Am I being too nice?

I’m currently on my second day of a hefty job for a customer that is out of town. All the business so far has been done via phone and email, including the bidding.

Long story short: It’s a million-dollar 3-story house on Siesta Key, on a private road with a dozen identical homes. Windows had been badly neglected and a lot of them were tricky to access. I bid the job at $618 for all glass in + out, screens washed, tracks washed, and all the mildew-laden exterior frames washed (with my new WFP!) That price wasn’t discounted from my normal formula but I didn’t charge extra even though I knew it would be tough.
Last night at 9:30 I got a text message from the homeowner (still out of town, but returning Sunday) that says this:
"So from what I’m hearing I’m a little disappointed. My neighbors [sic] telling me that she spent pretty close to half of what you are charging me. Anyway live and learn."
That upset me. Too much to just ignore the message, despite being at my brother’s place enjoying my evening. After some gentle probing I get this:
"They say they paid 300 for outdoors an additional 200 for the inside ones that they can’t get to on their own. Are you also including the screens for that price?"
So, 500 is somehow half of 618 according to whom? I politely confirmed that, yes, screens and a whole host of other things that were approved in the original bid (Still have a copy in my inbox) are factored in to my price.
Then I said: “When you see your windows I am 100% sure you will be satisfied with the value of my services.” To which I received a thumbs up emoji.

I’m wondering though if that was too indulgent of me? Seriously, who sends a passive aggressive message like that to a hired service person at 9:30 on Friday night?
I don’t think I handled it poorly, per se, but in retrospect I could probably have just ignored that message, finished the job to my normal high standard and got paid.

What do you all think?


Hmm, perhaps he had a few drinks and his nosy neighbor got him “nudged enough” to call? Who knows. If he presses it further I would ask to see the bill from the neighbors job and see if it is possible to compare apples to apples because you feel your prices are fair and competitive.

Pricing two different homes aren’t often the same, as I am sure you know.
I recently did a 2 story, couple mill property on the water, inside and out, LOTS of windows, day and half out and two days in, $2600. They want to do it once a year - we’ll see. I have Quarterly that I do in/out, huge home - with 20% discount it comes to $725. I get others that flinch at $300. On those big properties, focus the discussion on quality, cleaning badly neglected windows (gently approached of course), access issues, and you are TRUSTED there while he is out of town. Everything that you do holds value. :wink:


That message did deserve some sort of acknowledgement and the way you handled it was good. You focused the attention back to center - the value of your service. You stayed positive, weren’t defensive and did not trash the competition.

If it comes up again, ask lots of questions to expose the truth:

  • Did the other cleaner perform mildew removal?

  • screen cleaning?
    “umm, not sure.”

  • inside/out?
    “i think sooo…”

  • sills?
    “forgot to ask”

  • Does your neighbor have exactly the same amount and style of windows?

  • Is the degree of difficulty exactly the same?

So, did the other homeowner clean some? Were ALL the windows cleaned at the other house?

Simple truth is that no two homes are exactly alike, even if the structure is identical. But I would just let it ride and press on with the utmost confidence.

As an aside, I recently raised the prices of 9 of my storefront accounts 25% ($15 each), done e/o week. The VP of Ops grumbled and hinted at getting someone else. I replied somewhat like you did and left it. A few weeks later, he asked if I’d be able to pick up more stores.

Sometimes they just need to vent and it sounds like he may have sent you a knee-jerk text. Nicely handled.


Also, perhaps more importantly, do YOU feel like the job was worth the price?


Ego says no. Bank account says yeah.


I usually assume that the customer doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about because as a general rule they don’t. Be nice because they usually don’t realize how way out of line they are.

When they start talking with one another and comparing notes it gets even worse. LOL


Hard to argue math with someone who thinks half of $618 is $500. If his neighbor paid “half” of your price, you should go ahead and invoice him for $1000.

Sidebar: spent almost every spring break of my childhood on that little sliver of white sand…great memories!


You handled it like a champ . Thsts pritty much all that you could say. After all he is holding your money

There is no explaining to someone like this just get your money An let him know your price is designed not to rip people off , but to be profitable in business , An to be able to give my customers the highest quality work possible.

Tell him to give the other guy a shot next time , an you would be more then happy to come back any time he wants

He was being really ballsy … I’ll tell you that. I can’t imagine saying to someone that I hired To work on my house ". Hey my buddy got the same work done for half the price
I mean who’s fault is that.

If price was his main objective he could of found someone even cheaper than the neighbor
Tell him that




I think you handled it perfectly.


You handled that like a true gent.fair play to you.


did you respond at night?

To each their own but wish clients never had my cell phone. 4am calls, Sunday calls, 9:30 at night while enjoying time with “family” all the contact never allowed me to get a mental break.

I ended making the first cell number our office dispatch phone, but made the mistake of giving VIP clients my new cell. Very good chance I give that phone to our field manager.


…Wait…is there a difference? :slight_smile:


definitely a thing for the customer to do, and understandable that it bothers you. i think you handled it pretty for now and who knows what will happen when they get there.
chin up, carry on as if everything was normal.

1 Like

Never let “EGO” get in your way on your way to the bank…

I think you handled right.


Sounds like a nosy neighbor was trying to do some “one upmanship” with your client. Your client will probably get the upper hand by showing the neighbor the level of service and detail he got “for only $618.”

1 Like

I had a “VIP” customer call and left a message on the weekend while we were on a family trip. My out going message is if it’s after hours or on the weekend I will call the next business day. She then texted me at 8:30 at night about rescheduling her appointment because Andersen messed up on some of her windows (she spent $235,000 on them).

I was thinking man this is just window cleaning, but to these “VIP” customers it means the world.


If you never met this customer and they allowed you access to their high end home for 2 days while they are gone I’d be worried what may be said when they arrive home. Obviously you handled them well and customer seems to have issues but who knows what they may accuse you of.

Hope all finishes well

1 Like

Geez now you got me paranoid

1 Like

Sounds like you handled it well. If this is your second day working on the job and it goes for $618. I think it is fair to say you gave a reasonable price and are not ripping anyone off.
This is just the way it goes sometimes. I gave a bid the other day. 25 sets of triple tract storms, 400 french panes, 20 casements, screens, stuff everywhere.
This lady was given my name by some of her friends that recommended me.
My price was $725.00 I gave it to her and she says "Wow the last guys did if for $250"
In the past I would have tried to work with her, come down on my price, explain why I was higher, etc.
I just said well if you are happy with the job they do I would call them back.
She said "Yea they were ok, I’ll call them"
I said ok have a nice day and left.
We all know a price like that has no basis in reality.
Yours is probably the same. Who does a 3 story house in and out for $300? No one that does a good job or wants to stay in business.
Just do an awesome job. If they are concerned only with price then they are not your customer, get your check and move on.
If they want a great job they will call you back for years to come and happily pay the bill.
Be confident in your service and pricing.
You know what they say
"For those that understand no explanation is needed, for those who don’t no explanation will suffice."