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Family Member Steals Customer

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Eyesell, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,107

    Just thought I'd see if I was crazy or not, but my brother in law turned me on to a 7K account 2 years ago, he was only doing landscaping at the time, never plowed a day in his life. Last year he buys a plow and like any newbie he's ready to take on the world, so I had him learn his skills at this account and one other one of mine.

    Well this year I go to re-sign the account again and they tell me, "oh we signed with, you know who", I was like what the blankity blank is he doing. So I call, and he said I turned you on to that account, they wanted to sign with me last year but I didn't have the equipment....bla-bla-bla.

    Best part is, he asked if I'll still need him to help at my other accounts.:dizzy:

    Has any friend or family member done this to you before ? :cry:
  2. Mick

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

    In so many ways, I've lost count. NEVER do business with family unless you're prepared to take a loss. I rented a house to my Inlaws a few years ago. Whenever they were short, I was the first one to not get paid. That was 20 years ago. I haven't gotten paid yet, although she has mentioned that she still owes us $2,000. He's dead and she living in our other house. I wouldn't agree to rent; I said she could live there free. If I'm going to be giving charity, let's call it that up front and I won't be disappointed. That's by no means the first or only one. I've loaned money and not been paid back. I've bought cars for kids and not gotten paid. The list goes on and on.
  3. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    hey man youre going to have to pick your family members a little more wisely....oh wait nevermind
  4. Blazin

    Blazin Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    Yep my brother screwed me and my ex for about $25,000 when we hired him to help me work on her house.
    I had a buddy I grew up with best friends from 4th grade on when he moved in across the street form me. He stole 4 plow accounts from me one year, tried to get some others but they didn't bite. Half way through the year 3 of them came back to me because of bad service. I upped their price for the hassle. They all said no problem your worth it.
  5. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,829

    I am surprised no one said there kids..... You are out plowing the driveways. The kids can do it for $5.. or i cup of how coco.. lol
  6. tman3007

    tman3007 Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    Burn his truck and plow down to the ground:gunsfiring: Never had family burn me like that...but definitely many employees have over the years. Definitely a crappy feeling, just make sure you push a few feet of snow in the entry to his "NEW" account from time to time. :D
  7. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    it was told to me along time ago "friends and family will hurt you first"
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2007

    ADLAWNCUTTERS Senior Member
    Messages: 212

    Let it go . Don't bring it up ,Now you know not to do business with him.If he brings it up tell him you don't do business with family or friends.It's worth more to you to keep the peace.In fact wish him luck.The better he does he wont ask you or your wife for money.In his mind he thinks he did nothing wrong so let it go.Good luck
  9. jbone

    jbone Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    my boss had a similar situation happen to him. My boss owns a pretty reputable company and was asked to bid on a condo complex. He was told that they WERE waiting on another contractor but he never sent them one even after mult. phone calls. So my boss placed the bid and won it. Turns out the guy who never got back to them was his brother in law. He simply waited too long to get back to them and now blames it all on my boss. His son is my best friend and while at their house I saw how it created a lot of problems. For a while it was kinda tearing the entire family both close and distant apart!! He was being accused of "taking the food off of their table, and out of their kids mouths". NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH FAMILY. I understand though you were just trying to help and got stabbed in the back. I personally wouldnt be able to take that, if you can good for you. I would end up stabbing him with the turkey baster on thanksgiving. (P.S. sorry for rambling)
  10. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    sounds to me like it was HIS account that he sent to you to service. now that he has the equipment he can service it himself. lots of time in business if you have five people working in one office doing sales they will go by "first sale" method in determining who a client belongs too for terms of commissions and who is getting paid. i would say your brother had first sale and appreciate he passed it to you for a while for you to make some money on it. also noticed you asked him to help with your other accounts? means you must have plenty of work and the loss of that one account shouldnt have a big effect on you. i dont think you would have to worry about your brother "stealing" other accounts unless they were his accounts in the first place anyway. i do think he should have discussed it with you beforehand. i have been in similiar situations and encourage you to work it out since your brother seems to be the type send money your way as well as you sending money his.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2007
  11. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,107

    Glad, well not glad to hear other people are having or had similar situations. As one person said I am going to wish him luck when I see him again. Believe it or not, I live in a large metropolitans area, stopped by the local plow dealer, and the guys I know in there said, "hey we heard your brother-in-law screwed you", so I guess the word hits the streets and who knows what could happen.

    I realize in life "what comes around, goes around", he'll get his. I don't have many accounts as one mentioned, I only have 8 or had 8 :cry: the one he took was my 2nd biggest, so I have time.

    Oh well, live and learn !! :nod: