48 Investigates: Madison County residents claim pool company left projects unfinished

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 5:47 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Multiple customers claimed a local pool company didn’t build their pools correctly, only did part of the work, and disappeared without giving them the rest of their supplies. They say they were left paying thousands more to fix the pools.

WAFF 48 investigated these claims.

Some of the allegations listed in a lawsuit against Trendsetter Pools owner Laura Hyde and her husband are:

  • abandoning the worksite
  • failing to respond
  • leaving pools that were unusable

Madison County resident Cynthia Doran is suing Hyde for not only a breach of contract but also for fraud and misrepresentation.

Over $20,000 dollars later, Doran said she is left with a mess.

“To fix our pool we will spend double the amount of money to fix our pool,” Doran said.

A look at Cynthia Doran's pool
A look at Cynthia Doran's pool(Cynthia Doran)
Another look at Cynthia Doran's pool
Another look at Cynthia Doran's pool(Cynthia Doran)

Doran alleges her husband initially asked Hyde to re-do the pool after noticing something wasn’t right.

“The electrical requires a permit,” Doran said. “An electrical permit. The electrician pulled the permit and he did it this first time. They took the pool down they put the pool back up and did the electrical themselves.”

Doran said after so many issues she asked Hyde to have her pool representative come out. That’s when Doran said Hyde stopped showing up.

Doran isn’t the only one suing Hyde. So is Amy Bergeson who alleges fraud and theft in her lawsuit.

Complaint filed by Amy Bergeson
Complaint filed by Amy Bergeson(Amy Bergeson)

On May 18, 2021, she was awarded a default judgment of $20,000.

“They took our home and put a picture of our pool in the backyard and all the things they could do,” Bergeson said.

Bergeson said Hyde promised her a dream pool for a price that couldn’t be beat. She said she got something else entirely.

The state of Amy Bergeson's pool
The state of Amy Bergeson's pool(Amy Bergeson)

“A giant hole in the ground, walls and a lot of water and mud.” Bergeson said. “We paid for material and our pump and things were delivered. We paid for a liner, a trim rod, paid for a sundeck that never got ordered and she bought miscellaneous walls and said she could build it off that because of Covid it wasn’t available.”

Bergeson said she never got a number of items worth over $7,000.

“She would tell us I’m filing bankruptcy so I’m putting it there or say I am going to write you a check I just have to wait for my reimbursement,” she said.

Money Bergeson claims that never came.

Another customer Katherine Schoenfelder said she was also given excuse after excuse.

Katherine Schoenfelder's pool
Katherine Schoenfelder's pool(Katherine Schoenfelder)

“She said the things were backed up because of Covid and over the course of the fall we gave her another $37,000 because she said she needed to order this and that,” Schoenfelder said. “During that time we got a call from the person who referred her and said please tell me you did not give her that money. She has not done anything she had said she was going to do.”

Belinda McCormick with the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama said they’ve looked into the company themselves.

“I have not been able to confirm a license, I tried a couple of different names,” McCormick said. “The company name, her name, an employee’s name, and at this time we have not been able to verify a state license with the Alabama General Contractors Board.”

Work site of Amy Bergeson's pool
Work site of Amy Bergeson's pool(Amy Bergeson)

WAFF 48 reached out to Hyde to hear her side of the story and set up an interview with her.

This is when Hyde emailed our News Manager letting us know she planned to sue us over the story. Before our scheduled interview time, WAFF 48 got an email claiming the owner of the pool company was in a Florida hospital after a medical emergency. The name of the person who allegedly sent the email was Meghan, but that email came from Hyde’s email address.

Nevertheless, we kept our interview time.

The person who joined our virtual meeting said she was Meghan, but wouldn’t turn their webcam on. Meghan said she had the pool company’s files on the customers who had complained.

“I am distraught I would like to start with the customer names,” Meghan said. “I have all the files here if you want them.”

WAFF 48 asked the person on the video chat about each customer complaint starting with Doran.

“That’s why Laura sells the pools and doesn’t do the contracting work and they knew that,” Meghan alleged. “That’s why the homeowner pools their own (expletive) permit and when you do that in Madison County you hold your own (expletive) contract. You have to as a consumer know that whenever you go down. The permit was in Cynthia’s name making everything underneath her the subcontractor making Cynthia the contractor when she decided to pull that own permit.”

As for Bergeson, Meghan said something else.

Amy herself tried to come after my insurance company,” Meghan said.

“Laura actually ended up not doing that job,” Meghan said in response to WAFF 48 asking her about Schoenfelder.

All three people who came forward allege Hyde either personally worked on the pools or had employees work under her. When WAFF 48 asked Meghan about this, she denied it. We asked her if Hyde was licensed in Alabama or any state.

“That is why Laura did not build pools she always sold the pool kits,” Meghan alleges. She had subcontractors worked for the customer and pulled their own pool permit.”

After our interview, we were contacted again by someone who didn’t identify themselves claiming Hyde is now being treated for cancer. That also was from Hyde’s email address.

All three customers said they just want the situation resolved.

McCormick with the Better Business Bureau says if you are looking to hire a contractor to build a pool if they ask you to pull your own permit that should be a red flag.

Also, there’s a Facebook group where several others allege similar stories. That group has more than 25 members.

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