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Anyone service small locations and how do you deal with disputed services?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,885

    We have a handful of accounts, all the same company through a management company. Some services have been disputed, maybe some on accident by not confirming in the store through their email or phone notifications...

    How many of you running more than a few trucks deal with ensuring accuracy about where the trucks where, who is billed, that they were billed 100% correctly and that when a dispute arises, like in a company or store stating you were not there, did not salt or plow etc, run GPS tracking units which can be authenticated by computer software?

    It seems so ridiculous, but id love to just email them a copy of the log showing a truck was there at the time of billing. Sure we could have just drove around not putting salt down or actually plowing, but it would accurately log how long the truck was at that physical location and there would be no, or less dispute.
  2. Landcare - Mont

    Landcare - Mont Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    Google Operasoft.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  3. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,394

  4. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,594

    I just had a church refute one of their charges. I don't run a big enough outfit to justify the cost of GPS but it sure would've been nice to march into the pastor's office with a printout of where my trucks were on that day.

    Instead, though, I showed them time cards and I asked them to call the owner of the property right next door to see if I serviced his lot on the day in question. My argument must've worked because they paid their bill today.
  5. Landcare - Mont

    Landcare - Mont Senior Member
    Messages: 351

  6. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    Give your account manager the exact times your trucks were there from your logs and then have them tell the Walgreens manager to check their surveillance cameras.
  7. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    In the case of 24 hr convenience there are 2 logs. One in the store one in your possession. When service is rendered both sheets are filled out. Yours is signed by manager on staff and theirs is signed by you and manager.

    GPS works for your records, but I do not see some acct manager in a warm cubicle somewhere giving a rats rear end of your printout showing a mark at the stores GPS location. I mean how far do you need to go. A picture of the vehicle with the staff holding a measuring stick in the snow, a newspaper cover, and a time stamp? In the end you will have a hard time winning. Either take iras damages, or tell them to get bent. Management companies are not in the business of paying they are in the business of collecting above all.
  8. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,594

    I've had to do EXACTLY that before. Picture of truck on site before the lot was serviced, a snow depth measurement photo and a picture when I was done.

    A company out of South Dakota wanted me to do an "audit" on one of their properties here in Minnesota and sure enough the guy that they had hired wasn't doing what he claimed he was. I don't know how it all turned out but I was paid well for my time.
  9. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,394

    We have 600 GPS based nextels that all our orders are dispatched thru. All of our time cards, work orders, what was done. On a moments notice, the log can be emailed. We also have group radio within each service area.
  10. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    I've been there as well. I try to avoid them because generally they are looking to pay peanuts. I do have one we work with that calls when they are in a bind and need something really crappy done. We need to call the system when we arrive, then take pictures, call after and take pictures, then submit all pics, invoices, and forms to 3 separate depts. then only if everything is correct do we get paid net 45 days. I put up with this because they pay us extremely well for the jobs. Did I say extremely well, oh yes beyond extremely well. I wouldn't put up with this for less, and I would not do it for recurring and frequent services. Talking about 1.5 hrs of process just to get paid or one job. Yes this is included in the time.
  11. gafred

    gafred Member
    from Boone
    Messages: 36

    Frugle business owners answer:

    In cab camera (almost anything works that is SDcard and 12 volt capable) as you pull in hold up your cell phone to record date and time displayed. Most cell providers pull time from Naval time clock (atomic powered) so accurate within 1 minute of your time zone. Keep recording do cell time display record again when finished. If SDcard full keep a stash of them, just don't overwrite that days or job.

    later ,,,,,,,,,,,
  12. vlc

    vlc Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Going this route next season
  13. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    What about the system the police use. When the plow is energized the recording happens. Sure it will more expensive than a go pro but having to deal with a camera will only add to time and work load.
  14. cda817

    cda817 Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    Hands down Operasoft. Pays for itself with one dispute. My system pays for itself every year between warm season work and snow work. It is so accurate you can see if your guys didn't plow out a loading dock too. Give them a call Jean-Pierre is a great guy, no pressure and will tell you everything you need to know.
  15. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    Whatever happened to one's word being good enough?

    I had a recent long time customer ask about this kind of thing, stating "of course" we don't think you're not doing the work.

    I'll give them copies of the time sheets if necessary.

    I'll walk the properties and show them the piles of snow.

    I'll walk the properties and ask them where the hardpack\ice is.

    Of course, several years back when they were in a financial crunch and went on a no salt diet, they had numerous slip and falls, so back to salt we went. Little by little they added "this" area and "that" area because employees complained about ice.

    So logic tells me, that if no one is complaining about ice, there are no slip and falls, that we must be doing the job we say we are doing and are billing them for.

    This verification thing is nuts. Phone calls, e-mails upon completion etc.
  16. Woodenshoe

    Woodenshoe Member
    Messages: 83

    We have a few customers that require us to check in whenever we are there.
    Some of them have seen me so much lately that when I drive by the front entrance if they hold up the book and give me a Thumbs Up it means they filled it out for me and i can keep on trucking!
    Others are so oblivious (trans: dumb) when I walk in the door they have no idea what I'm talking about when I ask for the log book, I even have to tell some of them where it is :dizzy:
  17. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,594

    Those days are apparently gone. The thing that floored me when I was questioned by the church last week was that they've been a customer of mine for 7 seasons so why after all those years would I try to sneak a charge past them?

    When I mentioned that to them the maintenance guy said, "we know how businesses like yours work, you get a little extra here, a little extra there...and pretty soon it adds up to a lot". Yep, I would really risk an account that's paid $5-7k annually to make an extra $250. Unreal!
  18. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    That's really bad. And sad.
  19. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,885

    that would work great if it was only me doing the work, but keeping employees on track is the main goal, and even when they're involved in getting slips signed, call in logs, txt logs back to the office for specific sites etc... it gets messy and the main goal of salting or plowing is no longer the highest priority...

    I emailed operasoft.. see what they say about units for the trucks. For $55 a month, is that all year? We surely dont need them unless its November-Feb each season. We could swing that for sure then and looks like their snowflake gps software locator does everything we'd need.
  20. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180

    I don't know what would be worse...would it be worse if the church folks were like that because they got burned by someone else, or would it be worse if they were just straight-up cynical for no reason at all?