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Customer Issues

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by NortheastSNO, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. NortheastSNO

    NortheastSNO Member
    Messages: 50

    We are currently plowing a 4 factories that are owned by the same company. Everything was going fine until owner called up and said we are plowing when we shouldn't be. We currently have a trigger amount of 2-3 with all our other locations. He would like to have us plow at 4-5 inches. On top of all of this they went out and bought 1 new truck and they are going to do lesser amounts... this is piXXing me off, because it seems as if he wants to just use us to plow deep stuff. I made the mistake of charging him hourly when I first took this account on simply because I did not know. we have been doing the 2-3 inches for 3 years now.

    Also they are plowing it and leaving windrows all over the place, yesterday it was like plowing a dirt road, it was so bumpy:cry:

    What would you guys do. I am ready to tell him to get lost.:gunsfiring::realmad:
  2. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    I had one that I helped someone else do that was like that. They would call when they could not keep up with there one truck. It was a 7 acre lot. I helped for 2 years then told them I will do it all or nothing I can't just keep doing this as I could not service my accounts. It boils down to them trying to save money.
    Tell them you will do it all or not at all.
  3. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    Get rid of it.
    they want you to beat up your equipment on the heavy snowfalls and then probably drag their feet paying you at the end of the year anyways
  4. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    Agreed, dump them now. Its not going to get better!
  5. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    It sounds like its not worth it. The last thing I would want to do is have to try and clean up/plow a lot someone has tried to do.

    Tell them why its not working for you and maybe they change it back the way it was. Who knows maybe the guy doing the plowing thinks he is helping or maybe they are pushing you around to see what they can get away with.

    Good luck
  6. NortheastSNO

    NortheastSNO Member
    Messages: 50

    I know my heart says dump them now as we are supposed to get another 2-3 inches today and 1-3 tonight. But wallet is saying another.

    unfortunately they are always one of the first to pay... and they pay really good.

    Hopefully SMS Assits comes through next year with more work or something else comes along. I bid like crazy but never get anything local it seems like. Spend all my time sending crews all over.
  7. gc3

    gc3 Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    Double your price and see if he still wants to do it that way
  8. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,593

    Face to face sit down talk it over is what I would recommend.
  9. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    Not trying to be a Dick but if you've already made up your mind that you don't want to give up the money or dump them there really isn't much anyone on here can do to help you.
  10. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    Do you have a contract that set out trigger amounts, terms or condition you as the contractor are required to meet? Those kind of details are sort of important to the success of your business, as SnowGuy pointed out it sounds like you want to keep this customer if indeed you do figure out quickly what your terms are. You can run your business or the customer can, if you chose to let them run you, get a job some where it will be easier on you.
    Good luck.
  11. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 486


    If one of your bigger gripes is the mess they make doing the smaller pushes maybe you can show their guy the errors of his ways (at your hourly rate of course).
  12. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Bingo Thumbs Up......
  13. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,838

    Ya you got to sit down with them & express your concerns, like their guy not doing a good enough job so it makes it so you cant do a good enough job, you need to have a clearer deal/contract also. do you plow at 4 or 5 inches? can only be one or other, if you keep it this year raise your prices for next year.
  14. Buswell Forest

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

    If I were being paid hourly, I would tell them to call no less than 3 hours before I had to be there. And when I arrived, I would plow a little slower, and blame it on the mess they left for me..
  15. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I would suggest getting you thoughts sorted out first in a word document. Basically, you need to develop a list of reasonable arguments first for yourself, so that you have some level of clarity in your own mind. In other words, start off by brainstorming a list of bullet points (for yourself). From that list, organize those points in a letter of concerns, understandings, agreement terms, historical criteria and present issues/concerns, outlining from where you started to where you have ended up.

    You want to come across nonthreatening yet firm...stating the facts. Stating what you feel is acceptable and what isn't, then offering a reasonable solution or a middle ground that will satisfy all parties. Try to consider what all of the objects may be and the flaws that may exist within the current arrangement. You may want to carefully touch also on repercussions that could occur, resulting from foolish decision making.

    In closing, you want to keep the door open and invite them to discuss openly with you any further details that they may feel inclined to discuss in order to help assist them in developing/refining the most effective solution.

    Make them understand that you are the professional and that your credentials and ability to deliver the results needed, will outweigh the other method(s) that have been recently implemented.

    Give yourself enough time between each phase so you can revise your case. I like to brainstorm my thoughts before I go to bed (that way I sleep better), then the next morning re-read it w/ a fresh outlook...this helps to remove any abrasiveness or emotion that shouldn't be there. Then write it out legibly and revise it again. let someone else read it before submission, preferably someone who has a neutral objective opinion.

    Whatever you do at that point, you will be able to deliver your points with clarity and maintain a level of confidence when trying to overcome any objectives. You will then also be able to decide in your own mind, weather it's worth while or not to continue working, knowing that you've exhausted all of your options.
  16. oneoldsap

    oneoldsap Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    I'd be out of there , if they want to plow it , let them plow it ! Thumbs Up
  17. Bison

    Bison Member
    Messages: 59

    I bet I know who's insurance will get tagged 100% of the time if there's any damage hiding under the snow or if someone falls.
  18. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    Coldcoffee good job a well reasoned thought process, get the emotion out just the facts.
  19. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 922

    Kick'em to the curb. Sounds like a headache already. 2-3" is a deep trigger for commercials, and more than that is insane. And now they're going let you hit their misplaced windrows and break the apex on your plow frame for even less money. Screw him.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  20. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Ironically enough, I just went through this again a few days ago and it was fresh in my mind. Happens every few years or so w/ the same account I've had for over 20 years. The new guy was trying to be a hero because he's failed so miserably w/ his scores within the company. He, like the others whom I've watch come and go always like to attack the plow guy and any other vendor they can manipulate. They do it just so they can boost their numbers artificially, before they themselves get the axe. I used to get PO'd, now I just sort of have fun w/ it. He will learn...eventually.