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What to do???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by GSS LLC, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    Alright, I picked up a parking garage this year. the top floor (3 floors total) is not leased out and not in use. so they were going to chain it off so they didnt have to pay for snow plowing on the top floor (large amounts of snow would be hauled off for weight purposes). Well, last event came and in the am i sent a guy to clear the entrys for morning traffic. He calls me and says they didnt chain off the top floor and its been getting driven on all night. so it resulted in a 2" layer of packed snow and ice on the roof and ramps. I have had to work my butt off with the skidloader and sanded the heck out of it to get things cleared. with the temps not reaching above freezing for 9 out of the past 11 days, its not helping. So this guy has a heck of a bill on his hands. do i send him the bill for the hours ive put in and explain to him why it was so much, or do i eat some of the time?
  2. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,143

    You should have called them asap and asked them if they wanted it done.
  3. BORIS

    BORIS Senior Member
    Messages: 172

    That is a tough one you could go with that was a lot of snow so removal for all the weigh. If it was me i think i would just eat the appropriate amount of the bill less the time just for removal. That is my opinion and it is a new account for you right? I have ate a few things in the past just becouse you cant think of everything to ask up front and it seemed like a good idea in the heat of the battle then when billing comes around it dosent.
  4. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    The way you explained it, I don't think it's a tough one at all. You must have priced the building accordingly knowing you weren't responsible for the top three levels. I would say the same for the owners. Now they have asked you to do additional work created due their own actions, or rather lack thereof. Why would this be your fiscal responsibility whatsoever?
  5. djlunchbox

    djlunchbox Member
    Messages: 50

    Good business would be to inform them of what happened, tell them you took care of it this time, but next time you will have to charge. Would I want to do that, no. Is it the right thing to do since it appears that you had to make the call yourself without contacting the management, kinda. I would have done the same thing and ate the cost, but grumble to myself the whole time that " I had better learn from this"
    The next storm comes and no chain, then you will have to assume they wanted it done and charge accordingly. I'm learning that people dont take certian agreements seriously until we hit them in their wallet.
  6. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    I didn't see anywhere in his post that he stated it was his responsibility. Did you? All I got out of that is that the client was supposed to block access to the roof, and they didn't. Now instead of a simple push, he's got to scrape and lay media all day. I plowed an account a day after the storm this past time because they were closed for three days. I took that one on the chin, as it melted and refroze. I laid a **** ton of magic down, then came back and scraped with my bucket. If I had to do that because of the clients fault, you'd bet your ass they were going to get a bill for it.

    EDIT After rereading the ops post four times, one could guess that he went and decided to scrape that roof on his own without prior auth from the client. In that case I would say bite it and next time call first.....
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  7. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Bill it

    Their lack of proper planning does not constitute your responsibility to fix it for free. If this was in any way your fault I could see eating some of it. However, they dropped the ball not you. Bidding jobs based on what they tell you they want is what you did.
  8. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    If its not his responsibility then why did he do it and expect to get paid?

    To the OP if you were supposed to get authorization before removing the snow and didn't I'm not sure why the client should pay. If you were authorized to remove the snow bill the full amount. Its not your fault they didn't chain it off. But if its not going to be used anyway why apply all the sand? Write a note along with the bill of why it took extra time. Don't offer up a discount or it will be expected the whole term(s) of.your contract.
  9. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    What I meant by it "not being his responsibility" was in the case that he wasn't required to deal with the roof in the contract, and was asked to after the fact bey the client. I had just ASSUMED (mother of a f ups) that the client asked him to go up there and scrape. I would have NEVER just gone up and done that if I wasn't A. required to by contract or B. Asked to after the fact by the client who would then be anticipating a bill for the additional services. I believe that to be common sense.
  10. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    I agree, I wouldn't take on a big, expensive job like that without knowing, they know, this will be extra. I guess its all in your scope of work per you agreement.
  11. Triton2286

    Triton2286 Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    I don't see the issue. You serviced an area that you are not responsible for in your contract.

    You can't charge them, they told you not to touch the top floor.

    Should have called them.
  12. Liberty LLC

    Liberty LLC Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 64

    If it were me I would have done it also because their were cars up there already and if he didn't he woulda been wide open for a suit better to eat some of it if they refuse to pay then a law suit. That said they didn't chain it and itwas used they pay!
  13. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    GSS, what possible reason did you have for not finding out if they wanted you to clear the pack snow? I could see if it was a long time account and you had a feel for wether or not they would want it done, but this is a new client. I have to say you can't bill them. You can however tell them all the work you did at no charge and you will look like a hell of a good guy for having gone above and beyond the call of duty. Then don't ever do it again without checking and tell them they will have to pay for the work if they don't chain it off in the future. Sucks for you now, but the goodwill will payoff in the future.
  14. djlunchbox

    djlunchbox Member
    Messages: 50

    That was my line of thinking too. I always C.M.A. If i can help it.

    Yeah ducati, i had read it that way, as in he made the choice to do it without the go ahead, but felt he must do it to cover his a$$. It was not his responsibility though, according to what he stated.

    So my attitude is: this time its on me because "maybe" you didn't remember to chain the upper lot. If this happens again, however, you will be charged accordingly. I cant have that liability hanging over my head because you didnt hold up your end of the contract.
  15. djlunchbox

    djlunchbox Member
    Messages: 50

    Christ i type slow, lol. You should come work for me, i wouldnt have to explain my thinking as much. Thumbs Up
  16. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    :laughing: I'm getting old, you probably would have to explain everything.
  17. buildinon

    buildinon Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    I can't see GSS being liable for a lawsuit if something were to happen to the people or vehicles if he would of left the snow / ice alone as it was in his contract to only do it upon request as he stated. It would of been on the shoulders of the property manager / owner as they were responsible for that area and for the blacking / containment of it aka putting up the chains but failed to.
    But the second that he touched that snow / ice pack he broke the contract and also put the responsablity upon himself and company that would of been on the property manager / owners. Better to always call first and make sure of what they want, and to cover your a**.
    I do understand "snow removal" in Omaha very well just an fyi, as I have a branch out there under a diffrent name, and as a result of the first storm and peoples mistakes was able to pick up 27 new commercial acct's after that storm alone. Kepp up the good work though, as when I was out there over Christmas I did you around town :)
  18. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    I wasn't instructed not to do the top floor. the whole building is my responsability. the owners are not in touch with this property, they dont check on it or anything, they are an investment real estate company, this is their first year owning it. they told me to take care of it and they know that i know what i am doing. i tried calling, and left a message but no response. Im in charge of the parking garage, removing snow from the upper level if needed, hauling it off, etc. I cannot chain it off under my own decision, but im in charge of snow and ice, so i made it safe, it was terribly slick and dangerous up there. there is no upon request, everything is "do it if you think it needs done, you know what your doing". Im not leaving a skating rink up top with ramps so slick i needed 4 wheel drive and a little momentum to get up. I will not be taken to court over a slip and fall.

    I wrote him a letter explaining the skidloader hours and salt/sand used as being much more than normal. and explained it would be much cheaper from now on because i will keep up withe the roof instead of letting it get driven on and packed down.

    I know this guy somewhat, small town and all. they forgot to chain the roof? in my eyes, they effed up and now have to pay for it. i didnt forget to chain the roof, why should i labor away for free?

    thinking about it, after 29 hours of straight plowing, i may have called him and talked to him. i think i remember telling him it was packed ice and snow and would require work. I know i at least left him a message that he never responded to.

    either hes going to show up at my shop irate, or thank me for taking care of things. WISH ME LUCK! HAHA. if hes pissed, ill discount it to whatever he's happy with. but then he will know what it should cost and how much i had to eat because of their screwup.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  19. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,143

    Not sure where you got that from. He said cars had gone through the top because it wasn't chained off.
  20. djlunchbox

    djlunchbox Member
    Messages: 50

    AH, very good. The best type of customer. "I don't care, just do what needs to be done" .

    Hey, If you called and left a message and they never called back, you did what you had to. Thumbs Up If they don't care enough to chain it off, well......payup