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Messed up situation.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Ipushsnow, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    I will try to make this as short as possible.

    Get a call in mid-November from a national service company (Not US Maintenance) asking if I wanted to do 4 service centers. Said sure. They send me an e-mail with addresses and say "Our average amount we pay is $___ per plowing and $___ per salting, if you can bid in this ballpark we will hire you right away." Well, the amount they quoted was waaaayyy high. I mean I would have bid about half of what they said they were willing to pay. So I replied and said the amount was good and I would sign up as soon as I reviewed the contract. Didn't hear from them for about a month, it snowed 5-6 times then they called and said "Ok, we want to sign you up". I informed them we already had about 16" on the ground, it snowed 5-6 times and asked who had been doing the lots. They said the store managers had made arrangements but now the stores are mine.

    They send me a contract, its pretty much plow every 2 inches while open, plow overnight snowfalls before they open, salt after plowing, and salt whenever conditions dictate. It is a per push and per salting account.

    So I call a store manager he says they were supposed to be done by the national service company, but since they didnt have anything in place by December 1st the district manager told them to go ahead and sign contracts with whoever they want. Then he tells me "Hell no I don't want you to plow, what my store gets charged from the national company is about 5 times what I am paying to the guy that has plowed my lot for the last 7 years!"

    So I call the national company back and relay this info, he says the managers don't have a choice, they HAVE to go with us because they have the national contract and the managers dont have the authority to sign contracts. I tell him he better call the stores and tell them that, and he assures me he will.

    So we get 4" and I go out to plow and 2 of the 4 stores are done already. I call the service company and tell them, he says charge them anyway and he will work things out. I then inform him we are getting a major storm on the 19th followed by several more days of snow afterwards and if I drive out to these stores I am charging them whether I plow them or not, he says fine, but it will be taken care of.

    So the big storm hits, and 3 of the 4 stores are done, or being done when I get there. Through the storm I visited each store 4 times, and I billed them for a plowing each time! (By the way, the stores are not close to each other at all).

    I call him Monday and tell him what happened and that I am billing them!. He says fine. He then tells me he talked to the managers and that they are going to let 2 of the stores stay with their current plowers, but the other two stores I am supposed to service.

    So I now only have 2 stores. One store I have been plowing with no issues since this whole thing started. But the other store has been done every time I go there. This store is on the edge of a huge shopping center and the company that does the shopping center does them. Let me be clear here, their parking lot is just part of the shopping center parking lot, there is nothing separating their lot from the shopping center. The place is so big they have 2-3 loaders and 2-3 trucks there at all times.

    So to justify my billing I pull up, drop the plow for 10 seconds, and turn the salter on and off and spread a pound of salt and bill them for it.

    My question is am I wrong? I told this guy numerous times the lot was being done by someone else, but he tells me to do it and he will work it out. I figure I am under contract to keep the place free from snow and to apply salt to keep it safe and if I don't go out there I am breaching my contract. I am starting to feel bad though, I have billed them for like 12 plows and 8 saltings so far and haven't done a complete plowing or salting yet.

    I really don't want to lose these 2 stores, the money is very nice, but damn, my conscience is getting to me!
     
  2. Steve'sZr2

    Steve'sZr2 Member
    Messages: 86

    what did the people say that are plowing your contracts? Do they know its your responsibility or are the under the lead that they are suppose to be clearing the lots and you are just someone showing up for the fun of it . Kinda sounds like the manager is paying for two contracts ( guess thats a question lol )
     
  3. E.D.

    E.D. Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Hmm, so your in a contract to do the work, but its getting done by someone else for you. The guy your in contract with knows that its getting done by someone else but still pays you to do it. Personally i wouldnt have any trouble sleeping at night. The guy your in contract with propably is still paying you so that when a big storm hits and the guys doing the shopping center dont have time to do your lot, you will still be there to plow for him. I guess if your feeling real bad, seek out the guys doing the shopping center and give them a case of beer or somethin :drinkup: Happy Holidays
     
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    They said keep billing them but you didn;t say if you got a check yet.
     
  5. Mick

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

    You are correct. Your contract does not likely say that YOU will plow or salt, but that you will make sure that it IS plowed and salted. You are going there and making sure that it is. Now you should get paid as agreed. The same thing happened to me last winter. A private road I plowed for years was being plowed by a contractor who was building a house further in on the road. His guys were plowing to get to their construction site. He told me he wasn't really interested in being paid for plowing - it was simply part of the job. My customer didn't care who actually did it, but I was responsible for having it done. Easy money for me till the house got built.
     
  6. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,262

    Why is it that the "national companies" typically call on smaller snowplow contractors? Do the "big" guys not want to deal with them(national)? I have a buddy with a few trucks plowing 2 Blockbusters, says he had no idea how they found him but the money sounded to good to pass on.
    And for I push snow, have you been paid yet?
     
  7. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Not paid yet. Just sent the first invoice out a week ago so we shall see.

    The best part of the whole thing is when me and my snowblower/helper pull in and look at the lot and see that its done and then congratulate each other on what fine work we do.

    I am going to continue doing it as long as I can. I think once that store manager gets the cost of plowing charged to his store the gravy train might be over though!

    Oh, and the best part. Contract has a 30 day cancellation clause, even if they cancel me today, I have the right to plow and charge for that store for 30 more days! I didnt do it when they canceled the other 2 stores, but I will if I lose either of these.
     
  8. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 639

    IPUSHSNOW, DID YOU EVER GET PAID ON THIS? found it searching for something unrelated, and it peaked my curiosity.
     
  9. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil Member
    Messages: 89

    What an odd thread.
     
  10. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Dam if I know what I said,must of been drunk again.:drinkup: