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Cancelling a contract mid winter?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Plowtoy, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    I have a client that has become a real big pain in the rear end. I have received complaints from him over the past few storms. It is a residential property out in the country and its basically back blade from his 2 stall garage and pushing it past his mail box and down a 2 track drive back to his barn. The past couple days there has been a truck parked at the end of the 2 track and we have been pushing the snow into the drainage ditch near the road just off the 2 track. His neighbor has come complained to him that when snow is stacked there, she cant see out of her driveway and is afraid she is going to get hit when she pulls out of her drive (1/4 mile down the road). She apparently has been in an accident years ago because of a similar incident and almost lost her arm and that is why she is so paranoid (so I'm told). I am ready to cut my ties with him and send him a notice of cancellation. I don't normally give up so easily, but he is very specific where he wants the snow, but yet has vehicles parked there when we arrive. Not to mention, it is my least paying account

    Here is what my contract says:

    12. Provision for Default and Cancellation: Either party may terminate this agreement at any time with a 10 day written notice. Cancellation date will be the day such notice is received. In the event of cancellation, the customer will be responsible for all costs of services rendered up to the cancellation date. A final invoice will be sent to the customer within 30 days after notification for balance due.
    There will be No Refunds issued for unused time or services set forth by this agreement.

    And here is what I came up with for a letter:

    Notice of Cancellation

    This notice hereby cancels the contract between After Hours

    Snowplowing and ___________________________ on __/__/20__.

    Snow plowing services will end at 11:59pm on __/__/20__ (approximately 10 days after receipt of this notice)


    12. Provision for Default and Cancellation: Either party may terminate this agreement at any time with a 10 day advance written notice. Cancellation date will be the day such notice is received. In the event of cancellation, the customer will be responsible for all costs of services rendered up to the cancellation date. A final invoice will be sent to the customer within 30 days after notification for balance due.
    There will be No Refunds issued for unused time or services set forth by this agreement.

    Thank you for your business in the past, My name


    I realize now I need to take the 10 day notice out of next years contracts because it doesn't make much sense to me, is there anything else I'm missing. SORRY FOR THE LONG POST!!
     
  2. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    I would explain why, and I wouldn't expect to get paid if they owe you anything.
     
  3. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    It's almost mid February, winter is almost over. Why not ask him where to put the snow or move the truck and ride it out till the end of the season. That's what I am do I am doing with 1 of my commercial accounts. It's a 20 min job but I bid it too low. It's my mistake and have to live with it. Next year the rate will increase or I will drop them. Why go thru the hassle now?
     
  4. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    I'd plow his truck / car in. Then he will drop you, and problem solved.
     
  5. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,410

    ^^he told you where to put the snow...on a light snow fall put it there behind the vehicles...dont get too carried away...tell him you are following his instructions....let the chips fall
     
  6. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    around here its illegal to block peoples views with a snow pile. 1/4 mile is pretty far tho.

    i would just tell him if he wants the snow where the truck is, tell him he needs to move the truck. if he cannot understand that he's a dummy. and if so. if he owes you anything substantial, ride it out for the next couple weeks. make sure you get paid. then do not renew. season is almost over. did my first landscape February last year.
     
  7. Dewey

    Dewey Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    I had a customer that complained about where I put snow and such.... I called him one storm as I was getting to his place and asked him to come out to my truck and ride with me to let me know excatly where he wanted the snow..... The first thing he said was.... WOW this truck looks bigger from here !!! A minute or two later he looked at me and said " I understand now , your doing a great job " I never heard another complaint from him.... He now rents his house and he gves the tenants my name for plowing.... Some time it's better to work with them ...:salute:
     
  8. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 620


    Problem with this is you are giving the customer 10 days notice, then say he is cancelled upon recieving the notice. That is not geting 10 days notice.

    That allows the customer to hire someone else to clean him out during that 10 day period then sue you to pay the other contractor for not fulfilling your contract with him.

    As to no refund yet you want to still be paid for all work done at that point and not get stiffed. So what you are saying it is ok to stiff your customer but he can't stiff you.

    Best thing to do being you want to drop the customer is if there any balance in the customers favor best to give him a refund because you are the one breaking the contract.

    You would cry foul if the customer broke the contract and did not want to pay you a balance that he owed you.

    You do not want him for a customer, fine.

    At this point he may say you did bad work to others.

    If he is due a refund he definitely will say you did bad work and ripped him off. This is free advertising a smart businessman does not want.






    Now this is a smart businessman. He realizes that he gets paid to plow. That no one is paying him to fight with customers. That having pissing matches with customers does not make any money.
     
  9. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    not sure its mid winter. only a couple weeks left. but i got a fun text from a customer i have not been able to get ahold of and have not received a payment since before my last mowing.....

    wants to "go a different direction" via text..... classy

    partly dont care. he never pays on time. if he calls me back in april to mow he's signing a new contract with a percentage interest on late balances.
     
  10. Dewey

    Dewey Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    I have a slow payer..... I told her that from now on l she has to pay for 3 plowings in advance and when the 3rd storm is plowed I will bill her for 3 more... in advance .At the end of the year I would refund any money owed to her
     
  11. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    Not a bad idea, how is it working for you?
     
  12. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929




    Just a little update, I have since talked to the client and he has asked us to push the snow across the road or in is front yard. It is against the law to push it across the road, however, a lot of people do. It is just a field and we have done it in the past until he asked us not to since he got a letter from the road commission a few years ago. He also said we can push it in his front yard if we absolutely have to. Moving the pile to his front yard vs his side yard imo wont change his neighbors problem, but we have agreed to do it. Next year, there will be no problem, since we will not be servicing him after this season. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
     
  13. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    instead of dropping. why not just hike up the price? let him chose if what you dealing with it is worth the cost you set
     
  14. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    I tried that when I was plowing the restaurant he own's. They bought the building next door and took it down and turned it into a parking lot, I had been doing his old lot at a fraction of the price his new lot was bid, needless to say, I didn't get the lot. It didn't hurt my feelings too badly, because he was just as difficult to deal with there is he is at home. Its time to let him go. Sometimes theres no amount of money that would make a job worth doing.
     
  15. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    yea i can see that. some customers just dont want to be pleased. most of them dont want to pay a decent price. i sure as heck dont. thats why i do stuff myself
     
  16. Dewey

    Dewey Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    I actually do this for all first time customers now..... After the first year if they like my service and I like working for them I then change their status to normal billing.... I ahve found that if someone is going to screw you it is the new customers...
     
  17. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    had a dentist office call for service mid winter . signed them up , serviced one small storm , they call and cancel after payment .
    They're called shoppers or as i like to say 'peekers' . Its the nature of the business these daze . Bottom line is $$$.$$

    they usually get caught with their pants down . just need a biggy to keep em honest !

    you got to know something is rotten in denmark when they're calling mid winter

    expect it

     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  18. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,905

    we only have $50 winter deposits for contracts for residential.... if there is a balance, it will be deducted and invoiced, if not, i'd just cut him a check for $50 and send the cancellation... but like others said, its almost end of winter, maybe just deal with it for a few more weeks and not renew next year, then at least you know he won't be complaining about your company because you cancelled.. you know he'll portray things his way like you were not reputable etc.
     
  19. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    Smart thing would be to keep servicing winter is pretty much done. Send him a letter mid April and tell him your cancelling service to downsize your workload or something like that, that way you keep a good reputation with him even if he is a d- bag.