snow removal problem/question


south east ny
we provide snow removal services to a strip mall controlled/owned by a real estate management company. our snow removal/ice control agreement states we will plow snow and salt/sand as needed. it also states that 'upon customer request, a machine w/operator will be provided to move snow at an additional charge.'

i brought this to the real estate management's attention. i told them in my professional opinion that the snow is very and heavy and a machine w/operator is needed if they would like the snow removed from the parking lot. the snow is taking up a lot of spots and 2 tennants have called me to move the snow.

i told them (the tennants) what the snow removal contract covers and what it does not cover.

the real estate management firm has told me that they had never needed a machine to move snow and that i must not know what i am doing.

i told them that these conditions are what was in the contract his company signed. i have fufilled my end of the agreement and i informed him that a machine was needed to move the snow.

let me remind all of you that since dec. 25, my area has recieved over 34" of snow.

in the contract, a machine w/operator would be provided to move snow @ $200/hour.

what do you all think? should i stand my ground? i think i should, since that is the contract and that is what we agreed to. but i am having a hard time with the person at the real estate company.

any advice?
Sounds pretty straightforward,most of our contracts are set up the same.We usually have a site plan,showing areas where snow is to be put,and how much will be put there,and when they are exceeded it is removed at the pre-determined rate.

I would most definately stand my ground,otherwise if you bend now,they will always expect you to in the future.If it is worded "at the customers request",then the real estate co,not the tenants are the customer,and they must make the call,not the tenants,and not you.You can "recommend" it be done,but if they don't want it,it's their choice.

Might want to look at adding something to your contracts for next year so this won't happen again.Lay out exactly at what point removal is neccesary.

Rob Veteran
That was my thoughts as well, if the contract states "At customer request.." you can make a suggestion but it wil be up to them to ask for it to be done. If the tennants are complaining to you, I would nicely explain to them that you are doing the work as specified in your contract, and if they have additional needs, they should speak with the management company with whom you've contracted.

Just my 2¢


south east ny
removal is optional

the removal is at their option. should it be done, yeah, it should. the snow is taking up alot of space. i suggested it to the real estate management company (who is in westchester and i am in orange county, ny.)and they did not respond to me. whatever. now 2 tennants called the real estate management company to have snow moved. real estate management company told tennants to call snow removal company (me) to move snow. i told tennants what work i was obligated to do (snow plow all storms and salt/sand) and what was optional (move snow w/machine). i told tennants we needed a signed work order to do work.

and that is where we are at now.
Isn't it a pain being stuck in the middle ?

We have one contract,where we only plow the aisles and laneways,no parking spaces or loading docks\doors.The tenants are ALWAYS b*tching at me and the crappy job we do,and we always try to explain to them,we are only doing what we are contracted to do.

I think we may get rid of this one just because of the BS.Only reason we do it because it's right next door to our shop,and it pays good money for little work.

All you can do is like Rob said,keep telling the tenants your doing your job,and to complain to the real estate co.Maybe after enough complaints,it will get done.

Rob Veteran
I think I would consider dropping that account for next year anyway. Customers of the store / employees / tennants etc. see your trucks doing the work and in their mind you're doing a half-a$$ job even though you are doing exactly what you are supposed to do. Could be bad PR and end up costing you. And as someone else here said recently, "Do a good job and they may tell one person, do a bad job and they will tell 10" (Not implying you're doing a bad job, just it's can be perceived that way by an "outsider")

Again, that's just my 2¢


Senior Member
I wouldn't even sweat it. Your job is done. If they want to pay for half the job, let them live with half the results! I'd be sure to politely let the individual tenants that requested removal know that the management company does not wish to pay for that service and that it is not your unwillingness/inability to do the job right.

In general, I find people lose all common sense when they deal with their snow removal contractor. I had a customer (VERY upscale Hotel) call and ask if we had "jumped the gun" on the last storm we had. I politely told him "no." We had 3" of snow with a 2" trigger. Because we had salted the prior event, there was a residual effect from the salt and only an inch or so accumulated on their lot. Presumably, he thought I should leave the snow that did not melt off to refreeze so one of his guests could slip and fall the following morning???

It seems every snowfall we either have someone call and ask if we should have plowed or salted, or someone calls and thinks they had to wait too long to be plowed. We run 4-5 hour routes. You can't (and never will) please everyone, so don't waste your precious energy trying!

My absolute favorite was Holiday Retirement. They treated us very unprofessionally at one of their locations here in town. They weren't happy with anything we did for them. I told them that it was in their best interest and ours for them to find someone else to provide their service. Last storm I drove through their property and they had a lot like a skating rink. I hope they are happy with their new service provider!:p I couldn't care less. I didn't even bill them for the work we did. I don't need their bs or their money! If they deal with me and my employees in this fashion, how do you think they will treat your loved ones living in their retirement community???


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