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"How Can I charge For Jan.Contacts With NO snow?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Daner, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. Daner

    Daner PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,187

    How can have the heart to bill people for there laneways this month...Middle of Jan and i have not been out to there place once.
    I think the fair way and the goodness in my heart...if i have to go there say 2 times this month i will just carge them per push and give them a break
    What do you plow Cowboys think of that??
    I do think Feb. Is coming in like a lion
    Let ER SNOW
  2. Winter Land Man

    Winter Land Man Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    What type of places are you doing? Residential, commercial, municipal? I know I'd bill the commercial and municipal. It's only natural.
  3. trinitygrove

    trinitygrove Member
    Messages: 35

    no way man, you charge them and don't think twice. If its on a contract thats the price. If it snows 100 times the season do you charge them for all the extra plowings, no. My residential pay me in November and January and thats it. Your in business, you need to make money, send em the bills.
  4. imdawrlus

    imdawrlus Member
    Messages: 71

    your crazy for even conciering it.....what if it snows like a son of a bicth in febuary???? u cant ask for that money back!!
  5. JTW

    JTW Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    Real easy.... Send them a bill!
  6. fms

    fms Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    All good advice. If we have 20 large snow events in February are you going to go to your client for more money? Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Don't give it back when you win!
  7. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    Just to add one more voice to the multitude. SEND THE BILLS FOR THE AGREED AMOUNT FOR THE MONTH
  8. Mick

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

    When I sent out December bills, I also sent a statement to my seasonal with the same information as the others except it showed "No Charge" "No Balance Due". I explained in a statement that it was sent for informational purposes only. Since it may have seemed like a lot of money for the few times I'd plowed, I also put another statement on there saying that we "could, as usual, expect increased snowfalls in January and February". Then I asked the balance of the seasonal payment be sent by February 1st, as agreed.

    Actually, this is a very valid question, as perception is everything. And the perception is that you're getting a lot of money for very little work. But, realize this may be more of your perception than the customers'.
  9. Daner

    Daner PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,187

    Just the residential...(Farm Laneways)
    Not the commercial Lots
    Most are by a handshake with no paperwork...(The Farmers way)
    Its only the middle of the month...Lotsa snow just may fall and i won,t feel so bad
    LET ER SNOWpayup
  10. rembrandt100

    rembrandt100 Member
    Messages: 43

    Don't be a fool. Charge them whatever the greed price is and forget it. Try going to your bank mamager and asking him to deposit a ton of good will into your account. Then let me know how much your bank balance goes up.

  11. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Like everybody said bill them . They won't send any extra if it snows more than usual. For the season it it usually washes out in the end.
  12. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    I will extend the comments of grandview, sometimes it takes years to even out, but evenout it will; again if it is bid properly in the first case
  13. SGLC

    SGLC Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    If they pay monthly regardless of snowfall then they should be paying you at the beginning of each month. Why even give them the chance to haggle.
  14. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    Has anyone noticed that there are a lot of Canadians from Ontario on this thread. Is this seasonal contract a mostly Canadian way of payng for snow clearing?
  15. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,320

    If you are feeling guility about it I would at least charge them something! As you said it's an agreement and you would not get extra if it snowed alot so I would not let them off for nothing! After all you need to make a living too here!
  16. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,868

    Last year, in my area of Minnesota, the snow went around us for 3 months. Sometimes as close as 30 miles away there was a 6" snowfall, yet where my lots were less than 1/2".

    I billed for November, December and January and didn't have a single plowable event until February 3rd.

    I billed for all the months. As it turned out, last year I plowed 7 times. I average my seasonal accounts on 15 pushes.

    If I wouldn't have charged them, I would have been out $15k. I also wouldn't have been able to make the house payment, the truck payments, the wife's car payment, the electric bill, the phone bill, diesel for the truck.

    If you've got an agreement on a flat fee, that's what it is, a flat fee.

    If you're not going to charge them, then you need to go to a per push.

    If you're going to a per push, or by the hour, then don't come back to the board like so many were doing 1-2 weeks ago wondering where all the snow is.

    There's a reason that you use seasonal contracts. It's so you can have a life when your life depends on money coming in from plowing, when you're basically on call 24 / 7.

    If you have another job, and your house or your food don't depend on your plowing money, then okay, don't charge them. Just remember, you've got another 2-3 months left, and you said yourself that you think February is going to come in like a lion.

    Those 2-3-4 times that you didn't plow in January, that could be eaten up REAL fast in the next 3 months.
  17. Yaz

    Yaz PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,061

    Here is a good analogy for you to think about... and tell a customer that dares to question your right to bill them.

    You pay for all your equipment, insurance, tax, truck deprecation etc each month even tough it didn't snow. It like insurance for them having a contract with you. Your insurance company doesn't say don't send the agreed amount because you didn't have a accident.

    It's not your fault, You have to bill them to stay in business and be there when they need you.
  18. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206



    My father spent his life in insurance underwriting & I spent a couple of years there myself. So this is the way I think

    Its a guarantee of service for a premium to be paid regularly
  19. plowzilla

    plowzilla Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    Hey, You seem to be a good guy with a good conscious. These are hard traits to find these days. But you need to be fair to YOURSELF. You have a business and thats how you chose to run it. Would you stop service for these guys if it snowed alot? Probably not. You would probably work harder! I had the same thoughts when I put a bid in on a couple of lots that wanted monthly bids. Good thing for me I did not get them. Maybe next year you should consider by the push only so you avoid this dilemma. Alot of contractors run on greed and they are usually out of business soon there after. You reap what you sow.
  20. rembrandt100

    rembrandt100 Member
    Messages: 43

    Most are by a handshake with no paperwork...(The Farmers way)

    The farmers way say,s that you should collect, and they should pay. It is an agreement (the farmers way)