Attorney General Issues Second Notice of Intended Action to Tree Trimming in Gaylord After Tornado

A second Notice of Intended Action has been issued by Attorney General Dana Nessel following suspected price gouging in Gaylord after a tornado moved through the area last month.

The NIA is related to but separate from an action taken against Canary Date Sculpting, who was doing business in Gaylord as Canary Tree Service. according to the Department of the Attorney General.

The department had received a consumer complaint about two trees being removed after the May 20 tornado. The company was identified as E & B Contracting, a limited liability company from Kentucky.

Before meeting with E & B Contracting, the resident had received a quote from a Gaylord-area tree service to remove the trees for $4,200 if paid by insurance.

“According to the consumer, you told her you could do the work for less than the price that had been bid by the local company. In so doing, you persuaded her to not trouble her friends, and assured her the billing would be done to her insurance company and she would not have to pay anything out-of-pocket,” the NIA states.

Additionally, according to the NIA, the E & B representative said that he would provide a written cost estimate before starting the work, but the job was done without that commitment being met.

After an investigation, it was determined the billing for E & B Contracting was turned in to insurance by Canary Tree Service, the same company that faces their own NIA. The invoice submitted for the removal of the trees was for $33,962.50, prompting the new NIA.

“This consumer’s experiences, including the misrepresentations she reports having heard from you, are consistent with the evidence this Office has obtained related to other consumers served by companies that bill through Canary Tree Service. Further, like those consumers, this Gaylord resident has endured stress beyond that already caused by the storm damage because it caused her to become involved in Canary’s efforts to collect from Allstate on an unconscionable invoice. This puts this consumer in a position that is both unfair and unacceptable,” the NIA states.

“I will not tolerate attempts to exploit the hardship the Gaylord area is currently facing for financial gain,” Nessel said. “I appreciate the diligent work our Consumer Protection Team continues to do to ensure businesses that traveled to Northern Michigan were not creating the impression they sought to help and assist, when in reality they intended to exploit those who are already suffering from this tragic event.”

E &B Contracting has until June 20 to respond to the NIA, according to the Department of the Attorney General.

Categories: Gaylord Tornado