LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Attorney General Dana Nessel is issuing a Notice of Intended Action (NIA) after suspected price gouging in Gaylord.

I will not tolerate attempts to exploit the hardship the Gaylord area is currently facing for financial gain. I appreciate the diligent work our Consumer Protection Team continues to do to ensure businesses that traveled to Northern Michigan were not creating the impression they sought to help and assist, when in reality they intended to exploit those who are already suffering from this tragic event.”

AG Dana Nessel

Nessel’s department received a consumer complaint against E &B Contracting, a limited liability company based out of Kentucky, after an invoice for the removal of two trees was for $33,962.50.

Prior to working with E & B Contracting, a Gaylord local received a quote from a Gaylord-area tree service to remove the trees for $4,200 if paid by insurance.

“According to the consumer, you told her you could do the work for less than the price that had been bid by the local company. In so doing, you persuaded her to not trouble her friends, and assured her the billing would be done to her insurance company and she would not have to pay anything out-of-pocket,” the NIA states. 

A representative with E & B said that a cost estimate would be given before starting the work, only for the resident to learn that the job was done without an estimate being written.

“This consumer’s experiences, including the misrepresentations she reports having heard from you, are consistent with the evidence this Office has obtained related to other consumers served by companies that bill through Canary Tree Service. Further, like those consumers, this Gaylord resident has endured stress beyond that already caused by the storm damage because it caused her to become involved in Canary’s efforts to collect from Allstate on an unconscionable invoice. This puts this consumer in a position that is both unfair and unacceptable,” the NIA goes on to state. 

E & B Contracting has until June 20 to respond to the NIA.

An attorney for Canary Tree Service contacted the Attorney General’s Corporate Oversight Division, requesting an extension to the response time for the NIA. 

That response is expected by June 13.

Upon receiving the response, Nessel will either explore a settlement through an assurance agreement or move forward with a court filing seeking to commence further investigation.