On Your Side: Beware of fly-by-night cleanup offers

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 6:28 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It never fails this time of year. There’s a knock on your door. An offer to clean up what a spring storm left behind.

Honest pay does not always result in honest work. Here are simple ways to safeguard your wallet.

Ask for credentials. Depending where you live, the company might need a business license.

Paul Hope with Consumer Reports says get proof of insurance.

“If the tree falls and smashes through your neighbor’s roof, you could be on the hook for that. You could also be on the hook for any injures that the contractor or the crew sustain if they’re not insured on their own. Very often these are expensive things that might not be covered by your home insurance policy,” he said.

A certified arborist should give you their ISA number.

Get three bids.

Remember, as we always say, a good deal today should be a good deal tomorrow.

Be wary of a low ball offer. That could amount to shoddy work or tacked on fees.

Google the company. If you cannot find a website or reviews, be careful.

“It could possibly be a major red flag that it’s a fly-by-night company engaged in a scam and maybe they’ve changed their names,” said Hope.

A good rule of thumb. Never pay in full, upfront. Pay in thirds. A deposit, another third when the job is half done and the rest when the project is complete.

If something goes wrong, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and Attorney General.

To report a correction or typo, please email

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