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

Maple Ridge woman fights WorkSafe B.C. over police widow’s pension

Dalila Vroom says husband, Const. Robert Vroom, died as result of PTSD from time with Abbotsford PD

Abbotsford Hospital COVID-19 outbreak over, a new one reported at business

New World Technologies is site of ‘very small’ outbreak, says Dr. Bonnie Henry

Solidarity demonstration planned for Abbotsford on Friday

People gathering to protest police brutality and systemic racism in downtown Abbotsford

Fraser River freshet peak is coming soon

Predictions for 2020 by River Forecast Centre has the freshet peak at the Mission gauge for June 4-5

PHOTOS: Harrison Hot Springs Resort reopens

Reopening both celebrated and sombre as Harrison opens up again

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read