my experience (rant) about the Pool Service guy


In The Industry
Jun 11, 2010
Vernon BC
ok, so you know i am 'in the industry' for 6 months so far, pool owner for 6 years and hot tub for 10. First year where taking care of my pool and hot tub have truly been trouble free and quite honestly boring. I learn quickly and thoroughly, and have obtained a great deal of knowledge about water chemistry thanks to this site and some of its contributors.

The store i work at sub contracts out some of its repair work to a guy who has, or claims to have been, in the industry for 15 years, he is barely 30 years old.......

Customer comes into the store and asks for stabilizer for her pool. Its close to closing time for pools around here, about a month left, if that, not a time to be adding stabilizer. I ask her some questions and find out that her pool has algae and that her pool guy said to come in and get some stabilizer because her pool is just "burning through the chlorine". I tell her that if she has algae and no stabilzer she should be super chlorinating with this, i grab a bucket of stabilized cholrine. I ask her who her pool guy is and it is the same 'know it all' who services some of our tubs. I have asked him a few questions about water chemistry trying to discover his true knowledge on the subject, and it is very poor. He had never even heard of a DE pool filter....

I ask her if he had tested her water to determine if she was in fact low on stabilizer, she said no. I attempt to explain to her exactly what she needed and she told me that she doesnt want that and is just going to get him to shut her pool down. Well then its, 'before you shut your pool down you still need to clear up your water ma'am, so this is still the best product for you', her reply is that he drains her pool entirely. Its 20x40, stepped on both ends 3, 4, 5 foot deep end in the middle. ALOT of water.

Needless to say she leaves, quite angry. i would be too. she pays someone so that this doesnt happen and yet here she is....

pool guy calls me up and is ****** its the classic he said she said. there was some doubt instilled into her mind about how knowledgeable he truly is, and she told him i directly said that. i would never, i did not have too, it was implied. and rightfully so.

I attempted to explain to him exactly what she needed but he would not listen. Kept on yelling and was getting very rude, emotion gets high and intelligence gets low, i know this and keep my cool on 90% of these conversations. He flat out told me that he did not have to listen to which point i handed the phone over to one of the owners of the store who was there the whole time and asked if he wanted to speak to him, nope, i hung up.

how frickin retarded is that?
algae in a pool and he sends the lady for stabilizer???? I even asked him if it was salt water and no it isnt.
Drains the pool entirely?? its a vinyl liner.....thats alot of water.

Man i feel some of your guys pain dealing with ignorant know it all pool guys.

I refuse to perpetuate his ignorance. I also refuse to educate him, he wont listen anyways.

the owner wanted me to call him and 'fix this', i told him no way, you call him we can all sit down face to face and avoid the he said, she said and deal with it.

I really hope that behind what i think is shear ignorance is actually some very strange form of shear brilliance......because if he truly is this stupid..omfg we need to stop using him.

rant over. please comment if you read this.


Well-known member
Oct 18, 2007
Cedar Hill, TN
Why is the "Pool Repair Guy" in the "Poll water maintanance"?
This is reflecting badly on the store, since they are recomendim him to the customer.
The store needs to find somebody else to do the water maintanance duties!!!

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
SouthWest Alabama
I understand that where you're located pool guys may not be as plentiful as they are around here but the store really needs to find a new guy. I feel your pain.


LifeTime Supporter
Apr 24, 2010
Austin, TX
Ouch, ignorance is frustrating. My new pool comes with 4 weeks of weekly maintenance. They are quite knowledgeable and understand the CYA-chlorine thing, but still do the pucks, shock weekly, DE backwash to control CYA. And they leave notes every time to let me know what they added and they haven't done anything too stupid. If these guys acted like your guy, I'd tell them to forget complimentary service.

Honestly, I think most people just don't understand the science behind the water - even though it is very basic and straightforward chemistry, so they end up with faith-based pool chemistry. Meaning they just do what they are told and need faith in the person that is instructing them. Of course, you have a lot of these "instructors" that don't understand or know about the science and chemistry of water so they operate on what they believe to be true based on what they have been told in the past. Those of us lucky enough to either know about chemistry or understand that at least someone out there knows the science behind the water don't need faith, we just operate on facts, i.e. chlorine is essential in a pool, if chlorine is low then add it, if your CYA is too high then drain it, if pH is too high or low then bad things happen to your pool and equipment because of a whole host of chemical reactions.

Thanks to this site, people don't need to have faith, just someone to explain the chemistry and how to correct it.

Pool Clown

In The Industry
Sep 5, 2008
Silicon Valley, CA
Canuck, If that guy had no association with your pool store, you could pretty much slam him in front of your customer if you want. But when your store refers him, or you are subbing him out, you need to be careful about what you say in front of the customer about him. Because in a way, he is a represenitive of your company (you're trusting him to perform work in the name of your company, when he is subbed out). Even if he don't know his back side from his elbow. :hammer:

When something like this happens, it's better, (from a business standpoint) to listen to the customer, and tell them that you will get together with your sub, and see what the best course of action will be. Not to say: yea, your right, he is not doing it right. At this point, the customer not only doesn't know who is right, but now thinks you two are trying to dis credit each other. Which is no good for business. You should pull that guy aside (privately) and talk to him about the job and how he is doing it. Not tell the customer he doesn't know what he is doing (you must know at this point, that the customer will be calling him) and your going to get the shrapnel from him (like you did).

You didn't do anything wrong, there are just better ways to get the same thing accomplished without the confrontation, and headache!

Note: I just re read your post and it sounded like maybe you didn't at first know that this guy was taking care of the pool. When a customer is starting to tell me about a pool service, my first question to them is to ask who is taking care of the pool (in some cases, my question is "did we do the service on this pool?", before i offer any opinion. That keeps my foot out of my mouth.


In The Industry
Jun 11, 2010
Vernon BC
no i didnt know it was our sub who was taking care of the pool at first and in hindsight i should have just sold her the stuff and talked to him afterwards, the problem is that he instantly discredits me because of his years of experience and dismisses my suggestions.....

anyways we do need him as our store is not yet large enough and i have not yet learned enough to have a full time service guy. We have a meeting between himself, me and the owner of the store which will be very interesting, the owner has complete faith in my knowledge of water chemistry and basic pool equipment maintenance.

The only thing I feel badly about is actually hanging up on him, i usually only hang up on my wife....


In The Industry
Jun 11, 2010
Vernon BC
oh and thanks for your comments, much appreciated, i truly wanted some opinions and to learn from this as much as i could.

Mission accomplished with all of your guys/gals help.
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