Contractor Problems Spoil East Texans' Pool Plans

The first sign the Reese family was having trouble with their pool contractor came two months ago.
   "When the phone was disconnected and my wife went over there and she said there were weeds growing up and there's nobody there," Kirk Reese says, "We didn't know if he was going to claim bankruptcy or if he had skipped the country or what."

Their contractor, Mega Pools, was unavailable. The owner, Mike Griffin, also had a disconnected phone number. The Reese family had already paid over thirty thousand dollars to Mega Pools, but all Brigette Reese says they got for their money was, "A big unfinished pond with green water."

All that was left of Mega Pools was a yard sign, which Kirk estimates cost him about seventeen thousand dollars. Another family, the Lowrances, still has a pool better suited for mosquitos and skate boarders than for swimmers. They also will have to pay someone else to finish the job.

The Reese's did finish their pool at great expense, but the summer they wanted for their two kids just wasn't to be. Brigette explains, "They had no summer to swim. We just got it filled two weeks ago from the second company that we signed a contract with and took another loan out."

The memory of this summer will endure, as will the extra payments. "The first loan that we took out in April, we will pay on that for ten years," Brigette says. "The second loan we took out to finish paying money on nothing.

   At least five homeowners have complained about Mega Pools to the Better Business Bureau. Company owner Mike Griffin has filed for chapter seven bankruptcy. Now, a Smith County Grand Jury will be asked to review these cases for possible criminal charges.