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Window Cleaning Issues - Canvassing, pole systems, pricing, problems, etc.

I've just been threatend with violence....

Posted by windows_chepstow (windows_chepstow), 30 January 2004
Hi all,

The missis and I have just been threated by some heavy (from London - he says) who employs a local window cleaner.

He approached us, stated he knows were we live, where our little girl goes to school and to keep away from certain areas.

He stated he was the 'nice guy' and if he has to speak to us again, he will be accompanied by the 'bad guy'.  I offered to sort it out then and there - but was very glad he didn't want to take me up on the offer.

He came across as some gangerster drug-dealer type and I even had to laugh and told him it wasn't drug dealing, just window cleaning!

He said he was from a firm called WEBSTERS; he'd travelled here (South Wales) from London and had to go to Norwich to sort out another 'problem window cleaner'.

Anybody ever heard of WEBSTERS or came across similar threatening behaviour?

A policeman is visiting us to take a statement and I refuse to be intimidated.

Any advice?


Posted by simonb (simonb), 30 January 2004
Do you have a little girl and was she with you at the time? If not you need to take it seriously - get car reg no etc
Posted by pdhanson (Silly Philly), 30 January 2004
This is shocking.

You did the right thing to get the police involved.  People like that need to be dealt with.

Old Master this is not a laughing matter.

Posted by Terry_Burrows (Terry_Burrows), 30 January 2004
WinkI never have known of such a name HuhI know people
in the area I will make sounds to find out! HuhI have been window cleaning for some 27 years I get to know
people,companys etc,you must check out if you can about the info he gave you about your girl Undecided

I do know a lot of people.
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 30 January 2004
I agree with Phillip - it's not a laughing matter!

Do you know any other local window cleaners? I'd try and find out if any of them have had any hassle and make a decision from there. It always makes you think twice when they threaten your kids.


Posted by seanc (seanc), 30 January 2004
good luck with the old bill has any one else had this prob
keep us all posted on what happens and i know its easyer said than done but try not to worry
Posted by taffy_2 (taffy_2), 30 January 2004
Angryyou were right to get the old bill involved dont hesitate next time get discription get reg no anything if you see any thing suyspicious or anybody aproaches you just go and knock a door or go over to the nearest person you can find Angry
Posted by Bones (Bones), 30 January 2004
This is bad poop!!

Would this guy worry if he was taking your work away from you?? No, i don't think so, it's business, it's what puts the food on the table and keeps a roof over your head. Best thing to do is get it sorted mate, if the police are interested though Huh i think they are more interested in stopping people in cars ?? Angry

I am also waiting to be approached by a guy and his lads but the closest violence i've had from them was one of his croanies threw and extremely large snowball at my motor when i picked the kids up from my mum's yesterday Roll Eyes who know's? snowballs today, water bombs tommorow Roll Eyes
Posted by karlosdaze (karlosdaze), 30 January 2004
Could you not do some detective work yourself. Find the area the guy was working in, and try & find a client of his & see if he has given out a receipt. I don't think the Police would go to these lengths-stretched as always. He'll be back in 3/4 weeks, see if his car or van is in the area, then give Mr. Plod a ring.
Posted by heritage (heritage lee), 30 January 2004
call me i no off them they full of shi*
Posted by windows_chepstow (windows_chepstow), 31 January 2004
Thanks guys,

The policeman was great (even though he looked about twelve years old).  He arrived before Jess returned from school, as requested.  Helen had noted the registration number of the car, although this belonged to the window cleaner (Matt), not the guy who threatend us:

The policeman said the following:

    He could speak to the window cleaner - to advise      
    him to lay off.

    The incident will be logged and any further incidents  
    can be classed as harrassment, and/or a public order
    offence because he threatend us.

I have phoned two other local window cleaners: one offered to help me out intimidating him in return.  I refused the offer, but it was nice to receive.  They don't know much about him because the vast majority of his round consists of an army married quarter area of about three hundred houses where he is the sole window cleaner.  

Unfortunately (for Matt), they're on a unit move to Northern Ireland and a new battalion is moving in.  Many of the occupants moving out dislike Matt (so didn't have him as a window cleaner and done without) and have asked me to clean their married quarters on the 'march out'.  

Initially I didn't want to do this; so priced high (25 for inside and out for a small two or three bedroomed house - takes about forty minutes) - I was a Warrant Officer in the Battalion and I thought lads would take the proverbial out of me.  

However the demand was high and when I saw Matt in the area, I told him what I was doing.  I was cleaning the houses he didn't clean, so they could hand them over to the estate warden.  I also mistakenly told him how much I was charging.  He saw red, had a whine, said he was the window cleaner for that area.  I told him I wouldn't argue - not in front of the soldiers - they'd only take the p@ss.  

That's what got his back up!  

Rethinking the incident, the window cleaner is half-caste and the guy who threatened me was black and bore a striking resemblance to Matt.  We think he was actually his father; who did a good impersonation of a drug-dealing gangster.  We reckon the Matt didn't want to make it sound like he needed his Dad to help him sort out a problem, so they concocted this story.

It didn't help much when they were were both towering threatenly over me, both shouting, (I'm not short, but they're big) and Helen (who's 5' 1") shouted "you're both a bunch of W@@@@@@S".

On parting, the threatening guy said he would get Matt to discuss the matter with me (because it was beneath him to talk 'nuts and bolts' and he had to get to Norwich to sort out another 'problem window cleaner').  I told him, I might divide the married quarter area up with him (then imediately regretted compromising with bullies).  

He wouldn't give me a telephone number, and the final words I asked were "So Matt cleans windows and pays money to you?  How does that work if you live in London?" (We're in South Wales).
He replied "He cleans windows, that's all you need to know".

I'm now torn between:

    1.   Keeping away from the married quarter estate -
    and letting the bullies win.

    2.   Doing the married quarter estate - two fingers
    to them.

    3.  Finding out where he lives (I've been told the
    area), getting friend to phone and say "come and
    clean my windows, but I'm never in, I'll have to send
    a cheque", and giving them a visit with a balaclava  
    and a stout piece of wood.

The grown up thing would be to do option 2, but I would like to do option 3, but I'll probably end up doing option 1!

I thought window cleaning was meant to be stress free!

Posted by mickeyfat (VGC), 31 January 2004
do number 2
arnt the bullies always supposed to be the wimps!...somthing i heard once thats all! Grin
Posted by windows_chepstow (windows_chepstow), 31 January 2004
Well, I call myself the most highly decorated window cleaner in Chepstow, being an ex-soldier of 16 years in Northern Ireland (hiding behind garden walls), Gulf 1990/91, Bosnia 93 and 94, Kosovo when it was bad - not to mention all the punch ups in the NAAFI or Sergeants Mess.

But these are two big thick lads...

I'm no soft touch, but I reckon I'm either going to lose face and do as they want, or get a bloody-good kicking!

Anyone got any martial arts advice?
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 31 January 2004
First of all, you have my sympathy. This may only be some idiot shooting his mouth off but it is a real worry all the same.
What I would say is that you should try to face it out however hard that may seem. If you are seen to buckle as a result they have won.
You might consider buying one of those disposable cameras and keeping it in your pocket. If you are approached again start taking photos. It works, people in that position really don't want their photos taken and it gets you some  hard evidence for the police.
Whatever you do don't go out tooled up which is a big temptation.
Good luck  - we are all with you

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