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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe just ranting here but lost an account today after 12 years of service. Two lots on opposite sides of the business. 3 full blocks worth of walks, numerous entrance doors, etc. Service was spot on. Maybe more proactive than not but never an issue. Never a complaint, one time had an issue with a hydro hose broke and a skid loader sat in a parking space but that's been it. Manager calls today. Sorry this and that but it wasn't his call as he answers to a board of directors. Board has 3 year term members. We use a skid with 10ft pusher, small wheel loader with 10ft pusher, have a few canopies to go under..height restrictions, and truck in plow. A few shovel guys and a utility tractor with 52 inch blower for all walks. Sand/salt as needed. Board went with the last snow guys - new guys that went bankrupt farming and suddenly this fall they are excavators. So they have a mid size case ex, mid size case laoder, backhoe and dump truck. They sand with a Kubota side x side which they shovel sand into off their flat bed truck. $50 / hour. I am located in town. They are out in the country and I'd say roughly 8-10 miles outta town. Just don't get it with some people let alone contractors that think there the next best thing to snow removal.
 

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Sorry to hear that, it really sucks.

At one time I would have said they'll be back, bit times have changed and sometimes low price is all that matters.
 

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That is the issue in the big world. "Boards and Directors"

You can change the world for the guys that you answer to. Make their life super easy, bail them out all time, never have an issue and it makes no difference to the board or the directors.

Bad part is this stuff happens all the time. It will happen to you again most likely in time.

Just part of business even if it sucks.

Only good new I can provide you is if the day do come back to you... that is when you get to name your price. :nod:
 

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It happens...you can do everything right and still lose. Managers and board members change and with them come a new crop of guys they know who can do it "cheaper and better" and make them look like a hero. Most times it backfires and by then you've hopefully moved on with dignity which they remember when they invite you back to bid...
 

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Come take this account.

They won't let me plow it, as they want to adhere to the 2" trigger, regardless of how the lot winds up during the event, or afterwards.

we had 3" of snow, followed by hours of rain and sleet. Depth by early morning was 1.5" of compacted slush. This is what it looked like today. It's going into the 20's tonight, and 16*F tomorrow night.

I've documented them refusing my offer to clear, bypassing the trigger, and I photograph the conditions, even if I'm not allowed to plow. I'm not taking the heat when someone slips and falls on their refusal to allow me to clear it.

View attachment 191318

Automotive tire Road surface Asphalt Snow Building
 

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It is a frustrating part of the business. I passed on a long term account this year due to the property manager trying to leverage me to take on 2 additional small properties for the same price as last year (salt included) or they would award the contract to a different contractor they had a quote from which matched my price from the previous year. I was very disappointed but told them I had to turn it down.

Fast forward to today. Salt has gone up $50 a ton or more, and the site has never looked worse. One of the buildings on the site is a Tim Horton's and I stopped in for coffee one day and the manager rushes up to me and asks why they don't see me anymore. I explained what happened and they inform me they are very unhappy with the service this year.

I guess someone appreciated all my hard work after all. If you want the property back I would suggest staying in touch and ask them to let you know when they will be bidding the property again. After some time they might have a deja-vu moment as the slip and falls increase and remember how good they had it and invite you back - at an increased cost of course.
 

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It is a frustrating part of the business. I passed on a long term account this year due to the property manager trying to leverage me to take on 2 additional small properties for the same price as last year (salt included) or they would award the contract to a different contractor they had a quote from which matched my price from the previous year. I was very disappointed but told them I had to turn it down.

Fast forward to today. Salt has gone up $50 a ton or more, and the site has never looked worse. One of the buildings on the site is a Tim Horton's and I stopped in for coffee one day and the manager rushes up to me and asks why they don't see me anymore. I explained what happened and they inform me they are very unhappy with the service this year.

I guess someone appreciated all my hard work after all. If you want the property back I would suggest staying in touch and ask them to let you know when they will be bidding the property again. After some time they might have a deja-vu moment as the slip and falls increase and remember how good they had it and invite you back - at an increased cost of course.
Exactly. Gained a local account back - we had it for 10 years. They went to regional property management, and 2 years ago we lost it to someone 1/3 my price. Got a call 2 weeks ago asking if we would take it back on. I said sure - at the price I quoted back in the fall (they still asked for a bid each year). "But winter is almost over!" - maybe in your books, but not in mine. "But it's not in the budget!" - guess you will have some explaining to do.

Had it back 2 weeks now, and the local staff is pretty glad we are back.
 

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Sorry to hear that, it really sucks.

At one time I would have said they'll be back, bit times have changed and sometimes low price is all that matters.
I wouldn't rule out their return.
A few years ago, I lost 2 accounts, because we don't do lawn maintenance. On both (2 different clients) they came back. One was in the middle of the season and the other the following fall. Good service speaks for itself.
 

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The trigger was met,I would have plowed it as the rain started.Just my opinion,i would drop them. In your area the bread and butter is the 1/2" -2" storms and ice events. Leave the hole in your schedule till its filled with an account that has more realistic parameters.
Come take this account.

They won't let me plow it, as they want to adhere to the 2" trigger, regardless of how the lot winds up during the event, or afterwards.

we had 3" of snow, followed by hours of rain and sleet. Depth by early morning was 1.5" of compacted slush. This is what it looked like today. It's going into the 20's tonight, and 16*F tomorrow night.

I've documented them refusing my offer to clear, bypassing the trigger, and I photograph the conditions, even if I'm not allowed to plow. I'm not taking the heat when someone slips and falls on their refusal to allow me to clear it.

View attachment 191318
View attachment 191319
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No, we ended as of yesterday. Bill went out this morning. Manager called again and explained he was sorry but said he should be the one to make the call bc end of day we made him look good. Eased his work load abit and never had an issue. But in my area I see more local famers coming into town with oversized equipment, wanting to be seen with all those flashing lights and basically paying for there fuel it that. Boards are a pain. People keep coming and going, everyone wants to make it look good. Now I am not the cheapest nor the highest but I have been doing snow for 25 years. I know where I need to be in regards to price structure and serviceability. I also have 3 boys that help with snow and they love it. There young, 10,12,14 but maybe someday one may take over.....I feel you build your biz, show them the quality of service and doing a great job but then to tell them we lost an account due to price....those kids feel devastated bc they feel as though they lost that account as well. Good life lesson at best for my young men!
 

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My experience is that boards are a pain. Be it a board of directors, a multi partnership of a condo assoc board. They are constantly changing members and the new person wants to get rid of all the service guys that he deems loyal to the previous regime.

My advice is the same as others have stated. Everything happens for a reason. Successful people always look for Opportunity out of bad circumstances. What new properties have you thought you would well suited for but we’re to busy servicing this account? And always remember to handle future conversations with the client that you lost with grace and calmness even when you want to tell them where to go. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Snow Tracker - your last sentenced - well said.

thelettuceman - much appreaciated.

Accounts to pursue - there have been 2 other businesses that contacted me over this last storm. 1 inch of rain. 6 inch snow on top. I may not have the biggest equipment but we are committed. Needless to say, another wannbe crew - they farm 160 acres, and the dad and 2 sons drive truck. They own truck but not trailers and there were out hauling cattle and there sat the accounts - just waiting to be serviced. So moral here is sure look good with front wheel dual wheel case tractor and 8320R pulling a box scraper and an S300 BC skid with more lights than our DOT use just to be "seen". We had 30 hours straight. Home last night at 7. Out the door at 3 am. A lot of calls due to end of garage/street access. Ally access. Just a frozen mess.

So I see the account lost as a chance to visit and pursue other businesses. Thanks for the kind words and my I do show my boys what has been said here as well so they not only hear this from me but from other trusted professionals!
 
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