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Estimate Complaint

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by DeereFarmer, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    So I gave a lady an estimate yesterday on a driveway. Her driveway is about 45 or 50 feet long and 10 feet wide. It goes straight into a two car garage. There is a stonewall on the left for the entire length of the driveway and bushes on the right for half the length of the driveway. There is about a 10 foot wide place to pile ALL the snow. There is no way to backdrag it as her nerighbors are right there across the way. She wants it plowed by 5:30 in the morning, once per storm, or as needed (what a pain!). I gave her an estimate of $45 because of the pain of the driveway which I thought was reasonable. Her response was "I would rather have my kids shovel it than pay you $45 to plow it.":angry:
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

  3. flykelley

    flykelley 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,127

    Well lets see how long the kids will go for that. She will call you when they get tired, and does she really think kids are going to shovel her driveway at 5:30am.

    Good Luck Mike
  4. sodking

    sodking Member
    Messages: 45

    Tell her ok let the kids shovel then..have a nice day...
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    So tell her "Ok, thanks for the opportunity. Call me if you change your mind". Turn around and walk away.
  6. NEAL

    NEAL Member
    Messages: 98

    I am glad that you posted this for us. I think this is a perfect example for the guys that are just starting out and trying to "learn the ropes". You looked over the driveway and identified the things that would make plowing it more difficult, you knew enough to make the price higher than normal to compensate for it and you held firm on your price when she said it was too high. Exactly how it should be done. Sometimes in a case like that it is easy to doubt yourself and be tempted to lower your price or be lower on the next one you quote. Stick to your guns and get what you deserve. It's just a fact of life that you will run into people that think your prices are too high.
  7. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,700

    I agree with Neal. You did everything right. Leave her a business card and smile. WHEN.....not if......WHEN she calls, politely explain that you can put her at the end of your route for the price you previously discussed. Or if she would like, for an additional $20 (call this the "U big pain in the a$$ fee") you make an emergency visit right now.

    I have done this myself with a small grocery store. Quoted $60 for the small lot they had off an alley. They said "We don't sign contracts and that's a lot higher than we have paid other times". My explanation of "I live in the area and will always have your lot cleared by 7:00" fell on deaf ears. Then we got banged with about 11" of snow. They could not reach the guy they usually used. I lived 3 blocks away. They called, I said "Be right there". Showed uo and saw the milk truck driver waiting to get in the lot. Told them they were an emergency visit and I was delaying my contracted clients (BS by the way). Told em $100 and I will do it right now. They said NO! You said $60. As I closed the door and put the truck in gear they started yelling "OK OK, just do it"

    Moral of the story: When you are right, stick to your guns!!! :gunsfiring:
  8. spiviter

    spiviter Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 74

    Great job, Never back down. But always get a signed agreement of some tpye per push or per season. They will always say yes to get a job done, Then its hard to collect the money later from them. A agreement will stand up in court. Make sure you have a good insurance policy to cover yourself...and pictures prior to plowing to prevent any damage complaints/scams...
  9. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    The story get better! When she complained I just told her that was the best that I can do and if she changed her mind to give me a call. Today (one day after my estimate) I get a call from here. She said that she was sorry and that she had "a bad day" and that she was willing for me to plow for $40. I called and left her message... "$45, that is as low as I'll go." Well, just got a call back and she accepted it. Guess the kids were not too happy about shoveling! Gotta love it!payup :dizzy:
  10. drplow

    drplow Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    good job. i love the feeling when some cheap *** tries to save a buck on my expense and comes out losing. if she wouldn't have called you right away, then the next big storm, she would be calling.
  11. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    Well, there is one on the way for tomorrow, so if it wasn't then, it would have been soon!
  12. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I'd recommend you be cautious and on your guard. She tried anger, belligerence and devaluing you. When that didn't work, she tried to get you to sympathize ("I had a bad day"), confuse you by saying she agreed to the $40 when you'd told her in $45 in the beginning, and control the situation by being "willing to pay you ..." . In addition to all the other aspects of the situation we can't see from online.

    Don't back down an inch. And don't let her know when you're doubting yourself.
  13. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    Not going to back down a 1/2 of an inch! First screw up that she does like non-payment or something I am really going to reconsider plowing for her. Her house is about 3 miles from my house, so it is nice and easy to get to. I am going to be on my toes with her. We'll have to see how it plays out. OH, and she offered me $40 for the driveway when I said $45, but I told her $45 and she agreed to that!:dizzy:
  14. kyle volz

    kyle volz Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 33

    You are better than me. I would have never accepted the job after those comments. I have found in my 26 years in this business that when the relationship starts that way it never ends up good for anyone. Good luck, and I would replace her as soon as possible with another job and enjoy the phone call to her.
  15. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    You hit the nail on the head. We will see what happens tomorrow. Maybe I'll try to find one of her neighbors!!!!payup The again, this is the first time she had ever had a driveway plowed, so I feel like I should go a little easy on her. I have never paid for someone to take car of my own driveway, so I kind of know how is feels to be hit with a $45 a push payment!
  16. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    NO. Once you start, it'll be hard to get the price up where it should be.
  17. Chris-R

    Chris-R Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Way to go. Glad you sticked to your guns and won. That driveway sounds like a big PITA. $45 in Massachusetts is more than fair. I know plow owners who would have refused the job because of the difficulty plowing.
  18. JOEC

    JOEC Member
    Messages: 56

    My money's on her. I bet she's gonna complain. She sounds like the type who will be saying you did't have to come out and plow the drive it only had 1.99 inches of snow. You'll go out there and it'll be done. Be real careful.
  19. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    payup Well, guess what happened! Got about three or four inches of snow, so I went to plow. Got to her second on my route, and she had already been plowed out! I can't believe it, well actually I can. What a PAIN!! Well, I am charging her for the trip and then that is it! AHHHHHH!:gunsfiring: :dizzy:
  20. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    When she called back you should have told her that "Its a shame you had a bad day yesterday, but im having a bad day, and the price will now be $65 per push and it will be cleared by 8am" lol
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2006