I have a very large, very dead pine tree looming over my driveway and threatening the safety of my home and my new car. It has been dead for several years but each day when I drive in my driveway, I convince myself that it is leaning closer to my house than it was the previous day. It was time to call in the professionals.
I found four local companies that offer tree removal services as well as free estimates. All four came to my house and gave me a wide range of quotes for different ways that the tree could be felled and cleared. The company I chose to do the job was the best fit in terms of safely felling the tree with the right equipment and not charging me a fortune to move the pieces off to the side of my driveway. I thanked the other companies for their quotes and let them know I went with a different service.
Two of the other three were understanding. One was not. After I told him I would be happy to pass on his information to others looking for his services, I received a text message from Brian and this is what it said, “Well thank you Susan. No need to pass my name around since you have not experienced the level of service we provide. In future, I would respectfully suggest you exhaust your cheaper options before calling someone that spends their time and fuel to look at your work. Good luck with your tree and hopefully the damage will be minimal.”
To say that I was angered would be a gross understatement. I had to hold myself back from responding with the words that were churning in my head. Instead, I politely explained that I had chosen a company with a similar rate but a better option for me and the safety of my oak tree since Brian was going to strap the dead tree and pull it down so it would come into direct contact with my 100-year-old oak tree. (But he assured me the oak tree would be fine!)
What I should have texted was this, “Well, thank YOU Brian. I will certainly be passing your name around now, just not in the way I had expected since I now understand the level of service you provide. I respectfully suggest that you not offer free estimates if you are going to whine about the time and fuel you spent doing something you advertise as free and act like an asshole when you don’t get the job.”