We had our onground pool installed by Rob Moffat from Smart Pools in June of 2012. We were originally set on going with Pioneer, but after speaking to friends about their pool, they highly recommended Rob and Smart Pools to us because they had such great service from him. They met Rob while he was working for Pioneer (as a previous reviewer mentioned, he worked with them for 25+ years) and our friends said that it was working with him that made all the difference in their pool buying experience. Based on that, we decided to meet with him and were instantly impressed with his personal skills, professionalism and knowledge about his product and services. He also had really good and honest advice about what you need and what you do not.
Smart Pools was several thousand dollars less than their competitors (and we researched them all). They also offered more for the money we were paying. For instance, you get more choices in stairs and liners and other possibilities (we wanted a waterfall). It's all the little details that made a difference to us - such as: we were very concerned about damage to our lawn with the machines going back and forth. When we discussed this with competitor Pioneer, they just told us that they just consider the lawn "a path of destruction" (their actual words) and it's up to us to completely replace it after they're done. It would have cost us $1500 to do so (we have a long side lawn that leads to the back where the pool would be). It made their expensive pool that much more expensive. When we discussed this with Rob from Smart Pools he gave us the option of renting lawn-protecting metal plates and our grass had very minimal damage when it was all done.
Smart Pools was also very good about working around our schedule and installed our pool in a very reasonable time frame, while still making sure that it was done right and with care. Rob (the owner) was there for every step of the process as well, which was beyond our expectation. Just talking to him you know that he actually cares, and this is exactly what you want when you are making a big investment in something for your home.
Now, two years later, we are still enjoying our pool and very happy with the work - it still looks and feels brand new. There were only a couple minor hiccups - our pool heater (a well respected brand) malfunctioned during the first season, but that was due to a manufacturing flaw, and was replaced the day we called about it and was under the pool heater's warranty. Also, we had a pool light bulb blow out last year. In both cases, Rob stepped up to the plate and arranged the heater replacement and even came to replace our light bulb for free a year later. Plus, if we have any questions, he always answers our emails, even two years later.
We had a very good experience all around and would definitely recommend Smart Pools/Rob (and have been). Smart Pools also recently started offering pool openings/closings for their pool installation clients as well. We hired them for that a few weeks ago and had once again, another great experience. Trevor was so thorough and did such an excellent job. In the past we used a competitor and were not thrilled. We will be booking our pool closing with Smart Pools as well.