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To charge or not to charge?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by CJCuttingedge, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. CJCuttingedge

    CJCuttingedge Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    SO THIS IS THE QUESTION AT HAND:
    MY CONTRACT STATES ANY SNOWFALL OVER 100" FOR THE SEASON WILL RESULT IN AN ADDITIONAL CHARGE OF $75.00

    I WOULD FEEL HORRIBLE SENDING OUT INVOICES SINCE WE ARE HARDLY OVER 100'' ACTUALLY I THINK WE ARE AT 102.6 OR SO... WE HAVE SNOW IN THE FORECAST NOW FOR MARCH 23RD ABOUT 2" OVERNIGHT AND MORE DURING THE DAY FOLLOWED BY SNOW FOR THUR. & FRI

    IT COST ME ABOUT $100 EACH DAY IT SNOWS TO PLOW THE ENTIRE ROUTE
    GAS IS ABOUT $1.00 MORE PER GALLON THEN IT WAS IN OCTOBER

    WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO?
    I KNOW IF I MAIL INVOICES I WILL HAVE ALOT OF HAPPY CUSTOMERS TURN MAD:gunsfiring: BUT THEN IVE GOT THAT VOICE TELLING ME I OWN A BUSINESS TO MAKE MONEY
     
  2. MJay

    MJay Member
    Messages: 58

    Happy customers stay loyal.
     
  3. CJCuttingedge

    CJCuttingedge Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Yes and loyal customers is what I have... but thats prob because they cant find anyone else who plows as frequent as I do. I really doubt I would ever be able to send out those invoices its just not in me. But still curious if anyone else has anything like that in their contracts, and if they have ever billed it?
     
  4. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    You stuck to the contract all year, why is now any different. For 2", I'd probably let it go but if you keep having to plow...then go for it.
     
  5. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    You gave every reason why you ''should'' charge plus you have it in a contract. But one thing that confuses me is you say you have 102.6" or so. So you're not exactly sure what your totals are? How do you come up with your totals? Do you measure each storm or use your local news measurements? I know some of the storms we had this season.....we had 6" in one spot and half as much a mile away.
     
  6. mricefish

    mricefish Member
    Messages: 31

    If you have loyal places, it is a hard choice. If you dont it could be a selling point too for next year if you want a small increse in your rate. Guess go with your gut, if you have made good money to keep them happy and there will be good money next year too. Another way or thing to think about is how they pay. On time, week late, copule of months late etc. if some are hard to get a check from those may need to pay for what is stated in your contract. Just all depends on how you look at it, and what you feel comfy doing for your business.
     
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    So did you charge them after we got that snow?
     
  8. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,261

    And in that case, since you said the 100" amount was already passed, what do you tell the customer?
    I'm billing you for the 103" to 105" snow, but 100 to 102.6 is free?
    In the case of good will, if it's been a good winter and things went smooth, I'd be more inclined to not bill them.
     
  9. StratfordPusher

    StratfordPusher Senior Member
    Messages: 951

    Wave the charge and WIN

    IMO I would not charge, I would however send out an invoice to everyone you service
    showing the extra services and costs with the balance being "0".

    I would add a line to the invoice stating " Customer Appreciation, No Charge, thanks for your business and we look forward to serving you once again next season"....

    I have done this in the past and have received tons of positive comments, even had some long term customers insist on paying and or drop off gifts at my home.

    The following winter I got them all back as well as a bunch of their families, neighbors and friends...

    Seems good will goes a long way...

    My 2 cents

    Al
     
  10. jklawn&Plow

    jklawn&Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 469

    When you say it cost you $100 to plow your route what are using to figure this. With 2 months vacation time over the winter, I generally think of my labor as worth very little to me. I got paid for the season if I need to do some labor here and there to keep customers loyal its no big deal-after all Like I said I had a 2 month vacation-or watever it actually is.
    That said it cost me $27 to plow my route or $30 now that gas went up. So yeh that $30 out of my pocket but one contract is worth $275-$325 so I could give them 8 free plows and if I didn't lose a customer next year, I break even.
     
  11. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I'm with some of the folks here that say a little good will goes a long way. A small investment today will certainly improve the likelihood of bigger returns next season. Sure you can hold up contracts all day long and technically be correct, but isn't it better customer service to err slightly in their favor? My contracts say 2-6", 6-12" etc, but when the client has 7" of snow I take the type of storm into consideration and see if that 7" really cost me more than a 5" storm, and I charge what's appropriate for the actual conditions that day. 13" of chest pain snow, you're GD right I'm charging the 12+ rate, but 7" of powder I can handle the more reasonable fee for the customer. My biggest point is that if your snow total for the season is going to be grossly over the 100" mark, charge the contracted fee. If it's close... suck it up & send a bill with balance $0 like Stratford so nicely worded it
     
  12. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Thumbs UpThumbs UpThumbs Up
     
  13. STIHL GUY

    STIHL GUY Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 663

    i agree with thisussmileyflagussmileyflag
     
  14. Lawn Enforcer

    Lawn Enforcer Senior Member
    Messages: 569

    I typically let things like this go as long as I have good customers that always pay on time, it's just a token of appreciation.
     
  15. CGM Inc.

    CGM Inc. PlowSite Veteran
    from Ontario
    Messages: 3,590

    That's what I would do too. Usually do the same with salting run-off.
    Show we have been there, provided a service at no charge.
     
  16. If they agree & signed your contact charge them.