Olympus Pools customers say dream backyards turned into expensive nightmares

Better Call Behnken

Company's permit activity jumped dramatically in 2020, but only a fraction of those jobs are complete

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A growing number of customers of Lutz-based Olympus Pools have turned to Better Call Behnken for help, fed up with unfinished pools and a lack of answers.

Some of the customers signed contracts and forked over tens of thousands of dollars more than a year ago.

“I spoke with the owner’s wife, Alexis, probably about two or three weeks ago and she went over some of the issues they were having and I felt like I believed her and trusted it was getting back on track, but the proof is somebody shows up and actually does my pool,” said Holly Taylor-Hanke, of Wesley Chapel.

Taylor-Hanke signed a contract in March 2020 and has just a shell of an unfinished pool and says no one has been to her house in a month. She says she hears promises and appointments are made but workers don’t show up.

She’s not alone. Customers in Hillsborough, Pasco and Manatee counties have turned to Investigator Shannon Behnken for help and voiced concerns on social media.

Better Call Behnken reached out to Olympus owners James and Alexis Staten but have not heard back after repeated phone calls. When we visited the office, we were told the owners were “busy.”

So what went wrong with a company that, until this year, had an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau?

Due to the large number of complaints, the BBB revoked the pool company’s accreditation.

Public records in Pasco and Hillsborough counties show the pandemic brought Olympus a lot of new business. Customers says being stuck at home made them want swimming pools.

In Pasco, Olympus pulled 183 permits in 2019. That jumped to 356 in 2020. In Hillsborough, permits went from 168 to 241. Only a fraction of those jobs are complete.

One of those customers is John Vanburen in Tampa. He hired Olympus nine months ago. He says workers don’t come back and left his yard an eyesore. Some of the work that has been done has failed inspections three times.

A spokesman for state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which oversees pool contractors, said they could neither confirm nor deny an investigation into the company but said the department wants to hear from anyone having an issue getting their pool completed.

You can file a complaint on the department’s website. You can also file a complaint with AG Moody’s office online.

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