Beware of Traveling Tree Service Companies
Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli and County Director of Fire and Emergency Services Michael Smith would like to caution residents who experienced storm damage to take precautions when hiring a tree service.
"We have many well respected tree service companies in the area who are reaching out to assist residents with their cleanup. Unfortunately, a crisis such as this also brings out individuals who may choose to take advantage of the victims of a disaster for profit," said Smith.
Smith advises that residents:
First check with your insurance company regarding your policy coverage, limits, and filing requirements.
Never use a tree service that cannot prove current liability insurance and workers compensation insurance.
Require a written estimate and contract and do not choose a company that demands payment prior to delivering services.
Be sure their name, address, and phone number are included in the contract. Read and understand the contract in its entirety and don't sign a blank contract. A copy of the signed contract is to be given to you at time of signature. Do not assume that tree stump removal is included in the contract if it is not specified.
Take the time to get at least two estimates, although you may be anxious to get things back to normal, avoid letting your emotions get the better of you.
Once you have picked a tree service you feel comfortable with, never pay for a tree removal or tree trimming project of any kind until you are 100% satisfied with the work. Pay by check or credit card only when the job is complete. Paying by credit card provides some recourse should the job not be completed as stated in the contract.