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someone else plowing my contract

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by MIwinter, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. MIwinter

    MIwinter Member
    Messages: 42

    What would you guys do to a customer who let someone else plow their drive for free? Realize they did not call me to let me know and I spent time/gas driving to their house. They are in a contract with me. There was 4" of snowfall and a guy who lives a block away did it with their knowledge supposidly for free. He did use a ridding lawn mower that could barely plow 3". What would you guys do?

    my thoughts are,
    This is a small contract that I could care less about anyways. I know the guy who plowed and and think he did it out of spite as he knows I plow this drive and plow for a living right now. I am thinking about charging them for today (full amount) and dropping them day of next major storm as my contract states I can cancel contract any anytime for any or no reason and telling them to call the jackass with the ridding mower to plow 14inches of snow. I am a licensed/insured business and this contract was extremly cheap for them anyways.
  2. Case580M

    Case580M Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    If you had a written contract signed by customer they they owe you for the plow. But again it would be pretty hard to drop them the next snow if you make them pay for this one!
  3. Niteman9

    Niteman9 Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    Bill them for the service they contracted you to do. If they pay it continue to service them. If they do not pay drop them.
  4. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    send them a bill along with a copy of your contract.
  5. Dan85

    Dan85 Senior Member
    Messages: 670

    I agree, call and explain the situation and bill them. However, I wouldn't just drop them on the eve of the next big storm since it seems unprofessional and it can't do any good for the reputation of your business. Just remember, can't fix stupid, gotta work with it.
  6. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Bill them.
  7. suzuki0702

    suzuki0702 Senior Member
    Messages: 649

    absolutely bill them!!
  8. Chris-R

    Chris-R Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    I agree with the masses here. Send them a bill. I've had almost the same issue in the past. I had a homeowner whose neighbor snowblowed his whole driveway before I got there. I billed him and he paid it. His driveway hasn't seen a snowblower since my bill.
  9. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    What does your contract say? Per plow? How far is this out of your way? Do you really feel you should get the full amount for just dropping by? I'd say call the customer and have a professional conversation about how your time is valuable and that you can't just be dropping by to see if they need a plow. Don't get me wrong i would be annoyed too...........
  10. NorthernSvc's

    NorthernSvc's Senior Member
    Messages: 781

    i bill per inch, so wether i service or not they get billed! they want to plow/shovel themselves thats fine, then why have a service? they signed a contract so, either pay up or find someone else.
  11. rbergevine

    rbergevine Member
    Messages: 62

    I'm with Dan85 on this one. Tact can go a long way. I might consider mentioning it to them first. Dropping them before next storm is malicious and immature - no matter how annoyed you may be. Be a man about it, save your reputation with others in the area. If a bad word gets out about you, it's tough to get it back. Integrity at all times always serves you well in life. If you feel as many do that you should bill them, then do so, it would be appropriate. Dropping them over you emotions is just not right in my book. Peace.
  12. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    I think it happens to everyone. The other day I had 6 residentials shoveled on my routes. As soon as I got the word from my drivers I was on the phone with these people. It panned out like this. I took the loss this one time and they were made very clear that they will be billed in the future. 2 agreed to pay they just wanted the exercise.:dizzy: 2 didnt read what they signed and couldnt comprehend how I could charge them if they shoveled. One proceeded to argue that they couldnt get out of there driveway 2" and therefor had the right to shovel themselves out and not be charged. The last didnt understand why I would need to charge more if they were only plowed monday through friday and still held a good spot on the route.

    At the end of the day these 6 people want to be top priority when "they" need it. They cant get out of their driveways with 2", but feel it is safe to drive on the snow and ice covered roads. And lastly dont understand what needing a service is. Every client will be billed every storm from here out. If they complain than they can automatically revert to on call scheduling which is basically last on the route maybe even after a few hours rest and a higher cost per inch.
  13. jkrak

    jkrak Junior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 26

    If you guys are counting on a few residentials to make your nut your gonna be disappointed. Plus if your charging by the push you are losing money. We charge residential and commercial the same with a seasonal contract. We take the average over the past four years and bill them accordingly. This way there are no questions on how much they will pay and when. Plus the bonus is you get paid whether it snows or not. if you offer a good service they will agree to terms almost always.
  14. rbergevine

    rbergevine Member
    Messages: 62

    I'm with ShovelRacer - If they want to be serviced, its all on them. If they want to be call-ins if it works better for them then so be it, happy to oblige their tastes. But as he said, I charge a bit more for callins, payable at time of service and take last priority.
  15. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Really? Where have you been the last 2 weeks? Seasonal charge is not panning out to be the way to go this year so far!
  16. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Heck yes after a rest. I took a 3 hour nap last time before I did my on calls.
  17. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    First Im not talking about a few residentials. The example was, but the point is simple whether I have 10 or 100 accounts. I depend on each and every account. Now their price takes into consideration the average snowfall as well as the amount of money I need to make on the account. This gives us our per push rate. If they shovel and dont pay then they are lowering their cost per season. Because I may not now make the money I planned on this account, they basically eat right into my profits.

    As far as the debate between seasonal and per push it will never end. But I explain that in an average winter we both make the same. In a slow winter you come out with $ but maybe lose a few accounts. In a heavy winter I come out ahead. Now I would rather have the money for using the equipment than the other way around. One winter of double average storms could really hurt you. If we get no snow I can make money prepping jobs for the spring. Believe me I have pushed the seasonal a few times to people who want a number. At the end of the day they always go per push. Reason is there is the chance we might not get snow. I always agree, but what they dont realize is that our area gets within 4 storms total each year. The dryest winter in 5 years only produced 4 less events than the heaviest. Accumulation was much different, but hey I got paid for both.
  18. Bostonyj7

    Bostonyj7 Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    Happened to me last week.

    House is the farthest I have and bid it high, but still got it. Plowed it 3 times in our first 12" storm. 3 days later another 5" storm, went to plow it again at 10pm and it was shoveled by the tennant. He tells me he called the landlord and they knew about it. I never recieved the call, but arrived, ready to do the work as planned. After the runs, I called the landlord and explained that it was all nice and all, but I went ther and was ready to plow (Ohh slid into someone and took out a car bumper, on the way to this job aswell)

    Told them I was going to charge them and that was it. Told them if its shoveled and I never get the call. Ill charge again, and agin and again untill Im told otherwise.
    I have gas and insurance to pay for even if I dont push snow.

    Bills went out on Monday, she was the first to send the checks (I do a few houses for her)

  19. lumps

    lumps Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    So wait, this contract, was it a seasonal or per push?
  20. Turbo X

    Turbo X Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    I feel for you.. but on the other hand ,, if I were a mechanic, and you contracted me to maintain your vehicle , and one day you have a friend do a repair on the truck for free , do I have the right to charge you for my lost money I would of got for that repair?
    or what if your truck brakes down for two week and in that time he gets a storms and has to pay premium price to get it plowed.. do you compensate him the difference.?
    every body has a budget and its getting squeezed every
    day, and when it comes time for me to get something for free, be it a truck repair or snow removal, I'll take it, and put that money to another bill...
    don't take it to hart, it's just business, they will come back , free only works for awhile, and that guy will stop doing it.. just tell him to call you when he hear of a snow storm coming and would like you to plow him out, and you only have few opening per storm so call early... ussmileyflag