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

MLAs say Parksville will better prepared for flooding emergencies

RDN receives $150K in funding for Englishman River Flood Hazard Mapping project

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Parksville man, 95, gets lifetime achievement award for civil rights work

Bill Duncan worked with Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 110 km/h in a construction zone

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Most Read