Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Presumptuous Snow Guy

Over the holidays we got a bit of snow. As soon as we'd shoveled up one storm another 24 hour storm that dumped 8-1o inches came through. Just as I was gearing up to get round one done someone knocked on the door offering to shovel twice (that afternoon and the next morning) for $25. We told him we'd be open to shoveling in the future and gave him our number.

This week we had the first snow with any accumulation for the year. It snowed overnight and into the day. When I left for work it was maybe about 1.5 inches. At this point I should explain that my household has a pretty lazy snow policy. Less than 3 inches and we do the sidewalk and a path to the door and let mother nature take care of the rest. The rest of the week temps should be near 50 and the little bit of snow would melt away. So when I got home last night I was a little shocked that my husband had shoveled. He's been sick and had succumb to Ny*quil by the time I got home so we didn't talk about it.

This morning he found a note on the door from the snow guy basically saying that he hopes we don't mind that he shoveled and he'll be back in the morning for his regular $15 fee.

This is irritating on multiple levels. You never assume that someone has the money to pay you. If you want to work a side business (as many of you are familiar with) you hold onto things like phone numbers and build a relationship with your clients. Also, who charges the same amount for shoveling 2 inches and 6 inches? Finally, who even shovels 2 inches. When it's going to be 50 degrees in 2 days. Though I said our general snow policy is lazy, only one other person on our block (~9 houses) has a shoveled driveway. You shovel the walkway for the kids and let mama nature take her course.

So now we technically owe this guy $15 dollars that we don't have to spend.

What would you do internets?


me in millions said...

When he comes around to collect, I would tell him that you didn't ask him to shovel. I'd say I can pay you $10 or $7 or something less than $15. And then ask him to get your approval to shovel in the future.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I wouldn't pay it. If they push the issue you can explain there was no contract. They shouldn't be on your property without permission, etc. I wouldn't have the money to pay someone either and it would bother me to no end that someone assumed they should work for me!!

Revanche said...

That would actually really irritate me because as far as I'm concerned, that's presumptuous and trespassing since he didn't have your permission to shovel. Especially since that's also a liability issue for you if he's injured shoveling snow on your property.

I always feel like people who conduct their business like that should not be paid because they're forcing you into feeling like you have to give them money for a service you didn't ask for or agree to. If they were to do the same to a company, they couldn't expect the company to pay them, they're relying on guilt for you to pay them.

My girlfriend just had some guy drive up to her house, dump "fertilizer" on her lawn, and start honking the horn at them to come out and pay him. They had no idea who he was. That's not acceptable business behavior.