Plow Guy Raised Rates

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Mainiac325
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Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Mainiac325 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:45 am

A somewhat random question, but I live in Maine and have someone plow my driveway every snowstorm. We have a new guy this year as the previous company sold all of their customer base to this guy. In a letter from the previous company regarding the transfer of the plow company, he indicated that the rates for this year would remain the same.

We received the first invoice for December, and the rate for my driveway went from $45 to $50 per plow. In response to my question on the different rates, the new plow guy responded that he did not have to honor the old rates and had bumped all of the old rates up $5-$10. My question is if I'm right to be a little peeved off at this guy for raising my rates without notification?

Being a pretty affable guy, I offered to pay the new rate for all future plowings, but wanted the December invoice to be adjusted to the old rate. He refused and said that the rate was $50. Any advice? My thoughts are to pay the December bill and find a new plow company.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:48 am

The "elephant in the room" is if you have alternatives if you refuse to give in to his demands.
If can find someone cheaper, or do it yourself, then great. If not. . .. . :shock: ?
j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

livesoft
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by livesoft » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:49 am

I just have to laugh at this thread. Thanks for sharing.

I thought folks in Maine bartered for everything: You plow my driveway and I will store your boat for the winter. That kind of thing. Or: I'll give you this old snowmobile if you plow my driveway 8 times over the course of the next 2 years.
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DaftInvestor
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:52 am

I'd pay the extra $5 then shop around. You might find that $50 isn't unreasonable - how many years have you been going without raising the rates?
We have had low inflation but costs do go up (and inflation hasn't been $0).
I'm surprised my gutter-cleaner has never raised his rates. Every year I ask and he always says "Same price" - thought about bumping him $10 on my own as when he drives in it looks like he could use a new truck :)

Mainiac325
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Mainiac325 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:58 am

It's not the increased rate that's the problem. It's the lack of notification and the fact that he doesn't see an issue with raising rates and hoping I don't notice. To be honest, if he had come to me and asked to increase the rate, I would have agreed as the rate has been at $45 since 2013.

Obviously $5 a plow doesn't matter financially, but if this is how he conducts his business, I'm not sure I want to be the one giving him money.

Mainiac325
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Mainiac325 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:04 am

livesoft wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:49 am
I just have to laugh at this thread. Thanks for sharing.

I thought folks in Maine bartered for everything: You plow my driveway and I will store your boat for the winter. That kind of thing. Or: I'll give you this old snowmobile if you plow my driveway 8 times over the course of the next 2 years.
Maine is still very much a bartering State. The company I work for has taken payment in fresh haddock and lobster. Unfortunately, my work (civil engineering) is not necessarily a skill that many people want to barter for.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by fposte » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:05 am

I'm with you that I'd be unhappy to find out that a service that had already been rendered was not being charged at the agreed-upon rate.

However, it is also my experience that a lot of people who contract for handy physical services, ranging from mowing to plowing to cleaning, are good at that thing and pretty bad at the business side. I would pay his rate for now and look around to see who else is available, but I wouldn't leap just because of price.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by mrc » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:11 am

Mainiac325 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:58 am
It's not the increased rate that's the problem. It's the lack of notification and the fact that he doesn't see an issue with raising rates and hoping I don't notice. To be honest, if he had come to me and asked to increase the rate, I would have agreed as the rate has been at $45 since 2013.

Obviously $5 a plow doesn't matter financially, but if this is how he conducts his business, I'm not sure I want to be the one giving him money.
Sounds like it's the new owner's attitude that has you upset. But in the grand scheme a $5 increase isn't out of line. So if the plow job is done well, perhaps let it go. Otherwise, just to spite an attitude and $5, you have to find someone a) as good, and b) $5 cheaper. Then you have to hope the new guy has a better attitude. And doesn't sell out. We still use a local Nursery for plants. The owner is a disorganized jerk, but he has nice plants.
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livesoft
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by livesoft » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:13 am

How much do you tip the Plow Guy every year? At least a bottle of Jack Daniels, right?
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finite_difference
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by finite_difference » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:17 am

Mainiac325 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:58 am
It's not the increased rate that's the problem. It's the lack of notification and the fact that he doesn't see an issue with raising rates and hoping I don't notice. To be honest, if he had come to me and asked to increase the rate, I would have agreed as the rate has been at $45 since 2013.

Obviously $5 a plow doesn't matter financially, but if this is how he conducts his business, I'm not sure I want to be the one giving him money.
I totally agree with you and your principles. I would pay the rate but make sure the guy understood I was not happy about it because he had violated my principles — namely that he promised one thing and did another. However, if he does a good job and the rate is reasonable then I would keep paying, that’s only fair too.

I figure people might think I’m crazy or idiosyncratic but I think it’s good to have a code, and at least they know where you’re coming from even if they think it’s strange.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by finite_difference » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:19 am

livesoft wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:13 am
How much do you tip the Plow Guy every year? At least a bottle of Jack Daniels, right?
Make that Allen’s Coffee Brandy — you want him to be at least half awake when he’s doing the driveway :)
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

livesoft
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by livesoft » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:20 am

^Whatever warms him up the most.
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Mainiac325
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Mainiac325 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:22 am

livesoft wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:13 am
How much do you tip the Plow Guy every year? At least a bottle of Jack Daniels, right?
Obviously, you don't know Maine very well. We only drink Allen's Coffee Brandy and milk, or, as it's known around here, "Fat Ass in a Glass."

I don't think you were being serious, but nobody tips the plow driver.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:22 am

finite_difference wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:19 am
livesoft wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:13 am
How much do you tip the Plow Guy every year? At least a bottle of Jack Daniels, right?
Make that Allen’s Coffee Brandy — you want him to be at least half awake when he’s doing the driveway :)
I think livesoft is in Texas so perhaps he thinks Jack Daniels is the brand of choice every where else :)
Maine-ster's like Allen's:
https://bangordailynews.com/2016/01/06/ ... -in-maine/

ERISA Stone
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by ERISA Stone » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:23 am

I understand that you don't like the increase, but the letter that rates wouldn't change came from the old company, correct? I agree that the new company shouldn't be bound because the old company sent the letter. Having said that, a one-time $5 discount would be an easy way to create some goodwill.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Dantes » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:27 am

I'd say the lack of notification is plenty of incentive to look for another plow guy. I can't imagine there's not plenty of competition. Every town in Maine with a population of 1000 must have 10 guys who would like to make a living plowing driveways.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:32 am

fposte wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:05 am
I'm with you that I'd be unhappy to find out that a service that had already been rendered was not being charged at the agreed-upon rate.

However, it is also my experience that a lot of people who contract for handy physical services, ranging from mowing to plowing to cleaning, are good at that thing and pretty bad at the business side. I would pay his rate for now and look around to see who else is available, but I wouldn't leap just because of price.
+1

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ClevrChico
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by ClevrChico » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:46 am

I clear a driveway or two pro bono for older neighbors. The wear and tear on winter equipment is surprisingly expensive. I'd pay the increase as it seems fair since you were still paying the 2013 rate.
Last edited by ClevrChico on Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by jojay » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:46 am

Is he doing a good job?
Is he doing more than the prior plow guy did? Less?
Does he come three times per storm versus the prior plower who maybe came once or twice?

Whether he honors the prior owner's price or not, the guy needs to be a more tactful business person.

Mainiac325
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Mainiac325 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:46 am

At this point in my life, I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to do business with anyone who's [(difficult to deal with) --admin LadyGeek]. Life is just too short. Unfortunately, I can't tell if this guy is (difficult to deal with) or just not good at business. I think i will shop around and get a few quotes. If rates are similar, I will make a switch.

Thanks for the opinions.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by pacodelostigres » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:56 am

I'd refuse to pay him entirely based on the lack of notice about the increase and the refusal to work with you on it, until he lowered the invoice to the agreed upon amount up to that point. I would of course then pay him the correct amount in full as soon as I got the bill.

I'd also fire him immediately for any future business and let him know why. I'd also leave him a terrible review on every site his business has a presence.

That's nonsense and I refuse to work with people like that. If no one ever stands up to them they'll bully everyone they ever work with.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by cadreamer2015 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:10 pm

This may be a matter of supply and demand. There is a recent WSJ article about the shortage of snow plow drivers in the state of Maine.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-maine-s ... 1514203200

You can always refuse to pay him the $5 for his lack of notice before raising rates. He can sue you for the $5, but you will have to find another snow plower. Only you can assess the local market to figure out if his current rates are consistent with local market conditions.
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Raybo » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:13 pm

Move to San Francisco where snow plowing is factored into the cost of housing.
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Alexa9
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Alexa9 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:14 pm

I wouldn't stew over it. Find someone else if $5 is that big of a deal.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by pacodelostigres » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:17 pm

If there's so little supply that you can't find anyone else operating their business in an acceptable manner, I'd buy a truck and start my own business. That's an opportunity just looking for an investor.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:17 pm

Some contractors have too much work. Especially jobs that people don't want to do.

$5 seem reasonable. The previous owner probably owned the business outright. The new one took a shiny new loan to buy the business.

I do my own driveway. It is not on my "fun" list. If he went from $45 to $90, that would be your sign. Some might still pay it if they are unable to clear their own driveway.
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Pajamas » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:24 pm

What does your contract with the company say about rates and rate increases? If you were NOT informed about the rate increase, then it would seem fair to pay only what had been agreed upon previously for December, especially since the previous owner sent a letter stating that rates were remaining the same. If the new owner provided the service without specifying or discussing the new rates or having a previous written agreement with you that specified the possibility for rate increases, it seems that he would have no basis for charging more. It's likely that he thinks you have no better alternatives.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Spirit Rider » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:48 pm

Contract for your plow guy, Hah!!! You obviously don't live in Northern New England.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by tidelandp » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:57 pm

It’s often said that communications are key to relationships. OP's guy is not starting off on the right foot with his communications style, compounded by rigidity, at least w/OP. I’d pay this time, then survey neighbors for other options. As with landscaping contractors, established plow guys prefer the efficiency that comes with having a bunch of customers together in one location. If OP's guy has a lock on the neighborhood, it might be harder to find someone new, unless OP can convert as part of a group with other neighbors.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:00 pm

$50 is wicked cheap. Around me, people pay $75 for 75 foot driveways that it takes me 15 minutes to do 18 inches of medium weight new snowfall with my Wrangler.

On the other side of the coin.....why don't you just buy a light snowplow like a Curtis home pro and have it mounted onto your vehicle, assuming you've got an appropriate vehicle.
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by bottlecap » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:02 pm

He can raise the rates, but shouldn’t do so without notice or retroactively.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by open_circuit » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:03 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:00 pm
$50 is wicked cheap. Around me, people pay $75 for 75 foot driveways that it takes me 15 minutes to do 18 inches of medium weight new snowfall with my Wrangler.

On the other side of the coin.....why don't you just buy a light snowplow like a Curtis home pro and have it mounted onto your vehicle, assuming you've got an appropriate vehicle.
You're tempting me to get a plow for my Wrangler, now. Like I need more ways to spend money on my Jeep! Might be worth it if I can make some extra money plowing the neighborhood, though.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by nisiprius » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:10 pm

Mainiac325 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:45 am
My question is if I'm right to be a little peeved off at this guy for raising my rates without notification?
I would be.
Being a pretty affable guy, I offered to pay the new rate for all future plowings, but wanted the December invoice to be adjusted to the old rate. He refused and said that the rate was $50. Any advice? My thoughts are to pay the December bill and find a new plow company.
My thoughts are that you took an ego risk when you asked for the December invoice to be adjusted. You engaged in a tiny battle of wills with him and he won. OK. Now take a deep breath. Say to yourself "one of the nice things about being rich is that I can afford $5, I can afford not to drive a hard bargain on everything, I can afford to lose now and then." I would shrug it off, and see what quality of service he gives you this year. That's just me. (And of course I get irrational, too. I say that's what I'd do but maybe it would just get to me.)

The point is, make some kind of deliberate decision of how much relative weight to give, in your decision, to these factors:

a) The number of dollars.
b) The quality of service.
c) His bad communication with you regarding the raised rates.
d) The ego thing of your engaging in a test of wills with him and having him win.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to ask your neighbors what they are doing.
Last edited by nisiprius on Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:20 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:14 pm
I wouldn't stew over it. Find someone else if $5 is that big of a deal.
+1

Pay the man his money. Or find a new guy.
Just find a way to move on over five bucks and someone else's lack of social skills.

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AAA
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by AAA » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:26 pm

I know how OP feels. We've had the same guy do our driveway for many years. Last year, or maybe the year before, when there were only one or two days that required even light plowing, his bill was a little higher than normal. We attributed it to the fact that he wasn't having much income during the winter. So partly out of sympathy toward him and the fact that our driveway is hard to plow we let it slide.

OP's case points out the risk of having work done without previous agreement on the price. He could have been charged $60, $75 or even $100 and would have little recourse.

student
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by student » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:26 pm

I think OP is correct that pay the December bill and find a new guy. He gave no notification and the old company sent OP an email saying that the rate won't change. I would say that if the new guy did not give you a notification, he should honor the old rate, what stops him from changing people $1,000 after the fact.

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greg24
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by greg24 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:35 pm

I would be a little irritated. Shop around for a new guy if you like.

But don't cut off your nose to spite your face.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:36 pm

Mainiac325 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:45 am
A somewhat random question, but I live in Maine and have someone plow my driveway every snowstorm. We have a new guy this year as the previous company sold all of their customer base to this guy. In a letter from the previous company regarding the transfer of the plow company, he indicated that the rates for this year would remain the same.
[my emphasis]
We received the first invoice for December, and the rate for my driveway went from $45 to $50 per plow. In response to my question on the different rates, the new plow guy responded that he did not have to honor the old rates and had bumped all of the old rates up $5-$10. My question is if I'm right to be a little peeved off at this guy for raising my rates without notification?

Being a pretty affable guy, I offered to pay the new rate for all future plowings, but wanted the December invoice to be adjusted to the old rate. He refused and said that the rate was $50. Any advice? My thoughts are to pay the December bill and find a new plow company.
Did you receive anything from the new owner indicating the rate would be the same? Maybe the old owner wanted to prevent immediate losses in numbers to finish the sale and transfer. Maybe your issue is with the old owner who gave you incorrect info.

But, if you can find someone else to do it for you, then you have an option.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by student » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:46 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:36 pm
Mainiac325 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:45 am
A somewhat random question, but I live in Maine and have someone plow my driveway every snowstorm. We have a new guy this year as the previous company sold all of their customer base to this guy. In a letter from the previous company regarding the transfer of the plow company, he indicated that the rates for this year would remain the same.
[my emphasis]
We received the first invoice for December, and the rate for my driveway went from $45 to $50 per plow. In response to my question on the different rates, the new plow guy responded that he did not have to honor the old rates and had bumped all of the old rates up $5-$10. My question is if I'm right to be a little peeved off at this guy for raising my rates without notification?

Being a pretty affable guy, I offered to pay the new rate for all future plowings, but wanted the December invoice to be adjusted to the old rate. He refused and said that the rate was $50. Any advice? My thoughts are to pay the December bill and find a new plow company.
Did you receive anything from the new owner indicating the rate would be the same? Maybe the old owner wanted to prevent immediate losses in numbers to finish the sale and transfer. Maybe your issue is with the old owner who gave you incorrect info.

But, if you can find someone else to do it for you, then you have an option.

Broken Man 1999
OP indicated that he did not receive any info about the new rate prior to the invoice. I would say if one company purchased another company customers, the old rate applies until further notice.
Mainiac325 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:58 am
It's not the increased rate that's the problem. It's the lack of notification and the fact that he doesn't see an issue with raising rates and hoping I don't notice. To be honest, if he had come to me and asked to increase the rate, I would have agreed as the rate has been at $45 since 2013.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:51 pm

Mainiac325 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:46 am
At this point in my life, I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to do business with anyone who's [(difficult to deal with) --admin LadyGeek]. Life is just too short. Unfortunately, I can't tell if this guy is (difficult to deal with) or just not good at business. I think i will shop around and get a few quotes. If rates are similar, I will make a switch.

Thanks for the opinions.
How well the driveway is plowed is just st as important. Leave it alone for this year. Then do your research among neighbors about reliability, satisfaction and price. Then make a decision which is logically based and not one madein anger.

Mainiac325
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Mainiac325 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:57 pm

I just want to comment on what a great forum this is. I asked a question about somebody raising plow rates $5 and it got almost 40 responses.

To finish the post, I've sent out two requests for quotes on the driveway. If they are close to $50, I'll make the switch. It's not about the money, but rather the respect for somebody who is paying you for a service. At this point, I would have some concerns about his service since I "challenged" him. Generally, plow guys are a dime a dozen around here, and I see no reason to stick with somebody if I'm not comfortable with them.

btenny
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by btenny » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:04 pm

I would shop around for a cheaper guy. I think you are over paying for this service unless you have a giant driveway. I live in Tahoe part time. I only pay $25 for my driveway if I get it done special. But mostly I pay $400 for the whole winter. This gets the drive plowed by 10AM on snow days with more than 4 inches of snow. This usually happens 10-15 times a winter. And some days that means my plow guy has to blow my drive way twice as it snows a lot. So I get 5 months of snow blowing for $400.

So I would shop around. Good Luck.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by fourwheelcycle » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:08 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:48 am
The "elephant in the room" is if you have alternatives if you refuse to give in to his demands.
If can find someone cheaper, or do it yourself, then great. If not. . ..
Standard Economics joke - Customer to store owner "Your price is too high; this item is priced lower at the store down the street." Store owner "OK, then buy it down the street". Customer "They're out of stock".

I paid for plowing from the same reliable snow plow guy for thirty-three years. When I retired I bought a snow blower and sent my plow guy a note that I was now retired and had bought a snow blower. That fall he sent a letter to all his customers that he was retiring and would no longer be able to plow their driveways. I have always wondered if I gave him the idea.

PS. I live in New Hampshire and $45 to $50 is a very common price for an average 75-100' driveway around here.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by N10sive » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:16 pm

Its amazing how many responses for a $5 dollar increase in rates :happy .

I'm like you OP, on principal I would pay the December rate and find someone else. Customer service rates higher than most things on my scale. Especially if there is someone else waiting to earn your business. With his attitude I can't imagine he will be in business long.

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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by TravelforFun » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:32 pm

finite_difference wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:17 am
Mainiac325 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:58 am
It's not the increased rate that's the problem. It's the lack of notification and the fact that he doesn't see an issue with raising rates and hoping I don't notice. To be honest, if he had come to me and asked to increase the rate, I would have agreed as the rate has been at $45 since 2013.

Obviously $5 a plow doesn't matter financially, but if this is how he conducts his business, I'm not sure I want to be the one giving him money.
I totally agree with you and your principles. I would pay the rate but make sure the guy understood I was not happy about it because he had violated my principles — namely that he promised one thing and did another. However, if he does a good job and the rate is reasonable then I would keep paying, that’s only fair too.

I figure people might think I’m crazy or idiosyncratic but I think it’s good to have a code, and at least they know where you’re coming from even if they think it’s strange.
Wait a minute! The new guy didn’t promise the old rates. The old company did. Did the new guy just show up and plow? Who determined your driveway needed to be plowed?

TravelforFun

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LiveSimple
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by LiveSimple » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:40 pm

Mainiac325 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:57 pm
I just want to comment on what a great forum this is. I asked a question about somebody raising plow rates $5 and it got almost 40 responses.

To finish the post, I've sent out two requests for quotes on the driveway. If they are close to $50, I'll make the switch. It's not about the money, but rather the respect for somebody who is paying you for a service. At this point, I would have some concerns about his service since I "challenged" him. Generally, plow guys are a dime a dozen around here, and I see no reason to stick with somebody if I'm not comfortable with them.
Will you accept a new guy, if with respect quotes you $60 ?

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JupiterJones
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by JupiterJones » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:42 pm

If he had notified you of the raise in rates beforehand, would you have still had him plow your driveway anyway?

If not, then go find a new plower. Or just plow your own driveway. (Or leave it unplowed and don't drive anywhere until it melts... many options here!)

But if so, then don't worry about it. Yes, it's unprofessional to spring a new rate on a client after the work is done. But if it's a rate that's reasonable and that you would've paid anyway, then it really doesn't make much difference in the grand scheme of things.
Stay on target...

Mainiac325
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by Mainiac325 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:52 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:32 pm
finite_difference wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:17 am
Mainiac325 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:58 am
It's not the increased rate that's the problem. It's the lack of notification and the fact that he doesn't see an issue with raising rates and hoping I don't notice. To be honest, if he had come to me and asked to increase the rate, I would have agreed as the rate has been at $45 since 2013.

Obviously $5 a plow doesn't matter financially, but if this is how he conducts his business, I'm not sure I want to be the one giving him money.
I totally agree with you and your principles. I would pay the rate but make sure the guy understood I was not happy about it because he had violated my principles — namely that he promised one thing and did another. However, if he does a good job and the rate is reasonable then I would keep paying, that’s only fair too.

I figure people might think I’m crazy or idiosyncratic but I think it’s good to have a code, and at least they know where you’re coming from even if they think it’s strange.
Wait a minute! The new guy didn’t promise the old rates. The old company did. Did the new guy just show up and plow? Who determined your driveway needed to be plowed?

TravelforFun
The letter was from the old company, but was introducing me to the new company. It listed the new company name and phone number and indicated that the rates would not be changed. Although it was not from the new company, it could be reasonably assumed that they were speaking on behalf of the new company. In emails with the new owner, he indicated that the former owner should have clarified that the rate staying the same applied to mowing lawns but not plowing driveways.

I feel I gave him a very fair offer of using the $50 rate from now on, but that it wouldn't apply retroactively to December. He felt otherwise.

cherijoh
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by cherijoh » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:36 pm

cadreamer2015 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:10 pm
This may be a matter of supply and demand. There is a recent WSJ article about the shortage of snow plow drivers in the state of Maine.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-maine-s ... 1514203200

You can always refuse to pay him the $5 for his lack of notice before raising rates. He can sue you for the $5, but you will have to find another snow plower. Only you can assess the local market to figure out if his current rates are consistent with local market conditions.
+1
Never cut off your nose to spite your face. You never know if you will be able to find someone else who is reliable. Personally, if it came to plowing I'd prefer someone reliable over someone who was pleasant but facile with excuses about why my driveway was still unplowed. :annoyed

Also beware of becoming the "problem" customer - even if it is just a perception. A handyman I used to use (before he retired again) would price his jobs based on whether or not he liked the clients. I'm pretty sure little old ladies on fixed incomes got a bargain. I always tried to be flexible about timing, so I often got a deal if he was already in the neighborhood. But nothing pissed him off more than when someone complained that his quote was "too high". And quite often it seemed (at least by his own accounting) they called him back after getting other quotes. On those occasions, he was always very busy. :wink:

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saltycaper
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Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

Post by saltycaper » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:47 pm

I thought the new Federal Reserve Chairman was nicknamed "Plow Guy." Now I'm disappointed.
Quod vitae sectabor iter?

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