- 17 Sep
How to Choose the Right Tree Cutting and Removal Service and Avoid Scams
Our tree service industry is full of scam artists and fly-by-night crooks. Take the following precautions to avoid being scammed, should you be in need of a tree cutting and removal service company. How do you choose the right company? Here are some helpful tips to choosing the right tree service company.
First and foremost, be sure the tree service company has the proper liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. You should be able to see a copy of their insurance and be sure it is current as well. A good tip would be for their insurance company to send you this copy of the policy directly to you via email as proof of its existence. Know that if a company has an accident on the job, and does not have the right insurance, then you will be held liable, and have to pay for any repairs to your home or for injuries occurred as a result of the accident.
When you are seeking out a tree cutting and removal company, it is important in the age of social media, that you do your research about the company’s reputation online. A solid and reputable tree removal service will be able to provide past client references and you should be able to view numerous reviews online via Google, their Facebook fan page, Yelp and other review sites online. This will ensure that you will likely end up with a company that is dedicated to the utmost in customer satisfaction.
Along with reviewing potential tree removal companies, ask your tree removal specialists about their certification. For instance, the International Society of Arboriculture, or ISA, provides special certification for professionals in the tree trimming industry. By obtaining ISA certification, a tree removal company shows that they use practices and standards acknowledged by the top leaders of the tree removal industry.
With regards to the price of the tree service, if a price seems way too good to be true, it likely is. We all enjoy bargains, but a very low price may be because they have little to no experience, or lack the proper certifications and insurances or they only intend to do a portion of the job. Conversely, if a price just seems too high, just say “no thanks” and move onto somebody else. Never let a smooth-talking salesperson convince you that $5000 is a decent price for removing a large oak tree in your yard. Lastly, how do you know if a price is too high or too low? Just seek out multiple estimates in your area. When you compare different estimates, make sure to compare what is actually being offered and compare notes between estimates. This will enable you to ask questions, learn more about what is involved in your project and more.
Repeat, and I repeat, do not ever do business with door-to-door contractors, particularly for large projects like tree removal. The BBB and a number of district attorneys offices across the country regularly warn against this. Many door to door contractors are con artists that travel from town to town, preying on homeowners, particularly senior citizens. If you simply make it a policy not to do business with them, you will not have to worry about being caught in this popular scam.
Only pay the tree service company AFTER the tree has been cut and removed and you are fully satisfied the job has been completed properly and right. Some companies will try to get for a down payment, for fuel money, to pay for equipment rental, to pay their employees, etc — DON’T fall for this. Solid tree removal companies will ONLY ask for the full payment AFTER the full job is completed.
About the Author
My journey as a Cleveland home inspector began 15 years ago when I was buying real estate properties in Ohio. Because they were my investments, I wanted to make sure I was getting a great deal, so I decided to learn everything I could about general home inspections.