Whining Customers

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Lynden-Jeff, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. Lynden-Jeff

    Lynden-Jeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,431


    Well looking for some advice. Went to pick up a check today and the property owner had me read a letter that a bar sent at a plaza I do for him. Well I was a little shocked since we do an AWSOME job at this place. I said well not much better I can do and he didn't seem to upset about it, just said try and improve whatever. Anyways I feel obligated to reply as I think they are out of line, here is the letter. We do all the side walks and the plaza every time, cleanups are when possible, not always within the window of 2 am to 5 am (only time plaza is totally empty).



    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,402

    Doesn't sound like they are happy with the land lord either. Chunks of tar flying out of the potholes:rolleyes: If the land lord didn't seem too woried I wouldn't worry.
  3. iceyman

    iceyman PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,326

    take some pics after you do the lot and walks then tell these people to go run into traffic....:waving:
  4. OP

    Lynden-Jeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,431

    That's what I did. I don't think they are either, there was like a HUGE list of issues lol . The tar thing is funny, the parking lot is crap and my plow caught on a pot hole and pretty much exploded throwing asphalt chunks everywhere. It was actually funny, however not my fault, they must have seen. I love the SEMENT.
  5. A Man

    A Man Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    I have a little experience with difficult customers, first of all if the guy can't spell "cement" a few poorly plowed spots in his lot should be the least of his worries........jokes. Honestly, I would go and meet with the guy in person, set up a meeting and do it professionally. He’s likely going to tell you in person all the issues he’s been having, and I would suggest making notes, say little in the form of defence, most people just want to be heard. After the conversation let him know that you will be putting a plan into place to accommodate his requests and you will get back to him later with the details. He will likely have a new respect for you and your professionalism. Call him back a few days later and give him the storey he’s looking for, and after the next snowfall call him back and make sure everything is ok, good communication is key. That’s what I might try, not making any promises.
  6. OP

    Lynden-Jeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,431


    That is a good approach and something I have actually already tried this with the neighbouingr business, which didn't work however I have resolved that issue. I think these people have a beef with the landlord, I think im just going to ride it out and keep up the level of service we have been providing. Its been one crazy winter.
  7. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,235

    This guy writing the letter cant even spell the word cement correctly. SEMENT in the third to last line. Just make sure some gets back there to cleanup and everything should be fine. and if they want salt then salt them and make sure they pay for it. that should settle all of there whining...
  8. BlackIrish

    BlackIrish Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    For the bars and resto's we do, we send trucks to do a final clean either after 3am or before 9am. Otherwise its a mess. And never block garbage bins etc better to use up parking spaces if you have to make a choice.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  9. OP

    Lynden-Jeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,431

    None of the Garbage bins are blocked, thats B.S on there part, also usually cars are left in the parking lot overnight, so I can't clean up that one area. Not really my issue i dont think. There is a restuarant that opens at 5 am, people their at 4 so that leaves me a window of 2 hours IF the owner leaves at 2, not usually gone until 3 so its not always a possibility with a 1 truck operation. Not to mention I messed up so my account are all over the place lol. I still manage to clean it out pretty well.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  10. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,777

    with my experience i would recommend giving the bar your phone # and have them call you ANYTIME(24/7) if they need service or have ANY problems. gotta either keep them happy or quit the job. we go back time and time again on some jobs, but i think people like the service.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  11. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,880

    Wow that sounds like a little strip mall I do. I have till 6 am to have it cleaned up. The bar across the street uses the lot as their parking lot as well (which is a no no and there are signs posted) and they whined about the sidewalk not being done. In my contract I do not have to clear the walk that runs next to the main road. So after them whining a few times and me getting tired of plowing around their cars, I got the go ahead from the city, landlord, and police dept to plow them in. A few times of that and no more whining and no more cars in the lot. Quick solve to that problem, lol.
  12. Stone Mountain

    Stone Mountain Member
    Messages: 45

    You'll never satisfy everybody.
    This weekend we were doing snow removal with a loader and a dump. Got an irate call on our answering machine from an apartment liver across the street from out strip mall complaining about the noise. He also emailed me about it. He was, to say the least, vicious.
    I emailed him back, gave him my cell, and politely explained that the only time we could do this is at night. Daytime work in a busy plaza is only inviting an accident.
    I also told him "it's Canada. It snows. deal with it."
  13. riverwalkland

    riverwalkland Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    'sement' - ha
    - chunks of flying tar from going to fast = bs, if we don't plow quickly... they wont get plowed out. And them complaining about not plowing where cars are parked.. whatever
    - ground water affecting building? more bs... im guessing this bar owner is not an engineer...
    - go meet the guy and let him know how you can help in the future, give him your number or somthing... person who wrote the letter seems like an azz
  14. Blazin

    Blazin Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    I would'nt bother meeting the guy. He already has it in his head that you don't know what you are doing even though you seem to have a good handle on it. Not to mention it dosn't matter what he thinks, as long as the owner of the property is happy. I would tell him to pound sand.
  15. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,589

    Whiners! What are you going to do? They whine what ever you do. Like you have any control on what freezes or snow that blows off the roof of the place. Or people that get lucky and go home with someone and leave their vehicle.
    We plow a big strip mall that has a "Save Alot Store" it will have 50+ carts sitting in the lot after they close.
    They complain we will not collect them and move them to the sidewalk in front of the store before plowing.
    Forget that ! I am not your cart boy !
  16. Oasis

    Oasis Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Hey Jeff,
    Just curious.... you dont work for the bar... you work for the property manager. If he's happy why should it matter that the bar owner has beef? I have one strip mall that I do where the owner of a restaurant opens at 5 am and is always beefing. Well I spoke to the property manager who actually maintains about 40% of the properties we do. He said that our service was fantastic and that as long as the plazas were all open by 7 am he was more then satisfied. The next time the restaurant owner complained to me I told him simply "I have been in constant communication with your property manager and if you have any specific concerns I suggest you speak to him."

    I dont know ... just my opinion for what it counts.....
  17. mulcahy mowing

    mulcahy mowing Senior Member
    Messages: 718

    they also seem to believe that they are architects,structural engineers,plumbers,electricians and HVAC techs.. i wonder how they do running a restaurant. this is a rent dispute between the tenant and landlord. they are just looking for things to complain about to save on rent they're lease is up soon and they want to save some $$ in the next year.
  18. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 491

    Only question you have to answer is this.
    Are you keeping the man who signs the check happy?
    If he owns the property and is satisifed with you services, then you are doing your job properly. As for the bar owner, you might try to appease them a little, to save face so to speak on your business. Bar gossip could kill a small guy in a heartbeat.
    Maybe explain to them, that you are simply trying to accomidate the property owners wishes for that lot, but if there is someting more you can do for THEIR business, then by all means, let you know, so that you can work out the details.
  19. OP

    Lynden-Jeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,431

    Yea the guy who owns the property didn't angry or anything but I don't think he likes getting this kind if stuff, however this was only one point of many he had on a few peices of paper, so i wouldent be surprised if it was a rent issue. I think for the amount of snow we have gotten it has been amazing service so I don't really have anything to worrie about, just going to ignore it.
  20. jeff45

    jeff45 Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    and you're making fun of the guy for spelling cement wrong?