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Shovel even a trace of snow???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by edrenckh, Dec 24, 2002.

  1. edrenckh

    edrenckh Member
    Messages: 61

    Anyone ever have a customer like this???

    I have an older lady, ~90, that wants to be shoveled/plowed even if it's only 1/2" (sometimes less). She says that her nurse won't drive in the driveway unless it's cleared. I have a contract with a 1" trigger, and a $25 fee for extra removals, 24 hour clearing time, but what a pain.

    Her zip is 55118. She called me at ~1pm 12/24/02 wondering why I wasn't there yet. Check accuweather.com, only a trace. There was about 1/2" of fluff in her drive. Still sputtering snow. Snow didn't even start until the AM.

    I can't always tell how much it snowed there, don't want to make too many special trips, can't really be running there during the day (I have another job).

    I really want to help her, but seems like I am going to pass her up. I talked to another plow guy, says he will only do it if he gets her grass mowing.

    I hate to cancel the contract, can't stick to the 1" trigger as she wants more, hate to continually be running over there, don't like to hear her complain, etc. Anyway, I just had to gripe a bit.....

    How does everyone else handle someone that cannot shovel even the slightest amount of snow, but needs it cleared right away. If it snows all day, maybe shoveled everytime there is an inch or so accumulated.

    Anyone there want this customer? If you live close, may be lucrative, I live ~10 miles away. I have a few of my own rental properties and other contracts within 1/4 mile that's why I took it.

    Personally, if a nurse wouldn't walk through 1/2" of snow for me to give me medical attention, I wouldn't walk across the floor to dial 911 after she/he got shot next time they came....
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2002
  2. casey

    casey Banned
    Messages: 180

    I has this one wacky old lady who used to leave about 15 messages each & every storm starting after about 1/2" was on the ground.

    My favorite after 1/2" was...

    "I've got my hat on can you come and clear the walk so I can get out"

    A few min. later...

    "I've still got my hat on, will you be here soon"

    A few min. later...

    "I've got my hat & gloves on when are you coming?"

    A few min. later...

    "My hat, gloves & coat are on when can I expect you?"

    Finally I put down the bottle & called her up...

    "Listen lady you might as well strip down naked & get ready for me after 2" are down"


    Never let cutomers push you around.
  3. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    originally posted by the casey the lush,

    Finally I put down the bottle & called her up...

    "Listen lady you might as well strip down naked & get ready for me after 2" are down"

    casey, what the f*** is the matter with you! what kind of advice is that to give to someone?
    everyone here knows what an a$$ you are, do yourself a favor a go away! no one here wants any of your advice, if your going to put it like that.
  4. casey

    casey Banned
    Messages: 180

    Well Mr. Soccodatto, I was bottle feeding my 3 month old daughter at the time. I'm sorry if this offends you but the little tyke does need her nourishment.
  5. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    yeah sure,
    after your whole flask incident, i dont think anyone is going to believe that.

    any besides, that makes no difference, you still responed to your customer in an unproffesional way. and worst yet your telling other people to do the same.

    next time get my name right
  6. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    just be firm with your customers.tell them right out."hey i only come if its 2 inches or more, your on my list so don`t worry i'll get to you asap.i have this old lady that would alway seem to call after i went out.i would get home sometimes the next night and hear her on the phone saying."are you coming right now"? wether it was snow or cutting her grass she would call when she wanted it done."are you coming to cut my grass"? i'm like know not today your not on my list for today your on fridays.oh yes and when shewould call around 9 AM she use to start off saying "oh you sleeping"? i'm up at 5 everyday.oh and she called the next night after iwent plowing saying. "oh you no come to plow"? "everytime i call you you say your coming and you never show so i got someone else" i'm like thank god cause she was one PITA.you have to stay away from people like this.yeah you feel bad for them but they are always looking for the boy next door type to do 5 and 10 dollar jobs when they have tons of money.if they didn`t then why are they trying to keep there house up right?they always wanna be number one.if you wanna keep them as customers.you have to run everytime they call
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I have a customer that wants "anything" plowed and sanded. They want/expect a high level of service, are willing to pay for it and get it. I consider them my best customer and would really hate to lose it. I certainly won't ask "who wants to come up and take it?"
  8. Grshppr

    Grshppr Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    I also have several customers that want me to plow sand at 1/2 " (funeral homes). These are my favorite clients, as they pay well and it gives me a little bit of work when we only get a skiff of snow. These are a lot nicer ones to do than the ones that only want the lot plowed "when there is a huge dump".
  9. gogetter

    gogetter Junior Member
    from PA.
    Messages: 17

    LOL! Ah, I see Casey makes friends where ever he goes! LOL!
  10. Temco

    Temco Member
    Messages: 66

    The way things are going in my area with the economy and stuff, I wouldn't complain about having any customer no matter how bothersome they may be. Its better than having no money coming in at all which is currently my case.
  11. edrenckh

    edrenckh Member
    Messages: 61

    Thanks for all the advice. I would keep it if I didn't have a full time job. Lots more money there (for now...).

    I'd rather transfer her and get a good reputation from both her and another LCO or plow guy. Maybe I'll get a different referral from him. Only takes one customer to give you a bad rep around town....
  12. edrenckh,

    I would keep her and charge her accordingly, Sounds like she is willing to pay whatever. Just change your contract a bit and let her know you can't be there (when you work). Or find a friend that can do her walks and drive when you are working.

    I have several customers that call me when they need plowing because with lake effect snows it can be a trace here and 6" 5 miles away. They know that I have regular accounts and I try to give them an ETA. Some also have in home care or meals on wheels.

    I had a woman call. She lives 15 miles away but is on my way to the feed store. I told her one price if I had to go by her house anyways. Then I told her if I didn't have to go that way she would have to pay me double to compensate for time and gas. She just writes the checks each time.

    But I don't just drop everything to go out of my way.

    As long as she is willing to pay extra for your special services, why not fill your wallet.

    Use good judgement and some pampering and it might lead to some good tips and a good reputation among the elderly who inturn tell everyone they speek to.

    Good Luck, Merry Christmas!
  13. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    I think you are right, you would do her and yourself a favor by dropping her.

    If you have a full time job, I dont see how you can satisfy her no matter what she pays.

    Not going to make you look very good either.

    I'd be polite and explain the situation, see what she wants to do.

    I have some elderly who need to keep clear also, sometimes a handfull..... and other times not even possible but I try.

    I often make trips out there just to check on them.

    They are the first to pick up a phone and complain too.

    Snow storm or not....