Dozens of Lowcountry customers claim pool company didn’t fulfill contract
Pool company releases statement in response to lawsuit
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry pool company is responding to a class-action lawsuit filed by several of its customers.
The suit was filed after customers accused Indigo Pools of turning the investment and dream of owning a pool into a nightmare. Indigo Pools, founded by Josh and Ashley Ingram in 2020, has served customers from Mount Pleasant to Okatie over the last two years. In January 2022, Indigo Pools made the switch to franchise with River Pools, a national pool company.
Once customers signed a contract with Indigo Pools, they claim they quickly noticed large delays in the original installation date that was agreed on. Multiple customers say they waited more than a year for their pool to be fully complete.
Dan Anessi signed his contract in June of 2021 and was unable to use his pool until July 2022. He says that throughout the installation, workers ran into his fence, his home, left a gravel driveway in his front yard after the work was done, and even drank beers on his property.
“When they came through, I noticed damage to my property that didn’t need to be done. This isn’t stuff that was right around where they were digging, this was just not caring,” Anessi said. “They just destroyed my front yard and I had no idea. I’m calling them saying, ‘What’s going on with this?’ ‘How come I wasn’t told?’ They responded with, ‘Sorry about that, somebody should have told you.’”
After calling and emailing Indigo Pools to fix Anessi’s unleveled concrete, remaining gravel, leaking pool and damage to his property, he started a Facebook page. The “Indigo Pools/River Pools customer form” page now has over 200 members communicating about common problems and questions about their pools.
“It’s draining. You’ve made an investment in something that most people would be excited about, you know, when the pools come in, they’re going to be looking forward to it and watching it go in. It just turned into dread and regret. When I would get in the pool, it was just anger,” Anessi said.
During a phone call with Josh Ingram on Nov. 18, he said most of the issues had to do with subcontractors. Ingram said they have a written plan to work with past customers to fix issues that they have a problem with.
“We stand behind our work, the work we did as Indigo Pools, and that’s the work that we’re fixing. The constant battle with any construction is based on your scheduling,” Ingram said.
He explained the plan is to address customers in four phases, but customers claim they were informed that phases went up to eight.
“There’s two sides of every story and it really hurts,” Ingram said. “It hurts my feelings personally that when somebody is upset because that’s not how we are; we want to make sure that our customers are satisfied.”
Doug Lockard and his wife decided to work with Indigo Pools in October 2021 and said they experienced a similar lack of communication and damage to their property during the installation.
“I mean, if you read some of these Facebook posts, there’s people that spend thousands of dollars, and they have nothing to show for it but a dirt hole that’s unsafe,” Lockard said. “There’s plenty of safety issues, and just from reading all the comments you can’t help but be angered by it.”
Lockard and his family said they were pretty happy with the pool until November when they tried to use the pool heater, but it didn’t work. They contacted inspectors with Pentair, the manufacturer of the heater, and Dominion Energy, to take a look, but said the contractors quickly explained to Lockard that a plastic PVC pipe installed cannot be exposed to light and could have ignited at any second.
“That’s what pushed me over the edge. My exact words to him [Josh] was that was unforgivable. It’s not like a crack in the concrete, that doesn’t risk my boys’ lives, my wife’s life or my mom’s life, that does. That could have blown up, it could have killed my neighbor, like everybody,” Lockard said.
Many past customers say they have lost hope in Indigo Pools, resulting in more than 30 people recently filing a class action lawsuit against Indigo Pools with the Anastopoulo Law Firm.
In the class action complaint, they claim Indigo Pools has failed to deliver on contracts they entered into for their pool installation and related services. Roy Willey, a lawyer with the firm, said they estimate more than 100 people have been affected.
“The reason for this lawsuit is simple. I refuse to allow people to be taken advantage of and my law firm stands up for victims of negligence. What we have here in the Lowcountry is a case of greed,” Willey said.
The lawsuit also states the defendants “breached their implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, thereby breaching their express and implied contracts with Plaintiff and other proposed class members.”
Willey says that the customers deserve their money back.
“This is money that these families could have used for other projects, for their family, but they literally have a hole in the ground. The first rule if you want to get out of a hole, is to stop digging,” he said.
The Ansatopoulo Law Firm is asking any Indigo Pool customers who want to take legal action to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indigo Pools LLC released the following statement Monday afternoon in response to the lawsuit:
As of today, we have not been served with a class action lawsuit. We were made aware just a few hours ago that this lawsuit has been announced. Leading up to this point, we had agreed to work with every single customer to address their concerns, and we are saddened to hear that customers feel they need to pursue litigation. We had a written plan in place which was communicated to every customer who had concerns with their project and were diligently working to address those concerns. The allegations that have been filed in the Complaint are not true and we are working to continue fulfilling all contracts. Customer satisfaction has been, and remains, of paramount importance to us.
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