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Called their bluff....

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by LwnmwrMan22, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    Got a call earlier this month from one of my clients.

    Seemed as though they were upset with paying a flat monthly fee for plowing, since we've only gotten 7 inches of snow all year so far.

    Anyways, it's a group of people that own (2) townhomes, with (2) units in each building for a total of (4) homes on an area of about 2 acres.

    Anyways, the driveway is a straight shot, about 15' wide, 200' long, with the two drives for the homes off the left side as you're looking at it from the road.

    I didn't want to do it, since it's about 5 miles from anything else that I'm doing, but I was doing the mowing on the place, and told them I'd plow it per month for what I was getting paid for mowing per month.

    $300 / month, didn't think they would say okay, but they did.

    Usually for a townhome / condo, I'm at about $40-55 / month per unit, so usually this place would be $200 / month, my minimum for dropping the trailer, but they're slow payers, so I charge an extra $100 / month, figure a built in late fee, that hopefully they'll find someone cheaper.

    Anyways, back to the story. They call me up earlier this month, after I've plowed a total of 3 times, and ask to be put on a per time or per inch basis. I tell them they can find someone else, because I don't do ANY per time or per push, residential OR commercial.

    They said okay, finish out January and they'll get a new contractor starting February. I say I'll keep doing it, until I hear otherwise.

    Anyways, getting ready to send out February invoices tonight, so I figure I'll call them up.

    "Well, we're heading to to Mexico in the morning for a month, why don't you finish out the season and we'll set up for mowing when we get back".

    It's nice to have some backbone at times and have it pay off.....
  2. fatboy

    fatboy Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    Good call !!! payup :gunsfiring:

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    Depending on how you made out and how much more you plow I would offer one month free to retain them. Word of mouth does wonders and if you get 2 -3 maybe more customers out of it then that is how companies grow.
  4. payton

    payton Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    or at least one month half off
  5. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Most of the reason people want a flat per month fee is budgeting. You did your part, plowed and salted when it did snow. Go ahead customer, per push or event, next year I could make out like a bandit. Now it's $300 a week with all the snow we got vers $300 a month last year. If it's a condo complex they should not be a slow payer, the condo association gets that money every month. It's only a matter of the guy in charge getting around to doing the bills.

    X-LOWBALLER Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 102

    Leaving to Mexico for a month = They are moving someone in as renters and they are going to stiff you for the remainder of the agreement while the new renters get a free month of service. Don't mind me, I always see the bad side in people.
  7. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Nice work, good for you.
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    There's really not an association here, its just 3-4 couples that are in on it as an investment property, the townhomes are rental townhomes / condos.

    They're tied in with a guy that I do 4 other commercial properties for, although he and his wife are NOT the ones that are responsible for paying the bills on this property, but thats how I picked up the account.

    I've been doing the mowing at this site for 4 years, and over the years have had issues where they've usually been 1-2 months behind, but eventually I call, threaten them with stop of service, then they get caught up, are good for a couple of months, slow down again, get a phone call asking how much do they owe, send you a check tomorrow, etc.

    Like I said in the previous post, it's not an account that they should be paying $300 / month to have plowed, at most in the past I'm sure they've been paying about $50 / time to get plowed, but I know the guy that did it before was tired of never being paid.

    I figure if they're going to pay me that much, I'll take that extra money with the built in late fee.

  9. yeah, you know I would kinda be thinking the same thing. Maybe they really have no intention on paying. This is probably not the case though.