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When to charge for alot less than 5cm?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by almostbk1stday, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. almostbk1stday

    almostbk1stday Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 33

    Last night we came close to 5cm....We made it to 4 1/4cm. The forecast called for 2 degrees and NO flurries or snow. I decided (along with 3 other local companies) that we would not go unless it hit 5cm (it did NOT).

    I get a call from the daughter of an elderly couple I plow and she tells me that her neigbors that have contractors got their driveways cleared. I assured her that I was out no less than 3 times to make sure we didnt reach 5cm and that perhaps her neighbors had an agreement of 3cm or more.

    She asks "What do you want me to do....check it?"

    Duh...YEAH. But "NO" is her answer so I start up my V8 ($5) put my V8 into drive ($3) press the gas ($8) and drive the 20 minutes to her parents place ($10).

    I stood on the driveway and measured three areas...all were 2cm or less.
    Now, because her parents have NOTHING better to do than sit there and watch the snow fall and neighbors getting cleared, they called me for the same. The daughter who called lives one block away and refused to check.

    I told her it was a $53.00 service call if 5cm of snow wasn't present and she said "Go".

    NOW, she says "Oh well, next time I will tell them to check" WTF??????????

    I told her that the purpose of our conversation prior to me driving out there was to assure her they did NOT have 5cm of snow.

    This is the second time she called for this BS....last time it was 3.5cm and I did it but NOW I want blood.

    I feel like waiting until the day of the next BIG snowfall and leaving a refund check of the difference of my service call and their contract and cancelling them. I even gave this person a seniors discount....ungreatful b00990-=-iwe0r!
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2006
  2. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    Just be grateful you have snow, here in the city we got maybe 1-2cms of fluff. Hardly anything. We havn't been out since before Xmas.
  3. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    Well almostbk1stday i will usually just round up so when i measure at my place and it's that close i'll go out and plow if they complain about it i'll tell them that it's up to me to decide when it's that close.
  4. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,192

    It's that learning curve. First year customers can be a real pain. I would have cleared the drive and mailed them a bill, maybe not for $53 dollars though. Even if they don't pay it maybe they will get the message.
  5. me1223

    me1223 Member
    Messages: 70

    we got about 4cm here, but none of the local plow companies were out, just the city with the salt trucks.
  6. SGLC

    SGLC Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    In Ajax/Whitby/Pickering area we had just under 5cm as well. All my commericals with salting got salted. My commercials that cheap out and don't want salting didn't get touched. Besides, the snow gets packed down too much after a day of traffic to plow.

    I only have 2 res accounts. My first one is attached to a commercial property we own and she got the front half of the driveway salted when we did our lot. My other res account, being I've had him as a customer for 8 years now got shoveled and a lil salt. He pays per month which covers for 4 plows. December had 3 plowable events so I don't mind doing a lil extra for a good customer who pays on time everytime. Threw a lil salt down and good to go.

    Next year I'm thinking of dropping my non salting accounts if I can pick up accounts that want salting to make up for the slow times.

    Now here is the hijack of the thread. How many ppl have the pre-paid accounts that the client seems to want a plow after a quarter inch hits the ground but never wants salting? Cheapo's.
  7. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Its funny when the prepaid residential customers call for plowing with less than 3" but then when the prepaid is used up you don't hear a peep out of them, or my personal pet peeve, you show up and the neighbor has snowblowed it.

    Hey SGLC, time to get the mower out, the grass in your logo is long.
  8. almostbk1stday

    almostbk1stday Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 33


    My hand is raised for this question.

    The customers (when it doesnt snow alot) want to call and ask for snow removal at 2.5-4.0cms to "get their moneys worth". I won't budge unless that last snowflake hits 5cm. If the last flake veers a little to the right or the left, I am not going anywhere.

    My message reads something like:

    "Dear valued customers, please be advised snow removal will not commence unless there is an accumulated total of 5cm of snow. Please allow 6-8 hours AFTER (and I emphasize the word AFTER) the snow has S T O P P E D for your driveway to be cleared." Each situation is different and if its snowing heavily, I will make several passes and thankfully, I havent had one of those days this year (yet).

    I for one am with the guy who stated he will only take the salting customers. "IF" and I mean "IF" I decide to continue with the business, I will only take on the high paying, salting is extra customers. That way, I maximize my income and put less strain on my back.
  9. SGLC

    SGLC Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    Geeee thanks lol.....usually the snow covers it up at this point of the year but no luck so far.

    I only have one pre paid that wants the place plowed the minute a flake hits but the rest are good...I've lucked in.