The underhanded and greedy nature of people after a tragedy shocks me. A tornado ripped through Goderich, the self-proclaimed “Prettiest Town in Canada”, earlier this month and now people are scrambling to make a buck. My heart is heavy after hearing stories of people being ripped off in the subsequent emergency storm cleanup.
I can only imagine what is happening South of the border, after Hurricane Irene devastated a wide swathe of the east coast last weekend. With estimates for emergency storm cleanup reaching into the billions already, I am sure there will be more than one person looking to take advantage of people in their time of need there as well. There are ways to protect yourself from that though.
Tips on How to Hire a Tree Services Company for Emergency Storm Cleanup
- CLC Tree Services wants to remind people to always get a written estimate before having any tree services completed. For peace of mind, two to three estimates is best.
- A reputable tree services company should provide references, proof of insurance, the length of time they have been in the industry, and any other pertinent information (ex. membership in the Better Business Bureau, International Society of Arboriculture, or any other related organization)
- A tree services company should discuss all the best possible courses of action for your landscaping/storm cleanup needs. Ask for a written estimate for services, including when the work will be done.
- Cleanup after the job is part of the work as well. The worksite should be swept, and arrangements made as to whether tree debris is removed or left for the homeowner.
- If a deposit is requested, double-check the amount. Most professional companies should bill you once a job is completed. You should not have to pay more than a 10% deposit up front.
While we realize speed is of the essence for emergency storm cleanup, it is still better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want someone to verbally quote you a price, then suddenly have the final bill be exorbitantly higher due to “unforeseen circumstances” or surprise “increased costs”. A reputable company will know what they are doing, and be able to foresee most issues they might come across before they ever pick up a chainsaw.
Our hearts go out to all the businesses and families affected by the tornado in Goderich, as well as the millions affected by Hurricane Irene. When it comes time to tackle the ugly job of emergency storm cleanup, don’t be a victim again. Be smart and safe in hiring a professional for the job at hand. You have already gone through enough strife. Give yourself the peace of mind of work done right.