Friday, November 9, 2012

The Worst Client Ever

My pool

My choice of pool color

You know that ringtone on the I-Phone that sounds like an alarm for a nuclear disaster....alternating between the sound of a submarine sinking warning and car alarms?  Well I'm pretty sure that the Pool Company has that set for my phone calls. I think they hate me, dread me, and are actually afraid of me. If I was my own client, I would have a  nasty name made up for me, like Crazed Cow or Menopausal Canadian....

I think I have complained at least twice a week for the entire pool build. I've gotten hostile, defensive, apologetic and on the rare occasion appeased. It started with the entire plan getting nixed by the Inspector, a series of rather futile and pathetic re-designs sent my way hoping for a quick and uninformed approval by the client. I think this is where it all went wrong. After all, we knew through the Pool Cam that the Inspector wanted major changes, so when they offered minor fixes, we then knew they weren't upfront and we totally lost confidence in them. From the drainage not being installed right, the brick path missing the gate by a foot, the wrong coping selection recorded (that's my story and I am sticking to it) to broken sidewalks etc, I've squeaked about everything along the way. And they CC everyone in the office when I email so they all know how dreadful I am.

All I've wanted along the way was communication. Someone to send my an invoice for $$$ that doesn't say 2nd installment, but outlines what's been done. How about a line saying, "Tiling all done, looks fabulous, moving onto pool deck now". Instead of "Invoice attached, please remit". Or "the second inspection is done and all is perfect now"

And for heavens sake, could they have sent one lousy photo this entire duration.!

So when the water went in, I noticed it looked green. Not the blue I had selected. I waited 3 days and then I called them and sent a photo (friend took it) and said...."Hey my water's green, is that the right finish?", to which they just said, 

"it's the one you picked"
"it looks blue to me"
"it's the trees making it green"
"it's definitely a Quartz finish"
"maybe it was cloudy that day"


My pool day 4---day complaining started.
Tough guy that I am, I told them to send me a photo of the finish I got from the sample board. Still not believing it was the right color, I asked the foreman to take the sample board to the pool and confirm the right one had been installed. He did, and they all confirmed it was precisely my choice.They were very quick to email to tell me it was the right colour and I was wrong. The next day in another email I mentioned how disappointed I was that the pool looked green. To which she replied....

"It will turn bluer in about a week, it's just the chemicals and water settling. After a week it will be blue."

Do you think that someone, in the 5 conversations I had in a rant about that, could have mentioned not to worry it will go blue.....NO...they must enjoy my passive-aggressive phone calls. And now it looks like this. I just shut up when my Lawn Service guy text me to tell me they were pulling up the front end of the patio again (3rd time laying this part) to re-grade the property. 

And then, I have a new client...sweet couple, love my ideas, no complaining and I wonder if down the road they could turn into ME.

My brother from NJ and his girlfriend from NY are in town for the weekend which makes me so excited. Frenchie managed to vomit up the 2 socks he ingested on Tuesday, possibly avoiding an the weekend is starting well and I putting on my OTHER FACE now.


  1. Just imagine - all the work is finished, and you are lying on a floaty chair in the middle of that pool, beverage in hand, big toe flicking at the blueish water, mind free of all the contractor annoyances. It won't be long now, it won't be long now, it won't be long now......
    Have a great weekend :>)

  2. It looks a bit bluer in the approaching evening light . . . I think. Very soon you will be there and if things aren't correct . . . time to make some heads roll!

  3. I have installed a pool once in my life and lived in another home with a pool. Yes, things should settle down and the water will look blue .. soon.

    1. ... forgot to add, have a lovely weekend and Hang In There!!

  4. ...and that is why I no longer own a second home...sorry Chania, and good luck.

  5. Oh my! It looks like a fabulous pool though. The joys of renovating and building, eh?

  6. You and me kid..we just keep rolling along <3
    Enjoy the weekend with family.

  7. I was just typing a comment and it disappeared. Oh well. Here's goes ... I was saying that communication is the most important thing, well I guess it's craftsmanship, but after that it's communication. When we bought our commercial building in Florida and was in the processing of renovating it, our contractor called us nearly every day, without us requesting it. He sent photos from his iPhone when major changes were made. This made all the difference. We were in Maryland and he was in Florida. If you can't monitor the process onsite, your contractor needs to be especially attentive to keeping you posted on progress. In the photos your pool looks beautiful. I'm sorry you experienced so much angst that could have been alleviated by consideration. Maybe you need to let your pool company know that it could have been handled differently. Good luck with your new place!

  8. Hey, I see you're in St. Pete. That's where I am!!! Do you want me to go check on the pool! :-)

  9. Have you considered that it isn't that you are not the worst client ever but that they are the worst pool installers ever?
    As a decorator you probably value customer service and give what you would like in return - consideration, respect, communication and rectification in the event something doesn't go right.
    I think you did an awesome job considering it was long distance which can be frustrating in and of itself.
    I hope it all works out well in the end. You deserve it!

  10. We have gone through several different contractors for jobs around our home and I have come to the conclusion that they all have "something" that bugs me about the way they work and/or the work itself. They either leave a huge mess, don't pay attention to details, leave me hanging at the end because a bigger and better job came along etc. At some point I started to buy my own tools and teach myself how to do some of the smaller jobs to save the headache. I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. You paid for a service, right?

  11. Chania, Love your home in FL and the pool is beautiful. Hope you get the color you want. (I'm with you BLUE) I hope to find a place on the east coast when I retire. Blessings, Lynda

  12. The pools looks terrific Chania. I have never built a pool or a house but have watched friends do it and some have had awful issues and they were not thousands of miles away like you are.

  13. Oh my Chania! I know how stressful this has been, but this post was so funny - one day you will read it and just laugh about it all. Listen, you paid for the work. They botched some of it. You had to speak up. You aren't there. They know it. You were suspicious. They didn't reassure you properly. High maintenance client? No......... Listen, if you find everything wonderful when you go there next week (I believe?), then you can take a plate of one of your marvelous food things in and make nice. However, I would have been in exactly the same state. I'm a defensive driver afterall.

    Glad the sock came up and your brother and GF are visiting. Have a wonderful time. Have something to drink and have a good laugh. Ann

  14. Where do I begin ... hmmm.. okay:
    They never earned the right to be trusted. They messed up and then did it again. Stop thinking that you are a problem.
    I wondered if it might be the chemicals or lack of that made the water a certain color... I am relieved with you that that seems to be the problem/solution.
    I had problems here with the workers and the stories they told me and I smiled and said OK and I could kick myself every time I see the problems we have now, because I never said, wait a minute, undo it and make it right. You are the one paying for this, get what you are paying for.
    Tate would swallow one of my socks now and then when he was a young'un.
    And they always came back up, around 3 am.
    I hated waking up to that sound :(
    Now I would not mind at all :(
    Kisses to Frenchie and to you .. we are still waiting for our buyer. We discuss what kind of dog and cat we will get in our next home :)
    besitos, C

  15. Am I right that the pool is looking bluer - not quite like your inspiration photo though. That company has really been the worst - and especially to have to deal with from such a long-distance.


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania