Customer not paying, what to do?

I was writing a long lengthy thread but moral of the story is I agreed on a price of $430 for the cleaning of third story exterior windows both inside and outside only.

I made sure to get in writing what we both agreed on which was:

Cleaning of all of the 3rd story interior windows.
Cleaning of all of the 3rd story exterior windows.
Windows that cannot be cleaned traditionally due to condensation
or hard water stains is not included.
Total windows cleaned on 3rd floor: 38.
Payment due upon completion of service.

I HAVE in writing his name, his signature, and his date of approval which was 6/23/21.

I’ve been communicating back and forth with his assistant over text which is good I guess since I have proof.

The problem was after we completed this service I get a text from her saying: Hello, my boss looked at the windows and asked if you can come back to clean the outside if we rent a lift?

I basically said sure, I wanted to confirm if she meant 3 or all the windows then she says:

I spoke to my boss who advised he will not rent a lift to do three windows he just wants all the windows cleaned on the third floor. And unfortunately they do not look clean on the outside . He is willing to pay for the lift providing you come and clean them the way they are supposed to be cleaned. Obviously the pole Plan didn’t work.

I responded: It is not possible to use a lift because the windows are too far from the road. We would need a boomtruck which is more expensive than just a regular lift.

The lift can reach the windows on the right side that are your bosses windows but it won’t be able to reach all the other ones.

The extension poles were our best option otherwise we would have to pay for delivery and per hour for the boomtruck.

It would be around 4000 for delivery and renting time is 12 hours.

Then she said: Good morning i spoke to my boss and he advised we will rent the equipment needed to clean the windows he wants to confirm you will return to redo them from outside.

I confirmed on July 9th then she sent a text of: Ok he returns to the office next week I will reach out to you then.

It is now July 26th I sent a text of Good morning just following up on the window cleaning and I got no response back today.

The third story windows are a pain in the ass because not only are they third story but they are very difficult to clean because the stucco siding blocks the bottom from being able to squeegee it properly.

We had to use a ledger that we attached to the extension pole that gives us more room to squeegee it straight down.

I just haven’t had any response back so I’m just left wondering… what to do next? Any thoughts.

Obviously looks like they weren’t able to figure out the lift situation like I told them…

Edit: Some of you might say it’s only $430 but I’m new in business and feel like I worked too much for them to work for free so what would be a good way to proceed.

IMO, the reason you haven’t heard back from them, is they probably got someone else to redo the windows you did that they were not happy with. If so maybe they might give you a partial payment.

3 story windows squeegeed off a pole with a ledger compared to a WFP not much comparison, especially if moderately dirty or worse.

The right equipment makes all the difference $4000 for a boom lift for 3 stories seems about 6 times what it should be for a 35-40’ knuckle boom.
They probably thought you were trying to squeeze them stating it would cost 4k for lift rental when 8/10 companies out there would just pull out there WFP and have it done with very little effort.

The main thing you should always do is check your work when you have finished from the inside, and look from many angles to make sure that there are no streaks or drips that will show up when the sun is shining through it.
Personally I would go to the location and see if the windows have been re-cleaned by a 3rd party, then go see them in person to try resolve the situation and be ready to fix it there and then.


He’s not paying because the job isn’t finished.
Keep calling to set up a time to go back and finish.
What kind of windows.?..maybe they can be done form the inside.


Rent a 40’ ladder and pay someone to foot the ladder for you.


Get a WFP or ladder or don’t take on projects you’re not equipped to handle.


We take a $100 credit card deposit on every job. The terms are also that the card on file gets charged upon completion of the work if nobody is there to write a check or pay cash.

Goodbye, accounts receivable. We maybe have a problem 2 or 3 times a year, and thats usually because someone’s card number changed between booking the job and completing it.

1 Like

Idk if this will help but this is what I’m talking about, we were cleaning the 3rd story.

See how the bottom blocks it from being able to squeegee it straight down?

Wouldn’t a wfp run into a similar problem?

This job frustrates me lol but lessons learned.

I think I will just let it slide because I don’t want a bad review from this.

That’s genius

I don’t think even a 40’ ladder is needed. Looks like a 32’ with standoffs would work just fine. In the end the reason they’re not paying it’s just that they’re not happy with the work. Which means if they’re justified in this either need to complete the work to where they are satisfied or walk away but he wouldn’t be entitled to payment in my opinion. Now if the work was complete and they still didn’t pay then you could choose to file a lien or pursue it in small claims court. Another option is pass it on to a debt collector which will usually take 40 or 50% of the bill. However in your situation I would continue to call and set up a time to complete the work if you want to get paid.

1 Like

A wfp would have no problem with it. Might need a short gooseneck.
I would not let it slide without talking to the customer, that could surely get you
a bad review.

1 Like

I got the sense that he doesn’t have a water fed pole that’s why he was using a squeegee and extension pole to do it. That’s why I suggested the latter option. But yes definitely using a waterfed is going to be the easiest solution here. Maybe he could rent one from a neighboring window cleaner.

1 Like

32’ ladder and trad pole… zero degree 18” channel… like an hour of work…

No !!!

Do yourself a favor and get a WFP as soon as possible. Hate to sound like a Dick , but you should of tried to clean a window before you took on the job , or know you needed a ladder. This isnt a lift job, but it’s a lesson learned . I don’t even like a ladder here with these down hill slopes


Lol man I sound like an amateur saying we need a lift :joy:

Glad this forum exists, yeah I’m gonna have a wfp by next spring.


You can get it done with a ladder. Just make sure like Gary says to have a spotter. Like mike says it’s an hours worth of work.

Don’t use a ladder, get the right tools for this kind of job, WFP.

You’ve done the work and they aren’t satisfied. You need to work out a solution. If you can’t buy or rent a Pure Water WFP system and don’t have the right ladder, then the cheapest option is to get a ladder (rent or buy) and climb up there and clean it. Don’t take jobs you can’t do. There is lots of jobs out there that are far easier.

I agree that there are a lot of easier jobs out there. I am a HUGE fan of one story houses.

1 Like

Two things that confused me, one, windows can not be cleaned traditional because of condensate? What does that mean? And two, 38 windows , 3 stories $438? Is it a family member? That a steal. I don’t even show up for one story home unless it a minimum of $300. My advice stick with easier home unless you have the experience and equipment to get those tough homes. It’s hard to pass up work, especially in the beginning, one it will save you from the all of this headache and two when you are prepared for this kind of work, you won’t get stuck at these cheap prices

Got another call for a different commercial one, I will stop by today to take a look at it.

Lesson learned don’t use extension poles, if I land it I will for sure use a ladder for now and will be looking to have a wfp ready for next spring.

1 Like