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Alternative story to USM

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by chitownsnowedin, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. chitownsnowedin

    chitownsnowedin Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 50

    I have worked with USM for 3 seasons prior to this one. Handle a handful of Best Buys and some banks.

    I have not had some of the problems others have mentioned on here at all. I have been paid every last cent short of their stupid 4% fee. But you know what, that fee didn't jump up and surprise me. I knew it was there and I took accounts knowing to expect to get 4% less.

    That being said, their paperwork requirements are annoying. And you will be asked to submit the same documents repeatedly. I once sent in a cert of Insurance 5 times one month.

    And yes, sometimes you will lose money if you accept their proposal for a location. You simply say no and don't take it. I turn down at least 10 accounts every year for them.

    This year they sent me a couple dozen Wal-Mart's. I selected 2 I could make money at.

    Know your costs, be prepared to be annoyed with repetitive documentation requests, and read the contracts and understand the requirements.

    Yes, they are not the best company to work for. I can't speak for all companies out there, but my experience has been one of being paid usually around 60 days. Not for everyone, I understand. But they are not this big evil company who only rips people off as some on here seem to allege either. One piece of proof on that is how everyone mentions the 20% discount for below average snowfall without mentioning the 20% addition for above average snowfall, Outside of USM I have 23 accounts that are seasonal billed. 3 of them have similar clauses. Not a completely unheard of thing that USM made up to screw people.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  2. Tiflawn

    Tiflawn Member
    Messages: 45

    You sound like a politician. Most contractors would not sign a contract like USM has. Our attorney could not believe the garbage that was in there. We have to keep the price of our services at our level, not USM's. These national companies can bring the level of service and price of services down. The Walmarts that you did not take will have to be done by someone. If you could not make money on them how is someone else? Come to western NY and try to make money plowing for a middle man. These national companies do not have any experience in the Snow Industry. They are a market company. If I wanted to work for peanuts I would sit in a cage at the zoo and scratch my balls for the people. I do believe this mess that some pencil pusher created will be fun to watch. Have a great winter and remember when you walk in the snow and leave a funny trail you are probably a low baller. LOL:mad:
  3. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Nice :laughing::laughing:
  4. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    lmfao, that is too funny, to true also:laughing:
  5. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    i have just one question, if USM an alright company to work for, why are so many people pissed with them?
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,249

    Quote of the day folks.

  7. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    I'll second that.:D
  8. asps4u

    asps4u Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    :laughing: I'm going to hang on to that one. That's awesome! :laughing:
  9. lbfmd

    lbfmd Member
    Messages: 48

    lol, i think i just wet myself:laughing:

    that has to be the best line ever:)
  10. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    Wow this guy is funny I am laughing my butt off!!!
  11. mksuwndr

    mksuwndr Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Wait a minute, you understand them taking 4%? they are basicly taking money out of your pocket. Do u understand that the wal marts, ect. already pay them to handle this. I will never pay to work, wich is basicly mwhat the 4% comes down too.

    Worse now we have another company Spring Wise. We live in a city of 78,000 and and only the big lowballer in town will take a contract for either.

    IMO if you sign up with these losers it is the same as playng craps in vegas, hope it doesnt snow.:salute:
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  12. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    We work for a couple of Nationals and the pricing is better than if i quoted it myself !! Lots of paperwork and reporting BUT we have been paid every time. I would probably never do a walmart because i dont want to carry the cost for 60 -90 days plus every price ive heard was stupid!
    That being said i believe lots of people dont like nationals because they need you to operate like a real company. Lots of plow guys are old school and think "well i did the job i better get paid" when really the job is not done till all the required paper work is complete and submitted.
    Im sure there are some legit cases of not getting paid because of miss communication. But im real sure lots of people dont get paid or get there payment dragged out because they screwed up the paper work.
    While the contract is not something that turns me on i can see why and how some of lingo was added
  13. johndeereguy

    johndeereguy Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 158

    I do work for a national company and it is way better pay then anything I could have gotten myself. Ya, a little more paperwork, take a few pictures, and have the manager sigh a piece of paper saying I was there, not to hard. I am now signed on to do one Wal Mart though USM, and trying to get another. The prices are what I QUOTED, not what they told me. No 4% reduction in pay, no 5% to get paid on time, I really wonder how many guy here have the contract for WALMART in their hands or are just upset someone else is doing the work. I am a profesional company, been in business for many years. I am not a dumb new guy trying to make a buck. I intend on making a PROFIT, and know my costs, and my production times. Like I said, I am very happy to be doing one, and hoping to find out tomorrow about the other one. I am ready to plow!!
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  14. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    You could see that 4% in different ways.
    1. In there contract i believe it says that they can take the 4 % after you hit 10,000 and 6 months of service. So you could plow all this season and never deal with it :)
    2. real companys have a number ! A % of sales that it cost you to get X amount of business.
    If you look at how much advertising, sales brochures, estimate presentation, labor to do all this. Im sure some people spend more than 4% .
    Usm probably thinks that since we cover all this cost then the contractor can pick some of it. Since all the contractor did was answer the phone call from USM :)
  15. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Wow the first four threads in the Commercial Snow Removal forum are regarding Walmart/USM in one way or another, then there are few more scattered down the first page, this is almost getting out of hand.

    Alright, let me preface this by saying I have never done any work for USM. However, another guy I know in real life has; he said they were a bit of a pain, but they did always pay, and it was an okay deal for him.

    There are countless threads here about how terrible USM is, don't work for them, they're ruining the industry, if you do any work for them you're stupid and should be shot, ect, ect. Now I realize they have probably screwed over a few people before, but have probably been fine to work with for many others. I also realize that they have probably gone in and lowballed and took what was a good contract from a hard working local guy/company.

    I think what happened here on plowsite is that a few guys who have had a bad experience with USM started bashing them and made them out to look like this evil monster. Everyone else jumped on the band wagon, and now guys here that had never even heard of USM are posting in the countless walmart threads about how bad USM is. Anyone that even hinted they were interested in working for USM was blasted and flammed and told they were an idiot. The whole thing just kind of spun out of control, and now anytime anyone mentions USM/Walmart, people start posting about how awful it is, everyone agrees, and the vicious circle begins again.

    Now if I lost a big account due to USM cutting my price is half, I'd be mad as hell too, but I'm just not buying into the fact that USM doesn't pay their subs and makes their lives miserable.

    Just my two cents.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  16. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Well said!
  17. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

  18. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    I do alot of work for springwise and they are probably one of the best national companies out there. They pay well for all the work I do. I get paid within 20 days of sending in invoices and if I ever have a problem I have a contact that takes care of it for me. I am NO lowballer by any means. If I was I would have gotten the 150 bids I sent out this year. I was the middle bidder or 20 to 30% higher then the winning bidder. They went with the low bids in most of them. I would say 95% of them. These bids were going for less then what they were paying 2 and 3 years ago. Not all nationals are bad...But USM contract is scary.
  19. cseutah

    cseutah Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 54

    Springwise is just Genesis Facility Maintenance with a new name. I took care of a Rite-Aid store a few years back, same bs couldnt find our paperwork sent it numerous times, finally gave up told them to keep their money and never call again.
    when they came back with a new name they tried to play it as a new company but the girl i talked to said they where formerly Genesis.
  20. chitownsnowedin

    chitownsnowedin Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 50

    I will answer one question otherwise others have discussed the others that have popped up.

    How can someone do something at a profit that I could not? I hope that wasn't a serious question. We all have different cost structures. We also all should have locations we could service more easily than others.

    Fact is, the 2 Wal-Marts I took were in strip centers where I already took care of most of the plaza. Both instances the other contract or timing involved was flexible enough to where I am able to serve both Wal-Mart and my other account with the same end loader.

    So I don't have to pay for another loader and another pusher. I just have a couple extra loader, truck hours, shoveler hours, and salt. (neither site is a Super WalMart, I want no part of that headache). The combined revenue with the Wal-Mart and other account I now consider my best locations. Even with USM taking their 4% and whatever else.

    But if for me was a standalone, not worth my time.