Can you give me a quote over the phone?

I can’t count all the times I’ve answered the phone and had someone ask me if I could give them a quote over the phone.  I’ve even pulled up some client’s homes on google maps and done it a few times, for small trees visible from the street view that couldn’t have gotten much bigger since the picture was taken.

I’ve even had people send me pics they took with their phone and asked me to give them a quote.  Most every time I’ve regretted it.  Either there’s a fence not in the picture, or I have to drag the brush a quarter mile up a hill in the snow, or there’s a power line that’s not in the picture, or some other borderline catastrophe that makes me curse the day I chose to do tree work.

Now I tell people, “No”.

Believe me, everyone wants to save some time and money and do things the “easy” way.  Of course, I would much rather do quotes from home than drive all over creation trying to figure out what people want if they’re not home, or try to catch them at home, or deal with those special people who think that because they have a job and a family and a life, and supposedly I only do trees, that I should have given them 48 hours’ notice before dropping by to quote the big dead tree clearly visible from the street in their front yard.  Bless their darling hearts…

Personally, I think of myself more like your electric meter reader.  I can usually get the quote done without anyone even knowing I was there.  If you can communicate to me clearly what you want done, I can probably quote it without you being there, and that makes your life and mine much easier.

The longer I do trees, the more I’m of the opinion, that no reputable, experienced tree guy is going to quote your tree without seeing it in person. 

We give free quotes for a reason.
The reason is NOT because they’re free. 

It’s because putting my company’s reputation on the hook without taking a look at the job with my own eyeballs is poor judgement, pure and simple.

So I will happily spend my time driving all over creation.  I really like meeting and spending some time with the people who trust their trees to me.

And I enjoy every minute of the peace of mind afforded by knowing up front what I’m getting myself and my guys into.