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Need to vent

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by dfdsuperduty, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Ok I think by now we all have customers that have pissed us off so lets air it out here without giving up names of customers etc...

    So I get a phone call on our largest snow of the year and its a manufacturing company stating that their other guy's truck is garbage and broke down in one of their loading ramps and wants to know if we are taking on any new customers. I tell them that we are and can get 3 trucks out right away (500,000 sq ft facility) for xx.xx per hour and salt for .xx per pound applied and that the only way that I would come and serve them is if they signed a one year contract. We get out there and meet with the plant manager who signs our contract and tells us to get it down to bare pavement so we do and the bill comes to almost 4,000 when we take him the bill he states that now he wants it itemized because it seems entirely to high.... my guys were there from about 730pm until 115pm the next afternoon plus 3000lbs of salt:gunsfiring::gunsfiring:
  2. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    According to my calculations, it appears as though you would leave a funny trail in the snow when you walk over it.
  3. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    go ahead and itemize it, i think your price is alright, especially for a job that is a rush. i never complain if a customer asks for itemized bill because it is their right to know where their money goes, but if they are complaining then they can go back to the other guy, after paying out your contract.
  4. dforbes

    dforbes Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    I always send out itemized invoices. It helps to keep down on the confusion.
  5. kpmsnow

    kpmsnow Senior Member
    from Elkhart
    Messages: 156

    I second the itemized invoice. I also include the snow fall accumulation per event and some short details on what was done and how the event progressed. This helps to "jog" the memory.
  6. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    I just had a minor success with a new customer who is unknowingly a PITA. It is a start-up franchise with a smaller lot. He is one of those book-smart fellas that isn't being an arse, just wants to know every single detail. After the big Christmas storm and flash freeze, I had put out requests for salting to customers who are typically "salt by request only" He was in the midst of his big decision of to salt or not to salt when it happened.... the big bill from the big storm landed on his desk.

    This storm had created a vertical wall all the way around his lot, and no piles had been moved so far this season. Everthing was stripped and dumped at the end of the lot and blown over a fence and retaining wall into the woods below.

    "WELL, now that I got your bill of payup , I guess I will have to skip the salt, yada, yada. How could you have this much equipment on my teensy lot? yada, yada"

    I reviewed the invoice and matched everything to the service logs. Then I took over an hour to describe what was done at each visit.... the techinques, equipment, time, reason for timing the visits when we did over the 3-4 day event, etc... basically agreeing that I know it is a budget killer, but nature delivered it and we dealt with it for you as efficiently as anyone could. I even offered to set up a payment plan.

    I get an email back...

    "I apologize. What you read was fear. Fear that this storm will knock me back into my recession plagued start-up phase of cutting corners everywhere. The ice has also caused my new gutters to pull away from the building... the guy who is working on the ice dams is charging me $200 per hour even though he keeps breaking down... I am into him for $3k and I cannot afford to have him finish, so I will probably need to replace half my gutters. Thank you for your explanation... I know your crews worked hard over the Holiday. I will not need a payment plan and I will pay the invoice in full, but we will need to really watch the extras for the remainder of the year."

    It paid to take the time to explain it for him, and not all of them are just out to chisel you down on your bill. These people are facing problems in their industries that we probably would not consider, and we can't expect them to understand everything about ours either.... also, documenting everything in the email (which was saved) would really come in handy if I had to chase our money.
  7. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    I don't know how much more itemized I can get it for him. I broke the bill down hourly and then the price for the salt on the hourly section I can't brake it down any further out numbers are concurrent with the security guards that we had to check in with upon leaving and exiting the facility.... Now all his freight and goods are able to get in and out with no semi's getting stuck but yet screw the guy that got it to this point. I even tried to explain to him that I would like to put a loader with a 12-16' box on it and place it on the lot yes it will cost more per hour however over all there will be less time and less money. I just can't figure this crap out sometimes.
  8. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    sometimes you just cant save the stupid from themselves, i am dealing with a similar situation with a huge industrial facility