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Sent A Polite Cancellation Notice

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by thelettuceman, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,216

    I recently informed a commercial account that I would not be plowing their parking lots this year. I have been plowing their property for 3 years. The last time I plowed a 2" snow fall, I got a phone call telling me to adjust my trigger to 3" from 2". I would not have a problem with this except for the legal exposure. The risk / reward ratio is not worth it to me. Any Thoughts?
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,868

    Too many people are worried about the legal exposure. If you have it in writing that is what you are hired to do, what's the exposure?

    I would have cancelled just on the fact it's a commercial place that wants a 3" trigger.
  3. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    I agree. from what others here at plowsite have shared of their lawyers advice, the main thing is if you do the work per contracted requirements. if its in writing the trigger is 3 inches, you have proof you did exactly what the client requested. From there its their decision. not yours. thus their liability.

    Same as a client that does not want salting after an ice storm. Noone can win a law suite against you, the company did not buy salting service. (they can still sue you or anyone else, question is who will win, fulfill the contracted services and usually you will win)(from what others have said on this site when they were sued)
  4. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,838

    ya if it's in writing that Xperson wants Xservices what's the prob? unless they changing all the time I dont see a problem. Are they a pain in other ways? You must be busy ;)
  5. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    BC brings up a good point. same with cutting grass, if a customer is a pain, monthly mowing for example, or over watering to the point you have to spend 3x the time, it can have a negative effect on your other customers.

    obviously in this situation one inch more snow and your other customers get pushed back from when they would usually get plowed.

    Just thought for eating. I would take it none the less cause i need the work.
  6. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    I got sued in 2008 by a lady that was cleaning snow from the roof of her car. She was clearly between the cars because she said she got hurt by hitting both cars as she fell. This lady was in her 80's, was doing this during a snow storm, we had plowed at 11pm, 3 am and 7 am and she fell at 7:30. She spent a couple of days in the hospital and then had home care. It clearly stated in the contract that we did not clear snow from between cars.

    In the end I lost. You can take that for what it's worth.
  7. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Hopefully you got a new(better) lawyer after that.
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,868

    We have a local strip mall that we do. Parking lot is on the north side of the building, with a very significant slope to the lot.

    About 7-8 years ago, I got a call at 10 am to spread salt, that there was black ice. I was there at 10:11, and as I pulled up, I saw a gal get out of her car, slip on the ice and blow out her knee.

    She tried to sue me and the property. Property made claims they tried to call multiple times. I showed my cell phone records that they called at 10, cameras show I was there in 11 minutes. They tried to say I had driven through the lot earlier in the day, but they didn't know the brand or color of my truck.

    In the end, all claims against me were denied and I moved on with life.

    I agree, some of you have poor lawyers, or the world is against you.
  9. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,216

    Your last comment is the reason for the cancellation. Your first comment is very intelligent but lawyers will find a way to blow right thru your defense. I am not disagreeing with you.
  10. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Most of the time insurance companies will pay out just because it will cost less then to defend it. Not so much who's fault it is.
  11. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,968

    Also you don't "pick" your lawyer. If you read your policy you'll probably see that the ins comp handles it themselves, you have no input except for them getting all the pertinent facts, logs, contracts etc. Then they might settle regardless of merit as gv mentions .
  12. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    I agree with Grandview. Many insurance companies won't even notify you if they payout. Most times you won't even know, until shopping for new insurance, and a prospective new insurer runs a loss run on your insurance. Then...surprise!! They all say the same thing. Cheaper to just payout, than to pay for the legal battle.
  13. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,868

    You guys might want to get better insurance companies. Mine called, was in constant contact and notified me weekly, if not more often as the case was being investigated.
  14. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,600

    Sooooo two points in this thread.....

    A) Insurance companies pick the fights they fight for the drugs they are on. You pay them to cover you ... doesn't mean they will fight for you, it may just mean they lay you down and cover you with a blanket while someone drives over you -enjoy!

    B) The problem with any trigger but worse when moving from a 2" to 3" is two parts .... 1) The building occupants will complain and blame the plower and never the owner so your the bad guy. 2) Do you charge more when you have a 1" storm, followed a half day later by a 2" storm followed by another 2" storm ... No you are probably at 5" but you never did get a 3" storm...Do you plow now? Do you plow when the property hit's the 3", do you charge more for the extra time. Hmmmmmmmmm it's about EXPECTATION setting.
  15. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Thanks Scott. I got my first good laugh of the day from (A). How true it is.
  16. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Excellent point. I would guess they call you in, but I'd make it crystal clear that the fee would be double for the hassle of packed in snow and being called out at random.
  17. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    I'd cancel them just because it would cost you money. when you could plow another property at 2 inches. why sit on your ass waiting for 3 inches for this one. fuggem.
  18. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,216

    Agree on this .....

    ..... and this
  19. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,868

    My point way at the beginning. If they don't go for my 1" trigger, I pass.

    I'm out to make money in the winter, not just sit around and wait for it to melt.
  20. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,264

    Something to remember, all law is up to interpretation and the Judge you have. Nothing is black and white regardless of how "bulletproof" your contract is.

    Cet proved just that. Take it for what internet advise is worth.