We are always dismayed when we receive a negative review of course.
Every review on here good or bad is a chance for Metro, my staff and myself to learn and improve and I read and take each review very seriously.
I’ve seen a general thread of the same complaints in most ‘negative reviews’ so I’m going to give a ‘general response’ to these reviewers and those of the “public’ who read them. Some are constructive and polite, some are just downright mean and personal. I get peoples ‘frustrations when it snows’ and they wait but we’ve been doing snow clearing for over 25 years now. The business hasn’t really changed but people expectations have for the most part.
I believe some blunt honesty and perspective is required here and going forward.
* Let’s keep things in relative perspective here:
There’s a good reason we are by far the largest company out there with over 10,000 long time customers. We are in fact very reliable, efficient and customer oriented
After 25 years of reliable service this is the reason Metro became so large. We have more tractors, more Drivers and a great ‘snow clearing system’ that does in fact work for everybody.
When you see even 50 ‘poor reviews’ on here what you don’t see are the 9,950 ‘happy, satisfied customers’ who have used us for many,many years.
I’m not dismissing any negative review of course but the % of ‘unhappy clients’ is under 1/2 of 1%. Thats incredibly good actually considering the many customers we serve reliably each and every storm without complaint .
All but a few are first time users to a snow clearing service.
* Last minute/late signups ‘just’ before storms.
Most complainants/bad reviews here stem from ‘late signups’, people who waited until the very last minute or during a storm to call us. No stakes were put in, they didn’t get on the ‘drivers list’ and subsequently were missed during snow events.
For this I do apologize. Lesson learned!
We will absolutely NOT accept clients after December 1st in future years or bother trying to assist those people late in looking fora service.
This now solves the issue of late signups and the problems (and bad reviews) that accompany ‘last minute’ sign up requests.
* Bullying about complaints:
I have never ‘bullied’ or discouraged ANY customer from complaining. This is simply unfair and untrue and spoken out of obvious frustration. I accept the frustration.
We have an effective, easy method on our website to address issues and it does work...if used.
I have however made it abundantly clear to all customers through emails, the contract signed and other methods that ‘if you are aggressive, rude, threatening or belligerent’ in any way to the staff or myself then your issue will simply be ignored.
If it continues, your contract will be cancelled and funds refunded.
I make absolutely no apologies for this policy. The business is stressful enough, my trusted staff work long hard hours to serve everyone professionally and by virtue of the fact you paid us a few hundred dollars for a service either you can’t do or choose not to do does NOT give one the right to treat others poorly.
Yes, I know its frustrating not getting cleared quickly but every snow company out there faces the same problems as Metro. I know this because snow operators discuss snow business almost weekly amongst us. I just choose to be less tolerant with rude customers then most but that’s my choice to support and protect my staff.
I relish complaints!.......It’s the approach taken to deliver these complaints we police.
* “I’m always the last or missed!
Yes, a few clients may be missed over the course of the winter for various reasons. Drivers are human, backups go in to help and miss a driveway. Cars are in the way, poor visibility of a house number, late graders go by after the driver has long ago left.
In almost ALL complaints we check the customer was NOT missed. We simply didn’t get there as fast as they wanted us there.
We hear from the people at the end of our lists, the completion hears from the clients at the end of their lists. Not everyone can be at ‘the front of the list”.
* People don’t actually read or understand their contracts:
Our contracts are very clear. Our ‘service delivery times’ are also very clear.
We have a 97% ‘service compliance’ rate within the ‘time service thresholds’ stated in the contract. Our GPS reports for each tractor justify these times are met.
THIS is why we have a 93% ‘renewal rate’ each year. This is why we are so large.
* They don’t respond.
To be clear, even with so many customers I still read every email that comes through. I personally respond to about half of these and the Customer Service Reps respond to the remainder. BUT, when you email us 10 times in an hour (many still do) of course we won’t continually respond. We’ve asked countless times to send ONE ‘issue ticket’ then the auto reply STATES ‘we have it’ and ‘will address it’.
Same with the phones....to those that state in there reviews “I called 10 times!” And their ‘voicemail is full”. Yes it is! And you’re the reason it is!
* Unrealistic Expectations
* Most reviews here are from 1st time snow company users having never used a clearing service. Some simply don’t understand how it works.
* Many simply enter with unrealistic expections on how ‘snow clearing works’ .
* People hear what they want to hear, read only what they want to read and I get it BUT this is not a small “man with plow’ company. We are a large corporate snow clearing operation with many staff and many moving parts.
* Graders go by continually on Bus Routes and Collector roads creating problems. We should be charging more for these streets and most likely will be in the future.
Anyway, I’m sorry of course that some customers don’t wish to understand or accept the ‘style and policies’ I use in dealing with customers, it’s not ‘rudeness’ lack of caring, or lack of empathy’. Being upfront and honest with people is just my style and for those many customers who read the many emails over the winters know, we are a fair and very hardworking company that cares.
After 25 years and still going strong with thousands of “long time customers” its simply the most prudent way to deal with impatient customers in order to deal with the many patient customers who understand the service we deliver.
Many thanks and blessings,