Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Getting ready for Winter: new plow service

Finding a snow plow service was a challenge when I moved here:

1- First service: interviewed someone regarding lawn and plow service, sent contract, only to receive a call advising me that a mistake was made, sorry, but we do NOT have a plow route for your street, do you still want landscaping services?

2-Got a referral for someone that my friend just up the street had been using (the son of her landscapper). He simply didn't return calls. I spent more time speaking with the landscaper's father, never heard from the plow son. Forget it.

3-Got another referral, a neighbor of a co-worker, who lives not far from here. Great. Interviewed him. Situation was a retiree who was looking to earn a few extra bucks under the table and couldn't be relied upon to plow as I needed to get to work. He'd come out when the roads were good. Thanks, but no thanks.

4-I got a plow company name on line, checked out the website. Contacted the owner, had trouble connecting with him to set up an appointment so that I could get an estimate.  I should have taken that as a warning sign. Fast forward, freak Fall storm, I did finally hear from him, yes come and plow. Fast forward and his plowing service simply stunk come March, which found me outside with 2 tears in my left shoulder rotator cuff, shoveling where he failed to adequately plow the paved driveway. @@

Finding a new and reputable plow service was once again on my to do list. Although the leaves are just barely turning color, I had to handle this in September. I interviewed a local company (also found on line), checked out their licensure, and got a quote. He's far from cheap, but I don't mind paying more for a quality service. I just don't want to deal with this anymore, and need for the driveway, which the kids walk on to get the bus, to be clear and safe. While I previously was paying $45/plow service (plus tax) for what became an unacceptable job, I will be paying $65/plow service (plus tax and an initial contract "fee" that I will spread out over 3 years). I had a choice of a one, two, or three year contract. I chose the 3 year (the max time I anticipate staying here). While there is normally a fee for early termination, if I sent a letter in writing to break the contract due to the end of a lease, I will NOT be charged that fee. The owner was very attentive and responsive to my questions. This new company has many service options such as staking the property. I can do that myself. : )    They also will shovel stairs/walkway-for an additional fee; I will do that myself. Not a huge area, doesn't take long, I can sprinkle my own salt pellets if needed. They also spread either salt or sand if desired. I'll go with the salt treatment as daytime melting does lead to icing on part of the driveway. Safety is my conern.

So, overall I am happy to get this off my list. I am confident that I have found a trustworthy business to work with. Everything is above board, charges are transparent-this is their business (it is also a general contracting business during warmer months) They have a limit to how many new customers they will take on, and what few slots they have are filling quickly.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

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