Never Do Work For National Maintenance Companies


We have worked with a few National Maintenance Companies over the years and have decided to shut them down… refusing all work from them. We never go after their contracts or approach their customers either. The companies that use a NMC are generally disconnected from what they actually need and the people in the stores could care less.

Please remember that these companies are huge and they are playing a numbers game without doing any of the actual work. They could care less about the subcontractors that work for them… and unfortunately, there is usually another window cleaning company willing try and work with them.

Unless… there isn’t. Recently we had a NMC tell us that nobody in our area was willing to work with them. Yea that was nice to hear! If everybody refused work from these thieves… businesses would be forced to drop their NMC. This would be a huge win for everyone… especially the customers!

If you have to take work from these companies make sure to (You don’t have to):

-Charge More! A lot more… (Working with them can turn into a lot of extra work… and sometimes they take their time to pay you. If you don’t get the contract don’t worry… it was going to be a pain in the ass anyway.)
-Have them sign an agreement with you that guarantee’s payment within 30 days
-Charge Late Fee’s and enforce them (include due date on invoice/how much the bill goes up)

But please don’t take work from them… They suck.


Oh btw the National Maintenance company that contacted us last wanted us to pressure wash a home depot in Colorado in the middle of winter at night!


I got called to bid the window cleaning at a 3-story downtown BoA branch a few months back. Priced it at $1080 and never heard back, even after a follow-up email. The windows there are still dirty, BTW.


If I EVER do work for a maintenance company again I will ask for 50% up front at an inflated price because likely it will be more than 30 days before seeing the balance.
Never again.
“Can you clean it before this weekend?”
"Great, submit the invoice to accounting."
After two jobs it was clear payment was really a low priority.
Finally collected and subsequently fired them.
I still do one of the properties yearly dealing with the manager of the business directly. She pays within 7 days.


Firing annoying clients has to be my favorite aspect of self-employment.


This is topical. I have one small account that works like clockwork, and another larger one that DID until a couple months ago. Three years we’ve worked from them, and they used to be fantastic.

They changed ownership a year ago, and our contact left the company. Recently took them ~100 days to pay. We suspended service. Our contact blew us off, ignored phone calls, and straight-up lied to us. Surprisingly, they finally paid.

The want us to sign the 2017 contract now, and we added a clause regarding late payment fees. They haven’t responded to us in two weeks. I think we’re done.

Why the Long story? They were always my GOOD example of and NSP. And look how that has gone. I’ve dealt with worse.

Listen to this forum: if you work for NSPs, CHARGE HIGH and read those contracts CAREFULLY! They will try to screw you.

One other company stipulated in the contract that we would be subject to a $50 penalty fee if we were 45 minutes late unless we notified the management 2 days in advance. Also, we had to use only products purchased from them. AND, we had to download their app and allow it to track us. Please note: they didn’t provide any of this info before we submitted an estimate. Needless to say, we passed. But, be aware of what tricks they have up their sleeve before you submit a bid. And, unless you’re desperate for work, just pass.


We did work for an office on the 15th floor of a downtown business. Net 15. Sure, we’re inexperienced and not totally with it our first year. Had to chase down payment each time. When they contacted us last month, we said yes under these conditions. Nope, they didn’t agree. Ok goodbye.

I have a horror story with an nsp right now but prefer to not say anything else.

How can I put it: we’re suing them.


Sorry, but I literally lol’d


We learned the hard way. Now we have to claw for our money. I’ll never ever ever ever work for an nsp again. I was warned here in old threads and a local window cleaner warned me but I went for it anyway.


We have done one job for them 4 years ago. It was a Target store in Centennial, CO at Parker Rd and Arapahoe. They had baked in window decals that was 20ft high. They could get one of their regulars to remove them. The last guy came with a six foot step ladder and a one inch razor blade. Did a few scraps and left. They only wanted to pay $400. We said $1200. They had no one else wanting to do it and had to go with us.

They send us stupid emails through the year. To give bids at Ulta stores all over the place and usually give 4-7 days notice.


What are the names of these companies? I was looking to use fixbook.


Ellis Enterprises is the company we have experience with.


I worked with nationals for years, I didn’t have the sort of problems I heard about above. I worked with Coverall Cleaning Concepts and a few others over the years. The main problem I see with them is that we must accept less pay to work for them and there is more red tape to deal with. They come in take our land and make us pay them for it so to speak, Since we already have administration functions of our own, it doesn;t really help us in any way not having to bill the customer, we still have paperwork to bill the National. I can’t see how national operations add any additional value to the customer when we ourselves are doing our jobs professionally, All of that said, conspiring to force them out of a market might be considered collosion in a Court of Law, so if they got wind of such an effort they could possibly bring a lawsuit and win. but they won’t hear about it from me,


Always pay and reasonable with pricing best gig ever was cleaning chase bank signage for them


Sorry Scott, I disagree. Saying don’t work for an nsp is hardly colluding. Just the same as saying don’t go to X restaurant if you don’t want to get the squirts. I read and read and read about doing work for an nsp and thought “it won’t happen to us”.

It happened to us. It’s caused us too much stress, we gave up higher paying work because we had a contract to honor and we basically worked for free for several months. Never again.


We stopped working for them over a year ago. They’re all crap. You have to use their paperwork, ivr, etc. We have our own processes. Not learning anyone elses. Low pay, slow pay, you name it, they do it to you.

Do not work for any of these companies. Being in the cleaning industry, we are low on the totem pole. My brother is a plumber and his company works with a lot of these firms but, they seem to have a good experience. But of course when your talking about sanitation, no business wants problems like that and they will pay for quality and to make sure the job gets done right. Plus every situation is very unique so they have a lot more room to quote the way they want/need.


What does this mean? I’m not super smart when it comes to legal terms.


Nest was one we work for 20 years ago and all of the above is true.
After 47 years I’m thinking of having a written contract with all
commercial work because it has gotten that bad with payment.


Pretty sure it was misspelled…collusion


Oh. Thanks :blush: