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arrg... customers....

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by cjasonbr, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    Got a call today from a driveway on my route. She says that my driver pushed all her gravel to the end of her driveway and now there are big puddles of ice and standing water. She wants me to call her back with what i think we should do about it.....

    I haven't seen the driveway yet, so i figure OK. Either A) There are a few stones pushed away, typical w/ a gravel driveway. or B) There are a lot of stones pushed away and my driver F'd up.

    Well i get there to look at the damage. And sure enough the big pools of water and ice exist. However this "gravel driveway" she mentioned is nowhere to be seen. Turns out she has a dirt driveway, with maybe a few larger rock pieces in it the size of nickles, not real gravel really.

    What happened was the driveway slopes down to her main parking area where it levels out. There's no damage to any of the driveway down to where it levels, then there are big ruts out of it, and yes a bunch of dirt was piled up in the snowbank.

    The dirt driveway has no drainage, and where it levels out there is no runoff. With all the varied temps this winter the water and ice was just sitting in the driveway. Thawing - freezing - thawing - freezing. Then when we went to plow it up, it was all frozen together or slushy or whetever and it all came up. Dirt driveway with no drainage = problems. What did she expect? (Uh lady, that's why everyone and their brother covers level dirt driveways with gravel.. FOR DRAINAGE!!!)

    When will people understand i don't use a giant featherduster to clear the driveway! IT'S A 8', 800# STEEL BLADE PEOPLE!!!&#$^#@
     
  2. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    Makes ya wanna pack up & go live in a tree somewhere, huh? Of course those puddles are gonna turn out to be YOUR fault -- you're already convicted from the sound of things. How were things left with her? Has she been educated as to how life really is? Good luck!!


    ~Kevin
     
  3. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    I returned her call and left a message asking her to call me. Stopped by her house a few hours later to check it out. Haven't heard from her since i left the message. From the sound of her message she obviously is blaming it on me and i think she expects me to fix it.

    My driveway is just like hers sorta. Paved going up hill but i couldn't have the top paved because there's a retaining wall and i'd have drainage problems, so i had to lay gravel at the top. Kinda annoying that i'm smart enough to pay out to lay gravel, but someone expects me to pay for them being stupid.

    The kicker is our contract reads, "The contractor will not be responsible for the following: damage to existing landscaping or any damages that occur to asphalt, concrete or stone surfaces as a result of our snow plowing, shoveling and/or de-icing services." (Thanks JPMAKO)

    Arrrrggggg
     
  4. NCass31

    NCass31 Member
    Messages: 90

    i have a lady with just about the same problem.. got the account a little late, asked her if i could stake the corners, she said she'd rather not (should have been my first sign) then in Jan it was warm so she had gravel put down, but when they put it down they didn't roll it, just filled in the ruts and threw some across the ridge in the middle. first plowable event i put the shoes on, make one pass and see that all the gravel in the ruts had been pushed out already, and whatever was left the shoes had taken out. the plow tore up the ridge in the middle.
    she didn't mind, saying that if i plow enough maybe i will even the driveway out. i said, thats not the point...
    then i get a call saying that i made her parking area to wide and that she wasn't happy. i went and looked, then called her back saying that i pushed where i saw her tire tracks; given her a place to turn around or park. since i pushed the snow the tire tracks weren't there anymore, she didn't believe me. oh well, she still pays me and i push the places.
     
  5. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    We've all learned the hard way about ONLY pushing to the limits of the driveway and needing more room when we get a busy January or February, but people probably don't think ahead like we do. Make plenty of room ahead of time so when we get a foot of white there is somewhere to push it.

    Great customer of mine told me a story of his plumber coming in to do some work. Len got in his way with all kinds of questions about how he was gonna do things. Len's a great guy with a great sense of humor, so the plumber tells him, " I don't tell you how to do surveying, don't tell me how to do plumbing!" Copy that quote & insert the particulars to fit everyone's situation here!
     
  6. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    If anyones intersted there is an *UPDATE*:

    Well after that last storm and the intital complaint i called her back and left a message with her husband asking her to call me and he agreed. Never heard back until today. I'm under contract to plow for these people so my driver shows up to plow cause its snowing (obviously) and sure enough my phone starts ringing when the husband sees my truck

    First he says my drivers doing a horrible job and pushing away all his gravel "AGAIN". After he bitches about the drivers technique and how he doesn't know how to plow he starts to say that he thought i had been "stonewalling" him about his damage. He stated that i had never returned his initial call so he determined i was avoiding him.
    Obviously i told him i called back that very day (i had forgot at the time i had directly called back and spoken with HIM! and asked him to have his wife call me) and that i wasn't 'stonealling' him. Anyways, i tried telling him how his driveway sucks. I tried quickly explaining drainage and its correlation to erosion etc.... and then he starts saying he doesn't know anything about anything of snow plowing except that his driveway has never had any problems in the 7 years hes lived there and had been having it plowed. This was his sole reason for me being liable. Then he follows up and tells me he wants me to file a claim with my insurance co for the $3800 DOLLARS WORTH OF DAMAGE TO HIS DRIVEWAY!!!!&#@^$&*@# I almost drove off the road. He follows up and says he has pictures he took of all this damage and that i can use them to file the claim. I tell him he's welcome to file a claim against my insurance comapny himself (as i disagreed with my liability in the situation) and inform him of the ins. co i use. But then i remind him of his CONTRACT (stating what i said previously) and it sort of shut him up, but he told me the lawyer i used was stupid and he could still file a claim against me. Go ahead i tell him but i obviously wont continue plowing for you, but you're welcome to do what you feel is right.

    The guy actually expected me to file a claim for him for 3800 worth of damage to a dirt driveway. Then continue to plow for him&*#(@^&*#@


    CAN SOMEONE TELL ME HOW I COULD DAMAGE HIS DIRT DRIVEWAY TO THE EXTENT OF 3800 DOLLARS!??!!?!?!?!? What a wackjob... This is my new story for people that complain about contracts!!!
     
  7. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    oh and also: At one point in the conversation i said "I'm not filing a claim for you for 4 thousand dollars". Obviously i rounded the figure up for simplicity. He pointed out to me that it wasn't 4,000, but the damage was in fact $3,800. It's beyond me how this magical figure of $3800 came to be...............
     
  8. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,318

    You should terminate that contract asap and get the hell out. Nothing good can come from that situation. they will just try to get money out of you time and time again, or won't pay you.
     
  9. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    Roger that. I thought of that. Our contract states 30 days termination notice from either party, i figured the season would be over before then..... obviously..... so why bother. I bet this is the last storm this season....which i thought wold be 3 pushes but turned to rain and was two....