Woman calls for action over $8,000 tree removal service that was never finished
Company agrees to refund a portion of her deposit
MADISON, Wis. — A Madison family is out $4,000 and a 150-year-old Norwegian maple after hiring a tree removal company that never finished the job.
Pat Williams had used Middleton Tree Worx in the past for trimming services. That’s why she called owner Shane Hauser this July about a branch that appeared to be hanging over a neighbor’s home.
“He said, ‘Oh, that tree has to come down immediately, it’s a danger and you could try to get other estimates but there’s not enough time,” she recalled of their conversation.
Fearing strong summer storms, she signed a contract with Williams on the spot, agreeing to an $8,000 bill and paying $4,000 up front.
“He knew we were afraid and he took advantage of that,” she said.
The company came out a couple times to trim branches and remove the canopy but never finished the job. After months of back-and-forth communications, she filed a police report.
“It’s been super stressful,” she said. “I’ve stayed awake at night about it.”
Shane Hauser explained his side of the story to News 3.
“My contracted climber cut himself with a chain saw, so he was out from six to eight weeks healing and he wasn’t able to climb during that time,” Hauser said.
He blames the months-long delay on that injury, though he says it happened sometime in August – one month after Williams said she was told the tree had to come down immediately.
Further, Hauser points out he has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau. A BBB spokesperson confirmed that rating but said Middleton Tree Worx is not accredited with the company.
Court records show, though, this isn’t the first case. Back in 2012, Hauser was convicted of criminal contract delay.
“It was a long time ago, and it has nothing to do with this situation,” he said of the conviction.
Hauser says he’s always been willing to work with the Williams family and will return a portion of the $4,000 Pat paid.
“We value our customers, we just want them to feel good, and we just want them to be happy,” he said.
Williams is not convinced. Her tree finally came down after she contacted Johnson Tree Service, which gave her an estimate of $3,800 for the original job Middleton Worx priced at $8,000. Now, she’s hoping to help others avoid the pain she feels looking outside at an emptier backyard.
“I do not want Shane Hauser to be going and taking advantage of other people,” she said.
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