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Eating my Words - Nonpaying Customer

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Mick, Jan 31, 2003.

  1. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Well, after bragging on the integrity of the people in my community for the past year or so, I have to eat my words. I got a call in December to start plowing a new customer. Went out and talked with them. We'd only had small amount of snow to that point and they hadn't been plowed so set them up to plow and bill monthly which is normal procedure. Explained billing procedures to them. I put on my bills to please pay by the 10th of the following month. Called on the 20th. She said sorry, she hadn't read that part and would get it right out. No check yet. Didn't plow the last snow thinking maybe they'd call me. Nope. I only plowed twice in Dec and once in Jan. Sending out a letter with the bill tomorrow that plowing has stopped until past and current charges are paid. Also, if they wish to have me resume plowing, they need to send an amount equal to three plowings and I'll credit any further plowing to that.

    I feel like the six year old kid who just found out for sure there is no Santa Claus.:confused:

    Overall my customers are great. I can't let that one apple spoil it for all.:drinkup:
  2. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    lol. i think a freak snow drift may end up at the end of their driveway one day:D just push the two banks by the road into the driveway. let em do a little shoveling:D

    Most will say its unprofessional, and im sure you wont do it, but it would feel nice to im sure. maybe youll get your check and they are just completely ignorant
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Worst part of it for me is like I told them in my letter. I got no money from them - it cost me money to plow their driveway.

    No, I won't go plow them in. I don't want to waste time on revenge or anthing else. I'm not even wasting the time and gas to go get the reflector I used to mark the edge of the drive.

    The worst part for them is that I'm sure this will somehow get around even though I'm not about to say anything about it to anyone. People know who plows for who and when you quit plowing like that in the middle of the season, there is a reason. Also, she made a point of telling me that she needed the area in front of the barn kept clean cause she has a business boarding horses and customers are coming in there every weekend. I really don't think they're going to be able to get another plow guy now.
  4. Kevintree

    Kevintree Junior Member
    Messages: 11


    Contract W/ deposit

  5. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496


    Arent those freak snow drifts amazing ??? :D
  6. HandyHaver

    HandyHaver Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    Yes they are. Saw one just the other night. :rolleyes:


    SCFALL Member
    Messages: 47

    Mick is this the horse farm where the boyfriend set it up with you then she complained about the $ but wanted a larger area cleared? Guess that should have told us right there. Scott:mad:
  8. Temco

    Temco Member
    Messages: 66

    Theres no Santa Claus????? :eek:
  9. Got Snow

    Got Snow Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    may contract states bill is to be paid with in 3 days after service. i will call on the phone on day 4. you feel a little pushy, but after a couple of storms, most people are trained to pay quickly. i try not to let peoples bills accumulate (monthly). if is hard to get $40, is gonna be real hard to get $160.
  10. elitelandscape

    elitelandscape Member
    Messages: 79

    I had a non paying customer this year first one i have ever ran into. I tried the little snow drifts :) that didn't seem to make me feel good enough so i figured i would go all out and teach these idiots a lesson.I plowed for them 5 times and they didn't pay so i was gonna make the most of it .
    Well the next weekend we got a foot and a half of snow and i started plowing in the driveway i filled the driveway full. i was bascially plowing the streets into their driveway. They funny thing is that i didn't even get a phone call. I haven't been back to see how they moved it all.

    Note: To all you newbie's This is in Canada we don't have guns, only sticks and snowballs. So the customer couldn't do that much damage to your truck unless they can run faster than you can drive and kick it. Now all you guys down in US might have to drive a bit quicker because most likely your gonna get shot. lol just kidding guys

    after all of this i felt great

  11. gordyo

    gordyo Senior Member
    Messages: 527


    Here is what happened to me with a non paying customer years ago.

    Had a customer many years back that I did per push. Verbal agreement. Went over, saw the driveway $25.00. Plowed every storm and was paid no problem until the last storm of the year. She calls me at around 11:00am and told me she had a Dr.s appointment at 3:00pm and wanted the driveway plowed. I said "I'll be right over" went and plowed 4" then went back around 8:00pm to plow the other 4" that fell that day. This was the only storm in the month of February so I sent her a bill for $50.00.
    She calls me and says "Why did I get a bill for $50.00? I told her that because she had called me to make a special trip over to plow her driveway that was one push @ $25.00. Because I had to come back a second time that was another push $25.00. She tells me "but it was all the same storm". I said "You called me to make a special trip over, a 12 mile drive round trip, fuel, wear and tear on my truck, 45 minutes of my time" "It was light and fluffy snow and our agreement was that I push at the end of the storm if its light snow" She kept insisting that because it was the same storm she should only be charged $25.00. After about 20 minutes of going back and forth like this on the phone I said " Tell you what, you pay me what you think the job was worth. She said "A check for $25.00 will be in the mail tomorrow". I said "Fine". Check came, I cashed it and crossed her name off my list without informing her. The next year, I am on a business trip in Colorado and my dad is covering my whole route. We get 16 inches of heavy wet snow and my dad goes out and plows my route and his route. Well, she calls at 7:00pm after my dad just gets in from 14 hours of plowing and wants to know when I am coming to plow her out. My dad tells her that I am away and he is covering my route. She says "you forgot me". My dad said, "I am looking at his list and your name is not on it". She says "I am a customer of your sons". My dad says to her," Mam your not on his list so that means one of two things, either you called and cancelled the plowing or you still owe him money from last year". She kept insisting that my dad come over and plow her out right now. He tells her that if she gets a big yellow pages phone book and looks under plowing contractors and starts making phone calls she might be able to find someone else to plow her out by the end of the week!! He tells her "Mam I just got back in from 14 hours plowing for customers that pay their bills when we plow for them, good luck finding someone else now" and he hung up. My dad called me in Colorado and let me know that after being patient for a year, I got the last laugh :D
  12. ebaron

    ebaron Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    I had a will call customer that finally converted to a contract, on what I am sure was his wife's insistence. I think she got tired of trying to call in time before I passed them on my route. This guy was always a pain in the a** on will call,'can you make it 3" wider' , 'can you get a little closer to the garage','can plow the yard a little bit, so I can park a car here' and can you comeover and pull out my silly van with summer treads'. You get the the picture. But, he 's a neighbor, and in the middle of the route, so I figured I 'd deal with it.

    So at the end of the year, no final payment (half season). The next year, says he doesn't need me, bought a snowblower. What about last year I ask. Oh, he says, I wasn't satisfied. Took him 6 months to blurt out that excuse!
    Well I'm short the cash, but I smile this year, since we have had close to 100" so far, and he never did actually get a blower. The drive is mess and I KNOW he hears it from his wife every morning at 5AM when the rotating lights just light up their bedroom. Ahh, satisfaction. Wondering what that phone call will sound like soon?? Actually, it's probably worse, since it looks like his brother across the street has a blower and he won't even come over and do it!
  13. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    8 yards of crushed stone in front of the driveway worked out well for a few non paying customers.since i lost about 5000 this year in landscaping because white trash N****** wouldn't pay up.i have been going to small claims court.now for those people that haven't showed at court i gave my fathers friend a call.he told me to give him a list of everyone that didn't pay you 100 bucks per person and breakfast twice a week and i'll get your money.well hes been giving me money every sunday morning.i was told from someone that my fathers friend went over to one of my customers houses at 11 at night and dragged the guy down to the atm.he then left the guy there after he got my money.the customer had to walk a few miles home.mind you this guy was the richest guy in my town.now my fathers friend doesn't use guns or anything.he just talks to them about how they owe me money and how im a good kid with bills to pay.plus he slaps them around a little to.he's about 6`3 500 lbs no BS.he doesn't even have a full time job.....lol lol so i guess hes good at cracking heads......lol lol
  14. SCL

    SCL Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    OH MY GOD!!! Let's go back to the snowballs and sticks.
  15. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    For $5000 it'd be a different story. Their whole bill for two months (Dec and part of Jan - didn't plow there the last storm) was just over $100. Not worth the hassle of Small Claims Court.

    Yeah, SCFALL, that was the place. My wife even warned me she thought it was going to be trouble.

    I figure they'll get the worst of it in the end without me adding to their problems.
  16. I see more and more of this.


    This is why I will drop all my will call customers next year. Had 3 this year wait till they need me the 3rd time to plow, then say they will catch up with payments when I get there.

    2 of them I have had to tow out of thier own parking spots.

    New to my contract: Towing at additional charge. Not responsible for any damages due to towing.

    Bob V
  17. plowman777

    plowman777 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    cant you almost tell who will be a problem from the start?, i dont hesitate to drop people i dont like, but this is a part time thing for me so i can afford to
  18. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I got my money. Not really sure what the problem is. They're blaming the Post Office. I did some checking and sure enough, two other customers hadn't gotten bills, either, mailed at the same time. Those two are people I have no reason to doubt. Anyway, I would like to believe it, but I'm not totally naive, either.
  19. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496


    Glad you got the $$$ I had a couple of customers i thought screwed me and eventually they paid KNOCK ON WOOD I am concerned about his month many large storms with extra charges someone always complains
  20. Grshppr

    Grshppr Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Good to hear you got your money Mick! I had one that owed me money for the longest time. I didn't expect to see it. Dropped in one day and she said sorry and paid me, plus gave me a $80 tip on top of it. payup I usually give people the benefit of the doubt, but I have occasionally had something to do with a big pile of snow ending up in a non paying customers drive way.:D
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2003