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customer trouble

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by skidster32, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. skidster32

    skidster32 Member
    Messages: 31

    hey guys, long time reader first time posting in this section of plow site. i have a slight problem with one of my customers and i am looking for advice. Note we are mot in a contract, but i had mentioned it at the beggening of the season but was told they didnt think they needed one to do business. big mistake on my part. were looking at 1 to 3 inches tomorrow (Saturday) and one of my customers just called me and said i know were looking at snow tomorrow but i am gonna go ahead and pass this time unless i call you. well i dont work that way. he claims that he has the final say but agreed to the 2" min at the beginning of the season. i feel that if i cant do his when i do everyone else then I'm not gonna mess with it. he also told me if i have any doubts that i should call him and ask before I do anything. but he dosnt like the idea of being woke up at 2 or 3 in the morning. I was going to drop this guy at the end of the season but it came a little sooner than expected. I will never do anything again without a contract for i have learned my lesson. but anything I would have drew up he would have never agreed to so. what would you guys have done with this kind of situation? Keep in mind I do about 12 apartments for this guy.
  2. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    I hate that discussion. I would try explaining to the guy that the rate that you have given him is based on you being in the area to service other customers, and that if on sunday night he needs you to come in its going to be extra. It sounds like this property is part of a route you have established and you can fit it in when you do the other places. If you're cool with the guy and have worked other properties for him just tell him you really would rather use your best judgement about servicing the property than getting a call at 8:00 on sunday night when you are lounging in the recliner in your pjs.
  3. skidster32

    skidster32 Member
    Messages: 31

    yes your right it is part of a route. this guy has a trust problem, i got a call from him a while back complaining about how he was charged an additional push when i went back to do it a second time after he called me to do so. i got to the property took a look called him back and said hey it blew back pretty bad i think it needs to be done again he agreed. he has also complained about in the past how i never do his stoops and side walks in front of the buildings. i went on to explain to him that thats all in the price as well so they get done everytime and gets charged for everytime i have to go back. sorry for venting i am extremly hot right now:realmad:
  4. Lencodude

    Lencodude Senior Member
    Messages: 128

    If you don't need his work, you can say good bye, But if you need his work I would go along with it till the end of the season and next year make him sign a contract. He might be trying to save money and waiting for 2 -3 storms before calling you to clear his lots. Then you should mention to him it will be double the cost to plow pack down snow.
  5. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Just wait for him to call and then increase your price for being "on-call".
  6. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    No Contract? Simple solution---Do what ever you want. If he calls, you don't want to. then don't. Same game he is playing with you.
  7. shott8283

    shott8283 Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    he can be picky now and choose when you show up... but like they said above... wen the time comes and HE NEEDS you... the ball is in your court and then you can dictate how everything is gonna roll.. at that point you should let him know the new on-call price and explain that thats how its gona be.. then drop him!!!

    i bid on a rezi and knew the guy only intended for me to be oncall...even before tellin him the price.. i jumped the bid an extra 15$ per push for that exact reason.. if im gonna be oncall for one rezi out of my route,,, then you betchya im gonna get paid for it!!!
  8. Blazin

    Blazin Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    Around here no one uses contracts. Its all hand shake deals. I do however make it very very clear to the point of sending out a letter to all new, and current customers that I am the expert so to speak and they hired me for that reason. Hence I will use my best judgment as to when and when not to plow / sand etc. If they call and complain I try to smooth any ruffled feathers for a few minutes, then I tell them maybe you need to find a new snow removal contractor. 99% of the time they back way down.
    As far as on call, I only do on call for a select few people that have their own plow rig. Basically in case their truck goes down. Also one guy that plows his driveway with a large tractor, back when I first started out I plowed his road for him, he travels for his job allot. Not uncommon for him to call me from the other end of the country, or his girlfriend to call and ask me to open the road up, and he will take care of the details when he returns. I also sand his road for him as well. Plus he is on my route as well. We both plow the first 100' of the road to his house, I plow a large driveway off of that road. It not worth the hassles and possible damage to do on call just because some mouth breather wants to think he is running the pony show, or be a cheap skate.
    I would tell him to go fly a kite if I were you!
  9. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    if he doesnt want you to do it now let him know that when he does want you to it will cost more. especially if he waits a couple of storms to call you and expects you to charge the same as just a single plow.
  10. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,190


    I think thats the best advice.

    But of course you have to know best, as it sounds like u do other work for him, and it is your income in the end you may be losing.
  11. daninline

    daninline Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    I had a customer that called me to not plow this storm the next day he called for me to plow he frozen sleet well after salt and plowing he ended up paying about 4X more.
    I hate people that think they know what they are doing.

    He will pay

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I think when he would calls me to come plow...

    I am going to point out it is heavy or wet snow and it cost more to move it or it is light flufly snow and going to blow making me have to come back a second time and cost more....

    I get a kick out of "clowns" trying to tell me how to my job... normaly if i need the work i will string them along till i find a replacement.
  13. skidster32

    skidster32 Member
    Messages: 31

    thanks for all the info guys, im still learnin the ropes in the snow business.
  14. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Member
    Messages: 58

    get him oncontract, If not and on " will call" and not so committed to you, same for him , more cost for service and last on route or next day, or your tooo busy.