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customer rant

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by RLawnCare, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. RLawnCare

    RLawnCare Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    I did a quick search and could not find one of these on here. Lawnsite I know has one. After a bad day its always kind of nice to grab a cold one and hear about everyone else's issues.

    I "had" a customer that told me she did not have a credit card or other type, but she would get one if I did her yard and that she would write me a check for this month. sure Next month she told me that she got her card but has not activated it yet. And! the only way she can do that is if she plugs it into an ATM??? So would it be okay if I write you a check this month also? sure Next month I knock on the door and shes on the phone... and says to me can you come back later I am on the phone, Ill have your check ready then. sure I stop back 1 hour later and nobody is home?!? So I skipped it. I got a call 3 days later and she told me that she left a voicemail telling me that my check was on the patio? (seriously lady) but I played dumb. I suggest that if I had her card this wouldn't be so complicated and that I don't chase money. She offered to mail me a prepaid check... So now to the winter... It snowed today and well I haven't gotten a check. So I skipped it. (it was 3 inches and 34 out. 40 before the weekend shes not snowed in) Got a phone call tonight wondering where I was. I thought that since I didn't receive payment that you wanted to cancel She said well its the 1st of the month what do you want me to do? I don't know maybe try mailing it a week before? She argued more, told me that I was confusing and splitting hairs. And wanted the number of my buddy that does snow also.

    Maybe it is me? Maybe I need to be more flexible? I feel I offer a very Black and White service. Flat price - no money no work... plan and simple. You know what your getting into and what to budget for. Doing things this way has solved ALL my collection problems. 100% of all work is paid for.
  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,594

    Reason #9353097530597 why I don't bother with residential customers.
  3. RLawnCare

    RLawnCare Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    ha! I can say the same about commercial. Well they wouldn't be so bad if we lived in a world free of low ballers.
  4. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 750

    Agreed why I don't like resis especially in plowing.
    We lost a rather large contract because of a pretty ridiculous reason. We were servicing their sites very well and they were currently building a few more and they didn't ask to start being serviced yet so we didn't and then they asked us to start in the middle of a storm because the owner is coming into town so we say we'll it's a storm and short notice so we'll do our best. Come about a month ago we rebid and all the store managers said they think we have it back because of how great we did. Well apparently the owner that came during that storm "ruined" his shoes. So we lost the contract from shoes being ruined because he had dress shoes in a snow storm. Welcome to upstate New York Sir
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Wait a minute,please explain.You do the work then bang on the door looking for money,right? Either you need to drop her now or rework how your doing your billing.
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,447

    Snow work: prepay for the season or you don't get serviced. (a couple minor exceptions, but we still have at least half a season in hand before starting)

    Lawn work: Either a 2 or 4 payment. Again, payment in hand before work starts.

    It's very simple. If they don't think a company that has been around for over 80 years is going to be there when it snow so they won't pay, we don't need them as a customer. FWIW, no one has ever said a word about prepaying for the season.
  7. FredG

    FredG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,680

    Some people got more money than brains and common sense.
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,447

    Actually fired a customer who paid up front for his mowing. Wanted prices for everything, then wanted the prices lowered for the extra work. Or extra work performed while we were there at a lower cost. Then, he asked one of the guys to knock the weeds down in his beds as a "favor" (one of the things we gave him a price for) and ended up cutting the small wire to his A\C unit. Employee got a butt chewing and we told this guy that we would finish out the mowing because he paid but we weren't going to do any additional work for him. No matter what. Then he claims he never asked for prices to be lowered and doesn't think he's a PITA type customer. He wasn't happy that we fired him. I didn't care.
  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    residential rule book
    rule #1 get paid first.*

    * if seasonal get 1/2 payment up front.
  10. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    I hear both sides, residential and commercial do not pay. I must be somewhat lucky all mine pay. The commercial are slow compared to the residential.
  11. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 750

    Yeah but it's nice to learn those people before you get too deep in a contract withat them. We were servicing like 6 stores and by this year it would have been like 11 or more. It sucked losing something that late in the year but it will be good for the future nit to deal with them.
  12. Plow horse

    Plow horse Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    Chasing MONEY

    Well it is a BIG problem. The FUNNY thing is, They still seem to think they should be serviced. This is a VERY SORE subject for me, as I sit here waiting on $$$$, I am going NUTS!!! I have to wait for my money 30, 60, 90 days sometimes longer. What a joke. I WONDER HOW THESE BIG CORP'S DO IT?? Because not only do they have to deal with the customer BUT they have to deal with the LAZY NOT GIVING A **** worker or driver, who BREAKS there equipment and does not care if clients see them doing bad stuff. It is almost a JOKE, Especially when you add the MIDDLE Man into it (the people who sell the job to you ) I see were 2 or 3 middle men get into it and that is were the GOOD $$$$ goes, to some straw salesman. Instead of us.
  13. FredG

    FredG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,680

    Well maybe you can try it again. Once all the construction is done you will probably never see this pompous butt head.
  14. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 750

    Yeah I wouldn't want to go back to that company unless the head guy is gone. He's too much to handle
  15. FredG

    FredG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,680

    I guess it's behind you then.
  16. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,447

    If you're getting paid slowly or not at all, it's your fault. Either you are not clear on the terms or not forceful enough when they become late.

    Long time ago we had a tool and die company as a customer. They were always 6 months out. They also bitched a lot about stupid little stuff (3 blades of grass left on the sidewalk, some blown under the door in the airlock). My dad was gone on vacation (long before I bought him out) and they wanted a meeting. I basically told them that if they wanted to ***** about stupid crap like that, they needed to get current on their payments. They said they had big jobs that they didn't get paid for 12-18 months. Again, I basically told them that was not my problem, our terms were Net 30 and if they got caught up we would try to get every blade of grass off their walk and try harder to not get grass under the front door.

    We parted ways shortly after that. We got paid in full. They also went out of business several years before the rest of the tool & die industry took a crap. I'm here, they're not.

    So I'll say it again, if you aren't getting paid, it's your fault.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  17. RandallJ

    RandallJ Member
    Messages: 44

    In some ways, this is a lot like the auto repair world..
    Customers are just naturally a bit hostile about letting go of any money..

    Unlike clothes shopping, they did not ask for snow or a broken car..
    With that, they tend to get pretty tight on the pocket book..
    Misunderstandings are easy to come by on "their" side and they always think they are right..

    No idea about snow removal but in the auto world, you can not just blow them off, you have to learn to work with them and show them the light.. "Look sucker.. pay the bill or you don't get your wheels back" (I wish)

    Seems "pre-pay" is the only safe way to go for a pro? While I do not like giving away 1.5-3%, a cell phone and a paypal card reader could work wonders.. (I use these when we do trade shows).. They work fine for debit or credit cards and easy enough to manage..
  18. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,044

    You're right that they don't ask for snow, but they did sign up for snow removal in case there is snow, so they signed up knowing that there would be a bill every time it snows, my family runs an apartment building, and have been using the same plow guy for years. We know what an average year will cost us now, and by november we have that money in an account knowing that on an average year we will have $0 left. If there is money left at the end of the year, thats awesome. If its like last year, we add more in.
  19. RLawnCare

    RLawnCare Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    No I require everyone has a card that I charge on the 1st of the month. Everything I do is prepaid. She had all sorts of excuses as to why she was unable to provide a card. Month after month of payment issues I told her that I will no longer be knocking on her door to ask for her check. I don't have time to have you talk for 20 minutes while you write a check or to have you ask me to come back later because your on the phone and unable to write me a check then. So if she is going to pay by check I need to have it by the 1st of the month. Well it snowed on the 1st of December and no payment. The agreement is no check no work.

    What really grinds my gears is she had the balls to ask for my part time helpers number. Hes a friend and is just getting started into the business. He quoted her $60 higher and she signed up... AND! she said you dont have to worry about doing this snow its going to melt anyhow. are you kidding.
  20. FredG

    FredG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,680

    As rude and unprofessional this may sound. If your not getting paid in a timely manner this is your fault. It's very simple, Don't pay me once shame on you, Don't pay me twice shame on me.

    Seasonal been payed the checks came today. Jan. Invoices are sent out. per event 30 days invoiced maybe 8 to 10 days. Any invoices not payed you go there but do no work.

    Tell them you will not perform any work for non payment. If they think there smart and call in some scab leave a couple of guys there and don't let them plow.

    I highly doubt a reasonably smart business man is going to want anything to do with plowing if your not for none payment. If the cops get called they may ask you to leave. Deal with the scab accordingly.

    If he has the brass to cross your line he will get what he deserves and will think twice next time he wants to be scabby. Most contractors around here will not take that lightly and will retaliate. Get tough, You guys that are waiting 90 days plus are only getting it stuck you know where.

    In my world this late payment behavior is not acceptable. Tires glass and equipment etc can put you out for a couple days. And can prove to be costly.