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Customer wants to make "comments and revisions" on my contract....

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by mkwl, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    Here's a new one- I get a letter in the mail from one of my plowing clients (resi) which states the following: "Hi Matt, we received your contract in the mail the other day, and would like to make a few comments; first of all, we want it plowed at 4", not 2" I do realize some want it at 2", but we don't. Second of all, I do have some other comments to make, so can you email me a digital copy of it so I can make my comments on that? I'm not sure we want you to plow for us this winter, unless you can accomidate these requests, afterall, I can get the drive SHOVELED for only $25 from P*****tos landscaping! Please get back to me as soon as possible as I'm very busy. -John Doe 123 Anystreet USA

    My first impression was like :laughing: Is he joking? I've been plowing this drive with NO issues the past 3 years, and now I get a letter like this? What gives?

    How would you respond to this?

    Oh, and bear in mind that P*****tos Landscaping is a couple "you know who's" piled into a beat ford windstar going from house to house ($900,000+ homes) shoveling drives for $20-$25 that myself and everyone else is charging at least $50 to plow!

  2. Scott's

    Scott's Senior Member
    Messages: 416

    I would tell them good luck with the new guys. Its not worth it. I dropped all my 4 inch triggers this year.
  3. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    I think I may have to do that- it's crazy because the guy has NEVER complained at al before, and now I get this!
  4. Scott's

    Scott's Senior Member
    Messages: 416

    You cant let the customer run your business.
  5. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    DON"T SEND CONTRACT SO THEY CAN ALTER IT , I did it once what a nightmare. Make changes yourself, or better yet have them write the changes in then you can change it, HOWEVER thats a lot of BS for a RESI, my residentials all get the same contract. I probably would just let them go, or send out a "on call" per push agreement/price, so when the other guys don't show, they no what you'll charge.
  6. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

    I don't change the contract for anyone. If they don't like what it says, they can move on to the next guy. We do a high volume of residentials... changing the contract for a few people is a slippery slope, pretty soon everyone has their own set of rules... it just doesn't work.
  7. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    sounds like you are going to have problems with this one, i would just phone, and drop them, they need to keep in mind that when they get that large dump of snow what is that other company going to do? i think this guy is just trying for a cheaper rate from you, and probably isn't that serious about changing, but if he is, oh well
  8. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    I'm torn, since I only have about 10 resi's (because I'm away at school and have another guy taking care of mine when I'm not home), I didn't really want to drop any of them, but then again...
  9. bsuds

    bsuds Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    If you don't have summer landscaping services that you provide for him, I would say pass on this one. Let the other company fall on their face so he can realize that cheaper is not better. This is exactly what is wrong with this country. We use to go for the highest quality product, and now people are just low price *****s looking for the lowest price possible, bringing down the standard. I say to hell with him. Plenty of other business out there.prsport
  10. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    That's just it though, this client is also a summer landscape/lawn care client of mine, one of my better ones.

    He just called me actually, saying that he wanted to make the revision "releasing him from some the confines of my damage waiver, which state that we (myself and my sub) are not responsible for damage to pavement/lawn, or anything that is nearby the drive."

    I'm a little weary after hearing this, and told him I'd have to get back to him (I really don't want to give the store away and "open myself up" to taking responsibility should we scratch the pavement/damage it, etc.
  11. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    I forgot did you say it was your business or their business?? Your contracts are in place to protect you and your business like stated earlier don't change it and don't drop your prices. When the water comes dripping off the others backs because when it started to snow they went to Mexico and they call you the price just doubled ;):D;)
  12. GPS

    GPS Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 268

    If he's an alright guy, talk to him. Sometimes, contract language looks scary from the other side of the table. Some have so many "We're not liable" clauses, it looks like your not responsible for anything that could possibly happen. If that were true, we wouldn't need insurance, would we?

    A quick talk about expectations may go a long way. Explain your 2" trigger is to ensure that you don't have to come back for the next storm and try to plow on packed down ice that wasn't removed from the last 3" clipper. If you don't clean it up, you can't be certain it will get cleared. This could cause damage to his property/house/garage if you can't get traction due to ice under the snow. Tell him that you do everything you can to prevent damage, so nobody has to worry about who pays for it.

    Times are tough for alot of people. Just because they have an expensive house doesn't mean their situation hasn't changed since they bought it. Since he didn't just say "P*****tos is doing it this year", he sounds like it's not just about the cost.
  13. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    not responsible for damage to drive???, if you damage it you are responsible for it, no questions, i could understand him wanting to change that although you may want to adjust it as such "we are only resposnible for any damage directly related to unexpected results of plowing/removal of snow from the property" as a example, meaning i won't replace your drive for scratches on the concrete, but if i tear up 5 feet of sod because i wasn't paying attention i well fix it, as far as the 4 inches, i would explain that you well not be responsible for any slip and falls in concern to leaving the driveway for 4 inches and ask them to sign a disclaimer that he understands that
  14. McGaw

    McGaw Senior Member
    Messages: 221

    2 weeks ago I had a customer who I've serviced for 2 and a half years tell me that she didn't want me to do her snow anymore because the piles were too high last year.:confused:
    I explained that I can move the snow elsewhere, and that we did have a fair bit more snow then previous years.
    She said she will talk to her son.
    Keeping in mind she will NOT sign a contract, but does always keep her word. I charge her $20 to do her driveway, sidewalk, backdoor, front door, and sometimes I'll throw down some salt. VERY cheap imo.
    I don't understand some people, If she had an issue, tell me when she sees me. It's not that big of an issue.
    Thanks for letting me rant.
  15. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    yeah, i get excuses like that, really a pain in the @ss, i say let them go, people that can't make up there minds really p!ss me off, i had a guy this year cancel his service because he didn't like the way we did his sidewalk last year, well i asked him if he ever phoned to let us know, he hesitated and said no, so i asked him if it wasn't so important to mention last year, then why now, and he diviluged to me that it is more that he figures he can get a better price this year, whatever!!!:mad:
  16. asps4u

    asps4u Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    So the contract was fine for him in past years, but not this year? With his comment about the other company shoveling for $25 shows his true motive for the letter. Sounds like he wants you to do the work, but doesn't want to pay your rate. I would let him know about your concerns about the trigger, and about the price, that you can't make money plowing for the other contractor's price as it is below your operating costs, and if they have to go with the other company to save money, that you understand and wish them well. Make sure they understand the benefit of a plow vs. a shovel and remind them that you've always been dependable and how well you have taken care of them, and that you would like to be able to again in the future. Reiterate the price for when they call you after the shovel brigade doesn't show, or doesn't give the service they are accustomed to, and tell them you hope that you can resume service next year.

    No matter what you do, don't ever let a customer alter your contract, if you agree to make a change than you make the change. You don't want to open that can of worms! :dizzy:
  17. TPC Services

    TPC Services Senior Member
    Messages: 875

    Lets see how the goof balls that are piled in the windstar get the drive shoveled off after is was had like a few 2" ers on it and has been pack down and after they finally get their 4" trigger !! That ought to be fun to get done let them have at it!
  18. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    Perhaps your customers situation is not what it was in the past and he feels he can afford to forgo some of the not so essential services he used in the past. It does sound like he would like for you to do the work.

    The ball is in your court.
  19. azandy

    azandy Member
    Messages: 73

    Bottom line is, if you want the job, have him e-mail you his requests and see if you are willing to accomadate them. If not, now would be an easy time to simply say, we wouldn't be interested in plowing at 4". Explain to him when he drives over it for a month, you'll never be able to scrape it clean. We have some mid aged people that want to shovel there driveway till it gets deep. Well, we charge a little more and they are not given a completion time. It will get done when we are caught up. They're fine with that and there isn't really a problem. If you do quality work and they pick Joe Blow because he's cheaper, you probably do not want that kind of customer anyway. They normally are PIA's. Pain in the A%%
  20. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Drop him. He will be doing the same thing to you in the summer . Call or write a thank you to him and if youcan be of help in the future please call. Don't change anything for them.