Extra charge for messy house

Had a new customer today, and the house was such a mess inside we went 1 and 1/2 hours over bid, the house was not in the condition when we bid it 3 weeks ago
laundry piled up all over floors, toys all over floors, had to move all this junk just to get to the windows,without stepping on and breaking something, also piles of dog poop on floor in 2 of the rooms, Uck,
Customer was not home of course, billed them at the bid quote, but do you think I could have gotten away with charging more and if so how do you do this politely?

Not knowing the customer and your business, I don’t know if you could have gotten more than the quoted price, but I would have tried.

Does this customer have future earning potential for your company in your eyes? If yes, a gentle statement regarding access to windows would be in order, with the emphasis on protecting their property. If no, price it higher for the next cleaning to either make up for your loss or in anticipation of a repeat chaotic environment.

the house is fairly easy to complete, if it weren’t for the mess, a newer two story with 37 double hung sash and 2 sets of french doors, and 1 slider, is a good job for us, and is local, no drive time, we also do other members of the family,
our company has only female employees at this time and we pride ourselves in leaving someone’s home in pristine condition, neatness counts.

Ah – you picked up the dog poop!

Unreal. It would be nice if you could have gotten more money for putting up with the mess.

I was once in a house where the living room couch was overturned and the homeowner didn’t seem to think that was a big deal.

I had a much similar situation yesterday :mad:
A doctor called me up wanted his home done before Thanksgiving. Yesterday I had a hefty day running my route, which I didn’t get to finish because if this guy, and he insisted the only day I could come was yesterday. So I go over the phone estimation which is about $175-200ish and he tells me that another guy used to do it for $100ish because he only has 6 windows…right

I told him I might honor about that price if he said was true when I arrived. When I arrive I see a large home with few windows in the front…I thought it wouldn’t take me but an hour, WRONG!

Once I go around back I see at least 20+ large French style windows!!!
He must have counted windows while taking a poop because there was at least 6 windows in his bathroom.

So I try to call his cell phone, no answer. Tried to talk to his wife, doesn’t speak english well. I already finished the Front outs and figured I’ll go ahead and keep on going and when the Doctor arrives I will squeeze at least $150 out of him…OH, he also said it was cleaned about 3 months ago, LIE because it was at least 3 years; inches of dust and crazy dirty windows.

The doctor gets home and I’m about done, I thought it would take me an 1 hour and I’ll get $150 out of this guy, HUH! tough sell.
He started bartering with me at $75 because it only took me about 2+ hours.
I got so dessip off…he was trying to give me $75 for a house that could have easily been done charged $170:mad::mad::mad:

In the end I got $120 out of him. I was not rude but stern with this guy.
“Call me in 3 months for another clean” he said in his indian voice, YEAH RIGHT!!!

I got burned, first time this has happened to me, I learned a lot.
Making about $45 an hour isn’t horribly bad, but I try not to go under $80 on residential

lesson LEARNED

Lesson learned: Charge by the window with all over the phone bids, do not agree on anything except your price per window.

I tried pointing out the windows to him, he pointed to one LARGE window and started counting thinking that all other windows added up to that size equaled one:mad:

He counted about 11, I counted about 35. Some small some large but this guy was going to have it his way no matter what.

“Thank you come again” :mad:

I did NOT pick up the dog poop

I no longer do over the phone bids,
we look at every house or storefront because of this, most people can’t count, nor can they define what kind of windows they have, they say things like, “oh you know small ones made of glass, or no, I don’t have storm windows,” they also will want only 4 of 5 windows done on the phone and then when you get there they want 3x as many, if someone calls for just outside, or only a few windows, i give them a bid also for all outside and in and out, takes a little longer to put together, but 8 times out of 10 they take the bid.

I provide 1) phone estimates and 2) in-person firm quotes.

[B]Matt:[/B] Lesson learned: Sometimes in business it is better to ask for permission than forgiveness. You gambled… (And maybe someone [I]did[/I] charge him $100ish for 2+ hours of work in the past.)

Next time, here’s what you do:

Call his cell, and leave a message saying "Hello, sir, it’s Matt calling. We’ve arrived at your house tom complete this for you as promised, but your home has many more windows than you indicated over the phone, so a significant price adjustment is required.

Please give me a shout when you can, because if we don’t hear from you before 9:45 (pick a time ten minutes from when you call), we’ll have to cancel your home completely for today, and reschedule for the future.

Please call me at ____________ . Have a great day."[/INDENT]

Never start what the homeowner hasn’t authorized first.

As for a messy house , it happens more often than ppl would think. I solve my acess “issues” whne i bid the house. When i give my bid to the customer, whether it be over the phone or in person. I simply let them knowthat i must have acces to the windows that they want clean. I will not move any heavy furniture or messes to gain access. I have had no issues with this method so far.

So, you’ve skipped interior windows and adjusted your price to reflect?

Agree. And let the customer know, if they counted the windows wrong. There will be a price adjustment. Either higher or lower depending on the mis-count. I don’t drive to homes anymore for quotes. BIG WASTE of time and money. Detailed phone quotes take about 10 minutes, I would rather have a customer tell me NO over the phone, then NO in person. Don’t hagle with them on price. All it’s going to do is screw you in the end. The customer with the dirty house, well just deal with it. If you were to **** them off enough to the point where you lost the other family accounts then a few months down the road you will be more ****ed off at yourself for losing the accounts over something that is not a big deal. Step over the poo, step over the toys, move the couch and chairs. It’s part of the job they can’t all be empty homes with new windows. I don’t care what the inside looks like. Don’t get me wrong, if it looks like it’s a health hazard I won’t clean it. But if it’s a mother who does not have help to take care for kids. Hey I understand. Give me your money mom…

sure, if that is all they want, we get a lot of calls for outside only and it is very easy to convince them to do insides as well,

My observation is you are 100% correct. Even if the home owner is a mathematician, they still can’t count.

People try to count windows while sitting inside their kitchen. I always tell the customer that it is easier to count panes from the outside of the house.

Write on a pc of paper:

Put the number of panes you see on each side of the house and add em up and give me the total.

If your house is full of French Panes or you have storms, I will need to quote in person.

It wasn’t that place in Houston was it :eek:

I really like Kevin’s approach.