Melbourne pool company Pools R Us in liquidation as clients unleash on business

A major pool company has collapsed, leaving as many as 80 clients desperately trying to get deposits worth tens of thousands of dollars back.

Nyerse Constructions Pty. Ltd, which trades under the name of Pools R Us and is based in Melbourne, went into liquidation on June 1. 

The family-run business’s downfall has left clients in limbo with little or no communication about what will happen to their pools, or their money.

Many paid hefty deposits upfront after signing contracts only to later learn the company didn’t order a building permit or buy insurance for the works – meaning some clients may struggle to get their money back. 

The Pools R Us website has been removed while phone numbers for the business and Nyerse Constructions have been disconnected.

An email to clients sent on May 31 said the director, Chris Rhodes, was undergoing treatment for a health issue that was ‘taking a very heavy toll’ on his family and the business.

Nyerse Constructions Pty. Ltd. which trades as the Melbourne-based company Pools R Us (pictured), went into liquidation on June 1

An email to clients sent on May 31 said the director Chris Rhodes was undergoing treatment for a health issue that was 'taking a very heavy toll' on his family and the business

An email to clients sent on May 31 said the director Chris Rhodes was undergoing treatment for a health issue that was ‘taking a very heavy toll’ on his family and the business

Pictured is Pools R Us owner Chris Rhodes. The business went into liquidation on June 1

Pictured is Pools R Us owner Chris Rhodes. The business went into liquidation on June 1

Customers were told the business had been closed for several weeks but was working on various options to finish projects.

‘Unfortunately what has happened during this period has taken a toll to say the least,’ the email read.

‘Our website and Google Maps listing has been hacked, alongside several death threats towards us and our families, including their children.

‘This is something we cannot work through or tolerate.’

The company then said they would be permanently closing Pools R Us ‘after many years of building quality swimming pools’.

‘We were trying every avenue and all options in our power to continue trading under the circumstances we were facing,’ the email continued.

‘We had continued through Covid – followed by an insanely bad year of weather, massive price rises throughout the building industry, endless supply shortages and huge staff shortages.

‘We are absolutely devastated that we have had to make this decision and unfortunately, due to the events over the last few days, we believe it is no longer possible or safe for us to continue trading.’

One client, Shaz, who only wanted to give her first name, has lost $32,000 after paying a 5 per cent deposit as well as a deposit for the shell of her pool when she signed a contract with Pools R Us in April 2022.

She’d had a pool installed previously with the company without any issues and was keen to use them again after moving house.

But after being told the pool would be finished within a couple of months, Shaz and her husband were instead then sent letters from the company warning of delays due to weather, manufacturing, staff shortages and issues securing a permit.

‘This went on for months. Me and my husband were sending emails, calling the office but there was no response,’ Shaz told Daily Mail Australia.

‘We just kept getting the random generic email saying the company was busy and would get back to us.’

Eventually Shaz took it upon herself to visit the Pools R Us office in Dandenong South, Victoria, in February this year, demanding answers.

She claims the owner’s son told her husband the build should not be taking so long, but when she confronted staff in the office she says she was met with hostility.

‘They told me to get out of the office and said ”people like you go to the bottom of the list”,’ Shaz said.

She then received an email from Pools R Us saying the manufacturer was struggling to get the shell of her pool to Melbourne.

‘It was all just smoke and mirrors, it was c**p,’ she said.

Shaz was then told the shell would arrive in May but a few weeks later she received an email telling her the business had closed.

She then learnt that Pools R Us had never applied for a permit to build her pool, and therefore no insurance was able to be secured.

Shaz said she knew of about 80 people who’d been affected by the business’ closure, and questioned the claims the owner was sick in their final email.

‘I believe they’ve used that as an excuse, and as for the threats if you’re not giving people their money back, people are always going to be unhappy,’ she said.

Shaz said she’d gone to the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) but they told her because she didn’t have insurance there wasn’t much they could do.

Another Pools R Us client, Laura, is in the same boat.

She fears she’s lost $27,000 to the company after signing a contract for a pool mid last year.

Laura said she was tossing up between a few different pool companies but said Pools R Us had ‘promised the world’ and vowed to build it within a few months, where as other businesses had said it would take up to more than a year.

She said the company charged her three payments upfront totalling just over $27,000 and equal to 50 per cent of the deposit.

According to Victoria’s Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995, by law a deposit for building work can’t be more than 10 per cent if the total price is $20,000 or less, or five per cent if the total cost is more than $20,000. 

The closure of Pools R Us has left up to 80 clients in limbo as they try to get their deposits back on pools they signed with the company (pictured is a pool by Pools R Us)

She added she and her husband had been very understanding throughout the process and felt confident in the business because it had won awards and had positive reviews online.

After signing the contract mid last year, Laura said she was told the pool would be ready by the end of the year.

‘As soon as we paid the deposit, we didn’t hear from them,’ she said.

‘We spoke with them but it was always us initiating contact, we weren’t given any timeframes for the work or even a start date.’

In February of this year she was told the pool could be ready by June or July pending the weather.

‘We gave them a wide berth, we were very understanding, we know every industry is struggling with staff turnover and that sort of stuff,’ she said.

‘We were understanding there would be delays but we definitely didn’t expect what’s happened.’

From April this year Laura claims the company stopped replying to her altogether and appeared to have a ‘huge victim mentality’ in the final email sent to clients.

‘It’s just so unfair they’re possibly going to get away with this and not pay us a cent,’ Laura said.

Others have shared similar unhappy experiences online.

‘Yeah I’ve lost over 15k,’ one customer wrote.

‘Can’t even explain the disappointment with this company,’ said another.

‘The complete lack of communication and unanswered calls for months was so wrong. Years of saving for us, and so many others, just gone,’ shared one client.

Others revealed they had had pools made by the company without hassle, but did admit communication was lacking at times. 

In a glowing blog post, the team said the company was ‘multi-award winning’ and and committed to ‘quality and customer satisfaction’.

‘Whether you’re looking to create a pool from $5,000 or $50,000 – no job is too small or large,’ the owners said. 

‘Behind every Pools R Us pool is 20 years of commercial, industrial and domestic building experience. This is used on every pool project Pools R Us undertakes. It gives our clients peace of mind knowing that they are dealing with a real builder!

‘Pools R Us gives one-on-one supervision from start to finish throughout every project. 

‘You can rely on Pools R Us for everything and anything – from plans to permits, pool to landscape design, paving, concreting and tiling to the installation and design of water features.’

One former worker at the company declined to comment when approached by Daily Mail Australia. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Pools R Us and G S Andrews Advisory, who’ve been appointed liquidators, for comment.