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

Read These Next

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Bespoke apprenticeships and internal training are helping firms to get ahead in skills-shortage horticulture, says Rachel Anderson.

Business planning - managing insurance

Business planning - managing insurance

Follow these steps to ensure adequate cover and the best deal when reviewing your insurance, Neville Stein advises.

Are tree suppliers seeing the benefit of the health message of trees?

Are tree suppliers seeing the benefit of the health message of trees?

The message that health, the environment and business all benefit from trees is finally getting through, but are nurseries seeing an upturn? Sally Drury reports.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

HORTICULTURE WEEK BUSINESS Awards 2019

The Horticulture Week Business Awards is now open for entries

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

BUSINESS LEADs

Build your business with the latest public sector tenders covering landscape, arboriculture, grounds care, production and kit supplies. To receive the latest tenders weekly to your inbox sign up for our Tenders Tracker bulletin here.

HW Top UK Arboriculture Businesses

See our exclusive RANKING of arboriculture businesses by annual turnover. 

HORTICULTURE WEEK Custodian Awards

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2018 winners.

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

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

Products & Kit Resources