Unfiltered Story #101123

, , , | Unfiltered | December 5, 2017

(We have an EXTREMELY large locust tree that has begun to show irreparable dieback following some unavoidable root damage. I’m pretty sure it needs to be removed, but am hopeful for any slight chances that a local arborist can save it. I start calling several tree-removal and trimming services for their assessment and quotes. The first business I call has no answering machine, but the owner returns my missed call sometime later.)

Me: “I’ve got a large honey locust, and I need someone to give me an estimate on removal, or on saving it if possible.”

Owner: “When are you free for an estimate?”

Me: “I’ve got all day today, and tomorrow afternoon.”

Owner: “I’ve got [Employee] in the area. I can send him over pretty soon for an estimate. Just give me your email address, since that’s how we’re sending out our estimates these days.”

Me: “Great! My email is [address]. Just so you know, though, I’ll be around for only another hour and 15 minutes, and then I’ll have to run out quickly for about 30 minutes. But after that I’ll be home. Is that a problem?”

Owner: “No problem; he’s close. Just text me your info and I’ll send him over.”

Me: “Great!”

(Twenty minutes later:)

Owner: *texting* “On his way now.”

(Forty-five minutes later:)

Me: *text* “I have to leave and get my daughter from preschool. If [Employee] is still on his way, he is welcome to head to the backyard (tree is obvious) and fill me in when I get back around [twenty-five minutes later].”

(Ten minutes later:)

Owner: *text* “He is there now; I’m sorry.”

(Fifteen minutes later:)

Me: *text* “I have returned home and no one is here.”

(I figured he’d come and gone and I’d get my emailed estimate. But 30 minutes after THAT, [Employee] and an assistant show up. The assistant is wearing only flip-flops, which didn’t do her feet any favors when she tripped over my rosebush on the way to the tree. In contrast, the next set of arborists to show up for an evaluation were both dressed in really sturdy workboots.)

Employee: “That tree is pretty far gone. Removal would be about $[range], but we could probably save it with a crown reduction for [$500 less], if you found someone to take the firewood and didn’t pay us to haul it.”

Me: “Well, I sure would like to save it if you think it’s got a decent chance.”

Employee: “Yeah, I think it’ll do pretty well. I bet we could get it scheduled this Friday.”

Me: “I don’t want to schedule it yet. I’ve got a couple other companies coming to give estimates through the end of the week. Can you please email me an estimate, and I’ll get back to you Friday if I want to go ahead?”

Employee: “Sure, no problem. Here, write down your email address for me.”

(I do, but I get no estimate in my inbox. Friday, I get a phone call.)

Owner: “Hey, this is [Owner] of [Tree Service.] The rain delayed one of yesterday’s jobs, so I was wondering if we could reschedule coming out for your tree until this afternoon?”

Me: “I’m sorry; what?”

Owner: “We can’t make it at ten, is it okay if I come out at two?”

Me: “I’m confused; what are we rescheduling?”

Owner: “The removal of your locust tree. We had it scheduled for right now.”

Me: “I didn’t have that scheduled.”

Owner: “Do I have the right number? Do you have the honey locust at [street address].”

Me: “I do, but I told [Employee] I was still getting estimates. I never scheduled. He never even emailed an estimate.”

Owner: “[Employee] had you scheduled for today.”

Me: “I am not prepared to have this tree removed today, and I need an emailed estimate first in any case.”

Owner: “I’m sorry about that; can I get your email.”

Me: “It’s [address].”

(I ended the call with as little frost as possible (“cordially” was beyond my capacity at the time). I still haven’t received the formal estimate. It was the highest of the three I got by far AND the only one that didn’t include deadwood removal, so I’m not too sad about letting them go.)

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