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Loser that hired me

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by BigLebowski, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. BigLebowski

    BigLebowski Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Ok so this might be long but I just have to share. I really hope this ass spends time here and reads this because he should be ashamed of himself.

    Early this season I am reaching out to my accounts to see who's on board for this year and one of my accounts tell me that she has sold the house but the guy down the street was looking for someone. Great! An even swap. Turns out the guy is the father of a young man the passed away this year riding his motorcycle. So dad is taking care of business. I call and leave a message well in advance of the snow. I hear nothing. Finally a call, it's already started snowing a few times.

    He introduces himself, explains the situation, understood. He lives several hours away and the house is for sale. No problem, could be a partial year deal. We talk a bit, but not much and then this is where it starts to get stupid. He tells me he plows and mows for a living. Great, he'll be easy to work with and pay quickly - one of us right? Not exactly.

    After the first plow, it is followed by a quick 2 events in a row. He calls me and says he was at the house and wanted me to "push it over by this and not that". He goes on to tell me he follows the weather and web cams for this area. That was enough for me. I said well I just plowed 2 more times, I will bill it out and we will part ways. He was shocked that I might have plowed again. He asked why, I said I refuse to be micro managed from 3 hours away and I am certainly not going to accommodate him by pushing every other snow event. I told him I DO NOT discriminate my seasonal or per push accounts in any way. They all get the same service. So if that is the problem, he 's got the wrong guy. I said, seriously you want me to work my truck harder for one fee when everyone else I do is being plowed normally? No way! He starts this ******** about how we discussed this and that during the first call. Funny, I don't remember any of that but even so, this is how I do it and we obviously disagree and should part ways. He backs down and said, we can work it out and I will probably never hear from again. All the while I am thinking WTF? This guy is the worst account I have and he's in the business!

    So fast forward to present day. I just finished the 9th trip to this house today. I already billed it out at $75 at the beginning of the month and stacked a new bill with a total 8 plows. I need money and this guys owes me $200 and I have never plowed for him before, so I need to know now if he is a payer before this gets out of hand. After my route I get home and check the mailbox. No checks only bills. Enough of this! I send out a pre-made letter once again asking for money or I stop plowing. I also go back out and stuff the same letter in the doors of 1/2 my accounts. I get home and this ass calls and I ask how he's doing. His response is "Not good". Oh boy here we go.

    He tells me that the fuel delivery guys were there and they got stuck in the drive and they want him to pay for the $200 tow. Already I see where this is going. He says this all happened on a day that I plowed. Really I say. I put a stop to the ******** right here by saying: Fine. What day? I go on to tell him I keep extremely detailed notes. These notes give me dates, start and end times, predicted snow amounts, actual snow amounts and any other issues that come up at any account. I tell him I know exactly how much snow fell and what time I was there. I also tell him that because this house is vacant, it is absolutely the very last house I do . I said I have thoughtfully arranged my route so that the 2 vacant houses I do are last and because of that I can tell him to the minute what time I was there. I ask him again what day. He said he doesn't know but has it somewhere. Ok I see. He is full of ****. This MF is trying to shake me down for the tow (if that actually even happened)! I go on to remind him that I wrote on the last invoice he got a very lengthy message about how I got stuck last time I was there because of the very thick sheet of ice and his need for me to "put it there". I felt it was important to explain why I have deviated from his instruction of where to put it. I further explained the the ground was sufficiently frozen to allow me to utilize other areas for the snow and not destroy the turf. I felt this explanation was important enough to inform him but not so important for a phone call. If he lived there I would have left a note or knocked on the door. I mean it's so bad I am spinning tires while plowing! I have to dump my load half way up the drive because I'll never make it otherwise - with new tires!

    So he tells me there have been the sheriff and troopers there also. I ask why, because of the stuck truck having fuel in it? He says something about the neighbors calling because they are watching the house. I have no idea what this means. Since I got off the phone with him, the only conclusion I could come up with was that he was suggesting that I was doing something illegal? Amazing, this guy was trying to pull out all the stops with me. Anyway I told him to send out the money right away. He says he has money problems and can't pay the mortgage on the house etc. and he thought I was going to bill him monthly. I'm like WTF? like it matters?

    He remained quiet for the most part but when he did talk I shut him down and said, "look first I'm there too much and now you are trying to shake me down for the tow because I'm not there enough?". I said "Forget about it because it's not going to happen. If you need to blame somebody for a rush of bad luck then you're going to have to look elsewhere. I did everything that would be reasonably expected of me and I feel I did a perfect job. You want to part ways? Sure I have no problem with that but let's not let this money thing escalate and get it in the mail so we can be done with it all. I offer you to send it out and get it to me by Fri or Sat and you can knock off today's plow if that makes you feel better but that's it. Sound fair?" He said "I heard you". What an ass.

    On lawnsite.com it was asked what you learned this year. I said I learned to turn and run at first sign of trouble. Looking back this one has it written all over it and I really thought it would have turned out alright. This guy will pay me. I will make his life miserable until then (nothing illegal of course).
     
  2. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,905

    this guys a contractor right? because thats how a lot of them are, to the TEE!

    Ive done mulch jobs for millionaires that dont want to pay $750 bills at the end, complain on end, go back do more work for free then still refuse the pay the total.

    He wants you to cancel his $200 bill so that he doesnt have to pay anything. Stop plowing for him immediately, send him a certified letter notifying him of your contract cancellation and nofity him of his invoice for this last month due within 14 days of invoice date. If he doesnt pay, take him to court, make him drive to YOUR court and let the judge decide after seeing all your notes that he doesnt have to pay. He WILL have to pay eventually. Let him "find" his towing invoice for the stuck truck. Since there is NO record that he even attempted to call you that day, hes screwed. If it ever even did in fact happen.:gunsfiring:
     
  3. Dustball

    Dustball Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    There's also the threat of putting a lien against the house for non-payment.
     
  4. IPLOWSNO

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    wait till the snow is really deep, get a buddys truck back it into a snowbank[conceals plate well] and push his garage doors in imo. good luck with this scumbag
     
  5. 6feetdeep

    6feetdeep Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    What gas co.? call them.
    Quite the coincidence, your bill $200, his tow bill $200. Sounds legit to me. NOT.
     
  6. affekonig

    affekonig Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    I don't have anything important to add, but I read the whole thing and felt I should tell you.
     
  7. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    I don't get it.

    Time and time again somebody will write in these forums about some guy who they sensed was trouble right from the first day, but now he owes $XXXXXX and there is no hope of getting paid.

    Why do you even take customers like this? Bad payers, slow pay and no pay do not get better with age. They are not like fine wines. A beater is a beater. If you sensed the realtionship was headed for trouble, you should have passed this job up.

    This is the same as if this guy broke into your house and took your $200 Craftsman tool set you got ofr Christmas. Don't take on jobs like this, then you don't have to worry when you dont get paid. Which by the way, are you surprised you havent't been paid? You shouldn't be. The writing was all over the snow when you first did this job.
     
  8. Dissociative

    Dissociative 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,066

    ditto,,,,,,,
     
  9. KAG

    KAG Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    Just went through something like this

    The lesson I learned I will never work on a house or property that is for sale. If I get any feeling that this is going to be a PITA. I am just going to say I'm too busy and recommend someone I don't like. It always seems like in deals like this when you finally do get paid it was not worth the hassel you had to put up for the money you got.

    I feel for you
     
  10. RODHALL

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    he is bluffing....

    fact of the matter is tow trucks are so light in the rear they would have a hard time pulling out a loaded gas truck. it would take a 3 or 4 axle wrecker to move it. they are not cheap, in the snow your looking at $500 minamun charge for one that big. even then they would have had someone plow up to the front of the gas truck to get it out....Oh and most gas trucks will not go out on snow/ice covered roads. you have too many things out of control (cars, and plowsite truck drivers with there yellow lights running) in a hurry, so it makes it a danger for there driver......
     
  11. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,202

    I was thinking the same thing. Not like I beleive the customer is telling the truth but if he is, he got off way easy on that $200 towing bill. I'd like the name of that towing company because that is extreme low balling! :dizzy:
     
  12. BigLebowski

    BigLebowski Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Tommy10 I hear what you're saying but like I said, at first sign of trouble I told him I was not interested. I mean if somebody is going to question my plowing from 2-3 hours away and talk about weather and web cams? No thanks. But the guy said some BS like: hey this is just how it goes when you first take somebody on, you talk about needs and get things worked out. If we walked away from every customer before we discussed how to work with each other, we wouldn't have any work at all. And with that I agreed.

    But it's easy for me to say "see? I told me so!" because it did happen. Had he paid and everything went fine, he would have been right. I don't think this guy was going to originally go out of his way to screw me, but I think he got a large bill from me that had 8 plows in under a months time and he had only plowed his own accounts 3-4 times so he thought I was taking advantage of him being so far away. But rather than listen to what I have to say about it, what the weather man has to say, what his stupid web cams has to say and then had a fuel truck get stuck - he wants somebody to blame. The man is a child and although I can tell on the phone (I have never met him) that he is older than me, he is just one of those people that you run across in your life and they think they understand what it means to have the world by the balls (they don't actually have it themselves but they could write a book about it because they know everything - like some people you meet on the web). They know everything about everything, and they certainly know that it's your fault that the fuel truck got stuck. Not with any real solid info, or what the past 16 years of experience has told you (that's what this ass apparently has in plowing) but rather just because your bill is there and it's more than they want to pay and they want to blame anybody other than themselves because the drive was not being salted. BTW, I never offered, and he never asked. But he was notified about the condition.

    Bottom line. If somebody lived there, they would have gotten at the very least small amount of control on the ice situation but since this guy only wanted the drive clear for potential buyers then so be it. I even went as far as to say something like "you know, even with the driveway clear, you can't get to the front door let alone get it open with all that snow - not that I'm saying I want to shovel them". He said "that's OK, don't worry about it".

    It happened yesterday I had to express my experience. So I did. I've been around long enough that I can say that I am getting better at walking away from signs of trouble. Years ago I gave everybody the benefit of the doubt. No I am older and more cynical and I don't care to be bothered with other peoples misfortunes when it affects mine. Like it's says in Goodfellas "Business bad? **** you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? **** you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning huh? **** you, pay me."
     
  13. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    Think about this again

    When someone does not pay you, they really owe you more than twice the amount of the charge.

    First of all, you have additional collection efforts, be it by telephone, mail, personal visits, or having an employee of your company do this. That costs your time, and your time is worth something. US Dep't of labor has statistics on administrative costs of running a buisiness, I believe that a clerical employee is up around $33 a hour, with taxes, etc.
    That is why there is a misunderstanding about the auto industry worker now. They don't get $71 an hour to assemble cars. They get much less in their pockets, their benefits have a cost, and that line worker is counted toward the administrative costs of clerical, managers, security people, and a host of other plant employees that are on the payroll that don't even touch the new vehicle coming down the line.

    But I said the non-payer owes you more than twice the amount.

    The reason is that you are spending your time on a deadbeat's property that you could spend on a real live, paying customer. So you in effect lost the real customer, which is one cost of lost profits, and you got beat by the other customer, that is the second cost of non-payers.

    Deadbeats don't get better with time. They have a lifetime of bad habits when it comes to paying other people money that they owe.

    Best of luck to you in 2009, and don't feel bad when you have to fire a customer or two. It is part of life. Get rid of your dead wood. Be the best plowman you can, and choose the best customers you can. Leave the bad customers for someone else.
     
  14. I'm really sorry to hear this story and know exactly where you are coming from. It seems the contractors are just as bad as the lawyers I plow for.

    If this guy doesn't pay I would put all the snow back into the driveway. He'd need a backhoe to get the snow out when I'm done. I don't see anything wrong with that, I'm simply returning what he hasn't paid for right?

    I had a lawyer recently screw me over because I couldn't be on his property within 3 hours of the end of a snowfall. (Contract he signed guarantees 24hrs) He was a total ***** about it too let me tell ya. The funny thing is we spoke the same language because he is a litigation lawyer (employment law) which is what I did before starting this company. Got out of the law practice but sometimes I think I should have stayed in... Mostly in the winters... LOL
     
  15. 4u2nv

    4u2nv Member
    Messages: 78

    What fuel company pulls into a residential drive? Around here they all stay in the roadway... They do this due to law suits for sinking driveways or damages to the property, unless the house is too far back from the road. I think this guy is scamming you... put a lean on the property or contact the realty company selling the house they may work something out with you...
     
  16. In2toys

    In2toys Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    I've called the realty company before on deadbeats, & just said" You know I really don't want to have to put a lien on this place" that usually takes care of it, because they don't want anything screwing up there commission.
     
  17. stumper1620

    stumper1620 Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    uninhabited......For sale========Prepay only.........
    I never would have touched it without prepayment.....
    I would start by contacting the local gas companies...I'm sure they would remember being stuck and paying 200 bucks for a tow.. BTW, They wont fill without prepayment or a CC.
    Prove he's lying on that one thing and you win anything you want in small claims...
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  18. Mid-Ohio Scaper

    Mid-Ohio Scaper Senior Member
    Messages: 610

    F**k it dude, lets go bowling. lol
     
  19. I'm with you...

    Ain't nothing wrong with bowling...

    bowling1.jpg

    bowling2.jpg
     
  20. Mid-Ohio Scaper

    Mid-Ohio Scaper Senior Member
    Messages: 610

    Is that Gina Lynn (blonde) in the smaller pic?