Wednesday, September 8, 2010
What's It Take to Get a Friggin' Tree Cut Down?
Last spring, I had my fence repaired and the guys helping me out noticed that a couple of the tall pines in my backyard were growing into my shed. We started looking around at them and noticed that another was rotting at the base, and yet another was growing into the fence. (Click the pic above to see bigger panorama.) Well great. One of the guys knew a reputable tree cutting service, so I had them come out and give me a bid. This was Quality Tree Service. Quality told me for as much it would be to cut down the four, I should just do all eight, and quoted me $2,500. Ouch. He actually called back on his own accord and lowered the price to $2000. I told him I'd have to save for a bit, but that it sounded like a good deal. Considering that would be $250/tree when they are normally $400-600 each, it was a GREAT deal. Just a lot to swallow at once.
The new guys, from Arbor Care, arrive. They looked like they would do a good job and had quite a bit more equipment to boot. Not to mention the owner is the four time state tree climbing champion. Whaaaat?!? Now it was my understanding at that point that a guy from Quality would be helping them and that's why he was getting $500. No one showed until 2 pm and that was just to pick up the check. Which I stupidly gave him. I asked the Arbor Care guy why Quality gets $500 and he basically said he shouldn't have. So now I've got a company doing a $2,500 job for $1,500. That doesn't sound very fair to me.
They work until about 4 pm. The pile of limbs is enormous out front. I call the city to schedule a pick up. They said they'd come Tuesday. I told them to be sure to bring the dump truck and crane. You can see why. The Arbor Care guy said he'd be back on Monday--in fact he said it several times--so even though it was Labor Day, I was thusly expecting him. Monday rolls around and no one shows. I try to call both Quality and Arbor Care. No one is answering. By 11 am, it is clear no one is coming. Mildly frustrating.
Tuesday arrives and it begins to rain. But I'm actually not too sad about it because the city is coming and since there is no more room to put limbs, they can clear it out and make room for more. Except they never came. I called them up and asked what was up. Turns out the crane/dump truck service take 2 weeks to come out! Good-bye nice lawn. Glad I wasted $200 on fertilizing service this year just to have you killed. I seriously have no idea where more limbs will go.
I immediately called him back but (surprise!) got a voicemail. I told him that his threat was baseless and completely out of line. My purpose in doing the stop payment proved to be very beneficial, because it had the effect I wanted--for him to call me back. I told him I found his business practices highly questionable and unethical and would be informing the 3-4 people waiting to hear how this job went that his company could not be counted on. The fact is Quality did not provide one minute of service to me! I told him I would release the check and the two companies could argue it out; I just wanted the job done.
I feel bad for Arbor Care, but that's all I can do...feel bad. I tried. It's not my place to intervene anymore. I filed a complaint the Better Business Bureau, but who knows what will come of that. Arbor Care will hopefully be back Friday to finish up. The yard is looking so much bigger already and I can't wait to have a nice grassy backyard!
Wanna see more pics of the process, including a short video clip of the four time state tree climbing champ doing his thing, go here.