Help! A business left a mess in my yard and now they think I'M the meanie for posting about it!

This whole damn story is TL;DR so I’ll do my best to summarize.

  1. Our next door neighbor is having trees removed from his yard. The tree removal service cuts down the trees and piles up the mess (branches, dirt, small rocks from neighbor’s backyard) on MY front yard. (The 2 front yards in question are divided by a flower path – it’s not difficult to determine which yard is his and which is mine).

  2. I come home for lunch that day to find this mess. I am surprised but figure they will clean up their mess by the end of the day. I’m more annoyed with the two tree removal service employees who are standing on my lawn and smoking cigarettes. I ask them nicely to please leave.

  3. The tree removal service removes the big branches later that same day, but the yard has been trampled, and there are a LOT of smaller branches, sharp chunks of wood, and small rocks left on my yard. Not good for my baby, who like to crawl around on the front yard. :frowning:

  4. My husband and I, both home from work that night, realize the tree removal service people went into our BACKyard (fully fenced – they open the fence door to enter) to get branches that had accidentally fallen into our backyard. In the process, they destroyed a bird’s nest that was on the ground (my husband and little daughter had discovered the nest – possibly abandoned – with eggs in it, so they put up garden fencing around it to protect it from animals). The fencing had been dragged away and the nest was no where to be found! :eek:

  5. My husband writes a scathing post on facebook about the company. He also posts something on their facebook page (which they immediately remove).

  6. Two days later, The tree removal service owner comes to my door and apologizes. He gives us $20 to buy our daughter a gift to make up for the destroyed nest. He tells us that he fired the employee who went into our backyard without permission and destroyed the nest. He promises to clean up the remaining mess on our front yard.

  7. Several days go by, and the mess has not been cleaned up. My husband posts a review on facebook about the company, explaining why we are so upset with them and their inability to clean the mess they made.

  8. It’s now a week later, and our front yard is still a mess. I called the tree service yesterday, and the owner tells me (before I even open my mouth) that the clean-up of our front yard was not done to his satisfaction, so he’s going to send someone else out to finish the job. I’m happy to hear that.

  9. Last night I get home and the yard is still a mess.

  10. The owner and his wife come over last night to talk with us. The wife tells us that they just lost a $1500 job because of the review my husband put on facebook. I tell them that’ terrible, but they haven’t cleaned up our yard yet! The owner looks around and says it looks fine. I pick up a chunk of wood the size of my baby’s arm and show it to him – “This wasn’t here before you guys came into my life,” I said. Owner gets mad and starts picking up branches himself. I tell him to please go (it’s around 8 pm and he’s talking heatedly outside my sleeping baby’s window) and send someone back tomorrow to clean the yard.

  11. The wife posted on facebook last night a reply to my husband’s review, calling him “mean spirited” because he didn’t list all the things they did to TRY to rectify the situation (firing the employee, giving my daughter $20). She wants him to take down the review – we told her he would take down the review as SOON as they clean my yard.

WTF? Why in the world are they making US out to be the bad guys here? It’s ridiculous! We’re not even their customers – just some innocent bystanders!

I want to call the owner and his wife today to settle this once and for all. They seem to honestly think our yard is now “clean enough.” I want my yard to look like it did BEFORE they ever showed up – and that means removing lots of small, sharp branches and small rocks. Am I crazy? Is that so much to ask?

You have been more than generous with them. They don’t deserve to stay in business if your story is accurate. I just had about 10 trees removed where they had to go into me neighbors yard. They notified my neighbor several days in advance and left both of our yards in better shape than before they arrived.

At this point I wouldn’t even take your review down even if they did come over fix everything.

The fact that they used your yard at all, much less your backyard, without asking permission first is a gigantic red flag for bad business in my opinion. They deserve a bad review for that part alone.

Yeah, I don’t think they’ll be in business long one way or the other.

Was this a legitimate-seeming company, or do you have the impression it’s just some idiot with a bucket truck and a chain saw?

From what you wrote, they have only done anything in response to a bad review on Facebook, and even then it’s been grudging. Don’t take down the review.

you would have been better to call them and arrange cleanup. called again if needed. then write a letter.

by taking it public on social media you escalated the issue well beyond what it deserved at that point. you are now into trench warfare.

Yeah every tree removal company worth its salt knows how to completely clean up a yard, so it’s totally puzzling that these people are just not able to do the one thing you are asking - cleaning up the yard.

They seem to just be weirdly focusing on all the wrong things.

They sound like some seriously dumb fucks with a major sense of entitlement. So they’ve publicly admitted to trespassing? Could be their troubles are just beginning.

Agreed.
I hope that what was posted on social media was absolutely factual. Any conjecture (etc.) should be removed ASAP. But since the Co. has FB, they can’t fault anyone for using it or theirs.
OP should have taken pictures of the ‘mess in the yard’ and have a record of contacting the Tree Co. Then, after 3 business days, hire someone to clean it up and then file suit in small claims court against the Tree Co. for reimbursement.
OP should also file a statement with the BBB (though not sure they can as they aren’t a customer).
I think OP shot them self in the foot when they told to owner to ‘please leave’.
Reputation is a BIG deal to small Co’s. The owner needs to do what is necessary to maintain his.

I just got off the phone with the owner’s wife. She said (exact quote) “There were no major branches or anything just alot of smaller twigs, but obviously you won’t be satisfied until every small twig is gone and that is fine. All you had to do was make that clear.”

sigh

We DID make that clear. Over and over and over again. I want my yard to be in the same condition (or better!) it was BEFORE these people began haunting my life. No sharp sticks, no rocks. Baby crawling on yard, remember?

She told me that she was getting some rakes and going to clean it up herself – and she said she was bringing her 7 year-old daughter to pick up the rocks. I expressed gentle surprise that she would have her daughter do a job that she paid grown men to do, and she snapped at me that she homeschools her daughter. Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. Not sure what one has to do with the other, but I guess she makes her kid work during the school day.

I again told her that if my husband and I are satisfied with the yard clean-up tonight, then we will remove the facebook review. We’ll see what happens.

Yeah, just yet another example of people who shouldn’t be running a business. People talk about small business and Mom & Pops being awesome, but there are so many examples of gross incompetence such as is listed in this thread. I’d bet money they’re also doing tax evasion through cash and whine endlessly about having to get worker’s compensation insurance - unless they’re also paying their workers cash so they don’t exist :slight_smile:

Morons. They’ve got morons in their company.

Firing the employee was between them and the employee; it did nothing to rectify the situation with you. The $20 addressed one particular issue, but it’s more of a side issue; the main one is the condition of your front yard.

And if they lost a $1500 job because of your Facebook review, well, too bad, so sad. I wouldn’t want to hire a company that made a shambles out of my next door neighbor’s yard; why should they expect anyone else to?

And the owner clearly is not in control of himself. There’s no point for him in meeting with you unless he’s trying to defuse the situation. Instead, he gets pissed off at you for noticing that there’s still a bunch of crap in your yard that he left there.

Same deal with the wife, given the reply to your husband’s Facebook post. Seems they’re more interested in a good fight than in defusing this situation so they can get back to earning money.

FWIW, social media is what you use after your attempts at resolving the issue privately don’t work. Privately I would have called, wrote letters with photos attached, clearing stating in writing what happened, and what needed to be done to fix the problem. Only after that didn’t work would I have used social media and blasted them.

You did take photos at all stages of this mess, didn’t you?

Oh, and using Angie’s List is proper at any time.

In any case now, I hope you are documenting every interaction with this company, and your neighbor. It’s these kinds of arguments that can escalate into what is already described a trench warfare.

'Tis better to be pissed off than pissed on.

Angie’s list wouldn’t have helped OP since OP is not the one that hired the tree removal service.

I see no problem with name and shame. The owner isn’t mad that the worker’s left a mess, he’s mad he got called on it.

Am I the only one that smelled bullshit when he claimed they fired the worker that went into the backyard? Like hell they did.

I wouldn’t have allowed them back on the property. They never received permission to be there in the first place and did damage while there.

‘I’m going to hire a reputable landscaping company of my choosing and you are going to play for it.’

The Facebook stuff on both parties is nonsense. You are getting too emotionally invested. Work on solving the problem, not who is the good or bad guy.

I think OP became unreasonable after item 3, moreso after item 6.

At item 4, I’m pretty sure OP would have been more pissed had the tree removal service left the branches that had fallen into their yard.

After step 6, it gets ridiculous. Yeah, I get it, there is some crap on your lawn. I would be pissed too. No question. However, after the first day it was left there, I would have gone outside and spent the forty minutes it would take to clean everything up. Especially if I’m so consumed with worry over the welfare of my small child.

Sometimes life is unfair.

Oh, fuck that. The contractor was 100% responsible for cleaning up that mess (shouldn’t have left it in the first place), if I’m the homeowner I’m going to pester them until it’s done right. Damned if I’m spending time cleaning up after their lazy, incompetent asses.

Dude, I get it, but at this point they’ve spent more time and effort whining about it than they would have spent just cleaning it up themselves. I’d rather have the whole thing over on day two and not be thinking about it a week later, but you’re free to wage eternal war against injustice.