I recently received a call from a woman who was very upset and claimed I had recently been to her home to remove a tree that was on her property. I asked her for her name and her address. I keep very close track of my client’s information and have a great bookkeeping service. I looked up her information and found I never actually been to that property to do work. She stated that my company Superior Tree Service came out to remove a tree. When we cut down the tree and fell on the fence between her and her neighbor’s yard. I found this highly unusual. First of all, I would have remembered her name and I definitely would have remembered if we cut a tree down that fell on someone’s fence. Our level of experience would never allow this to happen. I asked her if she was sure it was our company. She stated and I quote, “Yes. I am sure it was your company. I have your business card right here.” She said I had my business name and license number on the business card. I then asked her what phone number was on the business card, and it was not my phone number. She looked at my business name online and called me on the phone number she found. We spoke for quite some time about the situation. She went on to state that she was not home during the job and she came home to find the tree lying on the ground crushing the fence and just missing the neighbor’s house. I knew something was not right. I called the number she provided and a guy answered the phone saying my business name. I asked questions about their company and got the man’s name and address after a lot of questioning. I then went over to the lady’s house to pick up the business card she was handed and looked at the tree which had been cut down. Once we met in person she knew I was not the company she had dealt with.
Through further investigation I found that this man was using other licensed tree services business names and license numbers to go out and do jobs. He was obviously not licensed. I later called back the number and it had already been disconnected. I went to check out the address that he had provided and it was a vacant home in North County Springdale. Apparently the same guy had been using other tree service names in Springdale too. It seemed he was targeting all the reputable tree services and using their good reputation to get business. He would pass out business cards and distribute flyers. When the homeowners looked up the name of the company online the homeowner would see nothing but good things about the company. I am sure this worked for the scam artist pretty well until he botched a job. He would then get a new phone number, print new business cards and start the process over again using a different business name. Always make sure the phone number, of the company you are calling matches up with the business card you have been provided. We actually offered to help the lady get the tree removed properly and gave her a discounted rate due to her situation. She really helped us identify the person and take further action to avoid this ever happening to anyone else in the future. I hope this story helps consumers avoid these types of scam tree service companies in the future.