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Old Yesterday, 02:20 PM
 
Location: A tropical island
4,611 posts, read 4,518,139 times
Reputation: 11504

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The young man (Brian) who takes care of our swimming pool once a week was adding water to our pool with the garden hose, and he forgot to turn it off when he left. I arrived at this home 5 days later, saw the water running, and knew we would have a very expensive bill.

When the water bill came, it was for 48,000 gallons (we normally use 1000 gallons or less because this is not our primary residence), at a cost of $418, which I let Brian know. He offered to give me one month of free pool service, but that is only $200. I told him I would see if the water company would give me a price adjustment (they did, down to $225).

Then a couple weeks later I remembered that our billing for water and sewer had recently been changed, and is now administered by two different companies. Our sewer bill arrived, and it was for $550! So I called Brian back, and told him about the additional $550 but that I would apply for a "pool fill credit." (still waiting to hear back about that). Brian just said something vague like "Well, hopefully we can work something out." He has never offered to cover the bills whatever they are.

THEN I realized that the day the water meter was read was on the third day out of the five that my garden hose was running non-stop. This means my NEXT month's water bill and sewer bill will also be extremely high. (And the price adjustment thing can only be requested once per year, so they will be due in full.)

I hate that the expenses I'm reporting to Brian just keep growing and growing. He's a very nice and polite kid (probably 20-something) who is trying to get this new pool business going, and I'm going to have probably over $1000 of bills, because he forgot to turn off our water. I'm bothered by the fact that he hasn't offered to pay whatever the water and sewer bills are for the two months. But I am currently living out of the country, good pool guys are hard to find (he's good other than this one lapse), and I probably need him more than he needs my business.

Should we insist he pay the total bills (minus a small portion for our household water use the few days we were there)? Or perhaps split it 50-50 as a gesture of goodwill since we do want to keep him as our pool guy? Why am I feeling guilty for expecting him to pay? (Ah, I know the answer: because we are older and financially secure, and the thousand bucks will hurt him a lot more than it would hurt us. Should that be relevant?)
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Old Yesterday, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Arizona
223 posts, read 127,507 times
Reputation: 973
Maybe a long shot but does he have insurance (like a builder would have insurance etc...not sure what they call it for the pool guy) that might cover it, or...any chance you'd be covered on your homeowners policy?
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Old Yesterday, 02:47 PM
 
53 posts, read 4,309 times
Reputation: 58
That is a bit of an expensive mistake. I don't blame you for being frustrated with the issue. What I would do is get all your information straight: have all your bills in front of you. You seem to be making multiple complaints and each time you change your figure or your story the less credible you become in your claim (to reclaim that money back). I can imagine how frustrating it is also being out of country.

Once you have all your information, you should recoup as much of that money as possible from the pool company. You'll kick yourself if you don't at least remain firm and try.

You should also look into another pool company. It's not enough to say that you're out of country and it's difficult. Go online and start researching or reading reviews. I'd start right away.

If you cannot recoup the money for the bills, I'd take it as a lesson and let it go. It'd be a bitter pill but you might be better off going with a more reputable company and paying up to $100 more a month than going with a new business.
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Old Yesterday, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,150 posts, read 5,510,619 times
Reputation: 12780
If you’re inclined to go easy on him perhaps you could negotiate some additional months of “free” pool service. That way it’s not money out of his pocket. I’d also be very firm about if this happens again, we will expect you to pay the full cost of the overage.
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Old Yesterday, 03:01 PM
 
Location: A tropical island
4,611 posts, read 4,518,139 times
Reputation: 11504
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceanside_M View Post
That is a bit of an expensive mistake. I don't blame you for being frustrated with the issue. What I would do is get all your information straight: have all your bills in front of you. You seem to be making multiple complaints and each time you change your figure or your story the less credible you become in your claim (to reclaim that money back). I can imagine how frustrating it is also being out of country.

Once you have all your information, you should recoup as much of that money as possible from the pool company. You'll kick yourself if you don't at least remain firm and try.

You should also look into another pool company. It's not enough to say that you're out of country and it's difficult. Go online and start researching or reading reviews. I'd start right away.

If you cannot recoup the money for the bills, I'd take it as a lesson and let it go. It'd be a bitter pill but you might be better off going with a more reputable company and paying up to $100 more a month than going with a new business.
This is already the second company we've used, and we just bought the house this year. The first company did a terrible job. The pool always looked dirty and often green when I would arrive, so I would spend what little time I had there brushing the pool and adding chemicals. Plus this company left the water running one time (long story). So I fired them, and started looking for a new guy.

In my search, I left messages for five different companies, and Brian was the only one who even called me back. Plus he makes the pool look clean and sparkling, so overall I'm happy.

So that's why I really don't want to start over, long distance, trying to find another pool guy who I wouldn't get to meet face to face nor even see how good of a job he's doing until I return there in November.

And as far as changing my figures and not being credible, I would definitely show him my bills. And once I have the grand total, I will explain to him in detail, as I did in my OP, why the number kept growing.
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Old Yesterday, 03:03 PM
 
Location: A tropical island
4,611 posts, read 4,518,139 times
Reputation: 11504
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sibay View Post
Maybe a long shot but does he have insurance (like a builder would have insurance etc...not sure what they call it for the pool guy) that might cover it, or...any chance you'd be covered on your homeowners policy?
I wouldn't want a "black mark" on our homeowners policy, but that's a good idea about asking if HE has insurance. Thanks.
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Old Yesterday, 03:05 PM
 
Location: A tropical island
4,611 posts, read 4,518,139 times
Reputation: 11504
Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieFan View Post
If you’re inclined to go easy on him perhaps you could negotiate some additional months of “free” pool service. That way it’s not money out of his pocket. I’d also be very firm about if this happens again, we will expect you to pay the full cost of the overage.
That's how I planned to handle being reimbursed. It's still money he's out, just not in one lump sum.
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Old Yesterday, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Texas or Cascais, Portugal
3,501 posts, read 3,248,535 times
Reputation: 8510
Sorry for your problem but I have to say, why do people feel the need for a pool company? We have had pools for 15 years. We toss a bucket of chemicals in once a week, run the auto bot vacuum once or twice a week and might very occasionally have to add a chlorine tablet or two. Never have had algae and ph balance stays pretty much the same year round.
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Old Yesterday, 03:16 PM
 
825 posts, read 486,640 times
Reputation: 2720
Business is business, send him a bill for the full amount. Let the chips fall where they may.
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Old Yesterday, 03:35 PM
 
Location: A tropical island
4,611 posts, read 4,518,139 times
Reputation: 11504
Quote:
Originally Posted by nurider2002 View Post
Sorry for your problem but I have to say, why do people feel the need for a pool company? We have had pools for 15 years. We toss a bucket of chemicals in once a week, run the auto bot vacuum once or twice a week and might very occasionally have to add a chlorine tablet or two. Never have had algae and ph balance stays pretty much the same year round.
If I lived there full time, I would definitely do it myself, as I have in the past. As I explained in my OP, this is not our primary residence. We currently live outside the country; my furniture and worldly possessions live at the house with the pool, which I visit just a few times a year.
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