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‘We were just left out to dry’: North Chesterfield man feels duped out of $3,650 after tree service is a no-show

Chesterfield County

UPDATE: A little over a week after 8News spoke with Gemmer for coverage of the story, he said Butler gave him $3,700 in cash back he originally gave for the tree service.

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va (WRIC) – One North Chesterfield man feels duped after the tree service job he put a deposit down on never happened. He’s still trying to get the money back three months later.

Paul Gemmer and his wife wanted four trees taken out of his yard back in April. They hired Interstate Extreme Tree Specialists to do the work but the employees never showed up to do the job.

“We were just left out to dry,” he told 8News in an interview Wednesday.

They paid James Butler, the owner of the company, $3,650 which is half of what the project was slated to cost.

Paul Gemmer paid $3,650, half of the cost of the project, for the company to remove 4 trees on his North Chesterfield property. (Photo: 8News Photographer Will McCue)

“I haven’t seen him since and I haven’t gotten our money back,” Gemmer said.

Interstate Extreme Tree Specialists never showed up to start the job on Monday, April 19. The Gemmers ended up canceling the job, but even after multiple texts, Butler still hasn’t sent back that money.

8News found no record of the business with the State Corporation Commission, the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation nor the Better Business Bureau.

James Butler’s business, Interstate Extreme Tree Specialists, couldn’t be found on record with the SCC, DPOR or the BBB. (Photo: 8News Photographer Will McCue)

8News called James Butler Wednesday to ask if it’s true that there’s no record of his business with the SCC, which is required to perform services in the state of Virginia.

“Uh, it should be. I don’t know why it wouldn’t be. I’ve been doing tree work for 25 years,” he said.

This is one of four trees in Paul Gemmer’s yard he wanted removed by Interstate Extreme Tree Specialists. (Photo: 8News Reporter Sabrina Shutters)

Another neighbor down the road from the Gemmers paid $750 for a project months ago. The neighbor showed 8News a receipt for the work, but that job hasn’t been done either.

Gemmer asks other people searching for a tree service to watch out.

“Try and get some kind of written guarantee when they’re going to do the work,” he said.

Butler told 8News he plans to take care of one of those jobs over the weekend and will send a check for the $3,650 to Gemmer soon.

Stay with 8News as we continue to follow this story.

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