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How to handle this situation

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by X-LOWBALLER, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. X-LOWBALLER

    X-LOWBALLER Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 102

    You state on your agreement that you will provide the snow removal service at an agreed upon amount of accumulation (assuming accumulation means the total snowfall for that particular event). The customer calls you to request that you clear their walkway of 2 feet of snow. In my area, we haven't received 2 feet of snow in practically 2 years. So, I drive to the property and ofcourse there is only 1cm of snow on the ground but the snow fell off their roof and covered their front walkway---but only the first step.

    Next year I will include snow removal will be the removal of snow from the sky and not rooftops.

    What would you do? Clear it (it was solid ice) or not.


    Thanking you in advance

    Brad
     
  2. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,321

    It fell off the roof there for not your responsiblity! However I would do it make sure they are aware that is it costing them X amount to remove it since it was from the roof!
     
  3. X-LOWBALLER

    X-LOWBALLER Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 102

    I drove there knowing full well that it was not from the snowfall. I told this NEW customer that I wouldn't remove it and that next time it happens it would be in their best interest to stay on top of it by adding salt to it. This lady demanded that I remove it and I went to my truck and showed her my plastic shovel. I said I am in the snow removal biz not ice removal. I recevied a call from her 20 minutes ago asking for a refund. I told her that I did not breach the agreement and that she is SOL.
     
  4. KCB

    KCB Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    Explain to them where it came from etc. If they are not going to pay extra its not your problem. Same deal when people brush off their car after you plow the drive, they put the snow there not the storm.

    Do you salt? If not what do you do when there is 1cm of ice under 2cm of slush like we had on Mon.? The interlock drives scraped ok, but my paved drives wouldn't come clean. Walkways were another story.:realmad:
     
  5. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    I'd do it
    And bill the crap out of her.
    Obviously she can't handle that type of work for herself and you could just send someone up to do it.
    Takes a long time to get a customer, doesn't take long to lose one.

    (albeit some customers aren't worth having)
    But for 20 minutes of work, is it worth a whole contract dispute, getting called bad names all over town, etc?????

    more flies with honey than sugar.
     
  6. scuba875

    scuba875 Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    Yeah I think I would have done it and explained to her that I would do it for free this time but there would be a charge for anything else like this. Customer service is important and I think if you made her feel like you were doing her a favor you could have turned that situationit in your favor.

    With my main business (snow is a side income for me) I put a lot of my efforts into being very customer friendly that is how I sell myself. My customers get what they want when they want it. If they want me to blow smoke up their a** and tell them how great they are I will. That being said I also charge a lot more than my competitors.
     
  7. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Depends on the customer.

    A customer that always pays, salts all the time, doesn't phone every 5 mins in a storm. We would likely just help them out, and show them where it came from. And inform them if it keeps happening there will have to be some charge in the future.

    A customer that bitches, is slow paying, expects the lot to be dry clean perfectly clean but won't salt. Clean it Bill them big time, everytime to call us for something like that. thats not in the contract.

    But then again we don't do residental, so it's a little different. But to me, keeping the customer happy is whats important. People remember things like that, when they resign.
     
  8. X-LOWBALLER

    X-LOWBALLER Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 102

    From my name, I have learned a while back that I will not tolerate customers who think we are doormats. After my first year, things have changed drastically. NO more working for free or letting customers get away with "pulling one over on me". In reality, this isn't my customer. I subbed out the work to another company, told the customer that I was NOT servicing her property and gave the number to their contractor. He did not and would not show up because he knew it wasn't a result of the storm. Feeling guilty, and being the super nice guy that I am, I took the time to atleast listen to the BS. If each and every one of is had the time to clean every customers driveways/walkways because they cleaned their cars off or the snow fell off the roof, we would probably only be able to survive one season.

    I work differently for certain customers. A customer called me today to and said he had 5cm of snow. I knew he didn't BUT he is a older gentleman who is always kind and treats me with respect.....I cleared his driveway, knocked on the door and told him that it was only 3cm. I then told him that in the future, if he feels it needs doing to call me.
     
  9. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    I agree. Do it the first time, tell them how it happens, and let them know that it is a chargable item, in the future. Maybe,, try to sell them on the roof cleaning? 100.00 to scrape the edges? A roof rake costs what, 20.00? Make a quick buck!
    As to the subbing it out, i believe I would have contacted the guy you subbed it to, and told him that as her contractor, it was his Obligation to handle the situation in a diplomatic manner. Who holds the contract with her? You or the sub? If you do, then YOU are responsible, and then the **** rolls down hill.

    JMO
     
  10. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,980

    Nope, if it was from the roof, it's an extra charge, period.