Chewed out


LawnSite Senior Member
South West PA
I got chewed out a little this morning by one of my commercial customers. Here is the situation:

Last week, we got a small 2" storm that came down late in the night, most of it falling at around 5:00 a.m. This time of the morning is "crunch time" for me, trying to get everything opened up before the start of business.

My policy has always been stated to the customer both verbally and in writing, that during storms like this past one, I will get the "key" areas opened up at all accounts, and then return to get the non essential areas.

This particular account has some sidewalks that run along the parking lot. The lot was plowed and salted in its entirety, and I did enough of the sidewalks so that the building could be entered by customers and employees. This was all completed well before the start of business.

I did the same at some other accounts, and returned to this one to finish the walks. Upom arriving at this account, I saw that the walks had already been cleaned off. No big deal.

I was there this morning for a salt run, and the owner of the building was there bright and early. He came out and proceeded to chew my ear off because I did not complete the sidewalks last time, and that he had to do it himself. I again explained my policy to him, and reminded him that there was access to all entrances of the building before the start of business. His only contention was that he had to shovel the walks himself.

I informed him that I would credit his account for his time spent clearing the walks, I have no problem with that, I just can't get it through his thick skull that sometimes these things cannot be helped, and that I cannot control the weather.

I'm pretty sure as to the answer to this one, but just for verification, Was I right or Wrong?


LawnSite Senior Member
NE Ohio
I would have reassured him that this is what it says in the contract. If he would have kept insisting that he gets something out of it then I would have credited his account to shut him up and make him happy


LawnSite Senior Member
Henderson, NV
I think that was right on the money. I bet when he finally thought about it (if he did) he will realize what happened. At least he won't be shoevling the walks again.

Hey...where in SW PA are you located?


John Allin

LawnSite Bronze Member
Erie, PA
I think you handled it the right way, given the circumstances.

The customer is NOT always right.... however, they are still the customer.


LawnSite Member
Boy, isn't it funny how spoiled the owners and managers get? You'd think they were having to shovel all the time as mad as they get huh.
I feel you done the right thing and offering the guy a credit to his account was generous on your part.
We run into that problem once in a while and trying to explain is usually a waste of breath.
I'm sure if they had it there way you'd have a plow rig, snowblower and salt spreader sitting on there lot, to be exclusively for them.

[Edited by Iceman on 01-09-2001 at 02:15 PM]

Deere John

LawnSite Senior Member
I have had the same problem, but I try to not credit anyone's account because I figure my overhead should not suffer because the owner woke up one morning with either a grump on or more energy than he should have.
He is still expecting to make (potential) use of your liability insurance in the case of a slip and fall on account of his work. Then, you get into the old "you did, I did, you didn't, etc. circle that usually involves lawyers before too long.

I try to be polite, explain the situation, what I normally do, just as done above, and say I will be around, because that's what you are paying me for. Don't worry - that's my job.

No price breaks on account of Mother Nature or grumpy, energetic customers. As said by me.


LawnSite Member
Southbridge, MA
Let it go this time. If he hastles you again for the same thing, then tell him that if he wants all of the work done at once, then there is a premium to be paid. You work for a lot of people and everyone else gets the same treatment. If he wants you complete and undivided time, then he will have to pay extra for the service. For a premium, I am sure that you would find the time for the extra service.

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