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Centennial seniors couple fight $400 tree bill, say they never agreed to service

Posted: 6:33 PM, Dec 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-21 03:38:42Z
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Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at contact7@thedenverchannel.com or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here .

CENTENNIAL -- A Centennial couple is furious after they were billed $400 for a tree service they never agreed to. Contact7 decided to look into it.

Leta and Vincent Long used Home Advisor to get quotes for tree service in July. Fit Turf called them but didn’t make a great impression.

“He was just so pushy,” Leta Long explained. “It was 8 o'clock in the morning and he was loud, he talked fast and he was just being obnoxious.”

The Longs decided to keep looking. A few days later they returned home to find Fit Turf signs in their yard and a $400 bill on the front door.

That's when their son Michael decided to step in and contact customer service.

“I said, 'do you have a written agreement?' 'No we do not.' I said, 'well, what gives you the right to perform the service?' She said, 'Well we sent a couple of emails and they never responded, so we assume that gave us permission,'” Michael Long said.

We checked out the company’s Yelp reviews and discovered very similar complaints going back to 2015. One customer wrote: “I never hired this company. I explored using their services. I started receiving bills from them. I started receiving a collection agency letter. Nice business model Fit Turf!”

Five months later with no resolution and the Long’s bill has entered collections.

“I just started thinking to myself, the culture of a company comes from ownership. It’s time to contact Channel 7; I'm done with it,” Michael said.

Contact7 met with Fit Turf owner Paul K. Wagner and pressed him on how they can prove a customer agreed to a service if they don’t use contracts.

“Since there is no signed contract I can only go back into the notes from when Bart (sales rep) scheduled them for the service,” Wagner said.

“If you are doing interior pest control - which we don’t do - or structural pest control, that has to be a signed contract. Exterior work, lawn care and tree care does not have to be a signed contract.”

Wagner said there may have been a miscommunication and agreed to resolve the bill.

“It’s not a matter of, 'Oh this a $400 bill and we are trying to hammer them for the money.' We aren’t those people if they really feel that they didn’t order it then we aren’t going to bill them for it.”