The snow plowing service we received on 3/12 was terrible, it had been ever increasingly sloppy, but that particular job was beyond belief. I ended up spending 45 minutes hand shoveling to get the driveway in a safe state. Kids walk daily to the bus stop on this driveway. I emailed the plow guy, attached photos and was quite direct that I'd like to keep his service, but specific areas had to be improved, and I specified what I want him to do. Not hearing from him, I emailed him again, and he noted that yes, he got the email and photos, subsequently adding to our next billing statement, " we'll do a better job from now on, sorry for the inconvenience."
Fast forward and we had a final storm of the season on 3/24. The plowing was much improved. On 4/2, I sent a check to cover both jobs, but also wrote a letter stating that I was deducting from the 3/12 billing charges due to such a poor plowing service. I never heard from him again until today, when I received another e billing statement. Yep, he is charging me for the amount I deducted.
OK, time to address this. I phoned (surprised to get him, it's normally very difficult to connect with him) and told him that I was calling about what I believe to be an error in billing, I'd like to talk with him about this. As I am talking he responds, "Oh that was a mistake, I confused the X family with your account." As I continued talking, it came back to him about the reduced payment.
I told him that I consider myself to be a very fair person, and since my X also plows, I understand the business and what it entails. Unfortunately, the 3/12 job was subpar, I emailed including photos. You admitted to the bad job in the notation on the next billing statement. He doesn't take criticism well and frankly, was nasty and unprofessional (he had acted the same with a friend of mine as well). He stated that if I wanted to "rip him off, I've seen the last of him." Remaining calm, I told him that it wasn't fair of him to bill me for a job that he completed 2/3rds of. I have the photos documenting this job, and your admission that it needed to be better next time. I finally told him, "Look you are accusing me of ripping you off, when you are the one ripping ME off, demanding that I pay for a service not completely done. He continued getting increasingly volatile. I told him that the conversation just seemed to be going round and round, and I'd have to think about this. He retorted, "Fine, I'm sending you to collections."
I've already pretty much decided to pay off the balance and be done with this hot head. Energy suck not worth it. In this economy, in doing good business, HE should have offered a deduction, if not immediately returned the same day to redo the driveway at no charge. He did neither. I have to sleep on it, I do my best thinking as I commute to work anyways. Should I pay this off, as I suspect I will, I will include a note stating paid in full, and this is the end of our business relationship.
Funny thing is, I was considering getting a quote from him for lawn cutting this season. He lost that job, the snow plowing job, as well as the snow plowing job for my friend up the street, to whom he was equally as nasty.
Frankly, I don't want a ding on my credit report for a measly $15, but more importantly, my time is valuable and although I'd love my day in small claims court, as I am confident I'd win, it's time to just move on.