Troubleshooter

Landscaping job leaves homeowner stumped

Monday, March 04, 2013

Barry Duke has a lot of stumps on his property, so he said when landscaper Derek Anderson showed up and offered to take care of all 62 of them for $600, he jumped at the offer.

"But he needed $200, a third of it, upfront to go rent the stump grinder," said Duke.

Duke said he gave Anderson the money and claims Anderson told him he'd be back the following Monday.

"He called and said that the - where he usually gets the stump grinder from - they're repairing it. The teeth and the belts were messed up. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, same story. You know, kept giving me a reason he couldn't find a stump grinder," said Duke.

Duke said Anderson told him he finally found a stump grinder and would be there within a few days, but he was still a no-show, so Duke looked up Anderson's address and paid him a visit.

"We're standing on his front porch and it was like, 'Okay, what now?' I said, 'I'll tell you what. If I don't have my money by this afternoon, I'm going to go to Diane Wilson and the TV,'" said Duke.

Out his $200, Duke reached out to me, and I called Anderson, and it got his attention.

"The next week he comes by with $100," said Duke.

It took another week to get the last $100, but Duke now has all of his money back.

"Diane, thank you so much! You know, you helped me - stopped me from getting ripped off. And I'm sure that it will help other people be aware and may be some kind of deterrent to this guy who's out here flimflamming people. My family thanks you very much," said Duke.

Duke said he should have known Anderson was too good to be true with his price of just $600 to remove more than 60 stumps. He told me when he got other estimates they were between 12 hundred and two thousand dollars.

Derek Anderson did not have any comment as to why he did not do the job.

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