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Asking for references before subbing

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by HeartlandOKC, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. HeartlandOKC

    HeartlandOKC Member
    Messages: 30

    I was recently contacted by a large snow and ice management company about pushing and salting lots here in Oklahoma. I've read a few good and several bad threads about them which prompted me to ask them for a few references of sub-contractors currently working for them in my region. I haven't heard back from them yet but I'll let everyone know what they say. Do you guys think this is a reasonable request?

    We will be a "per event" account. I'm familiar with how these companies work and okay with waiting to get paid.
  2. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Absolutely it is.

    It'll be interesting to see if they honor your request.
  3. HeartlandOKC

    HeartlandOKC Member
    Messages: 30

    Their reply...

    "Unfortunately we don’t provide references, as we are the client, and we currently do not perform any other work in your region. Is it company policy for you to ask ****** for references before you do work for them as well? Coming from a background in the outdoor maintenance industry, I find that policy to be a bit out of character for a successful maintenance company."

    LOL... on the contrary, I believe this is why we are succesful.
  4. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    I thought you might get the run around with them. A one way only street for them....:dizzy:

    I've been asked this by potential subs before. I have accommodated them by giving them names and numbers. It's a perfectly reasonable request.
  5. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Good for you! Too bad more people don't do this! I too am not affraid to give references.... its a good part of doing business IMO.
  6. Kenyou

    Kenyou Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Sounds like they may have somthing to hide.
  7. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    guess their answer does in fact answer your question.

    I'd walk away, seems like a very reasonable and smart request.
  8. Scottscape

    Scottscape Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    prsport thanks but no thanks
  9. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    my responce would be,

    sir, forgive me for asking however since we have not done business with you in the past, and have no local busienss owners that can confirm your business practices we would kindly ask for a recommendation from either another sub company or the BBB. We mean no disrespct, but our company operates on the highest of standards, and we will not work with any other company that isnt the same. We are well known in this area for professional and quality work, so there is a high demand for my services, as a result we will leaave yoru property standing tall and looking good, but we dont just take on any snow work, rather we are picky about the customers we take on to ensure they are the right fit for our operation. That is why we are successful at what we do.
  10. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    id also add, id be happy to take on your work, but terms would be net 15 days with no excuses, and i would not weiave the right to file any type of lein or suit against the property.
  11. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,797

    This guy is good! :nod::popcorn:
  12. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    Love your answer, only thing change the word 'picky' maybe 'discerning'

    Also if you buy something on credit doesn't your car dealership/ homebuilder do a credit check to see if you can pay it? You're their customer but they look into you!
  13. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i like that point - because yes they do

    case in point - once was 16 years of age and didnt know how to do mechanical repair at the time. needed brakes. turned out the sneaky sales guy told me i need it all replaced....yes i was a foul couldnt afford to pay for it on the spot all at once. Firestone offers a small credti terms, whih i took on, but they had to run my credit

    there is a company, i was the customer, they provided me with both parts and labor as a service company and had to a credit check to make sure that i would pay.

    FYI - i will never go back to that location, again. i went into work, they all told me "i got sold"
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  14. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    Like a credit check, just go around them to Dunn and Bradstreet Reports, BBB reports and other commercial rating services to see what they are like.
  15. Mdwstsnow512

    Mdwstsnow512 Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    that may not always tell the whole story. it is good to do, and a great start. but especially when the little guys are the ones getting screwed this doesnt always tell the story.

    BTW: off topic, how come every credit reporting agency only reports the bad, no one ever says, they paid 15 days every single time for years. but it will sure as **** show if you pay 35 days once.
  16. HeartlandOKC

    HeartlandOKC Member
    Messages: 30

    My end response.

    "I apologize if my request was, in any way, offensive. I’m aware of ********* national status and respect the fact you don’t feel it’s necessary to provide references. Heartland Landscape Group is very selective when partnering with other companies and I believe this is one of the reasons we ARE successful. You are not ***** or the client.

    We’re not currently interested in taking on “per event” contracts. Thank you for the opportunity."
  17. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    That's a great response. :salute:

    They will only change their ways once they discover their current ways are no longer effective.
  18. HeartlandOKC

    HeartlandOKC Member
    Messages: 30

    Ya, it wasn't my goal for this thread to turn into a crusade against the way nationals' operate but I do think more companies should question contracts and talk to subs in their region about their experiences before agreeing to a contract. In this case, the national company is 1,500 miles away... and they are only onsite one time per year to tell you how much damage you did. I can read a contract all day but that doesn't tell me how understanding or easy to work with a national is. Currently, I work for one national company because their account manager came and walked the properties with me, paid for my dinner, and answered all questions I had... IN PERSON. If you want to PM me I'll tell you who this company is. There are good national companies out there but if they're not willing to prove it to me please don't bother calling.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010