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Inconsistant Customers

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Goofyexponent, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Goofyexponent

    Goofyexponent Member
    Messages: 67

    This is my third year int eh snow removal business. I haven't gone big, but I do ok in the winter months.

    Flame me as you will, I do NOT care. I have a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport (2 door) and a 7 foot snowbear. Neither has let me down, and I don't have to rebuild my front end every spring with the snowbear plow as it is light. But onto the point of this post.

    I have had good luck with my customers in the past, but this year....I want to get out of plowing altogether. People will let it snow a good 10 - 15 centimeters (4 - 6") and "see if it will melt". After 3 or 4 days, sometimes a week, they will start calling and asking me to come plow their driveways.

    I tell them:"You waited X number of days. You drove over the snow and packed it down, it half melted then refroze and is as solid as concrete. My truck, nor ANY other truck will be able to remove 4" of SOLID ICE from your laneway. You should have called the day of the strom to have me do my job."

    Then they get all upset saying I am a bad "contractor" and that I should give them a reduced rate, or come salt it for free. :rolleyes::angry: Yes, I am in this to hand out charity work...

    Anyways, what I am trying to say is what do you do with customers like this?

    I tell them that it will me a MINIMUM of $60 for salt. That's for 4, 10 KG bags of salt spread by hand over their laneway. That is within 5 kilometers of me. After that, I add on and if it takes more than 90 pounds of salt (about 4, 10 kg bags) then the price goes up more. They claim I am taking advantage of them, but salt isn't cheap or free!!!

    I bought 8 bags of salt today for $32. about $4.00 a bag. My time and fuel to go get it, lug it around and put it down don't come cheap.

    What do you do with people like this. They are my income, but I can't be playing games like this and wasting time.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Well your getting out of plowing .Tell them to call someone else.
  3. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,779

    I think you have to decide whether you want to be proactive or reactive and sign likewise clientel.It's no different than getting a call mid storm for service and them understanding that just because they called doesn't make them your best customer that you drop everything for. It comes with a price.
  4. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    Personally I come across a customer or two like this from year to year. I simply tell them that my price is significantly higher NOW, then it was 5 days ago. That's the way it is.

    If I'm risking damage to my truck because you're a jackass, I'm going to way overcharge you....

    Sometimes they pay up, other times, they find someone else. Either way, I guess I win.