Owner of the company is trying to charge me 20% of the total estimate for canceling his services when there was no work done.
On 4/22/14, I met ****, the owner of A Hand-Shake Tree Service at my rental in Arvada. He was there for approximately 10 min. and he gave me an estimate of $285. I called him last week to schedule his services for Tuesday the 29th and he asked me if my husband would be there to help him remove the fence and I said "no". He then said that he wasn't certain that the weather would be decent enough to do the job. He ended the conversation by saying that he would only "pencil" my appointment in and he would let me know if he was going to show up. Yesterday, Sunday the 27th, my husband removed some branches that were growing from one of the stumps and saw that the other two stumps were rotten. My husband was able to just pop up large pieces of wood from the stump and he asked my why the man from A Hand-Shake Tree service didn't tell me the service wasn't needed on 2 of the stumps? So Sunday I emailed **** and asked him for an estimate for just the third stub that wasn't rotten and he never answered me. I felt as though he had taken advantage of me because I was a woman in my sixties. I emailed him to cancel the service on Sunday and to let him know that I was going to use another company. On Monday morning I emailed him again to cancel the service. Again, I didn't hear back from him, so I called him just after 12 noon to make sure he got my message. He answered the phone and I told him that I had been trying to reach him via email and he said that he hadn't checked his emails. Then he said that I should have told him before today and then hung up. He called me right back and then told be that I needed to send him a check for 20% of the total estimate amount because I cancelled. How odd? This man was going to charge me for taking out part of my fence to fit his machine through and he wanted my husband to be there to help him do that and then he never told me that 2 of the 3 stumps were rotten and would not have needed the service in the first place. He never anwered my emails when I tried to communicate with him on the upcoming tennative appointment, which he never called me back on to confirm. I have another company that I had come out to give me an estimate and they told me that they didn't have to remove my fence and suggested that I could do all three stumps if I wanted, but they gave me a breakdown of each stump separate so that I could have the option of only doing one if I needed it. **** at a Hnad-Shake Tree Service lumped all three together, so that I never had that option and when I asked for it, he never responded to me. I don't believe that I should have to pay him anything for cancelling my appointment when I was the one who tried to reach him serveral times to get a new estimate on just one stump and he never responded to me with an answer. Also, he was going to use my husband to help him remove the fence and he never called me to confirm that we actually had a date of service. He never told me about the rotted out stumps and that the service was not needed. This owner of this company not only is trying to get money for no work being done but he has handled himself in a totally unprofessional manner.
I don't need any money back because I am refusing to send him a check.
1st of all, this is very petty.
Secondly, I did not send Mrs. ***** a bill, so there is no case.
Third, this is very inaccurately depicted. I will respond to to some of it that seems important to set the record straight.
I will admit, I do not work most weekends I did not check my emails over the weekend nor Monday.
I am at fault there.
1st, I was there waiting for the customer a few minutes before she arrived (she was told this) and we were there about 20 min. explaining why I would need to remove one fence to get in and one that the stump was grown into and pushing out . While I was leaving I told her I would bring an extra person for the fence. SHE DID NOT MENTION THIS IN THE REPORT!
2nd, when she called to accept, SHE wanted a specific time for me to meet her husband there. HE WANTED TO BE THERE. At that time I asked since her husband would be there if he could help me with the 10' long privacy fence. She said no, I again told her NO PROBLEM I'll bring someone! I also told her I would get the stumps in the schedule for 1:00 on Tuesday 4/22. It was a specific time so I planned for it at the specified time!
She had time to discuss it with husband and then confirm. I was not "taking advantage of a woman in her 60s". One stump in the middle of the yard when I'm not cleaning up the debris, I use a guard to minimize the mess. One stump, very rotten but very large and still have to run through the entire stump. Most of the charge was for dealing with the 2 fences and the medium size stump against the fence. She called me out to grind 3 stumps I did not consider to tell her that her husband could just dig 2 of them out. Not my place to assume that. They should have figured that out before wasting my time going out there for the estimate.
She requested once by email an individual price, that I did not see until today.She had my phone number & should have called & there would not have been this miscommunication.
This is a contract she agreed to and if she wanted to get a cost for the one stump she should have called me before searching for a lower price from someone else. If she had contacted me I probably would have told her it would not be worth having me grind the 1 stump and deal with the fences. I should have had the option to get another company with a smaller grinder or walk away from it.
If she didn't want to honor her word and commitment she should have had real, in person communication but she has the audacity to attack my integrity.
After 26 years in business, I make sure all clients are pleased with the work completed and I get to the work in a timely manner.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I don't believe that having Mr. ********** call me on the phone, for the purpose of telling me that I owed him $57.00 for a "free estimate", is a petty situation. I take verbal threats on the phone very seriously. The mere fact that Mr. ********** places "20% of contract fees due with cancellation", at the bottom of his estimate, is a desperate attempt to collect any money possible for no work done at all. Other verbiage at the bottom of his estimate, states possibilities of action such as "liens on homes" and "collection and attorney fees". If Mr. ********** is not threating these actions, then why are they stated at the bottom of his estimate? I have several estimates from other tree companies, that I have received in the past and none of them declare on their estimate the potential for fees for cancellation, legal fees, or lien filing against homes. Their only fees are for collection of money after a job has taken place, not trying to collect money for a fee estimate. These statements are skewed towards Mr. ********** taking as much money as possible from a potential client and not giving the potential client any rights at all. If these statements, that Mr. ********** has placed at the bottom of his estimate are legal, then he has potentially found a loop hole in the legal system that allows him to extort money from people and not be responible for any of it.
The only time in talking to Mr. **********, that I brought up my husband, was when I told Mr. ********** that I would review the estimate figures with him. It was Mr. **********, that wanted to know if my husband would be there the day of the stump removal. Part of the estimate charge was quoted as, "Take down the fence and put it back up" and he wanted to use my husband for this job and still charge me the full amount of the estimate? If most of the estimate charge was for the fence and he was going to use my husband to help him, then why didn't he give me two estimates instead of one? One for my husband to assist him and the other to have someone else help him.
Mr. ********** was the one that originally contacted me via email. If email isn't a good contact source for him and his business, then why does he have it on his estimate and why did he contact me with it at the beginning of our conversations?
It is the responsibility of the owner of a service related business, to inform potential clients, about options that are available for the service needed. I was not aware of the rotted condition of the two stumps, but Mr. ********** definitely was, because of his many years in the business. If I would have been told by him that the larger rotted stump was not really in need of grinding, because it was no longer attached to the dirt and the smaller stump was in the same condtion, then I wouldn't have initially wanted those two stumps to be put into the bid. Mr. ********** didn't even touch, kick or examine in any way both of the rotten stumps. If he had of examined both stumps in front of me, it would have been obvious that both were not in need of grinding. Honesty should be a very important part of an owner's business and this was not the way that Mr. ********** conducted his business out in the field with me. My age and the fact that I am a woman, should have no bearing on this stituation, because Mr. ********** should have fully disclosed the actual condition of all three stumps up front and at the time of the estimate.
It seems that after 26 years in the business, Mr. ********** has not only ignored communication with me as a potential client, by not monoriting his business email, but he is more than willing to use a client to help him with his job (by the way is he insured for any harm that might come to a client if they get hurt while helping him with a job?). He has called me on the phone, with the only purpose of threating me with paying him an amount of 20%, when he had not completed a minute of work. He has intentionally not disclosed in his estimate the fact that two thirds of his stump grinding job was not even needed. I guess my question to Mr. ********** is, exactly what part of any of his estimate was ethical, honest and has integrity? I know my answer, and it is none. From start to finish, Mr. ********** was never upfront with me, he never gave me full disclosure of the estimate and he has been more than willing to blame me for his incompetence and inablility to communicate.
I am not satisfied with his inability to explain away the lack of service that he has shown, not to mention the unprofessional attitude and monetary threats that all came from an estimate from his business. I would never want anyone else to have to deal with this person and his company in the future.