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Retainer Fees yes or no??

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by dfdsuperduty, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Just curious on how many charge retainer fees and is it all accounts (if you have any small ones) or just the large ones??
     
  2. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    please define "retainer fee" - i have heard of ppl in my area calling , a FIXED SEASONAL CONTRACT - a retainer fee


    i personaly offer 3 contract options, 1 per push, 2 fixed seasonal, which might or might not include salt. and option 3 is a retainer fee contract... they pay a monthly fee to have equiptment dedicated to there property, however pay a per push rate also.. the per push rate for this is alot cheaper that the standard push rate (option 1), often it is about 30% over the cost to service that property per event
     
  3. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    i think what you defined as a fixed seasonal is the same thing as my retainer fee
     
  4. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Dumb.

    It's Snow Shoveling, yo.

    Nothing more.

    I'm on retainer. How absolutely embarrassing. And dumb. Dumb and Embarrassing.

    I cant make my Visa payment....but I'm on Retainer!

    I cant spell my girlfriends name right, but I'm on Retainer!

    I have a third grade edumecation, and am on Retainer!

    Get over yourselves. We shovel snow and people think we are all Morons. Thats the way it is, and will always be.

    You can dress it up in Sunday Go To Meetin clothes....but it's still grunt work, and we are Morons.

    Get used to it.
     
  5. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    does snowpower need a pill
     
  6. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    We have one account that has a "retainer fee" because the previous contractor had one. I believe it states that unless a minimum of 2 snow plowings are performed during a calendar month a 300 fee will be charged, we probably should have more that say that, its nice to make money for having the equipment ready to go at all times.
     
  7. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Well actually you must be speaking about yourself. If you don't like plowing snow get out of the business I am sure there are plenty of guys in Mi. that will take your accounts, however due to your post I have a feeling that you have probably low balled the s hit out of the them due to the fact that you have no insurance and are just trying to make some extra beer money. It was a simple question so if you don't like people asking questions you should maybe reconsider being a member of this site.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2008
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    The only one I know around here is a mall and last I heard the mall pays 500,000 to be there and hourly for the season.
     
  9. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413


    What the hell is your problem dude? I think you need a nap or something, maybe people think your a moron cause you are/ and/or act like one

    I know a few guys who charge them, its a simple as the client has to pre pay for XX amounts of plows or like was said a Min of X amounts of pushes.

    I dont think this is a bad problem, banks and every one else charges a service fee why shouldnt we
     
  10. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413


    What the hell is your problem dude? I think you need a nap or something, maybe people think your a moron cause you are/ and/or act like one

    I know a few guys who charge them, its a simple as the client has to pre pay for XX amounts of plows or like was said a Min of X amounts of pushes.

    I dont think this is a bad problem, banks and every one else charges a service fee why shouldnt we
     
  11. IDOCTORTREES

    IDOCTORTREES Senior Member
    from MONTANA
    Messages: 792

    Im proud of our company and our crew.
     
  12. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    My point is, and was that this is Snow Shoveling. I dont care if you have one or fifty trucks and I get a kick out of those that try to make it fancy and want to be paid for doing nothing, and jumping on this Fee the customer to death craze thats rampant in this country and going to backlash on all of you.

    Service charges, Surcharges, late fee's, complex contract, the refusal to accept responsability for anything you do wrong, the lying about how much salt you apply, and this sickening right you all want to claim to be paid because your snow shovel is at the ready!

    Good god.....does your mechanic charge you a retainer fee because his pliers are sitting there waiting for your truck to show up?


    I could go on.

    Look.

    When I say we are Morons....I am telling you that thats what the public thinks when you drive by. We arent....well. Most of us aren't.

    But, good grief we aren't nuero surgeons either.

    My plate is always full....shoveling snow. Lowballers or not, but Im certainly not losing customers because I oversell my service. Have a six page contract, and Fee's up the ying yang to the point that the client wants to hurl.

    Retainer fees....lol...


    Whats next. Coffee fund fee's? Oh hey my high maintenance wife needs a new Escalade Fee's?

    Stop it.
     
  13. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    some ppl might see it as being a basic simple service, your correct


    others do see it differently.... some customers like to pay per push... that way they get what they are paying for..... its simple... for the customer, if we only get alittle snow...they win, if we get a lot , they lose

    others like a fixed seasonal contract... larger home owners assocations, dont want to go around collecting money twice, simply becasue it was a bad winter... you the contractor should lean to like this type of contract becasue its gaureentied money. its the oppsite here. for the customer, if we get little snow, they lose and paid alot of money for little service, they can feel cheated


    the retainer contract is a half and half,... they pay a montly smaller fee... and then pay a smaller per push rate... this way if its a light winter, they only pay the basic fee, plus small per push rate...... if its a bad winter, they do pay more money , however not nearly as much as a per push contract, they still get what they pay for..... this is a great option to give you need to rent equiptment for the property , as the rental costs can be paid for with the monthly installment, and storm costs can be paid for on the per push level


    its just business... i dont tell them , to go one way or another... the customer picks them selfs what they want
     
  14. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    i kind of agree with both sides on this.

    as far as excessive fees the market has a way of taking care of itself through competition.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  15. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i dotn see it as a fee-... thats the difference

    If i was charging them full price to plow there parking lot... plus a retaininer fee.... then i completelty agree with the "fee thing" and being a bad idea

    the without giving away my formula too much.... ill put it like this... it could be as simple as 50% of a seasonal rate.... plus 50% of a per push rate

    (thats not how i do it ...i will take into account, alot of things, like equiptment needed, cost per storm, ) but this was just an example

    so i really fail to see it as a Fee... you could look at it like this... Is a Fixed seasonal rate , considered a Fee? - No

    so this is kinda like - charging them for half a season, and then the other half per push...
     
  16. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    Retainer fee sounds to me like a good mix of seasonal and per push or hourly pricing - nice way to cover basic costs and neither the customer or service provider get really gouged. Never heard of it around here though.
     
  17. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Ok tomorrow your local mechanic starts charging you a retainer fee because he has a nice shiny toolbox just sittin there waitin for your truck to need service that he needs to pay for. It's only a measley 10 dollars a week.


    How in the hell is a consumer paying a contractor to sit on his butt, not being gouged?

    If you people would charge what your equipment and time are worth WHEN you and your equipment are needed, you wouldnt have to play these childish games trying to confuse the client into paying you for watching Oprah.
     
  18. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    TOO FUNNY:D:drinkup:
     
  19. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    I get paid to leave my equipment onsite, my guys get paid standby, plus hourly when they work. I don't call it a retainer, but it's the same thing your talking about. Snowpower, you need to calm down.
     
  20. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Don't you think your clients would appreciate the fact you are only plowing so many accounts? Not out chasing down people with a 20 dollar bill in their hand wanting to get plowed out.I tell my customers I only do so many accounts, so they know they will get plowed out in time.So seasonal or retainer call it what you want.