Shortly after my husband and my return from Afghanistan on July 22nd, 2018 my husband and I hired Coastal Empire Roofing and Construction to install a heated fiberglass pool with stamped concrete and a screen enclosure for a total of $63,000 project. Jim Weathers, Vice President of the company instructed us that we needed to place a $20,000 downpayment to start the process of the fiberglass pool ordering and we complied by writing a $20,000 check. He told us to expect the pool to be delivered within 6-12 weeks and once delivered it would be a 3 day installation of the pool itself. Shortly after writing that first check, it became very difficult to get a hold of Mr. Weathers or anyone at Coastal Empire. Approximately a month later we were finally able to get in contact with Matthew Gates, President of Costal Empire who told us that Jim Weather was no longer with the company. We were trying to get a status of the permits and fiberglass pool construction itself. Mr. Gates told us that the permits were in place and that we were just waiting for the pool to be finished before scheduling delivery. He also noted that they had built 23 pools that year and were very backlogged with the rainy summer it had been. Anytime we tried to get a hold of the company, it was many voicemails and unanswered text messages before we would actually get return correspondence. Finally at the beginning of November Matthew Gates came to our home to sit down with us and review the project details. He brought paperwork with him that stated the pool delivery would occur on November 14th with a timeline of the 12th being workers marking the digging points, the 13th being the actual excavation and the 14th being the installation of the pool itself. Contractually, upon confirmation of the shipment date of the pool, we were to write a second $20,000 check. We complied with the contract and did so. We are both military members and need advance warning to take off of work and did so with that warning to take those days off to be at home. November 12th came, and noone showed up at our house, Matthew Gates did not answer his phone and noone returned our calls. November 13th, Matthew Gates did call back and stated that they would be at our home at 0900 with the backhoe. To date, that has been the only truthful thing that has come out of Mr. Gates mouth. The morning of November 13th, Matthew Gates and a crew of workers showed up and dug a hole large enough for the pool that we had ordered. He departed our property at approximately 1130 hours. That was the last time that we saw Matthew Gates. He stated that he was going to reschedule the pool delivery for exactly one week later. We then rerouted our military time off to accomdate. The following week came and went without a word from Mr. Gates or Coastal Empire. He failed to respond to calls, voicemails or texts. We then received a nasty message from the Tattnall County Code Enforcement officer stating that construction needed to halt as the permits were not in place at all. I then called and left a voicemail with Mr. Gates to tell him that there were no permits. He returned the call hours later stating that it was their mistep and that he would rectify the situation. Three weeks later and multiple texts of his promises to fix the situation and there still were no permits even applied for. My husband then received a text from Mr. Gates December 17th stating that the pool would be delivered on Dec 20th. We had previously planned a family vacation during that time, however we rerouted that vacation to accomodate the delivery. December 20th came and Mr. Gates didn’t respond to voicemails or text and he failed to deliver a pool at all. In January Mr. Gates returned my husband’s multiple texts to say that his father had passed and that he was out of town but would call upon his return and set up a meeting. Mr. Gates did not call on the day he said he would, so my husband called and text him again. Mr. Gates returned the call and stated that on January 6th of 7th he would come to our home and schedule the delivery in front of us. January 6 and 7th came with no response to calls, voicemails or texts. To date, we have not heard back from Mr. Gates at all. On January 11th, I contacted a Tallman Pools, a fiberglass pool manufacturer out of Jonesboro, GA because they were the only manufacturer I could find that sold a “Montego Bay” pool that we had ordered from Costal Empire. I wanted to try and cut my losses and obtain the actual fiberglass pool and have someone else install the pool. Talking to Rebecca Tallman and her husband it turns out that our pool was never ordered at all. She further explained to me that Coastal Empire’s store front located in Richmond Hill was a rental property that they were recently evicted from. Currently we are $40,000 invested into this with a huge eroding hole in our backyard just waiting for kids or pets to fall into. Matthew Gates is nowhere to be found. This is especially heartbreaking to me and my family as this was the only justification we gave our kids for both of their parents deploying to Afghanistan was to be able to come home and give them a pool in their backyard. Dana, Glennville, GA
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