Ohio pool company agrees to change business practices

Nick Rees Mar. 17, 2010, 3:00pm


NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - Following an investigation, an Ohio-based pool construction company will pay $180,000 and change its business practices, New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow has announced.

Anthony & Sylvan Pools agreed under terms of a settlement to ensure that all subcontractors used by the company for the performance of any home improvement will be registered with the state as required by the Contractors' Registration Act and Contractor Registration Regulations.

"Our law protecting consumers who hire contractors is clear, those who perform home improvement projects must be registered with the state," Dow said. "The contractor hired by a consumer must ensure that any subcontractors who will work on the project are registered."

Additionally, the company agreed to refer all consumer complaints filed over the next year with the Division of Consumer Affairs to binding arbitration if the complaint cannot be resolved with the consumer. Approximately 40 consumer complaints filed against the company with the Division have been resolved.

Fifty-six consumer complaints were received by the Division about pool contractors in 2008 and 30 complaints were received in 2009.

Under terms of the settlement, Anthony & Sylvan has agreed to no longer require consumers make final payments on a home improvement contract before the work is completed and to continue to include in home improvement contracts all applicable warranties and guarantees.

The company will also continue to train all company representatives to ensure that all representations made about products and materials are accurate and to include in its home improvement contracts the dates or time period on or within which the work is to begin and be completed.

Anthony & Sylvan has also agreed to provide consumers with timely written notice of any reasons beyond its control for any delay in the performance of a home improvement contract.

Anthony & Sylvan did not admit any liability under the Consumer Fraud Act, the Contractors' Registration Act and related regulations in entering into the settlement.

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