...and frustration ensued.
I decided to have them close my pool one last time -- I'll be handling the opening and closing from now on. When I called to schedule the closing, they advised they'd bring some shock and algaecide to throw in immediately prior to closing. I told them not to worry about the shock, I'll handle that.
I also asked them what type of algaecide they'd be using. The gal (who I've known forever...small towns and whatnot) seemed quite put out that I asked what was in it and that I specified a polyquat. "I'm not even sure what's in it, <sigh> let me go pull it off the shelf so I can tell you."
After reading around here about the best way to implement polyquat for closing, I decided to stop in yesterday and pick up a bottle so I could dump it in a night or 2 before they came to close the pool. They also asked for a water sample prior to closing, otherwise they won't "guarantee" (not actually a guarantee...) everything will be right come spring. I told them that wouldn't be a problem, but that they probably wouldn't be happy with what they saw, so it wouldn't matter much anyway.
Then they remembered I've been chlorinating with liquid chlorine. "I'm sure your total alkalinity is too low. That's going to mess up your plaster. Get ready for a new plaster job next summer. And the fact that you haven't been using a stabilized chlorine means you're losing it all to the sunlight, so you're just wasting money. Your pool is going to catch fire and burn a hole straight through the Earth's crust and suck your entire neighborhood into it!!"
(Okay, so I added that last part...but that was the gist).
I told them I've kept my CYA at 40 and have been slowly reducing my TA to about 60 keep my pH from rising too quickly, and that I'd kept a close eye on my CSI, and everything has been good all summer. They looked astounded that I even knew what CSI was. Then back to the song and dance about non-stabilized "products," no telling what my pool water looks like, blah blah blah.
I was very tempted to tell them not to worry about closing the pool, but the husband (who had not participated in this discussion, and actually doesn't disagree with my/our methods...) is the one who does the closing and is, honestly, a great guy to do business with.
Long story short: I went in to buy polyquat and I left with polyquat, but only after a tongue lashing which left me scratching my head.
Do they really believe all this stuff, or is it just a drug-dealer-style scare tactic to try and get people back on their dope?