I called to have A tree taken down so that I could install an aluminum carport. James Wylie came out and looked over the yard and said I had so many dead, dangerous and damaged trees and I needed 27 trees cut down. He said it would be $8500. I said I can't do that. He said I can take down 17 (But he wrote on the bill 19 trees) trees for $6000.
He wrote on the bill he would grind the stumps, to me that meant 19 stumps. He said he cut down two trees free. It doesn't say that on the bill. It says 19 trees cut down and I would take it from that 19 stumps to grind. The stump grinder said he was only getting paid for 17.
We thought long and hard about it since some were hovering over the house. We have limbs come down in every storm, so we finally decided to have it done, even though we only wanted one tree down, possibly two. That was a whole lot of money and my husband has been out of work since August getting both shoulders replaced. He said two trees would be $1200. 19 trees would be $6000.
He said the $6000 would cover cutting the trees down, leave them laying on the ground for us to dispose of, stump grinding, chipping up all branches 6" and under and leaves would be raked up or burned.
I asked him at least three times if he had insurance, he assured me he did and it was in the truck. Everytime I asked him about it he said it was in the truck and he wouldn't show me the policy. I asked him what the limits were and he told me. He finally told me a few days after the job was done, he had no insurance. If I had known that he never would have stepped foot in our yard.
He wanted $2000 as a down payment. We gave it to him.
The first day he came and cut down five trees in about 2 hours and left. Then we had rain for two days. Friday it was bright and sunny, so I figured he would come and work on the rest of the trees. I never heard from him. When he showed up on Saturday, I told him to communicate with me so I would know when they were coming or not coming. that communication was important so we wouldn't be sitting home for days not knowing if he was coming or not.
Saturday, James, the owner stood around and talked and talked to the other workers a great part of the day, but assured me the job would be done by Sunday (the next day). At that point he still had 10 trees to take down, chip up all brush and the stump grinder kept coming out to grind up stumps as James said he had them ready. The trees are 3 feet around and very huge, so when you have 19 trees down in a yard, there is no room to move, let alone maneuver a truck with a grinder on it. He came back two days in a row without many stumps available to grind. But James kept telling him they were ready.
James told me any branches 6" and under would be chipped. They were not. He said he would chip all brush. They were not. He said he would cut the stumps down to a grinding level. They were not. In fact, I took pictures and they were over 3' tall. He said he would come back the next day to cut them and he never showed up. In fact, I have taken MANY pictures of the entire process.
He had two tree climbers. The trees were very huge, very tall and very old. He told me to pay one of the tree climbers $1000 so he wouldn't have to give him a 1099. He also told me to pay the stump grinder separately also. He said he wasn't responsible for anything that happened in my yard. So if anybody damaged anything, it was up to that individual to repair or replace it. I told him that I hired HIM to do the job, and any workers he brought with him were his employees and he was responsible for them. A huge limb hit the house (almost coming through the double living room windows) and chunked off a corner of the roof and another one fell on the fence and broke it. I told them over and over again not to damage the fence as there was no replacement fence like that anywhere at all. He said that it was Jeff's job to fix the fence, fix the roof and cut the stumps.
I had to hire someone to cut the stumps for the grinder to come in. That was $100. Then I paid Jeff $100 to fix the roof and the fence, the fence is still not fixed as he was not able to find anything to match, which I kept telling them.
James called and asked us to get a $400 chain he forgot and put it in a safe place to pick up the next day. He never showed up. When he never showed up to cut the stumps, fix the roof and fix the fence, we put it in our barn to keep until he finished our $6000 job for which he was paid in full the Sunday he left. Because he did so much talking and standing around on Saturday, he had everybody running like holy hell to get all the trees down and they were rushing and running, which is when accidents happen. It was about 8 or 9 p.m. and dark working by headlights and flashlights on Sunday night in their rush to finish so he wouldn't have to come back on Monday. (Meaning paying everybody for another day).
He told Jeff to get the chain, I did not give it to him. He told my husband to put the chain in the driveway and he would be there in a few minutes to get it. It sat there the entire day and all night and all the next day and he never showed up to get it. He called the stump grinder (who was here at the time) to get his chain. He said he didn't see it. James said if we didn't give it to him he would call the law. (I would have welcomed that so I could tell them what a scam artist and fraud he was, about no insurance and about his children being on site.
He brought his children and wife. They sat in a truck all day long. In the neighborhood of 8 to 12 hours each day. The son looked to be 10 and was handling the chain saw and driving his dually truck and his daughter who looked to be about 6 or 7 running around the yard. She has cerebral palsy and wasn't walking right. Tree climbers were cutting down branches and letting them fall, huge trees were being cut and dropped, big trees were on the ground, big trucks and chippers were driving all over the yard and he had his children, especially the little girl who had a medical problem running around the yard. It was so dangerous out there, I didn't even go out to look around.
I called him several days after he was paid and gone to tell him that I was going to call Action 9 and DSS to report him and he used such abusive language on me that I just couldn't believe a man who told me over and over what an HONEST man he was. He said don't ever call me again or "I'll be over there". He said do whatever you have to do and hung up. The language was just horrible never letting me say a thing.
I immediately called him back, got his voice mail and had my say. He called me right back again and started again. I told him we were getting no where with this conversation and ended the call.
Before he started on the trees, we asked him if we could hire him to deliver a truckload of stones and spread them. He said yes. So we had hired him to deliver a truckload of stones and he called at 8 a.m. to say he was on his way. Never showed up the entire day and never called. He called the next morning at 8 a.m. said he was on his way with the stones, called back shortly thereafter and said it was only in the teens and he would wait a little bit until it warmed up and then come with the stones. He never came or called again. Two days in a row.
He said well, I got a $4000 job and what would I do, deliver $250 worth of stones or do the $4000 job. Well, I said you could have at least called and said I can't make it today instead of telling me two days in a row you are on your way. How long would it take to dump a load of stones? What does it have to do with anything that it was only 17 degrees out? I thought he was delivering them in a dump truck, dumping it and driving away. So instead of finishing my $6000 job, he opted to leave me with a mess to finish to take on a $4000 job. All the wood on the ground was spoken for, so he had no reason to say to me not to call him again to haul off all the wood out of my yard. I never did want him to take any and never asked him to. He is the one who told me after everybody got the wood they wanted, he would come and take the rest (for his own use - I am so sure - he was probably going to sell it after charging $6000 for cutting them down).
He told me to get a burning permit so he could burn brush and leaves, then changed his story saying, I wanted you to get it so you could burn the brush and leaves.
No raking was done.
I have several very large piles of small branches that were supposed to be chipped or burned all around the yard that he never did.
I have had to expend a lot of monies to have someone finish the job he was supposed to do, according to what he told my husband and I when he was wanting the job. But when it came to actually doing the job, it was a different story.
I urge anyone needing trees taken down DO NOT use this man, he is a fraud, back stabber, liar and NOT INSURED! He has no reason to bring his children to a very dangerous job like this, yet he did and they were running around the yard, driving the equipment and running a chain saw. He had several men with him, half did next to nothing. I would say three of the group actually did any work.
All I can say is he "Talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk". Be very cautious and call all references.