Tree trim scam alert

WA Consumer Protection has issued a warning about a tree lopping company it’s charged with trying to fleece an 88-year-old Coolbinia man out of $1000.

Talbot Bashall, 88, was flustered when men from West Australian Tree Services knocked on his door, demanding payment for pruning a tree on his verge.

Mr Bashall (right) claims he had not engaged anyone to do the job but the men insisted he owed them $1480. They allegedly took $1000 from him on the spot via a mobile Eftpos machine.

When Mr Bashall’s friend John Gatward found out he complained to the WA consumer protection department.

It turns out the company and its principal are already the subject of several warnings and “enforceable undertaking” orders after previous court appearances.

Last year the company was “named and shamed” for the third time following a spate of complaints about allegedly bullying behaviour over demands for payment.

Dumped mulch

Father Tim Deeter from Catholic St Paul’s in Menora said WATS dumped mulch in his carpark three times when he refused to pay.

The WA consumer protection department has several legal actions pending against WATS in the magistrates and supreme courts.

“While legal actions initiated by us…are yet to be finalised, I would warn WA consumers to consider very carefully whether to have any dealings with West Australian Tree Services and its employee Mr Sean Weinthal,” said WA consumer protection commissioner Anne Driscoll.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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