The tree care industry is full of fly-by-night contractors that are out to exploit your resources and leave your property damaged from their low-quality work. Equip yourself with the right knowledge to prevent yourself from getting scammed.
How can you protect yourself when hiring a tree company?
What are the characteristics and qualifications of the tree service company you should look for to avoid ending up hiring a con artist? There are lots of illegitimate tree care companies out there and those that produce unsatisfactory results, so you want to make sure you stay away from them.
Below are important factors that will lead you to the right business for your project:
1. Insurance Policies
You should never fail to consider this whenever you hire a tree service. It is not enough that they possess general liability insurance; they should also have workers compensation insurance, which is equally important. The business should send this information to you. If they don’t, that should be a red flag. If an accident occurs while the company works on your property, and they do not have the proper insurance, you will be responsible, legally, and financially.
2. Better Business Bureau
While the BBB is not as strong as they once were, it can still be used as an indicator of which business should be trusted and not. Find out the service’s rating and if they are in good standing with BBB. As much as possible, consider a business without any negative records with the BBB.
Do your homework and find out about the standing of the service, such as treeservicemadisonwi.com, with the residents of the local community. One of the ways you can check this is by reading online reviews on different review platforms.
It will also be a plus if the business is accredited by any respected organization in the tree industry, such as the Tree Care Industry Association or International Society of Arboriculture. Find out how long have they been in the tree industry because it will also say a lot about their integrity. Ask for references and ask them whether they recommend the service or not. It is never a waste of time to research the business you will hire for an important task on your property.
4. Low-Ball Estimate
If an estimate is too good to be true, it probably is because work will cost you money. We understand that you want to save as much money as you can, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your family’s safety. If a service is offering you a very low price, it may be because they are amateurs, they don’t have proper insurance, and they don’t intend to finish the job.
5. Unreasonably Expensive
The same goes if you are being offered a price that seems too high. Eight thousand dollars is never reasonable for removing a small tree in your backyard.
6. Multiple Estimates
You will not be able to compare the prices for each business if you only have one estimate on hand. We highly suggest that you obtain three estimates. You should be able to get a hunch of the average pricing for a particular service. You can also meet with the representative of each company, so you can clarify any questions you may have and get a sense of their professionalism and expertise.
7. Make the Right Comparison
Once you got a hold of the written estimates, take time to compare the services being offered by each. Do they offer additional services? Make sure to take this into account. How do they plan to go about the trimming or removal job? Will, they fell the tree or remove it in segments? Although it is faster and easier to fell a tree, it can cause harm to your property.
On the flip side, eliminating the tree piece by piece will take much time and effort, but it can assure you of minimal to zero damage to your landscape. Keep in mind that price should not always be the deciding factor. Trust your gut feeling and choose a business that is knowledgeable and professional.
8. Avoid Door-to-Door Contractors
This is a big no-no. If you are looking to hire a contractor for a large-scale project such as a large removal, you should choose never to use the service of a door-to-door business. The BBB gets a number of complaints about this every time, and it has been an issue since.
Often, door-to-door services are fly-by-night crooks that only care about your money, and never about your landscape and safety. It is never a good idea to entrust your landscape to someone you’re not sure of the qualifications.
9. Be Extra Cautious Following a Storm
Con artists are out there, especially after a natural disaster. They know that a lot of homeowners will require tree service, and they will take that to their advantage. You may be tempted to hire the first listing you see on the internet to get things back to normal. Be even wiser in situations like this. If you think you are being charged too high, you can always back out. Ask the business for their insurance policies and their credentials and practice extra caution during this time.
10. Pay When the Work Is Done
When you finally decided which service to hire, you should find out how and when you should pay. A reputable company will not ask for payment upfront, and you should follow this rule you use the services of a contractor. The danger of paying a contractor company upfront is that you may never hear of them again. Some start the job, ask for a payment, then leave the job unfinished. You should only pay once the job is completed, and you are happy with the outcome. Don’t get tricked by companies with a smooth-talking salesman and choose only a reputable, experienced, and professional tree service.