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Some Private Plowers Charging Exorbitant Rates

How much did it cost you to get plowed out after the blizzard?

As the piles of snow got higher from Friday night into Saturday, the cost of having your driveway plowed may have been going up as well.

In New Haven, there was at least one private snowplower who was charging $200 per hour to clear snow away from residences, according to a story in the New Haven Independent.

Connecticut has laws in place that prohibit so-called price gouging in the wake of natural disasters, a law that was enacted in 2012. Under this law, "the Department of Consumer Protection can level an unfair trade practices charge against any business charging an "unconscionably excessive price" for vital goods or services during a weather emergency as declared by the governor," the Connecticut Mirror reported last year.

There have been many stories since Friday of Good Samaritans and good neighbors helping out where needed.

How much did you pay to get the snow cleared? Tell us in the comments.

Shannon February 11, 2013 at 08:19 PM
Wouldn't surprise me if they did...Manchester roads, especially in my neighborhool are horrible...But then again they always are when it snows.....
Kyle S. Reyes February 11, 2013 at 08:24 PM
I'm going to play devil's advocate here. A) I have a hard time believing that people didn't know the price before agreeing to the work. B) It may very well take a talented snowplower 15 minutes to clear a driveway. At $200 per hour, that's $50 for the driveway. That same driveway could very well take 4 hours to do by hand with a shovel. Factor in the doctor co-pay after you throw out your back....and that $50 doesn't seem so bad anymore.
Aimee February 11, 2013 at 08:40 PM
My BIL snow plows and he was getting tons of last minutes calls from this storm. Once you factor in the costs of running this type of business, the profit margin is pretty slim. Like Kyle S. Reyes said, take into account supplies, repairs on equipment, payroll, time (my sister has seen her husband for all of 2 hours in the past 4 days, and he hasn't seen his kids at all), etc, they're not making that much. Besides the fact that this snow was so heavy, wet and prolific, it was no small job to clear even the easiest of driveways. This storm was predicted for nearly a week in advance. People should have been prepared ahead of time.
downtoearth February 11, 2013 at 09:04 PM
My 90 year old dad, who lives alone, was quoted $350. He has a standard approximately 30 foot long driveway, and an 80 foot long sidewalk. Needless to say, he refused. My family got together and plowed him out.
Mary Pouliot February 11, 2013 at 10:03 PM
We normally pay $40.00 to a private contractor. He came yesterday at 2:45 worked for an hour and said that due the the high amount of snow we needed to pay him $200.00. My husband was away and I am coming up on 62 yrs old so I had no choice. I will not continue using him in the future. We were gouged!!
salk February 11, 2013 at 10:23 PM
heard of neighbor that is usually chg $50 yesterday charge was $200! and more if the home had sidewalks/.
Vanessa Turner Jason February 12, 2013 at 12:37 AM
I know that many snow plowers don't charge by hour, but inch. For example, my husband charged a flat rate for up to 6 inches of snow, but after that it was an additional cost per inch (I think it was like $5 or $6 bucks an inch). It also depended on the length of the driveway. A standard 30 foot driveway for up to 6 inches of snow would be $30.00. But, for this storm, we got 24 inches.... so if you do the math, it sounds right. It just depends on how much snow you get.
k February 12, 2013 at 03:16 AM
Well, those people may have gotten their $200 for THIS storm, but word travels fast, and I'd say that for the next storm those "gouging", "by the inch" (never heard of that!) plowers taking advantage of loyal customers, lost their old customers, plus all of the potential ones that they will NEVER get because of the word of mouth damage to their reputations. It is PATHETIC to take advantage of people during hard times like this, sure shows your true character!
izt February 12, 2013 at 02:35 PM
sure agree with this one
Vanessa Turner Jason February 12, 2013 at 10:09 PM
It is by the inch for most. That makes perfect sense. The more inches, the more passes it takes with the plow. For my husband's business, he makes it perfectly clear when talking prices about customers. Everyone wants something for free this days, but the fact is, more snow is going to cost you more money. It's not price gouging. I'm not saying that some companies don't price gouge. I'm just saying that charging more for more snow and making yourself clear to your customers in a contract is not price gouging.
Tony M February 12, 2013 at 10:36 PM
When the summer temperatures reach the high 80's and into the 90's; don't complain about the heat. just think back to this month's Blizzard.
RJ February 13, 2013 at 05:07 AM
Sorry the math does not work ... 6 inches = $30.00 then 24 inches = $120.00 even if you asked $150.00 that is not $200.00.

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