Snow Removal Scams

Watch Out For Snow Removal Scams This Winter

Kristian Zoppa Snow Removal Tips 0 Comments

Watch Out For Snow Removal Scams This Winter

Unfortunately, it is not only large commercial lots that are targeted by snow removal scammers, but residential properties as well. After hearing about some upsetting incidents last season (2016/2017), we would like to take a moment to fill you in and make you an educated consumer. This way you know the red flags of snow removal scams to watch out for this winter.

Low Price Specials

The largest red flag warning is pricing. In most instances, when it comes to Winnipeg snow removal, a lower price is NOT better. A reputable snow clearing company in Winnipeg needs to charge at least $119/month to make a small profit.

Of course, the amount of snow changes each month. Some months the company may make more and some months it may actually lose money. But if the contractor you’re looking to hire is offering you a $60 special, that’s a huge red flag! When a legitimate company prices their services correctly, it allows them to offer you a reliable and consistent service. And without any hidden fees or headaches for the end consumer.

Contractors who are trying to rip you off will most of the time offer a surprisingly low price. It’ll seem a bit too good to be true. Here at Cleanr Snow, we have heard countless stories of people paying $60/month and the contractor only showing up once per month (even if snowed five times!).

Cheap prices like this can really appeal to the price-conscious customer. However, there is a steep trade off in service level. If the hired contractor does manage to make it through the season and provide a good level of service, you can bet they won’t be around next season as they will be losing money month over month at those low, too-good-to-be-true prices.

Other Snow Removal Scams

Once you sign up for snow removal with one of these fraudulent contractors, a number of things may happen to you, none of them good…

  1. They may ask for the full season payment up front. This can be standard for reputable companies. But when a fraudulent company does it, it’s because they plan to shovel once and then never come back. As long as they perform the service one time, it is tough to take them to small claims court and win and they know this.
  2. The contractor may just be booking up as many clients as possible prior to winter beginning and as soon as the season starts they may cancel the lowest paying clients. This leaves you hanging at a time when most reputable companies are already booked full for the season. At Cleanr Snow, we recommend booking by October 15th and never waiting until the day of a storm to call to book for the season, as we do book up quite early!
  3. The most common rip off in Winnipeg is not financially, but the level of service that is provided. For instance, last season (2016/2017) during the boxing day blizzard, at Cleanr Snow we cleared all properties within in 10 hours of the snow stopping. Granted this is higher than our average of 6 hours – we were dealing with 6-8” of very heavy snow. During that same storm, we received many calls DAYS LATER alerting us that their hired company still had not shown up! This means that people were potentially left stranded (we saw four foot drifts in front of garage doors!) and could not leave their homes for over 72 hours!
  4. The contractor does show up to do the work, and perhaps in a timely fashion. But look at the contract. It’s filled with vague loopholes and it allows the contractor to charge you additional fees for every little thing. This racks up your $60/month contract to $150/month in no time at all!

Do Your Research

In conclusion, always do your research before you hire a snow removal company. Beware of any companies offering extremely cheap, too-good-to-be-true specials. In the end, it will be you that will be left stranded if you do go with them. If you are in the market for a snow removal service that will not leave you stranded and will always communicate with you, contact us at Cleanr Snow and we would be happy to book you in for the 2017/2018 season!

Best Snowblower

What’s The Best Snowblower?

Kristian Zoppa Snow Removal Tips 0 Comments

What’s The Best Snowblower?

Winnipeg snow removal requires a varied set of tools, such as a snowblower, for the job. As you know, we can have snow events ranging from foot-tall dumps to an inch of slush, and everything in between. There is really only one piece of equipment that is universally acceptable for all of the winter conditions we face in Winnipeg, and you will find out what that is below.

Ditch the Shovel

Many people stick with a trusty shovel for the entire winter, and granted it may be good for 1” of light, fluffy snow. But when it comes to heavy slush, you’ll be feeling it in your back. Other people say that only a two-stage snowblower – what you typically think of when you think snowblower – will work in Winnipeg as it is heavy duty and can get through anything. While that is true, a two-stage snowblower can not clear 1-3” of snow effectively, as it will leave a layer of snow/ice on the driveway. The truly best way to tackle snow removal in Winnipeg is with a single-stage snow blower.

Don’t let the small size fool you. Single stage snow blowers are by far the most versatile piece of residential snow removal equipment you can own in Winnipeg. A high quality single stage snow blower can tackle anything from 1” of fluff or slush, to massive snow storms like the two we received in December of 2016. At Cleanr Snow, we maintain a fleet of Toro commercial single stage snow blowers. Even in the biggest of snow falls, it is very rare for us to pull out our two-stage snow blowers.

Why We Use Single-Stage Snowblowers

A single stage Toro snowblower uses a rubber paddle that scrapes and scoops the snow off of the driveway. This is different than a two-stage snow blower, which uses a metal auger. The two-stage can only effectively clear snow when there is enough to hit the metal auger and be forced up the chute.

With the use of a rubber paddle, single stage snow blowers can clear right down to the concrete without any risk of damage, and still manage to handle large volumes of snow.

Here is the kicker. Not only do single-stage snowblowers do a better job of clearing the snow, they are quicker to use as well! With a single-stage snowblower, the limitation to speed is you and you only. You can literally run behind them and they won’t skip a beat. With a two-stage snow blower, you are limited by the gear drive transmission and are forced to walk slowly behind them, all the while doing a poor job of clearing the snow.

In conclusion, single-stage snow blowers are by far the way to go. Toro is the top brand to choose from, in our opinion. If you are a residential home owner and are in the market for a new snow blower, I would urge you to take a look at the Toro 721 R and the Toro 721 E. These can be purchased at any local Toro dealer such as Accurate Lawn and Garden or Home Depot.

If you don’t feel like snow blowing this winter, consider giving us a call to book an estimate – (204) 960-0246.

snow removal pricing winnipeg

Snow Removal Pricing in Winnipeg – What Goes Into It?

Kristian Zoppa Snow Removal

Snow Removal Pricing in Winnipeg – What Goes Into It?

Are you a Winnipeg resident looking for the best snow removal contractor in the entire city, but are not sure if the snow removal pricing is fair? Well, let us give you a quick breakdown of what really goes into residential snow removal pricing and why the prices at Cleanr Snow are what they are.

What’s Included with Snow Removal Pricing

The first things to account for are the fixed costs. These include, but are not limited too: incorporation costs, lawyer fees, accountant fees, building rental to store equipment, liability insurance, vehicle insurance (multiplied by each vehicle the company has), bookkeeping fees, etc. All of these fees exist within snow removal pricing for the business whether it is out blowing snow or not – these costs must be paid just to exist!

Secondly, we have all of the variable costs. The variable costs occur when a sale is made and the service must be performed. For instance, say you call us for a snow removal quote at (204) 960-0246, someone is being paid to answer the phone and set up an estimate with you. After that, a Cleanr Snow estimator will visit your property (spending gas and paid time) to take a look and determine which driveway size you fall in to. Then, provided you like the estimate and decide to go with us, it comes time to do the actual work after the next storm hits! This brings with it a whole new host of fees including: equipment costs, maintenance costs to keep the equipment running smoothly, fuel for the trucks and equipment, and of course the biggest of them all labour!

Since snow removal is unpredictable and we are on call 24/7 for five full months, our employees must be available at any time of the day from November 1st – March 31st. This means that we must essentially pay them a full time salary just to stay available. Our commitment at Cleanr Snow to paying our team fair wages through the winter, even though they may only work 10 hours per week, means that we can serve you at the first sign of snow. We are not stuck waiting to round up the crew, as they know that when the snow flies, it is time to work!

Overall, there are many, many costs that work into the overall snow removal pricing here in Winnipeg. As we strive to be one of the most efficient yet competitively priced companies, we aim to always improve our service so you will be left with a smile after every snow fall!

To book an estimate please visit our booking page

Or call us at (204) 960-0246.