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You want to WHAT ?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DodgeBlizzard, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    We all have either had them in the past or still deal with them..........those customers who only want done part time on the bigger only storms. I have gotten rid of those and only keep the good ones. But looks like I have another new one. I show up early morning, which made it an even bigger shocker that the customer is out shoveling. They have a path along both sides of the driveway and are doing the sidewalks. I thought about rolling the window down and asking if they still want done, but instead I just back up, drop the ebling and do two quick pulls and I head to the next one. I get an email saying this. I appreciate your sending someone to plow my drive. I hadn't called you, (she forgot we set it up as us showing up automatically on 5" plus storms on her stone driveway) so
    when the driver came, I was outside and had already shoveled half the
    driveway, (I was the one who plowed and she did one shovel width on each side) including the bottom plowed in part, (that part wasn't touched) and the front porch. Would you be satisfied with $23 for the two swipes he made with the plow?

    I politely responded to her email reminding her she wanted done automatically and not per phone calls. Because I don't set any accounts up like that. Not that I will turn those calls down, but they will get done when I can get to them.

    I know it's all part of the process of having customers. But to throw out ''her price'' of $23 didn't sit well with me. And then I have to be polite and politically correct.

    Which brings me to the end of my rant. If you were a millionare......If you never needed another paying customer...........or even if you just don't care about being politically correct anymore.........what would you like to respond? They had the nerve to tell you what they thought. So give me your best comebacks, one liners or just no holds barred responses.
  2. CAT 245ME

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

    All residential customers that I have are 2" triggers, no exception. Anyone else that wants me to come if there is 4", 6" or up they can find someone else to do it. I use to do them years ago and got fed up with showing up to find it already done, time is too valuable to waste in the snow business.
  3. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    I have a family friend who recently moved out to the country, only a mile or two from where I now live and stopped by one night and asked how much I was getting for a drive this year. Not thinking, I told him my average rate and that was the end of the conversation. I NEVER THOUGHT about that this is the same person whos parents NEVER cleared their driveway until there was a foot or more snow in it. So guess what, a few days later, he text's and asked for me to plow his drive. I go over there and plow it, and then send him a message saying it was done and that I will honor the price I quoted him for that time, but if he wanted to continue to be a "will call" that the price will be more in the future. Well we are finishing up a major storm and I get the call last night. HE wants to be the first on the list today. NOPE!! Contracted clients come first. Maybe I can get to you by the weekend and its going to be 3 times what I charged you for the first time. Needless to say, his wife found someone else to do it.
    Now, that is kind of a rant (sorry) but what I have put in my contracts is a "site check fee" that in the event that the snow has not reached the trigger amout as predicted by multiple sources, or the driveway or parking lot has been cleared by other means, they will be charged a fee for me to come out and check. At this point, I have only had to apply it a few times to only one of my clients who's wife likes to shovel.
  4. Meezer

    Meezer Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 300

    It doesn't matter whether it's my snow removal or my construction business, I am always a professional first & NEVER have been nor ever will be politically correct.

    Be firm & be fair. Obviously this broad is not telling the truth & is trying to get over on you. Why put up with it???
  5. Bison

    Bison Member
    Messages: 60

    The only thing I hate more then slow payers are the chiselers that try to shovel the lighter storms. I politely let them know I can take them off the route because I need plow customers that actually want to be plowed. If they do it a second time I just cross them off the list .I let them go willcall if they want to but they get done last.
  6. downtoearthnh

    downtoearthnh Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    I do 120 driveways with 4 trucks, and have 5 to 8 customers who want to deal with the small storms, or when they are not travelling, etc. I have set up a system that they will inform me by text 12 hrs. before the storm that I am not responsible. For the amount of lost revenue, it is not a problem. They are all on the established routes, no driving out of the way, and the opportunity to present a positive public face and not come across as greedy make them and my business look good.
  7. mulcahy mowing

    mulcahy mowing Senior Member
    Messages: 718

    Put them on a contract with set terms. No questions no games here is the bill, this is when it's due. Have a nice day.
  8. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    My best reply?

    "No. We have an agreement. Would you like it if I sent you a bill for 20% more than we agreed?"
  9. starspangled6.0

    starspangled6.0 Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    Smart guy ^^
  10. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I have had a customer in particular who was like that, but overall no issues. My route is well defined. from one client to the next so driving by and finding out it was done I just keep driving, or at worst case drive an extra half mile to get to and back from the client onto the main road. The only issue client I have now is in another town - and he is done last. If under 4 inches I don't even bother going, but if I think there is enough and I don't hear from him before I depart when I get there I plow and he get's billed.

    I had a customer who flagged me down plowing a client across the street from them after an 8 inch storm and asked me to plow. After deciding they wanted to be regularly done the 3rd storm after they called and said they'd call when they wanted to be plowed as the cost was adding up. I told them that was fine with the stipulations that if they called when I was already plowing and had passed that part of the route they would have to wait until I got back to that point which could be hours, and that I plow with the storm. If I get a call and there is more than my set depth (trigger plus 2 inches allowing for travel and service time up tot hat point in the route in worst conditions) the cost would be more than having me just do them on route.

    In time the frequency of their calls got less, and my price went up - more with more snow there and more depending on when they called. 3 hours after I finished the route and was going to bed for example, or they need it done within the hour to head to the airport....They only call me now when it's absolute emergency...and as I no longer have any clients in the neighborhood, they pay for my service.
  11. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 862

    I had a customer who would come out and tell me there's not enough snow to plow...or would send her daughter out to move the cars while I was there...just a real pain. Last storm I plowed for her, I was there late in the evening and left. Next day, She called complaining that I left and her daughter was coming out to move the cars and I "needed" to come back and clean up. So I did. Left her another bill for $30.00. When she called to complain about the the bill, I simply told her "you can't get $60.00 work for $30.00." That was about 5 years ago. She asked one of my customers this year if they could have me plow for her again this year. I'm not.
  12. kg26

    kg26 Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    I have a lady who I plow for 2" agreement I have a feeling I will be dropping her. Sometimes she wants it sometimes she doesn't look lady, I plow what the agreement states. Some folks should be glad I do not have access to a front loader or a Skid, they would find 5 feet of snow packed at the end of the drive way. You tell me what you need in the fall that is what goes in to the agreement, I keep detailed records, tapped phone conversations(for quality assurance purposes.) I don't want to hear nagging when the bill comes cheap isn't good and good isn't cheap. My favorite clients are two that don't live in state. I plow Email an invoice and wait for the check to come, never do they have any questions about billing, they just send the payment. I'm going to do something nice for them this year. Secondly I just had my first commercial lot tell me today as I was picking up the check, we will call you for the next storm. No you wont this is my business and I like having a check list of who needs what;once I leave your area... lots of luck to you. You can ether get on my page or grab a shovel.
  13. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    I expect to get a lot of disagreement from what I am about to write. I have gone totally contract-less this year. I have regulars that I do because I know their wants and needs. Never have a problem getting paid. The others are told they must call me in order for me to show up. They all have different thresholds and triggers levels of their own. So instead of guessing, I wait for the call while I am in my truck already plowing and then I go and do their properties. All of them know the deeper the snow the higher my fee. No one has an issue with that. I quote the price before I drop the plow. I find that this method works for me and the customer.
  14. wilsonsground

    wilsonsground Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    I have 48 residentails,all basically a hand shake deal and an email confirmation, no paper contracts and I've been good with payment so far the past few years. My invoices state the interest fee for late payment and people have paid that at times. All of my stuff is 2" trigger at a per push rate. And no im not here every 2". you don't like the trigger find someone else. And I tell people this is my business's in the winter, not a side gig like a lot of guys in my town, you get what you pay for. And no I won't match the other guys price. You're calling me for a reason, if you were happy with the last guy you'd still be using him. My commercials are all contracts for obvious reasons, and the common drives/private roads are contracts as well.

    Residentails are billed once a week, 10 days past due you don't get plowed the next storm until your caught up. I switched to that this year and residentails love it! Easier for them to plan with they've all said.
  15. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    If this works for you, who are we to argue? I would find this hard to plan for, and quite time consuming answering the phone in the middle of the storm. While it might work to some extent, I wonder what happens with a foot of snow, the customer calls at 7AM & needs to be out by 7:30. "Sorry ma'am... I'll be over in 3 hours because I have 25 people ahead of you that called first."
  16. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,220

    A written contract with the terms in it seems to be the best. It cannot be argued then or price dropped or what ever.
  17. Meezer

    Meezer Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 300

    What happens?? Contract or not, with a foot of snow service will be delayed no matter what. Having an extreme weather conditions clause in one's contract would spell that out.
  18. ALC-GregH

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

    Ummm, I'd think most people wouldn't be going out in a foot of snow. If they do, chances are, they realize there's a foot of snow and will be patient knowing the person is working at getting the snow cleared. It's obvious one can't please every single customer. If they are THAT demanding then they can find someone else. Now if they are willing to pay a higher price for snap your fingers service, then I'd be all over it first.
  19. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    Not to argue with you but let me say this >> Not time consuming, most phone calls last less than 1 minute. Not hard to plan for at all. That is why I am contract-less, so I am not under the stress to have someone plowed out at a certain time. Not going to beat up my truck trying to make a deadline. I work at my own pace. I have seen too many trucks being towed because of transmission problems during a snow storm.
  20. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    My thoughts exactly and this is what I am trying to get away from ... The demanding cutomer.