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Beware of uninvited tree surgeons

Richard Death hopes that sharing details of his unfortunate experience with some jobbing tree surgeons, may help you avoid a difficult situation.


I had a dead tree in my garden which needed felling. I approached a local tree surgeon who promised to send me a quote, but used an incorrect email address so I never received it. I was still expecting to hear from him.

On Monday, my daughter and granddaughter arrived and two guys in a large van with a chipper asked my daughter about "tree work", and she spoke to me to the effect "guys are here about your tree work". I added two and two and got too much!

I realised the local tree surgeon I had approached wasn't one of these two guys, and asked if they worked for Patrick - Yes was the answer. This later changed to "my dad's name is Patrick and I thought that is who you meant".

They quoted a price, which was higher than I expected (but I had no hard data to compare it to) and I accepted the price of £650. They quickly got started into the work and cut down the tree but did a very poor quality job (won't go into details here, but these were not good tree surgeons). Before they started clearing up, they confirmed the price, but then introduced "plus VAT". I protested that was not made clear. They then stated that there was a further £150 to remove the waste material, which I also protested was not clear.

I told them to stop work immediately and leave and that I would take advice, and pay them a fair amount later. After argument, they left - calling me a few choice names.

I subsequently got hold of my proper tree surgeon, who confirmed his quote for the whole job was £440. I employed him to complete the work, which he did efficiently and effectively.

Today, the "rogue traders" returned and demanded payment for the work done. I offered them a sum of £100 which I considered fair considering the poor quality of their work and the short time they were carrying out the work (a little less than 1 hour). More rude words, but they eventually accepted the offer and left.

The van was marked with the trade name xxxxxxxxx (removed by Ed.).

I have reported the incident to the local police, who will take no action but will add it to their 'Intelligence database'. "

Richard Death


The website is grateful to Richard in allowing publication of his cautionary tale.

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