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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 05/01/2012

Kramer Tree Specialists, Incorporated

Phone: (630) 293-5444Fax: (630) 293-7667

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Customer Complaints Summary

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Problems with Product / Service1
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints1

Complaint Breakdown by Resolution

Complaint Resolution Log (1)BBB Closure Definitions
08/11/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

Had ***** (arborist) from Kramer come to house in May to view Maple tree as we had one branch cracked and another with a split all the way through, and third one that had fallen down a few years before. We were concerned the tree overall had issues. ***** stated three rods could be put in tree branch that was split to help provide support, along with removing three other branches on it to remove some weight. No other concerns were noted/mentioned to us. Had work completed June 13th. The worker putting in the rods stated we should have had the tree cleaned up of dead branches. This was not mentioned to us by *****. A week later noticed another tree on property looked sickly and had the same arborist come out to tell us what should be done as far as trimming out any dead branches, we also had him look at our maple tree again. He stated our birch should be taken down and that the maple should be cleaned up (for an additional $430) - I was very surprised as I expected the work on the maple to have been pointed out the first time he came out, but was not. We decided to have several other quotes from various companies come out to explain to us cost of taking down the birch. One company requested time to talk to us about the maple. In meeting with them they stated the maple was a dangerous tree with multiple issues. They then took the time to point out the various cracks, co-dominant stem issue, dead branches etc. None of which was told unto us when we had the arborist ***** from Kramer come out. I expected Kramer's arborist to have given me the full description of the tree with all issues - irrelevant of cost so that I could make an educated decision on whether to take it down or do patch work to it (i.e the rods). In contacting Kramer's company another arborist **** came out and agreed with the work recommended as well as the fact that the arborist should have noted the dead branches to be cleaned up. When I stated I felt I was defrauded as I did not have the full picture on the tree - they felt the reason nothing else was stated was because of cost and that those other items were not a concern, and that the tree was not dangerous. When I asked for some of my money back, they said they'd talk to the owner. I received an email stating the owner said no, the work was already done. They did however state they'd give me a 25% discount of trimming and cabling my tree. This of course was during their promotional period December-March of which they already give people 15% discount. Also they mentioned cabling of the tree which they never stated was needed before. Basically their resolution was for me to pay them more money for work by their company. I was not happy with their response and emailed them back stating such.

Desired Settlement
I am looking for my money back as this tree had multiple issues that were not told unto me. I would not have had rods put in one branch if I knew about all the other issues.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: **** ******,Sales Manager
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: *******
On 4/21/14 Kramer Tree Specialists ISA Certified Arborist ***** ***** met with the client in question to look at the requested work per the RFP generated on 4/14/14. Service in question was a large split on a limb on the Norway Maple in the backyard. ***** looked at the tree with the client and she indicated that she wasn't looking to spend a bunch of money on the tree, but wanted to address the split and see if it was possible to make the tree safer and save the tree. ***** informed her that the best course of action at the time would be to install 3 through rods to help increase the structural integrity of the limb and then some reduction pruning would help reduce the load on the limb. ***** also mentioned to ***** that some additional maintenance pruning on the tree would be needed in due time, but not an immediate concern, taking into account her concerns of overall cost. ***** accepted the through rod installation and the pruning of two small limbs from the split limb. The work was completed on 6/16/14. The client then called ***** again and asked him to come out and provide a removal quote for a River Birch in her yard and to look at some deadwood pruning needs for the Norway Maple, which ***** provided a proposal for on 6/23/14.

The client contacted the office on 6/30/14 and provided a complaint to the office staff regarding the Norway Maple that was serviced on 6/16/14. This complaint was relayed to **** ******, KTS Sales Manager, and he spoke with ***** regarding the work. **** contacted the client via phone and setup an appointment to meet and look at the Norway Maple on 7/3/14 at 8 am.

**** met with both the client and her friend. They informed **** that other Arborists had come out to provide a quote for the River Birch removal and one of the Arborists took note of the Norway Maple. He informed the client that the tree is a dangerous tree because of splits in some limbs and a potential cavity in the trunk of the tree from co-dominant stems. This Arborist also mentioned that the mulch around the tree was too close to the trunk of the tree and could present future problems of decay at the base of the tree and with the surface roots.

**** did observe the split limbs and the mulch at the base of the tree surrounding the trunk. The mulch was not piled up against the trunk, but was touching the trunk. It was at a very thin layer around the tree and posed very minimal risk in regards to potential for fungal growth or any general decline to the tree, this was relayed to the client and her friend. **** then looked at the splits in the three limbs of the tree as pointed out by the client and the decay cavity on the trunk. One limb with a split was the limb that had the three through rods installed and two branches were removed (3" & 4") from that limb, the service that Kramer Tree provided. The limb looked to be in good shape and had leaves all throughout. There were other limbs with splits, but nothing significant enough to justify treatment or action at this time. The decay cavity at the trunk of the tree was present due to the co-dominant stems, but nothing out of the ordinary for Norway Maples. No fruiting bodies were present in the cavity at the time of the inspection. Thus, at the time of the inspection we did not see this concern as a high priority for a necessary recommendation to be made.

The client also expressed concern of intersecting branches and deadwood throughout the crown, and said ***** did not provide recommendations for maintenance or deadwood pruning until the second proposal was provided. She felt she needed to drag it out of ***** in order to get the recommendation, although in *****'s first visit he did mention to her that pruning would be needed in time.

In summary, through ***** ******** inspection of the tree and **** ******'s inspection of the tree, both ISA Certified Arborists, neither of them felt that the tree was at a point where it needed to be removed. The highest priority concern, the split limb, was addressed in our original proposal and accepted by the client. This resulted in the completion of the 3 through rods installed into the split limb as well as the removal of two branches coming off that limb in order to reduce the weight. After addressing the client's concern and meeting her on site to go over it, we felt our best course of action to resolve her frustration would be to provide a discount to the additional work that she is concerned about, the additional pruning and the concern of the co-dominant stem on the trunk. We offered those services not because we feel it is a high priority for the maintenance of the tree, but because she repeatedly expressed concern in regards to those areas on the tree.

Our goal is to provide the best and highest priority recommendations as possible for all trees that we assess, and for that to be in accordance with the requests of our clients. If we felt the tree was a "dangerous tree" and would need to be removed within the next year, we would not have recommended any maintenance to be done to the tree. In our professional opinion, we feel plausible and continual tree care maintenance to this tree overtime will help to prolong its longevity.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I disagree with the response from the business.
It seems to have changed from our discussions with both ***** and ****...

My overall cost concerns were never stated in a way that I was only looking to do a bare minimum on the tree. What I wanted was a full overview of the tree's health so that I could make an educated decision on what work I wanted to do - if any. Nothing was mentioned as for concerns of the split stem / decay cavity on the trunk, other split branches, pruning, etc. Never was it mentioned by ***** that additional pruning was needed on his visit on 4/21/14. The first mention of this was by the workers putting in the rods (after they had completed).

When **** came out to discuss my concerns on 7/3 he stated he had talked to ***** prior to coming out. When I mentioned about the additional pruning that was not brought up by ***** at our original meeting he stated that this was a failure on his company's side to not have brought this to our attention. The following is taken from an email **** sent to me of which he states was a miscommunication on his company's part - I have underlined this:

"What I can offer for the co-dominant stems and deadwood concerns, is a reduced rate for doing that work. Each winter we offer a 15% discount on tree work to our clients for work completed somewhere between December 1 and March 30. To accommodate the miscommunication I would be willing to allow a 25% discount for you for installing a cable to address the co-dominant stem issue and for the deadwood pruning of the tree, this work would be done this winter season between December 1, 2014 and March 30, 2015."

Again I mentioned about how ***** never mentioned about the split trunk, **** seemed to think this was not a concern, yet offered to cable it at a discount - see email snapshot above. Again the fact that the trunk had a split, and that water was draining into the cavity, I would have expected this to be brought to my attention on the first meeting 4/21 so that I was aware of the issue - at the very least so that I could keep an eye on it along with the other issues. Though **** felt it not a concern they were still willing to take more of my money to have it cabled - for a discount.

My expectation of having an arborist come out to look at a tree is for them to give me the full health of the tree and all its issues/concerns. Whether it costs thousands or hundreds to do various work on the tree is irrelevant - I am looking for an overall picture. I will eventually decide (not *****/****) on the work and who to do it when I can, but by not disclosing the overall tree's health, i feel they defrauded me and I had work done that i would not have chosen to do if I knew about the other issues.

In our discussion with ****, I clearly stated that any discount would not be acceptable for future work as this would only give their company more of my money. I requested that I would like 50% of my cost refunded (I thought this was reasonable) since I felt I was not given full disclosure of the issues of the tree. Upon leaving **** stated he would see what he could do about refunding some of our money, and he also stated he would talk to the owner about the miscommunications.

If I had received full disclosure of everything needed to be done to the tree and/or what to look out for over time (multiple split branches, split trunk, etc.) I do not feel I would have had the rods put in, as the tree had too many issues.

Final Business Response
Our intent from the beginning of this matter at the point we initially met the client was to professionally asses the work request and to provide our best recommendations for the issues with her Norway Maple. Our Certified Arborist, who initially met with the client, felt that the highest priority of concern in this matter was to address the split limb, which was the primary concern in the initial request initiated by the client. He provided the recommendation of the through rod installation to provide structural integrity and stabilization of that limb, as well as pruning two smaller branches on that limb to reduce weight and assist in stabilizing the structural integrity of the limb in question. The through rod and pruning recommendations were two separate recommendations with separate costs, provided to the client in a written proposal. The work was approved by the client and we carried out the work.

One week after we completed the approved work, the client requested that we come back out and provide an additional proposal for the removal of another tree on her property. Our Certified Arborist provided that proposal, which also included an additional service of the client's request of a pruning service for the Norway Maple.

One week after providing the second proposal, the client contacted our office with concerns of the work we did on the Norway Maple. When we followed up with the client to address her concerns, they were not in regard to work that was approved and that we provided, but it was in regard to work that another tree care company recommended that should be addressed. Upon our follow up with the client, we do not feel those additional concerns of the tree are critical to be done at this point in time. We do agree that there is a co-dominant stem on this tree and that there is a cavity present, but we do not agree that it is making this tree a "dangerous" tree and should be removed. We also agree that pruning was a service that could have been proposed initially, but again this is not a high priority service that needs to be done immediately.

To resolve the frustrations and the misperceptions of our client, we offered 25% off the pruning service and a cable installation for the co-dominant stems concern, with the work being done during the dormant season, anytime between December 1 and the end of March the following year. We completely understand that the client is not interested in doing this additional work on the tree, and we don't feel the cable installation is necessary at this time, but we offered this because of the concerns she was expressing.

The resolution of all of her money back for the work we had done on her tree or half of her money back, we do not agree with because the recommendations were provided in a written proposal, with the costs listed. The proposal was approved and the services approved were completed, billed and paid. The work proposed was completed effectively and to industry standards. Those services completed we feel were the highest priority and immediate needs for the longevity of the tree. The additional services for the co-dominant stems and pruning needs we feel were not of high priority, were not of immediate concern, and would be things to address potentially further down the road. All trees will eventually need pruning in an urban setting if desired by the owner.

In the end, we provided what we felt were the most important needs for the longevity of the tree. We do feel those services completed were done properly and will be effective benefiting the longevity of this Norway Maple. We agree that there are other needs for this tree, but not anything that needs to be addressed or done immediately. It is impossible and unrealistic for us to provide a service to clients' trees, and expect to never have another service to carry out for that tree. Other tree care companies may have different priorities of the needs of the tree, or opinions of longevity of the tree. We would not disrespect their opinions, but in this matter we do not agree that this is a "dangerous" tree. Other tree care companies will vary in cost in relation to our costs. We cannot control that, we can only control the costs that we must abide by based on our company and operations. We always provide our recommendations in a written proposal, explaining the work we are going to do and the cost it will be to do it. When we have approval from a client for proposed work, we carry out the work and bill the amount that was listed in the proposal. If there are discrepancies in the work proposed and work completed, we look into those matters and adjust accordingly. When there are discrepancies between our recommendations and another company's recommendations, it is a matter of opinions.

We do hope this response provides better insight into this matter.

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
We do not feel the company is owning up to the fact that when they were requested to look at the tree, that they explained all issues/ work that was needed - small/good/bad/indifferent to the homeowner.

Fact: Homeowner pointed out known issues to Arborist.
Expectation: Was for Arborist to point out things unknown to homeowner that would need work - i.e. split stem, pruning, etc. This did not happen.

Fact: Homeowner was told by adding rods to one branch that was split it would help tree. Thus homeowner paid for work to be done.
Expectation: Was for tree to not need any other additional and/or major work in the near future. This turned out not to be the case as pruning, split stem cabling, etc. was needed.

Fact: Upon getting other estimates for work on a different tree, was told the Maple had issues, and should have had these issues addressed along with needed pruning.
Expectation: Was for homeowner to have been told this by Kramer Tree Specialist's Arborist when
they first came out. Again this was not done on their first visit. A pruning estimate was given after it was requested to them and they made a second visit.

Again, homeowner specifically contacted Kramer Tree because they were expecting a knowledgeable Arborist to explain everything to them on the tree so they could decide next actions for the tree. By not knowing full disclosure of the tree, homeowner paid for work that should not have been done as tree had multiple issues.

Industry Comparison| Chart

Tree Service, Tree Service - Transplant, Arborist, Mulches, Stump Removal & Grinding, Landscape Contractors - Commercial, Land Clearing & Leveling, Tree Service - Pruning

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