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No more half payments

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by martyman, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    I try and be a nice guy and split the season payment for people, but there is alway's one fly in the ointment to ruin it. I've had a customer for 6 years (Bill) and the neighbor (Steve) wanted my service, so I figured they are friends I will split the payment (the long term neighbour (Bill) alway's pays cash in full). I recieved two cheques but never my contract back. I actually had to go back to get one of the cheques corrected because they mispelled my name and still didn't get my contract back. The season was quite with little snow and never heard from any customer until the end of January (the wife called and spoke to my wife (I was away) to cancel the cheque. My wife told the customer she would talk to me but I waited until Febuary and deposited the cheque (it didn't bounce). Last night I was plowing and they came out and got mad at me and said they will sue me for the $140 :nono: I clearly explained to the guy that If the cheque would have bounced I would have taken him to court, so if he want's to he can. I'm not doing anymore split season payments.

    Has anyone had this type of problem?
  2. Remsen1

    Remsen1 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    No, but I knew what you were going to say before you even got there. Bottom line is they're happy as hell when it snows like a banshee every other day, but they're not willing to live up to their end of the agreement if there was little to no snow.

    I agree that you should have cashed the check. You probably could've avoided this if you cashed the check right a away.

    They've got big ballz, no shame, and no pride. If I were them I would be embarassed not angry. Sign of the times?
  3. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    no, but i hear about it all the time.

    This is why I like my commercial route. Any residential is strictly per push, cash basis. They have my card and phone when they want to be plowed out.

    If you have a contract he can't take you to court so long as you stand up to your end of the deal and continue plowing his driveway. Or, you could refund his cheque and fill his driveway back up with all the snow you took out all year :p
  4. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    I always like how someone says they are going to take you to court. For a $140.00 you are going to court. It is like the person that forgets to send the cheque until the day it is snowing. Then you get the call- When you come to plow the driveway you can get your cheque from the mail box.

    We had 15" from Sunday early morning to Monday late afternoon.
    Plowed 40 of the last 48 hours, not a lot of fun.
  5. The Snow Pros

    The Snow Pros Junior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 14

    Why didn't you get your contract back with a signature in the first place ? If you had a signed contract with all the details pertaining to the scope of your work, the customer would be a lot less likely to re-nig on his end.

  6. KCB

    KCB Senior Member
    Messages: 153


    You hit the nail right on the head. Residential customers in the "burbs" are a dime a dozen. The downside is that you have to weed out the :gunsfiring: jacka$$' that try and nickle and dime your rate's. They have no respect for you or your contract. Get what you are owed, then kick them to the curb. You should have a mid-season termination clause in your contract for situations such as this. Your time is better spent taking a ***** then chasing down money and signatures.:nono: Your service should be reserved for the good customers that play/pay by your rules.
  7. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Thanks for the comments :drinkup: I wanted to show my wife that cashing the cheque was the right thing to do. Every year I get busier with contracts and every year I have some new problem to work out and this site alway's helps me :blush2: I really appreciate the support.
  8. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Never discount for "friends", especially "friends of customers". Odds are this endevour has soured your good customer of 6 years....

    Also I agree- no contract no service. Period. I have maybe 3 customers with no contracts, only one concerns me and after the end of this season if she doesn;t agree she's gone.
  9. dmontgomery

    dmontgomery PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,238

    I do not plow for anyone that lives within sight of my home. I charge friends the same as anyone else and they sign an agreement also or I don't do it.......But I also only do per push agreements....

  10. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,559

    A couple of points...from personal experience

    1. No signed contract=no plow No matter how well you know them, see what happens when there is a problem on any level and who gets the blame.

    2. In my seasonal contract (only have 1 this year) It is clearly stated "unlimited plows from Nov. XX until April XX AFTER trigger amount it reached"

    3. I actually had a cust. who decided to lower trigger amount 1/2 way through a season, so I re-quoted from that date. Whole new contract, and got "how come it's more?" Reply..with a lower trigger, chances of me puting my blade down more increase. More work for my truck=you pay more
  11. Scottscape

    Scottscape Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    I clearly state in my contract that any early termination of contract that client agrees to pay a 150.00 termination fee
  12. somm

    somm Senior Member
    Messages: 200

    you need to be happy they pay ANY part of a season, prepaid-in-full, contract or not.

    our management fee is a month at a time, whether it happens or not.

    It's cool to figure a full season, but at least break it into monthly payments.

    It's cool being businmesslike, but uncool appearing greedy from a customer retention standpoint, true?
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2006