Consumers warned about tree lopper

November 27, 2013

A rogue Perth tree lopper has been named and shamed for the third time in seven years after another spike in complaints about his alleged bullying behaviour.

Sean Robert Weinthal of Wanneroo has been accused of unduly harassing a Dalkeith couple just nine months after he was convicted in Perth Magistrate’s Court of coercion.

Consumer Protection Commissioner Anne Driscoll has issued an “urgent warning” about Mr Weinthal and his employers West Australian Tree Services, Manageable Tree Services and WA Tree Professionals.

Ms Driscoll said the most serious complaints levelled at Mr Weinthal involved allegations of bullying and threats over payment.

The new charges relate to a Dalkeith couple who allege they received anonymous phone calls at all hours of the day and night, before Mr Weinthal visited them unannounced, threatened them and demanded payment.

Ms Driscoll said the department was also investigating claims made by an elderly couple in Sorrento and St Paul’s Catholic Church in Menora that Mr Weinthal dumped garden waste on their properties during heated payment disputes.

Father Tim Deeter from St Paul’s said Mr Weinthal dumped mulch in the church car park three times after the church refused to pay for his services despite his threatening behaviour.

He claimed the services were unauthorised and Mr Weinthal had simply started lopping trees the day after sending through a quote.

“Last week, we hired full-time security for a week because I was worried about further activity, perhaps vandalism of some kind,” Father Deeter said.

“I’m not doing this out of revenge and I’m not doing this because of money – just because it’s not right.

“I hope he will learn in the end how to conduct a business in a proper way.”

Consumer Protection named Mr Weinthal in 2006 and 2007 after complaints about quality of work, pricing, damage to property and threatening behaviour.

“Many of the other complaints have come from seniors and women who live alone. These vulnerable consumers have been traumatised by their experiences of being bullied and threatened by Mr Weinthal and this is of grave concern to Consumer Protection,” Ms Driscoll said.

“While investigations are being carried out and further legal action is commenced, I would warn WA consumers to consider very carefully whether to deal with Mr Weinthal.”

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