Snow removal businesses: Avoid a flurry of problems, steer clear of illegal agreements
Agreeing on prices or territory is illegal
March 10, 2017 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau
If you are in the snow removal business, you know what a tough job it is. As the white blanket thickens and the centimetres accumulate, so do the long hours. When your clients are snowed in, you’re snowed under.
Some competing snow removal experts working in your region may have approached you at the beginning of the season, or over the course of the winter, offering to “share the workload” or “split streets” with you. They might even have tried to convince you to apply a surcharge for heavy snowfall seasons.
Know that when you discuss these subjects with competitors, you are walking on thin ice. Agreements with competitors on these topics are illegal and could have significant consequences for you and your business.
If you are in the snow removal business, know that it’s illegal to agree with competitors on:
- The prices you are charging, including any increases or surcharges.
- The territory, streets or neighborhoods you will cover.
- The number of customers you will sign up.
Plow through the season with the following tips:
- Do not discuss business with competitors unless you are accompanied by a lawyer.
- Decide your prices, price increases and surcharges on your own.
- Explain the terms of your service contract to your customers.
- Report any suspicious activity to the Competition Bureau immediately through the Whistleblowing initiative or by calling 1-800-348-5358.
Today’s alert is part of Fraud Prevention Month 2017. The Bureau and its partners will be making a number of announcements to help consumers and businesses recognize, reject and report fraud. Stay connected to make sure you have the information you need to arm yourself in the fight against fraud.
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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.
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