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PLOWSITE MEMBER IN JAIL FOR "SCHEMING TO DEFRAUD" customers.

Discussion in 'Questions, Rules, Suggestions' started by Got Grass?, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Came across this story & did a search on the guy... Well it turns out he's one of your fellow plow site members known as KSWART...

    Anyone else think he sould be banned for life? Personally I'd like to :gunsfiring: :gunsfiring: :gunsfiring: cuz he makes me :eek:



    http://www.wgrztv.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=26113

    "10 homeowners on McNaughton Drive in Cheektowaga all had the same complaint about the same snow plow driver. They say Kevin Swart took between $180-$200 of their money but hasn't shown up in sometime.

    After we aired our story on Channel 2 News Thursday evening, even more people called or emailed us with complaints. The Cheektowaga Police have receieved a number of complaints as well. That's why plower Swart of Sloan has been taken into custody.

    On Friday morning Swart was arraigned in Cheektowaga Town Court on charges of scheming to defraud. He'll remain in jail until his next court appearance unless he posts a bond of $50,000.

    Cheektowaga residents we spoke with are pleased to see some action. They've been frustrated wby unreturned phone calls from Swart as well as promises of refunds that never came.

    Cheektowaga Police continue to accept complaints on the case. you can call them at 686-3500. Or stop by the police station on Union Road below Walden Avenue."


    He posted some of his information in this thread http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?p=179168#post179168
    Just in case any of you would like to leave a voicemail or drop a note for when get gets out...
     
  2. repo_man62

    repo_man62 Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    Interesting...but I say wait 'til a jury of 12 and a judge convict him before we cast stones. J M O
     
  3. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2005
  4. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Wow.... I would like to here his side of the story though. This would be a good article to print out if he is convicted and show it to some customer that complains your charging too much. :D
     
  5. bugthug

    bugthug Senior Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 268

    I say lets hear his side.


    Then bash his ever loving head into the soil
     
  6. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    in jail

    What is the difference between people who design companies with 2 and 3 corporations deep and don't pay for work performed and people who take money and don't do service? Both are stealing money.

    We get up at 2 am, plow and salt. Then the thieves get up at 10 am and figure out how to steal the money we made from 2 am to 10 am.

    We had the same problem in a Cleveland suburb. Snow plow contractor took money for snow plowing contract and didn't perform. We also have area management companies that do not perform, 4 days to clear a parking lot and shut down 55 out of 60 loading docks during a snow storm. Where is this world going to?

    Dave
     
  7. ta3834bbl

    ta3834bbl Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    Innocent until proven guilty! Wait for the verdict to reply.
     
  8. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    Seems to me that no matter what the "other side of the story" is... if this many people paid and didn't get the service they paid for.... their money should have been refunded. If financial circumstances prohibited him from refunding the money....then something was done very wrong.
     
  9. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    ......I don't know.... if you read his other posts, it seems as if he actually gives a damn. But then again, what people read about me could be completely false. You never know. I hate to use the term lowballer, but after reading his posts, I get the feeling he was guilty of something - lowballing. So, if he is convicted, I say good, another lowballer gone. Though people like him give other plowers a bad name. Oh well, life goes on. This is a prime example of why I make my guys fill out a plow log. If he did plow them, I sure hope he has some kind of record.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2005
  10. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    20 + people getting screwed.
    Offering them refunds... BS

    WHO F'ING CARES...

    IF THEY SIGN A CONTRACT THEN YOU PROVIDE THE SERVICE!!!!
    PLAIN AND SIMPLE.... IF YOU LOW BID, THEN IT'S YOUR FAULT AND SUCK UP THE LOSS....
    IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO PREFORM THE SERVICE, YOU GIVE A FULL REFUND ONLY AS A LAST RESORT!!!!
    IF YOU OWN A BUSINESS AND CONTRACT TO DO A JOB FOR A SET PRICE, THEN YOU DO THE F'ING JOB YOU ARE CONTRACTED TO DO, NO MATTER WHAT LOSS YOU TAKE...
    IT IS NOT THE CUSTOMERS FAULT YOU FAILED TO DO YOU JOB, FAILED TO PROPERLY PREPARE, HAVE A BACKUP PLAN IF YOUR TRUCK BROKE... IT'S YOUR MF'ING FAULT FOR NOT KNOWING HOW TO PROPERLY RUN A BUSINESS!!! THERE IS NO EXCUSES!!!!

    Ok, your a small 1 truck company your truck breaks down.... Well who cares, ya better have friends to help your sorry ass out when it does and be prepared to compensate them for their work until you get back up & running...

    Yeah I got people willing to help me out if I go down... Most of them wouldn't ask for a penny as they know I got their backs when they do... but still... you prepare for the worst and hope for the best...

    I'm so damned sick of people in this industry who think it's "a great way to make extra money", yet lack to realize what they are CONTRACTED to do...
    Lack to realize the expenses involved and the time it takes...
    Fine if your plowing friends & family in your spare time... They see you have other commitments and understand why it may take longer to hit their drive...

    But if your in it for a profit and are a "real" business then you offer a "real" service... Customers could care less if you break down, if you have another job... THEY have lives themselves, they need to get to their jobs, they depend on you to provide them with a service so they can wake up in the morning, drink their coffee, get in their car, open up the garage and get to where they need to be. If they have to shovel their way out of the drive so they can get to work then YOU are NOT doing something right... They show up late don't' get paid for the time they missed... Why should you get paid???
    You show up do the work & thats it No excuses... You get a blizzard and can't make it at the normal time then chances are there's a driving ban and they have the day off... Ya show up later, no biggie, everyone understands... Before even giving a price you ask them, "When do you leave for work?" "Do you have any special needs?" With a little simple conversation, you figure out ok, they are a teacher, unless school is canceled they need to be out at 6am, so ya make sure you show up well before then... If you can't offer 6am then you tell them that... quite simple...
    They are in a field (dr, police, etc), that cannot say i'm not showing up today... Well you better be able to provide the service or else skip the job.... Volunteer firemen, need to get out 24/7 if there is a call... You don't show up then fine let it be your mother who is having a stroke, who's call they are responding to... You didn't do your job, they couldn't do theirs. Now your mother's dead... To damn bad... YOUR FAULT... THINK ABOUT THAT!!!!
    Before you even take on a job, figure out what what the requirement of the job is... If you can offer the service they expect then you give them a price, if they sign up then you better over that level of service they expect... If not then SKIP the job and leave it up to someone who can handle it...

    Yeah, plenty of people expect way more than you are contracted to provide and are a PITA. Ya simply suck up the loss & drop em & move on to better clients... If you can't find enough "good" customers who don't complain... Then find a new f'ing business to get into because this one is not right for you... There are billions of homeowners who are willing to pay for a service. If you focus on "priority" customers you better offer them a "priority" service... If you focus on people who only need to get out 3 days after the storm then fine... If even they are complaining then your doing something wrong... Simple as that... Let us, who know what the hell they are doing, do the work and find something else to do like sell used cars and widgets for all I care....
    Obviously you can all tell I'm a little ticked off right now...
     
  11. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    A little pent-up anger, eh? :rolleyes:
     
  12. KSWART

    KSWART Member
    Messages: 33

    Well I'm glad to see I made it on here too. Anyway, I did not scheme to defraud anyone. Here is what happened all the "complaints" were from one street which had been plowed each snow. But these people are 80 plus years old and in most cases do not know the difference between 1" or 3" 's which is what their contracts call for. This was also supported by the local police who admitted the snow was done and in some cases the complaint was for less than 3" 's. The only reason that any of this happened was because one local news Channel 2 reported this story and went to the police. I was NEVER contacted by the customers, police, or news. When the story aired at 5:00 I started getting calls from customers saying you better turn on the news (by the way we were out finishing somesidewalks at the time). So I went to take a look at the news and saw driveways in which I had PLOWED the day before on the news. It was amazing you could see plow and blower marks in the driveways from my plows and blowers the day before. And one lady on the news who did ask me for a refund and was paid at noon that day was on the news at 5:00 saying she never saw me or talked to me etc..... Plus her driveway was done the day before! So I got a call from the police detective asking me to come in and answer some questions to which I said sure no problem. I go in to meet with him and he arrests me no questions asked. News still running no questions asked of me..... So after spending a night in Jail I go in front of a judge who agian asks me really no questions and gives me a $10,000 cash bond or $50,000 property bond. When I say your Honor why is my bond so high considering I have less than $15,000 in total snow contracts he said because I said so. Once again no questions and no consideration for me , my business, or my family. Long story short I was arrested on Thursday and posted bond on Monday. Went back to court on Wednesday and had my felony dropped (as long as I take care of the customers). It is amazing this is my second year of snow removal. Last year I had over 40 customers with not one complaint. This year I have one group of seniors on one street that get me into all of this. Is it fair? What happened to my side of the story and the truth? I haven't seen it yet in this case. I have a wife and two little girls ages 1 & 3. This is my business in the winter just as landscaping is in the summer. In over 2 years of each I have had over 300 customers and until this an awesome and respected reputation. But now because of a tv station that had nothing better to air that day and no "news" to persue I face the rebuilding process. Is that fair to me? Would it be fair to you? I have never defrauded or ripped off anyone. And never have any intention of doing it in the future. But yet I know the best thing that can come out of all of this is for it to just go away. You know the news won't be there to say oh we were wrong, neither will the police. What would you do if it happened to you? How would you feel if you knew you did not do anything wrong and no one even cared to ask you about it? This is my last year of residential for sure. Commercial only from now on. Oh and for the lowballer comments. Those people were given a special because they were all on the same street and in a row. You tellin me you wouldn't give a discount to 15 people in a row on the same street?
    Kevin
     
  13. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    No, actually, I wouldn't give anyone a discount, being as they are all residential you have. For this exact reason, is why. I give more add ons and discounts to my commercial clients than my residential because my commercial never hassle me. My residentials are forever bothering me about petty and mundane details. Seeing as how they put you through all this, would you still give them a discount if you were to have them next year? I have a profit margin I have to keep, so I give everyone a fair price when I bid, and don't really negoiate my prices much.
     
  14. KSWART

    KSWART Member
    Messages: 33

    Two other things I forgot to mention. No one bothered to point out that we were on the channel 4 news one week earlier because we were plowing out people for FREE in Niagaria County when they were hammered with 22" s of snow. Or that we are reccomended by the local senior centers because we come and plow out those in need for whatever the people can afford or for free. Case in point the day all of this happened I got a call from the senior center asking for halp and we plowed out an couple in their 80's that had been snowed in for 4 days unable to get food delivered because meals on wheels couldn't get to their door. It's amazing to me how one sided this all was. And also this only made it on one network news not all three and never even made the local newspaper (the buffalo news). And when I went to court on Wednesday not one camera or reporter there. I guess they had real news to report that day.
    Kevin
     
  15. KSWART

    KSWART Member
    Messages: 33


    No I would not give anyone a discount again. And as I said I am done with residential after this season. I learned my lesson.
     
  16. snowgm

    snowgm Member
    from MI
    Messages: 34

    TV news broadcasters are lazy and if somebody calls them up with a complaint on a slow newsday they will jump all over it. My wife almost got fired as a teacher because of a parent that called the TV news with a complaint about one of her student's projects. Somehow when she called him to talk directly, he wasn't quite so brave anymore.

    These guys get off on making anyone look bad. Its too bad you can't get them arrested.

    No matter what the real story is, you can't trust a 15 second story on TV. Ever.
     
  17. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    Kevin,
    I think we all know how the news can jump on things and blow them somewhat out of proportion. I just hope for your sake that all this can get pushed behind you and you can move on. It's unfortunate that things like this happen, and it certainly doesn't help when people jump to conclusions. Good luck and hope everything works out.

    Buck
     
  18. bobingardner

    bobingardner Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    Will you be seeking a retraction and apology from the news reporter? This sounds like a case of liable if they never contacted you for your side of the story and the case was dismissed.
     
  19. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    Kevin, sorry you too have been a victim of a slow news day in Buffalo, I've stared into a few cameras while I was in the Carpet Cleaning business, it's no fun. GUILTY BECAUSE WE NEED RATINGS! I sincerely hope but highly doubt channel 2 will do much to apologize in public, thats their way, which is the reason I will never watch them. They are the #3 in ratings of a 3 station news market.
    As to the lowballer comments, here in Buffalo New York we have heavy competition which has driven prices into the basement. :cry: In my opinion Kevin was on the mark in terms of pricing. Obviously Kevin priced his customers with regard to his own costs and profit margin. It in no way makes him a lowballer just because he gave a discount for 15 houses on one street, that was just a good business move on his part to gain market share while remaining profitable.
    Good luck Kevin,
    Ken
     
  20. ta3834bbl

    ta3834bbl Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    Like I said, "innocent until proven guilty!"

    Interesting how we jump all over a fellow board member when not every card is on the table. Nice to have some of you standing behind other members.


    signed: Just a part-timer, or is that lowballer with insurance. Todd