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bill complaints

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by fireside, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. fireside

    fireside Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    Is anyone getting complaints about bills. I mailed out bills 3 days ago and got 3 calls tonight about how many times we plowed. It snowed here 3 times in 3 days one snowfall being 4" of flurries. We finished all are accounts then it snowed 4" more after we plowed 2.4" per national weather service. Now they one want to pay one time because we did them at 6pm and again at 5 am. WE should have waited into the morning so they say. My contracts state 2" and max of 6" per time for residentail and commercial is 1". I understand money is tight but we did them per contract or do we work with them?? I offered them weather reports stating snowfall amounts so i will see what happens. I lost one account this year he brought a snowblower. He complained about plowing 2" and not to come he did it with his NEW snowblower all 2235' of driveway. He would like us to come only during the week or if he needs it done. I explained he would now be a will call and the cost would be $40 more. He had trouble understanding that if the trucks are put away we would not come out to do he's driveway. if he called and he would not be the first one done as before but the last one done!
    I'm just getting real tired of people complaining about how many times we plow don't use so much sand or salt. My bills are out of control this year but they do forget it never snowed last year or the 3 years before.:dizzy::dizzy:

    Messages: 47

    Same here. After 3 complaints I drop them.
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Nows the time to push seasonal contracts on them for next year.

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    I would stand your ground if you are doing what the contract states. This is the whole point of a contract. You both have said what you want and you did what you said you would do. Now it is up to them to do there part. How would they like it you changed up on them and said that now you need double the money because things were not going the way you liked. It would be unacceptable to them as it should be for you. Take picture of the depth of the snow to proove that the site had met the established trigger so you can prove it if you need to. If they don't like it tell them to "pack sand". If they decide to go with someone else (if your contract allows this) then you are better off anyway. Now you can find customers that appreciate a good well done and that keep there word when they give it (as is expected of you). I don't know what you clientelle is but I suspect residential. I have found that commercial properties don't come with such B.S. (as a general rule).
  5. fireside

    fireside Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    I do mostly commercial snowplowing but i do some residentail work close to my house. ( nothing under $150 per time)They are small roads or driveways which ever you would like to call them.That lead to 3/4 million dollar plus houses. My commercial work is starting complain some what but they understand i don't control the weather. People just don't understand it has not snowed in the last 3 years. So they don't expect plowing bills like they are getting.
    I'm trying to work with people but this is not a hobby. I have 4 trucks and a skidsteer to fuel,insurance to pay and the guy's need to get paid.

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,619

    working for the rich sucks imo how do you think they got theyre money lol

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    I feel your frustration. If you are dealing with profesionals than there is no point or reason for complaint if you are doing (as you both agreed) what is stated in the contract. If you want to re-negotiate the contract with them than that is possible. That is what they as profesionals should be trying to do instead of sniveling. But they also will understand (and man up) if you want to stick to the original agreement. Explain to them that you have invested in and have commited equipment and personel to the service that they require. That you empethise with there situation. But you are not doing this for practice and that you both agreed to a price and situation that worked for both parties. Most of the time people can see your point (if you are tactfull) and realize that their complaining is not fair to you.
  8. Loaderpusher

    Loaderpusher Member
    Messages: 52

    You could always use the line, "You are complaining because it is snowing a lot and it is costing you more money. Okay, so if it didnt snow at all, can i send you a bill because you saved money this year?"
  9. merrimacmill

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

    Oh, do I miss resi's..... But I am considering getting back into the resi game with a tractor and snowblower like the canadians do tymusic But I am sometimes hesitant because these homeowners act like we should have a piece of equipment standing by, ready to do their driveway at a moments notice. Then when you do the driveway, they complain that you do it to much.... I plan on trying to sell seasonal contracts, but then I have a feeling that they will start calling up complaining about how there is 8 inches of snow on the ground, come do it now, even though the snow has not stopped.
  10. windrowsnow

    windrowsnow Senior Member
    from nw ohio
    Messages: 168

    all of my customers are on a set trigger up to 5.9" is a certain price once we hit 6" its that same price plus so much per hour so there is no confusion within how many times we plowed in a 24 hour period, if it snows for 3 days solid and get 18" we keep track of the hours then bill for the base price with the hours tagged on. no complaints so far
  11. Turbodiesel

    Turbodiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 428

    Normal ....just looking for excuses not to pay .

    Shame on the mess . Tell them to call another ace to service them . PAY UP
  12. ColliganLands

    ColliganLands PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,854

    my nextdoor neighbor has amde a habit of complaining everytime on the bill and now started choosing which services he would pay me for.
    one time it was it didnt snow enough (but it did) next time "oh well i shoveled before you got here" (6:30am on a sunday) so now hes just not paying me for the time he shoveled and he payed half for the time he says there wasnt enough snow.
    im seriously considering dropping him
    any thoughts?
  13. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    What is there to consider?

    DROP him NOW!
  14. ford550

    ford550 Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    They are just complaining to hear themselves complain. We do 50 resi's and they are all on contract with deposits. I have been doing this for 15 years and complaining is just part of the day. You gotta stand your ground, point to your contract terms and conditions and usually they back off. It is not your fault it is snowing a lot this year. What about the years it doesn't? That's why I have deposits. You want my equipment ready, you are going to pay for it whether it snows or not. Otherwise, I don't need the aggrevation. I could go work for someone else if I didn't want to make money.
  15. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Exactly. Drop him. And send to collections or start adding interest til he pays up the rest of the balance owed.
  16. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,594

    Yes, complaints are way up over previous years. December's invoices are due on the 30th and people are just looking for ways to pay a lesser amount.

    The biggest things I'm hearing are that I billed for times that I didn't plow or there was less than 2" when I did plow.

    If people have enough courage to call me and complain I don't drop them but the cowards who write me letters get dropped immediately. I've got a nice form letter for anyone who needs to cancel service at an account, just send me a PM and I'll get it to you.
  17. ColliganLands

    ColliganLands PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,854

    Thanks... thats exactly what i thought and what im going to do
    just the fact he was my neighbor made me hesitate but he signed a contract and isnt holding to his end so too bad for him
  18. Kunker

    Kunker Member
    Messages: 96

    Offer a on-call service but make it clear that he'll be done when you get to it, or drop him outright. It's not worth the hassle.
  19. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    should have dropped him the first time.
  20. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    i had a commerical client email about me plowing to early in the morning. i do five sites and he said 18 out of the 50 plows you did them before 8am. The places open up at 10am and the contract states for the properties to be cleard by 10am. so i start them at 6 and finish usually around 9 or a little bit later. he thinks I am trying to double dip becuase if i plow early enough I would bet to come back and get another one in. they are on per push, But i looked at the invoice and of the 7 to 8 days I plowed, one day i had to plow them 3 times each cause it snowed all day adn they are open till 2 to 3 am and another day I plowed them in the morning adn then again 8 hours later. the other days I plowed them earlier becuase it snowed that night we did not get anything the rest of the day, but all he sees is the time of 5:45am and thinks I am trying to take him for a ride. I emailed him back and told him we plow with the storm andhave a route when it hits the trigger we head out and start working. All stated in the contract and I also said in regards to those early plows, if you look at the invoice you will see that 6 out of the 8 days the properties did not need to serviced again. I have not neard anything back from him since. I think he is just mad cause we had 10 plowable events in a 7 day period. I just tell them i dont control the weather.Cause you all know they would not be complaining if it was not snowing an inch.ussmileyflag