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A customer issue question

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by mmplowing, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. mmplowing

    mmplowing Member
    Messages: 56

    If you guys have a contract with residential customers and in the contract it states 24 hour notice if you are going to clean yourselves out.....what do you do when you drive there and they have done it? I have given a warning already. VERY frustrating!

  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Bill them or put them at the end of your run.
  3. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Like grandview said.. "bill them". Not sure you will get paid and if you do';t then make sure they are the very last one you do or wait for them to call.
  4. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    drop em and find anothr customer

    MOWBIZZ Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    Same happened to me last night...my furthest client out to boot...got there and the drive was clean as a whistle...I do her mailbox as well, and that wasn't done...so I calls her this morning and she says " oh...a friend did that last night without telling me..."
    I told her I'd have to charge her for the trip out there and for doing the mailbox, and I asked If I should keep coming out...she said yes...go figure..??
    Oh by the way, I don't have a contract,per se, but just a written estimate which she accepted...nothing about giving notice if they do it themselves...something to think about next year and for new clients...
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  6. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    this is actually something I also thought about recently with my own customers (I didn't come up with a solution though!). Fortunately most of my customers are in clusters so there isn't much time lost (though there IS some time lost that irritates me).
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I bet if there seasonal you don't mine!:D
  8. fordzilla1155

    fordzilla1155 Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    If you forget to put your trash out, does your trashman prorate his bill?
  9. Woodland

    Woodland Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Excellent point. I'll have to remember that since I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to argue with one of my customers when they get their bill this month.

    It is a new account this year. A 2 unit apt. bldg. and the first storm the tenant shoveled the drive and one of the walks, I shoveled the other. Then two storms I couldn't plow because there were two cars blocking the driveway. I was told by the landlord when we signed the contract that none of the tenant have vehicles!. Then the last storm (yesterday) was 12" overnight. I showed up and there were no cars around fortunately. So 12" plus the 6" from the last one and 4" the one before that! Plowing that mess made up for the two "free" storms.
  10. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I had something similar happen last week. A private road I do part of was done when I got there. Turns out a builder was plowing it to get to the site where he was building a house. After I found out the particulars, I billed the customer even though I hadn't actually plowed. When my customer questioned my billing for something I didn't do - my response was that I maintained responsibility for his section of the road that we'd agreed on, I would do any additional plowing that needed to be done (widening, cleaning up etc), I had to go up there to check each time regardless if I plowed or not and that I would be responsible for any potential charges there may be for plowing that section (the builder and I discussed that before I explained to the customer). The customer was losing nothing and I was still responsible for maintaining his section of the road. My unspoken point was that if I could only charge for when I plowed and not knowing if it would be plowed until I got there, why would I go to the time and expense of driving up there if maybe I'd get paid and maybe not?
  11. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    With my situation being all in-city, there isn't much excessive travel (and like I said, most of my places are in the same areas I'm already working), BUT.... I can't see anyone "volunteering" to check on properties when there's no guarantee of payment. I did a 1/2 charge for irrigation blowout when a customer had me come over but didn't prepare things for me (and I wasn't able to do the job but was out the cost of my time and HIS portion of the equipment rental while doing multiple properties that day).
  12. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    My contract states that I can bill if I show up and its done and you didnt call. I have never done this, but it is frustrating. It happens every now and again......I dont want to deal with the customers calling crying so I just eat the loss for the day and look ahead to the next storm.
  13. mmplowing

    mmplowing Member
    Messages: 56

    Yes that is what I have been doing thus far...just eating the losses. There is one customer that once I get a check from them they will get a call and if this happens again (4th time) then I will be stopping services.
  14. mikelawtown

    mikelawtown Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 429

    I droped a customer that i had for 2 years because when i got there a couple storms ago both cars were in the drive covered with snow, i pushed the end of the driveway and went to get a coffee around the corner and called the customer and said you would have to remove the cars if they wanted the drive done or i would have to come back and charge double. well the lady said well dont you do snow removal?.my husband needs a hand to get the snow off the cars..I said nope and never went back.....prsport
  15. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    I put this in this year for my residentials. Might not hold up in court, but at least I have something on paper. On my bills for December I put a reminder on that as well.

    "Also, if you do not need service after a snow event, you must call the above number to let me know. If no call has been received and I come to your home, a service call will be billed at that time. The need for this is to cover labor costs, as well as fuel costs. "
  16. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I HATE having to go back cleaning up where cars were parked.
  17. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    I like this and wish i had this seeing how i just dropped a customer over the same issue of not being called before we made a trip, she always claimed it was her neighbor so iput in the last invoice that we wil no longer be servicing the account. Well we sent out the last invoice just prior to the last storm to her father who lives in Florida (he pays the bill) and she called me wondering where i was and i told her that i sent a letter to her father and that she should check with her neighbor to see if he could do it.
  18. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    Actually got one call for the dec 7 event that they did not want service for that storm. I really think it was because of the service call part.
  19. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    WOW I cant believe the way some of you treat your customers! How far is it between customers.... "I wasted a trip out".... why are your accounts so far apart, and why so upset about loosing 1 charge?
  20. Donny O.

    Donny O. Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    I know i for one live in a somewhat rural area and have a few that are out of the city a bit. my farthest one from my house is about 20+ minutes away depending on weather....yes there are some in between, but you get my point. if I drive all the way out there for nothing that is 40 min wasted....not to mention a few galons of fuel.

    I have only actually had this happen with one customer which was not out of my way at all. I think she hired at least 2 of us and said it needed done by a certain time figuring at least one of us would make it on time. I was always there and it would have been clear when she told me, but I only found it unplowed one time and cleared the pile from the street plow one other time. didn't bother calling her back the next year!!