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USM subcontractors

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by jimspro, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. jimspro

    jimspro Senior Member
    Messages: 200

    Has any body subcontracted with USM for snow plowing, i recently submitted an application but i'm concerned with the wording on their contractors agreement i had to send in, don't want to get burned, so any comments would be appreciated.
  2. snowbrothers101

    snowbrothers101 Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    Really? What concerned you? The 4% rebate? The "you don't get paid if we don't get paid, but you can't sue for payment"? The "if you make 1 error on paperwork " you won't get paid?

    It all seems good to us here on Plow Site!
  3. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    have yet to hear 1 possitive thing about usm. i saw their contract and laughed told my sales guy the only way i'll let you bid for them is at double our price. they must be doing something right but no way will i ever work for them
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,468

    There's been a handful of threads lately here about USM.

    Only one or two have been deleted, but the rest are there to see.
  5. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    You haven't done your reading yet then.

    I have worked for USM a few years ago. All went well and I got paid.

    No massive amount of phone calls, no rebates.
  6. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    True, for every 100 negative posts, there are 2 or 3 positive ones.

    Maybe they have gone downhill since you worked for them?

    I just know from reading their contract for myself, and reading detailed horror stories from others, that I will pass on that.

    Crete... how come your not still working with them?
  7. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Got out bid.
  8. jrc5049

    jrc5049 Member
    from pa
    Messages: 37

    Got outbid? i know of a guy who does a walmart and USM tells you what they will pay, and if you dont take it too bad, there is no bidding. Things must have changed a bit since you worked for them. And i have also read the contract, and its a joke 4% after 10,000 $ billed and another 5%, if you want paid within 30 days. that is if you do the paper work on time!. And after they cut the prices for walmart 40% like they propose you might be lucky to get 20.00 an hour to plow haha what a joke.
  9. B.Bells

    B.Bells Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    well what for those of use that average 24" a year, that means we can make around 100% pay? maybe im wrong idk!!
  10. jrc5049

    jrc5049 Member
    from pa
    Messages: 37

    Yea maybe 100% ... but at their rate! not yours...
  11. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,594

    You make it sound like this is an outrageous request.

    Let's see, an account manager wants accurate and timely information...yeah, he should be hung from the highest tree :rolleyes:
  12. jrc5049

    jrc5049 Member
    from pa
    Messages: 37

    within 2 days of the work being done they need pictures of your work done and an invoice or they can totally refuse pmt? sorry... but yea that is outrageous
  13. B.Bells

    B.Bells Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    not really, thats what my dad told me was called "work" lol and ppl wonder why the world is in such shammbles... Do we all forget our jobs get harder not easier the more $$ we make... lol I think alot of poeple forget this.
  14. jrc5049

    jrc5049 Member
    from pa
    Messages: 37

    Petty rules about paperwork invented to dick people around and not pay them has nothing to do with hard work pall
  15. bigearl

    bigearl Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    I plowed Rite Aid last year for them and they pd and there was no 4% rebate. There is aphone # you need to call when the lot is cleared but make it part of your routine and it isnt that bad. As far as not getting pd, my contract stated 45 day and i usually got pd in 50.
  16. B.Bells

    B.Bells Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    i couldnt agree more but if its the way you have to make the $$ then by all means make it work, dont fight it tho... its one of the things you have to think about while bidding.. if the money is right then maybe its worth it? or im wrong maybe? but money is money where im from.. and i wasnt bashing your work ethic just stating a fact... somethings that is out of your control is worth talking about? ok, that sounded like i wasnt being nice... idk what im trying to state but im not one to dwell on things that you cant change is all.
  17. naturalgreen

    naturalgreen Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    they took almost a year to pay me for services rendered and paperwork correct. They said it is coming it is coming then they called me to do services for the next season and said it would be 5% less and I said what about pay for the last year. Of course they knew nothing of this and just kept pushing me to sign again. In my opinion they are incompetent and are just there to make as much money as possible as fast as possible, which may be ok with you but I would prefer to build good relationships. If you need work and can wait a while on your money it is a good job to have but I have seen the work that gets by after I stopped services them and I would say do not go out of your way to do a great job. Do as good as need be and get out of there. jmo
  18. jimspro

    jimspro Senior Member
    Messages: 200

    thanks to all for responding to my quiry about usm, i have yet to hear about the rates they are willing to pay, but it seems like i'll be better off with out them
  19. N.C. Snowman

    N.C. Snowman Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I do some mowing & landscape maintenance for USM. Took the contract out of desperation due to loosing my biggest/best account. Complete mistake! Late to pay 3 out of 5 times. Total pain diaz. Too many phone calls. Too many emails. "Fax this..." Photo that..." "Account manager says that field inspector said that there were a couple weeds in the north corner of the front bed. You have 24 hrs to get those weeds pulled. Oh yeah, we need before and after photos of those weeds or your monthly check will be delayed...." That check's late anyway. L.M.A. I am one of their better service providers - don't even have to use the "automated call in system" when I service the account. Yippy!
    These people are NOT Landscapers or Snow Removal Pro.s. They are just a service brokering company with no equipment, no experience at all. Their overhead consists of offices, computers, and phones. They are scabs plain and simple. Think you're a little pissed at the local "lowballer" down the road? This bunch is a national lowballer. Do you own/ opperate a small company and hope to soon be able to be equiped to handle large commercial properties with ease - you know, the big jobs where the most service is required, and the big pay check is? Yeah, maybe you have heard of that guy who took on some extra equipment when he got that account, babysat the place around the clock, made the manager real happy with his exceptional service, got paid real well.... yep, came out smelling like a rose. Big jobs, big money, all that. Well a great number of those jobs are being snatched up,ruined, and *****d out by USM and others similar to them. It is quantity over quality, just like that malwart they will likely call you to plow in a few weeks. No, dont get excited when they offer you a shot at the contract. If it was a 500.00 per service job for the past few years, they got it at 300.00 per and the only way you will get it is if you agree to do it for 200.00 per. And, yes, the risk is all yours and they are additional insured. These people are lowering standards, depreciating the professionalism of our industry (in that they are percieved by their customers as being one of us), and sending prices back to the nineties. They are lowering the bar on many levels. When a 30,000.00 account is picked up at 20,000.00 how long, how many years does it take, to become a 30,000.00 account again? Especially when the owner/property manager is shell-shocked from the lousy service they got from that big, national group of "professionals". This company is a joke and customers are falling for it left and right. Is usm at fault? Sure they are. But so are the customers that choose them in an effort to save a handful of dimes. The manager of the property that I service for usm tried to get me the snow contract directly because they are so unhappy with the sub that usm chose for them. Did'nt work. USM has every location in the state for that company. Employees of that company bring their own toilet paper (no joke! I am on first name basis w/ several employees there) because the housekeepers that usm hired are based an hour and half away and when more t.p. is needed it comes from usm because thats one of the things included in the contract. Employees there hate usm almost as much as I do.
    Not to write a book here, but, usm and other service brokering companies like them are ruining good accounts for you and me every day.
    Okay, one more. Just an example of their quality and professionalism. When I was sent the scope for the location I was to bid on it was a few pages long, detailing complete landscape maintenance. I placed a bid to include every item in the scope. When discussing my bid with the account manager she said "if you bring this up to anyone else I will denie it, but we really just need you to price out the mowing and mulching. If we get called to provide any of the other services in our contract we will pay you for them seperately". They are paid by contract for 4 fertilizations, start up and shut down of irigation system, pre and post emergant weed control for turf and beds, pruning, etc.. This is just another way they make money. Like that theif you may know who bills for two tons of salt when his guys only applied one ton. Are these folks scabs AND theives??? Well I'm still in a contract that is 90% fulfilled but only 50% paid so I should'nt say.....
    My question is how do we stop these nutballs from F ing up good accounts and the industry in general? It is not by negotiating and contracting with them as I have done. Yes, I am sorry for that and promise not to do it again. If you are considering signing one of their contracts you need to read every post about them. Tell their rep. that you are aware that they can go over budget on some locations as other locations per customer will come in lower and make up for your location being priced properly. They are despirate for subs. Don't let them fool you. They need you more than you need them no matter how hungry you think you are.
    Avoid them if you can. They are to you as walmart is to the local general store.
  20. jimspro

    jimspro Senior Member
    Messages: 200

    thank you so much for your imput, I've been in the plowing bus for the past 25 years, and lost some big accounts last year after the previous years double snowfall ( went from approx 60" average to over 100" year before last) and are still trying to get paid from some of them, so i thought i would look into USM, but from what i have heard, i am staying away, thanks again for the imput, Jim