About three years ago we contacted Mike Amicone to give us an estimate on two trees that we wanted to have removed. We had his business card from previous communication a few years before, although we had not used his service. He was very peppy, very talkative, and seemed knowledgeable on the subject. We went outside, surveyed the trees, asked tons of questions. Some answers seemed vague, such as ‘how many helpers do you have on staff’. Nonetheless, we went inside and he wrote up an estimate. I asked to see a certificate of insurance. What he showed us was expired. I told him we will give him a deposit of $200 but he needs to present an updated certificate of insurance before we proceeded any further. He promised he would. Needless to say, I called for two weeks, left messages, etc. No response, no Mike, no COI. He must have noticed our Christian house address sign, because we believe he played up to that – telling us stories that seemed somewhat contrived, but we weren’t prepared to question his ‘faith’. He also laughingly told us how his brother is a lawyer and has told him to draft a different estimate sheet and get a more accurate COI. Apparently, he didn’t heed his brother’s advice. He also commented about how our neighbor, with which he had done business before, didn’t do what she was ‘supposed to do’ with the remaining tree debris that HE left there. He blamed her for that. Lesson learned – should have followed our instinct. He’s quite the con-artist, and should not be trusted to do any work for anyone. We did not persue small claims, as we knew it was futile. Other posts on this site proved that, and at least we were right about that much. $200 might not seem like much to some to give up, but it was a great deal to us. Again, we’ve learned from this and hope that others will as well.
Harrison Township, Michigan USA