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Lost long term site to major undercut.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by General Grounds, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. General Grounds

    General Grounds Member
    Messages: 66

    :yow!: well after servicing a commercial account for 7 years with no problems what so ever, and being jerked around for the past six weeks. i put my foot down to find out what the story was and finding out through the grape vine and not by the spineless manager i worked weith for 7 years that i was out to a competitor with a price half of ours. when i finally got to speak to the "manager" i deal with i asked the ? of why i didnt at least get a coutesy call and explain the situation and give me the chance to say no i cant even come close. stuff like this burns my ass, whenever they needed something we were there within min. live only 2.5 miles away as opposed to the 45 min. they are. anybody else have this happen recently. what ever happened to loyalty and so common courtesy. unreal, hope they get royally screwed.

    p.s. its a large well know book seller.

    have a great a great thangsgiving to all, tony
  2. plowed

    plowed Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    There is no loyalty left, that's the problem. I myself am very loyal to the contractors we work with in construction, etc. Probably too loyal at times. I like to use the same guys for all of our projects, not just go with the cheapest guy for the sake of doing so.

    It has happened to me too. I had bid a couple of jobs for another builder, who was one of my best friends. I wasn't screwing him with the price, the prices were fair. Same as you, we were there within minutes any time he called. One day I drive by a jobsite that I thought we were supposed to start working on, and another contractor is there doing the work. I was underbid, but I was professional about it and went on my way. I was pissed, but realized that there is no loyalty there. Same as you, never got a call, nothing.

    Unfortunately it happens. But beleive that everything happens for a reason. Something else better will come along. Good Luck.
  3. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    sorry about the loss!

    Its tough getting undercut. Its probably a case where they figured that if you could offer a similar price, then you already would have. If you're within a small number, then maybe they should try, but if you're like 30-50% higher, forget it.

    If its a middle manager, he might be getting heat about cost from above. Everybodys trying to cut back now. In any case, I don't think anyone can expect a call any more.... those days of a handshake are gone.
    Its all $ now.
  4. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    I got undercut also. Goes with the territory. My cost was around 350, been doing it for three years. Someone came in at 175 and that included an application of salt! I think this individual got a hold of my quote and just decided to burn me. Oh well, pay peanuts, get monkeys.

    I asked them to be careful about a price that low and to make sure they check everything. Told em if I did it for that amount I'd lose money everytime. They gave me a copy of this guys quote. Funny thing was his proof of insurance wasn't a certificate at all. He just copied what he pays for his premiums. This "copy" doesn't have his company's name, his agent's name, and/or his insurance carrier anywhere on the form. And to boot, it says under snow plowing, residential only... :eek:

    I pointed it out to the association but they didn't seem to care b/c of the price difference. Just told em to make sure THEIR insurance premiums are paid cause that's who'll they'll be coming after.
  5. rob1325

    rob1325 Senior Member
    Messages: 298

    I just lost a big account that I was servicing for 16 years. Someone under bid me by 25%. Remember everything comes to a end, especially loyalty. Just have to move on to the next job.
  6. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    I figure everytime I loose an account it just gives me a chance to raise my price for when they call back. and they do. New customers prices are always 10% Higher then current customers also my customere like a 5 year contract because the price never changes.
  7. intlco

    intlco Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    I also just lost a large account tonight to a plower that don't even have a license. The corproate office of a large tire co deceided to go with this old guy and they didn't even have the balls to tell me. I stopped up and saw the mgr and he told me what happened.
    He said he was surprised at the corporate office going with a drunk old man with no licence until 2025 and a junk trk. They felt bad for him because he calls himself starvin marvin. They don't care that he come in and plows drunk whenever he feels like.

    I sure hope I see him drivin when some of the new young cops are on duty. The good old boy cops might not care, but the new guys will finish him.
    Business is business if you know what I mean.
  8. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    business or no business if I see a drunk driver on the road I feel he/she is a threat to me and my family and will take apropate actions.
  9. Tony Bonventre

    Tony Bonventre Sponsor
    Messages: 89

    Drunk Plow operator

    For Starters, Have you talked to the corp. office? what are the insurance requirements at this site?

    Funny story I bid a small convenience store a few months back. I was told I was underbid, the guy who won the contract is plowing it for a case of beer per push. Boy talk about looking for problems!!!!
  10. smiti105

    smiti105 Member
    Messages: 90

    I have learned something in life, you get what you pay for and this costomer will realize that soon enough.
  11. J HIsch

    J HIsch Member
    Messages: 66

    I can understand losing something that you have put so much work into, but when this happens, as professionals we must maintain our professionalism. The nature of business is competition, and I would say this guy is not your competition, but he is trying to be in the business. You will fill the spot with something better probably. I try to never ask why? I usually know why it's price becasue our service is the best I can provide.
  12. proshare

    proshare Member
    Messages: 45

    When a big storm hits & the Ex-customer calls because his fly-by-night cant get it done, be sure and drop whatever you are doing and get over there quick..seriously get right to work and be sure not to discuss the cost, act like your glad to be back and its no big deal.
    When your done cleaning up the mess see if they want to sign on again. if they do then price it accordingly if not then SOAK them for triple what you would normally charge for the plowing you did and put your hand out.
    Don't leave without getting paid.
    Make them count change if necessary or borrow the money to pay you.
    loyalty is a two way street
  13. deluxeco

    deluxeco Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    Lets face it guys this is probably the worst year for underbidding.It's unfortunate that these fly by night so called contractors are making it tough to make an honest living doing this.As far as customer loyalty forget it,you are lucky to keep contracts from year to year.I am fortunate I have accounts we have retained for 21 plus years and accounts we struggle to keep from year to year.I feel your best bet is to turn the tides around,bid as much as you can at your established prices.Send your renewals first and extend them the opportunity to retain your services,then draw the line and fill in your routes on a first come first serve basis.Then pray for a snowy winter and I guarantee you the cost cutters will call you back next season or later this season when their lots are a mess and their fighting slip and falls.Never burn a bridge,be understanding as to why the customer chose a lower cost,point out the potential shortfalls and offer to retain them if the current agreement fails,then you'll keep 'em for a while.
  14. intlco

    intlco Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    Out here, if you do this, you'll get BURNED!!! I got burned several times when I first moved here 10 years ago. This idea works in Cleveland I know, but not out west. I now get my CASH before I drop my blade if some calls me.
    I will not blade anything without a signed contract here, because there is too much liability. People here are just looking for a lawsuit. And our insurance wants all jobs signed before we drop blades, so they can't change their mind in 5 minutes.
    They have 2 choices, sign & pay the $100 Sevice Call contract on the spot, or sign a year long contract for the per plow rate.
    This idea works good because when they got 12" of snow in front of their business and can't open, most folks will take the year contract at whatever rate you write.
  15. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    Loyalty...there is no loyalty in today's society...the almighty dollar is GOD...don't buy anything made on a Monday or Friday...we were once a super power but not any more...made in Taiwan...STOP THE WORLD, I WANNA GET OFF!

    Wait until the scab falls asleep while he is plowing the lot that he just underbid you by half on and quickly chain his doors closed. As he hears you pulling the chain around the doors of the cab of his truck he will wake up...although he will be a bit groggy because, like you said, he was drinking before he started plowing...he will wake up and focus just in time to see you light the rag that is now sticking out of his gas tank...well you know the rest! :gunsfiring: