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Problematic customer question.

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by stereo_installe, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. stereo_installe

    stereo_installe Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I have a customer who I do two small lots and about 200yds of sidewalk for. She calls me non stop with non sence issues. one day the sidewalks look good and parking lot looks bad and the next day it's Oh there's 3 inches of ice on my parking lots. I get there and there's nothing wrong! lots and sidewalks are clear (no snow or ice). I do bill her for my trips to her stores for these calls. How would you guys handle this? does any one else have customers who do this to them? all my other customers are very pleased and never complain like this so any info would be great.

  2. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    I have one lawn care customer like this. I charge them more then everyone else for my aggrivation. I guess your choices are to fire them, or just keep on billing what the headache is worth to you.
  3. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    Tell her to find someone else.
  4. qualitycut

    qualitycut PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,231

    I do some town homes for a company and I get this crap all the time. Guy in 2222 called and said you missed his driveway last week, ok I know I didn't but I will go look. Theres a 1-4 inch of blown snow in it. I am just going to deal with it for this year and I am out.
  5. Moonlighter

    Moonlighter Senior Member
    Messages: 643

    Is it a multi year contract, if so I would add a bit more on to next years bid for time and aggravation, call it an administrative fee, or pass her on to someone else next season.
  6. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    maybe this is her odd way of hitting on you?
  7. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    If she says there is ice spread some "ghost " salt and charge her for it
  8. Turbodiesel

    Turbodiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 428

    Did you ever stop to think she's lonely? I had that problem . The day before the next storm ,I told her I can't take her beachin and moanin anymore , and that I'm thinkin of getting outta the business .......today .

    Her attitude changed real quick .;)
  9. stereo_installe

    stereo_installe Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    thanks guys this is the first year of doing her lots. And I am horrifiedof the thought of this lady is hitting on me ! lol I she called again and said her lots are still not clean! It's been 4 days since the storm past and her lots were bone dry the day after. I think I'm gonna tell her that I done dealing with the non stop complaining. Not to mention she's not even in Pa she's in NY for the week(was told this by her employees). guess she see's lots up there and wants to bit@h about hers.

  10. Turbodiesel

    Turbodiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 428

    whatever you do , dont let one acehole discourage your prospects.

    I lose and gain every year.

    I lose no sleep on them either
  11. flakesmeangreen

    flakesmeangreen Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    Exactly! Drop 'em or PITA charge 'em You'll either replace them with another customer or you'll make it worth your while. Make it a win-win!
  12. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    If its an account where she pays per push or for each salting whats the problem? In fact, in order to ensure this customer's complete satisfaction I think you should go out there EVERY DAY and if there is one flake of snow or one little patch of ice you should service the property and BILL her for it.

    When she gets the invoice for 30 snow plowings and saltings when it actually only snowed 4 times that month and goes ape shiat on you, you can casually explain that based on her previous complaints you understood she wanted her lots and walks to be 100% totally clear of ANY snow or ice and you serviced the properties accordingly.

    I will never complain about a per push or hourly customer that wants perfection. Perfection costs them, and makes me, a lot money.
  13. stereo_installe

    stereo_installe Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    she is a per storm property that was handed over to me by a old employer who canned his buisiness. In the end between the last 2 storms I have lost money on this job. after talking to her she stated she basically needs someone to be there and make sure there is ABSOLUTELY NO ICE OR SNOW on her lots. Based on this I told her to find someone else who will do her lots for next to nothing and park their truck there for the whole winter.
  14. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    I have a customer who is exactly the same way. He is the cheapest @$$ and want's everything done. He calls me constantly to remind me to do his lot like I'm going to forget. He wants his personal driveway salted. He is a royal pain in the butt. I DOUBLED his rate this year and he tried to nickel and dime me down from 1200 to 600. He said he had another guy who would do it for 600 but he wasn't reliable and does a bad job. LOL...makes sense. Next year when he calls for a price I will tell him 3000 for the season and don't call me again if you aren't going to pay this price. Even for that price I might not want to deal with his crap...

    Drop the PITA customers, makes the job more enjoyable when you forget about them
  15. jgoetter1

    jgoetter1 Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    I agree, its the nature of the beast. You've got to expect some customer changes each season.
  16. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Per storm? Does that mean she pays you a flat fee for a storm no matter how much it snows or how many times you have to plow? If that is the case I would recommend NEVER having a contract like that. Annual, per push, hourly, but not per storm. I know there are a lot of different types of contracts, and everyone has an opinion, but I see NO benefit to a "per storm" contract.
  17. stereo_installe

    stereo_installe Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    you hit the nail onn the head I should've changed it but i figuered I wouldn't fix something that wasn't broken. now I'm kicking myself in the a**