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taking advantage of elderly

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by MIwinter, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. MIwinter

    MIwinter Member
    Messages: 42

    so, today one of my customers calls me to plow/shovel for her. 5 minutes later her granddaughter called me to cancell for her, and said I did a VERY poor job and she got stuck in her drive and her husband had to shovel her out. I apologized and told her I would be there wintin a hour to plow her out for FREE to make it right. (customer is 91 and drives a car so she is very competent and active for her age) Her drive is 20 foot wide by 45 foot long that I plow, in addition to 5 minutes of heavy shoveling and 12 minutes of snowblowing, I have been charging $25!!! So I get there pooring down rain 8"slush in drive and sidewalks! I did it for free and her granddaughter "seemed" happy and told me I wasnt to plow her unless she ok's it in the future since shes too old to decide on her own. I really like working for the old lady dont make alot of money but I am making about a $20 profit since she is on main road and Im always in the area on my route's. I am probally going to not keep her as a customer due to her granddaughter telling me they got stuck in there 4x4 yukon in her drive 6 hours after I was done plowing it. I know for a fact i had it down to bare pavement when I leftt and there was no shovel marks where he supposidly shoveled her out. I also told them I would give her ONE more free plow whenever she wanted it and they thanked me for making it right. What would you guys do now? Maybe a snowplow blew street snow into their drive or my competetion who knows?

    ps, something like this could make a REAL bad name for you, thats why I corrected it so they would be more than happy.
  2. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    I think thats the elderly taking advantage of u.
  3. ColliganLands

    ColliganLands PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,854

    i was going to say the same thing. you did waht you could to make it right if they're still not happy drop them.
    i had a similiar situation this weekend where we did one pass to open the drive and she called about 1 hour after flipping out becasue we didnt shovel or plow all the way back ( her car is parked at the end and she wont move it). i went right back out shoveled and explained we do a pass to open it so you can get in/out and if you want it pushed back you have to move the car (i dont want to be repsonsible for it). so it was resolved and she seems happy im going to finish the year for her and not re-new it next year i think.
  4. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    All you can do is what you think is right. Dont worry about the grand daughter. You know you did the right thing, Be happy.
  5. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    If the grand daughter is so concerned w/ grandma, then why was 91 yr old grandma out driving in bad conditions in the first place...why didn't the grand daughter make arrangements to go get grandmas meds or whatever it was that was SO important. Sounds like grand daughter is over compensating by manipulating you, to cover where she may be lacking. I'd drop them like a bad habit and don't give anything else away for nothing...tell them that it's a snow region, get over it and get real and find someone else to manipulate.
  6. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    You did it right, I have a gentlemen who I chased him for about a 1 1/2 months and he kept saying ill call you back next week because he was trying to get a friend who owns 8 houses so I would give him a better deal. I never heard back from him. I drove by his residence during the past storm and noticed someone else plowing his driveway. It was no big deal to me, until we received 45 to 50cm, he calls me about 12 hrs after the storm when I was finished my route bitching at me because I never plowed him out. He told me he thought its was me who plowed him out all the other times. In reality I think the he contracted realized his driveway is a 40$ shot because its very difficult and bailed on the jerk who wanted it done for 20$.. How would you respond to him? I just said "man, I never heard back from you, we never signed a contract and I'm full. Sorry, Merry ******* xmas..."
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2008
  7. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    First off I would tell the granddaughter that unless she is the one paying the bill for plowing at her grandmas house, to butt out.

    Second, you are doing way too much free work. Not to mention are you nuts??? 5 minutes of shoveling, 12 minutes of snowblowing, and a plow for $25? That is way too cheap to begin with to be doing free work.

    Third, if you only plow when the snotty granddaughter tells you to, she is going to wait for large snow buildups that have been driven over repeatedly and noone will be seeing pavement for the rest of the year.

    Fourth, you are not going to get a real bad name because of one nutty, unreasonable granddaughter. Don't let her push you around. Remember, they need you more than you need them.
  8. Milwaukee

    Milwaukee 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,180


    my great grandma live alone after her son died 3 years ago. She have good neighbor that will plow her driveway free. Her driveway are long 1/2 miles plus make spot for park cars. They been do for almost 10 years I can remember it.

    She didn't complaint but just tell guy thank for plow our driveway. Several time it was late but she didn't complaint say where are you and you not finish plow our driveway.

    Plus her family builds 4 houses so neighbors bought from her so they help her. But they do for free sometime she try give money but they refused because they know she is poor.

    That granddaughter must be **** try save money by fool you.

    If it was me I would have them tell true because I do enjoy help old peoples if they lied to me I would tell them say Why you do that to save money didn't you know how much cost me to maintain truck with plow to do for you free. Then good lucky find new plow guy.
  9. Niteman9

    Niteman9 Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    Is it getting to the point where you have to take a photo of every job when we are done?
  10. Scott13136

    Scott13136 Member
    Messages: 53

    you dont have anyone close to that age in your family do you? My grandpa is 87 still hunts and runs a trap line. He is the primary care giver of his 85yr old wife who has had Alshimers for 16yrs. Just try to stop them.
  11. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Yes I do, thanks for asking. You missed the point. I hope he doesn't use the traps that would require an animal to chew its own leg off.
  12. BigLou80

    BigLou80 Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    This happens a lot I am 28 and I feel like anybody over 55 is taking advantage of me and I want to find a way to make sure they all die pennyless
  13. 042500hd

    042500hd Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    Ditto. You know you plowed it. 6 hours had passed since you were there. I'd drop them I have no patience for people like that.
  14. Scott13136

    Scott13136 Member
    Messages: 53

    Yup, I guess I missed the point. You asked why a 91yr old was out in that weather. My point was try and stop them. And I hope they can't stop me when I am that old.
  15. jb3nh

    jb3nh Member
    from eastern
    Messages: 36

    I have a soft spot for older folks as well. Hold your ground with the grand daughter. I was in a similiar situation with doing some 'adjusted rate' work. The fact of the matter is, that if they drive you away, or you walk away from it, someone elce will get the job and charge the going rate. Do what makes you feel right with yourself but don't cut your own throat over it.
  16. Maybe I'm just too much of a hardass or something but I could give a rat's ass about their age when it comes to business. Whether they are 31 or 91 my costs are still the same. Don't get me wrong, I commend you for doing what you did and offering what you did but I think your shooting yourself in the foot. I like when elderly ask me for a seniors discount. I ask them if they get a discount when they buy gas. They always say no and I say "Neither do I"...

    This family is going to take advantage of you. Dump them and move on with life.
  17. BK Hammer

    BK Hammer Member
    Messages: 64

    Get this. I plowed this elderly ladies driveway all last year for 25 bucks per push. I'm there for fifteen minutes tops. Two backdrags, a little entry cleanup and done. There aren't even any sidewalks to do. So first decent snowfall of this season and I go and plow her drive. She calls a few days later and tells me that she has some young fellas who will shovel her snow and for me not to bother. Here is the kicker-I never even charged her last year or for the first plow this season. I mean it is only a couple hundred I'm saving her. Anyway, she tells me to send her the bill for last season and the first plow this season. I'm totally floored---what elderly person does not want free snow removal. I swear I think I insulted her by giving this half blind old lady who doesn't even drive snow removal without being charged.
  18. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    So you charged her $25 per push but didn't charge her?
  19. Captain

    Captain Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    I had 3 elderly ladies on my route. One is living on the edge, you call tell not many $$$ around. She actually broke here hip a month or so ago and has not been home since. I have plowed her out 3 times this year, and do not plan on charging her. She lives a just few houses down from me.

    The second is an old family friend - close to 90 I would guess. I normally only charge her $15, single wide only 40 feet long. She lives right accross the street from my dad. I plowed her 3 times so far and she came out and gave me $20 saying she knows it's worth more, but that's all she has right now. I'm good with that.

    The third one has money - last year she would race out to shovel her driveway before I got there. After driving there 3 times in a row last year, and her having it already shoveled, I didn't even bother going back.

    First big storm this year and my phone was ringing during the storm - she left a message saying "I hope you still have me as a customer?" She has 5 grown up, adult children - I never even called back.

    The first 2 I don't think they are taking avantage of me - they are paying what they can or can't.

    The third one - who can afford plowing, I dropped as my travel time is just as important as plow time.
  20. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I find that a few customers take more time getting to & from than actually plowing the drive. You absolutely don't need that hassle!