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customer questioning invoice

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by jonniesmooth, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. jonniesmooth

    jonniesmooth Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    I sent my invoices out Dec.2 for one event in Nov.(the19th) and for an event Dec. 1&2. Those were the three days that we had billable events.

    In Nov. we also had 9 days of rain and varying temps around freezing, so I was ready to salt if needed, but the temps stayed high enough that it wasn't required.

    Same thing in Dec. so far, 8 days of rain and temps close to freezing.

    How do you bill for monitoring conditions, if no service is required?
    I just added it to the billable days.
    What would you charge?
    I am charging $20

    My insurance man says I should salt "per request" to shift the liability to them. But I really prefer to be proactive and do it ahead of the game, as the manager is off site and when he calls I may be unable to get there quickly.

    These are apt. buildings and I check them every morning, regardless of precipitation, because the tenants often bring out old furniture etc. that the garbage truck doesn't take and I have to haul to the dump so that they aren't in the way when I do have to plow.
    I charge $20/piece of debris plus dump fees.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,700

    Am I reading this right? You want to charge them for watching the weather?
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,236

    What does your contract state you can charge?

    BTW, I've been monitoring the weather since November 1 and will until at least April 15.
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Your the garage man too?
  5. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Sounds like he did.

    My I suggest, a mix of sessional with your per push...

    Unless it's in your contract you can't charge for watching to see if it snowed or froze.

    When they question your invoice what are you going to tell them?
  6. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,722

    That's part of the job. Luckily I don't have to do it right now because I'm a sub and they tell me when to go out. When I did do it though, it's a lot of sleepless nights watching radars, looking at temps, and driving to sites to see what conditions are like. It's part of the game. Gotta add the "non-productive" time into your billable hours and prices. Just like full time business, you have to include drive time, non-productive, and productive hours to your bids.
  7. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,123

    I would say this is another reason not to Low Ball Price. Bid High and provide a High Quality Service. I do not Bill for looking at the weather or checking conditions.
  8. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    X2Thumbs Up
    It should have been factored into your price of doing business.
    Ie you all ready charged them for watching the weather.
    As it is in your price, as is fuel cost, maintance, etc etc
  9. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Sounds like he's doing it on his own and then trying to bill them for it.
  10. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,123

    I guess if they will pay it more power to you. Please let us know how it goes over.
  11. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    If I tried that I'd loose my customers. As far as garbage I'll tell the manager to move it, if they don't move it in a realistic timeframe I'll bury it.
  12. ponyboy

    ponyboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,104

    Would like to see what this contract says u can bill for
    Around here you would be either fired for jacking up the bill or they would just laugh at you
    And make sure your contract states about the garbage you get paid it just wasted some of your own money
    It's hard enough to get paid for what's in your contract never mind stuff you do outside the contract
  13. jonniesmooth

    jonniesmooth Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    So I guess maybe the question I should have asked is, "How do you decide when to salt, when it rains for two days straight and the temps are between 32 and 38 degrees?" He paid the invoice, I was asking for help wording the explanation of the level of service so he understands.
    I'm not charging for getting up every hour when they forecast snow, I know that's part of the game.
    So nobody ever goes out thinking they might have to salt somewhere, and then not have too? And you do that for free? Or some of you did say that it's factored in to the per push/event price, like I did.
    So I guess that's my answer.
    Thanks for the input!
  14. immortal.ben

    immortal.ben Member
    Messages: 65

    Its part of the bid price. How could it be anything else?

    My contracts, where the customer wants de-icer, states that I will salt every time I plow and whenever icy conditions are likely to exist.
  15. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    A lot of guys do drive around and cheek out sites to see if they need serviceing. Some watch the local temps closely, some have been doing it for so long they get a feel for it, and we all still show up to a site just to find there is nothing to do,
    This pro, level of service is reflected in our price.
    Just becuse you want to work doesn't mean you get to charge for your anxiety,

    we do get it.
  16. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,778

    I charge for site monitoring...plowing is free:D
  17. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,577

    Why are you handeling the garbage? don't say its in the way, the plow will move it. You would only charge someone here one time for looking at a site and not doing any service.
  18. Snow tracker

    Snow tracker Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    There are many mornings I take a ride at 4:30, looks at a few lots, get out of the truck and walk on the pavement just to see if it is slippery. This may include winter rain events when temps are close to freezing. I do not charge extra for this but figure it is built in to the over all price of my service.
  19. cbservicesllc

    cbservicesllc PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,532

  20. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    I will sometimes put it on the bill

    "site checked for slippery conditions, no service required" $0.00.

    This way they know we are actively monitoring things and are using judgement to determine when service is needed.