LUBBOCK, Texas – For several months, a pool and hot tub service in Lubbock was accused of stealing thousands of dollars, and not completing a pool.
Families across West Texas and beyond reached out to EverythingLubbock.com, saying since the original story aired back in March, they all shared similar experiences with Aqua Kingz LLC: Paying owner Roderick Jefferey thousands upon thousands of dollars. Even after cutting ties and stopping business with him, they said they have yet to receive any of their money back.
Shanna Smith of Big Spring and Vicki Whiteakre of Abilene both spoke to EverythingLubbock.com in March and combined, paid Jefferey over $80,000. Since then, Nicole Conner of Little Elm and Sierra Strickland of Midland have explained their experiences with the newer company.
“He just totally ghosted me,” Conner said, “And then I get a message from his wife on April 8, which now I come to find out he was in jail, saying, ‘Rod has had a family emergency, he will get back to you as soon as possible.’ And I don’t hear from him ever again.”
“They tore down the wrong part of my fence, then hit my waterline and my electrical line. He just damaged my property, that’s all he did,” Strickland added.
Those customers who felt they had been scammed came together to think of a way to get the word out. They came up with the idea to create a Facebook page titled “Aqua Kingz Victims.” The page had over 100 followers as of Tuesday evening.
Whiteaker explained, “This is a way to get the word out. And I think it’s working.”
It worked for Anthony Leon out of Midland. He said he was close to paying the hefty down payment to Jefferey, but found the Facebook page, and quickly stopped himself.
“While we were talking, I was looking at the Facebook. And all those comments started coming up… I was on the phone with him while that was happening, and I was like, You know what, man? I think I’m gonna hold off,” Leon said.
Whiteaker said it makes her feel good that they’re able to save some families from going down the same road they have. “It’s not a fun one,” she added.
So far, the customers said they haven’t received any money back from Jefferey.
One other pool and hot tub company in Lubbock, Legacy 25 Custom Pools, who has more than five years of experience gave some tips on how to look out for scammers.
TJ Nicholson, the owner suggested looking for things hidden in the contract. Make sure the reviews are visible, and there are pictures of completed pools on their website or social media pages. He also said no pool builder should ask for more than 40% down at contract signing.
“It’s really heartbreaking that there’s guys out there taking advantage of families making the second biggest purchase of their life,” Nicholson explained.
EverythingLubbock.com reached out to Jefferey multiple times but has yet to receive a comment. We’ll update if anything changes.