NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 I-TEAM) – A burleson woman named Consumer Justice after she said a local pool builder took her money and dug a hole but never quit the job. At this point we found several customers with similar complaints.
Kandy McCorkle was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis four years ago. She says the disease was severe and came on quickly. “I took 13 medications … I struggled to only hold cutlery with my meal.” Her doctors suggested that she should swim to maintain and improve her mobility. McCorkle said she did her homework and set up meetings with five contractors for bids before settling on Pool Country Designs. “He said, ‘I’ll let you swim in less than four weeks.’ ”
McCorkle signed a contract with Bob Pickens, the owner, in March 2017. According to her, the problems started immediately. “I think he said he would be here 21 times and he never showed up,” said McCorkle. “Every time I called him, he made me cry. It was horrible. “She says when he showed up, all the damage to her property made up for the little work.” He’s damaged our fence, our yard, our concrete, our furniture, our house. “Then he just stopped To return calls and texts. McCorkle says she hired a lawyer to send Pickens a letter of inquiry and he said, ‘I’m not giving them any [blank] Dime.’ ”
McCorkle had paid Pickens $ 10,000 and was hooked for another $ 9,000 her finance company had given him. She wondered if other customers were having the same problems, so McCorkle looked up the permits recently filed by Pickens and drove to one of his jobs in Dallas. “My husband said ‘we work with Pool Country,'” said McCorkle, “and then Bo just let it all out.”
It turned out that Bo McNurlen had the same problem with Pickens. He hired him in December 2016 and says it took Pickens six months to dig the hole for the pool. “After nine months he finally said, ‘You have to be patient,” said McNurlen. Then he dismissed Pickens after paying him $ 21,000. “[Pickens] Tells a great story, I mean if you listened to him you’d buy a used car from him, ”McNurlen said. “He’s that good.”
Consumer Justice has found approvals for seven positions submitted by Pickens over the past five years. Five of those customers said they paid him, he dug a hole and left. The other two said Pickens’ work was solid but slow. Pickens told us he usually builds four pools a year and has been in the business for 45 years with few complaints. Pool Country Design has been rated A + by the Better Business Bureau.
“I don’t like that she’s upset about it, I don’t like it at all,” Pickens said, referring to McCorkle. “But we had a conflict of personalities.”
Pickens says McCorkle was “too involved” from the start and told us, “Kandy likes to cry. I’m sorry I’m so tough.” He also blamed the weather for his delays. “We didn’t dig their hole anymore when a huge rain happened.” He says rain caused problems on McNurlen’s property too, and McNurlen’s request for a redesign has slowed things down. “I did more for Bo than I needed,” said Pickens. “I had parts of my contract where I could have said, ‘Stop it, you owe me more money. ‘”
But Pickens seemed to contradict himself when talking about a project’s timeline. He once said his goal for McCorkle’s pool was four to six weeks and said, “We’ll tell everyone that.” But here’s what he said a few minutes later:
Pickens: I’d like to do them all in four to six weeks.
Cristin: But you don’t tell people that?
Pickens: No, I don’t tell people that!
Cristin: I think you told me a few minutes ago that you would tell it every four to six weeks.
Pickens: I told you if I could, I would do it during this time, and if you want to record it, go ahead. I told you that.
A Dallas couple sued Pickens in 2013 after paying a $ 10,000 down payment, digging a hole, and not quitting the job. A judge was on the couple’s side; Pickens makes payments for billing.
Pickens says he wants to be fast, but quality takes time. “Put it this way, who is more famous: the turtle or the rabbit?”
McCorkle filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s office. She also contacted the Tarrant County sheriff’s office and learned it was a civil matter. McNurlen says he called the Dallas Police Department, attorney general, and the home advisor that Pickens advertises with.
Consumer Justice also noted issues with Pool Country Design’s right to do business in Texas. The State Comptroller’s office says the company owes franchise taxes in 2014, which means Pool Country Design cannot legally operate in Texas.
The Texas Foreign Minister’s spokesman said in an email:
“Pool County Design LLC is an inactive company that went out of business in 2015. This means that the company’s right to do business in Texas has been forfeited by the comptroller’s office. According to the Comptroller’s Office, the Comptroller is legally required to forfeit a company’s right to do business in Texas if the company has not filed a franchise tax report or has not paid a Chapter 171 franchise tax. “
Pickens told us he had no comment on his franchise tax.
For a small fee, you can look up companies on the Foreign Minister’s website. The search results show basic information about a company, including filings and some tax information.
Experts recommend getting reviews from a pool company’s recent customers and checking with the BBB before signing any contracts.