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Is this my fault or is the customer too demanding?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Jguck25, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    I have this one account here in town that I plow, It is a small Physical Therapy place. The first entrance in is probably three cars wide and 100 feet long and it ends straight to the building. halfway up the drive there is an entrance on the right into a parking lot that is probably 150x200. The driveway has to all be backdragged and put into the parking lot. I do not nearly get charged enough for this place at $50 per storm 2-12" no matter how many times i have to go there. but thats not the point im trying to make in this post lol

    My problem was our last snowstorm. We got about 6 inches of snow between 2am and 10:30am with the heaviest being between 6-930. So a total of eight hours or so. The business needs to be opened up by 730. This is not a problem for me, I got there at exactly 6:58 am and plowed the whole lot without a problem. I left at 7:20 with the whole lot cleared and looking great. I got a call her her at 8:40, just an hour and 20 minutes later wondering where the hell i was and that there is way too much snow on her parking lot and the town trucks had pushed snow at the end of the driveway. I told her that i have a 4-5 hour route and i cannot go back there every hour to replow it. Within that hour and twenty minutes only 2 inches of snow was on her lot and she was freaking out. Should i dedicate my day to her small lot. Regardless, i went back there and plowed her out to make her happy.

    I have been having problems with her like this all season. I originally gave her a higher quote and she put on this huge drama act like i was ripping her off at 70 dollars per STORM, not per push. I lowered the price because at the time i needed the extra drives and now it is in a contract and i cannot up the price.
    The storm before that was just a three inch storm and i plowed it when the storm was over and she was fine with it. Then by the end of the day i got another call from her all pissed off again because i hadnt been back there to plow it again. I asked her how this was even possible because i had plowed it when the snow was stopped. she said the town trucks had gone by after me and pushed snow at the end of the road. I went there and checked it and it was just a shoveling amount of snow, nothing huge at all.
    All season she has been calling my cell phone like crazy as i am out trying to plow my other clients (which i have not had a SINGLE complaint from all year). She calls me back every single time the town trucks go by. and she is on the side of a main road with a 55 mph speedlimit, so they are constantly plowing the road.
    what should i do with this?

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,286

    1st it sounds like you under bid it. 2nd she sounds like a PITA
  3. ontario026

    ontario026 Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    I guess it all comes down to how your contract is written..... I'd sure drop her like a wet shirt....

  4. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    sounds like you need to have a better agreement in place. i would write a letter telling her it will now cost $$/push or $$$/storm or you will be dicontinuing service as of x/x/2010
  5. plowking15

    plowking15 Member
    Messages: 91

    I think you're screwed,because you didn't put limitations on service or size of storms,she is going to hound you because no extra charge to her. Unless you can sub it out,but you will probally have to pay the difference to someone else who charges accordlingly.As for the roads,do you push your snow up the roadside, to be pushed down past your lot,or is it just snow that accumulated in the street from storm? plowking
  6. the new boss 92

    the new boss 92 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,989

    i would just look at your contract and go by that, and if she doesnt like it then tell her that there is no way that you can take a 15 minuet nap and come back to clear entrences. i would just lett her that she isnt going by the contract and that you dont control mother nature. also bring up the fact that she isnt obaying by contract and that she sould take a peak at it and go from there. and the fact you have other clients, i would drop her only because if the price and the fact that she wants you to babysit her lot/ driveway.
  7. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    $50? Per Storm?

    Shame on you for thinking you can keep a Physical Therapy Clinic happy with visits every 4-5 hours. I mean really, no offense, but isn't every stall in the lot "handicap" since every customer has some kind of physical injury already?

    Shame on her, a business owner/manager, for thinking that some economic utopia exists where she can own a slave with a truck for a day... all for the low low price of $50.

    At a minimum, you have your per-storm mixed up with per-plow. Isn't there anything in the contract that puts specifications on when return trips are included in that price?
  8. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    is there a minimum trigger, if so, i would make a point of letting her know that if she phones before the trigger is met then she pays for the visit. Also would make a point of telling her you aren't responsible for what the city plows do, not part of your contract. Sounds like she figures the $70/storm has her on a power trip, i bet if it was a per push price she would be a lot tamer
  9. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,468

    She wants you!! Why do you think she keeps calling you back there. :yow!::nod:

    Just finish out the contract and be done with it. Some people are unrealistic with their demands. Also, get your prices where it's actually worth your time to plow.
  10. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,533

    per storm pricing does not get used much around here for the very reason your getting raped about. either per push or seasonal is how it goes, but thats really not what your asking.

    like was said, you have to check your contract and see if you can find an "out" b/c there would be no way id head back there, and you CANNOT be responsible for what the city trucks do, it is not a part of the "storm". it is an external event that is not covered by your pricing structure, unless you included it in your contract. we charge extra if customers call us out for drifts, we plow accumulation, anything else is charged extra.
  11. plowking15

    plowking15 Member
    Messages: 91

    Physical Therapy?....Tell her to buy a case of shovels and have snow shoveling a part of her program for her clients. She saves money and gets paid by clients to shovel. In summer,she can have same clients mow her lawn. plowking
  12. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    Your licked because you and her are NOT on the same frequency ..................... you bid to plow her "parking lot" and she has a HUGE issue with the fact that ANYTIME the city plow goes by, and you are not sitting right there, to plow that snow immediately: she is on the cell phone. So I think you only have two choices here . Either tell her that she will need to pay you a $ 20 bump every time you need to swing back to plow the mouth of her driveway . Or invite her over to your place and do some "physical therapy" of your own<<<<<[different type of bump]>>>>> that includes hair pulling, and a good spankin.................... that usually get everyone back on the same frequency!!! LOL. She will probably still call all the time but for a different kinda plowing................
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  13. JustinD

    JustinD Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    :confused: What if she is fat and ugly??? He didn't say if she was anything worth looking at nevermind worth plowing!!!!!!.....:D
  14. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    Two bagger???

    :redbounce Well if she is "that bad" then she is a two bagger................. one paper bag over her head, and one over yours; thats in case her's falls off!!! :eek:
  15. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    I must agree, Per Storm?:nono:
    Do you get called back everytime someone "dusts off" their car?
  16. DugHD

    DugHD Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    I think everyone is being to nice. Tell her to find someone else this isnt working out for you. Go find a nice driveway for $50. with less hassle. Good Luck
  17. dforbes

    dforbes Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    No way I would stop in the middle of my route and go back and do her lot. I would explain to her that the lot is cleaned according to the contract and she would have to wait her turn in the route for you to return. I also agree that you should tell her you are not responsable for what the city does. Try to reason with her, if she doesn't listen and continues to call tell her you will not be accepting calls from her. Then give her notice and let her go. Although you have a written contract, a contract is based on the meeting of the minds. Can't remember what they call this, but it is clear that the service you thought you were providing and the service she thinks she is getting are two diferant things. There was no meeting of the minds, any judge could see this.
  18. RTEnt

    RTEnt Member
    Messages: 42

    Here is what I have used in the past.. To the point but still respectful.

    Dear client,

    After our conversation on X date, I have recognized that your goals for your property do not coincide with the type of services that we offer. Therefore, I am respectfully advising you to seek services from another snow removal contractor, as effective immediately we are withdrawing our offer to service your property. Thank you for your interest in

  19. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    hahaha yeah shes not exactly "my type" if you know what i mean... about 35 years older than I am :laughing:

    Yeah i know that i made a mistake in the Per storm charging.. its just that I started out giving people quotes for per push and they all freaked out. They didnt understand why i would charge twice for a 6 inch storm. It seemed that everyone was looking for a per storm price and didnt want to pay as much as was quoted..:realmad:

    This lady would not pay anymore than 50 bucks.. She said last year a company did it for 45. And I said wow what happened to them? she said they no longer had time to keep her in their route.. I should have realized what i was into right then.:cry: but come to find out, about a month ago i realized that it was her Fing brother-in-law who was doing it for 45 and even HE didnt want to do it any more:dizzy:
  20. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    Do yourself a favor and drop the account. Send her a certified letter stating that you can no longer service her property like stated above. I dont want to tell you how to charge but $50 is very cheap for a lot that size if your dimensions are correct and the per storm is killing you. IMO is to just get rid of her and let someone else deal with it. Is this lot really worth the $50 and all the headache this lady causes you. Good Luck and let us know what you do.