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How many require a contract to plow residental's

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by NielsenServices, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. NielsenServices

    NielsenServices Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Ok, first off I'm sorry if this has already been asked, but I couldn't find anything.
    I had one potential (most likely PITA) customer decline my services because I wanted him to sign a contract and it got me thinking. How many of you require a signed contract on your residential properties? To me it seems like a good idea for both parties, but now I'm thinking maybe its not really necessary?
  2. ultimateinc

    ultimateinc Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    all 50 of my reis have to sign contracts. if they dont it becomes a apin in the as$ the ones who don't i dont do. in the past i didnt but then i got people saying you didnt plow me on this date and ohh this date either. most of them tried to get there bill knocked down to half price all the time. now with a contract we have a 2 inch trigger and they signed the contract so if they think were didnt do it that day they can check the weather most of them have no problem signing i will always do it now been in court to many times collecting money. a contract is only wrote to be broken but if signed by both parties it really helps in court.
  3. ryde307

    ryde307 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,130

    90% have contracts there are a few I have one that was oked over the phone but not signed. A verbal agreement is binding in MN but im sure I could lose. We have had minimal issues and nomrally not much money involved with single driveways.
  4. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    All of our residential snow plowing (commercial as well) is by signed contract. Sometimes tough to get them all in, but we won't service until the contract is in the office.
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    On the flip side of contracts is for your business. When it's time to get a loan or some credit contracts will help as proof if need be. And of course audit time .
  6. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,031

    no contract....no service.
  7. NielsenServices

    NielsenServices Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Thanks for the input so far, just confirms that I am going about things the correct way.
  8. LNO-WI

    LNO-WI Junior Member
    from NE WI
    Messages: 9

    agreed...No contract, No service
  9. vmj

    vmj Senior Member
    from conn
    Messages: 746

    I guess its dif out there.. I have over twenty diveways and have had these same driveways for many years and never had a contrct for any of them. Only contracts i have are for my com. I send out a letter to all my resi at beging of year stateing that their still on my route and the price and how they are done.
  10. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Everyone signs.......
  11. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    In a way, that is a contract too... just a very poor one (no offense).

    You plowed them before... which sets a precedent.
    You send them the letter stating you are planning to plow them again.
    They reject your letter and cancel. OR
    They do not contact you... the acceptance of your continued service.

    But where on earth is this bubble you are living in where this is all it takes to have no problems?
  12. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,361

    Same here!

    I was in the same dilema in the fall with a former client of mine- didn't want to sign my contract- no contract opens up a whole can of worms that I don't want to deal with. So, they sign my contract, and all is well (well, hopefully)...ussmileyflag
  13. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,137

    Same here.

    My terms & conditions, but things can be changed or added to satisfy both parties.
  14. vmj

    vmj Senior Member
    from conn
    Messages: 746

    LOL no offense taken, Its just a letter stateing that there on the route and to only call if my services are not needed.. They do not sign anything and return... Just the way i've been doing it for years with my resi accounts.
  15. cda817

    cda817 Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    Contract and a 3 storm retainer. Been doing it that way for several years now with no problems never had a complaint.
  16. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,513

    I say "I plow over 2 inches" They say "great count me in" I have 96 customers never needed more than my word or the word of my customer. Been doing it that way for 23 years with up to 110 customers. except I did (pass tense) have a lawyer that wanted a letter to say what I did. so I gave him one, I didn't sign it he didn't sign it, I plowed, he paid (cant find the money smiley face)

    Messages: 47

    No signed contract, No plowing.
  18. fireboy6413

    fireboy6413 Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    All have contracts, if they don't sign it by a specified date I will not plow them, no contract no plowing. Too much liability not too have one.
  19. vmj

    vmj Senior Member
    from conn
    Messages: 746

    I guess were the odd ones out...
  20. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,195

    So are you saying that past a certain date you no longer take on clients? I will rarely refuse an extra client. Our resi contracts are seasonal and pay up front. I will accept a post dated check for the full amount Jan 01. It just saves me a ton of time, no longer having to chase my money. The bonus is having a substancial cash flow before the season starts. We send all our clients a renewal contract in September. They have to sign the contract, insert their check, and return it in our postage paid return envelope.
    No contract with check, no service.