RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Last month, viewers called 12 about a local tree service company believed to be targeting the elderly. The company in question is J. Murphy General Tree Service.
Several viewers called and emailed complaining, that they were not satisfied and believed they were being over charged. One of the victims was Alan Brown of Richmond. He claimed Murphy did some tree work but left behind a mess and refused to clean it up. After our story, a local company stepped up to help out.
The sound of Tree Service workers is not just noise -- for 88-year-old Alan Brown -- it's music to his ears -- he takes pride in his yard. He says, "I have heard the saying, that a man ought to be proud of the house in which he lives and the house ought to be proud to have him live in it and that is my philosophy."
Brown hired Murphy several months ago. He says, "Mr. Murphy had done work for me before so I had a trust in him and I had this big Oak tree that was a hazard if is was left standing and he agreed to take it down for what I thought was a reasonable price."
It wasn't the price that was the problem -- Brown claims Murphy's workers left behind a mess. He says they already had his money -- but workers refused to clean up -- even though he tell us, the clean up was part of the work agreement. Brown says he thought he was going to have to clean up the debris by himself.
Mr. Brown got the tree work done in February and several months later all the debris has been picked up -- but not by J. Murphy. A local company, C.S. Flournoy Inc., a tree removal service, saw our story and stepped up because it says it was the right thing to do.
"It is our loyalty and dedication to all of our customers that makes me want to help. I love what I do and I love helping people," says employee Danny Epps.
Epps and his staff cleaned Brown's yard for free. Epps says, "The tree industry is like any other industry, you get what you pay for plain and simple."
Gray asks: "And when people don't get what they pay for like Mr. Brown your reaction to that? Epps: "Well, he should have called C.S. Flournoy first."
When it comes to J. Murphy, you'll remember, we went looking for him and couldn't find him. NBC 12 called Murphy a month ago when we were working on this story he hung up on us -- So we tried again after the clean up -- and no success -- he hung up again. The Better Business Bureau says it got the same response.
J. Murphy has an F - rating with the BBB. Complaints have been filed going back to 2003 -- including excessive charges, and claims that seniors are being targeted.
After our story aired in July, we received more emails from people not happy with the service J. Murphy provided. We are still working to track him down to get his side of the story.
As for Mr. Brown -- he's learned a lesson and has some advice. He says, "I would say look before you leap."
He's grateful for C.S. Flournoy's help and now says he can enjoy his yard again. "I am very happy to see this. I haven't liked the way it looked and I haven't liked the treatment and I am very happy and appreciate with the way it is," Brown told us.
Since our story aired, we have learned Virginia State Police have gotten involved in the allegations involving G. Murphy General Tree Service. At this point, they are not releasing details -- and will only tells us that this case is a state police investigation. We will update you when we hear more.