UKC

/ Doorstep Cold Caller - Now a Nuisance

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mypyrex - on 15 Feb 2018

About eighteen months ago a middle-aged beer bellied chap called and drew my attention to a silver birch tree in our front garden. Claiming to be a tree surgeon he told me it was leaning,(what tree doesn't lean?) was cracked at the bottom(?) and was about to fall over and create untold havoc(It's only about fifteen feet high with a trunk diameter of no more than nine inches).

He assured me he could deal with it for a very modest sum(think he mentioned £25) When I asked him for his business card he scarpered rather rapidly and, knowing that the tree was sound I thought no more about it.

He then reappeared about six months later and I told him firmly but politely to be on his way. Concerned that he might have nefarious motives I took a note of his vehicle registration(different this time) and reported to the neighbourhood watch.

Low and behold another appearance today! Today he claimed to be a tree surgeon "looking after all the trees on the estate - about a dozen houses, some with trees but most without. He again said, in effect, that the silver birch was in a dangerous state. I pointed out that it was still standing and had been for longer than we'd occupied the property. I said if I was concerned I would seek the advice of my tree surgeon brother in law ;o)

Given that he obviously recognised me from the earlier visits I'm now getting fed up with the fact that he won't take the hint and f@ck off.

Quick question then; how to deal with it next time and hopefully put an end to his visits?

2
JJ Krammerhead III - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Tell him you're a tree surgeon too and you've been kidding him along.

Smears on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Don't answer the door ?

 

mypyrex - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to Smears:

> Don't answer the door ?


I was out in the front garden when he called today

Jon Greengrass on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

ask if you can see his certificate of public liability insurance before he starts work

jkarran - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Hard to understand what he wants really except perhaps some free firewood or the opportunity to massively jack up the price then march you to a cash machine once the work is done. Just tell him no and to stop bothering you if he comes again. Don't lose any sleep over it, if you don't engage his services all he's costing you is some very minor inconvenience. If you feel threatened call into your local police station for a chat, he may be known to them.

jk

lone - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Tell him you rent the property and the land lord lives in Spain

Ex Poster 666 - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

You're obviously too nice, mypyrex.
I get people hassling to do jobs now and again, and when they see my ugly mush accompanied with a curt 'No', they tend to scuttle along.  Try snarling at him next time.

Jon Greengrass on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to lone:

Tell him you rent the property, the land lord lives in Sicily and would he like to speak to your godfather.

Post edited at 13:43
two_tapirs - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Push the tree on top of him next time he calls.

mypyrex - on 15 Feb 2018

Might just try bluntness: "Fvck off - you'te a pin in the arse!"

balmybaldwin - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Cut the tree down your self, or get a tree preservation order?

LastBoyScout on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

I had someone knock on the door last year claiming to be a tree surgeon doing work for a few of my neighbours and asking if I'd be interested in a quote for any work done. Seemed reasonably legit, as had some business cards and a company logo'd jumper on.

Out of interest, I did get his opinion, to see if it concurred with what I thought needed doing, so he had a look, waved his arm at a few trees and rattled off a list along the lines of cut that back, that'll cause you problems in the future, take that tree down, etc, with a quote of about £300, which was declined with an "I'll think about it".

Firstly, every one of the trees/shrubs he was referencing is outside our property boundary and, secondly, the land is an official arboretum owned by the council, so would need their permission to do any work anyway. I do hop over the fence a couple of times a year and cut back the brambles and nettles so they're not trashing our fence and I can't imagine they'll mind about that, but I'm not about to pay him to do it for me.

Anyway, he called back again at the weekend to see if I'd thought about it any more and I just said no thanks again.

And none of the neighbours we know have had anyone doing any work for them, so no idea what he's up to further down the road.

LastBoyScout on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> Cut the tree down your self, or get a tree preservation order?

I wouldn't get a TPO - they're easy to get, but nigh-on impossible to get removed if you ever did have real problems with the tree.

Duncan Bourne - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

You need the Lantra professional tree inspection course.

https://www.lantra.co.uk/provider-search/3337

Without seeing your tree it is hard to make an assessment as to its state. However one of my favourite rants is about people who complain about trees being dangerous when they are not. I work with trees and make assessments on them quite frequently. Has it leaned anymore since you have been there? What exactly is the "crack" he is on about? Is it a vertical or horizontal crack? Are there signs of dieback - substantial dead branches, fungus, crown dieback, oozing, loose bark (other than normal bark shedding)? Cracks in the soil surrounding the tree (may indicate weakening root system)? How big is your birch? Generally birch are not tall trees (max about 70 ft most 20 yr old trees are about 30 - 40 ft). Unless you are concerned about the tree I would tell him to bugger off. He has a vested interest in felling your tree.

Whenever I get these sort of folk. It is always nope the tree isn't problem and if it was I would sort it myself.

Post edited at 16:54
mypyrex - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

 

> Has it leaned anymore since you have been there?

No and it's no more than five degrees(if that) out of vertical

What exactly is the "crack" he is on about?

The only "damage" is those dark lumpy bits that seem to occur on silver birch trees

As said, it's about fifteen feet in height and I occasionally prune it myself

>Unless you are concerned about the tree I would tell him to bugger off. He has a vested interest in felling your tree.

> Whenever I get these sort of folk. It is always nope the tree isn't problem and if it was I would sort it myself.

Quite

mypyrex - on 15 Feb 2018

Anyone know if there's any sort of statutory body to which nuisance cold callers can be reported?

What pisses me off is that his persistence in trying to convince me that the tree is "dangerous" is actually insulting my intelligence.

tim000 - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

next time answer to door naked and invite him in for a drink ;-)

Post edited at 17:18
Duncan Bourne - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

From the sound of it I would say you are pretty safe from your tree

JEF on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to tim000:

> next time answer to door naked and invite him in for a drink ;-)

And say “here’s some wood for you”

JEF on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

I climbed a big oak with a local tree surgeon once. 

We were great friends till we fell out.

Danm79 - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Don't piss him off too much, he's trying to burgle your house...

Just say you don't want the tree doing but you are thinking of getting a Rottweiler.

alx on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to JEF:

> And say “here’s some wood for you”

Followed by “it needs a polish. A French polish”

Glyno - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Tell him if he doesn't stop bothering you, you'll report him to the special branch 

alx on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to Glyno:

> Tell him if he doesn't stop bothering you, you'll report him to the special branch 

Seems a bit extreme, what about calling the copse first?

bedspring on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

> Anyone know if there's any sort of statutory body to which nuisance cold callers can be reported?

> What pisses me off is that his persistence in trying to convince me that the tree is "dangerous" is actually insulting my intelligence.

ROFL

I am sorry, really sorry but I am imagining an OP from you after the next big wind.

"Tree fell on car, will insurance cover it"

Sorry

1
Chris Harris - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to alx:

> Seems a bit extreme, what about calling the copse first?

Maybe he'll turn over a new leaf. 

Wulfrunian - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

A chap cold-called me a couple of weeks ago (no beer belly though). Told me he was a tree surgeon and that the silver birch in my front garden was in danger of coming down. I told him it wasn't a silver birch, it was a downy birch, and that it was fine. That told 'im.

 

Wyn - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Answer the door naked, whilst eating an orange.

alx on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Chris Harris:

I doubt it, he has the gall to try it on a few times now.

Blue Straggler - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

What does his age or beer belly have to do with anything?

6
TheDrunkenBakers - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Wulfrunian:

What are the identifications for each?

Wulfrunian - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Silver birch generally has droopy branch tips, whereas downy birch is a more upright looking tree. Silver birch twigs are smooth, with little warts on them, downy birch twigs are hairy/downy. Leaf shape is probably easiest identifier - silver birch leaves are double toothed, downy birch are single toothed. There's probably some other stuff I'm not aware of too.

Positive id on my tree came from the label swinging from it when I bought it!

 

alx on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> What does his age or beer belly have to do with anything?

Socio-economic-status evaluation. Mypyrex needs to know if he should answer the door naked either wearing a bow tie or clutching a can of Stella.

Post edited at 16:32
Chris Harris - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

> About eighteen months ago a middle-aged beer bellied chap called and drew my attention to a silver birch tree in our front garden.

Wasn't Ray Mears was it? He likes a bit of birch tree.

 

Philip on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Whip your todger out and run after him shouting "This is wonky at the base, wanna have a look".

I bet he doesn't come back.

ceri - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Careful, my mum had a healthy silver birch in the front garden, tripped over a root and broke her elbow. Maybe you should get that tree down...  

1
bouldery bits - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

Say, no can do. Tree preservation order.

alx on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to bouldery bits:

> Say, no can do. Tree preservation order.

Followed by a knowing wink, saying "touch wood" and a pat on the crotch.

JEF on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to alx:

Tell him you’ve got wood for a man with a big chopper 

1
alx on 17 Feb 2018
In reply to JEF:

This thread is getting out of hand, there are more wood puns than you can shake a stick at.

LastBoyScout on 17 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

When I was in my last house, one of the neighbours had their driveway re-done with block paving.

For months afterwards, I got regular knocks on the door from the same Irish lad asking, in a barely intelligible accent, whether I wanted my driveway done.

Timmd on 18 Feb 2018
In reply to mypyrex:

You could nicely and apologetically ask if you can take his picture and that of his van to make sure he's not the person you've been warned about by the police who is pretending to be a tree surgeon?

'Erm, is it alright if I took your picture? I only ask because...' 

 

 

Post edited at 18:22
alx on 18 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

> You could nicely and apologetically ask if you can take his picture and that of his van to make sure he's not the person you've been warned about by the police who is pretending to be a tree surgeon?

> 'Erm, is it alright if I took your picture? I only ask because...' 

 

That old chestnut never works!

Timmd on 18 Feb 2018
In reply to alx:

In not getting them to clear off you mean?

alx on 18 Feb 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Yes, I don’t think it addresses the root of the problem.


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