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being every where at once

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by downtoearthnh, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. downtoearthnh

    downtoearthnh Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    Joe homeowner just sent me a note telling me that he was cancelling his plow service with me because my plow does not come in time to be of any help to him.
    Seems that he feels that when the last snow flake has fallen, I should be in his driveway. Of the 8 storms this season, at least 3 have ended during the mid day, and my routes each take approximately 4 hours end to end. During the night it is not an issue, because everyone can get out by 6:30 AM but when they are up and bored, seems like the rules change. How is this dealt with by others?
  2. ksgcapecod

    ksgcapecod Member
    Messages: 52

    Try to explain the circumstances as you stated with the storms coming during the day, explain to him that not everyone can be first. Ask him if everything was acceptable to him with the storms that happened during the night hours. If he still is a PITA he is probably looking for an out.
  3. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    This is probably the toughest part of the business. If every storm was 4 inches light and fluffy, and ended just after supper Friday night, we'd be golden. But that's not realistic. I have a huge route, so when these people find someone else and there's no hard feelings I am just as happy. I do try to run the route one way, then start at the other end for the next storm. Also, during a big storm I will make a quick pass through everyone's driveway every few inches so they can at least get out. Good luck.
  4. Eronningen

    Eronningen Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    If it quits snowing mid day, I send a truck or two to get all the driveways done. At the same time I'll send a shovel crew through all the commercal lots to get the sidewalks all cleaned up. So the driveways are done before the home owner gets home, and the sidewalks and drives of the commercial is respectable until the cars clear out and we can get in and get them scraped.
    I've always been real careful to not over book myself. We plow with three trucks, one salt truck, and many shovelers. With some storms timings I wish I have a bunch more work and then the storms where it don't quit till 4 am, I'm really happy with the way I'm structured. Theres alot of ways to cut the cake. Depends on how you're set up.
  5. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    You should know who HAS to be able to get out and when. I will vary my route if I need to get somebody that HAS to be done.
  6. oneshot

    oneshot Junior Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 1

    It's funny I just had the same issue happen to me. My route takes me 5 hours and when it was in the middle of the night no worries. But when It comes during the day ,look out. I let them explain it to me why I was there at 10:00 instead of 8:00. Here's how. I'll ask them if the snow comes down at 12 midnight and it takes me 4 hours to get to your house when will it be cleared? then I ask, When it comes down at 8 in the mourning when will it be cleared? after a couple of examples and having them do the math seems to work. Instead of not listening to what your saying while being mad waiting for you to take a breath so they can argue they actually hear you. hope it works out.

  7. BigLou80

    BigLou80 Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    i vary my route so no one is always first of last. so far no one has complained they know I am out and doing my best and thats good enough for them.

    If some one was to give me a hard time on a regular basis I would drop them and wish them good luck finding some one who will always put them first on the list.
  8. downtoearthnh

    downtoearthnh Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    I put my mobile number on the last bill, and told people to contact me and I would have one of the trucks to any property within 15 mins. I guess the summary is that this homeowner is really just a PITA and so goodbye and good luck is the best response
  9. Blazin

    Blazin Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    I don't give out my cell to customers because they would never stop calling!
    I tell any new customer that I don't take on a driveway that they have to be out by a certain time. I tell them to find someone else. As for this guy, let him go. If your service is good he will be back on your terms.
  10. KL&M Snow Div.

    KL&M Snow Div. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,616

    I agree, try to explain to him that he isn't your only customer and that he will get his drive done as soon as you get there. Some people aren't happy though unless they have something to complain about.
  11. BSDeality

    BSDeality Senior Member
    Messages: 736

    it is the worst part of business. Last year I ran one truck doing 48 driveways (definitely overbooked). this year we're running 3 trucks (should be four) with less than double the accounts and we're getting complaints constantly about timely service (all under 4.5hrs). The storms keep ending @ 6am or 3pm this year where as last year they'd end @ 9pm and I had all night to work.

    I just tell people not everyone can be first and we work in a geographical order to keep things as speedy as possible. If they don't get it, I drop 'em
  12. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    None of my residential have a time frame for completion. I only take on 10 quality accounts and they know commercial is my first priority. They dont mind.
  13. grapeford

    grapeford Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    The problem is, when you do a good job consistently over the years with the same clientele,
    they get get used to it, and start to take you for granted. Some customers think you're sitting by the phone waiting for them to call? He'll get another contractor, who won't give him the time that you have, and he'll be calling you back. Whether you want him back as a customer or not, is up to you. I've seen it happen over and over.
  14. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,822

    I am curious to find out how some of these canadians with 1000's of driveways and tractors deal with this issue... Any input Neige or others???
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  15. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    I am not from canada but

    Plow with the storm
  16. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    The people who complain about the few inches in their driveway should not be driving on the roads either! I only plow my resi's between 2 AM and 8 AM and have not had a complaint, or even a call about when I will be there, for the last two years. And we are getting snow at record pace again this year. The people who want their drive done at a certain time should get a shovel.
  17. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,822

    Any resi that I've ever done we usually wait until the end of the storm to plow the driveway unless there is excessive amounts of snow (8+) then I might do it twice if its over that amount. And from what it appears, most of these guys are doing seasonal contracts for resi's. It seems to me that it wouldn't make to much sense to plow with the storm. But I could be completely wrong. I've never done a seasonal contract for a resi in my life.. But I am considering looking into it.

    Now on commercials, I obvesiously plow with the storm. Every 2"..
  18. I've seen the owner of The Gardener. He gets so many complaints calling in during a snow storm he can't even work. He sits in the office all night dealing with complaint after complaint. His trucks are doing about 80 driveways each... I'm sure you can imagine the amount of complaints when he has I think 9 trucks doing that workload...
  19. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,822

    Well, judging by the videos and articles I read, Tony's Snowblowing had a bit of a customer service issue as well lol:dizzy: . But someone like Neige seems to have a very sucessful operation on his hands. I have no idea how many resi's he does, but judging by the amount of tractors in his signature picture, he must have quite a few to deal with..

    I think its like anything else, you got your complainers and you got your reasonable people. But when they do complain it just sounds so absurd to me because I always have much bigger fish to fry before I start getting to the resi's.
  20. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Try looking back through Neiges threads

    He was talking about a big storm they got(14"? maybe I dont remember) they were out for llike 36hr and had hit every drive 4 times i think