For many Fox San Antonio viewers, the pandemic has made them rethink how they live, and in some cases make decisions to enjoy life in ways they'd only dreamed of before COVID.
One local couple decided to dip into their savings to splurge on a backyard pool.
18-months later, they reached out to Fox San Antonio's Problem Solver Darian Trotter, frustrated about countless delays.
After months of searching....
Rick and Laurelle Pearson settled in New Braunfels and found the home of their dreams.
"I think it was this window it was just breath-taking,” said Laurelle.
The only thing missing was a backyard pool. So, they dipped into their retirement savings to spring for a backyard oasis.
Their vision includes a pool with a hot tub and fountain.
"A spa area where we could go out and just relax and the grand-kids could come and have a good time,” said Laurelle.
In January of 2021 they signed a contract, and paid the first $16,800 installment to Trevesco Construction & Pools.
"Nothing happened until July," said Laurelle.
Six months after the initial payment, crews with Trevesco dug the hole for the pool.
"And then nothing," said Laurelle.
And this is what Laurelle says it looked like for months.
"A hot mess,” said Laurelle. “There's mud everywhere, there's dirt everywhere."
From here, she described many more months of delays.
"There was always an excuse," Laurelle said.
They called the Problem Solvers nearly 18-months into the project.
They were frustrated, because they'd made another $16,800 payment. It was the second of three installments; but they say not much else had been done.
"I told him, I feel like you're taking advantage of us," said Laurelle.
Laurelle says the pool had just been placed in the ground days before we arrived.
The Pearsons were able to fill it with water.
"I have a pool that I have to maintain, but I can't use," said Rick Pearson.
The Pearsons had made the third and final payment. Now $50,400 out of pocket, but the project wasn't complete.
Rick said, "It's frustrating and it hurts."
Laurelle said, "I started doubting myself, I started wondering if we made a mistake."
Rick said, "There isn't anything I can do but keep texting him and asking what's going on, where we are."
We reached out to Trevesco's owner Frank Trevino.
By phone he explained the area's heavy rain which caused delays preparing the soil and digging the hole.
Trevino said COVID outbreaks caused staffing problems, and supply chain issues due to the pandemic delayed parts.
"There was no communication,” said Vilma Garza. “Two, three, four, weeks would go by."
fox san antonio caught up with several trevesco customers who say their pools were also delayed -- for the same reasons.
"They'd work a day or two and then it would be a month before they came back,” said Melodye Pieniazek and Bernie Atkins.
Chasta Mendoza called her experience, "A nightmare, a total nightmare."
Chasta mendiola says she had to pay another company $8,000 to finish her pool, after she'd already forked out $47,000 to Frank Trevino and Trevesco.
"He abandoned the project,” Mendoza said. “I never heard from him again."
We tried for several months, starting in June, but were unable to get Frank Trevino to do an on-camera interview.
In July, he was on a vacation cruise.
Two weeks later, he texted that he couldn't meet because he was in Houston picking up pools.
But in August, he didn't respond to a series of texts. Weeks later he sent these photos; saying the Pearson’s pool had been completed and therefore asked why an interview would be necessary.
But when we checked, the Pearsons said their pool still hadn't been finished.
Trevesco Construction & Pools has a C-plus rating with the Better Business Bureau, and is not accredited.
Customers have rated the company 1 out of 5 stars, leaving unfavorable reviews.
One customer writes, "Worst pool builder, beware."
We spoke to 10 customers about their experience with Trevesco.
Five of them agreed to meet us at the Pearson's home; each sharing similar frustrations.
"Looking back i would never do this again,” Laurelle said.
We tried several more times without success to get owner Frank Trevino's interview.
After we got involved, there was significant progress with the Pearson’s pool.
When we first met up with them back in June, the pool was in place, but unfinished.
Now, five months later, the pool, hot tub, and fountain are complete.
So are the concrete and landscaping around it.
"I think you have made a huge difference,” Laurelle said.
Nearly two years later, the Pearsons have their pool.
I’m Fox San Antonio's Problem Solver Darian Trotter.
If you’ve had a bad experience with a contractor you can take action. You can file a complaint with the Texas Attorney General’s Office. You can also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau to help prevent others from having the same experience.