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neighbors cleaning accounts

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by highlander316, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. highlander316

    highlander316 Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    ok, I mentioned this in another thread, but figured I would start another about it.

    This year, I'd been having neighbors of some of my resi's clean the accounts before we get there. And usually, this happens within an hour, right after the storm is over. The neighbor cleans theres, then goes over to snow blow my accounts driveway to be nice. Now, sometimes the account calls me and is like 'so and so came and did mine'. So I'm like 'ok that's fine'. Other times thou, I show up, and it's done, so I wasted drivetime and labor time.

    The worst is when the neighbor does the work, but doesn't shovel the front door out, and the account calls me to come do, and wonder where we are. Same thing happens if the neighbor cleans the whole place, then the town comes by and plows the driveway or sidewalks in. The stuff hardens up quick, and all of a sudden the neighbor is no where to be seen, and we gotta clean the entrance up and the client usually says 'oh but all you had to do was open my driveway up.'

    So I'm stuck at what to do. We've had 7 pushes this year so far. I have some clients on the list that have only been done once because of this. Do I keep them on the list, and just say f-it, it is what it is (considering we do lawn and landscape maintenance for them), or do I have a talk with all them. It just really frustrated me after the storm we had on Friday.

    :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: I'm ready to mow and mulch lol.
  2. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    Send them a bill anyway or go politely ask the neighbor to stop. If all else fails, drop them. That seems like a pain.
  3. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    Lol I have a client like this too, but my Client got upse with the neighbor for doing and told him theater hey had someone doing it, the guy that does it, praticaky does the whole block, so my sidewalk guy didn't have to do any thing
  4. bgingras

    bgingras Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Been there, done that this year...I show up, scrape whatever I see and send the bill anyway. I showed up to one that was 3/4 cleared and the owner was moving their car out of the way for whoever was being nice. I dropepd the blade, finished the job, waved and sent the bill... A contract is a contract, I show up,I plow(contract doesn't state that I only have to plow 1/4 of the drive), I get paid.
  5. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    this is why most of my residential contracts are monthly. for the ones that are per time, we do them when we do everyone else, and if their neighbour does it, they need to phone in and let us know or we charge them for the trip. i have had one or two people that had a problem with that, but after explaining that i have to drive for nothing, most become pretty diligent about phoning if their neighbours do it for them
  6. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    This is why I stay out of neighborhoods for the most part. Long rural private lanes and commercial properties are my preference. Less complaining per $ revenue.
  7. TerrForms

    TerrForms Member
    Messages: 80

    Send them a bill if you have a contract! I have a couple of roads I plow and when one of the homeowners plows part of it with a tractor with back blade I charge full price. They usually do a poor job anyway and makes a bigger mess for me to clean up. Charge them!
  8. Freebird

    Freebird Member
    Messages: 41

    I love how in some neighborhoods there is always that one guy with the tractor and blower who just goes house to house doing drives. It never made sense to me but I always seem to see it.
  9. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,779

    Sub the neighbour!
  10. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Just dump some snow in the heighbors drive and tell him if he cleans your accounts again you will bring more snow to his drive...lol
  11. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    That would cure your problem for the ones with the pesky neighbor... then send the neighbor some pizza credits to keep it up, but put your clients return address on the envelope. (sorry guys, it had to resurface somwhere).:D
  12. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    yeah, that is a idea, in practice what i do is tell the neighbor (if he is consistent with cleaning my clients drive once in a while) that if he happens to need someone to do his drive (if he goes on vacation or something) i well be happy to give him a couple freebees, or if we get a really bad snowfall, and i am in the area with the tractor, i well do if for them.
  13. Elite_Maint

    Elite_Maint Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    I fully agree with you!.. I do the same thing.. a contract is a contract and if the neighbour wants to do it that's just less work for me! :laughing:
  14. cole22

    cole22 Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    Tell him that i'll get you work and figure out a price where you make a ton and have a guy go around with a little walk behind blower to do that side walks! Maybe make a little trailer to have him pull around to salt also!

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,554

    had this happen a few times actually and they weeded me out... neighbor started doing it more and more often then started asking for $10 instead of my $30...

    its their foot in the door and really you can't compete because they will even do them before they do their own driveway. ontop they will do it thru the storm more often then you can and still only charge a fraction of the price.

    if you bill them for times when you only plowed a small part or did the walks, they will drop you.

    seasonal is really the only way to go, or you have to explain at the begining of the season that if someone else does their drive and you come out your billing them for the work completed or your dropping them.
  16. ford550

    ford550 Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    Excerpt from my contract, (the key is contract)

    "If XYZ, Inc. arrives at a contracted site and someone else has cleared the property, the customer will still be liable for paying XYZ, Inc. for that storm."
  17. CGM Inc.

    CGM Inc. PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,598

    go out earlier....
  18. highlander316

    highlander316 Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    i should have written this has only happened on two accounts (didn't kill me financially), and they are related to each other (mother/daughter). It's just a hell of a coincidence that it's these two accounts. At this point in the season, there's really not much I can do (and in reality, I didn't loose much through the season from this, and even picked up more accounts anyway, so I'm up $$$). I'll just take care of this next year, using some of the ideas presented here. I'll have to add some more stuff in writing. Thanks for the ideas.
  19. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 903

  20. highlander316

    highlander316 Senior Member
    Messages: 583


    "The time portal follows Terminator rules."

    "The people from the future. They terk er jrrrbs!"