Residents file complaint against tree loppers

Nollamara resident Terry Hann has filed an official complaint against West Australian Tree Professionals for not clearing up the debris after lopping his tree. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d404138
Nollamara resident Terry Hann has filed an official complaint against West Australian Tree Professionals for not clearing up the debris after lopping his tree. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d404138

The business, West Australian Tree Professionals, have been putting their flyers in letterboxes throughout the Stirling area, drawing complaints from the City of Stirling as previously reported in the Stirling Times.

Maria and Terry Hann received the flyer in the letterbox of their Nollamara home, and needing a jacaranda tree removed, called the company and received a quote of $1,150.

The appointment was made for 1pm on Saturday, June 22. However, when nobody arrived Mr Hann called the company several times but there was no reply.

The next day, three men arrived at their home at 7.10am, cut down the trees as agreed and deposited the debris on the front verge, saying they would return on the Monday to collect and dispose of it.

That never happened, forcing Mr Hann to dispose of the debris himself.

Looking at the tax receipt for the work, Mr Hann noticed the invoice was made out to Manageable Tree Services, and contacted the Department of Consumer Protection.

Manageable Tree Services owner Tracey Gordon and employee Sean Robert Weinthal were convicted earlier this year of using bullying tactics against consumers. Mr Weinthal was convicted of using coercion in connection with the payment for services by a consumer in Churchlands.

Ms Gordon was charged as his employer. Both were fined $1500 and were ordered to pay court costs of $1742.

The two were previously involved with a now-deregistered company, Metropolitan Tree Services, which has been named by Consumer Protection in the past.

Consumer Protection Commissioner Anne Driscoll said it was unacceptable for tree loppers to use bullying and threatening behaviour to resolve payment disputes.

‘Under Australian Consumer Law, it is an offence to use coercion to force payment from consumers and traders must find better ways to deal with customer dissatisfaction,’ she said.

‘In the past, Consumer Protection has received multiple complaints against these two tree lopping businesses and we have met with the business to set up a process where any complaint against the business in the future can be resolved more amicably and professionally.’

West Australian Tree Professionals did not respond to requests for comment before deadline.