Deposits ACWC Blog

[B] Deposits ACWC Blog


In our line of work and society deposits have unfortunately become necessary. I can’t count how many times we have shown up at a job and either the customer isn’t home and never bothered to cancel their appt, or they no longer like the price so they tell us to leave.

At this point we have spent useless time, energy, gas, wear and tear on the trucks and I’m sure at some point made another customer annoyed because we couldn’t accommodate their appt request just to be left holding the squeegee. Then there’s the part where the Marketeer and myself The Appointed One gets in trouble for not having at least a credit card on file to charge the cancellation fee to.

Deposits and Credit Cards are part of everyday life; yet when we ask for one people act shocked and offended which is not our intention at all. When these same people try to rent a car, book a hotel room or a flight does the deposit or up front cost get waived because they act shocked and offended… NO it doesn’t because it’s accepted for those businesses. I think we are better than those businesses in the respect that we will at least apply the deposit to their balance or brace yourself now… ready… actually REFUND the money if the customer cancels with the appropriate 24 hours notice.

Yes I know the shock of using and actually enforcing the “refund” word is a bit vulgar this early in the day but I have to be brutally honest here. These other businesses don’t refund your money at all they give you vouchers to be used within a year with them so you can’t take your business anywhere else. Some will even deduct a percentage depending on how much notice you give them. All we want to do is give people a little incentive to remember us, t0 call us if you can’t keep your appt. Face it window cleaners are not the top priority in everyone’s day like the propane guy, or the electric company, hell lets face it window cleaners don’t even rank up there with the cable guy. However we are happy to reschedule when needed or even offer other options without penalizing people.

I know there are exceptions to every rule like the 90 year old customer who has used you for the last 50 years of their life and has paid on site each time (and according to the techs tip really really well) may not need to leave a deposit. Either way please just keep in mind that the deposit is for everyone’s protection and benefit. Hopefully I have been able to shed a little light on the Deposit/Credit Card issues we all deal with. Have a Great Week.


What % would you take as a deposit?..

I have never thought of taking deposits.

$125 or minimum charge

Here is a good place to use two tools:

  1. slydial

  2. slybank.

I myself have never used credit cards for window cleaning. In the 25 years we have been around it has always been cash or check due upon completion of the job. I only have one or two accounts receivables a month. I love the idea of a deposit. I do have a credit card machine but only use it for window covering sales. I try not to use it just due to the high % rates the card companies charge. I am wondering how many of you use cards? How do you collect the payment on job sites? How do you work around the rates the banks charge just to use a card? to me the % the banks charge was always better in my pocket than theirs and I have never lost a customer when I told them to pay with a check. Do any of you take payment through paypal or other sites similar with much success?

I have to agree with Mandy here. In fact, we are putting a plan together to begin to accept deposits. I am not sure how it will work as of yet, but maybe a fifty dollar deposit or so. We are also thinking of making all of our route customers keep a cc#on file, possibly to charge them monthly instead of payment in cash every time. I think $125 is way too high for my area for residentials. Chris and Alex probably charge more for a particular job than I do, but that is simply a cost of living in your region kind of thing.

I do accept the 4 major CC’s. The rates aren’t that bad after all. I just put that fee on the end of my bid. I have a portable Credit card terminal. I got it free when I signed up for the merchant services account at my bank. |It looks like a cell phone and a small printer. I have the crew carry it in the truck all the time. I just do a batch or reconciliation report at the end of the day.

I am interested in the paypal thing too, if any of you use it with success.

btw, I think it’s Chris who is the authour of the blog, Mandy just posts the latest blogs to WCR forum.

I dont write the blog, I just pipe it into the forum and Mandy tweaks the settings. A member of my office staff writes it, her name is Shannon. I guess it would make sense to have a different user name act as the poster… the system just makes you pick a user.

Another excellent blog. Great ideas guys keep them coming!

I just like the sound of “blog.”

Is it that whole one hand clapping thing, Larry?