Consumer Alert! Snow Removal – Avoid to Become The Next Victim

snow removal

Anybody remember Tony’s Snow? That was in year 2008, the owner of an Ottawa snow removal company that permanently lost its snowplow licence in January due to 34 counts of fraud-related offences.

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Do people learned the lesson? Apparently not. Because the same type of fraud continue to cause financial damage to thousands of people.

Have you heard about Appleseed Snow Blowing (Appleseed), Metro Snow and Ice management (Metro Snow), or Touchplow? All three are owned by the same owner – Mr. Ken Dale. Two of these companies (representing about 85% of his business) filed bankruptcy stating significant debts and $0 in assets, including equipment and cash. Applesseed was closed and shortly after Metro Snow was closed in the middle of this winter (Jan 2020), though Touchplow is still active, are you willing to gamble on this company showing up for the entire season? Check this record in the BBB.

Metro Snow - Ken Dale
Ken Dale – Metro Snow and Ice Management
Metro Snow close react 1- Ken Dale
Customer’s reaction and comments post Metro shut down

One of the customer who used Metro Snow service for the past year told me, “I was skeptical when I received their flyer before ordering” he said, “I checked their reviews from the BBB website, not good, but it seems they also had some good comment earlier, other companies that offer the service in the same region also had some complaint.” he continued, “Metro seems have good price if you pay upfront…” That’s how he got robbed.

Paying a little more once for a dependable service is cheaper in the long run than getting a ‘too good to be true’ deal up front and then having to pay again to fix the problem.

Here are more comments from different people that were impacted:
“I did read others complaint about this company but I thought maybe just because of bad luck? ” – never take chance and too confident about your own luck!
“I saw others complaint about this company, but I’d think the company deserve the second chance so I still ordered their service…” good heart not always get same in return
“I feel it’s not a good idea to pay full amount upfront but I had no cheque book at that time and I don’t want to order the cheque book so I sent e-transfer in full…” well, lesson learned, you saved about 25 bucks cheque book but lose about more than 10 times of the amount and left scrambling to find another service in the middle of the winter…

This tips is a must read before choosing your snow removal service (I’d see same apply to other contractor services):

Metro Snow close react 2- Ken Dale
What it says about its close down letter to its 1500 + customers

Don’t become the next victim

In my opinion, the most important one, is Never ever pay full amount upfront! This should be the number 1 as bottom line is that if you do end up getting a poor service or fraud at least you don’t lose all your money.

So the updated list of things to keep in mind:

  1. Use caution when signing up for a time-limited, payment-required-now deal. Never pay full amount upfront, if they insist you have to pay, move to another company
  2. Always have cheque book in handy as in most case, this is the only way to pay installment.
  3. Always check the independent reviews on sites like Better Business Bureau or HomeStars. Be sure to look at how the company handles complaints
  4. Always consider quality, cost and schedule when choosing a snow contractor
  5. Follow all the tips in this article.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, back in 2013, “Standard seasonal rates were $300 for a single driveway; $350 for a double driveway.” Between wage increases, carbon taxes and higher taxes on small businesses, the cost of providing services has risen since 2013. If you’re not paying enough to cover the cost of providing a quality, reliable service, how will the company cut corners in their service to you? How will they operate?

Metro Snow close notice 2 Ken Dale
The close down letter

Touchplow - Ken DaleMetro Snow 2- Ken DaleTouchplow 2 - Ken Dale

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