Customer recourse for FD issue

I’ve only seen FD four times in the seven years I have been a window cleaner. I had a scary experience with it last week that I wanted some feedback on.

I was scraping a huge half moon pane and heard “the sound” and noticed comet shaped scrapes that were coming from under my razor. I immediately went to my partner and told him not to scrape any glass on the house. As I continued washing I noticed a lot of the glass I cleaned had old scratches in it that were revealed when the window was cleaned. When we finished the job and were taking a survey I was alarmed at the damage there. I debated whether to inform them about it because the old FD scratches were not my fault or my problem. Then I decided the right thing to do was inform them. The customer was not home so I left an invoice and told them to please call me as I had found a defect in their glass and wanted to give them some information on it.

The customer called me back and said the windows looked great and that she had actually scratched some of them before when she used a razor to clean the insides. I told her that they scraped because her glass has FD and I explained to her what it was and told her where she could find more info about FD.

A week went by, it snowed, and then we had a really sunny day exactly one week after we had been on the job. I got a call from the man of the house saying that I had “wrecked” his windows and that I needed to do something about it. I explained to him that the windows being cleaned in addition to the sunlight and extra light reflecting off the snow were revealing damage that wouldn’t otherwise be seen and that this damage existed before I came over. He looked up the info I gave him and I gained his trust that I was being honest. He agreed to send payment. I was super worried about this call because I felt like the other window cleaners who had been there before either didn’t have the expertise to notice the FD or the balls to inform the customer about it. And here I was getting stuck in the middle of it because A) I noticed it. and B) I thought the right thing to do was tell the customer about it.

Then the lady of the house calls me back and asks what they are supposed to do about it. I told her she might contact the manufacturer of the windows or the builder and see what they have to say about it. I said that there might be some recalls or class action lawsuits but I wasn’t really sure how they handle those things. I told her I would call some other window cleaners I know and put a post up here about it and see if any of you guys have suggestions for what she might be able to do.

I have not used an FD waiver before as I have been scared that it might look fishy to a customer. After this happened I am reconsidering. DO any of you have suggestions for a tactful way to present a waiver? ALso please give me some suggestions that I could offer my customer for recourse.

How much glass do u want to pay for??? Get a waiver sighed !! Or no work !!your just lucky that they didn’t blame you !! There is a ton of fb out there !! Every job waiver !!! I just got from a project we did 6 months ago with fb damage !!! The glass man, 2 contractors the museum person, and me. The displays were dark and the out side doors had concret throwed on it !!! No covering !! Had the waiver signed by the con. Now after 6 months i did what ??? Lights were behind the glass displays and showed every thing and the doors to the out side had the seting sun !!! Wow !! I was told that the scratchs were mind ??? Not but a person sees fb all the time !! I told them this was there befor i started. Oh no the glass was perfet and i use the wrong scraper and my mop that i use for the floor caused the scratchs !! Hun??? I told them i use a 6 inch scraper and 3 foot sprip washer and 3 foot sq. Glass man saids i was full of it and the don’t make any of these at the hardware store !! He’s right !! I use pro cleaning stuff !! Tried to throw me under the bus !! Told him been in the buss for 27 years !! How long have u ben in the glass buss?? He shut up !!show the contractors the fb report and said we generally have waiver !! Ask if we had a signed waver !! Yep !! The contrators ****ed big time !! One said he wouldn’t of signed and how come the other guy did !! Ha !! So i said could be repaired but they didn’t want to here it !! There knee jurk was replace it !!! Duh??? Can’t fix stupid !! Wait till they get that bill !! I’ll bet they cover things up next time !!yes u will lose work with a waiver but u woun’t pay for any glass. Your ins woun’t cover it either !! Stan, pro window kleening , 27years and pro

What is the definition of FD glass?

Defective heat-treated (tempered or heat-strengthened) glass with excessive fabricating debris (FD.)

Stop Scratched Glass - Home

IWCA - International Window Cleaning Association - Tempered Glass - Home

Present fabricating debris educational material with the same authority and confidence you present your price quotes and company benefits.

I would suggest the customer contact their builder, the supplier of the windows, or the window manufacturer (or all three.)


You better get your documents in order and gain all the ammo you can. If the customer decides to sue you because I doubt the builder is going to take this hit. Would you? If you were either the builder or the maker would you honestly take that hit knowing both window cleaning companies had used razors and one had already admitting to using one which disloadged fd and thus caused a scratch? I would not. Be as nice as you can to this customer and work with them to try and resolve the issue. Even if that means using a hog to get the scratch out. Rent one or borrow one if you don’t have one. But I think if all else fails and you can offer to try and repair YOUR scratch you might be ok. If they don’t go for it, you may either lose the customer (best case if they are mad) or you might be hitting up the court house. I wish you luck. Let us know how you make out.

Contact Dan Fields. He has successfully helped wcers in your position. If it goes to court Dan can help explain the defective product you were dealing w/ on this job.

Hey I sacked up and paid for my damage.

So if you own a Toyota that was on the recall list would you sack up and pay for the repairs yourself?

Did you educate the customer regarding heat-treated glass and fabricating debris and have a signed scratched glass waiver before the service was started?

Excellent point Jay!

Not to me, Tony.

See, if Toyota issued a recall, they are admitting to being responsible to correct an issue.

With fabricating debris, the manufacturer and/or supplier – not the window cleaner – is responsible for scratches provided the WC’er supplied education and received a signed waiver prior to service.

You are right Larry, but Norgan in essence has done the same thing. Since he “sacked up” and paid for the windows isn’t he admitting to responsibility for causing the scratches. I guess I was just bothered by the fact some window cleaners are less “manly” because the don’t want to pay for mistakes caused by the manufacturing process. I’m also pretty sure there was no education given to the customer and no waiver was signed.

We’re on the same page here, Jay (sorry; my +1 button is done busted.)

Waiver is on every reciept/estimate issued. But you guys are the pros cant you feel the diffrence? or maybe you are still straight pulling.
The glass is bad. Okay, and then
YOU BLEW IT. just like me.

here I’ll be honest, I freaked, looked for reasons and excuses as to why it wasn’t my fault. Everybody comforted me in wc world, I recieved all this paperwork about how the window manufacturers are screwing over the consumer, I had it all in my hand to try to escape the fall out.

Then reality hit me,
That glass was not scratched before I got to it.

That’s like saying the landmine hadn’t gone off before I stepped on it.

So you voted for Obama

In fine print, or is there a face-to-face conversation with the customer?

I guess you missed the point.