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Customer decided not to pay... What to do??

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by merrimacmill, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. merrimacmill

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

    I just received a check from a driveway customer for half as much as she owes me. I charged $60.00 for plowing twice during two different storms. She only paid $30.00 and left a note with the check saying "I have a question. Why did you plow on 1/27 when there was only 2-3 inches of light fluffy snow?" I checked her contract and it says 4 inch trigger, but as I recall we had 4" that day. Is there any official place I can find out for sure how much snow there was? I haven't talked to her yet, so what do you guys think I should say back to that? Should I collect the $30 anyways, or just consider myself wrong? This driveway is out of my way and is only $30 so I wouldn't have bothered to go if it was under 4".
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Fist change your trigger made it 2-3 inches .You can just tell her it was close and you did it because you would not of made a special trip.
  3. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    4" trigger :eek:. Where there any drifts that could have made up for the differance? Sounds like a PITA customer, mine are all 1" triggers.

    Not sure if there is a site to get snow totals. There ya go, you could make millions payup
  4. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Next year your contract should read.
    - Snow shall be removed if the total accumulation is two (2) inches or more as determined by the Contractor.

    This time call your local weather station. They can't tell us how much it's Going to snow, but they keep track of how much it Did snow.

    If they don't give you a good answer, then if it were me, I would eat it. Customer satisfaction is worth more than $30. If she is rude or upsets you in any way. Tell her to give you a call at 4:00a.m. and let you know if you should come out or not.
  5. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    ur the professional u shouldnt have to ask anybody if it met ur trigger. u set the trigger so its ur trigger to interpprut.
  6. merrimacmill

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

    She is a PITA customer because she has to be one of the most idiotic people I've ever had to talk to. Its frustrating for me to even have to watch her come waddling out of her house to move her car when I show up. It may be hard to understand, but let me tell you, this ones a piece of work. I won't be continuing service at her driveway next year. The thing is just so small I can barely fit in the driveway, and the pavement is so horrible I can barely go forward 2 feet before it trips the edge.

    My contract says Merrimac Mill will plow when 4 Inches of snow has accumulated. This is measured by the contractor at the pavement, not to include drifts. The 4 inch part is blank and I fill it in at the time of signing, and this women wanted 4" to be there before I show up.
  7. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    id send a bill again just pretend like she didnt ask some times ignorace is bliss. i mean if she dosent pay i can write 30 dollars off next time just wait till its 8 then charge double
  8. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo Senior Member
    from nw ohio
    Messages: 115

    what he said..

    and make sure the contract reads....as determined by the Contractor.
  9. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    Write it off and dump her.
    When it snows the next time, don't even bother going out there.
    She'll call (of course) and say "why aren't you here?"

    and you say "you didn't pay, I don't do this for free"

    who needs it?
  10. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,032

    I agree, she's not even worth talking too.
  11. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Blow her off. But be the good guy and send a letter effective immediately you're canceled this way no real problems. Then try and sign up the neighbor at a discount to pee her off!:D
  12. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    if she wants to decide when, or if she pays you decide when, or if you plow.
  13. merrimacmill

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

    So you guys think that even if it was 3 inches and not 4, I was right? I think I am, but I just want to get others opinions. I plow mainly in a town which is 20 minutes away from her driveway. So if theres 4 inches here its going to be a little different there, but I'm not driving to every driveway and getting out with a darn measuring tape to make sure I should or shouldn't plow.

    I think I'll send out the next invoice because I've plowed her driveway 4 times since I sent out that invoice that I just got back today, and I will write on it, I plowed the driveway because it did infact snow 4 inches. I live in Newburyport, not your town so it could have been slightly different and I cannot make a special trip later on after my route is completed.

    I mean its not like we're talking big money here, its only $30. So I'm not to worked up about it, its more just the principal.

    I've got another customer who has a $65 driveway, every invoice I send him is for around $100-$150. Every single time I get the check back from him, theres always $30 subtracted from it. SO hes owed me $30 for the whole winter... I'm planning on seeing if he pays the $30 at the end of the season or if he thinks he doesn't need to pay that $30. We've had no talk about it since I never see him, but when I do see him hes real friendly. And hes never complained about anything, So since I have this thread going already, what do you guys think is the best thing to do about this guy??

    Thanks for all the help!
  14. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    You guys are too easy on people


    Burn her house down, the heat will take care of the snow then send her a bill for snow removal, a filled 5 gallon gas can and a pack of matches. :eek:

    Yes I'm just kidding.
  15. ahoron

    ahoron Senior Member
    from here
    Messages: 422

    Huh a $65 drive you invoice $100-150???? I must be missing something.
    as Far as the other customer Just wait for it to get to 6+" to go plow that way there will be no debate or just dump it
  16. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    Whenever it snows I keep the local paper from the next day. They always have totals and the date is right there. More then once I have used it to prove snowfall, especially when dealing with companies or people in other states.
  17. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    lol if only all problems were that easily resolved lol.

    MOWBIZZ Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    I think the best bet for the PITA lady is to send her a note, like others have said and terminate service.
    I have a "slow payer" who is a single mom but she paid December, in full $160 with a cashier's check (??). So far she hasn't paid January which was only $40. I still plow her every time there's 3 inches hoping she will eventually pay. Another thing, she NEVER answers her phone nor returns any of my messages left on her machine...some folks are just hard to figure out...
    Another "slow" payer is an old man that never wants to be plowed more than once per storm, and he agrees to wait until all my other accounts are done...fixed income I would guess?? He questioned my plowing a storm once and I said I'll show you my book and you can see for yourself...he said "no that's ok" and paid up...any time you're dealing with people, there are going to be problems...you just keep hoping you can keep your sanity and stay slightly ahead of the game while dealing with them...:rolleyes:
  19. Blazin

    Blazin Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    I would balance forward the $30. With a note saying the trigger was met at my house. Pay the bill or my services will be terminated for non payment. Not to mention your trigger should be 2 or 2.5"s.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2008
  20. SuperPlowers®

    SuperPlowers® Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    If a customer does not pay we have our attorney file a claim in Small Claims Court.

    Usually the claim notice alone will be enough to secure payment, however we have had three occasions where the claim went to trial. We were successful in all three and were forced to follow up with a lien in one.

    Good luck in your pursuit of payment for services rendered.