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Complaints During Large Event

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by NBI Lawn, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    Story time! Everyone has received one of those calls form a customer...ya know the one where they call mad because there is two inches on their lot wondering where you are. Completely ignoring the fact that it's snowing an inch an hour, city plows are off the roads, schools are closed, etc.

    Let's here some funny/annoying customer stories Thumbs Up
     
  2. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,245

    New apartment building that one of my clients bought and there is this lady who thinks she is he manager of the joint. No official capacity but looks over the place. She is there when I stake the property and asked for my card. Wrong move on my end. This lady calls when there is an inch of snow on the ground and asks me where I am. I politely tell her it is a 2 inch trigger and we have not reached it yet. They are a seasonal contract site and she seems to forget about the trigger height every storm. I watch over my lots like a hawk but one morning she called and complained to the owner who called me and I said I don't even have plows on trucks right now all we are doing is salting the maybe one inch of snow we have on the lots from last night. He knows I do good work but she just keeps calling every snowfall. Others at the site always tell us what a great job we are doing and how much better we are then the previous company. Oh yeah I found out the previous company was her sons! And there we go...
     
  3. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426


    I had a lady like that in one of our buildings, only she shooed away my crew because they were using gas blowers. (Tree hugger). We left, and got a call from the PM asking WTF? I told him what happened, and the building owner knew exactly who it was that gave us a hard time. In short, she was told she doesn't have a home anymore if it happened again, and we were apologized to.

    With the blizzard on the 9th, I had a customer call bitching an hour after the last snow flake fell, about why we hadn't been to her house yet, when there was still two feet on every secondary road in the city. She got dropped.
     
  4. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    Yeah the snows during the day are the worse because it's not even done snowing and people are wondering where you are. Mostly apartment building I do with older customers. Yesterday I plowed a apartment at about 4 inches during the morning and I was going to come back in a few hours when the snow stopped I get a call that a friend plowed it because the old people where complaing. IT WAS STILL SNOWING, bs i say and it's a slap in the face, also I hate when a customer calls me and tells me there neighbor kid is coming down to shovel the driveway to make a couple bucks what about my job? I wait around all winter to have that work, lol.
     
  5. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    I found peopl at apartment buildings and older people are the worse in complaints in the snow removal area.
     
  6. jbell36

    jbell36 Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 221

    man, this last event, which was two 10" snows back to back, was pretty incredible with unreasonable complaints...we picked up 4 new large properties, only problem is they are HOA's and apartments...i now know to charge a lot more for residential complexes...at the new HOA, we had a lady call not even 24 hours later telling us if we did not have the city sidewalk cleared (drives and private walks were done) within the hour that she would personally call the city on us...only problem is we have 48 hours to get it done, and they didn't even pass out tickets after the first 48 hours because it was so bad here

    then i had a dentist call and ask why he hasn't been done yet and that he could barely get into his lot with 4x4 at 7 am...it didn't stop snowing until 10 am and he is tight with his money, so i knew plowing before it was over was a no go, and once the cars are in the lot there is nothing you can do anyways

    we had a few other small complaints like "when u get a chance clean up the area around the dumpster" and stuff like that, but i felt these first two were very unreasonable...the 4 new large accounts are very high maintenance (same management company), we had to go back for about two days and clean stalls which wasn't initially a part of the deal...the lady i dealt with was very nice, but i must have talked to her about 20 times throughout both storms
     
  7. jbell36

    jbell36 Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 221

    oh i forgot to mention the 4 new accounts that we picked up were previously done by a dedicated construction crew...they had an entire crew for those 4 accounts that did nothing else but tend to those accounts...i of course didn't find that out until the second storm...so of course we didn't get it done as fast as the previous crew...kinda sucks because it makes us look bad, would have made any company look bad, but if we lose it next year because of that then the next company will probably look better because chances are they won't have two 10" snows back to back to take care of...the main problem was running out of room to put the snow, the driveways are 3 feet apart...talk about a damn nightmare

    i also hate the bad drivers where if they don't have the entire width of their driveway cleared then they can't get out...especially when it comes from a guy, it absolutely pisses me off when i see a guy who doesn't know how to drive in and out of his driveway just because there is a little bit of snow in the way...if i thought it was not doable then i wouldn't have left the driveway the way it was
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  8. djt1029

    djt1029 Senior Member
    Messages: 211

    I drop anyone who complains at this point. I know my quality of work is one of the best in my area, and I know that myself and my guys work around the clock until my accounts are all completed. The last thing I need during a 2ft blizzard is to have my phone constantly ringing with people asking where I am when the storm ain't even half done
     
  9. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    We had numerous, numerous events this year where we hit our trigger by midnight, so we started plowing and then between 4-6 AM either lake effect or wraparound would hit us and drop another 1-3", or in one instance, 6" in a 3 hour time frame between 6 and 9 AM.

    So, it was somewhat humorous and rather maddening to receive a call from someone wondering why their lot wasn't done, when they could clearly see that there might be an inch or two on it, but the lots and many roads that hadn't been touched had 5"+ to a foot on them in some cases.

    Every customer that complains should be forced to spend a night in a plow truck to see what it is really like.
     
  10. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    We had a similar situation 8" fell overnight we had everything done within an hour of their opening. I got a couple calls "just wanted to make sure you didn't forget about us" really? There's 1/4" of slush on your lot and you think we forgot you? Is that how much was on your driveway this morning? How bout the roads? Nope. Now I will send someone there" bill you for another full plow salt and then probably hit you for another full one tonight when we come back to cleanup.
     
  11. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    Absolutely! They called so they obviously wanted you back. Bill'em again Thumbs Up.
     
  12. Buswell Forest

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

    I get peeved when a few apartment complex tenents refuse to move their cars..but the rest do...and I can't do squat about cleaning out the parking spaces because of the few...and then the people that move their cars get mad at ME, call the owner, and cry like lost kittens. I can not help the fact that the parking area is a square box hemmed in on 3 sides by concrete and landscaping...I can't back drag every space for the $ I charge, and there isn't enough room even if I did try to back drag.
    The property manager understands, but the business manager is the one they call..
    Then the BM expects me to return 4-5 times and clean up the parking spaces as it becomes "possible"..as charity.
     
  13. brimfield

    brimfield Member
    Messages: 68


    Do you have a contract with them? If not get one and remind them that both parties are bound by this. Calling little Johnnie in to shovel is breaking the contract. If they still do this plow them last and if you drive out and find "someone" cleared it charge them for travel time. If they want to use you on a call basis up the price.

    I saw an ad on Craig’s list that offered snow removal for a flat $25 dollar fee they would shovel out drive ways. I should have called em in for my 1/4 mile drive and sat in the house and left the truck and plow parked during Nemo. That would have been a good video to post.
     
  14. EWSplow

    EWSplow Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    During our last event, about 6" , I plowed the private streets of a townhome condo developement with drives on both sides of one street & one side of another, while I went to knock out a couple smaller lots, I had 2 guys blowing snow out of the drives to make it easy for me to push snow to piles. (we were in the last hour or so of snowfall). When I returned, a women (the snow inspector for the association) stopped me to ask when I was going to get to the drives on the back street, which had been done once that day . I told her as soon as the guys were done blowing on her street, they would get there. I pushed out the drives & started back on the main streets. The women stopped me again to ask when I would be salting. I told her when the snow ends, probably early in the morning when I come to clean up. (this property tends to drift, so I knew I'd be back) She asked what time. I asked her what time works best for her so we could schedule it & drove away. Then I salted & came back in the morning & cleaned up & salted again. Because of their persistence all season in thinking they are my only client, they were invoiced for three snow removals & two saltings, when most others were done in two trips.
     
  15. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    We had a 20 inch snow last Dec. about 1/2 in to it I had one call right after I just there and ask when the front sidewalks and front door where going to get cleaned so the UPS man can deliver things. First off you need to know that this is out in the country with somewhat limited road plowing service, they do it in there own sweet time. With the winds and the snow we had so far the roads had drifted in some places 2-3 feet high and sometime 300-400 feet long. Needless to say it was all I could do to get though them let a loan the UPS truck. I said to her that when the storm was over they would be cleaned and that the roads were so bad the the UPS would not be out today. She did not like that answer. Anyway later I was going back over and found her car stuck in the middle of the road about a 1/2 mile from her house. Never have had a complaint from her again. I just tell it how it is. She now knows that when I say it is bad it is. :p
     
  16. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    A couple years ago we got 20+" overnigh. One condo that I did had a doctor living in it. He called me telling me he needed the drive clear ASAP so he could get to the hospital. I trued to tell him that the main road was plowed but all the snow was blocking his street and there was no way I could get there until the road was done. The snow blocking the road was over 3' high. He called me every 15 minutes until I finally snapped at him and told him that if I could get to his place, which I doubt, there is no way in hell his BMW was going anywhere.
     
  17. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    quote- Every customer that complains should be forced to spend a night in a plow truck to see what it is really like.
    __________________


    You got that right. How about the stress when you get everything cleaned up for 5:00 AM and it just keeps lightly snowing so you are caught in a awkward position with people being pissed about multiple plow charges or the lots not being perfect. Not to mention you cant go home and neither can your guys. There is alot of nights where I pulled my hair out over lingering snow. Of everything that goes with snow removal that is my biggest pet peeve. I have no problems with alot of snow that dumps and is done. Light snow that just doesnt quit and doesnt allow us to finish up gets my goat.
     
  18. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    quote- Every customer that complains should be forced to spend a night in a plow truck to see what it is really like.
    __________________


    You got that right. How about the stress when you get everything cleaned up for 5:00 AM and it just keeps lightly snowing so you are caught in a awkward position with people being pissed about multiple plow charges or the lots not being perfect. Not to mention you cant go home and neither can your guys. There is alot of nights where I pulled my hair out over lingering snow. Of everything that goes with snow removal that is my biggest pet peeve. I have no problems with alot of snow that dumps and is done. Light snow that just doesnt quit and doesnt allow us to finish up gets my goat.
     
  19. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,491

    Sounds strange. Why are you leaving to go do smaller lots? Why are guys snow blowing drives so it's easier to push piles? Also, if shes asking, you're in trouble for the future on this account. Maybe you don't have the right equipment or are you spread to thin?
     
  20. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    I had a contract like that a few years ago the road was so narrow that you couldn't backdrag the drive. Had to blow them out. Don't know if that's the reason just throwing it out there