Family’s unfinished tree trimming job serves as cautionary tale to consumers


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A family on the northeast side hired a tree trimming crew that was doing work in their neighborhood, but they say the crew never showed up to finish the job.

Bill Taylor was already out in his yard cutting down branches in early December when the crew stopped by after finishing up work down the street.

“He came up and said, ‘Can I finish the job for you?'” Taylor said.

It was getting dark, so Taylor struck a deal. He agreed to pay part of the $300 price and the crew would come back in the morning to finish cutting back branches and haul piles of wood away.

“He looked at me in the eye and said, ‘I’m a man of my word,’ and shook my hand, gave me his business card. Everything kind of seemed legit, so I wrote him a check for a little bit over half, and that’s the last I’ve seen of him,” Taylor said.

The crew didn’t show up the next day and Taylor said his calls to the business owner did not help get them back to the house to finish the job. He ended up filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

FOX59 hears often from consumers who hire businesses and end up unsatisfied. If that sounds familiar, here are some steps you can take:

  • Try to work out a dispute with a business first: give them a chance to make things right.
  • If that doesn’t work, file complaints with the Better Business Bureau and Indiana Attorney General’s Office. They will try to mediate your dispute and find a resolution.
  • If mediation doesn’t help, you can try filing a lawsuit in small claims court, which can be done without an attorney if you can’t afford one.

Better Business Bureau of Central Indiana CEO Tim Maniscalo told FOX59 earlier this year that it’s important to get a contract, or something in writing, from a business, especially if they just show up at your door.

“If you can’t get a hold of them, if they don’t have an address, really (their) guarantee means nothing,” Maniscalo said.

Taylor only got a business card. He said that he trusted the business owner’s word and would like to get his money back.

“You see a guy trying to work and make some money, it’s near Christmas time, and so we asked him to finish up for us and it just totally backfired,” Taylor said.

You can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office at the link here and the Better Business Bureau at this link.

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