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Another customer gone......

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by jonw440, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. jonw440

    jonw440 Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    I called one of my customers to "remind them" they still owed me for two plows. The husband said, Ok but you over charged us three storms ago.
    (Drive is 15 miles out of my way "ONE WAY", dirt, with "who knows what around the driveway, and its out in the boonies) the drive itself is about 150' long with stone wall on one side and have to backdrag infront of garage,Last 3 miles are uphill and not plowed by town until last. I charge them $40.00 The storm"in question" had 18". I charged them $60.00 for that one.
    I said fine please pay the 80 you owe me and find a new plow guy. YIPPEEEE
    I hated that drive since last year when I started it and they begged me to do it because they couldnt find anybody. (Now I know why.......)
  2. dmjr77

    dmjr77 Senior Member
    Messages: 225

    I feel that you charged correctly for a bigger storm. As for them not paying, do you have a signed contract? If not you dont have a legal leg to stand on and if it ends up in court the Judge is going to ask if you had anything on paper. Where I my plow business has grown, I had to goto contracts 3 years ago. What I put the in there is:
    Driveway - Per storm price
    Extra - If I have to come back during the same storm, I charge 1/2 the driveway rate
    Extra - If the price of fuel goes way above the current market prices and I wouldtack on a fuel surcharge
    I also make sure that I get them all back signed. I keep them on file if there should be any problems come.
    Good luck with your situation
  3. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Perty much sounds like you did the right thing. I do beleave I would not have told them to get someone else untill I was paid but that is just me.
    As far as having /not having a contract that can work both ways. No contract you can quit anytime you feel like, but you also run the chance of not getting paid.
    I have gone so far to tell a customer to pay me what ever they feel I earned and if I was not happy with the amount then I would no longer provide any service for them. Suprised some times I have gotten more then I thought I was worth.

    Good luck on this one.
  4. ebonang

    ebonang Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    It sounds like you did the right thing. I wouldn't be too concerned about losing the custsmer though. Snow doesn't move itself and sooner or later they will come to their senses. Hopefully other contractors in your area are members of this site and they will refuse to work for the customer. Of course, there are always lowballers.
  5. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    Wow, another tale of cheap and ungrateful customers in the middle of nowhere who think they hold all the cards in this game..........shocking.
    It's another classic for the guys on here who love posting in the "I hate residential plowing" threads.
    Well, like I said before, the homeowner's money is green too and someone has to do it. For those of us who do, this kind of nonsense is the trade off.
    I think you gave them a great price. I have a similar situation, but at least it's paved and I get 50 bucks a whack. I got 150 for the 30" blizzard a few weeks ago. And you know what, the old guy forks it over gladly because he knows I show up, I do a nice job, and I'll do the little extras for the guy. I backdrag out by his 5th wheel so he can get in and out of it, and I clear the way in front of his mailbox after the town plows it in. Good service, good paying customer.
    For the jokers who want to haggle, good luck. Let them get the lowballer. Then see them call you up crying about how he didn't show up or how he knocked part of their wall down. That's when it's so satisfying to say, 'Well, my route's really full and seeing how you're so far out of the way I really don't think........." :) Then, if they beg it's a perfect time to raise your price and get them to sign a contract, maybe even get a good faith pre-pay out of them. Now who's running the show here???? :bluebounc