Customers complain tree removal company scamming customers to get more cash

NORTHGLENN, Colo. -- A homeowner said a tree removal company tried to scam her into paying more money to remove a tree from her yard after she already paid for the job up front.

Customers reported similar complaints to the Better Business Bureau.

Virginia Schneck said Bernard's Landscaping and Tree Removal was going door-to-door in her neighborhood.

She was interested in getting branches removed from the silver maple tree in her front yard and agreed to hire the company.

According to her contract, Schneck paid $1,400 for the tree's removal.

It said in the contract that there would be no additional costs outside the specified amount in the contract.

The document shows Schneck and the company's owner, Anthony Bernard, signed the contract.

Schneck took pictures as the crew began cutting down the tree in her front yard.

Schneck said about 10 feet of the tree are still planted in the ground and logs are piled up on the grass.

Bernard checked back in and said he didn't have the right saw for the job. She said he asked her to pay an additional $200 and he'd return in a few weeks to complete the work.

"My gosh, I have already paid enough," said Schneck. "Why would you even stop at a house and look at a tree if you don’t have the equipment to take care of it? That wasn’t my fault that he didn’t take it down."

Bernard's Landscaping and Tree Removal Service has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Complaints filed by customers through the site detail similar experiences to what Schneck said she went through.

One customer said the company asked for an additional $300 outside the agreed-upon amount to "buy a rope" and then another $200 to "pay the guys."

Another customer said he paid in full, but Bernard's team only worked on two of the three trees they agreed on.

A different complaint said Bernard asked for all the money upfront to pay to "repair a trailer."

The customer said he paid the amount in full, then Bernard's team never returned to finish the job.

Bernard said he had asked Schneck to pay an additional $200 to remove more of the stump.

On Monday, Bernard completed the work for Schneck at no additional cost.

Schneck said she hopes her experience reminds others to be cautious.

"I just want to warn people. I guess I shouldn’t have written the check because he wasn’t finished, but he did it and I regret it," said Schneck.

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