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Am I in breach of contract???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Plowtoy, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    Back in October this year i received a call from a property mgt co. that i did business with last year. They asked for my updated info and i gave it to them. They then faxed me a letter saying what a great job i did last year and wanted to put me on seasonal pricing this year (my first time on seasonal pricing ever!!). After reviewing the letter that was sent and the prices, I called and asked if the trigger was still one inch and if the insurance requirements were the same (They tried to change my insurance last year behind my back:mad:) and they said yes, so i signed and dated the contract and sent it back to them.
    This past Thursday during the "blizzard of 09" i receive a fax stating that many of there subs did not receive a "scope of services" and wanted me to sign and date it by today saying that i understand and agree to it.
    After reading over the scope of services i feel that i can not agree to them. They say "bare pavement conditions are the only acceptable result". They also want me to be there as soon as there is ANY accumulation. I do not agree to most of the wording in the scope of services, mostly because of where i live and the conditions we get here. I feel that they have changed the rules and are telling me to do more than i agreed to originally.
    I have talked to an attorney, he says if i don't sign it i may loose the contract (at this point that wouldn't hurt my feelings any) and may not be paid. I would have to sue for the balance due and that may cost more than just letting it go.
    I guess I'm just wondering if I'm at fault here or do i have a leg to stand on. I'm talking just about 8k for November and Decembers billing (however i didn't have to do anything in November). Thanks for any feed back.:dizzy:
  2. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Sounds like you know if that is the level of service they want, you will need to charge them more. I would not sign it unless you are able to renegotioate your price. Does your contract not already specify the terms of service?
  3. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    "I called and asked if the trigger was still one inch and if the insurance requirements were the same (They tried to change my insurance last year behind my back) and they said yes, so i signed and dated the contract and sent it back to them."

    the fact of the matter is, THEY are the ones who are trying to breach the contract. you had a verbal agreement of terms, and therefore, you signed and sent it.
    Let's be realistic...they are asking for impossible expectations, and with this, they will have the power to screw you over at any time they wish, and to any degree. Read the red FLAGS, man!....
    Also,...this is let ALONE the little trick they tried pulling on you with the insurance, last year...
    You can trust - that they have a whole HAT full of tricks like this...
  4. fms

    fms Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    It sounds to me like the property management company got ripped apart by their clients when several plowing contractors couldn't keep up with the first major storm of the year. The property management company probably created the revised scope of work to appease angry clients.
    I'd speak to the property manager that you deal with. Make sure that they're happy with your service. If they're happy with your service, explain that you intend to continue providing the same level of service that they have always been satisfied with, but that the revised scope is beyond what you're currently providing. If their issue isn't with your company you should be all set.
    If they're happy with your work I'd also let them know that if they run into an ongoing problem with snow at another property that you'd be happy to look at servicing that account for them also.
  5. Deco

    Deco Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    How would one go about "changing your insurance " without your knowledge ? :dizzy:
  6. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    We didn't even get any snow here, what'd we have maybe 4 inches???? A one inch trigger in my mind is stay on top of it and keep it really clean..

    IMO you all make too much out of things and the paranoia is at times amusing....

    A 1" trigger in Holland MI - you will plow a many more times than normal, especially retail work.

    If the Holland Mall :) wanted 1" service and a seasonal contract, how many times do you think you would plow it per year??
  7. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,868

    I think he meant insurance requirements.

    I would adjust pricing to accomodate their needs and make them sign a new contract. You run a business be professional about it.

    God luck.:)
  8. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    No,, not if they changed the scope of service after you signed the original contract.
  9. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    By saying "what a great job you did last year", a reasonable person what assume that they want you to repeat the job this year... a job that was done well under a certain set of specs.

    By saying "we want a seasonal price", to me this means they know what they paid for good service last year, and have committed that budget amount wanting to insure that same great level of service for flat fee, whether it snows a little or a lot.

    Take this reasoning to them, and tell them that what other vendors have done or not done does not change the fact that you did them right, your specs were right for the property, and your prices stands under those specs only. The "some vendors didn't receive the scope of work" argument does not fly, since you have precedence... your previous year's scope of work.

    Let us know how it goes... I think you are being tricked. If you have written record of everything they stated, I think you would have grounds to recover damages if they breach. If they flake, look them dead in the eye and calmly tell them the next phone call you are making is to your lawyer. If you truly can stand to lose the account, call their bluff and you will feel much better whether you keep it or not.