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Customer Complaint

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Birdog, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. Birdog

    Birdog Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Hello all, I plowed for my first time this past Fri. 12/9, a bunch of residentials, and today 4 days later I got a complaint from a customer who said that her driveway was easier to drive up before it was plowed! Her complaint was ice. I drove to her house to check it out and there was packed snow and ice in the depressions where the blade could not touch. I`m talking about the area where the wheels of vehicles make a low spot over the years from the weight.
    She said I did not scrape down enough. Also, the driveway had been driven on before I arrived so some spots were impossible for me to scrape up. My blade stayed on top of the packed snow. Customer said she never had this problem with her previous contractor. I threw down a couple of bags of salt today because I had no other solution. What should I have done different if anything? Is the small 6.5 Meyer too light (weight) for this? Thanks.
  2. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    I am assuming this is a blacktop driveway, since you spoke of depressions where the tire track is. First question is are you plowing with the shoes on? If so try removing them when you plow this account.

    Secondly, did you back-drag or plow forward? When ever I have a driveway with hard pack I plow forward. If it's a situation where the driveway must be back-dragged I will plow forward, stop and lift the blade, roll forward and back drag the snow pile out of the drive. If it's serious hard pack repeat the above.

    If after you try this the problem is not resolved then you will have to explain to the customer that the depressed tire track portion of her driveway will not conform to the 6 and 1/.2 feet of straight metal that your plow is made of. Then sell her salt service.

    Hope this helps
  3. Birdog

    Birdog Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Ok Ken, I will keep in mind plowing forward whenever possible. And yes , it is blacktop. Don`t have a spreader, but I like the idea of selling her salt service!Thanks.
  4. Kentuckydiesel

    Kentuckydiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    I've had this same problem with a 7'6" western contractor grade plow. I don't think it's so much the weight. Sometimes that ice is just impossible to break loose after they've driven on it. If it thawed a little, then refroze, you're sometimes SOL without salt.
    I was using a 9' grader box at our farm yesterday on the back of a JD2640 (75hp or so) tractor to clean the snow'ice off the roads there so the horses/people didn't slip and break something going in and out of the barns. There is one spot that's always shaded that I just could not get to come loose easily like the rest. Oh well. -Phillip
  5. Hmebuildr

    Hmebuildr Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    Sounds like the driveway has ruts in it from being driven over for many years. Your plow rides on the high spots normally the center line but does not get down into the ruts. Not a lot your going to do about that type of driveway expect salt the ruts.
  6. icebladez

    icebladez Member
    from sask
    Messages: 74

    Hi Birdog..sorry to hear about a picky poo..when i have the privalige of becoming a plowman..here's what i already have planned for the poo-myster'z..when i complaint is dumb,like that,i will buy myself out of the situation for $30..never to return..i have already determined that i shall stay as far away from homosapiens like this..if this was indeed your first time...be cautious..very cautious!..i smell a potential sue-happy future customer in your horizon.. just my 2 very brown pennies..
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2005
  7. gordyo

    gordyo Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    Like the others have stated here, sell her on Pre-Treating at the beggining of the storm to keep a bond forming, that way if the snow stays in the low spots at least it will be soft and mushy and eventually melt but at least it won't turn to ice.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2005
  8. Birdog

    Birdog Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Thanks for all the responses. I will wait and see what happens after the next storm with this customer since it was my first time.
  9. JElmWin

    JElmWin Senior Member
    Messages: 232

    Now you know why her last plow guy dumped her.:nod:
  10. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Well put! I couldn't agree more.
  11. CrazyCooter

    CrazyCooter Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    I second, third, and fourth everyone else. Other then the obvious response to her (get bent), tell her its the nature of her drive. IF the other plow guy did a better job (time makes all things seem better), then tell her you'd be glad for her to re-hire him/her if your performance doesnt suit her expectations. Wasting your money on salting her for free is just going to end up with her expecting you to do so.

    I plow many dirt drives that are in the same situation, but they understand it's par for the course. If they didn't, I wouldn't plow them :)
  12. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    If you're going to salt, sand or shovel you'd better make sure you have the proper liability insurance! Once you go beyond just plowing, you become responsible for slip/fall claims from not just the customer, but anyone else who goes on their property. The lawyers refer to this as "the homeowners, employees, agents, licensees, or invitees". That means anyone from the cable guy to her Aunt Martha coming for Christmas can slip in that driveway and have an injury and then guess what? The ambulance chaser lawyer will be on you like stint on sh!t...payup

    I don't want to scare you, but you really need to consider this. There are plenty of threads you can read on PlowSite by doing some searches for insurance related questions and you'll find out plenty more. If you're smart, you'll check into it both here, and with your insurance carrier.
  13. makplow

    makplow Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    Well said, unfortunatly there are people who will sue if they stub there toe.You can never be too careful nowadays. Always be one step ahead. :nod:
  14. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    The post is a little old so I'm not sure if you will read this but...

    This is a lesson in experience I learned my first year, which is why NOW I visually inspect all new clients drives/lots and TAKE PICTURES of cracks scratches holes, anything that might be used against me later on. Then I have a discussion with the person in charge and point out that the ruts are impossible to clean with the plow, and lots of cracking might be pealed up, and the scratches were pre-existing. I always mention that salt services should be considered if we have extended cold spells and that if they call be before the next plow, I can hit it with salt for not that much more because I'm already there.

    I agree with what was said by crazy cooter that she will come to expect you to salt her for free.

    I also have a clause in my contract that basically states even after I have been there the naturally occurring condition of ice could still occur and that I am not to be held liable for said slippery conditions, etc etc, blah blah.
  15. golden arches

    golden arches Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    Think she's complaining now.. wait until her grass starts browning next spring from the salt.
  16. JOEC

    JOEC Member
    Messages: 56

    I'll bet by the time it's all said and done. You'll be paying her to clean her drive way if she don't take salt.
    :nono: to driveways