A Canterbury business continues to be under the microscope after numerous customer complaints. They tell NBC Connecticut they’ve paid for pools that were either never ordered or never installed.
A former employee at Roy’s Pools says the company owes thousands of dollars to not only customers, but vendors.
“We thought what better way to spend the summers than with a pool,” said Meghan Millette of Canterbury.
Millette said her husband wrote a check for nearly $12,000 to Roy’s Pools on September 2. Their plan was to install the pool themselves next to their home. It was something their two boys could enjoy for years to come. However, earlier this month, the store’s manager contacted her.
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“I felt obligated to tell them, ‘hey look I took your $11,000 check, and now there’s no money to order your pool, and all of a sudden the store’s closed,’” David Mowry said.
Their check was cashed but Millette said the pool distributor told her, “that they never received a dime towards our order.”
Millette posted about the situation on social media.
“To my surprise, I had dozens of people either commenting on the post or messaging me personally that they were in the same boat, that they had given Brian thousands of dollars,” said Millette.
Reading the response gave her a sinking feeling.
“Our money’s been stolen. I mean, what else could have happened to it?” said Millette.
“I don’t want to say the money was stolen, but it’s definitely mismanagement,” said Mowry.
Mowry is Brian Roy’s cousin. He said when Roy took over the longtime family business from his grandparents last year it had a solid reputation. However, he said Roy quickly became overwhelmed by the pandemic pool demand.
“There were so many pools sold that we couldn’t keep up with the installs and the labor shortages,” said Mowry.
Not only does the company owe people their pools, but Mowry said it also owes several subcontractors and distributors money.
The president of Radiant Pools confirmed that Roy’s Pools owes his business a “significant” amount of money.
Mowry said the business was always playing catch-up. He said Roy hired young laborers who were inexperienced and improperly licensed for pool installation jobs.
“A lot of jobs there was always some type of issue,” Mowry recalled.
Mowry said that so many customers, unhappy with the work, disputed their credit card payments causing the business to financially falter.
“There was no money to pay the employees and no money to give back money to the customers,” said Mowry. “There’s no money to pay those bills.”
Also, there’s no money to order pools for their new customers, some of whom told NBC Connecticut that Roy blamed the distributor for backorders. A spokesperson for one of those distributors, Radiant Pools, told NBC Connecticut, “We were able to deliver all customer orders. Currently there is no backlog.”
Kevin Fontaine of Fontaine's Pools, LLC said he agreed to help Roy out on a pool project this year and he still owes him and his crew for the job.
“He seemed genuinely concerned, while at the same time he seemed concerned, I still wasn’t getting my pay,” said Fontaine.
Fontaine said Roy told him on October 18th that he was on vacation and wouldn’t be back until the 22nd and that he would pay him then. As of October 27th, Fontaine said he still hadn’t gotten paid.
“With the way that things are going, it’s highly unlikely but I’d like to think that I would get something from him,” he said.
Mowry confirmed that he was in court on October 19 with Roy. He said Roy’s wife served him with a protective order. Meghan Millette also went to court on October 26. She said she was served the same order to stay 100 yards away from Roy’s wife after she posted about her experience with the business on social media. The judge threw both cases out.
“I think there’s so many people out so much money that the likelihood of us seeing this money, it’s not gonna happen,” said Millette.
NBC Connecticut has reached out to Roy multiple times but has not heard back.