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Canvassing an ex employers work


M.K Cleaners.co.uk

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Not sure if this is the right place for this...

 

 

Heres my question....

 

 

I started my business while working for someone else (another windwo cleaner) he was okay with thhis aslong as I didnt take his customers. Which I thought was really good of him. A few months down the line and I was picking up house every where and there was alot of talk goiing on about me starting my own business (i live in a small viliage) So I told my Ex boss, I was going to leave in 8 weeks, By that time I would be able to pay the bills and have enuff money to live off etc.

 

What I didnt know was that he had already found some to replace me and gave me 3 weeks to quit....

 

On top of that the guy he found to replace me knew I was getting the sack before I did.....

 

My ex boss was also owe me 100 pound for some work I did, he wouldnt give that to me.. His reason was he just had a big tax bill.... A few hours after I asked for my money and refused to give it to me, his wife phones me up and say you can have your money come get it.... Me being me I was ****** off by this time and told him where he could stick it....

 

So I know EVERY HOUSE/PRICE of all his work, armed with info I decided to go canvass some of his work lol, Turns out a few of his customers prefer me cleaning there windows than anyone else so they were willing to switch cleaners

 

What would you have done? Do you agree or disagree with what I done. Take note I worked for him for 6 years+

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Guest Paul

A tooth for a tooth mate, if he played fair I'm guessing you would of left his custys alone, I don't blame you at all, in a way your getting the money your rightfully owed.

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A tooth for a tooth mate, if he played fair I'm guessing you would of left his custys alone, I don't blame you at all, in a way your getting the money your rightfully owed.

 

I would have, Apart from what happend we got on great. I think he just got a bit jealous to be honest, He wasent gaining work, more losing it because he had a new lad working for him

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At some point in the future you may find the the customers who weren't loyal to him will not be loyal to you.

I can sympathise, as I was in a situation where I too felt like I was being unjustly treated.

Felt being the operative word.

Yet I would not steal work from my ex-employer, as some morals run higher.

 

Yes he shortchanged you, and maybe treated you unfairly.

But in his eyes, he trained you up and kept you going for 6 years off his work, probably seeing you as a long term partner, and you up and leave as soon as you can afford to and though he withheld money he did end up caving in, maybe from his conscience on the matter.

 

I am guessing on a couple of those points, but from what you've said I can't say.

 

Using insider info to gain work as well is not something I condone.

 

Each to there own though.

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At some point in the future you may find the the customers who weren't loyal to him will not be loyal to you.

I can sympathise, as I was in a situation where I too felt like I was being unjustly treated.

Felt being the operative word.

Yet I would not steal work from my ex-employer, as some morals run higher.

 

Yes he shortchanged you, and maybe treated you unfairly.

But in his eyes, he trained you up and kept you going for 6 years off his work, probably seeing you as a long term partner, and you up and leave as soon as you can afford to and though he withheld money he did end up caving in, maybe from his conscience on the matter.

 

I am guessing on a couple of those points, but from what you've said I can't say.

 

Using insider info to gain work as well is not something I condone.

 

Each to there own though.

 

He never gave me any training, He never caved in it was his wife that did. lol. I can see where your coming from though. I didnt take the decision lightly. I thought it through before I acted as its on of friends sort of step father.

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It's a hard one, hate people that won't pay what they owe! You should just have it out with him about that? Just no need for him to get on like that. But I would nt go round and try taking his work as that will cause you more bother. Just go get your £100 then tell him to go flump himself

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This is an extract from the employment contract I have all my employees sign...

 

 

Restrictive Covenant

Upon leaving or termination of contract with [business name], I agree not to undertake provision of the same services as supplied by the [business name] either from my own business, or the employment of a compe***or, for a period of two years within a 25 mile radius of the business address below, unless this is specifically agreed prior with the Business Proprietor. [business name] will only enforce that which is reasonable to protect its business.

 

...this is quite a common thing in most employment contract to prevent what you have described. I agree that he was unfair to you and that you were unfairly dismissed. Which you could have taken him to an employment tribruneral for this and you would have been reinbursted for your lost earning for this period, as well as the out standing £100.

 

You also have technically not broken the law, if there was no contract between you, or restricted covenant. But in my personal opinion, I think this is wrong. As this guy employed you, gave your a job, trained you, trusted you with information, regarding his business & lively hood, and you have abused that.

 

I think even to ask the question, you know that there is a fine line between right and wrong, and this is not really clearly on one side of the coin or the other. I think if you are going to trade in the same area, ignore what you know about his prices, dont undercut him. That way if the customers what to use you, its not because you are cheaper, it is because you are better. That would be fair IMO.

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Lets keep some balance here. We've only got one side of the story. You guys who employ people, what would your take on this be? If someone worked for me said "Here's 8 weeks notice. I'm starting my own business in the same area I've worked for you for 6 years". I'd be pretty upset and not a little cheesed off and concerned for my own business. It can only end in tears.

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This is an extract from the employment contract I have all my employees sign...

 

 

Restrictive Covenant

Upon leaving or termination of contract with [business name], I agree not to undertake provision of the same services as supplied by the [business name] either from my own business, or the employment of a compe***or, for a period of two years within a 25 mile radius of the business address below, unless this is specifically agreed prior with the Business Proprietor. [business name] will only enforce that which is reasonable to protect its business.

 

...this is quite a common thing in most employment contract to prevent what you have described. I agree that he was unfair to you and that you were unfairly dismissed. Which you could have taken him to an employment tribruneral for this and you would have been reinbursted for your lost earning for this period, as well as the out standing £100.

 

You also have technically not broken the law, if there was no contract between you, or restricted covenant. But in my personal opinion, I think this is wrong. As this guy employed you, gave your a job, trained you, trusted you with information, regarding his business & lively hood, and you have abused that.

 

I think even to ask the question, you know that there is a fine line between right and wrong, and this is not really clearly on one side of the coin or the other. I think if you are going to trade in the same area, ignore what you know about his prices, dont undercut him. That way if the customers what to use you, its not because you are cheaper, it is because you are better. That would be fair IMO.

 

There was no contract between us, I never undercut anyone. I wouldnt be able to survive if I did, Most of the window cleaners here are working illegally all there work force is on benefits. Have no insurance or licences. Which allows them to keep there prices extremely low. The customers that did switch are paying the same price, with the exception of one because were friends lol


I understand why you'd be fed up...he should have paid you your money.

 

But I don't agree with what you did. As others said...it can only go sour.

 

Only time will tell I suppose...

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Personally, I wouldn't like this done to me, which is why we put a restrictive covenant into our contracts. Even with that though, this does not stop anyone else who has not been employed by me in the past doing the same. So my stance is purely, that you have every right to earn a living for yourself and advertise your service to who ever your want to, at a price you think is fair to both you and the customer.

 

I wouldn't agree with you using the information you know about his round to take them off him, i.e. undercutting, or including frames for the same price or something like that. Which was the impression you gave by saying...

 

So I know EVERY HOUSE/PRICE of all his work, armed with info I decided to go canvass some of his work lol

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I wouldn’t canvass his work over what is relatively a small falling out, when you compare this to what you have already gained by working with him for a number of years.

 

Business can seem tougher than it actually is, with personal relationships and hurt feelings are involved. If you want to be better than him at business you have no choice but to rise above this.

 

Richard

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Another point is, if I knew an area is already saturated with a windy as you say not puting things through the books etc, I wouldn't want to work in that area, I would instead concentrate on areas that I could potentially have a better take up.

 

When I knock a door, and the customer has a window cleaner already, I very rarely, get a customer that want to change to me, when that happens it because the guy hasn't been round in months, or isn't doing a very good job or something along those lines.

 

If I had a list of 100 customers that I knew had a window cleaner, and 100 customers that may or may not have one, then I would have thought that I would have a better take up, with the unknowns.

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Personally, I wouldn't like this done to me, which is why we put a restrictive covenant into our contracts. Even with that though, this does not stop anyone else who has not been employed by me in the past doing the same. So my stance is purely, that you have every right to earn a living for yourself and advertise your service to who ever your want to, at a price you think is fair to both you and the customer.

 

I wouldn't agree with you using the information you know about his round to take them off him, i.e. undercutting, or including frames for the same price or something like that. Which was the impression you gave by saying...

 

So I know EVERY HOUSE/PRICE of all his work, armed with info I decided to go canvass some of his work lol

 

Thats not what I ment, but I can see how it looked when I read it again. My point was I know all of his houses and I wouldnt undercut my self because I know all the prices. Hes the closest Window Cleaner in town thats about legal. Which means his house are better priced. I wanted to hit back at him where it hurts most, his customers. It seemed it worked. After he found out he had lost customers he was down at my door all apologetic.

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ladders, just a quick question, i would have thought the employment contract/clause you use only applies to someone working for you, once they have left its not really worth the paper isit? seeing as there is no contract between you and the customers? employment contracts arent legally binding, they just mean you can fire them for breaching it

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I am not 100 percent sure on the legalities of it, I would have to do a bit of research if this did ever happen to me. I am of the understanding that it is still a legal document, and as the clause states that the restriction is for a period of two year, it would still apply after the termination of the contract.

 

Obviously its a law that they can be arrested for breaching, but if someone was to breach the contract, they could be sued for doing so, as contracts both verbal and written are recognised by the courts in Scotland. Only written contracts in England I believe. I would certainly rather have it, than not have, and at least your have something to defend yourself with if it did happen.

 

As far as I am aware these covenants are a fairly common thing these days, so I cant really see them being a fruitless effort.

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yh i see what your saying, bit of a grey area i think, i think it would more likely be a civil matter than a criminal one though, but that does mean u would be able to try to sue them, so yh probably better to have it then not


also, verbal contracts are recognised in scotland? i never knew that,lol

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