WINDSOR, ONT. – A LaSalle pool company is closing forever and customers are wondering if they will ever get their pools or their money back.
LA Pools owner Dan Boow admits he had problems prior to the pandemic but blames COVID-19 for taking him out of business.
He says the pandemic took away the money he needed to pay his rent and that he was evicted. At least two customers say COVID-19 has nothing to do with the situation.
Two families paid thousands of dollars last year to have a pool set up by LA Pools.
The doors are now closed, the shop is closed and there is no sign of their pool or money.
“I want to cry every day, every time I come out it’s a reminder, every day that I was ripped off,” says Jennifer Pedro.
Pedro says she paid $ 4,200 last fall to build a pool this April.
“Excuse me after excuse, oh this and that and finally I asked him, ‘You know what just shows me proof that you ordered my pool,’ and then his story changed to have to contact another supplier. “
Pedro voiced her frustration on social media, noting that she was not alone.
“I feel like an idiot, it’s a little comforting to know that I’m not the only fool,” says Lisa Steed.
Lisa Steed paid $ 8,000 for a pool in May 2019 and said she has struggled with delays over the past year.
“At the end of August, he told me his plumber had broken his leg and that I should be the first by April this year,” says Steed.
April came and went with no pool and no refund. Steed went to the store and found it empty.
“I came back a little bit from my rent,” says Boow.
Boow admits that he owes his landlord five months’ rent and fell behind when the pool business slowed over the winter.
He says it won’t be able to open in March due to COVID-19.
Boow says he’s been a tenant for 19 years and previously missed rent, but his landlord has been flexible in the past.
“Unfortunately, that didn’t happen this year,” says Boow.
Landlord Anna Czernyu declined to be interviewed on camera, but told CTV News that she was too lenient with Boow as a tenant and had enough in March to evict him.
“Now I find out it’s all gone, apparently everything has been sold, my inventory is gone,” says Boow.
Boow admits he owes Steed and Pedro their money or their pool.
Neither will be easy to meet and they blame the pandemic.
“Many of the pools are only 40 percent full, so everything is safe,” says Boow.
Now that his business is closed and he has no income, Boow says he needs to try and get a bank loan.
“I feel bad for my clients, I really do, but I will take care of them,” says Boow. “It will only take time.”
Steed and Pedro are losing patience.
“I wanted to trust a small company, I wanted to trust a local company,” says Pedro.
Steed says she hired an attorney who sent a letter to LA Pools asking for compensation.
“Sell your house, sell your car, sell your stuff, whatever you have to do to get people to repay,” says Steed.
According to Steed, the attorney has also told her that the only legal recourse is a small claims court, whose battle could cost more than $ 8,000.