3 On Your Side

Anthem couple says pool repair company vanished with their money

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Lance Lawry explains where he feel while cleaning the pool. (Source: 3TV) Lance Lawry explains where he feel while cleaning the pool. (Source: 3TV)
The Lawrys wanted hand rails installed so they wouldn't slip. (Source: 3TV) The Lawrys wanted hand rails installed so they wouldn't slip. (Source: 3TV)
They say John Reed kept all that money and never installed hand rails. (Source: 3TV) They say John Reed kept all that money and never installed hand rails. (Source: 3TV)
The Lawrys paid Reed $750 upfront but say he didn't do any work. (Source: 3TV) The Lawrys paid Reed $750 upfront but say he didn't do any work. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

When Lance and Bonnie Lawry were looking to buy a home in Anthem a few years ago, they knew exactly what they wanted.

"Well, that was one of our priorities was to get a house with a pool,” Bonnie told 3 On Your Side.

And, a home with a beautiful backyard swimming pool is exactly what they purchased. But, Lance and Bonnie say getting in and of the water isn't as easy as it used to be. In fact, her husband, Lance, lost his balance recently getting out of their hot tub.

"I was cleaning it and I came out and I caught my left toe on the edge and I went head first into those rocks there," Lance said.

Luckily, Lance wasn't injured. However, the episode was an eye opener.

As a result, he and his wife decided to have hand rails installed not only on the steps in the hot tub but also on the pool steps.

So, back in July, they contacted a company called J Reed and Sons Pools and they talked to a guy named John Reed.

"And, I told him (Reed) my husband had taken a spill and that we wanted to get some hand rails and we were wondering if he was interested in doing an installation,” Bonnie remembers telling Reed. ”By all a means. I do them all the time," she said he replied.

According to the Lawrys, the total cost of the installation was $1,500 and they say Reed asked for $750 up front. So, they handed him a check for that amount.

“He cashed it the same day. I found that out from the bank and we haven't seen him since," Bonnie said.

Reed kept all that money and never installed hand rails.

Bonnie says she has text messages from Reed promising a refund, but she and her husband haven't received anything and it's been more than two months now.

3 On Your Side got involved and we left several voice mails for Reed. However, he never called us back.

So, we did some searching and came across the pool company's Facebook page.

The Facebook page for J Reed and Sons Pools lists a very specific address in Queen Creek. So, we drove to the address listed. But as far as we can tell, that very specific address doesn't exist in Queen Creek.

As for Lance and Bonnie, they're left disappointed and angry.

They say they trusted someone who came off as a nice guy. And now, they're the ones paying the price.

"At first, I trusted him completely. And I liked the kid. Now, I don't know. I think he just might be a big talker," Bonnie said.

Remember, it’s never wise to hand over money in advance for any kind of home project. The Lawrys say they have learned their lesson.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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