Attorney General Issues Notice to Gaylord Tree-Trimming Company for Price Gouging

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has issued a Notice of Intended Action to Canary Tree Service, a tree-trimming company, after complaints connected to price gouging and social media posts that show the company operating in Gaylord following an EF-3 tornado last week.

According to the Department of the Attorney General, they received six executed affidavits from Michigan consumers that interacted with Canary Tree Service last summer, and there is probable cause that Canary Tree Service is violating the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.

The affidavits detail that Canary Tree Service submitted high invoices to their customer’s insurance companies ranging from $20,000 to as high as $38,857.50. After insurance companies declined full payment, Canary Tree Service began pressuring or making threats of litigation or collections activity against consumers related to their unpaid balance.

Threats were made either by Canary Tree Service directly or through a collections company, according to the Department of the Attorney General.

The Notice of Intended Action states the following:

“The Attorney General has probable cause to believe Canary Tree Service has engaged in a pattern of misleading consumers about the nature of the agreements they are signing, the cost of the services it is providing, the potential for financial responsibility for costs not paid for by insurance, and confusing consumers about their legal rights and obligations.  Canary Tree Service also shows a pattern of charging grossly excessive prices for its tree services.

…if Canary Tree Service is going to continue providing tree services in Gaylord, it must be honest with consumers and disclose the nature of the agreements they are being asked to sign and the costs of the services being provided.  To the extent Canary Tree Service has already provided services to any residents impacted by the recent tornado upon a representation they would not be charged out-of-pocket costs, it should not (either directly or through a collections company) apply pressure or make threats to such consumers if the insurance company does not pay the amount Canary Tree Service bills.

The Attorney General will not tolerate any effort by Canary Tree Service to persist in imposing inappropriate economic stress upon the victims of storm damage.” 

Categories: Gaylord Tornado