Arboricultural Association director criticises BBC's Watchdog show featuring rogue trader, Shaun Varey

Arboricultural Association director Nick Eden says he was disappointed by the BBC's lack of consumer advice on good tree surgeons following Watchdog's expose of a rogue trader.

The BBC followed Shaun Varey — who signed undertakings with Bromley Trading Standards promising to amend his business practices earlier this year after complaints from customers.

Watchdog's Rogue Traders team found a house in Bromley, rigged it with secret cameras and hired an actress to invite Shaun Varey out to do some work.

After incorrectly identifying trees, he told the actress it was impossible to remove the stumps once he'd cut down the trees.

He was confronted by Watchdog's presenter Matt Allwright and promised to provide a refund.

But Arboricultural Association director Nick Eden said the BBC had missed an opportunity to tell consumers about employing a reputable tree surgeon.

"It was disappointing," he explained. "The programme showed a typical rogue tree surgeon and it was the perfect opportunity for the BBC to help consumers know where to go to find a credible tree surgeon, but it didn't.

"They missed the opportunity but I hope we can do something more constructive in future."

Eden added he planned to approach the BBC with a follow-up story about another rogue tree surgeon who is "10 times worse".

 

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