18% of people involved in falling tree deaths were in the comfort of their own homes. Getting prompt emergency tree removal for any hazard trees on your property can be a life or death situation depending on what you do.
Like many high-pressure situations, the circumstances around emergency tree removal are ripe for scammers to strike. How can you tell if you’re being scammed when hiring an emergency tree removal service?
This guide outlines some common things to watch out for in tree service scams. Villainous scammers will strike when you are at your most vulnerable. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need by reading this guide.
Emergency Tree Removal Assessment Scams
The first group of scams to look out for deal with the assessment phase of tree removal. Here are a few examples.
Lying About Threat Levels of Trees
A company may come to your house to do an inspection. They may list a bunch of hazard trees on your property that they consider a threat. Most companies get paid per tree so identifying a bunch is in their best interest.
Unbeknownst to you, these trees may not threaten your life or property in any way! The scammers are lying so they can get the most money out of you possible.
Overcharging for an Assessment
The best emergency tree removal will give you a free written estimate for any sort of tree work, emergency or otherwise. Others will come to your house and make a thorough assessment for a nominal fee.
Never pay a large amount of money for an assessment. Only an emergency tree branch removal company that specializes in scamming would charge you big bucks for something that should be free.
Emergency Tree Removal Insurance Scams
Many companies will use insurance (or lack thereof) as a mechanism for their scamming. Here are a few things to watch out for when it comes to insurance scams.
Being Uninsured or Underinsured
Don’t ever let a company without insurance touch your trees. All legitimate tree service companies have adequate insurance. Trees can cause millions of dollars in damages if they fall the wrong way during removal.
Demand to see a company’s insurance coverage and how much it is for before allowing them to start work. The last thing you want is for an accident to happen and for you to be liable because it was on your property.
Not Willing to Work With Your Insurance Company
If a company is not trying to work with your insurance company, they may be trying to scam you. Be wary of companies that undercut the competition’s rates significantly and want to work outside of insurance.
If they are asking you not to go through proper insurance channels for payment, they may do a terrible job or never show up altogether. Always go through your insurance provider if possible.
Never accept a bid from someone who only accepts cash payment and refuses to provide proper certifications and qualifications. Check that all of your potential candidates have Better Business Bureau certifications as well.
You can use the Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker if you have any doubts about the integrity of a particular tree removal company. Always ask to see any necessary documentation before allowing a company to start work.
Pay-In-Advanced or Money Wiring Scams
If you contact someone for an estimate or an emergency tree removal service and they ask for any money in advance be wary. Never wire money to a company over the phone or through the internet until you have met with them.
They could be posing as a legitimate tree removal company and using this position to get you to send them money. Once the money leaves your account, it will be gone for good and they will never show up for work.
Be Wary of Door-To-Door Sales People
If someone shows up at your door and tries to solicit you to use their tree service, chances are they are desperate for customers. At the very least they may overcharge you for services, at the worst they may rip you off outright.
Only use a tree service that you research and call. Don’t let someone show up at your door and point out all the “dangerous” trees you have on your property. They are only trying to scare you and get your money in the process.
Post Disaster Scams
After storms or other natural disasters, all of the scammers come out of the woodwork looking for fresh victims. Don’t be one of them. While it may be hard to find a reputable tree company right after a disaster, don’t get desperate.
Always contact your insurance company first and get more than one estimate. Don’t settle for a stranger that shows up at your door with a chainsaw immediately after a disaster. Chances are they will rip you off.
DIY tree removal is never a good idea unless you have tons of experience. Be wary of a company that wants to include you in the tree removal process. If they can’t handle the project from start to finish, find a different company.
A legitimate organization would never leave parts of the project unfinished for you to handle such as hauling tree removal waste. If someone offers you a discounted rate for this type of situation they are a scammer.
If a tree removal company doesn’t have adequate equipment and wants you to rent it for them, always say no. They could be using you to get expensive power tools and abscond with them.
If this happens, you will be the one footing the bill for all new equipment to the rental center, not them. Never furnish equipment for a tree-removal specialist. Showing up unequipped is a tell-tale sign of a scammer.
Stay Ahead of Tree Removal Scammers
Nowadays it seems that everyone is after your money and you need to keep a watchful eye out for scammers. Treat finding an emergency tree removal specialist with the due diligence it deserves.
If you want the ultimate way to avoid having to deal with scammers, contact us today. We are a fully accredited, insured, and capable emergency tree removal company. We can handle all of your tree removal needs today.