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USM story.......just telling my story, feel free to chime in.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ACA L&L, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    this post was edited,

    I received an email from usm awarding us a property that we gave crazy bid numbers on...............well the same day we got a snow storm, 8" in some areas and 1.5 inches in others..........we service quite a few medium property's, were not a huge company but we not small. Anyway they call me at like 3am the am of the storm asking if we are gonna service the wally world, i say we never returned the contracts as we just received the email awarding the contract the previous day. after speaking with something like 8 diffrent people, they assure me i will get paid. For some reason we all converge on lot and knock it out pretty quick, like an hour or two, it was like an inch or so, not alot, i get the paper signed, we fax the required paperwork, bill, weather report, signed service sheet...............well the next day is new years eve, they call at like 1230, asking if we can perform a special service as a pipe broke and half the lot is frozen over.............its new years eve, not in the mood so i tell them $4000 and it will be done in 20 minutes, they call back in like 5 minutes and say check email for the work order, i was surprised but did the job..........i send them the bill for that job.....were now at like $8500 in less than 48 hours........they called wanting the signed contract i decline and say ill sign if you pay for what we have already done............they agree, spoke to nick or someone high up and he assured me i will get paid and we agree that once we receive payment i will send contracts back............not holding breath on the payment, not even sure why we did the work, i guess we were still in plow guy mode as it was the 1st storm, whatever the reason we did it............i spoke with rep for our area and he assures me that we will get paid as long as we did all the faxing and phone confirmation stuff, as for any future work we will need the contract signed and and verifiied, blah blah. so within 48 hours we won the bid, service the property, no inspection, no approval with contracts, but they agreed to pay for what we have done, i was not expecting that result, from what i have read on here and heard first hand from other local landscapers............so do you think we will get paid, im guessing no but if they want it serviced again, by us, we will need payment, and they will not be getting a signed contract from me without the payment for the intial work.................shot in the dark, yes, worth the gamble, not sure, i think they were desperate and couldn't find anyone lese to service the wally world............its been 10 days and no check, again not holding breath.....just thought i would share this weird crazy turn of events as it all happened so fast.......
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  2. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,507

    I know it's late but that was hard to understand. Not real sure what you got going on there, but the jist of it seems to be ; you are wondering if they will pay you if you don't plow the account anymore. Sounds like a cluster f... good luck.
     
  3. Scottscape

    Scottscape Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    you've been here since 07'. All I have to say is you knew better. some guys think other guys are lying when they say they got screwed...
     
  4. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    As i re read the post it jumps around a bit, i will try and edit it again....
     
  5. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    well so far usm has been very diligent with following up, checking in and so on.....still on the fence, we are plenty busy without this lot but i had been up for like 24 hours and was sleep deprived.........we shall see what happens. if we dont get paid im out a few hundred bucks, if we do get paid we will sign the contracts and finish the season out for them and do our best, at this point i just had to tell the story to someone.........sorry if it jumps around but its late.
     
  6. EvenCutLawnCare

    EvenCutLawnCare Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    I know a couple of guys that make bank on USM contracts....You have to wonder why the guys that havent gotten paid, didnt get paid. I just dont see hpw a company of their size could stay inbusiness if they were as bad as people say they are.
     
  7. slongfellowii

    slongfellowii Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    Please tell us you wrote down every person name and time you talked to them. I would be recording every conversation. Good luck, and hopefully you get paid.
     
  8. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    They are a BIG company. U-Know who is a part of trans global services, with profits over 13 BILLION last year. Evergreen makes it sound like contractors must be doing sub standard work if they are not getting paid...Guess again. All I can say is good luck, you will need it. There is no taking them to court. Its in the contract, any dispute goes to arbitration, and guess where the arbitrator is??....Pennsylvania. Plus guess who pays any and all costs? People don't want to believe anything bad about a company, as long as things are good and they are making money. Its when the other shoe drops, that it starts to hurt. So again....Good Luck!!
     
  9. EvenCutLawnCare

    EvenCutLawnCare Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    He can take them to court and will win. They have no signed agreement, yet he has email confirmations telling him to do the work. He can file suit in his county and they will have to come to him.

    To the OP: print off and save all of the emails and anything pertaining to this service.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  10. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Ya, I am sure it will be just as cut and dry as you say it will. Let us all know how it turns out.
     
  11. EvenCutLawnCare

    EvenCutLawnCare Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    I dont see any judge agreeing with USM on this situation.

    What would they argue???
     
  12. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Evercut you also have to remember that although you know a couple guys that make good money off of U know, they have to have thousands of contractors sub to them every season. If they decide to screw over just 10% of the total that is 900 contractors that have a warm fuzzy feeling about them. The problem is how long before the guys you know are part of the 10%. Then once they are part of the 10% how much of their business is at risk, because up to that point they have been working off the warm fuzzy feeling. If noone would sign up with them to begin a season, then they are the ones left holding the bag, and will have to leave the business. I know that will never happen, but thats what needs to happen.
     
  13. EvenCutLawnCare

    EvenCutLawnCare Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    I agree, I would never personally work for them. That is what needs to happen, but you're right...IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN
     
  14. dayexco

    dayexco Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    were it me, i would NOT provide any further service until the check is in YOUR bank...and has cleared. i hope you saw in USM contract, that should you have a slip and fall, they will back charge you for submitting the claim from wally world...to your insurance provider. in my instance, i felt like that poor ******* in the movie deliverance bent over the tree. cost me $4500 for ONE claim...that my insurance company paid in full, and promptly...the $4500 was just USM's "handling fee"...and no...once you sign their contract, you cannot sue them in your home state...you will go to pennsylvania, and meet with THEIR arbitration board...why do i hear banjos in the background?
     
  15. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Originally Posted by Rc2505
    Evercut you also have to remember that although you know a couple guys that make good money off of U know, they have to have thousands of contractors sub to them every season. If they decide to screw over just 10% of the total that is 900 contractors that have a warm fuzzy feeling about them. The problem is how long before the guys you know are part of the 10%. Then once they are part of the 10% how much of their business is at risk, because up to that point they have been working off the warm fuzzy feeling. If noone would sign up with them to begin a season, then they are the ones left holding the bag, and will have to leave the business. I know that will never happen, but thats what needs to happen.

    I agree, I would never personally work for them. That is what needs to happen, but you're right...IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN

    Never say Never. Its funny sometimes how things work out.
     
  16. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    So i have a file created with all the conversations, each person i spoke with sent emails with the address, the sign off sheet and so on......The thing that bugs me is the contract thing, I was awarded the bid after hours, like 6pm, the storm hit that night, i figured theres no way they will call me to service the property without the paperwork, on site inspection and the dreaded flight to Penns. to go through there orientation............surely they would not call............storm hit at 6pm we worked threw the night, i get a call at like 5am or something and thats when i said look you dont have a contract with me, im not working for free, im gonna need some sort of email stating that we will be paid no matter what, they sent a special work order for the plowing and salting.................we did the work............new years eve, same deal, i said i need an email with something stating im getting paid, they emailed a special work order this time i had spoke to, Im assuming a guy whos running things, he stated this would not be considered snow service but a special service, and thats what email work order states.........my price was so high i thought they would find someone else..........i thought wrong...............I was playing poker and thought this is totally worth the gamble, the damn store was 2blocks away from my sisters house, i had the spreader and and salt truck already so i said hey who wants to go for a ride.............my wife and i drove up, salted the sheet of ice, this was one hell of a sheet of ice!!. We were back playing poker in less than and hour, and im thinking man this has been a crazy turn of events with these guys...........So I have a few emails, my schedule has something like 15 names on it with numbers and i feel pretty good about getting paid, but if i dont it will be my own fault. I will definitely let ya guys know what happens with payment and any further work we may or may not do for em in the future.
    At this point knowing how they operate i was very optimistic as i did the work but thought to myself do the job just like you would for any of your other customers and see what happens. In the old days i was a loss prevention manager for wally world and still have quite a few friends who are now regional managers and few at the home office in Bentonville, im sure its a shot in the dark but if I have to i will start making phone calls, oh and the store manager of this particular store was the assistant Manager of the store i worked at for almost 6 years,and the and my regional Loss Prevention sup is now in the home office, he is by the book and will push the right buttons if need be, he owes me quite a few favors, could be hopeless with the people i know but i feel like if it came down to it, its wort a shot....we shall see, a signed contract with them and not having one, im kinda liking the not having a signed contract so far, we shall see.
     
  17. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    No big company aims to screw anyone, contrary to what some on here might say. There's always a reason that contractors dont get paid; paperwork, insurance or the like.

    Just be prepared for the typical payment period, about 45 days. You'll get paid, just make sure you turned in all your paperwork, as requested.
     
  18. NICHOLS LANDSCA

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,310

    The thing I can't get over is you charged $4K to salt the lot? I must be missing something
     
  19. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    Nope, your not missing anything, our original bid for salting the entire lot was just shy of $2000, this was what we put in the original bid,ice melt is not cheap here compared to other places. it was new years eve, no weather in forecast, but they had a pipe break, 3 hours prior to calling us. More than half the lot was frozen with almost an 1" of ice, 2" inchs pooled up in others. I was relaxing and didnt wanna go waste a truck load of salt on the possibility i would not be paid do to no contract in place...........They called and " asked me" what i would charge to do the special service, so i said a crazy number like 4grand! They said no at 1st and i was ok with there answer................then they called back and started the emails and so on.........it was literally done in less than an hour. we used almost an entire pallet on this lot.

    its one of the biggest in town. They definitely got there moneys worth on the service, we sectioned off the part of the lot that was frozen, with cones, carts and so on. The next am i followed up with a few more bags just to be safe, it was pavement in most places. had temps in the low teens that night. I wasnt trying to screw them but i knew it was a mess and bid accordingly. they accepted. It was a special service is all, not the typical ice application, it literally was like a pond, you could have had a hockey game on half the lot. When we commit to doing a service for someone we are protecting them and ourselves. We are a small company compared to others but i will always put my eyes on a job we call complete no matter what the deal is. Thats why i never go on vacation, im a workaholic, just like every single guy on here!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  20. milkie62

    milkie62 Senior Member
    from Troy,NY
    Messages: 231

    Eventually if nobody subs to USM they would have to budge and honor contracts more readily.Are guys that hard up to sub to them ? If They cannot get subs for Walmart they will drop them and then a local bid could possibly go out.