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What would you do??

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by linckeil, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,272

    so i plow 3 homes on the same street, all next to each other on the same side. I've been plowing these 3 for at least 5 years with no issues. after the last storm, the guy in the middle home calls me and says he feels as if he's not a high priority on my list as he feels i'm getting there too late. i tell him his street his relatively early in my route and his driveway is always done within 90 minutes of a storm ending - which it is. he tells me how his son was coming home from college and tried getting in the driveway at 10pm friday night and it wasn't plowed. i told him it had just stopped snowing around 10pm and that he was plowed by about 11:30pm - which he was. he somehow saw this as a problem and i politely told him that all customers have different needs and that in special circumstances such as this, all my other customers would have called me ahead of time and i would have made accomodations to take care of their driveway before the storm ended had they called me. i informed him that if i am not meeting his needs, he should consider hiring someone else. he agreed and we parted ways. that fine with me, he's crazy and i made him sound like a complete moron on the phone. he was expecting me to beg and plead to keep the driveway like i'm some kind of charity case and i need his driveway to put dinner on my table.

    so my question is, should i put his 2 neighbors as #1 and #2 on my list? this way they'll be done as soon as the snow stops flying. he knows i do his 2 neighbors also. this would throw my route off slightly, but not much as all my driveways are within a 5 mile radius of each other. i really want him to look out his window and see me take care of his neighbors as he sits wondering when his driveway will be plowed.

    i'm probably putting too much thought into this, but this guy pissed me off. either way i'm doing his neighbors first. if it threw my route off significantly, i wouldn't but it'll add about 5 minutes to my total time to do his neighbors first than back track a tiny bit.

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    plow all the snow from the 2 drives right into his
  3. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,272

    lol. was thinking that too, but that's going a bit too far......

    i could always push all his snow up against his garage doors.
  4. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    I have read a number of posts just like this one recently and think that the best answer is if you have a customer who is a real pain then you should drop them if you can do without them. I think it would also be a good idea to suggest that the only way he can have his driveway clear at the exact time he wants it clear is to do it himself. Just be polite about it and he will probably be calling you back to re-hire you shortly and will stop complaining. Don't forget to raise his price at that point.
  5. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,272

    exactly. thats why i want to do his neighbors first. i want him to call me back. but this guy is a real ass and would never suck up his pride and do that. but that would be great. i would quote him at double. thats the only way i'd ever touch his driveway again.
  6. Dailylc

    Dailylc Senior Member
    Messages: 226

    I would just stick to your route. There's one in every crowd.But if he does call you back I would up his rate by 25% or just tell him thanks but no thanks. Once a PITA always a PITA
  7. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    I kinda had a similar thing just happen to me. I didnt drop the customer though.....kind of seeing how it works out after the next storm.
  8. Kenyou

    Kenyou Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    If you plowed this guy out for 5 years without any issues, he couldn't be too much of a problem.

    At least now you might see him in the window looking at you plow the other 2 houses while waiting for the new guy to show up. That would have to feel good.
  9. 4u2nv

    4u2nv Member
    Messages: 78

    If you plowed him out for 5 years with no problems, maybe he just can't afford to pay anymore and was just looking for a way out of it. You never know...
  10. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 983

    It would feel pretty good knowing his neighbors were done well before his was. Just be careful, maybe he'll find someone who is there before you, then all of sudden, your two remaining customers on that street will be asking "where are you?".

    I'd still change my route though, if nothing else than to antagonize, as long as it doesn't add more than a couple minutes AND everyone is cleared by the time they request.
  11. CAT 245ME

    CAT 245ME PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,066

    This is part of doing residential plowing, there are many complainers, it's know wonder why so many plowers choose commercial work.

    I have one customer tell me this morning that her neighbour called and said I pushed the snow up against the power line poll in the back yard and now the poll is leaning, the poll is actually on my clients land and not her neighbours. I hope the neighbour says it to me.

    Oh and just so you know, the poll is straight as NB power could get it.
  12. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    A "poll" is what you do to get a general idea on something.
    A "pole" is what is in the backyard......J/K

    To the OP.....for the first couple of plows I would do his neighbors first and let him wait.
  13. CAT 245ME

    CAT 245ME PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,066

    Would you like me to spell "pole" one hundred times like the teachers use to make me do back in school? Cause even after a hundred times I still didnt get it right:D
  14. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Do the houses next door first. If he asks you back, tell him no, because you filled his spot with a new customer. He will be reminded that shoveling sucks, and I think he will be hard pressed to find another guy that can promise a clean driveway in 90 minutes of snow stopping.
  15. jgoetter1

    jgoetter1 Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    Forget it and move on to the next problem.
  16. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If your one account is to the before your x account push the snow to the side where the town plow will push it into his driveway.
  17. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    I wouldn't change my route at all. I would keep going. If he finds someone that can make it there right after a storm they most likely don't have a lot of work and as they fill up they will not make it a promptly as they used to. This happens all the time. The new guy with 2 hours work looks like a hero until he has a full route.
  18. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i wouldnt change your route, but consider this , let s saythis guy hires a decent contractor... and lets admit it, for every bad one there is a good one, and notall our compition does abad job... some might even do it better

    anyway , lets say he hired a good contractor who had the abblity to put him high up on the list

    he services the account in less than 1 hr. well, you better not be too fare behind, or else the neihbors might talk , .... you might not have all 3

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    im with him, youd better make them first, you have alot to lose imo, you basically opened the door. i figure some moneys better than no money. its a hard game to play when you have mouths to feed imo. good luck.
  20. Woodland

    Woodland Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    If you are satisfied with the quality and timeliness of the plowing for the other two homes, I would not change them just to spite the bad apple. I would however, be concerned with what he may say to his two neighbors, thus putting you at risk of loosing these other two accounts. In this situation I think that I might call the other two to make sure they understand why you come when you do and make sure they are happy. This way when bad neighbor starts spouting off (if he does) the will feel confident that you are still happy to serve them.