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I'm tired of being screwed...

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by PetesYC, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. PetesYC

    PetesYC Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Okay so I have been doing this for 4 years now. I work full time as a 911 dispatcher and do this business part time. I have 37 residential and private roads I plow and 15 Lawns I mow. I also do light tractor work and bush hogging, York raking etc.

    Here's my problem... My wifes grandmother doesnt have alot of money and lives about 12miles from my plow route. I agreed to plow the driveway with the understanding that I get there when I get there. I have plowed 7 times this year and got no money for it. It would be a $35 in real life. Thats $245 I have given them.

    Each and every storm she calls 3-4 times wanting to know when I am coming. She doesnt have dementia or anything I just think she wants the free service to be the same as the paid service. Anyways today my wife calls her and says I will be there later this morning. She calls again at 930 and says her daughter-in law who lives upstairs is stuck in the driveway. They had to have the neighbor pull her out. Kinda funny seeing she has a trooper that is 4 wheel drive and there was only 8 inches of snow!! And then her grandmother goes on to say that they are going to have look in the classifieds for a new plow guy!!! But when I come make sure I plow in front of the garage doors good!! I said to my wife I dont think many plowers list FREE service in the classifieds.

    Story two... My wifes aunt calls (who we see maybe twice a year) and asks if I could plow her. She lives another 4 miles past the grandmother. OK I will do it for $20 (still a great deal). She says OK I'll be waiting. I go an plow the 5 storms worth of snow off the driveway, dig out the car that is stuck in the driveway and then wait for my 20 spot. She comes up to me and says all I have is $10 and I don't want to write you a check!!!!!!!! What the.....????

    I do people favors and all they want is more, more, more. Well you know what, family or not they pay now. Unless it is someone that appreciates it and helps me when I need it.

    Sorry, This is long but I had to vent!!!
  2. big bird

    big bird Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    this is why i do not plow family :dizzy:
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Sorry. You should of bit the bullet before the season and tell her you can't get out that far. Even if she say it's no hurry,because you know she'll be on the phone right away.Tell her you'll try and find someone for her and it will cost money.

    As for your aunt next time tell her your not should when you'll get there and if she keeps calling tell her later,hopefully she gets the hint and call someone else next time.

    As for the money when they ask "how much" just say what ever and accept it with a smile !
  4. ProSeasons

    ProSeasons Senior Member
    Messages: 624

    Your'e not actually being screwed. Your'e acting like a wuss. And your'e afraid of the word NO.

    Stop it.

    "Hey ProSeasons, will you come plow me out for free?"

    "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Say whomever asked you is an accountant) "Will you do my taxes for free? No? That's what I thought."

    Lesson over. Here's a suggestion, next time she ask, make her get you all of the neighbors lined to make it worth your while to go out there. And stop plowing for $20.00.
  5. bike5200

    bike5200 Senior Member
    from Ky
    Messages: 437

    Family is the hardiest people to work for. If you do it for free, they will ***** about the job done and if you charge them, it will be to much no matter how much you charge. Just have them talk to your wife :dizzy: :dizzy:
  6. ahoron

    ahoron Senior Member
    from here
    Messages: 422

    WOW tell her to get a shovel. Then hit her upside the head with it. just kidding Some people get something for nothing then complain about it. If she gave me $10 I'd ask her what half of the driveway she wants covered with snow.Remember next time NO. say it with me NO
  7. DUMZ

    DUMZ Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    had that talk with a guy last yr when i told him on the phone it will be at least $50 for his drive. got there confirmed the $50 with him... did the job and he tells me it's only a $25 job. told him ok.. give me the $25 and i'll put the other $25 back :angry: He gave me the $50 and now he's on my regular run.

    Got family who wouldn't pay too, i just stopped doing the work, because when I need to replace my equipment or put gas in the tank they are not there to help...
  8. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    I plow family all the time for free, I guess it's just luck.

    And when I'm doing a commercial site and someone runs up and asks if I could plow them out I usually them something cheap, like $15 and end up getting handed like $20, $25 and buy the guys lunch.

    The only one that gives a hard time is granny and she lives 2 hours away, so I told her sometimes she has to have someone come do it and gave her a number.

    I've never charged family, especially for one offs because someday I might need them. I often go plow out my moms, mom on the way home even when I've been out for 2-3 days straight (sleeping in the truck)

    And whenvever I'm in need, they're there
  9. L.I.Mike

    L.I.Mike Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Smile and say NO.
    My truck runs on gas, not thanks.

    TRUE TURF LAWN Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    You Cant Be Doing **** For Free No Matter Who It Is. Its Your Time Equipment And Gas. These Things Cost Money. They Did Not Fall From The Sky For Free Did They.
  11. PetesYC

    PetesYC Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    I understand. I need to say NO! I like to help people but I hate to be taken advantage of!!

    I like those bumper stickers that say"Yes this is my truck, no i wont help you move"

    we need something like that for plowing.

    Thanks for all the input, I feel better now that I got a power nap in!!!
  12. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    BINGO! Your family first off probably thinks your kidding around and are lonely. The fact is even if you cut them a deal YOU still need to pump gas, take time and use up equipment. Not to be a hard a-- to them but, if they won't even cover gas costs I say you call in sick the next few times ( no really tell your wife to tell them your sick )
  13. Mick

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

    I'm not really sure I've got this right. You drive 12 miles for your grandmother and say it would be $35 normally. Then you drive another four miles (total 16 miles) and charge $20 for plowing five storms worth of snow, which you say is a good deal. Now, IF you got what you were supposed to, you'd get $55 for a round trip of 32 miles off your route. Then, when your grandmother says she'll have to find a new plow guy (who she'll actually have to pay), you get concerned.

    Tell grandmother to go ahead and find someone else.

    Tell the aunt it'll be at least $250 since she let the snow pile, get driven on, freeze and everything else that happens to snow. What I do when people call after several snowfalls that haven't been plowed (if I do it at all) is figure what I would have charged for plowing each snowfall and charge twice the total.

    Learn to say "No".
  14. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    Plow for free

    The only people that get there plowing done for free are MOM and DAD period. MOM and DAD get everything for free no matter what it is going to cost me, they have always been there,and will always be there if ever I should need them. The rest of the family pay pay pay

    KATTRANSPORT Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    I agree with the above post. Mom and Dad for free everyone else pays. When someone family asks me to do anything its twice the cost simply because I dont want to do it. Hand grandmom and auntie a shovel and peace out. My truck dosent run on thanks and cookies im sure your dosent either
  16. StoneDevil

    StoneDevil Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    Family or not I would charge full price ok maybe 25% discount but thats it
  17. Mr.Finch

    Mr.Finch Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    I havn't been plowing long enough to have that problem, but I am a mechanic, so I get alot of "will you just take a look, can you just change the brakes, can you fix my broken spring, can you can you can you, please ,please, pleas" :angry: I get tired of it, the only ones who have actually paid me (out of the 13 aunts an uncles, 3 grandparents) have been the poorest aunt and my broke cripple grandma who lives with her, I like doing stuff for them. last time I replaced her gront springs (broke as she pulled in the drive) she gave me 275, bought me dinner, and paid for her own parts.
    For all the others "ohh I am sorry, but I am no longer in the bussiness" (of getting F***ED)lol.
    If they screw you out of $30 one time, either don't do it again, or charge triple + twice the amount they owed. I explain it as "to cover LAST TIME" (that's the double) + comensation for pain and suffering from getting F***ED by FAMILY (for short FBF).
    When we were kids, most of us only needed to put our hands in the fire once to learn a lesson. consider this last incident the lesson.
  18. montanag

    montanag Member
    Messages: 53

    I also only do mom and dad for free. And they live 3 miles away. If I have to drive 12 miles to a site to plow, they're going to be charged a minimum of $100 for me to drop a plow. You know why? Opportunity cost. If I'm driving for half an hour to get to and back from an account, I could have been doing a lot of work during that time. And I don't care who it is? Plowing is too darn costly in fuel, truck maintenance, insurance, and manpower to give it away. Free accounts are just an excuse to resent people who expect more than they should. I charge people a fair, but not inexpensive rate, and give them a very high quality snow removal. Everybody's happy. I laughed really hard at the "say it with me NO" comment. We all need a dose of that once in a while. Good luck

  19. PetesYC

    PetesYC Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Let me clarify, if granma was going to hire someone I think it would be a $35 driveway. Never would I travel that distance to plow for $35. I was trying to help her out. I work full time in the same town she lives so the agreement was I will get it on way to work or home etc. They want it done when its done snowing!!! well sorry I have PAYING customers to do and they cant understand that.

    on the aunt issue I figured $20 was a great deal to cover my gas as I would be near by this one time to do her. She new ahead of time it was $20 and then she waits until I am done to pay $10. and did not offer to pay the diffrence later!!!!

    I will help anybody that helps me or themselves. I have a family member about 12 mines away that called and said hey my tractor is broke can you come do my driveways when you are done your route or do them tomorrow. no problem. I do them they hand me a check for $50 (which is less then what they are worth) I handed the check back and said I am all set. But these are the people that helped me with my sons fourwheeler, installed my garage door etc. Two diffrent kinda relatives
  20. Scottscape

    Scottscape Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    I knew exatly what the problem was before reading the rest of the post after reading this.

    Don't mix business with pleasure but if you're going to do it for free say it in the beginning thats its going to be free. If she doesn't pay at all then she will know next time why you don't show up. It will be a good reason for you not to come until all of your accounts are done and you can get to it whenever.