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I want out of a contract...do I have any options?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Camden, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    This year I took on an account that I shouldn't have. All I saw were dollar signs and not the pain in the azz that comes along with doing it.

    This morning things have reached the boiling point. When I arrived at my office I had a fax waiting for me. It was from the regional manager for this particular store. It was a hand drawn diagram showing me where he wants the snow stacked. No problem, right? Ha! He wants me to push it up and over a curb and onto an area of crushed landscape rocks.

    Needless to say I'm not going to run my 2 year old Boss and 6 month old MVP over any rocks. I'm going to continue to stack where I have been and I'll deal with any recourse that might ensue. Hopefully they'll just cancel my contract and I can move on but I doubt that'll happen.

    Have any of you ever had to deal with ridiculous requests like that before??
  2. poncho62

    poncho62 Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    I would call him back and explain why you can't do what he wants..................He probably just doesn't understand the damage you could do. If he insists..........recommend that he get someone with a loader.........
  3. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Where in the contract does it require you provide service?
    Send the manager a letter stating your reasons and terminate your services.

  4. nicksplowing

    nicksplowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,226

  5. fms

    fms Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    I think once you enter into an agreement (contract or no contract) you have an obligation to maintain your end.
    Like stated above, I'd let the regional manager know why stacking snow in that area would be an extra charge and not part of the contract.
    In my area property managers and building owners are an incestuous group. If you back out on a deal with one the rest will find out. Reputations too hard to build.
    Good luck.
  6. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    If I'm following you correctly, it's stated right on page 1 of the contract that I have agreed to do snow removal. It says "Basic Service Contract for Snow Plowing Services by and between your company and _________ LLC. Scope of Work is to include all personnel, material and equipment blah blah blah".

    I think if I just refuse to show up they could secure my bond and then I'd really be up sh!t creek.
  7. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Man up and do your job. You stated in the beginning you took this for the dollar signs, shame on you for not knowing the complete scope of work before hand. Its contractors like you that make me look soooooo good.
    Rather than looking at the request as a negative, be a great salesman and turn it around into a positive.
    To just turn tail and walk away surely isnt the best course of action.
  8. tc21

    tc21 Member
    Messages: 47

    I would just give him a call and tell him why you cannot put the snow there. It sounds like it's a good money making account. Some times district managers and store managers don't always see what the capabilities of a snow plow are. If you need to get a small loader
    in there to do some work, then you decide if your going to charge him extra for the loader,
    and tell him the price per hr. Or have a sub do it with a loader and send him the bill or you eat it. You may make up for it later.
  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    You could be stuck with it..
    Talk to them and explain that this was not discussed before and there may be a small additional fee for stacking snow in the area designated.
    (rent a loader and move the snow to this area?)

    The rip-rap areas are usually designed for parking lot run off.
    At some lots around hear those areas are the only place their allowed to put/stack the snow.

    Parking lot Run off is becoming a big deal in a lot of areas.
  10. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    I don't understand.
    i stack snow over the curb at every single job. (that's the whole point after all, get it OFF the parking lot)
    The plow never touches the ground on the other side of the curb.
    do you not know how to stack snow?

    I agree, man up, do it the way the customer wants.
  11. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    You're telling me that you drive your truck up and over a curb at all of your jobs? I'm calling major BS on that one! Your truck would be junk after one event. Don't even try to tell me that you do it because I know you don't.

    Secondly, the store manager and I discussed where the snow should be stacked. HER boss has stepped in and said he wants it put elsewhere. I had a clear understanding of where the snow was supposed to go when I bid the job. What I didn't know is that I would be receiving directions from several different people who all have their own ideas on how things should be done.
  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    I too push all of the snow over the curb at all of my lots and stack it in the designated areas.

    no b/s;)

    Some people do not understand what the area with the rip-rap (crushed rock) is for when she discussed it with you.
    Her lack of knowledge is what is causing you the problem you have.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  13. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    Ok lets cool down here guys !!!!

    - I think the best thing to do is, call and speak with the manger about this and get their input. Then also speak with the DM about this.

    My one account, the DM bit$%# about us all the time, and the GM rolls her eyes and long story short were still there year after year. Some times you just got the speak up and tell them whats going on.

    Dont you know, they think you have a Magic stick that u wave and it makes the snow move & melt ???
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  14. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    Yeah, I push it over the curb also but my truck stays inside the confines of the parking lot. There's no way you could take your truck OVER curbs at every location...your front end would be shot in no time.
  15. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    In the beginning of the season I push the snow back a couple of truck lengths if I have the room to do so or as far back as I can.
    All 4 wheels over the curb.
    If all I can get is the front wheels over the curb that's what I do.
    They do not want the snow taking up parking spots

    Just the way we do things , you may chose to do things differently.;)
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  16. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    I too plow up and over curbs. Lets face it, the regional is the boss and their wishes should be honored. Now if you need me to make the call and turn this into a profit center just say the word.
    Was the contract signed with the store manager? If so and if the snow areas were clearly outlined in that contract, which I doubt cause I would guess you and the store manager did a quick walk around, but if they were outlined in the contract, then just rewrite the contract to your $$ benifit.
    The regional may have a history of of safety concerns as to why the snow should be where they want it.
    Drop me a PM if you need more help making this into a positive arrangment.
  17. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,613

    I agree with Plowking, but you should also present them with a written change order containing the original agreement for location of the snow and the upcharge for the new location and equipment to put it there. Make it work for you.payuppayup Good Luck
  18. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    Don't you have a life of agreement clause saying the dates in which the contract is valid and then also says that either party may leave the contract at either time? Thats how mine is set up.

    I left a driveway, it was constantly all ice and it was on a hill and I almost lost the truck down the side of the driveway. They were to cheap to pay for salting and told me it should be my responsibility to do that. So I told them that I wouldn't be back because the risk and danger in the driveway just isn't worth $50 bucks. And they already thought that was "outragous".

    And I don't think he needs to "man up". You should all remember that we're not there and there may be a good chance that in this particular senario he might not be able to do this without ruining his equipment. Now last time I checked, not ruining or equipment has nothing to do with being a man. It just has something to do with common sense. Now on the otherside maybe I'm wrong and he should be able to stack the snow there. But I fuiger that I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Whatever you decided to do, Good Luck!
  19. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    Nooo, and you've answered my question, you don't how to stack snow.
    The plow goes over the curb, the front wheels rarely do, only when, as someone mentioned you need to push the whole pile back.

    it's ok, it's obvious to me from looking at other lots that probably 70% of the plowers out there (in Denver metro at least) have NO idea how to stack snow.
  20. TaylorMade

    TaylorMade Junior Member
    from MPLS
    Messages: 13

    you should stack it the way he wants and charge him for stacking rent a skid and clean itt up after your accounts are done Make it a positive and money maker."Service cost money"