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Storm timing and getting the customers to understand contract

Discussion in 'Weather' started by rdfenn3, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. rdfenn3

    rdfenn3 Member
    Messages: 48

    So the past few storms dumped on us hours before the morning commute. The company contact states we will driveways cleaned by 7am or 5pm depending on timing of the storm. The customers are aware of yet they call wondering why there driveway isn't plowed. No matter how my boss or I try to explain to them the timing they still got something to say. No one understands.
     
  2. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    been dealing with all the same things. and to make it worst, they call saying they need plowing and there isnt even enough snow for me to plow according to the contract. the only thing i guess you could really do is send out a memo explaining the situation that when it snow later in the day, properties may take longer to get to.
     
  3. rdfenn3

    rdfenn3 Member
    Messages: 48

    Were gonna change the voicemail greeting and say as of 4am our company has four trucks out working doing the best we can to get everyone in a timely fashion. Blah blah blah.
     
  4. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    that is great! dont forget that if they keep calling and asking when you would be there it wont make things go any faster...
     
  5. rdfenn3

    rdfenn3 Member
    Messages: 48

    Another thing that gets me is when the customer has a car parked at the end of the driveway calls wanting to know why I only plowed half the driveway and can I come back to get in between the car and garage. I say I sure can as soon as the car is moved. And can you please park up by the garage from now on. It's extremely difficult for me to plow the correct way. There response is we really don't wanna bother our son and wake him up to move his car. Can you maybe shovel it for us. At no charge
     
  6. rdfenn3

    rdfenn3 Member
    Messages: 48

    The phone will be shut off so they can call all they want lol
     
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Driveways suck.there is always more snow looking out the window then standing in the driveway
     
  8. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    Yeah I probably turned down over 10 driveways in December before our first storm mainly because i hate how they pay the least yet complain the most
     
  9. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,898

    Life is too short for driveways. The only one we do is mine, and even that's too much. They're too big of a pain in the ass.
     
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,881

    Just tell them you don't control the weather. Then tell them that if they can, you will be happy to plow their drives before 7 AM.

    I had a large customer want me to guarantee their lot would be plowed by 7 AM. I told them I couldn't and wouldn't do that. They were surprised. I said if a lake effect squall moves in at 6 AM and drops 2" in an hour, I can't plow it by 7. Or if it starts snowing at 5:30. It was a 3 hour lot. They understood and dropped that requirement.
     
  11. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    I will not guarantee a time when they will be cleaned I tell them this up front. I explain about the weather and timing is out of my control therefore I can not control when the snow will be cleared. Now as the final way to put this to bed is I offer a premium service. It is that they will be first on the list and never get more than a 1.5 inches of snow build up / for only 2x the going price. As of now I have no takers. :)
     
  12. sectlandscaping

    sectlandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Never had the problem with a driveway as I explain we do them after the storm.

    Commercials are different! Whether it says we start at 1" or 2" or after the storm. We have to deal with this. I have got calls saying there at 2" and showed up a hour later and the parking lot was bare. We had PM argue with us that a 1/4 or 1/2 is 2 inches. To the point I drove to the property with a ruler and a time stamped picture.

    Your dealing with stupid people who cant read. Your dealing with smart people trying to take advantage of you. A few OCD crazies mixed in there and occasionally the lonely old person looking for something to talk about.

    I have this problem more with lump sum seasonal as they want you to earn the money. You get a season like this and they start calling on days like this. Its 39 and raining. If it stays slow for another month. Theyll want me to salt this.
     
  13. AccuCon

    AccuCon Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 453

    Im thinking about removing that from my contracts...There is so many factors..I just work with my clients and explain to them...They seem to appreciate my efforts...

    I make it very very clear to all residential customers that I primarily do commercial and they have priority, I tell them this and have no problem if they want to choose another contractor....Doesn't seem to bother any of them...
     
  14. Mike NY

    Mike NY Senior Member
    from zone 5
    Messages: 103

    Morning commute snow storms, I plow them twice if it's still snowing. Bill them twice. They want open by 7am, No problem. But I will come back to clean everything up and bill them even if it only snowed 2''.
    Never have any complaints, If they don't like it, find someone else to come at there beck and call.
    BTW My residentials are some of the best ice free properties in town. I treat them like zero tolerance accounts.
    My plow rates are competitive but I plow more often than anyone else on residentials.
     
  15. rdfenn3

    rdfenn3 Member
    Messages: 48

    Me and the boss talked and he thinks next years contracts are gonna state that they will be cleaned up after the storm is over and can't guarantee a time. Also have different levels of service. And print out contracts in bold red ink so they can read it. I had a lady freak out today when I got to her house 3 hours before time stated. And I tried to explain but she didn't wanna hear it. Swearing up and down. I told her I don't plan out the route and she needed to call my boss. Still kept up her tantrum. Well I left without plowing and the boss didn't get there till 7pm
     
  16. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    people are just ridiculous. Today a regional manager called me and asked me what we can do about the fact that the parking lot isnt getting to blacktop and i said well there wasnt even 2" out and lately we keep getting called for 1 or 1 and half " when our contract says 2" and you guys refuse salting every year. He then goes on to say so we need be plowing at 1.5" and im thinking to myself are you trying to tell me i am supposed to go out even though what you pay for doesnt cover what your asking. I wanted to go off on him but i am just gonna leave it up to my dad who has dealt with this guy for 15 years
     
  17. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,594

    Ha Ha this is the best post I've read in a while! True!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015