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BBB Accredited Business since

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Tree and landscape service.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that A-Better Tree Service meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for A-Better Tree Service include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 1
Total Closed Complaints 1

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on A-Better Tree Service
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: January 06, 2000 Business started: 07/13/1998 Business started locally: 07/13/1998
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Contractor's State License Board
9821 Business Park Drive, Sacramento CA 95827
Phone Number: (800) 321-2752
The number is 751678.

Type of Entity

Sole Proprietorship

Business Management
Ms. Michelle Strader, Office Manager Mr. Jeffery D. Strader, Owner
Contact Information
Principal: Ms. Michelle Strader, Office Manager
Business Category

Tree Service Landscape Contractors

Service Area
Northern California
Alternate Business Names
A Better Landscape Service
Products & Services

Removal, pruning, stump grinding, ornamental and fruit tree pruning, planting and irrigation installation and repair.

Industry Tips
Hiring a Contractor in California: Essential Tips

Additional Locations

  • 3117 El Camino Ave

    Sacramento, CA 95821 (916) 483-3948


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Complaint Detail(s)

8/7/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Refusal to provide follow-up service after identifying multi-year process was needed and subsequent service would be charged at a reduced rate. On February 13, 2012, I contracted ******* ******* at A Better Tree Service for tree/plant service. Contracted service was performed on February 16, 2012, and included the following: 1. Structure correction and crown reduction, cleaning, and shaping of 2 ornamental plum trees 2. Structure correction and thinning of an Asian pear (apple) tree 3. Crown reduction and thinning of 4 camellias and 1 gardenia 4. Crown cleaning and shaping of a crepe myrtle tree. At the time of contract, **** identified that service needed to be completed over a multi-year period (for the health of the trees/plants) in order to achieve my desired results. He said that subsequent service would be at approximately half the initial charge. (Subsequent service fees were not put in writing.) Upon completion of the job, I paid $435 expecting to continue service with **** the following year. On June 21, 2013, I called A Better Tree Service to schedule the exact service as the previous year. I was given an appointment for June 27 and told the specific time and charges would be confirmed. Later that night, I received a phone message identifying that A Better Tree Service would not be able to service me. No explanation was given. I can think if 2 reasons for refusing service: 1. I required **** to come a 2nd time to even out the shaping of the plum trees (making me a difficult customer?) and 2. They did not want to honor subsequent service at a lower price. Most likely, both.

Desired Settlement: I simply wanted follow-up service at a reduced rate. However, who would want an unwilling business to service them? Now, I want to warn others of this practice by registering a complaint.

Business Response: Business' Initial Response
Addressing the issue at hand begins February 13, 2012 when I first met with Mrs. ****** *******. I arrived in a timely fashion to provide a free estimate on a small and basic pruning job. Mrs. ******* had many questions regarding her landscape and I spent approximately 45 minutes explaining basic pruning techniques, plant physiology, proper composting and watering. After the free consultation, I spent 20 minutes writing a detailed proposal, pricing each individual item as she had requested. Mrs. ******* selected the items she wanted trimmed and we scheduled the work for February 16, 2012. On February 16th we arrived within the scheduled time frame and completed the job that afternoon. Our agreement was payment upon completion. She was to leave a check with her son. I reviewed the work and walked the job with her son and he stated things looked great, but was unsure as to his mother's approval. He also indicated that his mother had not left him a check and I would need to contact her regarding payment. I phoned Mrs. ******* at the end of the day and left a message as I reached her voicemail. Roughly a week later Mrs. ******* returned my call expressing great dissatisfaction with the work provided. I met with her a few days later to review the job. I listened to her concerns and addressed each item clarifying our long term pruning goal. Mrs. ******* remained unsatisfied and insisted I prune more out of her plum trees. I explained we removed the maximum amount of branching and foliage and to continue we would be pruning beyond the ISA standards and our contract. Mrs. ******* asked that if I pruned to her standards would I guarantee her trees good health. I replied, No. I, then, made detailed notes as to specific twigs and small branching that concerned her. Service was scheduled for the following week. The follow up service was provided by me and a small crew. We paid great attention to Mrs. *******'s specifications. Upon completion I phoned Mrs. ******* and left a message stating the job was complete and I would like to schedule another walk through to review the work and collect payment. Mrs. ******* did not return the call. After two weeks, my wife, ******** phoned her once again and left a message requesting payment. This call was not returned. We received payment on 04/02/1012 with a note from Mrs. *******, again, expressing he overall displeasure with the service provided. Mrs. ******* stated the subsequent service would be at approximately half the initial charge. I, in fact explained to her that the most costly portion of this process would be the initial trim as there were many corrections and cuts to be made. When she inquired about future costs I told her they would be approximately half the price as half the work would be needed. Mrs. *******'s accusations of A Better Tree Service not honoring subsequent service has no validity as a subsequent service agreement was never stated or written.

Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) My complaint of A Better Tree Service being unwilling to provide subsequent service at a reduced rate is completely valid as evidenced by Mr. *******'s own statements: "I ... addressed each item clarifying our long term pruning goal." "... future costs ... would be approximately half the price..." Obviously, subsequent service ("long term goal," "future") and and pricing ("approximately half the price") were both discussed and became a factor in my decision to contract with A Better Tree Service. Although Mr. ******* never identifies in his response exactly why I have been refused service (after being given a scheduled appointment/date for service), he infers that I was a problematic customer by being too time consuming, by being difficult to please, and by delaying payment. Once again, Mr. ******* confirms my initial complaint: My business is not worth his time. First of all, in regards to Mr. *******'s time, providing a free estimate and explaining the process was entirely his choice and part of attracting my business. It is a normal business practice. However, Mr. ******* neglects to identify that our subsequent meeting (a few days after the initial work) was actually scheduled to reshape the plums trees not just "to review the job." In fact, I took the morning off work in order to be home during the process to ensure satisfaction. Although I did not include this detail in my original complaint, I was completely dismayed when the work was not completed at that time. (My daily rate of pay is approximately $423.) Again, Mr. ******* chose to return at a later time. Secondly, regarding (as Mr. ******* states) my "great dissatisfaction" and "overall displeasure" (again, not my words), and as evidenced in my note to Mr. *******, my remaining dissatisfaction concerned only 1 plum tree (out of 9 trees/plants) and my taking time off work when the work was not completed. In fact, I let him know in my note that accompanied my payment that "I absolutely love the clean out that you did on the gardenias and camellias... Now, I am also quite happy with the Asian pear/apple tree and the plum at the sidewalk." Obviously, despite my dissatisfaction with 1 out of 9 trees/plants, I still decided to schedule subsequent service in hopes of continuing with Mr. *******'s long term goals and with the enticement of future costs being about half the price. Thirdly, it is quite customary to pay for service after completion and satisfaction of the work. Admittedly, I did not leave a check with my son; however, I fully intended to pay Mr. ******* upon his completion of reshaping the plum trees. Since he did not perform the job when I was at home as we had scheduled, I did not pay him at that time. (My check to A Better Tree Service is dated 20 Feb 2012.) Subsequently, we played "phone tag" regarding a walk through until I decided to send him a note expressing my concerns along with my payment. He did not respond to my concerns. In closing, my initial complaint remains. I simply wanted A Better Tree Service to provide subsequent service at a reduced rate as was originally discussed with Mr. *******. Unfortunately, A Better Tree Service refused to service me.

Business' Final Response
As a credentialed and certified expert in the field of arboriculture my passion is to teach and serve. I personally served Mrs. ******* beyond the terms of our contract to ensure customer satisfaction. At this time I reserve the right to refuse service. Respectfully, ******* D ******* ISA Certified Arborist WE-9721A