Mandarin couple hoping for Navy retirement splash has sunk $100K over 2 years into dream pool company has yet to finish

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Mandarin couple is fed up with their unfinished pool. It’s full of tadpoles and algae, and it’s been a green mess for almost a year now.

The homeowners, Derand and Deltria Lee, are now calling on the owners of Staycation Pools & Spas to finish the job they started. The company, based out of Tampa with offices in Jacksonville, has an online track record showing a history of unhappy customers.

“This is a buffet of frogs for everything in the preserve,” Deltria said.

It’s been almost two years since the veteran couple signed a contract with Staycation Pools & Spas for their dream pool.

“So this was supposed to be my accomplishment for 21 years in the Navy,” Deltria said. “I didn’t want to have the traditional Navy retirement or ceremony. I wanted to have something a little bit different more toward my personality. I’ve always been a water baby, so I wanted to have a pool.”

The couple said the pool has been sitting unfinished for nine months and signed paperwork shows the Lees have made over $100,000 in payments to the company.

“The last thing they did was the decking around the pool. So, as you can see, rain has been accumulating in this pool for a very, very long time,” Derand said.

A simple search of the company on the Better Business Bureau’s website shows 24 customer complaints in the last three years. Staycation Pools & Spas also has an F rating for “failure to resolve underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints.”

News4JAX talked with Jordan Hidalgo, the license holder for Staycation Pools. State records show he’s actually the license holder for six different pool companies. The Department of Business and Professional Regulations doesn’t show any complaints against his licenses.

Hidalgo said it should only take a “couple of days” to complete the pool at the Lees’ home but that the Jacksonville office was mismanaged, leading them to get behind on projects.

The Lees just want their pool completed so they can throw a retirement party for Deltria.

“I would have to say the biggest lesson learned here is to check the Better Business Bureau,” Deltria said. “If I would have looked there before I signed that contract, I would have never signed. If you go look now, it definitely gives you a beautiful picture of why you should not go with Staycation.”

Hidalgo could not provide a reason why the pool is sitting unfinished or a timeline for completion. News4JAX was directed to the president of Staycation Pools & Spas for an answer, but we have not heard back.

The Florida Attorney General said it has received approximately 75 complaints involving Hidalgo-related pool companies.

“We currently have an open investigation of Modern Pools and are actively reviewing complaints involving the other pool companies operated by Jordan Hidalgo,” a spokesperson said.

About the Author:

Tiffany comes home to Jacksonville, FL from WBND in South Bend, Indiana. She went to Mandarin High School and UNF. Tiffany is a former WJXT intern, and is joining the team in 2023 as Consumer Investigative Reporter and member of the I-TEAM.