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residential plowing is hell!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by S.O.D., Jan 21, 2005.

  1. S.O.D.

    S.O.D. Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I have had nothing but bitchy people this year plowing. It's so frustrating when customers call and say "it stopped snowing a hour ago,where are you?"
    They do not and will not understand that everyone can't be first on the route.
    Does everyone out here go through these headaches when it snows?
  2. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    You mean you were not sitting around the corner for 10 hours waiting for the snow to stop so you could hit it. You call that service. I don't blame them if they dump you. Er I mean I don't blame you if you dump them.
  3. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Last storm the snow stopped around 11:00 pm. a second round of snow came in (heaviest snow) from 4-6 am, total snow accumulation 9 inches. Drive were all plowed out at 5am(so people could get to work), by 7am(now the snow has stopped) the phones lit up with " This late plowing is unacceptable"

    When they went to bed the snow had stopped, when they woke up the snow was stopped. All point between snow fell at 1-2 inches per hour. You just cant win.
  4. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I have only had one true a$$hole, and I eventually ended up telling to "have fun shoveling" and did not even collect the balance he owed from the last strom. Just got rid of him for $40 I got off cheap, now hes gone for good. Otherwise, my 37 customers are nice, understanding, normal people that understand the situation. Most of the drives i do are very close to my house, some a little further away and 1 regular that lives one town away, its not far to drive though. They all get E-Mails before the storm at which point I give them an ballpark time frame based upon forecast and what my schedule will allow me to do. In heavier snowfalls (like we might get this weekend) they are told to expect to see me both during the storm and after it ends. Forecasts are shakey for this weekend to say the least, i think we are getting alot as its easy to underestimate a big storm when its really cold out and with conditions such as they are now weather wise. I will send emails tommrrow morning telling them what iam expecting and what the plan is and to call if you want something different. None of them have my cell# thank God, that would drive me nuts. They leave messages on a machine and I take 5 minuites every hour to check the messages from the truck and respond as needed. They all hear back with in 45-60 Minuites. Othertimes they just come running out and tell me how to plow, its all good though, i will do anything to make them happy. Most like me, i even come back to shovel walks and stairs after iam finished plowing if they would like. I enjoy plowing nights/early mornings when they are not around. The middle of the day can be nice and quite as well. It depends. Iam not stressed at all when iam plowing, iam relaxed and i enjoy it. Most of the time they stay out of my way and I can just do what i have to do.
  5. dmjr77

    dmjr77 Senior Member
    Messages: 225

    Wow, it sounds like you have some very mad people, but they have to understand that they all cannot be first. I have a whole housing assocaition to plow out and they do nothing but complain because I am not there after it has just stopped. What I tell them I will do my best to get there in a timely manner. It came to a point where I had one person call my house 10 times and I had to tell him to stop calling or I would have to turn the matter over to the police. Word must have traveled and everyone did not call. I guess it is the nature of the business I guess.
  6. echovalley

    echovalley Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 456

  7. CamLand

    CamLand Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    I had one tell me to have his drive done by 6am I laughed and sayed only if you have a commercial name on your house will it ever be done that early..Commercial is the only way to go...
  8. Langlois Enterprise

    Langlois Enterprise Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Residental plowing is nessarry evil !!

    We do it to fill in our extra time, they are last on our list, gas money only around here.
    We have so many " low ballers' " ,amateurs up here, because everybody has a plow!! They get into it till the start having to repair their truck, but next year new ones' show up.
    My big gripe here is the commercials owners, they will hire snowplow's with no insurance ( Liability or plowing ) , all they seem to be concerned is lowest price.
    I sure could use some articles where these cheeps owners loss. :angry:
  9. IndySnowPlow

    IndySnowPlow Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 214

    NO residential driveways :nono: Been there, done that years ago...PITA customers ( ok not all of them ).

    Hours and hours of typing have been spent here adding to the growing list of complaints about residential & commercial plowing.

    The foundation of every great company is rooted in its service.
  10. S.O.D.

    S.O.D. Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I had a customer call me last night and said: I'm not to happy with your service. He says he wants to be on the morning snow plow route, not the afternoon route. I hope it stops snowing here in S.E. Michigan saturday in the afternoon so I can plow him as he requested on the morning route of the next day. Than way he will see how stupid of a question that was!!!
  11. durchins

    durchins Member
    Messages: 36

    I loved the email I received today about being at a customers house at 1:15 am and waking his baby and wife. He asked me not to come at that hour again.
    I told him to call customer service and than enjoy shovelling the 12 inches by himself in his suit tomorrow.
    Damned if we do, damned if we dont!
  12. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    Very well put Indy :drinkup:
  13. lawn king

    lawn king PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    If i had to return to res. plowing i woul'd have my wife shoot me, and don't you think for one minute that she wouldn't do it! :gunsfiring:
  14. JPMAKO

    JPMAKO Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    some of you guys need to put your customers in check.
    Very rarely does a customer call me to complain. Two years ago I had a lady call to say that 1:00 am was early to plow and that I "Terrified her two children"
    well needless to say the next storm was almost 2 feet of snow and I just drove by and drove by and drove by. Eventually I saw her husband and her trying to shovel the mountain of snow at the end of the driveway so I stopped and she said please help my husband needs to get to work. I said ok here is the deal I am going to send my bucket loader over to move the mountain of snow for $200.00 and then I will plow your driveway for an additional $260.00
    She says wow why so much??? I said because I could not keep on top of the snow because of my time restraints. to make a long story short. I got paid and never went back. This Bit**** driveway was only $65.00 to plow normally so I would say that I got my retribution. BTW I have been doing every house on her street (14) in total for over 8 years now. She has been calling me every year since I dropper her with the same response "I am not taking on anymore residential driveways Mam".
    I could tell you about the one guy from this year that called and complained but I will save that for another day :gunsfiring:
    I personally believe that residential is very profitable and depending on how you handle people it is not much of a headache at all.
    Just tell them that everything is done at the discretion of the contractor and that you are the one monitoring the weather and providing the best services based on the current weather and future conditions.

  15. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    Drive ways

    The news here in Cleveland OH just did a bit on how a local snow removal contractor took on 1500 drives with 10 trucks. Yes your math is right 150 drives per truck. He could not do the work. The local cops just sited him with several counts of theft for not performing services.

    I wonder if this snow removal contractor is a 2 corporations deep contractor with 1 small business seminar under his belt?

    We have to operate business in a legitimate manner or no one will trust us.

  16. Strongmd

    Strongmd Member
    Messages: 43

    I personally love residential. I believe it is far more profitable than commercial when done right. Not to mention less liability, no sanders, and no large equipment.
  17. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    Very well put. The other thing is that a homeowner's money is just as green as the guy who own's the gas station, the barroom, or the Wal-Mart parking lot. Somebody has to take it from them. Might as well be us brother :drinkup:
  18. pbeering

    pbeering Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    Periodic whinig is part of the customer service business. We do both the streets and the majority of the drives in a number of affluent subdivisioins. We tell them all in the broichures, by e-mail, and by letter that we are not rookies, that we know who is "on-call" and that if they have some legitimate emergency to call and we'll figure it out.

    I usually try to have one truck in each of the big neighborhoods to head this sort of problem off. Not an option for some. We also geographically optimize the routes so we're plowing more than driving.

    Don't take it personnally. Imagine that you are the freaked out mom with a house full of screaming (fill in the blank) a. kids; b. animals; c. husband; d. inlaws; e. outlaws; f. all of the above.
  19. Toby

    Toby Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 132

    99 Percent of Residential Customers around Here can get out of their Drive in the morning even if it's Not been Plowed Yet..They drive SUV's and or the drives are short so driving over the snow is No Big Deal.

    Tell them where they are on the route...app. what time they can expect to be done after it stops AND if you clear during an Ongoing Storm, leave a note..

    "Dear Mr. or Mrs. Idiot, Blah Blah SnowCare was here at ---- & removed the snow. As per our agreement, during an ongoing storm, we will return within 12-18 hrs. to remove the remainder."
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2005
  20. hesko1

    hesko1 Member
    Messages: 45

    I would manage a McDonalds before I plow another driveway. I won,t even plow my parents driveway.