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

Revenge is Sweet
Posted by Silly_Philly (Philip Hanson), 8 April 2004
I had this customer call me in response to a flyer I posted in a new area.  I told her the price, and after a little bit of moaning said ok.

Anyway, we did it a few times, but then she wrote a comment on the comment card saying that if we didnt do the sills, frames and all of the uPVC it wouldnt be worth it.

Now we've all had customers like this, and no doubt you're already thinking exactly what I did "You are going to be more trouble than you're worth"  Also I'd vowed not ever again to put up with pain-in-the-neck people.

So I wrote her a polite, but to-the-point letter explaining that extra work costs extra money, and yes we are a bit more expensive because we are pros and are insured etc etc.  At the end I said we wont be coming anymore.  (Actually "I will consider our arrangement suspended")

Corr did that provoke a reaction.  She phoned me up, leaving me a 5 minute voicemail about how terrible we were and how she was going to the newspaper (all for £6 remember) and we shouldnt be in business.  Really, you'd have to hear this message to believe it.  I actually thought it was some sort of joke, but it wasn't.

I phoned back to apologise for any offense, but of course she didnt want to speak to me then, how brave.

Anyway, I drove past today and the windows are filthy.  (Theres been some building work nearby too, just to make it worse)  So she obviously hasnt got a new wc.  Also these are very tall houses, needing 3 section ladders that not many wc will have.

So here's what I did:

Canvassed the houses on either side, which were also filthy, and I think I've got them.  I'm gonna make a determined effort to get the whole street so that its just her house that stands out as dirty.  Also, no other wc is going to want to come to that area just to do 1 house.

She works from home too, so I'm hoping that she'll be in while we're doing them and ask us! (She's never met me in person)  Boy do I know what I'm going to say.

I'll even do those others for free first time, just so that I can get them.

I'll let you know how it develops.  
[I'm wringing my hands scrooge-style already]

Posted by sham33 (sham33), 8 April 2004
Dont leave a comments bit on your slip its asking for trouble. Their never happy and only spot bad things, never the good things.
Posted by Silly_Philly (Philip Hanson), 8 April 2004
No they dont, I've had maybe 2 negative comments, but nearly all (about 20) have been things like "job well done", "thanks very much", "sorry we're late paying"

2 have said "we're moving to ---- please come there next time if you can"

Because we dont collect, we can sometimes go for months without seeing them, so we need some feedback.

This one customer, however, is in a class of her own.  I'm thinking of doing a WORST CUSTOMER OF THE YEAR AWARD.  The prize is they get to find a new window cleaner.  I'll accept all your nominations, but she will still win it this year.  I darn well cannot wait to hear from her next-door neighbors.

Posted by riz (riz), 8 April 2004
I think we all know how you feel, cleaning is a personal thing and when someone complain's it's embarising and a bit degrading, however you have shone though!! sod her and good luck with the houses either side! serves her right Grin

Posted by denzle (Denzle), 8 April 2004
That post really made my day.... I like your style.
I once had a customer that thought it was fair game to be as insulting as possible to my guys, but always nice to me.
So i rang her up and told her we would no longer consider doing her work as my guys felt that her attitude was appauling. I had the wonan almost in tears virtually begging us to continue.... and did we
No we did not and it still gives me great pleasure when i drive past her place because her glass is bogging.
Posted by D.Salkeld_Ltd (D.Salkeld_Ltd), 8 April 2004

WHAT is the point - you set out your stall and if they don't like it tough - just keep on providing your service with a smile and say YES or NO - simple.  Don't waste your time on the petty few who seem to think they are roalty and Window Cleaners are servants to be treated like dirt.

Revenge is a waste of energy better spent earning a living from the magority good customers

Posted by mogs (mogs), 12 April 2004
i had a good one just the other day. it was actually a customer on a round tht i had bought. four bed room house wi a garage...£6 i had only put it up a pound from the last guy. had it done in bout 5min bout an hour l8r the bloke rang me and said i was to dear tht the guys were only there for 5 min and it wasnt good value for money! his excuse just made my day as i new i was goin to take the mick outa him just as soon as i fin the area. got everything done called at his door for me doe. asked him were his windows clean, said yes (obviously)!
so i said a job well done is good value for money but added tht if he wanted i could send one of the slower guys to his house next if tht wud make it any more value for money, think he got a bit then i said to him we r not a theme park ride in alton towers if thts the sorta value for money he is lookin &* told him he is getting charged no more than any1 else, a good job for a fair price. cudnt stop laughing from the min he foned me, made my day... thanks NO. 54   Grin
Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 12 April 2004
I've had 2 cancellations due to using the pole. One was simply because we were too quick. "You must be making too much money to afford that fancy van plus, the windows were all wet"

DUH  Tongue

The whole process was explained in a letter. As were the finances involved. Of course DUM DUM hadn't read it.

He hadn't even bothered checking the finished result.

Offered to clean them again for free, but of course he had embarrased himself by this time and proudly refused. What a twit!

This page is a thread posted to the cleanitup forum at and archived here for reference. To jump to the archive index please follow this link.