NEWARK - Anthony & Sylvan Pools, an Ohio-based pool construction company, has agreed to pay $180,000 and to change its business practices under a settlement resulting from an investigation by the Division of Consumer Affairs, Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Acting Director Sharon Joyce announced.
Anthony & Sylvan agreed to ensure that all subcontractors used by the company in the performance of any home improvement be registered with the Division as required by the Contractors’ Registration Act and Contractor Registration Regulations.
Anthony & Sylvan Pools also agreed to refer all consumer complaints filed with the Division during the next year to binding arbitration, if the company cannot resolve the matter with the consumer, according to terms of the Consent Order. Approximately 40 consumer complaints filed with the Division against the company have been resolved.
"Our law protecting consumers who hire contractors is clear, those who perform home improvement projects must be registered with the state," Attorney General Dow said. "The contractor hired by a consumer must ensure that any subcontractors who will work on the project are registered."
As part of the settlement, Anthony & Sylvan also agreed to:
• Not require consumers to make final payment on a home improvement contract before the home improvement is completed;
• Continue to include in its home improvement contracts all applicable warranties and/or guarantees;
• Continue to train all company representatives so that all representations made as to products and materials to be used in any home improvement are accurate;
• Include in its home improvement contracts the dates or time period on or within which the work is to begin and be completed; and
• Provide consumers with timely written notice of any reasons beyond its control for any delay in performance of a home improvement contract.
In entering into this settlement, Anthony & Sylvan Pools did not admit any liability under the Consumer Fraud Act, the Contractors’ Registration Act and related regulations.
The Division received 56 consumer complaints about pool contractors in 2008 and 30 consumer complaints in 2009.
"As spring nears, consumers are beginning to plan home improvements projects. The Division is a resource that consumers can use to verify whether a contractor is registered and if any actions have been taken against the contractor," said Acting Director Joyce.
Deputy Attorney General Frank J. Marasco of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section represented the Division in this matter.
Consumers can find information about home improvement contractors online at http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/HIC. They also may call the Division’s License Verification Line at 973-273-8090.
Anthony and Sylvan Pools