Alasdair Girvan is warning other residents to be cautious after he said he paid $180 for a service he did not receive from a door-to-door solicitor. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

A South Surrey man says he learned a tough lesson after putting his faith in a door-to-door solicitor who offered landscaping work at an unbeatable price.

The landscaper knocked on Alasdair Girvan’s door last Tuesday and offered to power rake and aerate his yard for $80.

“I said, ‘Done, go for it, seriously,’” Girvan told Peace Arch News Wednesday.

“He came back to see the backyard and then said it was going to be $180. I said, ‘Well, you know what, I know how much work it is. Do it, go for it.’”

Girvan went on with his day until the job was complete.

“I went and looked at the front yard and nothing has been done. Absolutely nothing has been done,” Girvan said, adding that his backyard was badly damaged because it was aerated when the ground was soaking wet.

Girvan said he had to leave for an appointment, and when he returned he drove around the neighbourhood searching for the landscaper.

He found the manager of the operation, who provided Girvan with contact information for the company, which is based out of Ontario.

“Click on the website and it doesn’t connect. I phoned the number and it says the phone number no longer exists – I couldn’t get a hold of anybody,” Girvan said, adding that the manager was also unable to connect with the “head office.”

Attempts to reach the company made by PAN Wednesday afternoon were unsuccessful. The company website doesn’t appear to be working.

ALSO READ: Police warn of door-to-door con man

The manager reportedly told Girvan that the company subcontracts the work, and that he “can’t blame our company on the poor job this guy did.”

Girvan suggested to the manager that he contact the landscaper who did the work, but the manager said the subcontractor’s phone battery was dead.

Girvan drove around the neighbourhood until he found the landscaper who did the work, he said.

“He said he doesn’t own a phone. I phoned the (manager) back again and said ‘what’s going on? This is your company, you’re kicking some (butt) and making some money.’ I said ‘you’ve got no idea who’s working for you, what’s going on? Wheres the quality control?”

Girvan said the landscaper offered to return the $180, but Girvan refused to take it as he just wanted the job to be done.

“My yard is a mess, he’s got the money, I’ll never see him again.”

Girvan said his motivation for contacting PAN was so that readers could learn from his mistake.

“The public needs to be warned. I grew up here, I used to cut the grass for these people. They’re old, they’re retired, they don’t have time to go out there and do the weeding and stuff. And you’re coming in here, $200, wham-bam out the door. No phone number, no card, no receipt, nothing.

“It pissed me off. People need to know about it. This is something that happens time and time again. And this company came all the way from Ontario to canvas the neighbourhood? No, it’s like a shell company that doesn’t exist.”

Surrey RCMP Const. Richard Wright said, due to the privacy act, he cannot confirm nor deny any investigations that may or may not be ongoing.

ALSO READ: White Rock merchant warns of invoice scam

However, Wright did offer advice to residents if they receive a visit from a door-to-door solicitor.

“It’s best not to sign up for the business right away. A legitimate business will have some sort of reference they can work with, a business card, a website. (Residents) can do their own research into the business before choosing whether or not to engage that business,” Wright said.

Wright said that if someone feels they’ve been a victim of a scam, then they should “absolutely” make a police report.

Wright also offered a website link to provincial information on reporting consumer fraud with Consumer Protection BC and Better Business Bureau. That information can be found here.



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Dust on Crust bring bluegrass to Golden

The band came together at the Wolf’s Den jam nights and have been playing bluegrass ever since

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

Morning Start: Water can freeze and boil at the same time

Your morning start for Thursday, August 6, 2020

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Police watchdog deems Kelowna RCMP not responsible for man’s death

The man spoke to police after a car crash before leaving on foot; he was found dead six hours later

‘It’s just my job’: Off-duty Peachland paramedic saves choking girl downtown Penticton

Family vacationing in Penticton assisted by off-duty paramedic, who helps save 13-year-old

Most Read