St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 7, 2014 – B A Tree Service’s customers say they paid owner Brian Aslin for tree removal or other projects that he never started or never completed, Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns.
“He took my deposit, and I never heard from him again,” said a homeowner from Florissant who gave Aslin $300 more than a year ago. Aslin never did any of the work. “I called him several times, and he ignored me completely,” she said.
The company has an “F” rating with BBB, the lowest possible, for failing to respond to several customer complaints. BBB has been unable to confirm a valid address for Aslin or B A Tree Service. Since March 2012, BBB has received 16 complaints involving the company.
Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said the business has a long history with BBB. “We’re not talking about one or two isolated incidents; this is a serious, ongoing problem,” Corey said. “Mr. Aslin should be in the business of trimming trees, not people’s pocketbooks.”
Most of the complainants are from the Florissant area of north St. Louis County. Customers said they hired Aslin for jobs ranging from taking out trees to repairing screens. They said Aslin disappeared before the jobs were finished and then repeatedly failed to arrive for scheduled appointments or respond to phone calls
A Florissant couple said that they had been receiving flyers from B A Tree Service for several weeks, offering landscaping, lawn aeration, tree and stump removal, gutter cleaning, deck repair, fencing work and grass cutting. On July 14, they paid Aslin $550 in cash to remove three trees and haul away a pile of brush from their property. They said Aslin promised to return the following day to do the work, but he never came. They have called his phone number several times in recent weeks, but have been unable to reach him. “I have lost faith in the company,” the husband said
Another Florissant area resident said she paid Aslin $1,200 to remove a large oak tree from the back yard of her home more than two years ago. She said workers trimmed a few limbs from the tree and said they would complete the job when they returned from lunch. They have not been back. The woman eventually filed suit against Aslin, but the case was dropped when she could not get a good address where he could be served court papers.
She said she has seen Aslin driving his truck in the Florissant area recently. “He is still out there clipping senior citizens,” she said.
BBB has been unable to contact Aslin by phone. Recently, a BBB investigator located Aslin’s landscaping truck on a service station parking lot off Patterson Drive in Florissant and left a note asking that Aslin contact BBB immediately. He did not respond to the note.
BBB could find no evidence that B A Tree Service is registered with the Missouri secretary of state.
BBB offers the following tips for consumers looking to hire landscapers or contractors:
Contacts (News Media Only): Michelle L. Corey, President and CEO, (314) 645-0606, email@example.com; Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org; Bill Smith, Investigator, (314) 584-6727, email@example.com
BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. All BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million businesses, 11,000 Charity Reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information.