Monday, June 29, 2015

Caveat Emptor - Part 2

So, it's been a month since my poor Linden was topped.

I still have not been able to resolve the situation with the company. Let me walk you thru the timeline since the work was completed

On May 28th I sent an email detailing the damage to the linden, complete with the photos from the previous post. In it I stated that:

I would appreciate a phone call to discuss this, in addition to other concerns I have. Most notably:
  • the fact that I had requested a copy of workers compensation insurance prior to any work being done and none was sent
  • the fact that I had requested a call to schedule a time for service and no call was made
  • the fact that NO communication was made informing me that someone would be out on my property yesterday
  • OR the fact that there was no follow up communication regarding the need to contact Digger's Hotline in order to grind out the stumps.
On May 29th, I received an email from the owner of the company:
I reviewed the photos and spoke to the crew leader about your Linden. First of all let me assure you that this tree will be perfectly fine and in the long run will have a better appearance and structure.  There apparently were a combination of communication issues that became a domino effect which is certainly not our typical way of doing business or providing client satisfaction.  I have informed D that you do not have to pay for the Linden prune and also have issued you a Panera gift card for your inconvenience.  It seems the job description was the main source of confusion, as it indicated reducing upright growth to promote horizontal growth, hence the more substantial central leader reduction than you expected.  This is a pruning process we use in the nursery all the time on virtually every tree to stimulate horizontal growth which gives the tree a fuller character for sale ability. The center leader is retrained in young trees quite easily.  I spoke to K about using different wording in the proposals/work orders in the future to avoid this confusion. Thanks for your time and effort on this, it is how we improve.
A little annoyed at his response, I sent the following:
Thank you for responding personally.
Setting aside the Linden for the moment, your team should not have been on my property in the first place. In my email to K with the signed work order, I stated:
"We'd like to go ahead and contract for the attached. However I'd like to get copies of insurance coverage in hand as well before scheduling the work."
To date I have not received that. I want to have that in hand before any further work happens. Specifically, the grinding of the birch and mugo stumps, as the birch clump sits close to utilities.
I'm aware that topping trees is something done in a nursery setting and that the tree will, ultimately, be fine. Not to put too fine a point on it, though, but this tree is not in a nursery and should not have been treated as such.
It also does not explain the fact that no other significant pruning was done to the tree. The top was cut off and all the other laterals were left in place. No other shaping or pruning was done to promote healthy re-growth or preserve the pyramidal shape of the linden. Instead I came home to find my favorite tree looked more like an out-sized mushroom.
In addition to the linden, the initial work on the maple was also unsatisfactory. Several competing laterals were left in place and there was an obvious fork at the top of the central leader that should have been addressed but wasn't. I had discussed these specific issues with K on the initial consult, as the tree is now tall enough that that sort of pruning was out of my reach. When J had come back, he agreed with my assessment and finished the work, but that should not have been necessary.
I want to work with you and your team to resolve these issues. I understand that communication issues happen even to the best groups, but there was a lot here that went wrong. Please feel free to call me. I've left my cell phone number previously.
No further communication was received.

At all. Including a revised invoice removing the cost of the linden.

In the meantime, they completed work on the stump removal and I received an invoice on that. And I got my $10 Panera gift card. *SNORT*

Finally I called the company on June 15 and spoke with D, their office manager. She said she'd send a revised invoice the next day.

I did not receive an invoice. I asked H if he had seen it in the mail. He had not.

So today I fired off another email. I was, perhaps, less than polite:
I am writing yet again to express my extreme frustration and dissatisfaction regarding my service with your company.
Two weeks ago, on June 15th, I called and spoke with Diane regarding having a revised invoice drafted and sent - one that did not include the work to the Linden on my property at 123 Main Street. I cited your email from May 29th that she was CC'd on. D said she'd send a revised invoice in the mail the next day.
To date I have not received it.
This is completely unacceptable.
Please send a revised invoice with a new Payment Date and Terms.
For once, I received a prompt response that stated she mailed me a copy on June 15th (funny, she said that it was not possible as the mail had gone out already, but whatever). The invoice was attached as well.

I am just utterly frustrated. But I'll be getting a check in the mail to close out this ridiculousness.

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