'We're $86,000 in': Pool contractor ghosts NC customers leaves them with unfinished jobs

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Saturday, October 29, 2022
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NC pool contractor ghosts customers, leaves unfinished jobs

"He has ghosted me."

Thousands of dollars paid for a backyard oasis yet a Wake County homeowner is left with an unfinished job, and he's not alone.

"There is no way I would want to step foot in there," said Fuquay-Varnia homeowner Tim Orr. "We're around $86,000 in." Orr says that's how much he's paid Pool Paradise LLC of Holly Springs for the in-ground pool, retaining wall, and concrete work.

Orr signed the contract in December 2020 with the owner of Pool Paradise, Brian Clark. Due to the pandemic and the popularity of people putting pools in, it did take time for work to get started.

"September we were able to finally start digging, made good progress. You know, and I watched, from my home office all the time," Orr said. Work stalled once they put the water in, according to Orr.

"They've probably only been here maybe fifteen days this year, maybe," Orr said. He tried to get in touch with the owner several times.

"He's not responding to my text. He's not responding to the email. He has ghosted me. Then all of a sudden when you go to Pool Paradise's website it states, "Pool Paradise closed September 1, 2002 sic, after supply chain problems after COVID. Thank you for your patronage!"

ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson tried to track down the owner, Brian Clark, but he's no longer at the address he lists as his business; nor has he responded to phone calls or texts from ABC11.

Orr isn't the only customer out money. A Cary family filed a complaint with the NC Attorney General's office stating that after paying Pool Paradise nearly $40,000 while work started, it's also not finished. Plus the NC Licensing Board for General Contractors opened a case against Clark and Pool Paradise as Clark nor his company are licensed to take on jobs that are more than $30,000.

Although he had to shell out more money, Orr tells ABC11 he was able to find a company to clean the liner and the pool, finish the electrical work, along with some other items.

The family will soon be able to enjoy their pool after two years and thousands of dollars.

What should you do to avoid being taken for thousands and ghosted?

The best advice is anytime a job is over $30,000, you must do your research to make sure they're licensed to do that job. You can do that here.

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