I’ve been cleaning glass commercially and for residential customers for almost 10 years and I have never had a customer accuse me of scratching their glass. This particular residential job was just an ordinary clean and certainly not anywhere close to being a construction clean up job. In fact the husband told me that he has not been able to get in touch with the previous cleaner and so he decided to look elsewhere and he found me. Anyway the wife calls me yesterday asking about her windows being scratched all over. I told her that I did not use anything at all that would scratch her glass (no razors, and there was no film on the windows and no specialty glass, just reg glass). I also told her that her husband and I talked about the scratches that were already in the glass and he said that it happened when the house was built. She thinks otherwise. Long story short she said to come back or she will cancel the check. I even gave them a discount from what I quoted over the phone because the job wasn’t that big. Just wondering what you guys would suggest ?
Go to the house, meet with the lady AND her husband. Show them exactly how you wash a window. So they can see that it does not scratch the glass. Then bring up the conversation you had with her husband about the windows being scratched from when the house was built.
If after this she is still adamant tell her thanks. This next part is optional (hand her the check back and say “enjoy your free window cleaning.”) And walk away.
Sent from my iPhone using Window Cleaning Resource
One thing she asked me when she called was will my insurance cover scratched glass. I just hope that she’s not going to try and stick her PREVIOUSLY scratched glass on me just to try and get new glass installed in her home. I’m going back in the morning to make sure that what she’s seeing is not in reality small thin squeegee marks. I’ll offer to reclean the windows for free and if she’s still not satisfied then I guess all I can do is give her the money back.
Keep in mind that if you know for certain that you in fact DID NOT scratch her glass that the burden of proof lies on her. Just saying that you did so is not really a strong argument for a courtroom. I wouldn’t worry too much man.
Also keep in mind that I am not a lawyer, or an insurance agent.
If you don’t already have insurance that you know for a fact would cover you in a case where you did actually scratch some glass, I would give Joseph Walters a call!!!
Sent from my iPhone using Window Cleaning Resource
im in England so laws are diffrent but what iv learned over the years in different lines of work is that when somebody accuses you unfairly,say a forceful F off denial - then totally ignore them . never write , you could end up tripping yourself up . if theyre going to make a claim ,make it as hard as you possibly can ,by ignoring them totally
I have a good insurance policy that will cover me its a 2 million dollar cap policy through a really good company but I have never had a claim and certainly don’t want a claim that comes from someone who might be trying to wrongfully blame me. Like I said I’ll go back tomorrow and offer to reclean, if she has a change of attitude great but if not, she’ll never see me doing anymore work for her in the future.
You had a conversation with her husband about the scratches on the glass already. Insist on a meeting with BOTH her and her husband and respectfully and professionally discuss the issue. In a worse case scenario if the conversation goes sour you can recite how it is illegal to refuse payment for professional services rendered and advice that the law will be on your side. “Thank you for the payment - don’t call me again.” Only if it goes sour. Most people put in that position (both having to admit to their conversations) will retract.
I hate to tell you, but I learned the hard way that ONLY Joseph Walters actually covers the glass. The other companies SAY they cover you, but that is a complete lie. Joseph Walters is the only company in the US that offers “care and custody” coverage. I learned that this past summer after paying over $6500 out of pocket. If I had had Joseph Walters, it would have been covered…guess who I’m insured by now?
But really, you shouldn’t have to worry, honestly…Sounds like the husband is pretty reasonable and not a free-loader,
Plus, not to be a jerk, but if you’ve been doing this for 10 years, you should have started getting a waiver signed on EVERY job 9 years and 6 months ago, at least!
Never thought about needing a scratch waiver outside of ccu jobs. However, if I price a job and see that there are issues that will require scrapping I would definitely protect myself. This job had been serviced before by another window cleaner, I think I may have located him and I’m going to call him in the morning to see first of all if its him and if he has ever worked for these people before and if so how did things go for him. The husband did say that this guy had cleaned their windows but he hasn’t been able to contact him all summer which makes me wonder if the wife tried this on him.
What I would do is ask if he’s ever worked for them and if he says yes then I would ask him if he ever had any issues with them. If he says no then I would say ok have a good day. But if he says yes that he has had issues then I would ask him what issues he had with them, what were they like to work for, etc. if he doesn’t want to discuss it, that’s fine too.
Also, now that this issue has come up and based on some of your comments about insurance not covering scratched glass, I will definitely check my policy and call my agent to find out if I’m covered just in case I actually do scratch someone’s glass in the future.
I asked my agent specifically about scratched glass when I got my policy. He lied to my face just to get the sale. Your agent may do the same to you. If your policy doesn’t say anything about care and custody, but your agent says it is covered, your agent is lying. I did my homework on Joseph Walters before I went with them because they are a little more expensive than the other companies. Everything they told me was true. They are the ONLY company that offers care and custody coverage, as far as I have found in my personal research.
One thing I have started doing (thanks to the education I have received on these forums) is EDUCATING the customer. When I arrive to start the job I go over the scratch waiver first. 90% of the time someone has already scratched the glass in their home, so I use those scratches as an example and I try to help them visualize what’s happening on a microscopic level. They really respond well and it makes them WAY less likely to try to blame you for someone else’s shoddy work.
if they sense you are a sucker , they will milk it ! but if you get in with something that really scares them,wrong foot them, folk realize that they will regret tangling with you.
Could be in the States things are different culturally, maybe the polite way gets results there - its just iv learned a UK way to stop spurious claims of all sorts before they get rolling .
heres an exaggerated example but it proves my point.
a guy i know moved into a quiet street with wife and 3 young kids. the elderly residents nearby didnt like his kids playing and shouting in the street ,but thats what kids do! these residents started causing him grief,complaints to the local council, the complaints were ramping up
so one teatime when he knew the elderly were eating he let off a shotgun just outside their window .