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Snow plow business issues explanation letter, blames media

Posted: 4:50 PM, Jan 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-12 17:09:50-05

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — Proscape Lawn and Snow out of Hudsonville has received a lot of heat in recent weeks for leaving paying customers out in the cold. The landscaping company now blames the media for Proscape’s admitted failure to rebound.

The owner of Proscape previously told FOX 17 refunds are on the way. However, people who’ve reached out to FOX 17 have said they’re still waiting for that money.

The company’s website has been pulled down. Customers shared a letter from Proscape with FOX 17.

It outlines their problems, reasons for failed service, and reads as follows:

“Due to the extreme number of cancellations and limited resources currently available to us, Proscape Lawn and Snow will be functioning at a very restricted level. In order to determine the appropriate handling of this situation and the company’s future, we have begun to seek legal guidance as this situation has become too complicated for us to handle.”

Unfortunately, most of our snow removal crew has departed. Sadly, this is in part due to the negative social media and news campaign which resulted from complaints related to our bad start; a start which in no way could have been predicted or planned for. We believe if it hadn’t been for the negative publicity and rash of groundless cancellations, we could have rebounded. While some cancellations early on were just, many of the secondary cancellations were from customers who were being serviced but became influenced by the media.

Please understand we are humiliated and tremendously saddened that we can’t provide the service you expected. We do not take this lightly and we feel horribly for the inconvenience and hardship you’ve endured. While our first concern is for you, the customer, our business is now facing great peril and perhaps demise. Many of those who cancelled were new to proscape but others were longtime customers and even family.

We also apologize for the lack of communication and the frustration that it caused but the collapse transpired so quickly that we didn’t even know what to say. With nobody to receive phone calls or emails, we quickly became overwhelmed. Our desire and intent was to continue plowing services and we tried. With 1.5 drivers and so many customers, the task was too great.

In an attempt to make you aware of some issues we faced which caused our poor start, here is a brief list:

Personnel:

· one of our primary drivers and landscape employees had to be let go just prior to the first snowfall for “personal issues” which directly impacted his ability to perform

· a driver called the night of the first snow fall and wasn’t able to work because “his sister died” – he was unable to work multiple snow events. He never did plow for us this season and his sister’s death was a complete fabrication.

· an individual who was helping temporarily in place of the above driver, stopped helping after a customer confronted him at his home.

· a driver, who started the season just fine, didn’t show for 2 subsequent snow events after confirming he would be working both as expected. He hasn’t shown since.

· another driver, after plowing during the first 2 weeks, just stopped showing up and didn’t respond to phone calls or text messages.

· a secondary driver (back up) is available around his primary job’s schedule which has only proved successful about 50% of the time.

· other issues that affected the bad start included drivers not adhering to their routes and one driver who shoveled all walkways on his route for the first 2 snow falls. We corrected these issues but the impact was hard to overcome as the result was unfinished routes and very tardy snow removal. We certainly accept responsibility for these issues as our direction was apparently unclear.

A brief list of mechanical and equipment issues which occurred within two weeks of first snow fall:

· transmission line ruptured, fluid gushed out – transmission lines needed to be replaced

· a front plow suddenly stopped operating and required dealer repair next business day

· fuel line leak

· a rear plow blade became stuck in the down position while the truck was in a customer’s driveway in the early am – truck couldn’t be used until repaired next business day

· a plow solenoid went bad – plow won’t operate without working solenoid

· rear plow lost all its hydraulic fluid when a fitting broke while plowing

· electrical went out on a plow; truck side wiring had to be replaced.

· an engine’s spark plug blew out, literally – repairs were made and truck was operational. However, three days later the entire intake had to be replaced

· a windshield cracked when a branch fell on it while plowing

· a plow controller stopped working, had to be replaced

· a truck’s reverse/rear flood lights stopped working while out plowing limiting visibility and safe operation of the truck

· brake caliper spring stuck

The timing of these issues resulted in the availability of as few as 2 plow trucks to service all of our customers during some snow events. This list might be typical as an end of season summary, but to occur within such a short period is extraordinary.

An employee was responsible for vehicle maintenance of all trucks. He checked fluid levels and other maintenance indicators, replaced brakes, bulbs, wipers etc. He also maintained hydraulic systems on the plows including complete overhauls, replacement of hydraulic cylinders and any electrical or mechanical components as necessary.

We believed that our manpower and equipment were fully prepared to service our customers. In hindsight, certain personnel decisions are regrettable and turned out to be poor decisions on our part.

We are sincerely sorry for letting you down after you put your trust in us. Our heartfelt desire was that we would wow you with our service and build a long-term relationship servicing you. If at all possible, we ask for a degree of compassion for the persons associated with proscape lawn and snow. Employees, their family members and ours, are burdened with the distress that accompanies these events.

With sincerest regret,

Proscape Lawn and Snow, LLC. Management.