Should I be dropping a customer?


#1

I got a call from an old client. I’ve never met her and the previous owner (owned the company 8 years) did not know her. She said it’d been 7 years since she had her windows cleaned. I had no info and asked her for # of windows and number of square foot her home was (helps me see how accurate the count is). She said 20-25 windows and 7,000 sq/ft. WTH?!
She wanted an estimate on the phone and I explained that I needed to do a visual count to be accurate and to determine the amount of time it would take to clean. She said just bid me for 25 windows then. I said I was in the area and could swing right by. She consented.
The count came to 91 windows with 6 over 30 sq/ft-first to second floor and one nearly inaccessible and in terrible condition. I quoted her $240-a discount off regular clean, even though it was like a first clean and she said the last time it was $125. I did not budge. She asked which windows would be $125. I shouldn’t have given in, I felt that gut instinct it was going to get worse. I told her $175 for x,y,z windows and we scheduled. Needless to say, it was tedious and we ended up cleaning half the exterior windows for 3.5 hours after she came late and we wait at the gate for half an hour. I did have a problem cleaning the plate glass with a small/close detailed floral patterns that is .5" in front of the glass and took off $10. She said she would pay $150 and that she needed a ten to break a twenty! WTH! I was happy to just take $140 and leave.
She texts this morning and says some of the x windows on y side and z side are dirty. Her seals are breached and she is seeing the haze that’s inside!!! I gave her a time in a week to check them as I’m busy and she then said she wanted to wait a couple weeks…I’m going to “fix” whatever she wants and probably do what the other owner did years ago, not respond again. I’ve always had my clients say it was the best clean they’ve had and thanked me for the detail work etc.
I’m nearly done with my websoite and don’t want a negative review.
Sorry for the long rant.


#2

Just me, but arriving to find over 90 windows when she had said 20 to 25 would have clued me into her right away. She knows damn well that she had more than 25 windows with a 90 count. She was obviously a shyster, and most likely lying about your company having ever done work for her before,

I would have bid this job 3 to 5 times as much as a normal quote, just to force her to say no. That way I could walk away without having to tell her that she is full of … well, you know.

I started to read your post and wanted to reply “walk away, because she is a shyster and will try to nit pick her way out of paying”, but then I continued reading and knew I was too late.

Short answer to your question: YES!

Longer answer: YES, because she should never have been added to the list in the first place. If she gives a review then it will not be positive regardless of what you do to ‘fix’ the situation, because she knows you are never coming back, and she has to say the last guy did a terrible job in order to shyster the next guy. Not saying to ignore the ‘fix’, just predicting that it is in vain, and just another way of the shyster getting more work out of you without paying.

You do realize that after you fix the seals, she will probably say the windows are now ruined and need to be replaced. She is planning on getting those old problematic windows replaced with new ones on this hustle, and she knew experienced WC’s would walk away, so the fairly new to the industry guy who says yes is grounds for her to say " he didn’t know what he was doing".

Good luck man, and please keep us posted on how this turns out


#3

yep. best too walk. your spidey senses will develop just takes some of these ugly ones too get there lol


#4

Hey…been there. Review? That’s what “Comment from Owner” is for. Get through it and move on. Better jobs are coming. Some people can’t be pleased; they are miserable and have to pass that misery on to others. Follow up and be the diplomat. Your overall excellent customer service will over ride bad reviews. And don’t be afraid to walk away from a job. I am now charging 4 times what I used to and getting work left and right. As the great Hoosier says, “We provide a luxury service.” I am done coming in the cheap date to get the job. That will flush out the cheap people and you won’t be able to please them; they need to have power over you. Don’t beat yourself up over a cheapskate, you are a professional. That means you provide a great service that is a good value for the money. Carry on.


#5

Sounds like this was your first mistake. Assuming 91 panes, I’d be somewhere around $500++ for this job.

So yeah, you need to fire her.


#6

Not to rub it in, but you did it to yourself. You are probably new, so take it as a learning lump.

DON’T discount your prices. This will happen nearly every time. In general, don’t half ass quote a job unless they were specific in the beginning that’s all they want. If they aren’t willing to pay for the whole job, at your price, you are inviting a HUGE headache. YOU are the pro, YOU decide what jobs you will do, what price to charge, and what method you will use.

P.S. I’d raise those prices. Sounds like you are charging 2 bucks a window outsides. That’s too low in any part of the country. Also, NEVER charge a first clean the same as a maintenance clean. Never.


#7

I would immediately address it, waiting isnt good.


#8

Sorry man, this is all on you. Once the count went from a false 25 to an actual 90, the gloves come off and sticker shock kicks in. Move on to a real customer.


#9

Think there were many signs this would go wrong, you’ll soon recognize them.

Sounds as if you may have been to desperate gor the work. This can be bad.

I reject any partial cleans, seems they dont end well or need a go back and do this one too type situation which costs money for time.


#10

Nice, old lady calls for an estimate. I’m in the driveway adding everything up when someone pulls up and demands to know who I am as he’s walking towards the house. Right there I knew I didn’t want to do it. I give the price anyway, and the old lady asks if hard water removal is included. I say no, additional charge. Driveway dbag chimes in “MY GUY DOES THAT FOR FREE”. Ok, it would be a lot of money. How much? I don’t want to do it, so I don’t want to price that. Bye.

RUN FROM THE CRAZIES!!!


#11

@WindowGuysLV

Ron just finish off this job for this lady, make her as happy as you can.

Then from now on when your gut say “this isn’t going to end well” move on!

There are plenty of people that will appreciate what you do.

Good luck out there!


#12

For us it’s is always the partials or the people who negotiate who cause us issues

Can’t wait for 3-4 weeks from now when we can turn those down and keep everyone busy.

So frustrating


#13

Really!!! Who pays for his crack you ? Should of been your next comment :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#14

Maam, you shouldn’t hire crackheads because when they clean your house, they’ll really clean you out.


#15

Ain’t that the truth
The guy that does that job for 125 has these guys working for them

image

Lol An look how happy they are.


#16

I know-I DID IT TO MYSELF! That’s the worst part. I was in management for a decade before and then became a teacher to middle schoolers-I knew the scam was coming but let it happen! lol
I start the bid at $3 outside but always take my price down, as I think it’s high…another of the many things I will need to improve upon in the coming years.


#17

I swore to myself I’d not do partials because of this. Stick to the rules/systems.


#18

How’d you get a picture of my crew?!?!?!


#19

Can you afford to hand back the $240 and say “Have a nice day”?

She got a fantastic price from you. 91 windows would be damn near $1400 in these parts,


#20

Most people here are charging between $10-$15+ per double hung in/out so then $5-$7 for outside only if not a little more would be average. being below the average many people who have the $$ to get the job done will assume they get what they pay for and your less than half price could equate to less than half as clean as a perspective outcome.