A major pool company suddenly collapsed, leaving customers with unfinished projects and a pile of dirt in their backyards.
Sydney-based Scenic Pools describes itself as a fiberglass pool construction company that is all about “total transparency.”
The owners of the business sent emails to clients on May 3 telling them that the business was no longer in operation and that a liquidator would be in touch as soon as possible.
But Scenic Pools was not yet in liquidation, and the corporate watchdog confirmed the company was placed in receivership on June 21.
Several clients have come forward to reveal that the completion date for their pools was pushed back in the lead up to the company’s collapse and they are still not finished.
They confronted the director before receiving a series of confusing emails containing various excuses ranging from personal drama to staff shortages.
Rakesh Goel is a Scenic Pools customer who was left with a giant hole in his backyard after the pool company suddenly collapsed.
Tony, from North Curl Curl on Sydney’s northern beaches, was left with an empty pool and a giant pile of dirt after Scenic Pools went bankrupt.
Tony paid the company $84,000 for what he says is essentially a half-built swimming pool.
Tony, from North Curl Curl on Sydney’s northern beaches, has been left with an empty swimming pool and a giant pile of dirt.
He had signed a contract with the company in May of last year, and work on the pool would begin in January.
While the pool excavation went well, Tony said there have been several delays and cancellations surrounding the pool installation.
Finally, their pool frame was delivered, but when it came time to install their pool infill, there were even more setbacks.
March 21 was the last day workers showed up at Tony’s site, even though nearly half of the job was still to be completed.
Tony received an email on April 8 from one of the company’s directors, David Afoa, apologizing for the delay and saying a “family tragedy” was to blame, as well as inadequate staff who have since been laid off.
“I will personally step in to give them confidence that their work will be completed by April,” Mr. Afoa wrote.
“All I ask is that you give me time and some flexibility in this incredibly difficult time.”
Tony received an email on April 8 from one of the company’s directors, David Afoa, apologizing for the delay and saying a “family tragedy” was to blame as well as inadequate staffing.
Pictured is a series of emails Tony sent to Mr. Afoa requesting that urgent work be done on his unfinished pool.
Since no work had been done yet, Tony kept sending more emails, demanding to know what was going on, adding that the heavy rain was affecting the pool installation.
Afoa sent another email on April 17 blaming a staff shortage for the job, but said if all went to plan, he could have a team next week.
Communication continued back and forth until May 3, when Scenic Pools sent out a final email, claiming they had gone into liquidation.
“It is with great sadness and regret that it was established yesterday that Scenic Pools is no longer marketed,” the email said.
I hope you can understand that this has been the most difficult decision we have ever had to make and we are devastated with the result.
Pictured is Tony’s pool in the backyard of his North Curl Curl home
Mr. Afoa sent another email on April 17 blaming staff shortages for the job, but said if all went to plan, he could have a team in the next week.
Scenic Pools told clients in early May that the company was no longer listed.
Our trustee will be in touch with the next steps and hopefully everything will be resolved as soon as possible. Unfortunately we can no longer be in contact.’
Tony paid the company $84,000 for what is now essentially a half-built swimming pool.
“All they’ve done is dig a hole and put the shell in,” he said.
Due to recent heavy rains the pool cover has shifted and the base is now uneven.
Tony thinks he’s going to have to shell out another $80,000 just to get the pool repaired and properly installed.
“My backyard is not safe and if it rains I have a floating pool,” he said.
Tony’s eldest son lives with severe autism and the exposed backyard workplace has raised fears he could be injured.
Goel paid $64,000 for what is now a hole in his backyard. She had purchased the pool from Scenic Pools for her three children.
“He’s a runner and we have to watch him all the time because now my backyard is not safe,” Tony said.
It’s basically a construction zone.
Another client, Rakesh Goel, from Kellyville in North West Sydney, signed a contract with Scenic Pools late last year and work began on his backyard in late February 2023.
He paid $64,000 for his pool in April, 98 percent of the full price, which he said was outlined in the contract.
But Mr Goel, a father of three who bought the pool for his children, said he felt he was being “rushed” into handing over the money.
“I felt like there was a rush to get the money with no intention of completing the job,” he said.
Mr. Goel is now left with a two-meter-deep open well that is only one meter from his family’s home.
‘The moment I paid the rest of the money, they disappeared.’
Now he has been left with a two-meter-deep open well that is only one meter from his family’s home.
“I was trying to call and email, but after so many follow ups, they just sent the email about the settlement,” Goel said.
“My kids are the reason I wanted the pool and now there’s danger in my backyard because I have this well so close to my house.”
A company source said an investor backed out at the last minute, ultimately leading to the collapse of the business.
They said they were trying to wind up the business so customers could immediately start the insurance process, but an internal dispute at the company prevented them from doing so.
A Scenic Pools spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia the company has gone into administration, with Edwin Sanjesh Narayan appointed as liquidator.
‘During the operation of our business, we served many satisfied customers and always met our contractual obligations regarding payment terms and insurance,’ they said.
‘Unfortunately, due to many external difficulties, the resignation of a director, and general market and economic pressures, we are one of 2,000 construction companies that went into liquidation in the last 12 months and were unable to continue operating.
‘It’s very sad for our employees, customers and of course our own family. Of course, we expected a better result for everyone.
‘Pool construction is a very challenging business and has faced huge shocks across the country with around one pool business closing every week as we face this recession.
“Fortunately, we have all the right insolvency insurance, so any client or creditor who has a claim, proof of debt or other concern can contact the receiver to file that claim and request reimbursement.”