JACKSON (CBS13) – The swimming pool business boomed during the pandemic, but not for Melanie and Victor Schultz.
"We're supposed to have a completed pool, a fiberglass pool, but instead, we have a large hole in our backyard," Melanie said.
That large hole is all the Schultzes have to show after hiring Central Valley Fiberglass Pools in Modesto 13 months ago. It's not exactly the grandkid getaway they imagined.
"We promised one of them that she could have a pool party here this coming July," Melanie said. "I just feel taken advantage of and disappointed."
The Shultzes did everything right. They looked up the contractor's license and confirmed there were no complaints before signing the contract and taking out a line of credit to cover the $45,000 pool. So far, they've paid $10,000 plus interest for the plans and excavation.
"The finance charges keep rolling up with nothing but a hole," Melanie said.
It wasn't until we got involved that the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) made five complaints public, including abandonment, requesting more money than work completed and violating down payment limits.
"I thought it was a reputable company and they would fulfill their obligation," Melanie said.
The company never returned our calls but texted Melanie with multiple explanations including: "The pool is in Arizona," "Covid threw their schedule off by 2.5 months," and "I'm at the tail end of a nasty divorce."
"It's one excuse after the other," Melanie said.
So what can they do? After we got involved, they filed a complaint with the Contractors State License Board, who explained abandoning a construction project without a legal excuse is a violation of California code. The board is now working with the Schultzes to get their $10,000 back. All Melanie wants is a finished pool.
"I'm just tired of the excuses and not having anything but this hole done," Melanie said.
Once you file a complaint with the CSLB, they can help with mediation, settlement negotiations and, in extreme cases, revoke a license. You can check a contractor's license on the CSLB's online license check.
But as this story proves, it's just as important to contact previous customers as references.
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