I was not the provider or client in this case, but an innocent bystander. You see, my landlord was a bit of a tightarse...
As most of my fellow Aussies will know, some gum trees (aka eucalypts) will sometimes grow in a fork down low in the trunk, and as the tree ages (sometimes getting to be a massive tree) the fork will often split down the middle. We love our gum trees, but they can be a bit of a problem in a suburban back yard.
One day my wife noticed that the tree in our yard was splitting right down the fork, as so often happens. This was a _huge_ tree, probably close to 20m (65ft) high with a trunk diameter at the base of around 1.5m (5ft). If it fell down, it was going to cause a bit of a mess.
We were renting back then, so naturally we called our landlord straight away and told him what was going on. As I said before, he was a _serious_ tightarse, and hated to spend money on anything. With a massive tree about to split in half, tall enough to damage not only his property but multiple neighbouring properties, he then dithered about looking for the absolute lowest quote he could find to get it felled.
This went on for days. Finally, late on a Friday afternoon, a very nice, professional, efficient, and almost certainly experience tree-feller turned up to have a look. He was horrified. he said he'd be back first thing in the morning to put a metal band around the trunk to slow the splitting, and would then be back again that afternoon to safely cut it down.
Half of it fell down of its own accord that night, smashing two fences, a clothesline, several bushes, and a neighbour's shed. Made one helluva bang, let me tell you.
The tree-feller came back and started the process of cutting up the fallen log and felling the now extremely unstable remaining half of the tree. As this was going on, I heard the following exchange between my landlord and the tree-feller:
LL - You'll charge me half the quoted price, of course.
TF - What?!?!?
LL - Half of it fell down. The job is half done.
TF - No. The job is not half done. We have to cut up the fallen tree, and I have to send my workers up a half-fallen-down tree to fell it in pieces from the top down. This is amazingly dangerous work and we can't get any insurance. Any injuries come out of my pocket. No, the price is as agreed.
LL - Half of it is already on the ground! You have to give me a discount at least.
At this point I made an excuse and ran inside; no doubt my landlord would find an excuse to evict us if I laughed my arse off at him.