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Customers claim tree trimmer left jobs unfinished after being paid

Green Cove Springs customer: 'I don't want this to happen to anybody else'

Two different customers claim a tree trimmer left jobs unfinished after they paid him. 

David Davis, who lives in Green Cove Springs, and Frank Ford, a resident of Jacksonville's Southside, said they were ripped off when tree trimmer Arthur Ayers took their money without finishing the work.

News4Jax investigated similar claims about Ayers in the past. He was later charged and pleaded guilty.

The two customers said they want to put their stories out there so it doesn't happened to anyone else.

Davis said he needed some tree work done on his Green Cove Springs property earlier this month. He said he paid Ayers and his Southern Country Boys Tree Service in two separate payments.

According to Davis, some of the work was completed, but Ayers told him that he needed another $200 in addition to the $200 he had already been paid.

Then Ayers said he'd be back later to cut down a tree, Davis told News4Jax.

"I said, 'Well, he came back the second day. I'm going to have to give the guy the benefit of the doubt and hopefully he will come back the next day and finish the work like he said he would.' So I gave him the $200 and then they left. And I haven't seen them since," Davis said. 

Out over $400, Davis said he did some research, finding Ayers served six months on fraud charges in 2012.

Now, Davis said he wants to take the issue to court.

"So the next step is that I have to file a violation of civil contract with the county clerk. Once that is filed, it goes to mediation with a judge to see if we can work it out what was agreed upon and what was completed," Davis said. 

Ford said the same thing happened to him.

"Every time I talked with him, he'd say, 'I'll be there tomorrow. I'll be there at such and such time.' And he would always come up with another excuse," Ford said. "It got to the point where I told him, 'I've got his tag number, his wife's tag number and his driver's license.' And I said, 'I'm going to go ahead and turn him in to the authorities.'"

Both men are now working to take their issues to court, saying, in the end, they want Ayers out of business.

"The goal is that, really. I don't want this to happen to anybody else," Davis said. 

News4Jax spoke with Ayers by phone late Tuesday evening about the claims. 

Ayers adamantly denied the allegations. He said in the case of Davis, he was forced to work under dangerous conditions and left. Ayers said he completed all the work agreed to with Ford. 

Ayers said he's just trying to run an honest business.