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Official cheapskate customer thread for 2014/2015 season!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Buswell Forest, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Let's here them!

    My first..

    Second home on the lake. $20,000 a year tax bill, just built, gorgeous.

    Owner is going in for surgery on his back. Wants me to backdrag closer to the garage. Tell him I will shovel, but sent text before I add in my fee.
    He replied "GREAT!"
    I reply I would like to get $10 for this service. Making his total per push/shovel cost $40, up from $30.
    He replies "WOW! I wasn't planning on THAT! NO, just backdrag closer."
    I replied that I can't get any closer, because I will not risk damaging his garage. He never replied to that one.
    It's always the wealthy guy.
  2. Snow tracker

    Snow tracker Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    Just ask him for a garage door opener and tell him to turn up the heat. :angry:
  3. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,481

    Those kind of people make me lose my mind. I would just drop him immediately.
  4. MatthewG

    MatthewG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,400

    Dropped customer/had my first argument with a customer in 5 years today, mind you he is Asian.

    5.1" of snow the day before thanksgiving, per the signed contract it was $175 to plow, plus $175 to salt. I gave him the bill today at a discounted rate of $300 total, he freaked out. I offered to lower the bill to $200 on the spot and then immediately terminate the contract. He countered with $150 (in his Asian voice). I said $200 or we are going to court. Cheap Mother ****** (It is a 1 acre strip mall)

    Turned and walked away, its too bad since my mom works at the restaurant in this strip mall and I could have gotten more business from her telling the customers that we do the lot.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2014
  5. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,915

    I guess I'm confused here. You had a signed contract that spells out he's charged 175 for plowing, and 175 for salting. You billed him for 300 and not 350 that it should have been for what reason? And then offered to lower it another 100??

    I fail to see any logic at all in this...he knew your prices before the work was done. He agreed to the prices before the work was done. He's got a bill to pay, and he agreed to the prices already. Why did you lower it in the first place?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2014
  6. MatthewG

    MatthewG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,400

    First time customer, first storm, plus only 2" accumulated from the official 5.1" due to the warm ground.

    I was trying to make the guy feel good, and I was going to ask to put my 3'x2' yard sign on his property by the road.

    When he started freaking I knew it was a doomed deal so I cut out the other $100, but at that point it was for nothing.
  7. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    I thought about it. But I will get much more pleasure out of not backdragging as much as he thinks I should. He seems to think I can get my blade to within 2" of his doors. I prefer to remain a good 18" back..not about to damage this prik's place, he would send the national guard after me.
  8. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Buswell tell the guy you will phone ahead when you are on the way to do driveway and he should have his door open when you get there. If he is not there or late getting door open you will do what you believe to be safe for his property and will catch you next time. It works for me.
  9. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    I'm willing to bet unless he loves winters in the northeast he will not be around
  10. Lcmains1

    Lcmains1 Member
    Messages: 33

    Paid $75 per hour to plow a lot, billed the customer for 1.5 hours for the first billing (new customer) got told "the old company charged 1.25 hours" I explained that they are billed from when I leave the last place until I'm finished with the lot. I got told that it shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to drive the distance I'm coming. The old company never did it that. I told them "you need to call the old company back". She was arguing over 10-15 minutes of time, whata joke
  11. vlc

    vlc Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    This guy pulled up to me during our last storm. Said he owns a small lot down the street that he needs plowed because his truck won't start. He said it would take 30-45 minutes to plow it and he'll give me 25 bucks. It was so hard not to laugh...
  12. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 862

    I did an emergency leaf job for a lady the day before snow, then she left town and came back to see her driveway wasn't plowed. She called to hire me and asked what I would charge. Before I could tell her my price of $80 she blurted out that the guy last year charged $35. Trying to keep my composure I informed her I couldn't even come close to that and suggested she shop around a bit.
  13. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    No, he comes up 2 or 3 times each month. But with the surgery, he will be away for a good while. He should have a good 3 feet to shovel when he gets up here again.
  14. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Had a woman hire me to plow her driveway. Paid in full for the season, signed contract, the whole deal. Not 24 hours later she calls to tell me her husband bought a snowblower and she would like to cancel. I should have retained 10% just for the aggravation
  15. xgiovannix12

    xgiovannix12 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,433

    I had a guy who had a 30 degree straight incline driveway and I plowed his driveway for about 2 seasons for 80 bucks a shot . After the 2nd season he told me he could find someone cheaper to do his driveway. I turned around and said I dont mind if you do because this driveway is just a headache but on a side note I talked to the guy whos plowing his driveway now and is charging 20 bucks more then I was. I musta been doing something wrong :p
  16. firefighter1406

    firefighter1406 Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    I had a guy who went on vacation. Just wanted me to wait until he got back to plow. I told him it doesn't work like that. I explained I can't wait until there is a foot of snow and come do your driveway and do a good job. He grumbled but agreed. We got over a foot and a half of snow during the two weeks he was gone. Plowed it 3 times. Guy paid and I never heard from him again.
  17. ggb6259

    ggb6259 Senior Member
    from SW MI
    Messages: 214

    Try that with a drinking buddy... He went to Florida for a month with his wife. Calls me when she is in the air and asked if I could plow out the drive before she got home. Now this was out of the blue. I said sure knowing he has about a 600' foot drive with a small bridge over a creek.

    I get there and there's about 16" of snow on the ground. I look at as a challenge and go after it. Took every bit of an hour. (Dodge 1500 / Snowdogg MD75)

    He gets back and we are at the watering hole a few months later with the rest of the drunks and he pipes up and throws me $25, I said thanks and that was that.

    Fast forward to last week at the bar. He's talking about heading down again with wife and mentions his drive. Looks at me and asks if I can be available. I said sure but I'm plowing with the snow and you get to throw cash at me every time I run the truck. He starts whining and then the rest of our crew jumps his ass, pretty hard I might add. I explained very nicely what I felt it cost me to do the job last year and I can do it but at my cost.

    No answer... He can go to Florida every year while I'm knee deep in snow here in Michigan and is chafing over a few dollars. I figure he can at least cover my cost... Not trying to gouge him or anything like that.

    We'll see what happens...
  18. NThill93

    NThill93 Member
    Messages: 96

    jeez you're from michigan and see 16" of snow as a challenge figured you guys would think thats baby stuff
  19. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,247

    I know this isn't lawn site but here is something to look out for. Doing lawn service as usual and leaf clean ups we always start cutting shorter into the fall and makes clean ups go easier. We always have a few extra people call and want a clean up done. This year it seems those people stopped cutting the first of September so you get there to do a clean up and the grass is a foot tall. Always go and take a look before you give em a price or say ok.
  20. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,978

    i like the idea of the opener, tell him to pull his vehicles up to the back of the garage and that will let you set the blade without damaging his door