Just Got Cursed Out For 6 Minutes Straight

6 minutes is too long.

Hanging up would just create another problem, and knowing Alex, he wouldn’t compromise his integrity with that type of unprofessional behavior.

I’ll avoid debating the definition of professional behavior, but I would have a difficult time listening to this for 6 minutes.

This guy immediately lost him mind and called me EVERY name under the sun and screamed at me for the duration of the 6 minute conversation

I met Alex 3 years ago in Rhode Island. He was, just as you say, an easy going guy.

It is tough to deal with folks at times but your straight shot is not bad Seth-Ster ! One should have a degree of tolerance with your customer that are flying of the cuff at you…Still if one feels they need to walk as long as they don’t let things get under their skin and return fire, well that’s just a personal way of dealing with it.

Still I agree both ways , with it all depending on the circumstances. Customer retention is very important !

The main point individually is how one will responds to such behavior, if with patience and one being able to look past ones poor behavior well that having some real character ! It don’t mean you accept poor behavior but it does show true backbone and the abilty to move past the swamp-land !

Taking the hi-road aint easy but if one prepares themselves to thing in life then when issues arise your respond cohesively and and with an armor to repel such behavior !

I myself sometimes over react to people who are abusive and other times I’m able to lasso them with their own words, ones owns behavior is what will judge us.


How long do you think it should be allowed? You are mistaking integrity for long suffering. Hanging up
would be abrupt. You could call it rude if you chose to. It would not be a lack of integrity.

Alex already made the right decision for him by not hanging up. Why pretend to say your values dictate that he suffered – he already stated the opposite.

Integrity is defined individually; I happen to share Alex’s choice in this case. You don’t have to, but to me, being rude in the face of another’s rudeness is below me.

Set the phone down and let them vent, then laugh about it later. How one reacts is an indicator not of the other party, but one’s self.

[B][SIZE=“4”][COLOR=“blue”]AND THEN…It is a full MOON tomorrow and events happen that lead up to a full moon and during the full moon…

He may of just lost his self control due to the full moon… Still one needs to have self control even during a full moon if it has a tendency to affect one !


I think if I hung up the guy would have just called back and called back and called back making the situation more… unnecessarily long, if that makes seance. I feel that making the aggressor terminate the conversation and the relationship is better.

I have a feeling that I will hear from this guy again.

Had a customer call me last week. I cleaned her husbands dentist office a month ago and scheduled monthly cleanings. This got me her pool room at her house which happened to have over 1000 windows (colonial cut-ups). A good foot in the door.
So last week I cleaned the office for the second time and when her office ladies gave her the bill she called me FREAKING out. $12 cleaning. Seriously?
She insisted we never agreed on recurring cleanings. I told her over and over you will not be charged. I apologize.
Every time I put out the fire she kept on “stoking it”.
Long story short I got her booked for cleaning her shutters at the office AND another window cleaning. It may be a small job but word of mouth goes a long way.
Keep your cool and you have a 50-50 chance you will keep your customer and get more jobs out of it.
Well done Alex. You did the right thing.
EDIT- The house had 1000 plus windows- not the pool room.

You may be right. In order to really know what to do, you have to be in the situation.
Every situation is different.

[QUOTE=sethfenster;150873]I’m surprised how many times I hear on this forum about people firing their customers because they yelled at them or something. I love difficult customers…sometimes. Most of the time when people go off on me it’s not really me they are mad at. They are usually just stressed about the party or open house they are about to have and just need to vent. If I handle the situation professionally, without yelling back at them, or hanging up on them, most of the time at some point they realize they are being jerks and apologize to me. Sometimes they don’t, but they usually call me back the next year. Some of my most regular and best customers were the most difficult customers at one time.

Seth, I cant see any of your clients getting mad at you…except, if you got into their bacon party favors they had all ready to go for the party. lol Just so you know, breakfast today consists of 6 pieces of toast, 2 eggs, 4 fresh tomatoes, and 60 pieces of wonderful smokey flavored bacon. Its my cheat day.

Alex, your the best on the phone brother. Dont worry about pleasing everyone. You dont give the abuse, dont take it. EVER. Being a rather large fella, I have only been cursed out once and that was from a 2nd story window. It was my fault, I was really late. Just had to chuckle, but I felt really bad.

The reason why I have no problem firing a client or even a potential client is because if they will talk to me or my office manager in a demeaning, argumentative, hostile way - how will they talk to my crew? I can only ask for so much restraint before it’s too late. It’s my name on the door not my employees. I would rather have a non incident by preventive measures than a crew member rattle off because the home owner kept pushing their buttons and I knew they were going to be a trouble client. I have a group of great, honest guys but everyone has their breaking point.

I try to put all my crews in a situation to succeed and not in the line of fire.

Regarding bad experiences with customers, I have had a few.
One customer who had a very friendly personality, promised to pay after he got the business going.
He paid once and then built up a large bill. Payment stopped. One night I saw him on
TV on “The People’s Court”.
He was being sued for cheating a Jeweler out of paying for a watch.
Evidently he was cheating a lot of people. One by one his windows were broken by
someone who was not happy with him. I think he thought it was me but it was not.
Eventually he went out of business leaving a lot of people looking for their money.

Another bad situation which happened a couple of times is when I did work weekly
and the customer knew I did it but just said I did not do it and wouldn’t pay. I quit but
did not get paid. The stores went out of business…

Bad situation number 3: Customer is going out of business after building up a bill.
He said “don’t worry, I will pay”.
When I went in to collect several months, he was angry, threw a tantrum and just wouldn’t pay, period.


You know this person to some extent. Would he allow someone to speak to him the way he spoke to you?

Oh, I get it, and of course every situation is different. I’m sure most of us know that every customer and person is different. We’re all from different backgrounds and not everybody is going to have the same attitudes and demeanor as me. Some people are just natural jerks and have a condescending nature to them. That doesn’t mean they can’t be a customer of mine. Of course we all have our limits and can choose who we work for or not.

A good way or a bad way?

When I first started this biz, I was coming from the wonderful world of restaurant management, where the name of the game was kissing everybody’s a$$es no matter how much of a sh!tsh0w they are.

I’ve only had a few real psychos in the window cleaning biz, but about a year ago, I serviced a client who was mentally imbalanced and had me running around trying to finish and get out of there so hard that I actually had heart palpitations.

I realized that I dropped out of the restaurant biz and started my own biz so that I didn’t have to deal with that kind of crap anymore.

Now, on the rare occasion that someone gets snippy, I stop what I’m doing right there, put my stuff back in the truck, and hand them a bill for whatever was completed. I’m a grown man, not a whipping post. You want to yell at me? GFY, call someone else.

I think I would have handled it the way Alex did. Although there is eventually “a time to give up as lost”, I would not be too satisfied unless I could at least calm the chap down. Yes, there are some people that constantly have a chip on their shoulder but I’ve found most are running into you with some serious stress and you seem all too convenient to be the whipping boy. It seems to be a recurring pattern that people get frustrated or under pressure from their family and friends, and in an effort to please put all the onus on you to solve a crisis. Bang! You get all the venting.
I had a guy go nuts on me because one: we were quite late to the appt. (I did call to alert him), and two- at that point we could only do part of the job because I had a prior appointment that evening that was more important than my business. I stood my ground, apologized where appropriate, and he later on apologized and said this was super important to his wife. Long story short I finished the next day and although he still put me on edge for a few more years, he was quite friendly and easier going by the time he moved to a new home in SC.
How you deal with these type of situations should be judged individually I think. One lady really riled me up and I will NEVER let her pay me for any service ever again. It was that bad.

Who cares – you have to be true to yourself.

Exactly. I’m not going to say I don’t have clients that are hard to deal with but I’m also aware of my crew and what types of personalities I am working with. I have turned down probably $2k worth of work this year - less than 1% of our gross so far. I’m not firing clients left and right just the ones I know I won’t be able to send anyone to.