The business of doing business


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.”

11 thoughts on “The business of doing business

  1. When you’re in a service business you quickly learn you won’t get every job. Price is part of the equation, but as in your case, other factors often come into play. Apparently this guy needs to improve not only his communication skills but also his ability to drill down to the customer’s other need, which aren’t always verbalized.

    I bet you had quite a conversation with yourself about whether or not to send that reply!

  2. hi Sue……..I have a pet beaver that would gladly chew its way through your dead tree and in fact any other tree that took its fancy…….I will send him round to your establishment for a free chew on a sapling……just to get used to the idea of felling your monster…..I will forward the bill at a later date but will keep it to the minimum cost…..erm…maybe….Al..xx

  3. Wow, that guy sounds like a jerk. I think you should pass his name around, in the form of flyers with the text exchange so everyone can know how unprofessional he is 🙂

  4. Wow – that’s a bit rude. Brian sounds like he has an issue with power and control – his text is SO passive aggressive. You dodged a bullet with that one 😉

  5. This guy Brian totally burned his bridges . My husband has a tree service company and even though it can be a bummer when a customer chooses somebody else you have to keep your level of professionalism .

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