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People are stupid

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by jglandscaping, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. jglandscaping

    jglandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    I got a call about 4 weeks ago from a new person in the area, they had moved up from the south and have never really experienced snow. The lady asked me to plow her drive way and i gave her a price of $45 (pro-rated if I had to return more than once in a storm).for about 2 250' (give or take) sections. I thought this was very fair considering it was dirt. Today she called to complain that there was ice in the driveway and that she did not understand the bill. I broke the news to her that the ice would be there until about mid march and she was shocked, then I told her that getting some salt and putting it down herself would be the the cheapest. She also thought that the price was prorated from $45 after the first time of going. She thought it was a very high price and asked about just plowing one section. I told her $30 and she complained about that also, people are so stupid and dont understand that cost of living is a lot more than in the south, especially in New England.
    Yesturday I kinda had the same problem with another customer. He called me on a saturday morning and said that he was going away (Pats vs Steelers game) and he needed me to plow his driveway and roadway. He got the bill and called and complained that he had never paid over $150 for this ever. (Road about 1000' long, driveway oddly shaped about 50x60').
    Sorry for the complaining but jeez
    James
     
  2. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    Here is the problem, these people think that we in the snowplowing and landscaping business are ignorant uneducated people, and that they, living in their $500,000 plus houses are head over heals smarter than we. They want to hold you hostage over a $200 bill and wait 2 or 3 weeks to pay you. Call Sears and have them come out and fix your washing machine, you will pay them before they leave the premise, I guarantee you. Then with their overbearing attitudes, they then want to argue with you over something that you spelled out in pretty plain English, again thinking that you are too stupid to be able to argue your point. I drop the people that want to argue and try to screw you out of your hard earned money, as fast as I can, and in a fashion that they know when it's all over and done with, that they aren't really any smarter than I am. There are too many people out there that respect you and will pay up and appreciate what you do for them. They want to be billed monthly, then after you bill them they want to wait another 3 or 4 weeks to pay you, hey I'm not Bank One, nor do I offer a 90 days same as cash. I can do that, however they will have to pay a premium for that service. They figure that the more argueing that they throw at you, the more confused you will be and will give in to them, WRONG!!!!!!!! Sorry to vent, just a pet peeve.
     
  3. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407


    Well Said :nod:
     
  4. Mick

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

    Last year I plowed for lady who had never experienced snow. It was constant complaints. The dumbest thing was that she parked sideways at the end of the driveway with a ditch on either side of it. Somehow, I was supposed to get around her car to plow the driveway. Another time she called to ask me if I was going to plow. I had just plowed 6" of snow a couple of hours earlier before she got home (and it wasn't snowing). I really was baffled so I drove over there. The driveway was plowed and the snow stacked where I'd told her it would be. She wanted to know why all that snow was still in the driveway (I'm scratching my head). Figured out she thought there wouldn't by ANY snow (as in what the plow & truck packs down on a gravel drive while plowing).

    She fired me in the middle of the season (by hiring someone else and not telling me. The way I found out was by the additional markers beside mine). It was fine by me cause it was the smallest account I had. She acted like she was conducting a major financial transaction every time she wrote me a check.

    I agree completely with gt_racer50 about the attitude. It's pretty funny. A couple of my customers used to be co-workers and know I have a Master's degree and what I used to do for a living. Others think I'm some dumb guy who can't do anything "better". I particularly enjoy the ones who think they'll get one over on me by dazzling me with BS.
     
  5. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    I totally agree. I tell alot of my customers what I did for a living before this and my education background before I ever agree to work for them. I'd just as soon nip it in the bud before it gets started, if you know what I mean. Then we are on equal ground, the way I see it.
     
  6. zippoz

    zippoz Member
    Messages: 64

    i know how this goes, its a giant pain in the ass. this is why i work for 24 hour locations and get paid cash on the spot. a few times the people said they werent going to pay me for the work i did. i told them they can call their managers or id be taking every pile of snow that there was on the lot and burying the front doors and the pumps.
    they paid out really quick
     
  7. TLC Ken

    TLC Ken Member
    Messages: 47

    AMEN. Now the only driveways I do are neighbors for cookies.

    I enjoy too the ones that try to dazzle you with 50 cent words or BS. I few years ago a lawyer turned realtor sent back an invoice complaining that he didn't pay for "de facto" work or that it wasn't authorized "de juher". Well, mr community college boy, I took latin too. Neither of those phrases means squat in this instance. I wrote him a nice letter back using all my big words and got the check, and never heard from him again. Hee Hee Hee. Best turnout possible. The weirdest thing was we did that lawn becaseu it was his mother sick in the hospital, and I figured they could use the discounted help.
     
  8. QCPride

    QCPride Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Goin to burn the place down.....love the pic
     
  9. jglandscaping

    jglandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    Well I got the call today from the lady saying she was canceling, I felt so good. She said she found someone that will plow $35 for the first time and come 3 times after for free, I just chuckled and said he isnt making any money, oh well. The best part about the whole thing is that the guy was even late to look at it and I said a lot of guys come when they want around here and Im one of the more relieable.
    Thanks
    James
    10% of your customers are the ones that take up 90% of your time.
     
  10. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    I would have told her, give me a call when he doesn't show up and I'll be glad to help you out for about $170 you dumba**.
     
  11. timm9

    timm9 Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    In the last big storm I had finished all my contracts and started hitting "one shots" that had called the office and were radioed to me. I had been out about 17 hours (for about the 10th day in a row) and as I was working my way home a guy waves me down and asked how much to plow his drive. I told him $45.00 and he started to try and "cut a better deal". I finally said, "Look, I have been up way too long and I'm way too tired to play let's make a deal. If you want it done it's $45.00, if not I'm going home to bed". He said he was sorry and tried to pay me $60.00. I told him, "No, it's $45.00, no more no less".

    At least he was smarter than the guy with the new BMW who could not understand why I would not do his driveway for $10.00 and a beer with my $40,000 piece of equipment. It takes all kinds...
     
  12. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    must be one expensive beer. :) i subcontract so i don't deal with people much which is very nice. but i do a few accounts when i can. as a favor i did my cousins neighbors and when i was done he asked why i didn't scrape it down to the bare concrete. well, you have been driving on it and this is a plow not a loader bucket. i did scraped a little more but that ice wasn't going anywhere. stupid people. if people do want me to plow cheap i tell them they can pay my insurance for 6 months and i will plow every time it snows. when i tell them how much my insurance is, and add in my fuel costs since my mileage is crappy when i plow they usually shut up. :)
     
  13. ih82plow

    ih82plow Senior Member
    Messages: 109

    Hey its fun to vent to folks who understand what your mad about. I dont plow for commerce, I plow my property and my rental properties and about 3 retired elderly couples house's including shoveling the walks just in case an ambulance has to get in due to an emergency,

    Any how in my neighbor hood there is a loong private gravel road with about 6 homes on the street. 2 of the homes know my wife from chatting at the bus stop.Well the last storm (actually the only storm) We get a call to please plow them out and there willing to pay what they pay the regular guy who did not show up $120.00 I explained the minumum I would take would be $200.00 to get them a clear pass in and out of the road and I would swing by latter on, 20 minutes latter I get a call from one of the other homes on the block and he explained the other guy does all of the driveways and the road 2 times per storm for 120.00 and I was a theif,a robber, a crook for taking advantage of people in need He also explained it would be on my head if a house caught on fire and the fire trucks could not get in,and did I think money grew on tree's and just because he has a big house and a new car it doesnt mean he will allow people to steel his money.He then hung up the phone on me.

    The following morning after about 6 more inches of snow and high drifts he had the nerve to call me back to ask when I was coming over,

    This is a stupid person. I actually had to explain to him why it would not be a good idea for me to be anywhere next to a person who had verbaly assalted me as he did.

    You know I normally have a very short fuse,but this guy was so crazy that I would charge more for doing less he absolutley lost his mind on the phone.I could just picture the veins popping out of his forehead as he was screaming in the phone that I just could not stop laughing at what he was saying.

    So yes snow does seem to bring out the stupidity in people,
     
  14. jglandscaping

    jglandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    Thanks for venting with me guys! I feel better that Im not the only one out there. People think that just because Im 18 I dont have bills, but I do and need to pay taxes, insurance, gas and for my truck. They think that everything has just been handed to me when it hasn't. Oh well, when I roll up in my 05 Chevy 2500 HD ext cab that Im getting in the next few weeks Ill feel better.