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anyone work w/ US Maint.?

Discussion in 'Sweeper Forum' started by gillgetter, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. gillgetter

    gillgetter Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I've seen US Maint co. take over more and more lots, but from what I seen, what they offer to pay sub-contractors is a joke! Anyone here actually working with them? If so, how do you actually make a profit?
    I'm affraid its the trend of the future for property maint companies. They are taking over sweeping, snowplowing, lawn care and stripping as wells as interior maint.
     
  2. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    As I have posted everyware on this subject.

    We all need to ask for a RETAINER from them before we work for them. I think it is a ligdemet request and if they are willing to put it up then it would show they are changing there aditude about paying us for doing the work. Also if enough of just ask for it they may get the idea that we know they are hard to collect from.
     
  3. mrplowdude

    mrplowdude Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    i think that these compaines are just a fad. After a time of horrible work and many complaints i think that business will start paying a real business to do the work the right way.
     
  4. JOEC

    JOEC Member
    Messages: 56

    Do you self a favor stay away from US maintenance! I would tell my worst enemy not to work for them to.




    Say no to US maintenance :gunsfiring: :gunsfiring: :gunsfiring: Matt still thinking of you :angry:
     
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Not to argue with you and, really, I would rather not have it be so but I think they will actually become more popular. If you look at business trends, there is more and more specialization and less and less general-business companies. While you will get better service with a owner-operated company, large chains prefer working with other companies of the same type. So, if they can contract with a single-source for several locations, they will take that over contracting individual sites. Now you can say that the nationals lower prices in areas, but whose fault is that? The nationals still have to contract with local providers, who will ultimately determine what price the nationals will pay and pass along to the chains. It's when the service provider (subcontractor) says "Well, that's all they'll pay" and accept what is offered that's the problem. And, yes, if you don't take it, someone else will. But, regardless, in the end the nationals will win (because of what I just wrote) and they know it. So what can you do about it? Nothing. Except refuse to go along, in which case you'll be left with what the nationals don't what (homeowners and small businesses). Now, eventually, those also will want to get on the "national bandwagon" because the cost to them is lower. The nationals will set up a division to deal with these accounts.

    It's much like operating a restaurant next door to a McDonald's or a motel next door to a Holiday Inn. You can argue quality and personal service all you want, but the McDonald's and Holiday Inn still flourish.

    I think the only answer would be if you could get everyone in the industry to band together and refuse to contract with a national service provider. But it isn't going to happen. If you somehow could do that, there would be someone who would break from the group and get all their business. Then you'd need to legislate industry standards to prevent that. Now do you want government in your business setting standards for providers? That's just going to prevent 90% of the current plow guys from operating. It won't bother the nationals at all, though. They can still work with what's left - just raise rates to their customers to offset the cost of doing business with the new rules. Yes, you'll see individual national providers come and go. But, as with any industry, there will be those that succeed and grow. My advise would be to not try to fight them, but find a way to work around them. If you've got a customer that wants to go with a national provider, wish them well and move on. Watch the overall trend and when you see there will be no market, or not enough to support your business, find a new line of work.
     
  6. JOEC

    JOEC Member
    Messages: 56

    There time will come. They call every year . Not interested. Serve your accounts and if there smart they'll stay with you. This time and age you better have qualified people doing work for you. The low ballers don't last. Once your off our route your out. :gunsfiring:


    Stay away from U.S. Maintenance
    Stop calling us were not interested:angry:
     
  7. Quality1

    Quality1 Member
    Messages: 34

    As always their are many different thoughts on one subject. We have worked with U.S. Maintenace for the past year. Lawn Maintenance and Snow Plowing. We have yet to have a problem with payments. My feelings about management companies are not high but when they pay you well and on a timely mannor you must consider them. They are most likely not going anywhere. As with any company you must follow their rules or you will not get paid. However, their rules are not anything that is extreme and it is possible to develop good relationships with them. As I said, we have not had any problems with them yet. Until the shoe fits we will not wear it!
     
  8. JOEC

    JOEC Member
    Messages: 56

    First year working for them. Good luck ! I'm sure we'll be hearing from you soon.
     
  9. coopersjeep

    coopersjeep Junior Member
    from 48141
    Messages: 7

    US Maint

    I am not sure what the problems are with everyone who has had issues with US Maintenance, but my company just keeps getting more and more work from them. I feel the prices are fair, but I would always like more money (who woodn't)? Probably half of my commercial accountsd are from them. I have even thought about buying a sweeping truck and hiring a young guy to drive routes for me 3 or 5 nights a week but I am still trying to cost it out. I usually get my checks at about 40 days. No issues across the board, and they just keep getting more work for me.
     
  10. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 617

    Prime example of why I should have listened to everyone here, but I just had to learn myself the hard way. I bid several banks. Got undercut by US Maintenance. Their contractor dropped the ball, actually didn't even show up. They called me to bail them out. I told them I was skeptical as I bid these accounts and knew of their reputation for payments. Against better judgement I bailed them out. They promised a check overnighted for "Emergency Service" upon receipt of invoices. Work was performed Dec 15 and do you think I have my check yet? In their defense, I had 7 days of failed faxes to them (although everyone elses fax machines took my faxes). There was also a few days after snow before the billing took place. This puts us at 25Dec from the 15Dec plow, but now it is 10Jan and no payment? To add salt to the wound, when talking about finishing the season for them under contract they said my prices were too high and awarded the contract to another plower. My response was my prices weren't too high, their's must have been too low:jester: . Guess who will never bail out US Maint again? Maybe someday I will see the $800 they owe me. If not, then the bank will receive my invoices. If they want me to sweep then I am with Dwan. show me the retainer!
     
  11. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Send them to the bank now with a letter also by chance do you have then on your answering machine?
     
  12. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    hickslawn;
    I agree go to the bank now and explain your situation to the manager. I would not expect the bank to pay but they should be able to apply pressure from the other end.
    I would also contact the contractor that now has the contract and let him know the situation. Then I would keep contacting any contractor that I you can that has a contract with US Maint. and also let them know how they pay.
    I would also look into filing a claim in small claims court.
    And find out if they are licensed to do business in your town. if not turn them in to your attorney generals office.
    Spread the word.

    Dwan
     
  13. DugHD

    DugHD Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    I havent plowed for us maintanence, but recently got asked by them to plow a bank next to a commercial lot we do. I said ok send me the details of your contract and price . They faxed it right over. I looked at it and actually laughed at the terms and all the crap they had in the contract. I am glad i got a heads up from this site about their reputation. THe contract looked to me like they had at least 6 ways not to pay you , and if something wasnt right they could fine you per offense. I read about three of the eight page contract , before i threw it in the scrap paper pile. Its funny how it takes them 40 days from the end of the month , or actually 70 days to pay you if you plowed on the 1st day of a month. But it only takes them 10 minutes to print and fax a contract to you when they need something. They might be a excellent company , I dont know. But when i get a bad gut feeling about someone or some job , i usally dont participate. Doug
     
  14. JOEC

    JOEC Member
    Messages: 56

    Spread the word Don't do work for U.S. Maintenance or tower cleaning.
    Its not worth it.:gunsfiring: :gunsfiring: :gunsfiring:
     
  15. coopersjeep

    coopersjeep Junior Member
    from 48141
    Messages: 7

    By the way, U.S. Maintennace just bought Daystar. I got snow today!
     
  16. GL&M

    GL&M Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 223

    I don't plow for them anymore. They got me for a $100.00 at the end of the season 2 years ago. It wasn't much, but it won't happen again.
     
  17. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    They apparently pay better in your area then.

    Sitting here in the office yesterday I get a call from US Maintenance wanting to know if I was interested in information on a few stores in the area. I told her to fax over the info (I'm always up for a good laugh). It came through the fax last night sometime, info for recoating and stripping floors for the local TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

    Here are the prices they tell us they'll accept
    TJ Maxx
    19,789 Sq Ft
    Scrub and recoat - $345
    Strip and wax - $1700

    Marshalls
    24,205 Sq Ft
    Scrub and recoat - $370
    Strip and wax - $1825

    Now if you do the math that boils down to:
    TJ Maxx
    19,789 Sq Ft
    Scrub and recoat - 1.7 cents per sq ft
    Strip and wax - 8.6 cents per sq ft

    Marshalls
    24,205 Sq Ft
    Scrub and recoat - 1.5 cents per sq ft
    Strip and wax - 7.5 cents per sq ft

    Not to mention the fact that then they expect you to supply all of the chemicals/move all of the fixtures/wipe down and disinfect all of the bathrooms/clean all of the carpet runners/clean all the front glass inside & out. Now for our normal prices scrub and recoat is 17 cents sq ft and strip and wax is 25 cents per sq ft.

    Do the math again and you get:
    TJ Maxx
    19,789 Sq Ft
    Scrub and recoat - $3365
    Strip and wax - $4945

    Marshalls
    24,205 Sq Ft
    Scrub and recoat - $4115
    Strip and wax - $6050

    And those prices don't include the extra work they want done which would probably drive the price for each up another $1000, it's terrible to think that there are people out there willing to work for that kind of money.
     
  18. all seasons

    all seasons Member
    Messages: 61

    us maint

    we do work for them as well and so far they have been nothing but professional when they first contacted me they asked if i was interested in looking at a plowing proposal i said sure why not.what they sent was a joke and i laughed like hell i called them back and said very professionally that i could not do the work for that offer and gave them my counter offer which was three times their original offer.after them calling back three or four times each time closer to my offer they finally accepted and i have been on board i get the work done and i get paid no problems.plus they just handed me over 30,000.00 in other work. at this point I'm good with us maint.i dont know what goes on in other areas but the first numbers they send me are a min and i work with them from there,if you consider the original numbers as what you are getting then you deserve the headache,if they dont meet you at a resonable price then just say no.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2006
  19. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 617

    Seems like it would make much more sense to call local contractors and ask for a price. Work their cut into the deal, propose to the chain stores and go from there. Unfortunately, what I have found is they call 20 people go with the cheapest, and call you when that guy falls on his face. Or. . . they just make their own prices and shop for someone willing to plow at their rates.

    I finally received my payment for the emergency service we performed for them. It was promised within 24hrs of receiving the invoices. Work performed December 15. They showed receipt of invoice December 29. I was paid within the last 2 weeks. It is February 10. So if their idea of 24hrs is 30-60 days, I would not suggest doing work for them if the contract states payment within 30-45 days. lol In their defense, I did finally receive payment however.

    allseasons is right also. They do negotiate their prices. Unfortunately, it is after they have the contract and have limited room to move. They chose to use another contractor after I bailed them out, and he too has since quit working for them. Maybe by the end of the winter they will have used all the contractors in my area and come back to my prices. At least they know what kind of service we offer. We responded within 20 minutes when they called in December to bail them out.
     
  20. Mikedero

    Mikedero Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Does anyone have contact info for us maint Co?