APL and Arboricultural Association issue warning over cowboy contractor repair bills

Cowboy landscape and tree contractors are using the bad weather to prey on consumers in need of urgent repair work, industry chiefs have warned.

The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) and the Arboricultural Association urged people last week to use accredited contractors to repair or remove storm-damaged fences, sheds, bushes and trees.

Last year, the Government watchdog Consumer Direct received more than 5,700 complaints about rogue traders for home and garden maintenance work, said APL committee member Stuart Marler

"Employing a landscaper to do repair work can be hit and miss, with homeowners facing a lottery of companies," said Marler, who works for TVG Landscaping.

Arboricultural Association director Nick Eden added: "Stormy weather is often the most likely time for cowboys to call. Because it's an emergency, consumers will often go for someone without insurance or accreditation."

Landscape consultant Mitch Westwood, a BALI adjudicator and expert on the BBC consumer affairs TV programme Watchdog, said: "The economic downturn is forcing some contractors to buy work to keep their guys busy and cut corners."

Expert witness work in courts, which used to account for five per cent of Westwood's turnover, is now 30 per cent. He said most cases were down to people cutting costs or time on site.

The warnings followed figures from Oxfordshire County Council's trading standards service that revealed bad garden and tree work had become the most common complaint, rising by nearly 50 per cent last year.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Business planning - cash-flow management

Business planning - cash-flow management

Wider market volatility can have a big impact on cash flow but there are ways to avoid problems, Neville Stein explains.

Chainsaws - Improving performance

Chainsaws - Improving performance

Battery chainsaws offer many advantages while innovative technology shelps the latest petrol models meet emissions standards, writes Sally Drury.

Chainsaws tested and reviewed: battery v petrol

Chainsaws tested and reviewed: battery v petrol

How do the latest battery models shape up against new petrol chainsaws when tested at Bridgwater College? Sally Drury reports.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Custodian Awards

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources