In the hallways between seminars and in a heated discussion at the Sweepers Roundtable, National Service Providers attracted a lot of attention at National Pavement Expo in Nashville -- and it wasn't good attention. National Service Providers have a bad rep in the industry, and many of those involved in the sweeping industry have earned it. Since NSPs have dipped their toe into the sweeping market there's been example after example of driving prices to unacceptable levels, a decline in quality on the job, late payment (and sometimes very late payment). Add to that ridiculous paperwork requirements and reduced payments for petty issues and it's no wonder contract sweepers don't want to have anything to do with NSPs. One contractor I talked with, who knows what it costs him the minute an operator steps into a truck, says he turned down a group of accounts he'd been sweeping for years because the NSP would have only paid him $29/hour when his normal rate is $62/hour -- not even enough to cover his costs, let alone make a profit -- plus the NSP wanted him to add a sweep a week! Add to the discussion on Pavement's new Facebook page (www.facebook/PavementMagazine) and "like" the page while you're there to get regular updates from the magazine and NPE and NPE West.