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Would I look like a jerk... or just a chump?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Winterized, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Winterized

    Winterized Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    Have been doing lawn and snow for fixed income lady down the street for several years....

    Less than I would normally charge.... plus do free stuff for her all the time. Fix doors.... repair fences.... etc. etc. glad to help her out.

    So..... her daughter calls.... married to a contractor and they are doing quite well...... and says send them the bills for snow this Winter. OK, nice gesture, but now I'm NOT helping Mom anymore by working for less than normal rates.

    What would you do? Suck it up keep my mouth shut..... bump my charges up to normal... or just bump up a few bucks?

    This is in city home.... corner lot..... full frontage sidewalks... two cat walks with dog pen... very short drive way. I'm at a fixed rate per event regardless amount..... call as needed. $15
  2. ondagawood

    ondagawood Senior Member
    Messages: 128

    That's a tough one.............mmm I'd probably just decline any of that extra "stuff" you were doing and suggest she call her son-in-law (the contractor), just do the snow removal and act business like, I'm not saying you don't, but tell them about this year's price increase and state that there're still getting a senior discount.

    Good luck,

  3. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Your still doing her a favor, and they are also trying to help her out by paying for it. I see no difference. Now if they were asking you to do their drive or something else then i would say raise the rates.
  4. M&M

    M&M Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    I have one elderly customer who's son pays her bill but out of HER account. He does it through online banking but it is my customers money. So...You may actually still be doing your elderly customer a favor.
  5. ALC-GregH

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

    How long does it take to clear the snow if it dumped 3" versus 8"? $15 sounds awful cheap for a corner lot. I'd let them know your doing it cheap for her in the first place that you want to keep helping her but need to raise the per snow event price but will keep doing other things she may need done as a favor. Then again, if you got the time to do it for that price then your not out to make money.
  6. Cassy

    Cassy Senior Member
    Messages: 180

    I agree with show-n-go, you're still plowing her driveway, the person paying for it shouldn't matter. Look at it another way. you're plowing client A's drive for $x.xx. If client A got a better paying job, would you bump up the rate?
  7. tinffx

    tinffx Member
    Messages: 68

    I wouldn't start my truck for $15 if it was about getting paid. If its a favor then keep it that way. What goes around comes around...even if her daughter is also doing her a favor and cutting the check for you.
  8. RobMI

    RobMI Member
    Messages: 30

    I agree if it's still a favor then I'd stay the same. I do a similar job where the lady's son does the bill's for his mom. Ya it's not worth it for me but it's close to other jobs and helping the lady out. Same with my elderly neighbors nextdoor to me, I'll get them cleared out when I come home and do my drive to help out.
  9. Winterized

    Winterized Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    End of thread.......

    This is a portion of letter I sent to ladies daughter.....

    I bill once a month, unless there would be only one service billable, in that case I carry it over to the next month.
    Charge is $15 per service, regardless of snow accumulation. Mom only calls when she wants it done.
    *******your husband........ does snow, so you are aware it is not to my advantage setting up an account this way.
    It is for Mom’s benefit I do this, and the only account I have set up this way.

    I will continue with this pricing for the season.

    So there we have it....... Thanks for your input.
  10. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Over the last few years my new philosophy is "This is not Marty's do me a favor lawn or plow service" ...I get family members that are willing to pay as a gift for there parents...If this is a commercial forum area and you are a commercial business $15 for anything is very low.
  11. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,747

    If her husband also does snow, I'd just let them know he can start doing it. Because it sounds like your doing it for only 1/3'rd of the price. And THEY KNOW IT. So I'd just pass on the whole account now. Let them know you've been doing it more as a favor to her, but that now that she has a son in law that can handle it they are more then welcome to.
  12. ahoron

    ahoron Senior Member
    from here
    Messages: 422

    Did you make sure her mom knows she contacted you? Could really piss her off if daughter is going behind her back. Elderlt people that live alone often do so because they want the freedom not their kids butting in to their lifes.
  13. Winterized

    Winterized Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    I know what you're saying!

    Daughter has done this before... and Mom is very happy with it. Has been only a hundred dollars before to use up as a present for Mom. This time she said run the tab all Winter.

    No..... I'm not supposed to tell Mom as it is her Christmas gift.

    I wish Mom DID know because we are getting big dump right now, and it would keep Mom from worrying about the money.
  14. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    Can you tell Mom you will settle up with her after Christmas? Mean while the daughter is covering the services for the next 16 days and after that Mom will know.
  15. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    Oops, Sorry I must have missed the part about "only when Mom calls" when I quickly read through.
  16. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    It makes me feel good to plow a needy persons drive for less than normal rate. If someone else wants to pay for it that has the money, then it costs the normal rate.

    You do what you want, but I would have increased the rate if they want to pay.
  17. Division

    Division Member
    Messages: 41

    Obviously winterized:

    They know you'll do it cheap so ur being their chump..... but you ARE getting paid. I would just inform the daughter that after much consideration that your raising everyones prices by $5. then u get a lil more and it seems honest!

    I wouldnt drop them and tell them screw it becuz word of mouth is a Killer if its NEG.

    Good luck!