AG Gansler's Consumer Protection Division Orders
Two Tree Service Operators to Return Money to Consumers
MD ( Oct. 5, 2011) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has issued a Cease and Desist Order requiring two unlicensed tree service operators to pay restitution to consumers and to stop selling tree removal and other landscaping services in Maryland unless they obtain the required license. Walter Lee Bandy, Jr., who did business as TLC Lawn Care & Landscaping, TLC Tree Removal, TLC Tree Service and Destiny's Chance Tree Service, and Jason Conley, who co-owned and operated Destiny's Chance Tree Service with Mr. Bandy, collected payment from consumers for tree removal and other landscaping services that they either never completed, or in some cases, never commenced.
"These landscapers will not be able to take advantage of consumers any longer," said Attorney General Gansler. "Consumers should be able to get the services they paid for."
Attorney General Gansler also urged consumers to contact the Consumer Protection Division and the Department of Natural Resources before hiring a tree expert to see if they are licensed and if there have been any complaints filed against the individual or business.
The Consumer Protection Division determined that Mr. Bandy and Mr. Conley violated the Maryland Consumer Protection Act by selling tree removal and other landscaping services that they did not provide and by failing to refund customers' payments. The Cease and Desist Order immediately bars Mr. Bandy and Mr. Conley from selling tree removal and other landscaping services in Maryland unless they provide the Division a $20,000 surety bond or other security.
Additionally, the Cease and Desist Order prohibits Mr. Bandy and Mr. Conley from identifying themselves as tree experts unless they obtain the required license. The Division also ordered Mr. Bandy and Mr. Conley to return all of the money they took from consumers for services they did not provide. The Division found at least 17 consumers are owed at least $19,908.04. Mr. Bandy and Mr. Conley have 30 days to request a hearing to challenge the Division's order.
Consumers who purchased, but did not receive goods or services from Walter Lee Bandy, Jr. or Jason Conley under any of the following trade names -- TLC Lawn Care & Landscaping, TLC Tree Removal, TLC Tree Service, and Destiny's Chance Tree Service -- should call the Consumer Protection Division at 410-576-6569 or write to the Consumer Protection Division at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202. The Attorney General also thanked the Department of Natural Resources for its assistance in investigating the case.