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How would you guys handle this???

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Robhollar, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    Im just starting on my own this year and I need every puch i can get this year. Well on the last 2 storms i had sombody plow 1 of my res drives. This happened to 2 different customers 1 time each. Now as I fig it it was prob a tired plow guy who just simply plowed the wrong drive. Now heres my question, do i charge my customer anyways? And let the other guy track me down and try to get his money. I just dont know how to handle this. I ask one of the customers if she knew who did her drive and she thought it was me who came by. And the other lady called me to ask if i had done her drive as well. Any suggestions????
  2. JThompson

    JThompson Member
    from NYC
    Messages: 71

    For this I have a clause in my contract. ;) It says if we arrive to find the property plowed or service is denied, customer is responsible for full payment. In your case, do you have a contract with these customers? If so, I would charge them. If not, and this was a first time experience, I would suggest using this as a "one time" pass. Explain your policy to them. Hopefully, they'll feel you are being nice. Next time, charge them!
  3. JElmWin

    JElmWin Senior Member
    Messages: 232

    Definitely not! You could be charged with fraud. Communication is key here. Just go and talk to your customers. They probably have someone who is a friend or relative doing it for them. Or perhaps they didn';t tell thier previous plower.
    NEVER:nono: take somebody's money without having plowed!
  4. JElmWin

    JElmWin Senior Member
    Messages: 232

    P.S. I assumed no contract?
  5. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    YOU are rite i dont have a contract. I got such a late start there was no time. I didnt even put a plow on my truck till mid Dec. As far as the last plow guy plowing them, well hes a real good friend of mine and he no longer has a truck. And I did ask him if he had spoke to any other person about doing his old drives and he said absolutely not. And Im sure any professional driver would have noticed that i had been there that morn. Now without a contract I prob couldn't even go after the other plow guy. The one drive im doing has an old barn for a garage. And the doors swing out much like the doors on your house. And on the concrete pad just outside the doors there are 4 inch high stoppers and could very easily missed if you didnt know they were there. I plow across the front of the garage and out the snow on the side of the garage. Now im worried they if this guy does hit one of these stoppers it could do one of two things. One, he could just simply tear the thing out of the ground, or two if hes got his plow angled it could throw him into the garage. If this happens Im worried that i could be blamed for the damage. I prob wait and see if this is going to end up being a prob or not.....Rob
  6. vector6

    vector6 Senior Member
    Messages: 150

    would the customer be willing to spring for those drive way marker poles for the 4 inch stopper things ?
    there cheap, and that may help to alleviate you being blamed for any damage occurring from the "mystery plow"
  7. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    About the only thing that could be dont to mark them would be drop a traffic cone over them. The concrete pad goes out like 6 feet from the garage so any kind of marker in the ground is out of the question..Rob
  8. skmodmsl

    skmodmsl Member
    Messages: 43

    I'm new to plowing this year too (for a living). Note- I have a lot of experience in plowing ex. vehicles and fundamentals. This is my first year plowing residential customers to make a living.

    I had a person call me to plow. We agreed on a price and schedule. This was done verbally as the rest of my accounts are. (Note- This works well for me for most customers. Some are "iffy". I am working on a contract for future customers).

    In 3 storms I only plowed this person once. Twice the place was done before I got there. A call was made to inquire as to why. Person said that coworker plowed as he was there to pick up customer for ride to work. Last event I made attempt, driveway was cleared. Pile of snow was left in middle of driveway. Customer called to inquire about payment for previous storm as well as last storm. He owed me from previous storm and was aware of the level of service provided. I noted that I didnot plow last storm. I always leave a bill. I chose to terminate service due to having to wait for payments and "stories". I didnot charge for the last storm. I would never leave piles in the driveway and always leave a bill.

    I ran into similiar situations with other customers. I have either visited them personally of called them. I didnot bill them for service that I personnally didnot perform. The majority had "neighbors" help them out. Most of my customers are elderly/widows.

    I believe in the "handshake" method. However I am of Native American decent. Perhaps contracts arenot such a bad idea. But yet look at our court system. Contracts get overridden all the time.