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Pool company taking heat from customers unhappy with results

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DENHAM SPRINGS - Backyards are turning into nightmares instead of the oasis homeowners thought they were getting with a pool. Fed up and needing help, they called 2 On Your Side.

Recently, 2 On Your Side has heard from a handful of people regarding the same person and pool company. They say they spent a lot of money, and the work done doesn't reflect their investments.

During the pandemic, Brian Bercegeay and his wife decided to build a pool in the backyard.

"It was something to look forward to at that time, but not now," Bercegeay said.

While doing research, the family decided they wanted a fiberglass leisure pool. But instead of being able to enjoy his new piece of paradise, Bercegeay says he's spending time frustrated about what happened and how it's all played out.

"Leisure's install rep for them was Jeff Albarez and his pool company La Belle Piscine," Bercegeay said.

They entered into a contract with the installer a year ago, but soon after the project started there were red flags.

"Small things started popping up at the beginning of this year," he said.

Those small things include features that never worked in the first place. The jets in the hot tub have never been able to turn on. A water feature stopped working soon after installation. And the pool lights are non-functioning. The pool also has pump and heater issues. The concrete around the pool is not finished and is different colors. The French drains lead to nowhere, and the sump pump runs all day, every day to pump out water.

"We've been pumping it out to keep the concrete and the pool from popping up, causing pressure and cracking the shell," he said.

Cracks in the concrete have already appeared and part of the pool is dipping. Bercegeay suspects it's because the pool's foundation was set improperly using only sand.

Soon after the project wrapped, Bercegeay said he paid $75,000. Then communication between him and Albarez was spotty and all but stopped.

"We couldn't get anyone over here, and he slowly started phasing us out as far as communication," said Bercegeay.

It did not take long for them to find others having similar problems with the same company. Some of those customers also spoke with 2 On Your Side.

One customer says her pool was installed an inch too high, messing up the drainage and causing the concrete to crumble. Other customers had the same complaint about unlevel areas of concrete. The concrete was ripped up but never reinstalled. The pool is now sitting in a mess of mud.

"I wouldn't recommend... recommend him at all," Bercegeay said.

That's because he is now stuck hiring third parties to fix the work he already paid to have done, spending even more money to make things right.

Monday, 2 On Your Side called Albarez's cell phone, and a woman answered. Brittany Weiss was told that Albarez was out of the office but would call back. The call has not been returned as of Monday evening.


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