We read an article in the London Free Press this morning and have to say that we are disappointed in the greedy nature of people after a tragedy. A tornado ripped through beautiful Goderich, the self-proclaimed “Prettiest Town in Canada”, earlier this month and now people are scrambling to make a buck. My heart is heavy after hearing stories of people being ripped off in the aftermath and subsequent cleanup of a storm. I can only imagine what is happening South of the border, after Hurricane Irene devastated a wide swathe of the east coast last weekend. With estimates for cleanup there reaching into the billions already, I am sure that there will be more than one person looking to take advantage of people in their time of need as well.
CLC Tree Services wants to remind people to always get a written estimate before having any tree services completed. For peace of mind, two to three estimates is best. A reputable tree services company should be able to provide references, proof of insurance, the length of time they have been in the industry, and any other pertinent information, such as whether they are members of the Better Business Bureau, International Society of Arboriculture or any other related organization. A tree services company should be able to discuss all the best possible courses of action for your landscaping/storm cleanup needs, and be able to outline that in a written estimate, including when the actual work will be done. Don’t forget to ask about cleanup after the work is completed as well! That is a standard part of the job. Also, if a deposit is requested, double check the amount. Most professional companies will only bill you once a job is completed, but certainly you should not be paying more than a 10% deposit up front.
While we realize that after a storm speed is of the essence often for security reasons, as well as aesthetic ones, it is still better to be safe than sorry. Believe me, you don’t want to have someone verbally quote you a price, then suddenly have the final bill be exorbitantly higher due to “unforeseen circumstances” or surprise “increased costs”. A reputable company will know what they are doing, and be able to foresee most issues they will come across before they ever pick up a chainsaw.
Our hearts go out to all the businesses and families affected by the tornado in Goderich, as well as the millions affected by Hurricane Irene. When it comes time to tackle the ugly job of storm cleanup, don’t be a victim again. Be smart and safe in hiring a professional for the job at hand. You have already gone through enough strife, so give yourself the peace of mind of work done right.