KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A family in South Knoxville had planned to swim in their new backyard pool this summer, but the pool was never installed and the company hired to do the work left the job undone, blaming the customer.
The family decided just before school ended to skip the family vacation and spend the money on a backyard pool. Everything started out okay in June, but it ended badly within days.
Heather Ali's four children have never taken a dip in their pool this summer although preparations for it began in early June when sand was delivered and spread out. She and her husband bought the 15 by 24 foot above-ground pool separately.
The contractor hired to install the pool and hook up the electricity started the job, but never finished it.
"They laid down the sand, came back three days later, set up the frame here, and they never came back," said Heather Ali.
Expecting the construction to take about a week to complete, Heather Ali and her husband hired M&L Pool Services on June 6 .A receipt shows M&L Pool Services owners Larry and Melissa Cutshaw were paid $750, half of the total bill.
Some framing was laid outlining the pool and supports were installed by M&L. Heather Ali said Larry Cutshaw went with her as she paid for the city building permit.
"He hasn't shown up, I haven't seen him since we picked up our permit," she said. "I gave him the opportunity, I said if it is too big of a job, if you don't have the help, if you need help, let us know. We can work something out."
Without a pool, the Ali children are having a dry summer.
"We typically take a summer vacation, but unanimously we decided we wanted to have a swimming pool in the backyard," said Sarah Ali.
"It's a disaster. Unfortunate. I was wanting to be swimming by this time of the summer," said Justin Ali.
WATE 6 On Your Side called and left a message with Melissa Cutshaw of M&L Pools. She called back and said, "We'll let a judge to take care of the issue." She said "Issues started when the homeowner," Heather Ali, "tried to get us to work without a permit." Cutshaw said they "were harassed" by her.
"We understand what you (WATE 6 On Your Side) are doing your job and respect that, but the consumer is not always right," Cutshaw went on to say.
In a response to the Better Business Bureau, Larry Cutshaw said, "This is the first complaint we've ever had. We have numerous referrals and happy loyal customers. We take pride in our work and take our job seriously."
The Alis hired a second contractor and paid $1,000 to get their pool ready.
"Luckily we found Blue Dream Pools. Mario and his team have come out and got our pool set up for us. They're a great company," said Heather Ali.
Once the liner is installed and the pool filled with water, the family hopes to be swimming soon.
The owners of M&L Pool Service maintain they did nothing wrong. The Cutshaws claim Heather Ali "slandered" their business by making what the Cutshaws said were "false statements" on Facebook. Ali said her comments were true and all she wanted was the pool installed.
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