The swimming pool duel: Family disputes contractor over new pool

The swimming pool duel: Family disputes contractor over new pool

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by BILL MCGINTY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 3:12 PM

LOCUST, N.C. -- Chris Hartsell is tired and is wife, Bridgette, is mad.

“We are not giving him any more money,” says Bridgette, who is hot about her almost new pool. 

The Hartsells say they hired Southern Comfort Pools to build the pool kit they bought.  The agreed price was $4,400 for labor. The Hartsell’s paid half up front, but now say they were left high and dry and had to do most of the work themselves, including a lot of the digging.

“We’re in the final stages of building it.  I’m just trying to get my money back,” said Chris.

“My abs hurt, my arms hurt and my legs hurt,” added Bridgette.

The invoice the Hartsells were given says “complete install…including excavation,” but Southern Comfort told NBC Charlotte that digging the pool wasn’t supposed to be part of the agreed price and that listing it on the invoice was a mistake.

Chris and Bridgett say they and some friends have done most of the work themselves and they want their $2,200 back.

But the pool contractor says the Hartsells are difficult clients and that they owe him money for materials, something the Hartsells dispute.

So now what? How do you resolve such a tense client-contractor relationship?

“Where they went wrong is the fact that neither side created a contract, so when it comes to a dispute, nothing is in writing and that is when conflict can arise,” said Janet Hart with the Better Business Bureau.

Without a written contract, both sides can claim a win or dispute a loss, as this pool duel seems to be headed for the deep end of the courtroom.

The owner of the pool company, David Ledger,  told NBC Charlotte that he didn’t do anything wrong and that he did show up for work and has plenty of satisfied customers. This case will likely be resolved in small claims court as both sides say they plan to sue each other.

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