Householders warned about rogue tree surgeons
10/01/2014 11:46:00......Posted by Lynne Hale
Recent bad weather has seen rogue tree surgeons taking advantage of vulnerable customers worried that high winds could bring down trees, causing injury and damage to property.
After learning of an elderly victim who fell foul of one company’s sharp practice, Croydon’s trading standards team is warning residents to be aware of the possibility of contractors acting unscrupulously.
A 73-year-old Selsdon woman, concerned about a tree on her property, responded to a flyer left at her address. She called the company and asked for an estimate for the removal of a small tree. When tree surgeons arrived at her home, they refused to quote a price but proceeded to cut down and remove the tree before demanding she pay a fee of £1,200 in cash, saying payment by cheque was not acceptable. The work had taken less than two hours to complete.
Shocked and intimidated by the demand for cash, she told the contractor that she did not keep such sums in the house. His immediate response was to tell her that he would take her to her building society in order that she could withdraw the cash.
On hearing the details of the transaction, the building society cashier advised her to report the matter to trading standards.
It is unfortunately the case that there are contractors and traders operating locally who are all too willing to take advantage of situations such as the recent high rain fall and gale force winds, so it is always advisable to get more than one quote for any work which needs doing. Ideally three estimates should be obtained from reputable traders and a good place to find them is on the Trustmark website, www.trustmark.org.uk.
Trustmark provides an impartial assessment of local traders operating to Government approved standards