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Thread: Contact info, BBB reports & Reviews of Intex, Summer Escapes & Bestway pools

  1. #1
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    Default Contact info, BBB reports & Reviews of Intex, Summer Escapes & Bestway pools


    I've discovered there are at least 3 Chinese manufacturers supplying 'Intex-type' pools to the US market . . . and that there are significant differences between these pools. I'm starting this thread to collect and record those differences. If you can add information to this thread, please do so.

    Intex pools are the predominant player in this market, but Walmart and Sams Club have begun selling the cheaper Summer Escapes pools instead. Some parts may be interchangeable, but others are not; we don't know which are which.

    None of the pools have good filtration systems. This is why it's so important to avoid any problems with algae: even after you kill the algae, it will often take weeks to clear the pool.

    There is one option that will help, IF you have a cartridge filter. The OEM cartridges in Intex filters are not high quality. The Intex manuals recommend replacing them completely every 2 weeks. A BETTER option is to replace them permanently with 2 - 3 Unicel cartridges, and rotating them through a cleaning solution. Properly maintained, the Unicel cartridges will last all season AND will filter better. So even though they cost more per cartridge, they cost less per season!

    But, purchasing them is tricky. Amazon does not reliably stock them, and some of the 3rd party sellers are charging high prices and/or high shipping. So, check the Amazon link, but watch out for the prices and shipping costs.

    It would be nice if you could just buy them elsewhere, but many of the online pool stores are listing Pleatco or other Asian made low quality filters, as "Unicel C-4607 type" or "fits Unicel C-4607". So shop carefully!

    Here are the Amazon links:
    Unicel C-4607 Replacement Filter Cartridge (Easy Set Size A or C) @ Amazon
    Unicel C-5315 Replacement Filter Cartridge for 15 Square Foot Intex B Filter @ Amazon
    Of course, this won't help you if you have a sand filter. Plus, these cartridges are not exactly the correct size for the SE pools, though they may work. (We're checking.) There is a Unicel that fits the SE pool -- the C-4306 model. But it's a lower grade cartridge than the similar C-4607


    The fact that there's no easy to find return addresses for Summer Waves (formerly Summer Escapes) pools is worthy of note. I did quite a bit of checking, to make sure I wasn't overlooking something. But, it turns out Polygroup does not want you to have their address, "for security reasons".

    Security from whom? Their own customers! It turns out, too many upset Summer Escapes customers were tracking them down. And,it makes it very hard for anyone from filling a complaint with the BBB! But, some people have succeeded, and filed complaints. As a result, the BBB has given Polygroup / Summer Escapes and 'F' rating.

    Here's what the BBB has to say about the Idaho location:
    This company Polygroup has a pattern of complaints alleging the product has a leaking problem. Complainants also state they receive insufficient customer service when contacting a representative of the company to receive resolution. The company has not been responsive to complaints brought to their attention by the BBB.
    Bottom line:
    1. Summer Escapes pools are cheaper than Intex pools.
    2. There is little or no warranty service available.
    3. If you have problems that you can't fix . . . odds are, you're out of luck!
    4. Good news: I have confirmed with Walmart that you can return the pools within 30 days.
    5. So, install that pool AS SOON as you get it, and IMMEDIATELY return it to Walmart if their is a problem
    I have talked to General Foam, who handled US customer service -- apparently rather well -- until 2010 or 2011, to Polygroup, and to Walmart Corporate. Walmart was very responsive, and indicated they would be actively looking into this, so I hope to have better information soon. They did confirm that you can return the entire pool within 30 days of purchase. So save your receipt, and install QUICKLY.


    Intex Pools [ US & Global website ]
    (sold by Amazon, Kmart, etc. )

    Consumer Service - 1-800-234-6839
    Hours => Winter: Mon - Fri -- 8:30am-5:00pm PST => Summer: Mon - Fri -- 7:00am-5:00pm PST; Sat 7:00am-3:00pm PST
    Online Store: http://www.intexstore.com - E-mail: http://www.email.intexstore.com
    U.S. and Canada Sales Office:
    P.O. Box 1440
    Long Beach, CA 90801-1440
    Tel: (310) 549-5400 -- Fax: (310) 513-6905
    Return Address:
    Intex Recreation Corp. - Attn: Consumer Service Dept.
    1665 Hughes Way
    Long Beach, CA90810
    BBB report (updated 6/1/2018)


    Bestway USA INC [ US website ] (sold by ??)
    1320 South Priest Drive, Suite 103,
    Tempe AZ 85281
    info@bestway-northamerica.com | 855 838 3888
    ( Currently (2018), Bestway pools used to be by Walmart & Sams Club)

    BBB report



    Summer Escapes (Polygroup) Global website - Parts store
    ( Summer Waves (Summer Escapes) pools are still sold by Walmart & Sams Club)

    ----- NOT RECOMMENDED! -----

    U.S. Toll-Free Customer Service: (888) 919-0070
    Hours of Operation: Mon Fri 9am to 8pm EST; Sat 10am to 3pm EST

    BBB.org reports 3 locations for Polygroup; all have an "F" rating:
    Idaho (map), California (map), Arkansas (map). (BBB has addresses and phone numbers for all locations.)
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 06-01-2018 at 04:26 PM. Reason: update Summer Escapes info; update links

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    NE USA

    Default Summer Escapes parent company

    As owners of two Summer Escapes pools, the question of differences between Intex and Summer Escapes products is of interest to us.

    We bought our first Summer Escapes pool (10' x 30", 1000 gal) in the summer of 2007. We've had it set up for 4 or 5 summers (didn't set it up every year since purchase), and have never had any problems with the equipment. To be more accurate, we have had the usual problems with inadequate filtration (undersized pump/filter), as well as pool chemistry problems (due pretty much to our own ignorance), but have not had any equipment failure troubles. There was one small leak on the top ring this year, which was solved with the use of the patch kit. The original pump has now run for thousands of hours (usually runs 24/7 while the pool is set up). This pool is labeled as being a General Foam Plastics product (genfoam.com on the web), and GenFoam is a company with a US presence and address. We never had any warranty-type contact with GenFoam, but did order replacement parts (small stuff -- filter cartridges and pool wall plugs) a few years ago -- no problems with that purchase.

    In short, we've been very happy with our older Summer Escapes pool, and purchased another larger (18' x 48", ~6000 gal) Summer Escapes pool at Sam's just a few weeks ago. I did notice that it said 'Polygroup' on the box and literature, but didn't think much about it at the time. You're right, there is no physical address to be found for this company anywhere in the documentation that comes with the pool. Somewhere it says that Polygroup is located in Macau. I've just been reading online, and came across a bunch of very negative reviews of Polygroup customer service from people who bought Summer Escapes pools in 2012 and 2013. So, maybe the brand passed from GenFoam to Polygroup around 2011? Those online reviews (from people who had problems with their Summer Escapes pool, and called Polygroup for help) are pretty discouraging (endless hold times on the phone, failure to ship promised replacement parts, 'losing' paperwork and emails from customers, etc.); enough so that if I had read them first, I would have had second thoughts about our purchase of this new pool. We did purchase the 2-year additional coverage from Sam's, so, if there is some major defect like a ripped seam on the pool next summer, we'll hopefully have recourse from there.

    The GenFoam history of the Summer Escapes brand might be helpful in searching for replacement parts.

    Regarding possible differences in equipment, I raised the question of different inner diameter on the filter in another thread -- the two Summer Escapes pumps we have both seem to expect a filter cartridge with 1 3/4" center openings.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Summer Escapes parent company

    Thanks for this information; it helped me track down the info updated above.

    It turns out General Foam was the contracted US customer service agent for Polygroup till a couple of years ago (2011?), and apparently handled things well. Polygroup took it back recently, and has acquired a truly terrible customer service history since then.

    Like many Chinese (or non-Japanese / non-Korean Asian) products, both Summer Escapes and Intex seem to have decent products, but poor quality control. Intex does seem to address legitimate warranty problems, if somewhat slowly. Summer Escapes apparently does NOT do so, and is selling a lot of defective goods via Walmart and Sams Club.

    Both retail outlets WILL accept return of defective pools within 30 days, so do NOT purchase one of these pools if you can't check it out promptly, and return it quickly if there's a problem. From what I've been able to tell, pursuing a warranty claim with Polygroup is likely to be a waste of time!
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 08-11-2013 at 11:34 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    NE USA

    Default Re: Summer Escapes parent company

    Another difference between Intex and Summer Escapes which I have noticed recently --

    I don't know about smaller Intex pools, but the larger ones seem to come with plunger valves at the suction and return connections -- this kind of device:

    That's obviously useful for servicing/replacing the filter, for example.

    The 18' x 48" Summer Escapes pool we just bought doesn't have any valves (instructions just tell you to jam plugs into the ports, from inside the pool, when you want to change your filter). With the smaller Summer Escapes pool (10' x 30") we've used over the past several summers we haven't thought much about this issue -- we just lift the pump/filter unit up onto a lawn chair or some other lowish platform, so that the pump is above the water level of the pool, before opening the housing. Using those plugs in the pool wall every time would be inconvenient, and unnecessary.

    However, with a bigger pool (deeper water), it's not really practical to lift the pump unit up above water level every time you have to fiddle with the filter. Nor do I have any enthusiasm for using the interior wall plugs -- you'd pretty much have to get into the pool to put the plugs in. The return fitting also has a diverter, and the provided plug doesn't fit in the diverter (instructions call for unscrewing the diverter fitting, inside the pool, before putting in the plug -- yeah, right...).

    Anyway, the upshot is that owners of larger Summer Escapes pools probably have to spend some additional money on shutoff valves to make this aspect of pool maintenance reasonably convenient. We certainly plan to get such valves. It's not a terrible additional expense -- circa $40 to get both complete fittings, with valves -- e.g.

    However, it does look like an example of Summer Escapes leaving out a pretty necessary feature in order to cut costs.

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