Welcome to the UK Window Cleaning Forums

Starting or own a window cleaning business? We're a network of window cleaners sharing advice, tips & experience. Rounds for sale & more. Join us today!

Your Most Awkward Customer/Situation?

James

Active member
Messages
845
What's been your most awkward customer (don't name names), just what happend and how you solved the problem, or an awkward situation you've had in this line of business?

For me it would have to be one of my friends, he worked with me for a day just to get him out of the house for a couple of hours. Unfortunately for him he dropped a set of my ladders onto a very expensive porsche making a slight dent and a nice scratch on the side of the car. I had to sort the issue out with the customer and sort an arrangement out with my friend. I must point out that we are still friends to this day, infact I'm having a pint with him in an hour /emoticons/wink.png

James.

 

James

Active member
Messages
845
never really had an awkward moment with an existing customer but you talking about the car reminded me when i crashed my van into someone after sorting the insurance details out i gave them a card and ended up taking them on as a regular customer which eventually paid my excess lol
haha as if! Quite handy in a strange way then.

James.

 

laddergarder

Well-known member
Messages
1,534
Location
Greenock, Scotland
Personally I don't think you should have charge your friend, if you had him working for you using ladders with no safety training, in my opinion, it should be your responsibility. If any of my staff cause accidental damages, we pay for it, and if the damages are costly, we can claim our insurance.

The most awkward is kind of hard, one that comes to mind is...

I started this woman's windows and after cleaning we never closed her gate. Now in fairness to us the gate was damaged and only on one hinge, we did pull it shut but the snib wasn't lined up with the hole, so we left it. Any way, so I went and started her neighbour, and looked over, and seen her coming out in her morning coat, and she growled up at me, then proceeded to wrestle with the gate herself. So I came down and apologised for not locking it, she then smiled and said it was fine, and asked us to come back for the money.

That evening I came back, no lights on, no answer at the door. So I walked back up the street for the van, then as I was driving back down, the lights were on, so gave her another go, but nope, she wouldn't answer the door. I could see the TV was on through the living room window.

So the next day I was back in the same area, and decided to see if I could catch her in, off guard, she came to the door this time, and I asked her for the money for the windows. But she proceeded to tell me, that someone else came by and collected the money, and she was not paying it twice.

I tried explaining if she has been a victim of fraud, it has no bearing on what she owes to us, and she should contact the police, but her payment would still be outstanding, she said no that's your problem not mine, I am not paying you. I asked her was it maybe her last cleaner, she said no, what did he look like, she gave a description, I then said we wear uniforms, with our logo all over them and you spoke to me personally and asked me to come back, did you not think something was off, Oh well it was my daughter who paid him. Oh yeah, she just happened to mention that detailed description to you after paying him, did she.

I gave her an invoice, and haven't been paid, so haven't cleaned them since.

 

Masons

Well-known member
Messages
1,504
I agree with laddergarder on JP's post.

I would never take someone on just to get them out the house.

Imagine if dropping the ladder had landed on the persons daughter...

As for awkward situations, I have a ton, I'll give it a think for my best.

 

laddergarder

Well-known member
Messages
1,534
Location
Greenock, Scotland
I've had a customer ask to me clean a neighbours windows. The neighbour didn't pay me, and the customer actually said to me a few month later, they want you to start doing them again, but I would forget about the time you cleaned them a few months back.

Now if I am asked that, I tell them, I can do it, but its for you, and you are liable for the bill not your neighbour. If your not happy with that, then your neighbour has to speak to us, and request the work, before we can do then for them.

 

James

Active member
Messages
845
Sorry I should have made that part abit clearer. I came to an arrangement with my friend, I did not charge him.

I think I'll listen to everyone's advice on not taking my friend out the house again. Unfortunately he was in a slightly bad way at the time and I was doing him a massive favour (not going into too much detail but I was keeping his mind occupied)

Some interesting situations you've all been posting!

James.

 

simon

Well-known member
Messages
1,561
Location
cumbria
had a mate helping out & i was all trad then so as i was doing the front & my mate was on the back the owner - an old but really good laugh but old fashioned lady - came out & asked me what he was doing at the back of her garden - having a burst obviously - well i just died, went red, started spluttering & talking rubbish, mate came waltzing back up the path & off next door, she's never mentioned it since & we get on fine but she knew what he was up to

 

James

Active member
Messages
845
had a mate helping out & i was all trad then so as i was doing the front & my mate was on the back the owner - an old but really good laugh but old fashioned lady - came out & asked me what he was doing at the back of her garden - having a burst obviously - well i just died, went red, started spluttering & talking rubbish, mate came waltzing back up the path & off next door, she's never mentioned it since & we get on fine but she knew what he was up to
I'd have gone absolutely mad! Lucky you still have her as a customer though.

James.

 

windyman

Member
Messages
468
Not so much awkward as annoying this one-

Small cul-de-sac with about 10 houses- I do 8 out of the 10, I'm the only WC in there. Last month when I collected from one of the houses, the woman mentioned there was something on the side (frosted glass) upstairs window. This window always looks messy, it wasn't cleaned properly after being built, cement over the frames etc. I explained this to her, but said I will give it an extra scrub to try & get muck off, and I said failing that I can get a ladder up there. To which she said 'no that's fine I can get my husband to have a look.' OK I thought, no problem.

Did it again last week and went to collect, she came to door happy as larry, then her husband came, no so happy. 'Make this the last time' he said. I asked why. He said 'we told you about that mark last time & it's still there.' I explained to him about the cement etc & again offered to get a ladder up there & then. 'No I did it myself, the pole you use obviously isn't cleaning them properly'- I said are all your other windows ok?? 'Yes they're ok, but we told you about that last time & you've still not done it properly'.

I said I do hundreds of houses with the WFP, all your other windows are fine & I've offered to put a ladder up- what more can I do??

Some folk just don't wanna pay! I wish they'd just say, look mate, things are tight & I don't want them cleaned again. No problem!

Does my head in. As it happens, the tips I get from his 7 neighbors amount to more than his house was anyway, so screw him!

 

James

Active member
Messages
845
That's the at***ude. It annoys me as well. Customers just don't wan't to admit they can't afford the cleans so they make up so many different stories to get out of it. Just wish they would tell the truth, would make life so much simpler. But hey this is not going to happen /emoticons/unsure.png

James.

 

Matty H

Member
Messages
788
I offer a text reminder service the evening before cleaning for all my customers If they so wish. I always ask a new custie if they mind and obviously take their mobile number. So after cleaning this woman's windows for about 3 months I send the usual text the evening before to which she responds "I don't want my window cleaner texting me it is way too FAMILIAR - so do not bother coming back we will get somebody else to do our windows" all that after she agreed to the texts and I'd been sending them for the last 3 months. I really couldn't be bothered to give her the time of day to respond. Stupid bloody Cow got my back up - couldn't understand that one!!!

 

simon

Well-known member
Messages
1,561
Location
cumbria
this is truly horrible, today did the front & side of a house & went round the back; saw what i thought was a large puddle of very wet sand must of been under a leak as some had splashed up the wall, not really paying attention i turned to flick my hose round (backpack hose) & noticed i'd trod in the sand & then stench hit me & it wasn't sand at all jesus a pipe must of burst or mebbe they have their own soil tank but i was pure heaving & trying to get my hose onto clean snow & wipe my boot off. lucky for the snow cos it cleaned everything so i left the back but billed them full price manky.. on the upside when i told my youngest lad he laughed for 30 mins

i used to think dog **** was bad lol

 

James

Active member
Messages
845
I offer a text reminder service the evening before cleaning for all my customers If they so wish. I always ask a new custie if they mind and obviously take their mobile number. So after cleaning this woman's windows for about 3 months I send the usual text the evening before to which she responds "I don't want my window cleaner texting me it is way too FAMILIAR - so do not bother coming back we will get somebody else to do our windows" all that after she agreed to the texts and I'd been sending them for the last 3 months. I really couldn't be bothered to give her the time of day to respond. Stupid bloody Cow got my back up - couldn't understand that one!!!
That's absolutely ridiculous /emoticons/unsure.png Sometimes I think some people must have 'off days' or some must be permanently angry at life. Very strange. No skin off your nose though, just keep ploughing through.

James.

 

vito61

Member
Messages
388
Location
Stonehenge
Called at regular customers and started the windows having had the customer see me thru kitchen window. I'd done approx 2 windows when it was apparent I'd called during a full scale bust-up!!Both of them going at it hammer and tongs. No violence just shouting. What to do? Decided to leave and call later in afternoon to finish job. Big detached place.

When I got back, husband says "you decided not to hang around for world war 3 then?" (I'd already thought of what to say) I said "you didn't need me around just then". She just kept out of sight.

I gave them the time they needed and showed respect for their privacy at a delicate time.

Kept them as customers.


Ref non paying toe rags

I used to feel awkward for them when they didn't/couldn't pay, a bit embarrassed about calling for the money.

But then I gave myself a bit of a talking to..... It's THEIR embarrassment, not mine. Can't pay the window cleaner!! How pathetic is that!

I found it helped me a great deal, totally different outlook.

 

Matty H

Member
Messages
788
I didnt have this man as a customer but i was in a kebab shop one ***ht and noticed there windows wer really dirty. theres me thinking ahh might not have one so i ask the man who was making my kebab do you have a window cleaner? he said very quickly YES! ... ME!! I thought ok fair play and said no more and out of no were he rasied his voice and said you english! Yes i replied he then said english people are s**t! no good no good at work all S**T!! at this point i was very confused and thought you know what!! i kept quiet and waited for my kebab when i paid for it and had it in my hands i opend it up and said are you turkish!? he said YES! i said turkish people cant cook! And thru my nice warm kebab at the window and walked out.
Ha ha superb /emoticons/smile.png

 
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock