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What do you guys think?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by mmtwin, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. mmtwin

    mmtwin Member
    Messages: 87

    I have received a few phone calls from my seasonals. They are saying no way the will sign a seansol contract next year. They didn't complain before. They are good customers, but they also don't like my per push price either. Any one else having this problem this season?
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    No problems here I bill them they send me money whether it snows or not.
  3. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,322

    Not me. If I was a customer and someone was plowing my driveway, I sure as hell would not want to pay someone for nothing. I wouldn't love a real snowy year either if it was by the push. But at least I'd know it was all straight up. I'm sure people will moan about this small snow fall year, but when it snows a ton and they are on the per push they'll start thinking about going back to a seasonal contract. It would be interesting to see a long term analysis of a per push versus a seasonal contract in a spot with same snowfall, same number of pushes, and same price. See which costs the customer more in the long run. Bet it would pretty much average out over the long haul.
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Remind them that they made the decision for a seasonal and you were prepared to live up to the bargain if it had snowed a lot of times. Also, that the winter isn't over yet, so they may be singing a different tune in March.

    I had the same deal a few years ago. I buy heating oil on the same basis - 1200 gallons during summer to be delivered throughout the winter. One winter, the price of heating oil actually went DOWN during the winter. I wound up paying ten cents a gallon more than people who paid on delivery. First time anyone could remember the price ever going down during the winter and the first time I'd ever pre-bought oil. But I had made the decision to prebuy, so I just lived with it. A couple years later I prebought again and saved a lot.
  5. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134

    That's the way the cookie crumbled!
  6. douglasl330

    douglasl330 Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    Can't please every one! Like Mick said if the jetstream changes and all of a sudden your pushing snow 4 times a week they'll sing a different tune! Did your seasonal price jump do to fuel price from last year and did they have the same contract last year?
  7. fms

    fms Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    People are talking like this winter is over. We're still getting two storms a week. Granted most of them have been rain, but like Doug said, if the jet stream changes we're still going to get hammered.
    Last winter we got crushed and if I had gone to any of my clients and requested more money they would have laughed at me. Clients get seasonal contracts to be protected from winters like last winter. (you don't get protected last winter and money back this winter) And I still think there's a good possibility that we're going to have a very white February and March.
  8. mmtwin

    mmtwin Member
    Messages: 87

    Price went up a little, but nothing to complain about. I figure 10 pushes a year at 45 a push. for $450 for season. Or per push is $55 discount for seasonals
  9. Winter Land Man

    Winter Land Man Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    Residential plowing isn't fun. Commercial is best!!
  10. drmiller100

    drmiller100 Senior Member
    from idaho
    Messages: 119

    i'm wondering if i should be switching back and forth between contract, and per push for the complainers.

    meanwhile upping the pricing on everyone that complains.

    if someone complains about flat rate, then switch them to per push, and up hte price.
  11. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    But you seem to be missing the point. Give them the option of choosing between seasonal (flat) rate or per push. Then there won't be any real complaints because it will have been their choice. Why are you wanting to decide which method they're under? Give them a choice at the beginning.
  12. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    season contract

    This customer learned the down side of a seasonal contract. You hope it doesn't snow on his property and he hopes it snows more than he paid for. You won this time. Did he complain when the shoe was on the other foot? Did he offer you more money to cover your plowing when you had to plow more than you bargained for? In a seasonal contract someone feels cheated better him than you. You have no control over the snow. I feel seasonal snow bidding is a gamble as the weather forecasters cant get a 6 hour forecast right how can I believe a 4 month forecast? In fairness to the weather people I do believe the science of weather forecasting is very young.

  13. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Bingo- and if they don't like you're prices on either of them they can go somewhere else. It's human nature- especially with the b.s. attitude that customer service means giving away the farm. People are conditioned to complain when they're not happy, even if they are wrong. They knew what a season contract meant when they signed it.
    Mick and SkykingHD are right on. They have 3 choices, seasonal, per push or someone else. Let them make their choice.
  14. MrBillsLawn

    MrBillsLawn Member
    Messages: 44

    I agree with the three choices, but maybe try to comfort them so you dont sound like a jerk. tell them that they bought snow plow insurance, just like car insurance. if you dont have any car accidents for a whole year, you dont get your money back at the end of the year. let them know that it works the same way, and there is no way to predict the weather, if you could do that you wouldnt be plowing snow, you would be sitting on a beach drinking beer because you would be RICH!! Also, you can tell them about your other customer "jim" who thought the same thing and ended up paying more because they wanted a per push price...in the long run they are better off. if you really want to make them happy wait till april and if we dont get a lot of snow send them a car wash gift certificate, or something stupid and cheep. it will leave a good taste in their mouth for the next year, and if we truly dont get that much snow you sill still make out, although i doubt that no snow thing will happen!
  15. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,107

    Once again Mick I have to agree with you, ask them weather they want that contact when your there plowing every other day or so, then I think they'll see the light.