Tree surgeon dumps quarter ton of trimmings on lawn as customer ‘refused to pay’
An angry tree surgeon tipped more than a quarter of a ton of trimmings onto a customer’s lawn – as revenge when she reportedly ‘refused to pay GBP40’ as she her hedge wasn’t pruned in the shape she wanted. Jamie Young of A1 Tree Surgeons of Whitworth, Lancashire, says he suspected something was amiss when the woman ‘hid’ inside her house during and after last week’s job. Four days later Jamie claims he received a text from the miffed customer declaring she wouldn’t be paying for the work done at her property on the outskirts of Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
The woman reportedly said the ‘uneven and unsymmetrical’ work wasn’t in her desired Christmas tree shape – despite Jamie insisting he told her that it would be impossible to do beforehand. Footage shows the 37-year-old tradie and a pair of pals lugging two bulging sacks of hedge trimmings from his truck and tipping them over her fence. The quarter of a ton of waste can then be seen in two giant heaps on her lawn next to her newly-pruned conifer.
Jamie ends the clip by telling the camera ‘this is what happens to customers who refuse to pay for a job’. The tree surgeon claims dumping the clippings on Saturday, July 16, didn’t give him any personal satisfaction, but he felt he needed to share the message that the customer’s alleged actions aren’t acceptable. The clip was shared on Facebook and has been viewed more than 40,000 times, with people praising the dad-of-five’s actions, claiming he’d done a ‘great job’.
Jamie, from Lancashire, said: “This was a last resort to get my point across that it’s not on. It’s a bit of a sorry situation over GBP40. You’d expect it to be over GBP1,400 or GBP4,000, not GBP40.
“I don’t expect a penny until people have seen the job and they’re happy with it and that’s how I’ve always worked. The woman was in but didn’t come out. I thought that was weird, like she was hiding.
“I think she thought she’d rip me off and if I kicked up a fuss it’d look bad on me – but she thought wrong. It backfired. It’s nothing to do with the money, it’s the principle.
“If you let one person do it then I’ll have one a week trying to do it, loads of tradesmen have said the same. This lets people know it’s not on and it’ll backfire on you. I don’t think she realised how far it’d go.
“[Tree surgery] is something I’ve been doing all my life and a few professional gardeners have told me there’s nothing up with [the tree]. I explained when I was quoting that you can’t have a conifer at a point when they’re pruned. “You can’t make something look like a Christmas tree when it doesn’t want to be because they’re all dead inside.
Her attitude was all wrong, so I just thought ‘you can have your cr*p back’.”
Jamie Young of A1 Tree Surgeons (Image: Kennedy News/A1 Tree Surgeons)
Texts the company claim to have received from the woman on Friday, July 15, apparently show her complaining that he’d ‘made a right pig’s ear’ of the trimming, and that it’s ‘not symmetrical or level’ on top. She appears to also claim he didn’t follow her request to make it look like a Christmas tree – despite Jamie claiming he told her he’d have to use a flat-top style as ‘conifers are dead inside’. The company replied ‘unfortunately I’ll be returning the waste that was taken from the job tomorrow afternoon’.
The woman apparently took offence at the video being posted online and Jamie claims the woman said she had GBP40 ‘waiting’ for them at the house. The company responded by telling her ‘you can keep your money, some of us aren’t that desperate’ before the two angered parties stopped speaking. In a message to anyone thinking of not paying for a job, Jamie said: “You wouldn’t walk into a shop, get a month’s worth of shopping, then get to the till and say you can’t pay for it.
If someone does this to a landscaper who put GBP10,000 into a garden, it could shut someone’s business down. A lot of people’s families depend on people paying.” The 37-year-old said he had the moment filmed primarily to prove he didn’t enter the property or cause any damage to enact his revenge.
Jamie has been a tree surgeon for 15 years and has been running A1 Tree Surgeons for the past five, yet he claims it’s the first time he’s had to resort to such drastic measures. A1 Tree Surgeons’ Facebook post said: “I didn’t want to do this and it’s the first time in 15 years I’ve had to. This is what happens when you refuse to pay for a job, your waste will be returned as I’m well within my rights to do so.”
One user commented: “Good job lads. More people need to stand up to these non-payers. All your hard graft wasted.”
Another said: “Good one, I would have spent an extra 10 minutes and spread it all over the yard.” A third added: “Well done lads, it’s only what they deserve.”
The hedge in question (Image: Kennedy News/A1 Tree Surgeons)
The message exchange between the customer and A1 Tree Surgeons The woman said: “Hi, I’m afraid I have a complaint now.
I hate to say but Jamie turned up eventually two weeks later and he hasn’t done what I asked him to do, nor did he inform us he was coming (which I asked him to do). “More so, he has made a right pig’s ear of it. I wanted it cut Christmas tree style as it was.
I seem to now have something that resembles a part of someone’s hedge. I’m not at all happy. I will attach a picture.
It’s not even symmetrical nor level on the top.” A1 Tree Surgeons replied: “Hi, that was my fault, he asked me to ring and say he was on his way and I completely forgot so that’s my fault. As for the work, I understand it may not be what you asked, which of course I will mention to him but I have to disagree.
“I don’t think it looks a mess. It doesn’t look that bad at all. I’ll get in contact with him now and let him know.”
They later continued: “As I thought, Jamie said it’s always hard to cut and shape a conifer, you’ll never get it flat and perfect, it’s just the type of tree that it is. “He said he’s done what you asked, and like I said I said, I don’t see anything wrong with the picture you have sent. Unfortunately, we still need paying for the job as he had still been and done it, so I’ll be happy to send bank details over.
Or we can send him round for cash and you can discuss it from there. Please let me know which you prefer.” The woman replied: “No chance, that is in no way what I asked for.
I wanted it the same shape it was aka still Christmas tree shaped but trimmed. That is not anything like it. I’m sorry but I won’t be paying.”
The company said: “Well unfortunately I’ll be returning the waste that was taken from the job tomorrow afternoon as you can’t just decide to not pay, he still came and did the job. I know Jamie and I know he will have done exactly what you asked for. “Why ask him to do it when you clearly had no intention of paying it.
All waste will be returned tomorrow.
So you can’t complain if you get a pile of waste back tomorrow, we are well within our rights to do that.”