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Customer wants no salt unless....

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Bossman 92, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    I have a number of customers, (some quite large) that asked that we don't salt unless we have an ice storm. We haven't had any ice storms in several years, and I think we are due. I talked to the property manager for a large lot we do last week, and he declined salting services, but said if we have an ice storm that they would want us to take care of it and send them the bill.

    My question is, if we have an ice event how much do you charge for salting services for customers who refuse service the rest of the time?

    I want to figure this out now so I will be prepared when it happens.

    Thanks Bossman
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Bill them normally. May sure you get all this in writing that he is declining salt .Also he must give approval before you do salt.
  3. NorthernSvc's

    NorthernSvc's Senior Member
    Messages: 781

    either he calls the shots on when to salt or you do... just make sure you get everything in writing....
  4. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    If you salt people regularly, then you have the equipment and warehoused salt to take care of the issue
    if no one wants salt EXCEPT when EVERYONE wants salt
    guess what?
    nobody is going to have any salt, nor will you have equipment to handle it.

    I'd bill them 2 or 3x normal price. It's going to be hell, everyone is going ot want salt if you get an ice storm.
    You have to pay for that equipment and salt to sit in your "warehouse" all the time, you gotta make that money somewhere.

    Because it's going to be awful darn expensive when everyone wants it.

    and yeah, get it in writing
    but no way they get it at normal price.
  5. linycctitan

    linycctitan Senior Member
    Messages: 588

    I agree with everyone else here. Make sure everything is spelled out very clearly, in the contract or an amendment to the contract, and signed by all parties involved. CYA! As for what to charge, like it was already said, if one wants it, everybody is going to want it. Hopefully you will have product on-hand and can still charge a hefty premium for it, if you don't have your own stockpile, you'll be in line fighting for product and paying that premium. Make the situation as profitable as possible for yourself, and protect your assets!!

    LoneCowboy - If you salt people regularly, then you have the equipment and warehoused salt to take care of the issue
    if no one wants salt EXCEPT when EVERYONE wants salt
    guess what?

    Umm, then use pepper!!! People taste better with pepper anyway!!:D
  6. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    Agreed we have a couple of WILL CALL's. We spell it out that the customer's who we service regularly are serviced 1st priority, and then they come into play. I don't have exact language but it states we maybe up to 'x' time to service their property.
  7. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    If the client wants is on ICE storms only or based on their call that is an up charge. You have the greater potential of eating the cost at the end of the season not to mention how do you ramp up operations for these random users.

    But, absolutely get it in writing!
  8. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    Thanks for all the replys, I'll make sure everyone sings somthing saying they refuse salt. As for pricing, I figured I would charge them a "premium" for the service.

    I have a company we have serviced for 8 years now and a few years back they decided they would tell me how I should handle each storm, well long story short they told me to leave the lot alone for the evening and ended up with more than an inch of ice and frozen slush the next day. After 2 days of salting and scraping we finally cleared the lot, needless to say now they tell me to just do what needs to be done.

    Thanks Bossman
  9. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    We either salt "our call" which is clear lot generally, or "on call", they make the call. This season I have been quoting "on call" it two ways, if we are already out its one price, if its a specal call, it another (higher) price. Generally these are smaller 1/2 acre lots or less, where I can "find the salt in the hopper" kinda deal.