Ashley Verhagen said she researched several pool companies last winter.
“Brian (Roy) was really the only one that reached back out and he said what we wanted to hear, told us that we would have a pool by the end of June so we were sold,” said Verhagen.
They have the pool, but it’s still sitting in boxes on their driveway.
Verhagen, of Lisbon, said she signed a contract with Roy’s Pools on February 24 and was told the pool would be ordered by February 27.
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She told NBC Connecticut the company later told her it wouldn’t arrive until August because of Covid-related delays.
Verhagen said when she contacted the pool distributor and it told her that Roy’s Pools didn’t order the pool until late March. The distributor then worked to get Verhagen her pool by July.
However, she said Roy’s Pools didn’t start the site work until September, and after eight hours of work over two days, never came back.
“We still have essentially a hole in our backyard with no pool and we hadn’t been contacted that they weren’t coming back,” Verhagen said as she pointed to a gravel pad placed in her backyard.
Roy’s Pools in Canterbury is the subject of eight complaints being investigated by Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection, according to a spokesperson for the agency.
NBC Connecticut left messages for owner Brian Roy on the personal cell phone number he gave to customers and visited his business, which wasn’t open. He then called us to ask that we leave his property and declined to comment on the investigation.
According to the state’s online license portal, the previous business owner’s swimming pool builder license expired in 2016. Consumer Protection said the current owner, Brian Roy, only has a Home Improvement Contractor license.
NBC Connecticut asked DCP if Roy's Home Improvement Contractor license would allow him to install a pool.
“No. There is an additional license for that. Home improvement contractors are very limited in the scope of work they can do. Our investigation is looking into whether the work he did was outside the scope of his license,” the DCP spokesperson said.
Verhagen said DCP told her that if Roy’s Pools did not fully pay the distributor for the pool, the pool distributer could put a lien on her home.
“We just don’t trust them. I mean how can you. We’ve had a terrible experience over the last 10 months,” Verhagen said.
The Verhagens, who are both in the military, say they paid 60% of the total project’s cost to Roy with two checks totaling $13,000.
“They both have cleared our bank accounts,” said Verhagen. “I absolutely feel like our money was stolen.”
Their bank accounts aren’t the only thing left empty, so is their five-year-old son.
“He sees it every day in the yard and asks 'when are we gonna get to swim in our pool?' but we’re not sure he’s ever going to get to do that,” Verhagen said.
She said her son took swimming lessons to prepare for swimming in his pool this past summer.