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How do some people get through life?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Brian Young, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    We've done a set of local retail stores for the past few years and this year is out of control with complaints. We've had nothing but early morning, or snow storms that seem to start over night but don't stop until the next afternoon with relentless wind!. These guys just don't seem to get some basic, common sense things. Wind equals blowing snow, which on occasion might look as though we were never there 20 minutes after we leave if its blowing 20mph. "You were never here", Uhhh yeah we were, we're on round 2 of plowing. Why did you plow us on a Sunday? Ummm because we let it go till' 4 inches but I'm not plowing 8 inches for the price of a 2 inch lot. We need open by 8am.....7am ish the phone rings, no ones been here to plow us yet, yeah because you wanted us there right before you open....AT 8AM. You were never here and on the flip side, Why did you plow us 2 times? "Salt at your discretion", well IMO a commercial lot always needs salted. But they complain when I do and call me asking why I didn't. I've about had it with their nit picking, complaining, and questioning, its time for them to go I think or a little sit down with the owner's. I don't want to broom them but just can't take the constant questioning and complaining.
     
  2. downtoearthnh

    downtoearthnh Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    Same issues hold for residential. When the storm ends during the wee hours of the night, and the driveway is clear before morning there is no problem. The storms this winter seem to end about noon, and many customers want the driveway plowed as the last flake is settling to the ground. One blow out with a homeowner, who insisted her drive had not been done in a timely manner, even though I was there within 3 hrs. of the end of the storm, and before anyone arrived home from work. Feels good to tell her that shovels are still available at the local hardware store, have a nice time!
     
  3. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    You only do this for a living...why would you ever think you're more qualified than the property manager?
     
  4. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,533

    there comes a point when customer service can only go so far, sometimes you need to let them know exactly how it is or they will walk all over you. I've had it myself with a few clients and told them outright how things work. if they decide to go somewhere else next year, fine, id rather that than hear complaints all the time, regardless how much i charge them.
     
  5. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    amen to that.Thumbs Up
     
  6. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,216

    X 3 to that
     
  7. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Sometimes you have to fire a customer. The question is will it effect your NET? If so you need to replace him. If not you've increased your profits and are better off.
     
  8. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    It is tuff, we have had some issues with a large commercial property as well. It took some meetings with the right people to get everything figured out but now they are happy with the service and we are making more money off of them.
     
  9. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Turbans or slant eyes?
     
  10. NEUSWEDE

    NEUSWEDE Senior Member
    Messages: 949

    Sounds like you need a different contract than what you have now with everything writing out so they know, sounds like you and the client are not on the same page with a contract you could just refer them to the contract. I have a client that calls constantly but because I have a contact that is very detailed I direct them towards it and the things they want that are not included we do but at an additional cost and they understand why.
     
  11. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    Fire their ass:gunsfiring:

    Really, life is too short.

    There's a point at which it's just bitching and clearly they can never be happy.

    Forget it, fire them and move on.

    You'll be happier and while they might too, who gives a crap about if they are happy or not.

    life is too short.
     
  12. deere615

    deere615 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,919

    Lucky we havent had as much snow as you but I agree every snow this year as had bad timing. Luckily my customers ar not too bad but still some people just never understand
     
  13. cubanb343

    cubanb343 Senior Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 637

    One lady asked me last week why I was plowing her driveway at 11am. She said "why did you come at 8am yesterday, and now at 11am today? It does us no good if it's not done by 7am"
    And I said, "sorry ma'am, the snow doesn't know your schedule."
    True story. I explained to her the best I could, about how the goal is 7am, but we can't start plowing until there is plowable snow, etc... Some people just don't get it I guess.
     
  14. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    Glad I'm not the only one. Had an apartment owned by this guy a couple years ago. I was charging twice as much as other companies that plowed it before. I always had this place clear, shoveled the sidewalks, checked for drifting in the middle of the night. Yet this guy would call multiple times a day even if it didn't snow. He was nuts. He would call me from his house and say it needs to be done right now, or the town has plowed it in. I had already been there multiple times, he was just to lazy to check himself or trust that I could manage the plowing. Couldn't have been happier to not to resign with him the next winter.

    PITA customers make the job too stressful and less enjoyable. It's not worth trying to make some people happy for any amount of money. Drop them and worry about the customers who actually appreciate your hard work and trust you to take care of their property.
     
  15. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    If the coin is good keep them, but have an honest talk..... Fist if you keep them, go but a camera or better yet one of those movie video units we discussed a few months back..... So you have evidence that you were there....then sit down on a warm and sunny day with apt he manager. Request that ALL managers or authorized persons attend the meeting. Start simple and just say they have had a lot of complaints and you want to rectify them so you are all on the Same page... As the meeting professes you out your foot in their ass. You show them some video and some pics, and basically say. a.....I'm the pro, we do it how I best see fit. Or. b. We do it your way, bit we will only come when you call, and I can not gureentee how quickly we get there, our equiptment will go to other sites. I kindly suggest that of they want to manage there own snow removal, they buy there own trucks.


    There was a large store in this area....basically same thing, store manager was managing the snow.....well he didn't want to approve contumely plowing during the blizzard......only a final clean up. So the contractor put 1 truck in a 15 acre lot, and pulled the loader off......loader made money at other sites, it was 16 hours before that lot got clear, next morning......here we are 1 week later, and I see that company out salting the lot for a dusting, something that would have been never done before.......y because the main contractor put his foot down finally
     
  16. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I now have owners w/ Turbans and a GM w/ a wet back...same problems, different pile.:help:
     
  17. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,149




    Thanks i just spit my beer all over the keyboard.:eek:
     
  18. 518Landscapes

    518Landscapes Member
    Messages: 43

    does not matter, purple green blue, its getting to the point everyone is cheep. But I agree true foreigners are the worst
     
  19. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Brian,
    I know how you feel... as other have already suggested if the coin is good have a sit down with the powers that be... if not excersize your cancelation clause and be done with them.... you'll feel soooooo much better

    a couple years back I had a old folks home... my contract stated every 2" that it would be plowed... I'd plow and no sooner then 15 minute later they'd be calling... I had a sit down meeting and told them if they wanted a dedicated truck to plow every 1" then I would double my price... they didin't like that but i finished out the season with them.... we both didn't want to renew with each other the following year
     
  20. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,533

    i agree that everyone has problems, but the communications issue with foreigners is the worst. I swear its as if they dont even listen to what you say, like they feel everyone is out to cheat them or something. after having several Indian customers for maintenance and installs, NEVER AGAIN!