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How to deal with people like this?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by martyman, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Well, this season has gone really smoothly with little or no complaints but...I got a call from a customer this morning. I met this customer this fall and explained clearly that I don't do put sidewalks on my contract and if I did it for him it would be if I had a chance on the second time around during a bad snow storm. The other day we had on of those long two day snow storms and I got everyone done by 8 am and he called me up to ask if I was coming back in the evening and I said yes and I will do his sidewalk and he said no problem. Today this customer calls and says he's not happy and wants to stop his contract. I split the payment in two to make it easier for people to pay so this guy figures that it isn't gonna snow the rest of the season he will pull out just before his post dated cheque. I'm out plowing the ends of the driveways today and my wife calls me to tell me that his wife showed up at my house asked for the cheque and my wife didn't want to argue and gave it to her. I really hate people like this and think that this is really unfair. I am considering taking him to small claims court but I don't know if $100 is worth it...:realmad:
  2. roblandscape

    roblandscape Senior Member
    from Phila
    Messages: 185

    I would say don't bother for 100$. Count your losses and move on, he'll get his:nod:
  3. rewoodworking

    rewoodworking Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    i hope you get 3 feet and he tries to call you:D
  4. Mick

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

    I'd say forget the $100 and move on to something bigger and better. Just a lot of time and aggravation going to small claims court. Seems to always work out, though, that if you lose one, you'll get two better to replace it.

    "What goes around, comes around".
  5. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Yes it's worth it for many reasons.
    If you have a contract you will win in 5 min. unless he can prove you did not live up to the contract, and get your $100.00 costs back too. He will have to pay you the balance of the contract whether he wants you to come back or not. Until he gives you notice stop at his place and do him so you are living up to your contract. Note all times you were there and conditions and if he told you not to plow. Do not accept this treatment. Word will spread and you will have future problems with more customers. these people have to learn the hard way.
  6. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    Do whatever you feel like you have to do, then post his name on this site so that anyone else in your area will avoid him.

    Which brings to point, there are sites that rate contractors, why not a site that rates customers, and lists them so future contractors can avoid them at all costs. I mean what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
  7. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    gt racer

    Sorry, man. You can't do that. It can be considered lible and martyman COULD get sued. Very doubtful it would happen but I wouldn't take the chance.
  8. danthegrassman

    danthegrassman Member
    Messages: 31

    I don't want to be picky but I think your charging on the low side. If you say you split your contract up into 2 payments that would make it $200, that my friend is way too low in my estimation for our area. My cheapest residential contract I have is $240 (because this lady is broke, I feel sorry for her and we have 3 others on that street) all the other contracts are $260 and up, and I have been told I am a little low. I will be asking a lot closer to $300 next year...................Anyways I feel your pain 100% and I understand how our last storm really taxed us. We had a good 15cm that took forever to stop snowing so we went out and starting plowing our drives knowing full well that later on in the day another 15cm was coming and people keep calling when are you coming? Too make matters worse all we did on the first plow after the first 15cm was clean out the driveways only no steps, paths etc in anticipation of further accumulation which garned many negative comments. We did this because in a matter of 4-5 hours later the second wave (and the worst) of snow just socked us in. Well all I can say is we all survived and I'm glad the vast majority of customers understood what we were up against so don't sweat it as long as you do a good job, relax. Also as a side note I charge an extra fee for any snowfall amout greater than 25cm, we officially got 28cm of snow but I'm positive that since we are closer to the lake then Pearson Airport that we got around 32cm, (although we use the airport for determing offical snowfall counts in our contracts) I still am debating on weather to go ahead and charge all of our customers the extra fee for this snowfall event or just select ones that were picky.

    Happy Plowing, Dan
  9. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Plow meister is correct. Don't put his name up anywhere public. This is considered public. This kind of person would sue you. Take him to court you will have closure and sleep better, with your money.
  10. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    You are probably right, but why can Sheryl's list name a contractor as unreliable, but a contractor not name a customer as a slow pay or no pay or a pita?
  11. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    No,I wouldn't post his name...I actually charge a total of $220 and he paid $120 and gave me post dated cheque for a $100. I like the idea of charging an extra fee and definetly next year I won't split cheques no matter what.
  12. danthegrassman

    danthegrassman Member
    Messages: 31

    2003 F350 7.3L PS Diesel V plow Snoway

  13. danthegrassman

    danthegrassman Member
    Messages: 31

    2004 F250 5.4L Gas Lexan Plow Snoway

  14. General Grounds

    General Grounds Member
    Messages: 66

    :yow!: i would now also invest into a P.O. box no more visitors to the home, ive been using one for 8 years now. best $40. i spend every march. tony
  15. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    Thats the very reason i like to do all my plowing by the push. If I do a good job they will want me back every time. If I dont then that can ask me not to come back. If your going to charge by the season then break up the payments. This way they cant take back what you already cashed. But its a loss and your going to have that no matter what.....Rob
  16. JElmWin

    JElmWin Senior Member
    Messages: 232

    I agree with the General. I have a P.O. box and a cell phone w/ caller ID. Nobody interrupts my beauty sleep!:sleeping: ;)
  17. Gumball1

    Gumball1 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Yes, small claims court is worth it.If he doesn't pay in court,you can file
    a lien on him and his property.Also get court to put an interest rate on
    judgement.The longer he takes to pay the more it will cost him.If done right
    he can't sell his house without paying you,also goes on his credit report.
  18. jsheedy75

    jsheedy75 Member
    from CT
    Messages: 98

    I know of a local excavation contracter who got stiffed by someone in the middle of a very heavy snowfall year. Well he got his revenge by taking the largest loader he had and filled the driveway with snow. needless to say he got paid, and arrested. lol