Help for couple preyed on by dodgy lopper
AFTER a shonky tree lopper left their Ipswich property looking like a lumber yard, pensioners Len and Dot Neal have been given a helping hand.
The couple had been doorknocked by a Samoan man known only to them as "Joel the tree lopper" who offered to remove a 40ft gum tree from their backyard.
They paid Joel $2600 to do the job, however he disappeared before the work was completed.
"We were left with a huge collection of wood and debris which was supposed to be cleared," Mr Neal said. "We had also agreed on having the stump grinded too, but that was not done either."
Mr and Mrs Neal shared their story with The Queensland Times last month, so that they could alert the rest of the community.
Since the article, other Ipswich-based tree loppers named Joel have come out of the woodwork to offer assistance.
Joel Fechner, owner of Grasshopper the Tree Lopper in Rosewood, said he was upset to hear how the couple had been hard done by.
"Dodgy loppers like that are giving us legitimate loppers a bad name," he said.
"I wanted to help Len and Dot out, so I volunteered to drive up to their property and finish their job for free."
Mr and Mrs Neal said they were overwhelmed by Mr Fechner's help and delighted to have their yard back to normal again.
As a show of appreciation, the couple insisted Joel take some money so that he could take his wife out for dinner.
Fellow accredited tree lopper Joel Parsons - who runs Tivoli-based All Able Yards with his wife Laura - said it paid to be wary of bogus tree removalists.
Mr Parsons said the widespread presence of shonky tree loppers was creating a bad name for honest businesses.
"In my line of work, I regularly hear about people getting tricked by dishonest tradesman," he said.
"Before any work is undertaken, customers should take the time to research into the people they are employing and look for qualifications and referrals."