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Merits financial situation

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by superdog1, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. superdog1

    superdog1 Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    I was wondering if anyone has any GOOD solid info. about Merits situation? While they owe me $$ I am hoping they don't go under, as we have some Winter contracts that went through last season without any issues and I hope they will this year too?

    We were careful not to get to far in the hole with them. The Winter work would be great though, so I am hoping they make it through their current financial headaches, pay up what is owed and allow us to follow through with the rest of the contracts we have with them. It really doesn't look good though?

    The rumor mill has been cranking out all kinds of information. I have heard that the board members were all going to take personal loans and give it to the Co to keep it afloat. I heard that Merit was declaring bankruptcy and re-structuring. I heard that they were going to sell off a bunch of assets to pay their bills. I heard that .........................space aliens bought a bunch of shares AND that bigfoot is now their CEO (The last two may even work and save them, Lol). Who knows?????
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,426

    You serious, Clark?
  3. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    :laughing: Classic
  4. Masssnowfighter

    Masssnowfighter Senior Member
    from ma
    Messages: 201

    I got a generic email from the merit vp in july stating that they where having cash flow problems and couldn't pay there bill till august. So I assume they are not healthy financially at all. I am not going to take the risk of doing any more work for them. They where not that bad of a company to work for when they where still Lipinskis,(the checks always came in on time at least) but since the name change they have become just another scum bag generic national service provider.
    If you go on linkedin and search for Merit employees it appears that they must of had either huge layoff or a mass firing this past spring because there was a ton of people on there that said they stopped working at Merit this past April.
  5. Silverstreak

    Silverstreak Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    my fam is owed almost 230,000 yep thats right, 2 year contract got the money on year 1 with no probs for 2 lowes sites

    got one check for 12k in mid january for work done end of nov another check for 11 around beginning of march

    was told the whole cash flow thing in july but then still nothing last week got a letter saying they have no intentions on paying as lowes wasnt billed

    now in my portal everything that hasnt been paid has "vanished" some strange stuff going on its enough to drive someone mad with rage and make some stupid rash decisions

    pres & vp jumped ship over the summer

    sue and hope for a few pennies 4 years down the line? start scrapping blue pushers? make some of those pretty blue chevy mason dumps vanish? terrible situation

    ill post when i get more info maybe scan and post some of the letters we have gotten

    isnt there an intent to defraud thing when 3+ people get in on a suit?
  6. Masssnowfighter

    Masssnowfighter Senior Member
    from ma
    Messages: 201

    If they wiped your info out of the portal you are most likely going to screwed. If I was you I would be taking a trip to Marlton New Jersey asap. And I would be offering them to take anything in trade for the bill, trucks, plows, pushers, loaders, skid steers, computers, office equipment, anything that comes close to re-couping that $230k.
    They have used that excuse on me about forgetting to bill the client. So I went right to there client to see if it was true and he was nice enough to show me the that the invoice was paid in full 4 months ago. Merit wasn't to thrilled when I told them that I know that they have been paid, They sent me a check 2 days later though
    One more thing, How do you get $230k for for just 2 Lowes??? They don't go for no more then $25k a season in my area. Are they distribution centers?
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,426

    But the OP wants to keep working for them.....
  8. Turbs3000

    Turbs3000 Junior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 20

    We are owed a bit as well and the story we received was they transferred accounting departments from NJ to PA and in that they had a major glitch and lost all their records and spent a month recreating it all. Up until about 3 months ago all payments were made promptly.
  9. Masssnowfighter

    Masssnowfighter Senior Member
    from ma
    Messages: 201

    Computer glitches, cash flow problems, forgetting to bill the client, there excuses not to pay keep getting more and more ridiculous
  10. mtnbktrek

    mtnbktrek Senior Member
    from NEPA
    Messages: 144

    We are owed only 3months but just got an email saying they require me to have smart phone and install their app (most likely has gps) and take before and after photos extra - that ain't going to happen unless they pay - they must have gotten rid of the lil supervisors

    Side note: lipinski once paid the other company I was with in snow boxes
  11. mtnbktrek

    mtnbktrek Senior Member
    from NEPA
    Messages: 144

    Does anybody know offhand if they can just change the MSA without me agreeing to the changes? I'll have to dig out my paper copy later
  12. ponyboy

    ponyboy Senior Member
    Messages: 934

    Most national contracts say that they can make changes when they want
    ALL national snow contracts are 100% in their favor
  13. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,426

    I'm no lawyer (however I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night) but I can't see how that would stand up in court.

    Although, it isn't like it makes a difference, because the contractor is screwed out of his original money that he is owed and what his lawyer is going to take from him trying to argue the point.

    Honestly, anyone who reads this and STILL wants to do business with them has to have STUPID written on their forehead.
  14. mtnbktrek

    mtnbktrek Senior Member
    from NEPA
    Messages: 144

    This is my last year (of 3) with them only time I ever tried nationals yeah they are late paying but that's how it goes. If u can't afford to do business with late payers you might as well pack it in. Will not be signing back w them bc lack of communication and attempting to change the agreement a few times and the fact they have absolutely no idea what is going on
  15. Maclawnco

    Maclawnco Senior Member
    from OH
    Messages: 611

    Man, that will really show them. #victory #youwon
  16. Ty27

    Ty27 Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Innovations in management wanted me to download an app too to take before and after pictures through an app as well. Took more time to load and take pictures than to plow the lot. There is better money to make elsewhere therefore were done dealing with them. It also took them all summer to pay us for just two storms this past winter.
  17. mtnbktrek

    mtnbktrek Senior Member
    from NEPA
    Messages: 144

    Not trying to "show them" anything so there's that #hashtagsr4h0m05
  18. superdog1

    superdog1 Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    Well, for me, working for them isn't a stupid choice. The prices were right and for the first 14 months the money was paid. I also do work for Brickman (For over 5 years). I am down to only 2 locations for them as their pricing really sucks the last 2 years. Before that, 50% of my income was through Brickman. Out of all the locations they offered me this year, only 2 of them paid enough to make it worth my while.

    As far as Merit is concerned, I have no issues with the portal and I do not have any apps on my phone. The communication with their field guy who manages the sites I do is great. He has never lied to me and when the checks stopped coming, he never once told me that famous line: "Hey, I know the checks are late, but I promise it will be here next week. Since I know you are going to get paid, can you please service the locations awhile?"

    He always told me up front that he had no idea if and when I would be paid. Even when I stopped servicing the locations, he would still call and give me updates if he heard anything. He called me on Weds. AM (10/7) and told me that I would have my checks by Friday and sure enough, I was paid in full for everything today (Except a small $440 item for some tree trimming I did awhile back).

    Now, even though I have been paid, I am still wondering about the Winter work. I know that most of you will tell me I am crazy for even thinking about trying it. The issue I have is that without the snow contracts, I will have no work for the most part. Under normal circumstances, I would have been out pounding on doors and I would have other contracts signed by now.

    Maybe I should have done that back in July when this payment thing became an issue but I didn't, as I was working my a$$ off to make up for the $$ I was missing and we did a lot of extra work for local clients to make up the difference. (The good thing with all of this is that I got paid by Merit, even though I didn't do a lot of the work. I mowed once a month, AND, I made a good buck doing local work so I am really far ahead for a change!)

    Before you ask, YES, I have learned something very important here. Working with nationals will bite you in the a$$!! It may not be today, tomorrow, next week or even next year, but it will screw you sooner or later. Starting in the Spring, I am taking work from local customers only and no more 3rd party contracts under any circumstances!:dizzy:
  19. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    Working with any middle man will bite you sooner or later.

    Working for a middle man is like gambling, don't bet money you're willing to lose, and when you do lose it, don't cry about it - you knew the risk.

    If you really need to work for a middle man, you might want to consider a different line of work.

    Just read the contract, not that it really matters most of the time but you have zero protection.
  20. Oxmow

    Oxmow Senior Member
    Messages: 124

    Working with any NSP seems to be a mixed bag. Not wanting to impune anyones integrity here, but with all of the people that have been screwed by them it would seem that everybody would stop working for them. On the one hand there are those guys that haven't and won't get payed what they owe, and on the other hand there are some contractors that are saying "Hey, they are still paying me". Even though the reality is that if the second contractor is still doing work for them, they are getting paid with money that is owed to the first contractor. Seems like the guys that are still doing work for them and posting on here are thumbing their noses at the guys that have been screwed and are posting here trying to warn people.

    We just had a guy here in town that owned a trucking company, you might have heard of Arrow Trucking, and shut the doors one day because they couldn't pay anything any more. Left drivers stranded all over America with gas cards that were useless. Just got a 21 some odd million dollar judgement against him and 6 or 7 years in jail. How is it possible that NOTHING is being done to ANYONE in these companies?

    I have emailed John Stossel and several other "shock reporters" and it would seem that this isn't "shocking" enough for them. Not a one responded.

    Bottom line seems to be that IF you are getting paid, to heck with those who aren't. The sympathy is there, but not enough to say "I won't work for them either" if it means that I have to give up some money.