On Your Side Investigation: Neighbors paid Springfield tree service, jobs aren't done

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Neighbors outside Rogersville paid a tree service company weeks ago for what was supposed to be a two-day project, but the jobs still aren't finished.

They all hired Joseph Jones with Joseph's Tree Service. No contracts.
Nothing was in writing. Just a verbal agreement to take down a few trees and pick up a lot branches. Neighbors say he left limbs, piles and a mess at each home.

"They need to stop. Something needs to happen, and that's why I contacted you," said Sue Doing.

They tell us together, Joseph collected more than $10,000 from them. Now he won't answer their calls.

Using the Missouri Secretary of State's website, On Your Side couldn't find an LLC for this company. No city business license was found, even though the card says it's in Springfield.

Checks were made out to Calvin Jones, not Joseph's Tree Service.

"He wanted the check made out in his father's name because his father would be able to get it taken to the bank while he was still having to work," said Nancy Breuer.

Jones told On Your Side he'd go back and finish the jobs on Saturday.
He agreed to meet Ashley Reynolds for an interview on Monday.

Neighbors tell On Your Side that Joseph came back on Saturday to two of the three homes. The jobs are still not done. On Monday, he didn't show for the interview. He left a message saying he's sick. We called back and asked to do the interview over Zoom or Facetime. We haven't heard back.

Here are a few reminders.
1. Do not pay in full, upfront.
2. Get the agreement in writing.
3. Always research the company and check reviews.
4. Remember to get proof of insurance. Without it, if a worker gets hurt on your property, you might have to pay for it.