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Open letter to Springfield tree services

August 25, 2010

Do any of you give a damn about [potential] customers?

The storms we had in late June knocked a couple good sized limbs off the ash tree in my back yard, one of which came down on my deck and smashed my patio table and umbrella, though did not damage the deck itself, luckily.

Even though this tree provides a good amount of shade in the afternoon and evening- not to mention that it is the only tree in the back yard- Dawn and I decided it needs to come out.  Too much potential for more limbs coming down and actually damaging the deck and/or the house.

So we called a few tree services to come give us estimates on removal of the tree, along with having the stump ground out.  I think we got five estimates, ranging from $685 to $1200.  By no surprise, we decided on the guy that quoted the $685.  We set up a date for them to come out, and that day came and went with no tree guy showing up or even calling.  I called him at the end of that day, and he said the job he was on went long, but they’d come out the next day. “The next day” came and went, and again the guy no-call/no-showed.  I called him again and he said he got sick and his truck wasn’t working (or something like that) and they’ll try to be here at the beginning of the next week.  Dawn and I talked about it and decided to give the job to another service, basically the one that bid the next lowest price.

So we called him, and he said he had a $15,000 job already scheduled for that next week, but he’d work us in right after that.  I understand that- I’d give a $15,000 job priority over a $1000 job too.  That week ended, and the guy called me to set up a date to do my tree.  By this time, it was getting pretty close to our out-of-state vacation, and I told him that, and he said that once we get back into town to call him and he’d come out directly.  But then, he called me the day before we were to leave and asked about it- almost as if he had no recollection of the previous conversation.  So again, I told him we were leaving on vacation, and he said that if we had no objections, they could come fell the tree while we were gone, and he’d leave the bill in the mailbox.  I was fine with that, so that’s what we agreed on.  Nine days later, we come back from vacation and the tree still stood.  Again, no real big deal; I understand things come up.  I called him and left a message asking him to call me to set up a date, and I never heard back from him.

So we decided we are going to have to find someone else to do it, so Dawn finds seven more tree service numbers out of the phone book and I call them for estimates.  We got five more estimates, again ranging from less than a grand to $1600, one company never bothered to call us back, and one refused the job because they can’t get their truck into our backyard (a fact that didn’t seem to bother any of the other places that gave us estimates).  We pick a third company to come take out the tree and set up a date for this past Friday, August 20th.  That morning, a guy from that service called and said that their climber called in sick, and rescheduled for yesterday, August 24th.  I was a little ticked, but at least the guy called, right?  I figured, that’s a step up from just not bothering.

As Master Yoda might say, “Profoundly wrong, I was”.

Yesterday rolls around, and I call the guy about 9:30am to confirm that he was in fact coming.  Left a message on his voice mail to call me.  It is now 10:30 Wednesday the 25th, and I have yet to hear back from him.


I don’t own my own business.  I do not have the savvy, nor the patience, for it.  I do, however, have a working knowledge of a little thing called Customer Service.  Apparently, tree services in Springfield, IL, either do not know of this business principle or have no intent to exercise it.  I am sitting here waiting to write a thousand-dollar check to someone and can’t even get anyone to return my calls, let alone to show up and do the goddamned job.  Especially once a date is set to do the job, it should not be my responsibility as the client to call and track you down.  Don’t get me wrong- I understand that things come up, people call in sick, equipment breaks down, other jobs run long, etc.  I get that.  But it [should be] incumbent on you, the business, to contact your client and inform them that you are coming, and if you’re not, to inform them as to why, and reschedule another date for as soon as reasonably possible.

I would just have my neighbors come over and help me cut it up- and they’d do it in a heartbeat for me, and on the cheap- but while we have the ability to operate a chainsaw, we do not have the knowledge of tying the big limbs off properly so that they will not put a hole in my roof or demolish my deck.  So, it appears we have to go trolling for estimates for a THIRD time, and then sit and wait and wonder if they’re going to show up.  This is absolutely pathetic.  Is the tree removal industry in Springfield THAT lucrative that you guys can just blow off potential $1000 customers? Is there ANYONE with a tree service in the Springfield area that is willing to remove my tree- for a REASONABLE price- and will actually show up to do so?  Yes, I want the tree taken out, and I’m somewhat desperate at this point, but I’m also not going to pay a ridiculous amount of cash for it either.

Anyone?  Anyone?  Bunch of assholes, the whole lot of you.  If you can be the guy or gal to change my current opinion of the tree removal services in Springfield, or if you know him/her, leave contact info in the comments.  Until then, to all Springfield tree services I say, may the fleas of a thousand rabid camels infest your pubes.  Pricks.  Rest assured I will tell everyone I know that if they want a tree taken out in this town, they’re shit out of luck.  Apparently, none of you give a damn about your customers.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Rhetta Jack permalink
    August 25, 2010 12:38 pm

    I have had the same problems with 1) Floor refinishers, 2) Deck replacement 3) Roof redone. It is like those guys do not want our business and money. Totally bizarre! Meanwhile our house falls apart and now I lost my job so I will probably have to learn some new skills! BTW, in my former job of 20 years I received all types of phone calls and emails, guess what, I called/emailed them all back even if I did not want to. This type of thing blows my mind. Is is only here in Springfield? People in other places do not have this problem, at least they do not tell me that and they get work done!

  2. Johann permalink
    August 25, 2010 4:33 pm

    I know. Crazy. It’s amazing how someone can stay in business with practices like that.

  3. Marjorie permalink
    August 25, 2010 6:04 pm

    Uncle Cal used to complain about the same thing when they lived here.

  4. Johann permalink
    August 27, 2010 9:30 am

    Well, it certainly is “buuuuuuuu-shit”, as U.C. would say.

    UPDATE: It is now 10:30am on Friday, August 27. Tree Service That Took The Job #3 has finally arrived and is prepping their saws and ropes and cigarettes (you know, the necessary tools of the trade) and is getting ready to [hopefully] cut that bitch down.

    We’ll see if they “git ‘er done” or not.

  5. Johann permalink
    September 4, 2010 1:42 pm

    UPDATE: Last night I got a phone call from a cell phone I didn’t recognize. I answered and this little whiny [and obviously disguised] voice says,
    “Is this the tree service?”
    Me: “No.”
    Whiny obviously disguised voice: “Oh, because I have this tree in my back yard that I need cut down.”
    Me: “You’ve called the wrong number.”

    And I hung up. I was in no mood to deal with this bullshit because I’m currently getting my ass kicked by a sinus infection. So let me just say to the boy, girl, man, or woman that thinks they’re being cute by prank calling me, first of all, I stand by this post and the tree service industry in Springfield sucks, and B, grow the hell up. Prank calls are SO 1970s, dickhead/dickheadette. I am rather curious, however, as to how you got my cell phone number. I find it a little too coincidental that after posting this, I get a prank call about someone needing a tree service for a tree in their back yard. SO, either you’re someone that knows me or else you’re someone who knows one of the tree services that gave me the runaround, and they gave you my number.

    So here’s the thing: haha, you had your little laugh at my expense, BURN, you told me, blah blah blah. If you know me personally, fess up, we’ll have a little laugh together, and move on. If you’re someone acquainted with one of the tree services in town, listen up: note that I did not name ANY tree services by name in this post (God knows I wanted to) but if I get a call like this again, not only will I call out every last one of you that burned me- hence besmirching every tree service I dealt with, including the one you’re buddies with- but I will also make life hell for you. Don’t forget, I have your cell phone number now too. It would suck- for you- if that somehow managed to get into the wrong hands. You want to play? We can play. Fucker.

  6. SpringfieldZebra permalink
    September 5, 2010 9:52 am

    So, did they “git ‘er done or not?”

    I never heard the last word.

    • Johann permalink
      September 5, 2010 2:08 pm

      Yup. Even ground out another stump I had. Took long enough, but it’s gone.

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