ANOTHER Stinky Fish

Oh, Boy! Do I have something for all you FISH haters to munch on.

A while back I mentioned in a thread here on WCR that I had been underminded by an unknown window cleaning company. They had been going around to many of my customers and telling them that I DO WINDOWS was closed and moved out of town. I received at least six complaints from very loyal customers in a month and a half. Of course it is not true, if anything we are growing larger everyday and have NO plans on moving or quitting.

Today I got an interestig phone call from (you guessed it) another loyal customer about someone coming into their shop and telling them that we were out of business. This is the seventh time. However, the idiot was smart enought to leave a business card this time. His name, phone number, and a big, giant “FISH” window cleaning logo all over the card.

I flew off the handle at this point. I called the number on the card. It forwarded me to the newest Fish franchise in the area and to a man that told me he was the sales manager for Fish here.

I told him that I was very mad (in not so many kind words). Actually I spent fifteen minutes chewing his ass off about it. He of course denied that the person in question did the accused things and that he was sure that no one in the Fish organization would run business like that.

I was not satisfied…

So I chewed a little more on him. Then I told him that I’d be contacting a lawyer and sueing his socks off. I also told him to tell his boss that I’d be calling. Fortunately for his boss, the owner of the local franchise in question, he was not in the office today.

I then got the national HQ number for Fish and called them. I spoke to a lady who transfered me to the Regional District Manager for the DFW area. I was still mad, so this guy got some of the wrath of Bert too. He told me again that Fish window cleaning does not run there business that way and that he was going to speak to the owner and employees of the local franchise.

Again, I was not satisfied…no surprise there right?

So I chewed on him a while more. He appologized that the incident occured and that he’d be looking into it. asked him to phone me when he has something better to say than, “I’m sorry”. Tomorrow, I go above his head.

The next call I made was to my business lawyer. I am setting up a consultation to begin the litigation process of taking them to the proverbial bank.

Money is not my goal, but will be strongly considered, along with attorney fees. I want appologies, letters to the customers, and a guarantee that Fish will never tell anyone in my town, or any other, that someone is going out of business.

The unfortunate part of this, and a certain delimma for my threat of legal action, is that because of our intellegent, loyal customers, that refuse to le them do anything other than walk in the door, Fish has not truely taken any money from my pockets. This might be the end of the suit, but it won’t be the end of the process of showing them that [I][B]WE[/B][/I] are the best window cleaning company in the Denton/Denton County area.

Please boys, and girls, your thoughts???

Let 'em rip. I want as much information to support my case as I can possibly get.

Thanks in advance.

No advise, Bert, but I admire your behavior on this one.

Sounds like you put the fear of Bert in them! I will take this time to point out that one of the individuals running for the IWCA BOD is a FISH franchisee.:eek:

dude! way to go!
that’s awesome, someone with some balls.
I hope all goes well. Its sad to see Fish doing business like that and times are tough, but no excuses for lying with the intentions of stealing!!! That kind of behavior needs some spanking:eek::eek:

Well done Bert. that took some C. O. Jones.

I have seen Fish business cards numerous times at some of my accounts. No complaints or changes in service from the accounts, although. But because I do fear undercutting from “certain franchised windowcleaners” , I always ask my customers to rate or leave their feedback about my company’s work.

Hope things work or in the leagal action arena.

BTW, I used to live in Plano, Dallas and McKinney a few years back. Not too far from you, right? Worked in Frisco. Live in Connecticut now. I miss it there, but here there aren’t as many WC’ing companies.

Have fun.

the owner of the local franchise in question, he was not in the office today.

I think I would have tried to set up a meeting with the owner of the local franchise first before exploding all over the place. In all fairness, he might not have even known that this was taking place. I have found that trying to resolve things peacefully instead of heading straight to court is usually better in the long run. For one thing, I seriously doubt that you have a case since, as you said, you can’t show harm done to you or your company. Secondly, do you really want to drag your customers into a lawsuit between you and Fish, considering 6 of the seven couldn’t even tell you who the culprit was? Sounds like a very weak legal case to me.

Good for your Bert. I don’t blame you one bit for reacting the way you did.

Absolutely unethical business practices on their part.

I’ve said this before. Fish is a large business nation wide with sales competitions and a highly competitive sales enviornment. Sounds like the salesman is desperate. You have the area sown up and the only way he can make a sale is by lying. My experience is that the customers won’t switch for a lower price if your giving them the service they are looking for.

Let your customers know how much you enjoy working for them and you plan on servicing their store for a long time. No mention of FISH. Put the spot light on your excellent service!

I’d try & use some of those loyal customers as witnesses, most won’t want to know.

Excellent…I love to get fired up once in a while, especially when people mess with my business. Also love to have loyal customers, it seems to me if your a nice guy and friendly/don’t mind talking while you work, customers become loyal for the most part. I’ve run across this company before and don’t care too much for them. Hope all turns out well for you.

OMG! I’m speechless. I really can not find the words to comment.

I wonder if there are any Fish people on this forum???
they probably woudln’t fess up to it, I wouldn’t either if I was them :smiley:

Matt there are quite a few. As I said in a post yesterday, just because a few of the have shady practices… doesnt mean they all do.

We should show them respect.

[FONT=Verdana]Big business can see the profit margins in our industry. I am afraid we will be seeing more and more large window cleaning franchises entering the market place. Most of us are small mom and pop organizations. If they figure out how to offer the same service at a lower price does that make them evil? If we want to survive we must step up to the plate and perform. They are a legitimate business paying all their taxes and insurance premiums. [/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]I was a Fish Window Cleaning sales person, briefly, about 5 years ago. I went to dinner with the Massachusetts franchises owners on several occasions. Chris is right. Some are nicer than others. “It’s business, don’t take it personally”. taken from the Godfather. We need to put on our big boy pants if we are going to compete with the big boys. Life and business are not always played fairly. [/FONT]

awesome post

I’ve got my big boy pants on. I play fair. I don’t lie to customers and tell them how other window cleaners are out of business. I am showing them how a mom and pop biz can compete and have more business in this area than they(FISH) can get.

I’ve already proven that everyone of my customers that they’ve hit, is a loyal, well-pleased customer. That’s a fact. Now, I have to keep the big boy pants on and continue to offer what I always have.

Unfortunately it’s the ones that don’t play fair that give the industry a bad name. It would be safe to say if they would screw over their competition in such an unethical way they would their customers too, without a second thought. And yes, if the stinky fishes were telling my customers or anyone that I was out of business when it wasn’t true, I would definately take that personal.

As the saying goes “You don’t screw with my family, you don’t screw with my food and you don’t screw with my money and if you screw with my money you are screwing with all three”

I’ve had my share of run ins with Fish reps. I’m not here to bad mouth anyone but I will share. I was in the middle of a sales pitch to a large fur store. Easily was going to be a $100 stop based on at least a monthly service. He walked in, interrupted and said he was sure he could offer a much better deal for the owner. I pulled him aside and explained that there was plenty of other work for him to go after and he didn’t have to target this one because he saw my company truck outside and let alone use the tactic he used. The owner even dismissed him explaining he didn’t appreciate it either.

The second one was a bidding war on a huge pharmaceutical plant. We were on site together doing the walk around with the facilities department. This guy was nice enough and I had nothing bad to say about him. (Despite the sales rep mentioned above did work for him.) Anyway, my bid came in at around $50,000.00. We never heard back and assumed Fish won the bid. Ran into the guy at a seminar a while after that and he thought it was the funniest thing that they won it by bidding half of what we did. $24,500 to be exact. I laughed and wished him luck on completing a job of this scope in the time-line the company expected and only asking for that amount. He said it wasn’t going to be a problem and I said, “Well when it is a problem we’d be glad to come pitch in on the rest for $25,000.” He just walked away from me and suffice to say I never heard from him. Always wondered how that job turned out for them.

Anyway, like I said I’m not doing this to bad mouth anyone, just sharing. I’ve had quite a few area window cleaners who don’t think much of me so I don’t get mad when another rep is working my area or if I lose a bid to anyone. I understand it’s all just business, as I’ve explained to anyone who may have placed a call to the office looking to speak to me.

P.S. This same Fish rep offered Alex a job once while he was out working. Alex simply explained he had a vested interest in the company he currently worked for.

It’s a wonder you didn’t walk back outside to find your truck tires slashed! Competitors can do some pretty ignorant things. I work out of a pick up and always worry about someone jackin’ tools out of the bed. I showed up to a job once and there was already a guy doing the windows as I walked up to the store, we talked about the situation w/ respect to each other and saw the manager about the issue. Slight misunderstanding but he appreciated the way it was handled, he said most window cleaners he runs into are complete jerks. I do feel everyone should be shown some respect given that they aren’t blatently lying to your customers or interrupting your sales pitch…there is a time to be calm and a time to “fly off the handle”.

Most of the guys 'round here are way cool. We swap work, trade…exchange ideas etc.

But there are three other guys who ain’t worth shootin. I’d enjoy some out back time with all three of em. :slight_smile: