Every year, Houston sees its fair share of stormy and windy weather, either from summer thunderstorms, tropical disturbances, or strong winter winds. After a storm, homeowners are often concerned about the stability and appearance of property, as well as personal safety, when limbs and trees fall due to high winds.
Unfortunately, disreputable and unscrupulous tree crews make an appearance after stormy weather to make a fast profit off property owners in need of immediate tree help. These dangerous and unprofessional tree crews may have their own truck, a few workers, and some equipment, but they are far from professional, safe, or reliable. In today's blog post, we'll look at the four signs of a disreputable tree company to help property owners avoid becoming a victim of unscrupulous tree crews.
Demanding Payment In Advance
A professional tree care company will accept payment after services are rendered to ensure total customer satisfaction. In addition, they will often accept various forms of payment, including cash, check, or credit card payments. On the contrary, disreputable tree crews that drive down neighborhood streets after a storm will often demand cash only, and will insist on payment up front before any services are performed. Too often, property owners end up paying cash for services never rendered, or the work is only half done. Customers often have no recourse if the work is not completed or is only partially completed.
Soliciting Tree Jobs Door-To-Door
A hallmark of disreputable tree companies is their preference for driving around Houston neighborhoods immediately after a strong storm or hurricane looking for homes with fallen trees or limbs. They will seek out either vulnerable elderly homeowners or those with urgent tree emergencies, and offer their services. They will act as though they are eager to help when in reality they want to make a quick dollar. In contrast, reputable and professional tree care companies rely on positive feedback, a sterling reputation and referrals from satisfied customers in order to grow their business and acquire new customers. Happy property owners will always be quick to refer their family, friends and neighbors to honest, reliable and professional tree care companies when a tree emergency arises.
Provide No Written Estimates or Work Orders
Disreputable tree crews will typically eyeball the property and make an immediate offer of services without thorougly inspecting the trees, surrounding property, or potential hazards. They will not provide the property owner with a detailed work order of services to be performed, or a written estimate for the total project costs. The end result is the property owner may end up with a much higher total bill due to hidden labor costs, additional services, or parts or equipment needed to complete the work. Many property owners that accept their offer to quickly clear fallen trees or remove debris will often discover they've been taken advantage of by crews that leave the work half-completed, cause additional damage, or never even return to perform the work. Because of the lack of paperwork, the owner has very little recourse to recoup their payment for shoddy or incomplete tree work.
Disregard Safety Practices and Tree Care Standards
Disreputable tree crews and amateur workers offering their immediate services will typically not adhere to any OSHA safety standards, performing their work without safety goggles, tree harnesses, or cables and ropes to securely bring down large branches or tree trunks. They will also use unstable ladders and will work too close to power lines, jeopardizing their safety and health. In addition, these amateur tree crews will make recommendations for tree care services not endorsed by the tree care industry, such as tree topping. Tree topping is when the tree crown is cut down to keep limbs or branches from growing too tall, but severely harms the tree's health.