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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Knucklehead Award Friday Part Twelve

Our twelveth winner is Caribbean Pool Service and Repair. They get the award for the following.

A Riviera Beach pool-cleaning company is being accused of dirty dealing after it allegedly tried to bill customers more than $200,000 in illegal ''special cleanup'' charges in the wake of hurricanes Francis and Jeanne in 2004.

In a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General's Office last week, Pool Companies, which does business as Caribbean Pool Service and Repair, is accused of charging some 1,700 South Florida customers an additional $45 to $250 on top of their regular maintenance fee.

Those who balked at the special hurricane fee were threatened with a lien on their property. The lawsuit claims Caribbean Pool eventually squeezed more than $170,000 out of its clients.

Calls to Caribbean Pool owner John Hynes, who is also named in the lawsuit, were not returned.

The Attorney General's Office said Caribbean Pools eventually filed 31 mechanics' liens against customers during that period, but the office could not confirm if all the liens were tied to the alleged scam.

Mechanics' liens are most commonly used when property repairs or improvements go unpaid. In this case, the state argues pool maintenance and cleaning chemicals do not constitute ''improvements'' and that the liens were illegal and abusive.

The state is asking for civil penalties of $10,000 per violation or $15,000 if the victim was disabled or a senior citizen.

The Attorney General began investigating the company in January 2005 after receiving complaints, including some from homeowners who said they had scrubbed their own pools after the storm but were charged anyway.
If this company loses the lawsuit, they should have to not just re-imburse their customers but put out of business also. Before any of that happens I make Caribbean Pool Service and Repair the twelveth Knucklehead of the day.

Linked to- Third World County, Bright & Early,


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