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Help with Cheap customers

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by tnyblgn3, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. tnyblgn3

    tnyblgn3 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Now i got this hotel and since im new i went real cheap just to start off. (3 small parking lots with salt for $135) So after a few plows he calls me and says " Hey I want my parking lot clean, i have ice and snow all over" this is after he refuses me to do pre salting and wants me to return twice to his parking lot to plow because cars are always parked there, with no extra charge. I told him to return twice is extra charge, and that i have to salt more to get rid of the extra ice from freezing rain or what not which is also extra charge. and he said 135 is enough and he fired me. Now my question is am i doing something wrong? should i be plowing a diffrent way, or salting diffrently or what should i do to prevent this in a future job.
  2. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106

    We do plenty of hotels they are pita but we bid them by the hour. The traffic flow is crazy but by the hour we return about every hour to keep them clear. Fixed price for a hotel is great for the manager but not for the contractor. Each time the rooms turn over the parking changes and stalls need to be cleaned up this can go all during the storm and the day after. We have been out for days on clean up. What is important is the fire lanes and approach and front access to the lobby keeps the manager happy and if they see you there all the time the don't gripe to much on the price.You cant move snow if cars are in there stalls but when they move they see there lots as a unplowed just how they are.
  3. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    Well it looks like you did a bad job...I could see that happening, because you were paid to do a bad job...as you probably felt ripped off plowing three different lots for that kinda money. To make any money doing those lots, I would need to plow each one in about 15 minutes, with minimum drive time in between.

    Who in the hell doesn't charge to do a clean up, because there were cars restricting access to parts of the parking lot?....

    I hate when there is just one or two cars, but when there are a bunch, I actually like it, beacuse I know that I'm getting paid to clean the isles, but I will for sure need to come back to clean up where the cars were... YOU NEED TO CHARGE FOR THAT.

    I guarantee, If you felt like you weren't getting paid the craps end of a shoot...you would have spent the time needed to clean that lot up real nice.

    My price on those three lots if they were to take around 30 minutes each would have been $255, salt and sidewalks are EXTRA...

    if these lots were around an hour each...$375 one truck. salt and sidewalks EXTRA

    SALT CAN'T BE FOR FREE....r u nuts?..
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I'm sure Apu don't give a free room night with every night booked.Hotels/Motels need to be priced for having to plow it twice every time it snows,once when it's snowing and the second when people check out. Salt is extra every time. You lost the account now learn from it.
  5. tnyblgn3

    tnyblgn3 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    exactly how did you know they were indian people, lol, so next time i should make sure that comeing back twice to clear the parts where cars were parked is extra charge. also that if he wants to have his parking lots clean i have to salt after ice storms which is an extra charge. Man if that is the going rate this guy should beg for me back dont ya think if somebody else is going to charge him 300+ dollars? if he calls me back im uping my charge. thanks guys anything else??!
  6. Here is how I figure out what to charge for a one shot deal no contract. (Same as per push sort of)

    Hourly Value:
    Truck = $25 per hour
    Driver = $20.00 per hour
    Maintenance & Fuel = $20.00 per hour

    Total: $65.00 per hour. This is my minimum rate. I generally just round it off based on the "hardness" of the job.

    For salting of 3 parking lots you should look into a bulk supplier. Here we pay $86.00 per ton of salt dumped into our box. A ton should be enough and then some for the 3 parking lots your describing.

    Now double the price of salt for application. If I'm paying $86 I charge $200.00 for a ton. This $100 has to pay for my time, labour and fuel to get the salt and get to the lot to do the job.

    Your friend Apu might think this is a lot of money but when you look at the costs of running the business it really isn't.

    Oh and if he still hasn't called you in a week go back into the hotel. Ask for a standard room for the night. Get the price, then ask for a second night free and tell them the fee for one night "is enough"....
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  7. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Man please get yourself up to closer to $100 per hour! I didn't check where you are from but $65 is a little low!
  8. tnyblgn3

    tnyblgn3 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Ok so he got plowed today by somebody else which im starting not care i dont want his biz anymore however he hasnt paid me for the prevous two plows and he says he should have to pay for services he is un happy with. Whats my next step collections?
  9. Oasis

    Oasis Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    I just got a contract here with Holiday Inn and they are amazing to work with. Small parking pad of 4 cars, circular driveway, front walkway and two city sidewalks. They pay me seaonal with salt extra. They have been great to deal with.
  10. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Anyone who plows apartment complexes.

    Also any site that you would plow during the daytime while the business is open and the lots are full.......it's pretty standard to return once the lot is empty to clean it up. There are other scenarios in which areas would be inaccessible during the initial push that would require you to come back and finish the job at no charge.
  11. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,321

    We charge extra in both of those instances, with fuel expenses etc... you have to in my mind to make it pay.
  12. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    I'm sorry if this seems unkind but this response is worthless unless we look into a Holiday Inn, you said that they are amazing (but you didn't tell us how much you quoted and how many events you cover)

    I had a thread here about loosing two accounts side by side 40 minutes in all (this after the owners told me they liked my work) to a local cunstruction company that is doing them for $35.00 each with a skid-steer and an 8' pusher, now for the good part we had a 3" snowfall on Monday and these properties went touched prior to opening the skid-steer was gone and it looked like they caught a local guy with and old plow truck (no caution light no running light I live down the road from these accounts) at 7-11 to start clearing these lots. When i finished all my accounts @ 11:30 AM they had two trucks trying to clean up around all the cars.
  13. Oasis

    Oasis Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Well to be honest, I was more commenting on the person who mentioned that hotels tend to be a pain in the ass to deal with not your financial facts. As for what I quoted or get paid for this property I dont tend to divuldge that information in public forums because some people here are just as backstabbing and dishonest as the schmucks we meet out on the street. No insult intended to anyone in particular. I dont think discussing prices in public here is of any use because many who do talk about the amounts they receive or quote are BSing anyways.....

    Hope this cleared my thougs for ya....

  14. tnyblgn3

    tnyblgn3 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    ok guys lets stick to the subject and how do i get my money from this guy?!
  15. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Collect it.

    Make phone calls, talk to whoever your contact is. Write letters. Go there in person and ask to be paid. Get your lawyer to write a letter.

    Is this the first time someone hasn't paid you?
  16. tnyblgn3

    tnyblgn3 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    yeah this is my first year plowing.
  17. tnyblgn3

    tnyblgn3 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Just called him he said "du du dut trow dat lawyer at my" "i puy when i got bac twon" "thank you come again"
  18. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    Just keep sending him an invoice with the amount owed and if it's past due send him another with the finance charge added to it he'll get the message good luck.
  19. tnyblgn3

    tnyblgn3 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    thanks, what do you think intrest charge amout should be? per month?
  20. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    I don't know, i think i have seen anywhere from 2%-6% compounded for each month they are late. Maybe somebody that has had to do this will chime in.