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Report: 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.

Mike Ganino February 11, 2013 at 04:52 PM
When I used to have someone plow my driveway, they charged me 30-40 dollars for a normal storm and that took them all of 10 minutes, so the per hour rate seems comparable...plus give these guys a break, there's 3 feet of snow out there, it's not easy. In any case, if they are charging what someone considers "high rates" and no one paid it then they would have no choice but to lower their prices or they would get ZERO business. Supply and Demand at it's best. It never ceases to amaze me how many ways people will find to make themselves appear to be a victim.
Barbara116 February 11, 2013 at 07:08 PM
I don't think 200$ is all that exorbitant for this much snow!
Alex February 11, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Is having your driveway plowed considered a vital good or service? What determines what a fair wage is for something that has never happened before (plowing 3+ feet of snow)? Honestly if I was going to pay someone to do it and they told me that much, I'd shop around before committing. They can't all be that high.
I am paying attention February 11, 2013 at 08:07 PM
I would venture that most of the people who plow do not report their earnings either. I normally have my driveway done for about $50. This storm they charged me $225. It took them 20 minutes longer, but does that really justify the increase. I am too old to do this myself, so yes, I do consider it a necessity.... that or wait until Memorial Day to go to the store.
alexandra weed February 11, 2013 at 10:11 PM
Can you give me the name and number of the person who dug you out? Im still stuck.
Donna February 11, 2013 at 10:50 PM
usually when my husband plowed hewould not drop a blade for less than 40 bus he was a good person & most of the time did it for less but when he did plow it was one charge for every 6" which is very fair considering when trucks break down it is very expensive to fix. especially when a breakdown is in the middle of the night or when places are closed as in this storm & still can"t get the part. also like in this storm he didn"t even charge per 6" he just doubled his price it could of been a lt higher. he quit plowing a lot of places this year & this is also his last.
QWERTY February 11, 2013 at 11:24 PM
I don't see why supply and demand shouldn't take precedence. It's basic economics. Personally, I wouldn't pay by the hour for slow plowing.
New Kid in Town February 12, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Most plowing contractors do not charge by the hour. but honestly my Fiance plows and charges at the least $40 for a small driveway, it all depends on the size and difficulty of the driveway...It is also pretty standard that most reputable companies charge per 6"...but to give an example, my fiance was out for hours keeping up with his roads and driveways, so that it didn't pile up! Plowing snow, while it may look easy enough, beats the heck out of a truck and reduces its value considerably! If feel sorry for the folks that are snowed in, but if you didn't call ahead and get set up with a plow company, how can you expect them to help you at a reasonable rate now when you have 2-3 feet of snow piled on your driveway. We went to help a friend in Trumbull on sunday...the town had just gotten through the road, they have a litte postage stamp of a driveway, with walls in either side...so no place to really put the snow...it took us 2 hours of breaking up the snow, pushing then back blading, then pushing the snow onto the yard down the road a bit, because you can't leave sno piled in the street, and we still had to shovel in front of the garage...Its really is not as simple sometimes as pulling in and pushing snow for a few minutes..especially with the amount we got up here
Todd Keeping February 12, 2013 at 03:51 PM
If you didn't plan ahead and call me a week ago to set it up then tuff. I add you drop what doing to get to you and fight against it, because you waited. $400.00 cash should have set it up a week ago so I could keep up.

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