Called out for estimate- other company doing work

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by ford, Feb 2, 2000.

  1. ford

    ford Guest
    Posts: 0

    Anybody ever get called out for an estimate<br>on snowplowing and find another company<br>already there doing work?<br>Are you entitled to a trip charge for your<br>time?<br>Bill
     
  2. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    It means you should be a little quicker to get to the estimate.<p>many times Ive called contractors to give a price for repairs around the house, got a good price and the contractor starts immediately, an hour later another guy shows up and gets bent because I already hired out the job. My reply? &quot;Too bad, too sad; you snooze you lose. Watch your step on the way out&quot;<p>IMO you are entitled to nothing; on the contrary, you learned a valuable lesson.<p>Dont think Im picking on you specifically; its happened to me before and I always felt like an imbecile for not being there sooner.<p>Bill
     
  3. ford

    ford Guest
    Posts: 0

    I was there promptly,<br>The problem is the customer called for<br>an estimate and didn't even wait to receive<br>it before giving out the job.<br>Companies can collect for their service call.<br>I billed out my time and will try to collect.<br>I don't like being used. People who just<br>call alot of people and don't care about the<br>other people coming out to get their price<br>are ignorant in my opinion. Sure its easy<br>to be an ******* - but is that the world you<br>want to live in.
     
  4. Doug406

    Doug406 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    What type of image are you building for your company if you become bitter about a simple &quot;service charge&quot; bill? All you are going to get is some greaf, no results and no opportunity to possible jobs in the area next time. Also, if it was so far away that you feel a Service charge was in order, is it best for your buisiness to have an account in this loacation anyway?
     
  5. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    I have to agree with Doug406. As a landscaper I've had this happen several times, too. I even had one customer wait until I created a patio design and bid for him before he told me he didn't even want a patio! But what you don't want is to make that person angry enough to want to tell the people in their circles (probably others who need plowing), to never call you. I don't know how big the town where you live is, but after a few years, I probably wouldn't have a business. My advice is: swallow your pride, and send them a letter apologizing for not being able to strike a deal, but that if they decide in the future they aren't happy with their existing service, to give you a call. Maybe you'll get them in a year or two. If you make them mad, you won't have to worry about ever getting them as a customer.
     
  6. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    Come on guys, this is elementary!<p>When someone calls for an estimate, get some background. Why are they calling you for a bid in February anyway? (or did this occur a while back) <p>Do your own screening. I always ask:<br>Same/site address/billing address/contact person/their decision making responsibilty/phone/fax- all which is standard.<p>I also ask:<br>Who've you been using? Why are you contemplating changing? How many bids are you looking to get? When would you need us to start? and WHEN do you need the quote by?<p>It takes less than 3 minutes to ask these questions and 1.) Saves your time 2.) Let's potential customers know you're interested in making a good fit, a long-term relationship.<p><br>
     
  7. DaveO

    DaveO LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    Lazer,<p>Good response!!<p>Dave
     
  8. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 849

    Well, it happened to me. I have had a contract for the past 5 years. About two weeks ago, I got a call from the owner. He told me he sold the building, and that the new owner wanted me for plowing and grounds maintenance. He gave me the guys number, and said snow was forcasted, and that I was still expected to plow the job, only to bill the new owner. I called the new owner, who was glad to hear from me. Said he was going to call me to be sure that I'd be plowing for him too. It was a sunday night snow, and he wanted to be sure monday morning all was clear. I did it. Monday all was clear.<br>Thursday, it snows again. I head over to the job, plow it, and clear all the walks. I was pushing back some piles, when another contractor pulled in. I have seen him around before, from one town over. I had no idea why he pulled in, broke down? Someone I knew working for them? Well I found out soon enough. He introduced himeself as did I. He said the new owner signed a contract with him for year round grounds maint. efective Feb 1st. I plowed for the new owner on Jan 31st. He made no mention that he had someone from the next day on. Being the dependable contractor that I am, I had the job done, when &quot;the other guy&quot; got there. :&gt;)<br>So he asks how much I was charging. I figured I could tell him since I lost the job. Seems he maintains other offices the new owner has. When I told him how much I charged, he said I was way too low. For 5 years I've had the contract, and it's always been a big earner, considering it's size. I have a feeling I may get the plowing back.<br>I mean it's a lot you can park about 30 cars in, with minimal lanes to get in and out. Not big at all. Took about 25 min on a typical storm, doing the walks myself, and applying salt with an AgriFab walk behind.<br>The salt cost me less than $15. My price was $200 with salt. Was I really that low? Over the 5 years I did it, I was getting year round work, inside the building, as well as grounds maint. I installed a sump pump, etc.<br>I can say with a new owner I would want to up the price a bit, but l;ike I said, I don't feel I was that low to start. A good deal, yes, lowball, no.<p>So what I'm getting at, is between the 31st of Jan, and Feb. 3rd, i recieved no calls to 2 different phone numbers, and no pages to my pager. This guy didn't take the time to tell me he hired someone else. A little different than your predicament Bill, but if I got there 1/2 an hour later, I'd be in your shoes.The new plow contractor fully understood what happened. We agreed that he was plowing it from now on. Luckily, I plowed or salted that lot 6 times this season, so I got the bulk of the income from it. Winters nearly over here. The sad thing is the grounds were due for a renovation this spring. <br>Now the kicker is tonight I get the check from the old owner. On the invioce he wrote to please contact him about repairing the fence in the spring. There was a fence that fell down during one of the snows, when we had high winds. Guess him fixing it is part of the sale. He said to bill him for it, not the new owner. Guess I'll be making money off the old owner still in the spring. Sorry for the rant, but I was going to post about what happened to me anyway, may as well be on this thread.<p>~Chuck<p>----------<br>Chuck's Chevy Truck Pages - Snowplowing Central<br>http://members.aol.com/csmith669/plowcentral.html<br>
     

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