By Kurtis Ming

WHEATLAND (CBS13) – A Wheatland family is worried about the 45-foot tall tree in their front yard that leans right over their bedrooms.

“It’s gonna fall on the house,” said the Ross’ 4-year old son, Brendan.

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Lilly and Alex Ross took action and hired a tree removal company off of the website Thumbtack, but they say the company abandoned the job.

“That’s just sheisty,” said husband and father Alex.

Thumbtack’s website says, “Hire with Confidence,” so the couple posted their project. They soon received a $1,400 bid from Nauyoks Landscape and More, to remove the tree and agreed to have them do the job.

Nauyoks showed up and asked for a $600 check up front but soon as work began so did a hail storm which stopped the work.

Wife and mother Lily recalls that morning, “I said OK, safety first, go ahead and come on down and we will schedule another visit.”

But weeks later when the workers returned, Lily says they wanted another $400 check to show up. She was told it was to cover renting the tree removal equipment again.

But more bad weather that day stopped the job again, this time the wind.

Now out $1,000 and a tree still standing in their yard, the Rosses say Nauyoks won’t return to finish the job.

“I’m so mad; I feel so deceived,” said Lily.

California law says any job above $500 requires a contractor’s license, and contracting without a license is a crime.
The law also says a contractor can only ask for 10 percent of the job cost or $1,000, whichever is less.

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We reached out to Rick Lopes with the Contractors State License Board who told us, “This is not a licensed tree removal company.”

Lopes also says, no legitimate company will ask you to pay to rent equipment.

“They should have their own equipment. It shouldn’t be the consumer trying to front them the money for them to do the job,” said Lopes.

We reached out to Nauyoks Landscape and More, the woman who answered the phone claimed that they did the job and hung up on us.

Lily says Nauyoks then offered to return, but Lily is reluctant and doesn’t want them to because they don’t have a license.

Thumbtack told us in a statement, “We have no tolerance for this sort of conduct.”

After we got involved Thumbtack removed Nauyoks Landscape and More from its site.

But the Ross’ will now hire someone else to remove the tree before it can hurt their family.

“It was not a good experience for us,” said Lily.

While Thumbtack advertises ‘Hire with Confidence’. It also says right on its page you should check credentials before hiring anyone.

CSLB issued an administrative citation with an associated civil penalty of $2,500 to Robert Nauyoks on Oct. 18.

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The citation was for three alleged violations of California contractor’s law:

  1. Business and Professions Code 7028.7 – Contracting without a License
  2. Business and Professions Code 7027.1 – Illegal Advertising
  3. Business and Professions Code section 7125(2)(d) – Non-licensee failing to maintain workers’ compensation insurance