BLANCHARD, Okla. (KFOR) – Several Oklahomans say they’re out tens of thousands of dollars after doing business with Premier Pools and Spas of Oklahoma City.
“It’s been a nightmare,” said Christie Eads. “He is a criminal and he is just taking innocent people’s money.”
Eads told KFOR she and her husband opened a contract with Premier Pools and Spas in June of 2021.
Nearly two years and tens of thousands of dollars later, the family still has an incomplete pool and muddy mess in their backyard.
“We’ve put in and given this company over $73,000 and this is what we have to show with it,” said Eads. “I get emotional every time I come out here.”
The Eads’ say the franchise’s owner, Rafael Solano, has sporadically worked on the project and blames the delays in progress on shipping issues.
“It’s literally been bits and pieces, months in between, weeks in between,” said Eads. “And also, without communication, we will send him multiple messages, phone calls that never get returned.”
Chris Harper, an attorney based in Edmond, said he and his wife also had issues with Solano and Premier Pools and Spas when building their pool.
“He’s basically stealing money to pay one contractor on one job to pay somebody else somewhere else,” said Harper.
Harper says he’s representing three others who’ve fallen victim as well.
“Every couple’s got a different story,” said Harper. “He’ll take $31,000, do a little work, like he did on ours, then he’ll come back and say ‘I need my other 40 percent’… So, you pay him the other percentage, you may see him, or you may not see him.”
Harper filed a lawsuit in Oklahoma County District Court last month on behalf of an Edmond couple.
The lawsuit says they’ve paid Premier more than $35,000 as a down payment for their pool.
However, it’s now March and Harper says work on the project has yet to be started.
“Despite the fact that Premier had been paid the first excavation payment to sign the contract, they failed to perform any work or excavation on the Plaintiff’s property,” says the lawsuit.
It adds that the couple has asked for a refund, which was “refused.”
The lawsuit also alleges that the franchise “had no intent to completing this job when they accepted the funds, thus were clearly performing fraud upon the plaintiff.”
After calling Premier Pools and Spas and swinging by its Edmond office, KFOR was finally able to get a hold of Solano by texting his email address.
He declined our interview requests twice, but via text blamed the problems with his company on “financial difficulties,” the cost of materials, and “customers leaving negative reviews.”
The Eads’ hope sharing their story will serve as a warning to others.
“I don’t want anyone to have to go through the process,” said Eads. “Financially, you know, we will eventually overcome this, but it’s going to take time… I would never wish that on anyone else.”
Harper says he’d be happy to help anyone else who’s lost money while doing business with Premier Pools and Spas.
His office’s phone number is (405) 359-0600.