Inclement Weather + Conditions Policy | Residential Service

Dog Poop Clean-up BoulderThe Scoop on Picking up the Poop

Our comprehensive Inclement Weather Policy and Conditions procedures are designed to keep you from guessing if you are going to be scooped on your regular service day.

Duty Free Pets is an industry leader in providing reliable pooper scooper service since 2006. We never want to miss a service as we scoop thousands of clients a week averaging over 40 homes a day per service technician. Sometimes Colorado weather and Mother Nature have a different plan, which affect our ability to perform and complete scheduled services.

What you agree to as a client
The decision to call off, delay or reschedule an inclement weather day is based on several circumstances across service technician’s entire schedule not individual lawns. By employing us you agree Duty Free Pets retains the sole discretion in calling off the day, rescheduling (if possible) and issuing weather credits for service and the amount of those credits due to inclement weather or conditions.

Individual and combined factors as follow go into our decision that go into our decision to scoop or not:
Snow accumulation – in the days before service and day of service
Weather conditions on service day – rapidly falling snow, extreme fog (under 5’ of visibility), sheet rain, lightening, hail, sustained winds over 40mph and artic cold of 20°s or less sustained or wind chill
Hazardous driving conditions – as determined by CDOT
Safety of our technicians – hazardous road conditions, freezing and artic weather, extreme rain, hail and intense lightning.

Snow Accumulation
There are many days that that it is obvious we are not able to scoop with 100% snow coverage in the majority of homes on our service technician’s routes. Our rule of thumb is if we can scoop approximately 20% or more of poop on an average of yards on an individual technician’s service route on the scheduled service day we attempt to scoop. Because of the nature of snow, geographic individual service routes, ground treatments, temperatures and trees some clients may have more or less poop.

Not all snow accumulation is the same and we do take variables into consideration. Some snow falls with 2” or more of snow combined with warmer days, warmer ground and unfrozen poop that still allow us to get a high percentage of the poop in your lawn. There are days that light snow combined with artic weather where an inch of recent snow could prevent your poop scoop service technician from finding anything.

This is Colorado and the weather in never predictable. We could have a storm from the night before or that day that drops random or enough snow that we are still out scooping but the snow is considerably reduced or gone by the end of the day. No worries, our poop scoop is always reliable and we inform you of that snow coverage. We always attempt to do the best job for our clients every time but we can only scoop what we can see. Leaving “SERVICE ALERT” notes alleviates confusion on the quality of your poop scoop service versus the ability of our technicians not being able to find everything under the snow then that snow melting away.

Weather Conditions on Scheduled Service Day
It is never our desire to miss a day due to weather. The weather on your service day plays a huge roll in our ability to scoop poop with the consideration of efficiency and safety. We are employed to pick up poop after your fur babies and the health and safety of our service technicians are always taken into consideration when evaluating our ability to scoop.

Artic cold with wind chills or sustained temperatures under 20°s is not safe for anyone. Our technicians spend ¾ of their day outside and ¼ of their day driving. When temperatures reach 32°s it is impossible for them to ever warm-up during the day. This is a serious risk to their health especially with temperatures 20˚s and less.

Sometimes current weather and road conditions make it unsafe for travel. While your lawn might not be covered in snow, there is an associated risk in getting there during bad conditions. For this factor we rely on CDOT. If they issue a warning in your area for hazardous road conditions and ask that people remain off the road for safety and the easy access of emergency vehicles our company will generally adhere to that request.

It isn’t always snow that can take down a service day. Sheet rain, can result in lawn flooding with poop under water making it impossible to see. Rain has only contributed to inclement weather days a handful of times since 2006 and 4 of those days were during the great 100 year flood of 2013.

Hail and heavy or random lightning storms may also prevent or delay us from servicing lawns. These conditions have rarely caused us to do anything more than schedules sporadically missed lawns on another day. Because of the fast movement and nature of Colorado hail and lightening storms our service technicians may be able to wait out a storm in your area until it is safe to be outside. However, in some cases it is necessary to advance to a portion of their route that is not affected by these dangers. Many times they may be able to make it back to your home later that day. If they are unable to return we will contact you at then end of the service day or the next morning to make arrangements for makeup service or credit.

Hazardous Driving Conditions
Because there are several factors in determining this we leave this determination to the authorities. CDOT is the biggest influencer in the final say on the safety of our travels. However, if driving conditions start deteriorating rapidly and we deem it necessary for the safety of our technicians to get them home and off the roads before an official statement of hazardous road conditions we will reschedule or credit your service.

The decision to issue a snow credit versus rescheduling service for later in the week is a tricky one and involves several factors. Ultimately, it is a matter of the ability to reschedule tman power for the clients we miss. If we are able to make up service we will. If we are not able to makeup service in a timely manner we will issue a snow credit. Either way, you will not be surprised if or when we are able to service your lawn. We will always convey our intentions VIA email or phone call. If you do not see us out for service, do not see a snow day email and did not receive a phone call please check your spam folder. Something about poop, credit and a proxy server has a tendency to catch a spam filter.ttt

Snow Credits
Snow credits range from ¼ the price of service to ½ the price of your service. Example, if your price for weekly service is $15 your snow credit will generally be $7.50. However, there are factors that could make that credit as little as $3.75. One factor in valuing a snow credit at $3.75 is if we have to issue a snow credit for consecutive missed services. Using the same price of $15 for your weekly service if we missed 2 weeks in a row of due to inclement weather the price of your 1st snow credit would be $7.50 and the price of any consecutive weeks after that will be $3.75. This is a result of the labor involved in cleaning up consecutive weeks. No longer will it be possible for a service technician to clean their full route by themselves and additional labor must be brought in.

It the sole discretion of Duty Free Pets to determine the amount of the service credit. When we come back for service there is at least 2x the amount of poop in lawns and often even more as dogs that usual go for regular walks or play dates are stuck in their lawns. Because of these factors many of our competitors elect not to issue snow credits while others issue around ¼ of the regular service cost.

Duty Free Pets standardly issues ½ the service cost as snow credits. This credit is fair to our clients and us. We do not remain in business as long as we have by not keeping our customers happy.

If you have dangerous, aggressive, skittish or dogs that you are not comfortable with us being in the lawn with and have a text ahead service we will not service your lawn on a non regular day unless we are able to confirm with you that it is safe to enter your lawn.

Makeup Service
As a rule of thumb, if we are not able service your lawn within 4 days of your original service for weekly clients we will not makeup service. Once again, the ability to makeup service is a result of many factors including weather and labor.

We are not able to guarantee times or days for makeup services. We will list a day range in which we can devote resources. We always convey our intentions through an email or phone call and will offer a text ahead so you may make arrangements. If you are not able to work with this schedule the only other option is to issue a snow credit for the attempted rescheduled service. If we are not able to access your lawn on the rescheduled day for any reason and you did not notify us 24 hours before our attempted makeup you will be charged for that week’s service. This is why it is important to open and read all inclement weather and conditions email.

We never want to miss 2 weeks in a row. If weather forecasts indicate this we do our best to get to your lawn clean before or after your regular scheduled service day. For instance, if Monday is your regular service day, we miss one week and it looks like a storm is setting up again for Saturday night or Sunday we may attempt to reschedule your service for Saturday. If your regular service is on a Thursday and it looks like we are going to be down for the second week we may schedule a makeup service day on Saturday or Sunday.

Through our extensive experience with Colorado weather, dog poop pick up, business and scheduling we know the best way to keep our clients happy is to keep them informed. We believe if you never keep someone guessing that eliminates 99% of problems. This applies to every aspect of our service especially when it comes to missing or rescheduling service.

If we know for certain that we are not able to service lawns due to weather that day and not just working with a delay in service to let a some snow melt off we will send out emails to any service route affected. Generally this occurs before noon of the service day. If we are unable to determine if that day will be a complete snow day or we are not certain if we will be able to complete all of our scheduled clients.  You will receive an email or phone call. This call will come at the end of the day and no later than the following morning.

If we are out scooping and only a few poop pick up clients are affected by a day that is called off it is easier for us to make phone calls to a few dozen clients rather than create an email and edit email lists. If we do call you and are unable to get a hold of you directly we will leave a voicemail informing you of the missed service and our intentions to makeup or issue a weather credit. If we leave a voicemail we often follow up with an email just to cover our basis of communication.

What is in the email?
The email we send is to inform you of the missed service, our intentions to give an inclement weather or conditions credit or our to makeup the service day. In the case of makeup service you may always request that we just issue a snow credit. This request does have to be done 24 hours before the intended makeup day.

If we offer a makeup service day we expect you will make your lawn safe and available to our technicians just like your regular service day. It is your responsibility to read the email, know our makeup intentions and make any arrangements necessary to accommodate this service. If you need a complimentary text ahead it is your responsibility to respond to the email and request that. If you are not able to make your lawn safe and secure the other option available is a service credit.

We are not able to offer certain service windows or days for this service. If you do not make these arrangements, do not contact us before the arranged day and we are not able to access your lawn for any number of reasons you will be charged for the attempted service at regular service price.

When we make the decision to scoop on your regular scheduled day or on a makeup day there may be snow on the ground. We are aware that this snow might cover a decent percentage of the poop. This snow may stay around for some time or it may melt by the end of the day. Either way, we will leave a “SERVICE ALERT” card. This card informs you that we were out to scoop the poop, we did the best job we possibly could but we can only scoop what we can see.

Duty Free Pets will attempt to perform all services on the week following snow storms, missed services and snow melt on your regularly scheduled day. When making up these services conditions such as more poop and having to ice chip poop out of snow may make our days run long. The average lawn takes 4-7 minutes during ideal conditions. After snow melt, missed services or on days of ice chipping this could add 3-5 minutes per home.

On average each of our technicians do over 40 homes per day. an extra 3-5 minutes adds hours to days. We do the best to makeup that time by starting earlier, skipping lunch and working later. During the middle of winter there simply are not more hours in the day as often you may not be able to scoop after 4:30 or 5:00. We ask for your patience in the process of cleaning homes.

Hours are added to our techs schedules after inclement weather. Regular service time frames may not apply to this day as days will run late. Our technicians are working as hard as they can but it may be inevitable that we are not able to complete all homes on your day the following week. If we are not able to finish a few homes that day we will contact you and let you know our intentions to add your home to the schedule the following day. 

Our PooFree Guarantee assures you that you will be satisfied with our service. Heck, we hope you are ecstatic by the level of service we provide. There are only a few circumstances that we are not able to offer our clients our PooFree Guarantee and inclement weather or conditions is one of them.

We can only scoop what we can see. Often we are able to clean much of the poop even when it is under the snow. We are experienced enough to know that there may be a decent amount of poop under the snow that could take days; even weeks to be exposed again or it may just melt an hour after we leave. If there is snow in your lawn we will leave you a “Service Alert” card that informs you of the conditions we encountered on our visit so you are not surprised if the sun comes out and exposes the poop we could not see on our visit.

Thank you for taking the time to review and understand our inclement weather and conditions policy. The in depth nature of this policy is due to years of experience and expertise in the pet waste management field. This policy is in no way designed to keep us from scooping your lawn. It is here to educate you on your service and expectations of us during less than ideal scooping conditions.