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Big ugly church contract

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Makndust, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    I have been plowing a certain church in town for 2 yrs now. I was just called by the property manager (who is 80 miles away) and told that I would sign their contract. I tried to speak to him but he kept interupting me and speaking over me. Now I am a patient person, but this got the best of me. I got his contract a couple days later. A few problems as stated below.

    1. No trigger amount.
    2. A provision in the contract states that I cannot; use tobacco, swear, etc, etc. on the property.
    3. A provision states that if I have not plowed the lot and there is a slip and fall, I am liable.

    No trigger amount, I can deal with by just calling him and finding out. The now tobacco, cussing thing is just petty B.S that I can overlook. The liabilty thing is a litlte more than I can tolerate. It is supposed to be clean by 6:00 Am and 6:00 PM every day. I think that he is going to give me a 2" trigger Mon thru Sat and a 1" trigger on Sunday mornings.

    I was so HOT by the time I was done reading it that my wiife looked at me and said that "She will handle it". My suggestion was to crap on his contract and send it back to him in a box.

    It snowed 3" the other day and I didn't touch him.

    I have decided that he can blow his contract out his A@@, and sign my contract or I won't do it.

    Any advice or input would be appreciated
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  2. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    a dream account?

    If you accept liability, you should have them agree to a zero tolerance/bare pavement policy which gives you full discretion to use whatever means necessary to achieve bare pavement to reduce that liability. I see lots of $alt on this lot!
  3. shaltac

    shaltac Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Yeah if the amendments aren't agreeable and the contract has no trigger... Sounds like a thanks but no thanks. Too easy for him to get you over a barrel on it.

    No swearing - lol - I'd be smoking a stogie and cussing like a sailor with my windows rolled down.
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,239

    I think you answered your own question. :) :nod:
  5. 92XT

    92XT Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    I stopped reading your post after his provisions.....
    You are the executor to the contract .Only you know how to perform the task at hand. While he sleeps .
  6. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324


    I think that you summed it up really well. And I also agree with the smoking stogies and swearing with the window down. Last winter I was in fine form on that account after nearly breaking a cutting edge on that very account.
  7. packey

    packey Member
    Messages: 97

    It is strange to see some of the responses on here. If you do not like his contract then do not sign it and do not do the Job. I know I am new to snow removal but I have been in the lawn maintence business a long time. If I do not like the terms then I wlll walk away. Their is no since in getting all worked up about some contract. Oh yeah remeber the contract is a two way street.

    By the way I would be ashamed if I embarrased myself with a foul mouth and unprofesional apperance.
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    I would call the guy back. For all you know his mom was in the hospital that day, or a supervisor was on him for whatever reason, or a myriad of other reasons.

    Anyways, I would start to have a conversation and if he started to talk over you again, then say 2 times, "please let me explain some things that you missed on your contract".

    If that didn't work, then simply hang up and move on.

    If the prop. manager let you speak, explain to him that you either need a trigger, or is he giving you a bare pavement contract??

    As for the swearing / smoking, that's no big deal. We've got a school district that you're not allowed to use tobacco on, who cares?? If someone can hear you swear over the heater full blast, radio turn up, engine roaring and plowing going up / slamming down, then you probably have Tourettes.

    Now, the liability thing. I would simply tell him that he needs to have at least 1 time, if not 2 or 3, for if you plow, but it's snowing 1"+ / hour, then there's going to be snow again on the area you already plowed.

    You'll probably have to negotiate that part of the contract.

    If you already skipped on a 3" snowfall, then there's probably a good chance that you don't have to worry about having alot of this conversation anyways.
  9. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    That's too bad. I really don't like churches like that, they give every other good church a bad name. I wouldn't mind plowing other churches for a discounted cost, because I know that some don't have a ton of money, but that kind of church is just not focusing on the right stuff. Your the plowing expert, and your the one that's gonna get sued if someone slips and falls, why does a church need to but more liability on you than you already have? Like I said that's just not right.
  10. sparky8370

    sparky8370 Senior Member
    Messages: 234

    Tell him to "go to hell"
  11. Ultra

    Ultra Member
    Messages: 45

    RED FLAG when a potential client keeps interrupting he has no respect walk away. I had a contract with a church and I took good care of them they said I was there too often and was taking advantage they even sent me a tract like I was the devil himself !! Glad to be rid of them!!!
  12. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    #1: you answered with your statement.

    #2: It's their property and they can enforce any rule they want. Did they have this in their contract the last 2 years that you plowed for them? Does it state that you will loose the contract or be fined for smoking or swearing?

    #3: Whither or not it needs to be stated in the contract is another thing, but #3 is true. If you don't do your job, then you can be sued.

    I was just trying to see their side.

    Now, IMO, drop them. They aren't worth the headace. Let them find another contract mid-December that will agree to their contract.
  13. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Biggest jerk I ever estimated was the father of some big catholic church for fertilizing. The guy was a thief and rude as all get out. If the proposal wasn't arranged by a friend of mine, I would have gotten unprofessional on this gentleman, at least with a few choice words.

    Im not that way but this guy was a real crook. I bid the job so over the top on purpose so I wouldn't even come close to getting the gig.
  14. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    I have a great church with great people in charge and attending. But let me say that when someone brings up that they are a Christian with the intent that I should treat them different because of it, that throughs up a red flag.

    In his first post he stated that this was a Property Management Company that sent him the contract, not someone at the church. I'm not saying that the church didn't approve the contract, but that is not who wrote it.
  15. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    lol, thats some funny stuff... i too have had people try to re-write my contracts and do dumb things like that!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2007
  16. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    I have done churches and I have done temples. The line about no cussing or tobacco use is really a minor issue. This poor guy must have had some bad experiences in the past to put that in a contract. Doesn't matter what religion you are, or if you have no affiliation at all. When I did these types of facilities, I remember that these are special purpose properties, and I treat them with a respect I might not have for the average commercial site. And that may mean following some rules that in the whole scheme of life may be a bit different than plowing the local drug store lot. Let's face it guys, some of the folks that work in our industry are a little rough around the edges and that is part of their self reliant outlook on life. They are soldiers of winter, and they get the job done, but may sleep with their boots on after.

    Somebody has to do churches and temples and it is up to the pro (you Mr. Plowman) to educate the property manager as to triggering events and liability issues when the property is not cleaned. The idea is to make a relationship work for both customer and plowman. Some folks do not understand this business and what we go through. We are out there working when the Triple A tow truck driver won't even come out to rescue us.

    I would take another shot at this contract, and explain to them what you face in trying to provide good service to all your customers. Customers have to understand our perspective, they may not agree to everything we need, but then we hardly ever agree to everything a customer needs.

    In our sue happy society they need to understand their responsibilites as well.
  17. ptllandscapeIL

    ptllandscapeIL Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    OK insted of draggin this out kiss the contract goodby and move on i do about 13 churches and i dont deal with that we are professionals so lets just walk away
  18. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    charge him mega dollars for that contract. make it worth while if theres headaches!! Set a high budget for salt.
  19. UglyTruck

    UglyTruck Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    HA HA HA HA Welcome to the wonderful worl of LDS Facilities magement....

    I used to work for a church steeple company & installed over 150 steeples on LDS churches from Bimiji, Mn to McAllen Tx.....that contract sounds farmilliar....as does the Holier-than-thou attitude (pun not intended...but its a good one none the less)

    You will need to stoke this guys ego..but the best thing for you to do is find out who his assistant is and deal with her/him...they are usually a little more realistic.

    The FM generally takes care of 10 - 35 properties & is usually too important to deal with the contractor directly...

    as far as the tobacco & language clause...its a deal-breaker, just accept it...I am supprised that coffee was not included...

    the slip & fall clause has me puzzled...they are just trying to cover their own tail....have them sign your contract & include that all trigger decisions are at your discression since all slip & fall littigation is on your shoulders.

    oh, one other thing......whatever your bid is.....DOUBLE IT...as a business the church wants only the best from its contractors & conciquently is willing to pay top dollar for it. But be forwarned....if you bill like the top dog you better perform like him as well.
  20. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    Thanks guys,

    I have gotten alot of great imput on the question at hand. My wife still hasn't recieved a call back from the property manager (who resides 80miles away). We got 4" last Monday and I didn't touch the account. We'll get in touch with them eventually and see if we can play their game or not. If we can't, we can't. I think that they will be somewhat agreeable when they find out that I am the only one in town.
    By the way Ugly Truck, you hit the nail on the head as to which entity it is. By no means am I criticizing thay particular group of people. Some of our good friend and neighbors belong to that church. I showed the contract to our neighbor, who is one of the higher ups with that particular church. His remark was "this is rediculous!!!"
    You guys are right the "no swearing clause" is no big deal. It just seems to be the idea of it after a while. You are also right, the price will go up.

    Thanks guys