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Riviera Pools of Tampa Reviews
In October 2012 my wife and I (both of us are swimmers) started looking into hiring a pool builder to build a rather large pool in our backyard. Upon contacting a few builders in the Tampa bay area, we were surprised that the majority of them did not want to build a pool this size (75'x20'). Among the ones that responded positively was Riviera Pools of Tampa, Florida.
We were contacted by different sales men from 3 pool builders and agreed for them to come to our house in Saint Petersburg. Upon talking to them we asked that they provide us with a design that would meet our requests to make it a pool that meets international standards as far as dimensions of length of the pool, placement of lane tile, width of wall target, depth of wall target and backstroke flag placement.
Tom Weis of Riviera Pools provided us with a design that looked favorable to and we decided to hire Riviera Pools to build our pool.
After going over a few more details of plaster color, deco tile, paver collection and equipment choices, we agreed on a final purchase price of slightly more than $60,000. In November 2012 my wife and I met Tom Weiss at their corporate office in Tampa to sign the contract and make a downpayment. Construction was set to begin January 2, 2013.
The first crew started on time in January and started digging the hole for the pool. Crew was friendly and worked efficiently. Next came guy who did rebar, also nice guy working efficiently. Work went on with plumbing and electric, all sub contractors of Riviera Pools.
There were weeks in between were no work was done due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Then came the tile crew, employees of Riviera Pools, who installed black lane tile on bottom of the pool and the wall targets. We gave the builder specific measurements in metric numbers (which Tom Weiss was unable to convert and I had to do it for him) for all tilework to be performed and we paid $1200 for that tile to be installed.
A few days later another subcontractor came and shot the aggregate to put the final touch on the interior pool structure. A day later, on April 1, 2013 the pool was filled with water, which took 3 days (40,000 gallons) costing $800. I need to mention that despite me giving the pool builders specifics, they failed to ensure that any of the measurements were actually complied with. In reality, there was not one time were someone from the pool company came out to check on quality of their product.
After the pool was filled, we were eager to get our first workouts in. It took no more than two laps that we noticed the wall target on one wall was 6 inches higher that the one on the other wall. In addition, the bottom lane tile had a cracked tile and was installed uneven. Again, had someone come out to check on something we specifically requested in the workorder, we wouldn't be where we are today.
Additionally, we ordered a specific model automatic pool vacuum and were sent the cheaper version. Had I not noticed it, it would have gone unnoticed in their books. Also part of the workorder was a pool cover with stainless steel hardware. That hardware has rusted beyond useability. I contacted the manufacturer who sent new hardware to replace the rusted hardware. That hardware was just as useless and now the pool cover can not even be rolled anymore and requires three people to carry it.
In August of 2013 Solar Solutions of Tampa (also a sub contractor of Riviera Pools) came to install the 14 solar panels at 12 feet long/each on the roof of our house. We paid roughly $8000 for the solar system to Riviera Pools, therefore making them responsible for any problems with the solar panels.
I notified the pool company of the issues with the tile and they came out to look at it and we agreed that they fix the problem and Riviera Pools agreed to cover all costs incl the refill of the pool ($800). The repair resulted in both wall targets to be bulky and loose the measurement requirement I set in the workorder. However, there was no other alternative and I told the site manager that they can go ahead and fix it. I raised concern that the fix will look like a repair on a brand new pool and was assured that I wouldn't able to tell.
Well, that was a huge mistake. Unfortunately at that point we have paid all moneys ($61,500) in cash to Rivera Pools and they had absolutely no incentive to fix what they messed up. I even told the tile guy that I do not want him to fix anything if it would look like a fix, however, he proceeded anyways and the repair was horrifying.
The pool was filled without any inspection by site manager.
After taking a first dip in the pool after refill, I was shocked to find that tile was aligned unevenly, with lippage between tile that actually caused a cut in my foot while doing a turn. The grout line varies from 1mm to 3mm over a 12 inch tile line (which is huge). The bottom lane tile was repaired and the tile guy forgot to grout in 14 areas over a 20 foot linear length.
Again, I called RP and they sent the same tile guy to fix the grout. The repair resulted in white grout on a different color pool surface in more than 20 areas.
I requested the Owner to meet with me at my house to point out the issues. He came out and was unreceptive and claimed that they did the best they could and they will not continue to fix the poor workmanship they created and that I am free to take them to arbitration.
In June of 2014 I had to do some roof repairs and found that 8 of the 14 solar panels were not 12 feet long, rather they were only 8 feet in length. Had Riviera Pools done their checks after sub contractors do their work, they would have caught the mistakes.
Now, a year later we hired a lawyer to fight the fact that we actually have to pay the cost of arbitration (which is not specified in the contract). After meeting in court presenting the issue to a judge, the judge sided with RP and said that we have to go through arbitration to resolve the issues. Which is fine, we certainly were capable to read the contract and ask questions about it. However, what really made us go to court was the fact that Tom Weiss, the sales man who sold us the pool wrote us an email where he took the following position after not even having seen any of the issues in person: