Of the fifteen or so companies I contacted to deal with the tree, I finally got a good bite and pulled on onto the boat. They sent an estimator out - he even showed up when he said he would, score! and then when he saw what he had to do he did not give into the tree service brotherhoods' contractually obligated post storm requirement to screw me over, er, I mean "exploit my desperation".
Who knew? The first quote was $2000 and a spike in my blood pressure and a quick dip into depression. Guy two came out and was supposed to leave a written estimate at the house, email said estimate and then call me with the estimate. He didn't . He emailed me earlier in the day and he said he would be by, and the crew working next door reported that a guy did come out and took measurements and wandered around - I can't be sure he was the real Guy Two or just a guy from one of the other fourteen companies I called.
No one got in touch with me regardless of who sponsored the guy.
I asked the crew next door if they wanted to do the job but they work for the insurance company and aren't for hire. I need to ask the neighbors who their insurance company is, because they didn't have to scour Angie's List to find people, they just showed up.
One of the companies I spoke with told me that they could be out to do the estimate "by the end of May" and would be able to start the job "by the end of June". That just isn't good enough. My guy is going to be here Wednesday!
Now, I'm not getting too excited, it could still break down. On the upside, he isn't getting paid until I see the job and that was something I was going to insist on anyway. I'm paying cash for this and so I hold more cards than I have on other large things I've bought over the years. I'm planning on a cash only bases for all this work - which can be dangerous because you can't stop payment on cash, but with this job it is either gone or not gone, the root ball might pose problems because it is huge and troublesome. He said he could grind it for many more hundreds of dollars or he could just use his Bobcat to push the mofo back into the absentee neighbors yard. I said do it to it, let them deal with it, it isn't my tree and it bugs me that I would have to pay a lot to dispose of something that isn't mine in the first place.
I didn't post this yesterday for obvious reasons, but I took Dogger for a walk and took this with the camera phone. I'm going to go back and try to get it with my real camera.