Report: Some Private Plowers Charging Exorbitant Rates

Others are keeping their rates reasonable. 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.

Pem McNerney (Editor) February 11, 2013 at 04:23 PM
$60 ... Connor Carroll, with friends and family working as a team, chipped my front door open, unearthed my car, did my sidewalk, half of my driveway (which was enough) and a little area for the dog. Thank you.
Pem McNerney (Editor) February 11, 2013 at 04:24 PM
From Facebook: From Tina Phelan: "One of my friends posted on his Facebook.. Westbrook-Guilford, Need to be plowed out by morning? Call Chris Kyttle at 203-915-2620. $50-$75 depending on driveway size." And then we got this post: Keri: Thank you for posting this! I called Chris and he is plowing my mom's driveway tonight! her furnace is dead and she needs the repair truck to get to her house. Chris was a godsend tonight.
Daria Novak February 11, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Does anyone known the name of any reputable people who can plow a long driveway in Madison?
Dennis February 11, 2013 at 05:46 PM
Plowing prices are agreed before the job is done not after. For example: a fair estimate for 1 time visit for 3" to 6" storm would be about 50. So a 30" storm would take 5 times aslong with more wear and tear on the the truck.
Jay D February 11, 2013 at 06:22 PM
200 seems reaonable to me. Especially if a front end mover is needed. This storm will kill your truck's transmission if you dont plow it correctly
Rachel Miller February 11, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Additionally, I would say 3/4 of these private plows are desperately trying 2 subsidize the income they are losing from their other jobs. The insurance they carry is extremely high, maintenance on the trucks and additional staffing. It's not a job anyone wants anymore, so be happy you can find anyone.
Lynn February 11, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Great kid, great family~
Ex Republican February 11, 2013 at 07:53 PM
I do it myself with a John Deere but I am not sure $200 per hour is really that high when you consider the wear and tear on the drive train, engine, etc. of a fuel hog truck when the snow is soooo deep. What is exhorbitant is the amount they charge when we have a 6" snow storm. Besides all that, I don't know any private driveway plowers who charge by the hour.
Jay D February 11, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Like people said, this storm is different. A driveway that takes 15-20 for a average snow fall, is taking 2, 3 or 4 hours to complete. I would charge by the hour too, especially with diesel $4.50 a gallon
Matt February 11, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Considering we're talking about snow drifts that are in many cases twice as high as the truck trying to plow it, I should hope they're charging more than your average passing snow shower! There is a distinct difference between price gouging and something costing a lot of money. I hope people aren't assuming just because it costs you a lot of money to plow your driveway that they are gouging you. The demand is significantly up, the amount of work required is significantly up, and the cost of doing that work (fuel, wear & tear, etc) is significantly up. Therefore it stands to reason that the cost of the job to the customer will be significantly up. $100 or more for this storm sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Gouging would be increasing the cost to an unreasonable amount for no reason other than screwing people who have no choice but to pay it. For example, $1000 for your 50ft flat driveway, knowing you are trapped and have no choice but to pay it or remain trapped. If people are doing this, that's just morally wrong and apparently illegal. I would imagine there are enough other contractors out there to hire that you would just skip over someone doing this.
carolyn February 11, 2013 at 10:29 PM
thank you for posting!! I highly recommend chris, after being told for 2 days by another plow person that they were on the way, I was told it would be at least 300 or more to do my driveway as he sat at the end, and if he got stuck i would have to pay to get him out...I told him to leave, and I called Chris. He was here within an hour, finished the job in 10 minutes, no joke, and i paid 125, very fair for a 100 ft driveway...thank you again!!


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