Tuesday, December 26, 2006

legal logjam

No progress with the pool - logjammed with legals. The pool company we used has built 128 pools this year. 100 too many according to an old hand in the industry. P. - md of the pool company - is still on the tools and still making every decision. For the size of the company there's no managment structure that I can see. Just a few girls in the office and a never answered mobile I'm sure remaining on the tools makes him a hero with his trades but it doesn't get pools built properly. Building management takes time and trouble and effort and desire - as I'm learning in my business group. Most businesses bloom and then crumble.

Friday, December 15, 2006


We'll our pool problem is now in the hands of our solictors. Nasty. We just couldn't get Peter to return our calls. Then he rang up twice in rapid succession - attack me, then hung up and then repeated the process.

One thing has struck me about this is that there is a characteristic, not necessarily typical but characteristic, tradesman's/workingman's outlook with complaints. The belief is that: "because I am working hard I am justfied in being rude and unresponsive." Hard work justifies all. And it doesn't mean they are working hard on your behalf. They're just working hard (presumeably on their own behalf) It is the protestant work ethic in this country gone screwy.

A truck driver was blocking the street. I suggested (very pleasantly) that he move on just a few feet, (a mean maybe two or three feet) and then the cars behind could turn the corner but "CAN'T YOU SEE I'M WORKING! I'M DOING A JOB.**%$## OFF."

Monday, December 11, 2006

third entry 5;40 Tuesday 11 Dec

I rang Peter several times today and always ended up on his message bank. Maryann rang the office and spoke to Julie who said that Peter was due in the office at 3:00 and would ring then. Maryann followed up with a confirming email (a good strategy we've learnt or there's no record of it) and she received an emailed reply that Peter said he would ring this afternoon. A small but typical shift that I interpret to mean that I will not receive a call at all. It is now 5:37 pm and there's been no call.

I just spoke to Harry the salesman who said he's been trying to ring Peter all day on our behalf.

Second entry

What I should have added to my last post that the contract said that when the excavation started in May the work would be completed in May. The contract was a standard SPASA contract and when we queried Harry the salesman on it he said it wasn't the pool companies that delayed but the owners. I would now recommend against signing any building contract without penalty clauses as given the shoot-from-the-hip style of the industry you have no leverage unless there is a penalty, and you will need some way of persuading your pool builder to comply.

First entry

I'll keep this all fairly anonymous at the moment and I'll stick to the minimal facts:
We started construction of our pool with the excavation in May and now in December it is still not finished.
The wrong tiling was delivered.
The tiling work had to be redone because it was not up to standard.
The self-cleaning system was sealed in so it wasn't functional.
The pump failed.
And most importantly the pipes leak.
The pool builder is not returning my calls or responding to my emails, but in fact this is typical of our experience throughout the project.