To avoid being duped by scammers posing as professional tree management companies, you need to know the signs that indicate they are scammers.
You can avoid scammers.
It’s no secret that scammers are everywhere, trying to make a quick buck from unsuspecting people. There is no industry that can escape this unfortunate reality. These scammers can appear at any time, but often they are waiting for the right moment when their “services” will be seen as useful. Another might say, “I went to your neighborhood and noticed that the trees around your house are dangerous. In either case, they are willing to do the work for a low fee if you pay them right away.
Signs of Tree Service Scammers
1. Door-to-door contractors.
One of the first signs of a tree service scammer is to go door-to-door looking for potential customers. It is very rare that a reputable and legitimate tree service company will knock on your door looking for work. Be wary of anyone who offers their services in this manner. 2.
2. Their services are either too low or too expensive.
If a tree service company quotes a price that seems too good to be true considering the amount of work that has to be done, it probably is. They may not have the necessary experience in the field, not to mention licensing and insurance. In the unlikely event of an accident, you may be the one responsible for it.
On the other hand, if you feel that the price is too high, you may want to decline their services as well. For example, if the job is just trimming a relatively short tree and does not require any special equipment, you should not charge $2,500.
Always try to get about three or four quotes from various reliable tree care companies. 3.
3. They ask for payment right away – in cash – and often pressure you to agree to the service in a hurry.
Most scammers will say “offer for today only” and pressure you to pay immediately and accept the offer. They will say they will only accept cash and promise to do the job haphazardly or come back with the “right tools” or “when they finish the job for your neighbor” once you have paid.
Don’t agree to pay up front or be pressured to make a quick decision after the job is done.
4. They can’t provide proper credentials and are offended when you ask for proof of insurance.
Make sure they are properly licensed, bonded, and insured. Make sure they have proof of both personal liability insurance, property damage liability insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance. You can find this information at your state attorney general’s office.
Professional arborists have the Certified Arborist credential offered by the International Society of Arboriculture.
5. They refuse to give you a written contract agreement.
Most scammers will not take the time to provide you with a written estimate because they hope you will agree to their offer and pay right away. Insist that the agreement includes details of the costs involved, approximate start and completion dates for the work, and a list of tasks that need to be performed (such as how to clean up afterwards). If they refuse to provide this, you will have to refuse their services as well.