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What would you do?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by 90plow, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. 90plow

    90plow Senior Member
    Messages: 734

    I took on a parking lot for a friend that couldnt afford snow insurance. The deal was i would take the snow and salting and put them under my contract. He would help me open it up and i would give him 10% of the gross for the season. We did the first two storms under the pricing of the old contract from last year. I was uncomfortable doing business this way to begin with. Anyway the first storm we got was all ice and i salted the lot a total of 3 times in 12 hours to have the lot open and nearly perfect for a 8am monday morning open. The second storm landed on a tuesday and it snowed almost all day. By the time we could finally clean the spots where cars were parked there was literally 4 inches of hard pack and ice. The rest of the parking lot turned to black ice. I salted three more times for that storm once for the open once more at 11 pm and again at 6 am. Needless to say the lot was perfect for the open monday morning.
    When we gave the place the bill they werent happy but cut a check. No signed contract still. I personally went up to the office sat down with the guy and explained why i could no longer operate without a contract. He disagreed and said he couldnt sign it. I shook his hand and walked out told him i wouldnt be back. Never heard from them after that and it was 3 pm friday night.
    Did i do the wrong thing. I felt bad for hurting my buddies relationship with them but i couldnt justify working with no way to prove our pricing agreement. Whats your opinions??
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  2. jim5x5

    jim5x5 Member
    Messages: 32

    These days it's always better to be safe. Everyone is to lawsuit happy.
  3. BossPlowMaster

    BossPlowMaster Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    I will only plow a place once without a contract. After that I tell them that I am sorry but due to insurance reasons we are not aloud to plow without a contract. Contracts don't even have to be 100% secure. They just have to strike a little fear into their minds to keep them from doing something stupid.
  4. 90plow

    90plow Senior Member
    Messages: 734

    I even told the manager if he wasnt happy after the next storm we could rip the contract up and part ways. He also had the logic that since there was no slip and falls since 2003 that they dis t have to worry about it. I always take a zero tolerance policy on my lots even if it cuts into my time or bottom line its just the nature of this business.
  5. gc3

    gc3 Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    Be safe and cover yourself first. At least they paid you. You really should have a signed contract before doing any work on a commercial site. Maybe they'll change their minds after the next snowfall.
  6. ddobson

    ddobson Junior Member
    from pa
    Messages: 29

    You made the right decision. It's best to have a defined and signed agreement.
  7. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    You can always offer an option to cancel clause, stating that either party can cancel for any reason (or specified reasons) w/ XX days notice given in writing, via certified mail.
  8. Flawless440

    Flawless440 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,543

    Why wouldn't he sign the contract? You guys did talk about it, correct? Contracts can be adjusted, we have different contracts for different customers. Most properties have us sign their contract, theres crazy stuff in there we always cross out and then sign.

    I would have walked away, i'm going though it with my father.. After now selling his company, he still owns the land, he wants to switch to a 2" trigger after 10 years. I said we need a new contract, he won't sign..
    Now what, it's my dad, keep servicing at 0 tolerance till he signs??
    B.S if you ask me
  9. 90plow

    90plow Senior Member
    Messages: 734

    The bills for two days came out to a little over 2k. The manager said that was 20% of last years entire budget. There are 8 office condos each individually owned the manager is one of them. 40% of the building is dentists or other types of medical offices. My rationalization of the bill to the manager was if there are 8 owners it only cost you $125 per event for each owner. To me having a black wet parking lot at 8 am for $125 buck is totally reasonable and worth it. He still said that their budget was only x dollars per year. At that point in the conversation i knew he didnt care about the service only the numbers.
  10. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    20% of last years budget but how much snow did you move in relation to last season total snow fall? From the customer point of view they see only the cash outlay but do they see the time and effort to get the results, get back to him and ask what he needs, keep the line of communication open you can keep the customer on your term keepem talking.