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In this situation what would you do ?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by AlaskaSnow82, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. AlaskaSnow82

    AlaskaSnow82 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I have been maintaining a restrauant chain for 2 years now here in anchorage. I've kept my prices low and given them smokin deals cause they had many locations. The first year I had a few complaints from one store and that was due to a scheduling issue which was fixed immidatly when brought to my attention. So when I took them the second year I made it a priority to make sure that there were no problems, guess u can say I babied them. I received 0 complaints for the 05-06 season, so I thought all was well.

    At the end of the season the main contact I had been dealing with who takes care o the signing contracts for each season got bumped up to a different position where he no longer deals with that area and a new person took his spot. I turned in my contracts for this season 06-07 thinking all would stay the same and I wouldn't have any problems. Well was I wrong.... After about 2 weeks with my contracts going out and not hearing back (which is unusal for this specific place) I decided to do a follow up call to make sure they received them. It took me another 2 1/2 weeks before I got ahold of this new person handling the signing of them. When I finally got ahold of them I asked if all was well and if they had received them, which they had, but to my suprise she also stated that before she signed them she needed to aquire more bids. My contract was the same as pervious years with nothing changed and they had been more then satisfied those other years. I thought nothing of it at first cause I thought she was just comparing and I am familular with companys wanting more then 1 bid from a snow company. I got ahold of her a week later and she tells me that they have decided to go with another company whos bid was $100 cheaper then mine per location. I asked how she came to this dicission and she replied with, well last year a few store managers complained that your employees were doing things they weren't supposed to do. This was a shocker to me since it was the first I heard of it, so naturally i replied asking her for detailed informationas to what happened. And she replied telling me that she couldn't disclose to me at that time what the complaints were about. Of course by this time it started to tick me off, and I asked her how a person could fix somthing if they don't know its broke, let alone why did they wait until the next season to bring it to my attention. I felt like I was talking to a brick wall and she wouldn't tell me a thing. Eventually she stated that she was going to compare the new companys services to mine and if they weren't up to par then they would come back. And that they are still on for next summers landscaping contract. I also tried asking who the new company was and she refused to tell me.

    Now to me this sounds like a fishy deal and I feel like I just got shafted, I would beat $100 she has a friend who might do snowplowing and she is turning him the work. So after thinking about it all day it got me so worked up that I think if they come to me in mid season that I might just give them the finger and tell them I don't have time for people who do business this way. Unless they are willing to do a price increase since they are coming mid season and tell them they need to sign a multi year contract so I am locked into a longer term contract where I know I am locked into it.

    But I was curious if anyone here has encountered a problem simular to this and would love to hear your thought and suggestions on how to deal with this contract. Should I try to keep it or just dump them. For me loyalty is a big thing and I give my customer awsome deals and I do that because I think that once I aquire the contract that I wont have to compete once they see my work. But for most cases this contract where I deal with a Employee managing the contracts rather then a owner I feel that theres little to no loyalty. Most other contracts I have I know 100% their mine unless I do a major screw-up, and I never have to compete each year or even worry about them trying to find a better deal elsewhere because I deal with the actual owner of that company and have devolped a close business relationship with them and they know I don't screw them over.
  2. Mick

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

    Happens all the time - that's business. Nothing to say they have to keep you from one year to the next unless you have a contract. Stay professional - don't take it personal - and move on. Why waste time when you could be focusing on other customers or services?
  3. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Mick is correct, the majority of this business is who you know, or who is cheeper. I lost a big contract over $$, not one complaint and had them black all winter, ultimately it comes down to money and less is more to those businesses that have never been sued.
  4. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    I agree with Mick as well. Move on . Don't leave a hole for them to crawl into mid season. You have bills to pay as well. Just go find another contract to fill the spot, and when they call you for premium services, cause the other guy sucks, tell them, you can't do it. Maybe they will think twice befor going with the cheap guy. Remember, your bid tells the customer what your work is worth!!!
  5. DugHD

    DugHD Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    yep, same here. Chaulk it up as a learning experience , and move up to better multi year contracts.
  6. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,192

    If they call you back I would take them. I would not come for a 1 night deal to bail them out but for the rest of the year and a multi year deal also. It is always easy to say no and leave them hanging but lets face it, there are far more plowers then work. We all have room to take on a few extra contracts.
  7. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Im sorry but you guys seem to think that these people aren't allowed to change services? How do you think you got the job to begin with? You took it from someone else. No?

    Did you come here or do you come here overly concerned for the guys you take accounts from at any point in time>?

    I didnt think so.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2006
  8. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    The $100 cheaper guy will probably raise his price next year when he tries to rebid the contract. If he fails to follow through this year charge them a little bit more, but do the job.
    New people in charge always seem to want to change stuff, it's a fact of life don't get an ulcer about it. Change happens anymore, don't let it bother you.
  9. AlaskaSnow82

    AlaskaSnow82 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks for the replies, it helps alot to hear from other plowers on how they would handle somthing like this...

    But it still baffles me that she would accuse my employees a whole season later of doing things their not supposed to do, and then have the gull to not disclose the details of their mishap. I feel as if I am being fasly accused of somthing cause I have no way to defend myself when I don't know what to defend myself against.
  10. Mick

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

    She's simply justifying what she's doing - whether it's true, a little "stretch" or a complete fabrication. Again don't take it personal - that's a waste of time and energy. Go out, get other accounts and concentrate on growing the business.
  11. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    don't waste time looking back. Fill the void and move on. If they call mid-season hopefully you can say "Sorry all booked up." Why would you want to lower your price to keep the work? It's not worth doing work just for the sake of working. Sometimes you have to fire your customer. Find profitable replacements, but remember you replace someone, who will be asking the same questions you are now.

    You might ask managers of the individual locations what your employees did that dissatisfied them. It would allow you to resolve those issues. Perhaps you will learn she fabricated the problems, or maybe you can solve some internal employee problems.

    Remember the boonie rat motto **** it, don't mean nothin', hump on"

    Careful with the language --Charles