I know that this is going to make me sound like I’m about 80 years old, but what the hell ever happened to good customer service? Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying and trying to simply get a tree cut down in my back yard, to no avail. Listeners to the show and viewers of our daily Show Meeting videos may be familiar with this story, but here goes...


I have a huge willow tree in my back yard. Despite the objections by Tree King Hot Wings, it has to come down. It’s falling apart and branches fall every time the wind barely blows. I’m terrified that a huge branch will eventually fall and crush my house, neighbor’s house or a kid. Obviously, I don’t want that to happen. Simple solution though, right? Just get the tree cut down! Seemed simple enough to me.

I made a bunch of calls and sent out a few emails to some local tree services. Problem number one: the rate of return on calls and emails was about 3%. I finally got a guy to get back to me and set up a time for him to come over and give me an estimate. He showed up an hour late, looked confused, but managed to give me an estimate which I felt was fair. We set up a time for him to come out and actually cut the tree down the following week.

The day had finally come for this thorn in my side to be eliminated. The tree guy (we’ll call him Ben, because that’s his real name) was scheduled to be at my house at noon. I left work a bit early to make sure I was there to meet him. Noon came and went. So did 1PM, 2PM, 3PM and 4PM. Finally around 4:30, Ben showed up. He told me he was running late on another job (apparently!) and would call me around 6PM to reschedule. You may be surprised to learn that he did not call me.

I got in touch with him a few days later, after about 4 calls and 2 emails. No apology, no excuse. We rescheduled for the following Friday or Saturday, depending on the weather. He was once again a no-show. In the following his initial and second no-show, I had put in calls to 4 other tree services. None of them returned my calls either.

Is this just how tree services operate? A listener suggested to me by email that “Anyone who does tree work and is over 35 is an alcoholic, anyone under 30 is an active or recovered drug addict, and most of those in between are both”. Is this true?

Has anyone had a similar experience to this? What did you do about it? I literally have a stack of cash sitting at the house that I was planning on paying this guy with. I WANT TO SPEND MONEY, yet stupid tree services won’t let me. I never would have thought it would be so difficult to willingly pay for something.