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AG Nessel Issues Notice of Intended Action to Tree Trimmer Operating in Gaylord
May 27, 2022
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a Notice of Intended Action (NIA) to a tree-trimming company following complaints related to price gouging and recent social media posts that show the company operating in Gaylord following the tornado.
The Department of Attorney General has received six, executed affidavits from Michigan consumers that interacted with Canary Tree Service last summer. The information gathered shows there is probable cause to believe Canary Tree Service is violating the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.
The recent tornado in Gaylord resulted in an increased need for tree-trimming services as part of clean-up efforts in the area. Recent social media posts from Canary Tree Service show the company mobilized in the Gaylord area compelling the Department to issue the NIA ahead of an anticipated court filing.
“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,” the NIA states.
Affidavits detail Canary Tree Service submitted absurdly high invoices to their customers’ insurance companies ranging from $20,000 to as high as $38,857.50. After the insurance companies declined full payment, reports are that Canary Tree Service began either applying pressure on the consumers or making outright threats of litigation or collections activity against them related to the unpaid balance. The threats were made either by Canary Tree Service directly, or through a collections company.
The NIA specifies, “...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,” states the NIA. For more information, the NIA is now available on the Department of Attorney General’s website.