Client blaming us for oxidization and glass impurities

So had a weird encounter this week. Had a lady being very demanding about getting her home cleaned the day before it goes on the market. She then no showed and canceled on us the day of and moved the appt again (day before it goes on the market) and had many other weird things she did but I won’t even get into all the weird things she was doing honestly.

She had two windows that were completely oxidized and discolored in her inside pane (they were double pane) we knew by looking at it no chemical or anything would help and replacement was going to be the only option. We cleaned with just waterfed pole and squeegeed inside (steel wooled as well)

She then would not talk to us as we left (tried not too) and when we were explaining to her nothing will restore them and it’s all on the inside of the pane, she just yelled did you make it worse? and then we said no there’s nothing we can do this takes years to build up and happen. And then grabbed her phone and left.

She now refuses to pay all of the money and we explained we are not responsible for her prior damaged windows and we cleaned them with only purified water. I explained that now that the dirt was off of the outer panes the discoloring may look more prominent on the inside panes since there’s not layers of dust and grime covering it. And she keeps giving weird vague replies how we did it and saying her property value is lowered now due to this and that she knows that we did that to them and wants to only pay half.

So what are you alls thoughts? Can cleaning a messed up window with waterfed make something like this worse? From my knowledge and experience the last two years is that something like that would take years to do but we want to know if we could have actually made this worse with water and we’re not aware because we are only two years in the game. I personally think she is trying to scam us and planned on blaming a cleaning company the day before it goes up on the market since the windows were so bad anyone moving in would have to replace those windows.

Let me know! Thanks for reading!

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You are correct. Pure water will not negatively affect the glass. Will not make worse any existing problems.
I did have a situation a few years ago on a door at a bank. Using wfp and water got inside a pane of glass and ran down inside. The manager said it was because I was using a pressure washer… I explained everything to him about about what did happen…he didn’t believe me and got a local glass company to come look at it. They told him the same thing I did, that the glass had to already have had a leak in the seal.

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This is your first mistake, and it led to further problems that could have been avoided by simply firing that customer on the spot.

Practice saying no to people, and follow your gut. If a potential client immediately presents as demanding and difficult. Fire them. Do not work for them.

Someone is a no show? FIRED

Rescheduled without an emergency reason? FIRED

Also, work on filling your schedule up so you do not have time for last minute, one off jobs like this. They are typically trouble, and do not build your client base since they are not repeat business.

It sounds to me like you are perhaps a bit new and have to take what you can get. I think we have all been there when starting out.

But, imagine if you had spent that wasted time and effort (which you won’t get paid for) at marketing in some way. Door to door canvasing, calling previous clients to schedule next cleaning, calling previous clients to ask for referrals, working on your SEO to improve your Google rankings, calling clients to ask for a Google review. Heck, even getting up to date on some accounting is better use of your time.

Follow your gut, learn to identify time sink customers. Say No. Fire troublesome clients. Value yourself and people will too.


She sounds pretty unreasonable. If she won’t pay, then file a “contractors lien” against her and she will have to pay you out before selling the house.


I can’t help you with dealing with this situation but I treat first cleans as an interview. I don’t call PITA customers back. Most customers book every spring, and some for the fall as well. I had a customer give my a hard time about pure water last year, unfortunately, I quoted via google street view and made a deal of $99x3 summer cleanings for a new bungalow, which I thought was the same as the neighbors. When I went to the back of the house they had a nice big sunroom addition and kept complaining that the pure water was leaving a film on their windows and they weren’t happy with the quality. I speculated to them that the film was actually on the inside but they insisted their magic cloth left nothing on the windows. Fast forward to this spring, and they have asked me to come back but no pure water, I doubled the price, and they said maybe we can try the pure water again.


Thanks for the feedback, really solid advice. She definitely set a new standard for how we do business and taught us a HUGE lesson! Appreciate the help! We’re going to Lean her house in 5 days if she does not pay.


Do you need any proof to file the contractors lien?

Like a signature from the customer accepting your estimate?

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Contractor’s Lien

Also remember you have to try an point these things out beforehand. Seals malfunction alll the time
Put this in all your estimates

Not responsible for malfunctioning seals, or any type of Restoration work , such as Hard water staining , oxidation from screens , or any type of silicone or paint removal.

Word it how you like , but this is a must for me.
Every one thinks this is part of a cleaning. It’s not !!!

And to all the super heroes who claim water fed poles don’t work. Yes they don’t work on restoration work or construction debris.
There is a separate charge for that type of work if your willing to do it.


it’s definitely interesting how the ones that are in the most hurry are generally the ones who are the most problems all the way thru the whole process, if one gets thru the whole process lol

I understand “what you see at first is what you will always get” from someone, but its interesting that “last minute”, “hurry, hurry”, “now now now” is the first tip-off red flag for a multitude of ugliness thereafter

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Seems to me these type of people want the work done fast & cheap

I started saying scheduling is within 2-3 weeks even if I’m not fully booked up

I hate feeling rushed, sorry but I won’t be your errand boy


That is where inspection of windows before starting comes in and bringing to the attention of the owner of any issues.

We use a 3 page Damage Waiver on all our Estimates… I can send you a copy if you like. It’s very detailed and breaks down every possible scenario

Wow, how to say Our techs don’t know what they are doing.
Don’t damage people’s stuff, and have insurance for freak accidents that should never actually happen. Proper training and methods are better than trying to cover yourself with a spurious legal document.

Nobody wants to read a 3 page damage waiver. Treat peoples property better than you treat your own, should be good.

Damer587 - If you are still around the forum I would absolutely like to see a copy of your damage waiver. Always interested in protecting myself and business.