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How do I handle this one?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by snow4me, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. snow4me

    snow4me Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    I contracted a driveway on a private road. The customer used to have the same plowing company do their drive that does the other 5 homes on the road. Well their driveway is about 80'x16' and they were getting charged $65 per plow and they weren't happy with the service. So they decided to go with me and signed the contract. Well it snowed last night and the guy who used to do their drive showed up and had it cleared before I got there at 5:30 am. I called and left her a message telling her what happened and asking her how she wants to handle this. Now this drive took 20 minutes of travel time out of my route so should I charge her something or let it slide and hope she gets this straightened out with her old snow plow guy. I have a signed contract, what should I do? Oh yeah it's going to snow again on Wednesday so if I don't hear back by then...
  2. plowindiesel

    plowindiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    i charge her whatever you think your travel time cost you. it sucks that it happened but I would let her straighten it out and if she doesnt then i would charge her the full price
  3. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    If you know who the contractor is that actually plowed it, you can always call him and explain the situation. If he is a decent guy, he will be cool about it. If not, and he turns into an a$$, then just explain that he might be plowing it, but your the one that will be getting paid for it. Be nice and let him know how much you appreciate he donation to the cause.
  4. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,868

    20 minutes out of your way? is that 10 there 10 back or 20 there 20 back?

    if it was just 20 minutes total i would probably just let it slide. actually if it is a real good paying account i might let 40 minutes slide.

    do let her know though next time you have to charge no matter what.

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,619

    next time get there before the fired guy drag him out of his truck across his hood, and thank him for easing your strenous acoounts, then meet up with him the rest of the day and say hes lost all his accounts lol.

    or just wait to hear it out from her lol
  6. zabMasonry

    zabMasonry Senior Member
    from vt
    Messages: 100

    I'm sure you already cleared this, but the $65 might have included the homeowners share paying for the private drive to be plowed. Not much of your concern, however it could definetly become a PITA for he home owner.
  7. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    I wouldn't charge. Have the customer get in touch with the guy and if she can't before it snows again tell her to call you when she is ready. Thats seems like a some good money for the account. Why risk loosing it by charging for travel expenses?
  8. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    I have a signed contract and payment for a customer. The last snow fall the driveway was done by another company. I think some people call around and promise a contract to a company and the company shows up even though they have nothing in writing, why would you do that?

    MAR4CARS Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    I would talk with the homeowner to get this straightened out.. I wouldn't charge her for the wasted trip.
  10. M&M

    M&M Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    In this type of situation I ask myself if it is worth the $65 to potentially lose the account? It may "cost" you $65 to make a lot more. That's for you to decide. For me I would eat it but only this time. I would definitely have a conversation with her and make sure she knows that the next time she will be charged.
  11. Sno4U

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    Kinda had the same thing happen to me. The old contractor showed up b/f me and plowed. She didn't even know it was he, who plowed it. So, I show up later in the morning ('cause she said I could) to find it was already done; I did a little bit of clean-up (drifting) and told her it was already plowed, whats going on? So, she'll actually call the other guy and actually fire him. He didn't call her to say he'd be doing it again and she didn't fire him-he just showed up. So, I'll charge 1/2 the rate for c/u work done to recupe my lost travel time. She'll be happy she didn't pay the full amount-I'm getting SOMETHING for my travel time -all aprties happy-except the fired plow guy:cry:
  12. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    I would charge her the full price. Wasn't your fault she didn't tell last years guy not to plow.
  13. bike5200

    bike5200 Senior Member
    from Ky
    Messages: 437

    I would tell her (in a nice way) if you come back again and the drive is done by the other contractor I will charge you X amount to cover drive time.
  14. ford550

    ford550 Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    That's exacty why in my terms and conditions it clearly states "If someone else plows your driveway and when we show up, we get paid regardless". Very simple way to fix that problem. The contract is with you now and she should pay full price.
  15. snow4me

    snow4me Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    I got her on the phone this morning and she says the problem with the old guy was he would show up 8 hours after the storm ended and she found out she was paying more than her neighbors who all have drives 2-3x the size of hers. So she informed the one neighbor who has used this same Landscaping company for 15 years that she was hiring her own plow guy (me) this year. Apparently there was some lack of communication or maybe not because all of the sudden the Lanscaper showed up early rather than late for the firsttime in years. I'll bet he was trying to win back my customer since he found out I did proposals for everyone on the road.
    Anyway since the guy plowed before the snow had stopped falling there was still some snow left behind. I asked her if she'd like me to come do a clean up and she agreed so yes I will charge her and she told me she will not pay the other dude. So everyone is happy except for the Landscaper dude.
  16. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    charge her, tell her dont pay the other guy
  17. Sno4U

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    It sounds like you have things under control. Only thing is, I heard a "red flag" go off. WHY is she paying more than her neighbors w/ bigger driveways?:confused:
    This is a real warning. Is she a PITA customer? Is that why she's being charged more? Or, is her driveway simply more difficult? Be careful.
  18. grnstripes

    grnstripes Senior Member
    Messages: 236

    I had a drive on a road I was doing this one drive was the smallesed one on th road so they had a prity low rate after the first storm they said the wanted all the snow on the front side of the drive ( it was a small loop that you could barly turn a civic around in ) then halfway through the winter they stopped paying the bill it was a contract with sesonal rate on a winter where we were having record snow fall so I wasnt making any money so I cut them off after the next sorm they called wondering why they didnt get plowed I told them the had to pay there bill, im trying to make a living too not do this for free they payed and I plowed but they constantly complained and in july called saying I hit a well head that wasnt in an area where I had plowed not to mention they were calling about it 3 months after all the snow had melted so this year when I did the bid for the road and drives theres was triple what it was the year before
    time and headaces are worth money too
    just a caution as to why this person might of been paying more
  19. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

  20. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    There is another thread on here about a guy who has been doing the same houses for 15 years and some lowballer just stole his account. He turned up as normal figuring why would year 16 be any different.