in today with records of what we had purchased (because we found out that they didn't actually have a complete history of all we bought from them) and the chemicals that they sold us for weekly maintenance - chlorine not being one of them. They gave him even less of their time than they gave me.

The manager has refused to give us our money back. He has refused to rectify the situation.

He IS willing, however, to sell us more chemicals.

Fun Center Pool&Spa I am done with you - unless you rectify the situation to our satisfaction. Unfortunately for you, it's going to take a good deal more to satisfy us now than when I walked in today at 12:37pm and when my husband walked in at 2:30pm.

Shame, on you for your lack of customer service. Shame on you for hardening your heart to our plight. Shame on you for creating and perpetuating a scenario that put us in this position to begin with. Shame on you for not making it right.


  1. Anonymous8/21/2009

    Oh do I feel your pain. Don't back down. Even if you have to picket, it's your right for them to make things right for you & your family! That's insane to say the least.
    hang in there!
    Tammie Memmer-Prentiss

  2. Anonymous8/21/2009

    I am completely supportive on this one ! The store should have properly trained staff assisting customers. Too much is invested for the store not to take resposibility. Keep your chin up Jubilee!

  3. (claps loudly) Good for you! Go get 'em, Sis! Already I'm infecting you. Muwhaha!

    The scary thing is I've heard this exact same thing from experienced pool people from 3 different states this year. I'm thinking pool people know how to jerk people around.

  4. AWWW sorry for your bummer pool season, I would report them to the BBB. Maybe then they'll listen. If it helps any, Dad still has his pool open, we have a longer warmer season. Pack the chickadees and come on down, I'll have dad check the chlorine level before you arrive. :)

  5. You are absolutely right - especially in light of the fact that you kept such accurate records AND you kept informing them that you were newbies. They never should have ASSUMED that you knew to be doing the chlorine concurrently. When mixing all those chemicals, no one should assume that something like that is an "understood." Hang in there. And I'm so so sorry for your frustration. If you lived closer, I'd send The Boss to help you out with that stuff. He's a great pool guy. Very meticulous.

    And my very own cute cabana boy too :)


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