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No good deed goes unpunished

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Mick, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Been plowing this place for five years. Second year, he said I could let one parking area go - So I thought "Great, that cuts a couple passes". But, then he said "You can cut a some off, then, right?" Ok, he got me so I went from $35 to $30. The next couple years, I got more in the development - some from his referrals. So I left the rate unchanged for 5 years. Normally, I'd charge $50 now. But I sent him an email with a bump to $35.Here's a "cut and paste" of his reply:

    Hey Mick--

    Good to hear from you. I bought a used truck & plow and am going to try doing my own drive this winter. I haven't plowed in a lot of years, so we'll see how it works out. See you around town, and thanks for several years of good service.



    I ignored my own advise.
  2. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    so what is wrong with that? he gave you some referrals. helped you gain busines. was polite to you and let you know. I doubt it was over the five dollar increase he probably just wanted to plow (he did it before).
    And it doesnt sound like you made any money on it anyway (this is more than a drive right, maybe a big drive?) so your probably better off not having it.
  3. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,371

    If you got the truck to plow you mite as well use it. I wouldn't wan't any one but me to plow my driveway. He did give you some referrals and he helped you gain busines. You shouldn't be complaining.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    What's the problem?
    You're turning down business right? I mean people are calling all the time asking for quotes.
    Now you have an opening for a paying customer.
    I think your going to see a lot more people doing there own drives this winter.
  5. Farm Boss

    Farm Boss Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    Had a few customers over the yrs get a plow truck on longer drives, or get a new snowblower or such. Just the way it goes. Times change people change, just like the house may get sold and you loose the acount. Not a big deal.
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Not a problem - really. The point was to illustrate why I advise setting a fair rate and raising it slightly each year or so, as opposed to "doing a favor".

    So far this year I've lost one other to a relative using a garden tractor, another moved, a third is expected to die of cancer before Christmas and three I expected back simply haven't confirmed. Just the usual yearly shuffle.
  7. DeereGuy

    DeereGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    That's Ok, I have several older folks on fixed income on my limited resi route yr to year. You know, for beer money... anyway, last year we had double the snow with over 100 inches. I was feeling bad for them so I didn't send out the last billing for three small storms as I did better than avg on my commercials. Short story is, I get a message 1st of Sept that Ive been replaced, by one of the old woman who I've been trying to get rid of for 2 yrs as my business has moved South of her. Sooo.. if you ever want to get rid of anyone, I guess you plow for free. he he. I had been getting the going rate of $35. 2-6". Its possible someone undercut me, but I've had her for yrs.
  8. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    im pretty much in the same boat. Not sure whats up. Except its my own fault i havent exactly went hunting for work or checked with too many of last years. From the ones i have checked in with....
    I know one moved. another doesnt have money and house is being foreclosed(car already repoed :eek:,) another bought a snowblower, another fixed a snowblower, another found someone else, one sold the house, one i dont know but they dont want me to plowetc.......
    Looks like it might be a tough year but whatever.. Im sure some will pop up they always do.
    let the chips fall where they may. .
    Just as soon stay home more and watch the snow out the window unless i get broke.... prsport

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,554

    Replace it with a $50 one. Just hope he doesnt go taking those referals he gave you to get some christmas cash. I got one who bought a new blower and called on behalf of him and his neighbor. "we wont need your services this year... I have bought a blower and I will be doing the smiths next door thanks"
    I questioned why the sudden change after 3 years of service. "well last year was a little expensive, with all the snow that came down and between the two of use we decided to buy a blower"

    I really had to bite my tounge, but left the conversations with if you need me give me a call, we had proposed the seasonal rates last year, and its unfourtunate that you felt it was alot of money, but you did have the option to choose between, unlimited snowplowing or per push. Thanks again.
  10. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    They will call during the first snow fall, they always do.
  11. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I used to average $100 an hour in my neighborhood plowing drives. Then Home Depot started selling snow blowers cheaply. Now I am lucky to get 3 people to call me every big event. Now people going door to door doing drives for $10 cut my going rate in half !
  12. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    So just charge him $50 every time you have to pull him out of the snow bank or woods. Should work out to about the same right? xysport
  13. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Probably more:rolleyes:.