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Ripped out my stakes

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SnowFakers, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 942

    I just got off the phone with a gentleman who was screaming at me for nailing some stakes into his lawn to show me where the driveway was. The lawn is perfectly flat to the drive so I figured it was going to be difficult to determine where it was when we had snow on the ground. Apparently he didn't like that I just came and put them in and decided to take them out and throw them in the garbage. He claimed that in 15 years of living in his house he had never had anyone stake his driveway, and what kind of an amateur could I be if I need guidelines to follow. I explained nicely to him that he would need to find another contractor for snow removal this year. That got him even more angry. Has anyone ever had a customer not want you to put up markers? I was only trying to reduce the risk of ripping up his lawn. Alright rant over.
     
  2. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 639

    Why not just tell him you're not responsible for plow damage, I explained to customers I wasn't responsible for property damage and if that worked fine, if not to find someone else. I've never staked a property and have never had a complaint about property damage (knock on wood)
     
  3. NorthernSvc's

    NorthernSvc's Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    I make my customers either buy the stakes ( through me) or sign a waiver saying I am not responsible for the damage to their property... most choose to buy the stakes !
     
  4. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,737

    I stake driveways the first couple years I have them. Some driveways the home owner stakes them well before I normally would. I've never had someone complain about them or ask why I need them. I would have no problem dealing with the customer if they called and asked about the stakes before doing anything with them. If a customer called me upset about the stakes and they took the initiative to pull them all out and throw them away without ever saying a word to me I would without a doubt tell them to look for a new contractor. I would also inform the others I know who plow snow to steer clear. If the customer doesn't like the stakes and snow hasn't even fallen yet, what else are they going to complain about after it starts snowing and service has started. They could easily be a pita who calls about every little thing and then pays late on top of it.
     
  5. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 942

    I felt I made the right move in dropping him. I just didn't understand the outrage just over plow stakes. I will start coming up with something to let people know im not responsible for damage. Sounds like a very good idea
     
  6. Triton2286

    Triton2286 Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    At least put in your contract that you have the right to install stakes if your feel the need.
     
  7. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 942

    Sounds like a good idea aswell. Im rewriting some things as we speak
     
  8. Triton2286

    Triton2286 Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Another good one.

    "I am not responsible for damage to your wimpy plants that lay down onto the driveway when there is snow on them :D"
     
  9. BigBoyPlowin

    BigBoyPlowin Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    :nod::nod::nod: Yes you did. Because if the customer is complaining about your job BEFORE the snow has even fallen, you're in for a LONG season.
    He's probably the type of person who expects you to shovel around his car when he leaves it in the driveway.

    -I wonder why he switched from his previous contractor..
     
  10. Triton2286

    Triton2286 Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    The contractor probably threw down some ice-melt on the front steps as a courtesy lol
     
  11. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Last guy had the nerve to charge him for plowing
     
  12. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  13. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 942

    I love Kramer, hes my favorite.
     
  14. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I know, right. Can't believe he's getting another show, lol. I wonder what the standard "time out" is for celebs & if Paula Dean's will take as long as Kramer's did? I hope not.
     
  15. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,315

    I stake/mark every property I have, while in the bidding process and in my contract this is covered. I also say all tree branches that hang over parking lots, driveways and sidewalks must be at least 7 feet off the ground and bushes must be trimmed back too.
    If someone asks you why you stake/mark property’s say, “it’s to reduce risk of damaging the property and my equipment”.
     
  16. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 983

    You definitely made the right decision to drop him! Some people just cannot be pleased! Clearly, this guy is one of those. Let him be someone else's problem.
     
  17. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    Send him an invoice for the stakes.
     
  18. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I put this in my contracts.

    The Customer is responsible to install marker stakes along Customer driveway to help protect the lawn and other property from plow damage.
    If marker stakes are not installed, Contractor is not responsible for any lawn damage.
     
  19. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 942

    I plan to. I don't charge any other people especially since I get them for free but this guy deserves it. Plus I take them out and keep them after the season is over
     
  20. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 639

    I wouldn't bother, pretty good chance he will toss the invoice and it won't be worth the time/aggravation to collect the money just my .02.