We recently penned a piece which focused on just a few of the attributes and characteristics you should be looking for, when selecting a quality tree surgeon. This time around, we thought we’d take a look at things in reverse. That being, the kinds of things that should set alarm bells ringing and have you beating a hasty retreat.
Contrary to popular belief, there aren’t quite as many rogue traders in the UK’s tree surgery and management business as many seem to think. There are plenty of them out there, but it’s actually pretty easy to avoid them entirely with little more than common sense. Or should that be, common sense and a few essential tips and guidelines from the experts.
So as something as a follow-up to our previous piece on the key characteristics of an outstanding tree surgeon, what follows is a brief overview of just a few of the warning signs to watch for:
- Topping and Lopping
First of all, there’s a big difference between offering a comprehensive catalogue of tree management services and simply carrying out topping and lopping’. In the case of the latter, what you are usually looking at is an individual or group thereof with the tools and knowledge necessary to randomly chop bits off trees on request. What it doesn’t mean is that they have the knowledge, experience or expertise to get the job done properly, or even know what exactly needs doing in the first place. Just because you can hack away at a tree with an axe does not make you a professional tree surgeon.
- Jack-Of-All-Trades Companies
You’ll probably find while checking out the available options that quite a lot of tree surgeons also claim to offer additional services. Some will cover all aspects of domestic gardening, others will clean your driveways, some will install or paint fencing and so on. In all instances, the simple fact of the matter is that if they are not a dedicated and committed tree surgery business, they may not be suited to the job. This is a field that demands total dedication and commitment, as opposed to simply carrying out the occasional job alongside other services and specialisms.
- Any Sign of Subcontracting
When you choose a tree surgery business on merit, you want it to be this business that gets the job done. What you don’t want is for them to then outsource the project to a third-party service provider, who may be unwilling or unable to offer nearly the kind of service quality you expect. The very best tree management and tree maintenance businesses will always be those that work with their own exclusive, dedicated teams of experts. Those who outsource or subcontract jobs may not be able to deliver on their promises.
- False Claims of Locality
Local businesses proudly proclaim their status as local businesses, given the obvious appeal and benefits in the eyes of customers. Nevertheless, there will always be plenty of brands and business that claim to be local’, though may in fact serve the entire country and be based 400 miles away. Along with the obvious logistical issues, the fact that such brands deliberately mislead customers also says a lot about their responsibility and attitude.
- No Fixed Address
There are only two reasons why a tree surgery business will not clearly list a fixed address in its contact details. The first of these is that it may not be a registered business at all, instead simply operated by one or more people under the radar’, as it were. The second is that while it may be a registered business, they may not want anyone to know where they are based so that they cannot be tracked down by dissatisfied customers.
- Mobile Numbers/Email Addresses
The same also goes for mobile telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. Any registered and responsible business should have its own fixed landline alongside any mobile numbers, along with its own registered email domain, as opposed to a generic Gmail account.
- Advance Payments
Last but not least, as tree surgery is a specialism where there is no initial outlay for materials at the beginning of the project, there is no justifiable reason for demanding advance payments. You should only ever be expected to pay when you are completely happy with the results, before which no money whatsoever should change hands.