Tree removalist requesting more than quoted price

Dear Ozbargainers

I am having an issue with a tree removalist and would like to hear your opinions.

I have contacted one of the reputable tree removal franchises for tree removal and stump grinding.

He gave me a quote and the job went ahead at the agreed price.

The car access to the tree is blocked by a deck and the guy was aware of this before the job was started.

I was mentioned to him before the job is started that I might want to remove the deck sometime in the future.

The tree was cut down, however, the guy said to be that the logs are too hard for him to cut into pieces to take them away.

He admitted that he under-quoted for the job and it was his mistake.

Then he suggested if the job can be done after the deck is removed so that the logs do not need to be cut into pieces.

I was reluctant to leave the big logs at my backyard, however, I tried to be nice to him and told him that I will contact the excavators first but the deck may not be removed.

After contacting few excavators, I decided to not to remove the deck and contacted the tree removalist again to finalise the job.

Now he is requesting me to pay extra to cover his cost for his mistake.

Do you think it is reasonable?

I have emails and text messages from him to prove this.

I am planning to complain to the head office, but I would like to hear your opinions before I do so.

Thank you so much for reading my post.

Comments

  • +2 votes

    It is unreasonable and Head office wont care and just fob you back to him.

    Whats the time frame like? between when he partially finished to job to when you decided not to remove the deck?

    He may have had the machinery there the first time and it would have been a better idea to remove the logs then than to wait for your deck decision

    Have you paid him already?

  •  

    I paid him $1000 for part job done to cover his cost. The job was partly done in late October. I recently decided not to remove the deck. Thank you for your comment. I might contact the head office first thing in the morning to find a solution.

    • +2 votes

      Definitely unreasonable. Sometimes you make mistakes in business but you take the hit, not the customer. It sounds like he's just trying his luck for more money, be firm.

      •  

        Thank you for your comment. Everyone makes a mistake and we need to cope with it. The franshise is one of the biggiest in the industry. I will see how they respond.

    • +6 votes

      The main cost would have been labour. $1000 would more than cover it. Don't feel bad, imagine all the time he would have over quoted someone but never gave them a refund!

      •  

        Thank you. I thought it is not professional to leave the job unfinished and request more to finish the job later to cover for his mistake.

  • +4 votes

    It's best to keep a log of everything so you can root out any problems. You probably wont get stumped as his bark is worse than his bite.

    • +6 votes

      Nah, stick it to him. If he turns up and demands more money tell him you've sorted it with the branch office and he should leave.

      • +4 votes

        I bet he just shrubbed his shoulders, he is just acting like a sap, because he is saw.
        I call sawdust on the quote, it's only right he should prune the costs,money doesn't grow on trees.

  •  

    How much was the original quote for the whole job?

  •  

    It was $3,000 for tree removal (few shrubs and one tree) and stump grinding of a tree.

    •  

      So, have you now paid a pro-rata amount for the work done?
      (sometimes Stump Grinders have to be hired, but that would have been costed in of course).

      "It was mentioned to him before the job is started that I might want to remove the deck sometime in the future."

      Is it the case that prior to starting the job the contractor might have thought that access and removal of the logs without the deck would have been easier and costed on this basis?

      How much (extra) for them to finish the job now?

      •  

        I did not paid pro-rata, I just tried to be nice and paid the cost that he said he already incurred.

        Job was clearly to be done on the day of the job in October. He came to me next day and asked if it can be done after the deck is removed if the deck is to be removed in the future.

        I clearly said the deck may not be removed and then he will need to come back to complete the job.

        No one would cut a tree down knowing that the the logs will be left in the back yard for months.

        •  

          Well, you have paid for work done to date, yes?

          But the job is only part-complete.

          Are there any alternatives to cutting the logs and removing them across the deck?

          Can you remove a panel out of a back/side fence and get the logs out intact w/out cutting?

          Otherwise get a quote from the Contractor for removal now.

        •  

          @holdenmg:

          There is no invoice and it was merely payment of deposit as a friendly gesture. The job can be done by cutting logs into smaller pieces. It is just that he under-quoted the job and does not want to bear losses for his mistake.

        •  

          @oysbank:

          Well, if you have a written quote and it included the removal of the logs all in as it was with the deck where it was you need to look at writing them a letter (don't phone them) or maybe Small Claims Court.

  •  

    its reasonable.
    the quote will say something like it may vary due to other works that may need to be done once work starts.
    but try head office first and see if the extra cost can be removed

  •  

    If it was $3000 and you only paid $1000 then withold payment until the job is completed. Then pay the quoted amount. It is not your fault he got the quote wrong.

  •  

    Inform him he has 48 hours to complete the job or you will be getting another contractor in to finish it, said contractors fee will be directly from the 2k owing and he will be lucky if you dont claim storage of his log.

  • +6 votes

    He admitted that he under-quoted for the job and it was his mistake.

    Not your issue…

    Now he is requesting me to pay extra to cover his cost for his mistake.

    He must have the hide of a rhino…

    Do you think it is reasonable?

    No it is not…

    My Arborist recently did a tree removal job for me, he underquoted & did the job, I picked it up & tried to give him the extra but he wouldn't take it no matter how I argued that it was only fair, he kept telling me that it was his mistake…best I could get him to accept was a carton as a goodwill gesture!

    The difference here is personal & professional integrity.

    •  

      Thank you for your comment.

      I have contacted the head office and customer service from the head office was actually very helpful.

      I am currently waiting for them to get back to me to resolve this..

  •  

    You made a big mistake paying him $1000, you are basically allowing him to take your money and not complete the job.That was probably his intention from the time he realised he underquoted you.

    • +1 vote

      Thank you for your advice.

      I trusted the company not him as the company is reputable.

      The company is assisting me now so I believe I am in good hands now..

  • +1 vote

    If it doesn't get resolved, contact the local SES and ask them if they want a HARD WOOD CROSS CUT training opportunity. Be sure to mention the tree is down. They may not move it, but they will cut (at least some of it) into manageble chunks.

  • +1 vote

    advertise the logs on freecycle as "free firewood" someone will come and take them away in 24 hours

    •  

      The wood is hard like metal. Also The stump grinding needs to be done..

      •  

        So it's great for firewood then. Long burn time.

  •  

    Put a pizza oven on the deck and burn the logs

  •  

    Verbal or paper?

  •  

    Outcome?

    • +3 votes

      Xmas bonfire…

    • +1 vote

      I spoke to the manager of the tree removalist and he agreed to complete the job at originally agreed price (original quote less deposit paid).

      He admitted that it was a fault from their end not me as the car cannot access the backyard even if the deck is removed.

      The guy is coming on 12th Jan to finalise the job. I will let you know when the job is finally over.