Tree trimmer took woman’s $1,200, but didn’t finish the job

Woman pays $1,200 for unfinished yard work

HENRICO COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - The Better Business Bureau says scammers come out of the woodwork when severe weather strikes.

One Henrico woman, who wanted to be identified as “Elizabeth," is learning that lesson the hard way after she says she paid $1,200 to an independent contractor cut down her trees.

Months later, she says the job is still unfinished.

“I waited about six months, before he came and did anything. So that should’ve taught me a lesson,” Elizabeth said.

She said she and the contractor settled on $300 for the blue spruce tree in her front yard, and $900 for the work on her gumball tree in the back yard.

She says she’s called the man dozens of times in the past two months, even offering to let him keep half of the money.

“I told him 'You could give me $600 back, and I’ll get someone to come out here and knock the work out in a couple of hours’, and he never commented on that," Elizabeth said.

According to the Better Business Bureau, these sorts of situations are very common, as rep Barry Moor told us that “in the tree trimming business, there’s no professional certification, unless you go with one of the larger companies.”

But he says there are steps you can take to protect yourself: “Don’t write any checks to anybody unless you have checked that company out top to bottom, and you feel comfortable. Also, the insurance. Make sure that if they have an accident on your property, are you responsible or are they?”

Moore recommends going to your local authorities if you’ve been victimized.

NBC12 reached out to the contractor, but he has not returned our calls.

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