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Buffalo Price Gouging new acrticle

Got Grass?

Senior Member
Western New York

Check this one out
Spitzer is qouted "Taking advantage of consumers durring this emergency is unconscionable and illeagal, I also find it intresting that no one was offering refunds when it didn't snow at all last month"
and that it was wrong to chargre more then the normal price for a driveway.

Talk about bullcrap.
Why do thay care so much about the private plowers when thay are willing to pay up to $250 hr for people to clear the roads?

Maby Spitzer sould look into this.
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what i really am wondering, is whether some operators do only snowplowing, and inadverdently refer to it as snow removal. you can be held accountable for that in a court of law whether inadverent or not. i know of a couple contractors who had to bite their lip and actually remove the snow.. any thoughts, or comments on this??


2000 Club Member
This is the email that I sent to the newspaper.

Hello My name is Dino Tudisca, and I own a snow and ice management business in south eastern Ct. I am a member of SIMA www.sima.org and www.plowsite.com. Both of which are highly regarded in the snow removal industry as industry leaders.
I want to comment on the unfavorable articles that have been printed in your paper since the record breaking snow fall of 12-23-01 through 12-29-01.
I think first one must point out that the complaints according to your paper seem to be few in comparison to the thousands of snow removal operators that are in Erie county and other affected areas that saw the heavy snowfall. One must also realize that 84+ inches of snow is very hard on both the operators and the equipement, and would go above and beyond the scope of any normal snow removal operations that would be covered by a standard contract. We have clauses to allow us to increase rates due to blizzard and or severe winter weather conditions. While some may not have had those clauses,( which is not uncommon in residential aggreements), it should not be surprising that rate increases would have been needed. I must ask you, would you shovel 7 feet of snow to save 200.00 dollars? I know I wouldnt.
Even with a standard per push agreement, assuming one was able to plow the drive every 12", that would be at least 7 pushes times the rate of say 30.00 per push, and you would be at 210.00 for the storm accumulations. So a charge of 250.00 is not out of line.
The comments of the council person saying that certain snow plow operators should be shot at dawn has me more concerned than"price gouging" snow removal contractors. That is a very poorly worded phrase, and makes me think that the council person is just looking for press on a timely issue.
While I am sure that some grieveances are just, to paint the entire industry in such a light is a diservice to both us and your newspaper. I would hope that the "press" would present both sides of the issue in an unbiased nature, and that interviews and stories of some of the good that citizens recieved from snow plow operators should be looked at as possible story lines.
Feel free to respond of you wish, I would look forward to speaking with you.
I can be reached at 860-608-1842 if you would like to talk in person.
Respectfully yours

Got Grass?

Senior Member
Western New York
Looking at articals

Nice letter!

I would just like to thank CH. 2 news for having the best write out of all of them.


Sound like this guy did get screwed if his contract is what thay say it is.

I'm sorry for the people who do have blizzard clauses...
If the contract was fuzzy then sorry its your fault for not properly wording it.

Ch4, Didnt sound all that bad untill the last line.

"Martino said, "As I've said, they should shoot them at dawn."
Martino's comment may not be that far off. Scamming helpless citizens during a disaster is not very different from looting during a riot - and rioters are shot"


This is Spitzers press release.

So In other words a plumber has to charge the same ammount for a repair weather it be to patch a pinhole or replace the pipe?
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PlowSite.com Addict
Central CT
Okay, one quote says they are charging $75 to $200 per driveway, the other says its $75 to $200 additional, big difference, it'd be nice if this Martino freak got his story straight.

Got Grass?

Senior Member
Western New York
Thay dont know thier story thats the problem.
Buffalo is known for tring to solve problems before thay even know what the problem is. Hell, no one cares about the facts.

And thay wonder why $900 million is missing from the city and not one single person knows where it went.
If only the state looked ito that. Naww why would thay do that when thier bank accounts keep growing for some off reason.

Buffalo is so damn scewed up I doubt Rudy could even fix it.

I've send a few E-mail to some high up people, just wating to see if I get a responce. I worded them better then here. Wouldnt wana come across like I was putting someone down.

Plow Meister

PlowSite.com Addict
Yes, Seaman, It was me. He asked me if he could quote me and I said O.K. but only if the article was to show the plowers point of view. Like I said in a different post, we had a very productive talk on the phone the other day. Phil Fairbanks is actually a good guy. I really believe he understood my points and it seems he conveyed them in a somewhat positive manner.

Is everyone O.K. with what I was quoted as saying?


Toronto Canada
Of course gouging occured by some unprofessional, greedy, possibly illegitimate contractors. These instances sound limited & each case & complaint will have to be individually investigated. As usual the media has tried to balloon this into a grand conspiracy in which they are the public's saviour & watchdog.
I'm sure there have been articles praising the efforts of Buffalo's private contractors as well??


PlowSite.com Addict
Claverack, NY
Dino, well said. I think that SIMA, in my opinion, should contact and explain to them that snowplowers in WNY is not gouging their customers. SIMA is a strong industry and I think that if they explain to them, maybe they will understand better. They need to understand the difference between plowing 1/2 foot and 7 feet of snow. They need to understand that the more snowfall, the more snowplowing it takes. Also it put more wear on snowplowers' truck and uses more gas. It add up the cost to do the job. I don't think that $250 for plowing 7' of snow is a bad deal. Would you rather spend $250 to have your driveway plowed, or spend a $100,000 hospital bill? I know that it is alot of money for customers to pay in a short period of time, but they have to pay for what it takes to do the job.

If someone don't stand behind those WNY snowplowers, then it may hurt their businesses and the industry in the WNY. So don't just sit around and watch WNY plowers get hurt, get someone bigger that they will listen, to get their confusing mess straighten up.


Senior Member
hi gang i am from buffalo and as you know we got slamed.im sure there are guys out there taking advantage of some people.but if you have a contract you have to stick to it. your word should mean something.i don't have any special wording in my contracts nor do i care . you have to be a man and suck it up sometimes.thats why i keep the same customers year after year. i had many people tring to flag me down this week.i just wave them off .i am loyal to the people that singed up before nov.now if you didn't have a contract with your plowing company thats a different story. take care


Yardley, PA.
the lastest

Call 4 Action
Complaints Piling Up About Snow Removal Contractors
Email Story to Friend
(Buffalo, NY, January 2, 2002) - - The complaints are piling up about snow removal contractors gouging hundreds of dollars from residents to clear their rooftops or driveways. They are breaking the law, and Call 4 Action's Al Vaughters reports the New York Attorney General will make the gougers pay dearly for their "snow jobs."

Alice Willard's husband hired a snow removal contractor just before he died, to make sure Alice could get out of the house this winter. The contractor removed the snow, and then demanded another 100 dollars. Alice said, "Because he said there was too much snow, that he had to rent this machine."

But Alice said the contract did not require another 100 dollars, and refused to be gouged, "And I told him I wasn't going to pay him because according to the contract, it was $270 and that was it.

Vaughters: What did he say about that?

Willard: He said, well I'm going to contact your relatives!

The same contractor tried extracting extra money from a neighbor who was reluctant to go on camera. The neighbor said, "Well I thought it was terrible, because he only plowed me once and he did a terrible job in the first place, and he never showed up again."

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said he will prosecute any snow removal contractors who use this emergency to gouge customers, "We're getting many complaints, particularly relating to those who have entered contracts and are now increasing their prices. It shocks the conscience. There's a law that was written to prohibit this, and we will fine you up to $10,000 once we find out about this."

Alice Willard is especially upset because she was already paying extra to get the sidewalk cleared, but her neighbor cleaned up the sidewalk, not the contractor. Alice's neighbor said, "She was basically trapped in this house."

Alice's opinion of the contractor? "I think he's a crook!"

Spitzer says there is a specific New York statute that prohibits raising prices during an emergency or disaster, and that includes prices for gas, snow blowers - anything weather-related.

If you feel you have been gouged during this emergency, the attorney general's consumer hotline is 853-8404. We have a link to the attorney general's home page below.

You can Call 4 Action at 879-4900