A Canterbury company remains under scrutiny after numerous customer complaints. They tell NBC Connecticut they paid for pools that were either never ordered or never installed.
A former Roy’s Pools employee says the company owes thousands of dollars not only to customers but also to suppliers.
“We thought what better way to spend the summers than with a pool,” said Meghan Millette from Canterbury.
Millette said her husband wrote Roy’s Pools a check for nearly $12,000 on Sept. 2. Her plan was to install the pool herself next to her house. It was something her two boys could enjoy for years. However, earlier this month, the manager of the store contacted her.
“I felt compelled to tell them, ‘Hey, look, I took your $11,000 check and now there’s no money to order your pool and all of a sudden the shop is closed,'” David Mowry said .
Her check cleared, but Millette said the pool dealer told her “they never received a dime for our order.”
Millette has reported on the situation on social media.
“To my surprise, I had dozens of people either commenting on the post or telling me personally that they were in the same boat that they had given Brian thousands of dollars,” Millette said.
When she read the answer, she got a queasy feeling.
“Our money was stolen. I mean what else could have happened to it?” said Millette.
“I don’t want to say the money was stolen, but it’s definitely mismanagement,” Mowry said.
Mowry is Brian Roy’s cousin. He said when Roy took over the long-running family business from his grandparents last year, it had a solid reputation. However, he said Roy was quickly overwhelmed by the demand for pandemic pools.
“So many pools were sold that we couldn’t keep up with the installations and the labor shortage,” Mowry said.
Not only does the company owe people their pools, but Mowry said it also owes money to several subcontractors and dealers.
Radiant Pools President confirmed that Roy’s Pools owes his company a “substantial” amount of money.
Mowry said business was always catching up. He said Roy hired young workers who were inexperienced and not properly licensed to install pools.
“With a lot of jobs, there was always some problem,” Mowry recalls.
Mowry said so many clients unhappy with the work disputed their credit card payments, causing the business to falter financially.
“There was no money to pay staff and no money to give money back to customers,” Mowry said. “There’s no money to pay those bills.”
Also, there’s no money to order pools for their new customers, some of whom told NBC Connecticut that Roy blamed the distributor for backorders. A spokesman for one of those distributors, Radiant Pools, told NBC Connecticut, “We were able to ship all customer orders. There is currently no backlog.”
Kevin Fontaine of Fontaine’s Pools, LLC said he agreed to help Roy with a pool project this year and he still owes him and his crew for the job.
“He seemed genuinely concerned, while at the same time he seemed concerned that I was still not getting my wages,” Fontaine said.
Fontaine said Roy told him on October 18 that he was on vacation and wouldn’t be back until the 22nd and that he would pay him then. On October 27, Fontaine said he still hadn’t received any money.
“It’s very unlikely the way things are going, but I’d like to think I’d get something from him,” he said.
Mowry confirmed he was in court with Roy on October 19. He said Roy’s wife served him a protective order. Meghan Millette also went to court on October 26. She said she was served the same order to stay 100 meters from Roy’s wife after posting on social media about her experience with the business. The judge dismissed both cases.
“I think there are so many people spending so much money that the likelihood that we’re going to see that money isn’t going to happen,” Millette said.
NBC Connecticut has reached out to Roy multiple times but has received no response.