Warning over tree loppers

Terry Hann with branches that were not removed after the tree lopping. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d404138
Terry Hann with branches that were not removed after the tree lopping. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d404138

The business, West Australian Tree Professionals, has been putting flyers in letterboxes in 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. They needed a jacaranda tree removed, called the number on the flyer and received a quote of $1150.

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

The next day, three men arrived at their home about 7.10am, cutting down the tree as agreed and depositing the debris on the front verge, saying they would return on Monday to collect and dispose of the cuttings.

That never occurred, forcing Mr Hann to dispose of the cuttings himself.

When 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, with Mr Weinthal using coercion in connection with the payment for services by a consumer in Churchlands.

Ms Gordon was charged as his employer and 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 the department in the past.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said the company had been deregistered for using bullying and threatening behaviour to resolve payment disputes.

‘Under the 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,’ Ms Driscoll said.

‘It’s important for consumers and traders to have a clear understanding of exactly what work is to be carried out and at what cost.

‘Consumers should ask for a written detailed quote but, more importantly, the business should provide this detail as a minimum requirement.

‘In the past, Consumer Protection has received multiple complaints against these two tree lopping businesses.’

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