Consumers urged to avoid tree lopping family businesses (Sean Weinthal / Mitchell Grisbrook / Elite Trees / SAS Tree Services)

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A rogue tree lopper with a long history with Consumer Protection regarding complaints about his dodgy business practices is now the subject of yet another public warning, which now includes his nephew.

Sean Robert Weinthal of Wanneroo has twice been prosecuted and has also been the subject of numerous warnings since 2006. A high level of consumer enquiries and complaints against him recently has prompted further action by Consumer Protection. The warning also includes his nephew Mitchell Craig Grisbrook of Connolly.

Between 1 January 2017 and 8 January 2018, there were 44 enquiries and 18 complaints against businesses of which Sean Weinthal has either been the proprietor or an employee:

  • Specialised Arborist Services (sometimes referred to as SAS Tree Services)
  • Advanced Tree Specialists
  • West Coast Trees
  • Manageable Tree Services
  • Metropolitan Tree Services
  • West Australian Tree Services

In the same period, Consumer Protection received 51 enquiries and 23 complaints against Elite Trees which has Mr Grisbrook as a registered proprietor and Mr Weinthal is believed to be an employee. It’s believed they are currently operating under this business name as well as ‘SAS Tree Services’ (unregistered).

It’s also believed that Mr Weinthal is using the name “John” when dealing with customers.

The complaints relate to allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct, failing to offer a cooling off period for unsolicited sales, wrongly accepting payment, failing to carry out or complete the work as agreed, trespassing, bullying behaviour, carrying out unauthorised work and damage to property.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said consumers should avoid doing business with either Sean Weinthal or Mitch Grisbrook.

“It is with great frustration and exacerbation that Consumer Protection is again issuing yet another alert about Mr Weinthal who, despite being prosecuted and the cause of numerous warnings for many years now, continues his misconduct when dealing with WA consumers,” Mr Hillyard said.

“Mr Weinthal can no longer be trusted to operate a business either ethically or legally. He has no appreciation of his obligations under consumer law and uses bullying tactics to intimidate consumers into accepting quotes and paying for work that has either not been carried out, is only partially complete or, if complete, does not meet the standard or fulfil the expectations of his customers.

“We can’t recommend strongly enough for consumers to avoid Mr Weinthal, Mr Grisbrook and their various businesses when getting quotes for tree lopping services. Usually they drop flyers in letterboxes in areas where verge-side rubbish collections are scheduled by local councils. If you receive one of their flyers, ignore it and ensure you get multiple quotes from other more reputable businesses.”

Previous recent media statements issued regarding Mr Weinthal include:

Wanneroo tree lopper fined for bullying tactics (Sean Weinthal / Manageable Tree Services) – 31 October 2016

Enforceable undertakings taken against tree lopping business (West Australian Tree Services) – 19 February 2015

Further action against rogue tree lopping business – 15 May 2014

Bullying tree lopper threatens WA consumers: Urgent Warning (Sean Robert Weinthal) – 26 November 2013

Fine for bullying tree loppers – 14 February 2013

WA consumers who have had unsatisfactory dealings with either Mr Weinthal or Mr Grisbrook or any of their businesses and have yet to lodge a complaint are urged to do so via the Consumer Protection website www.consumerprotection.wa.gov.au. Enquiries can be made by email consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.

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Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / alan.hynd@dmirs.wa.gov.au  

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Sean Robert Weinthal

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Sean Robert Weinthal

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Sean Weinthal (left) and Mitchell Grisbrook (right)

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Consumer Protection
Media release
11 Jan 2018

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