Man says $50 window cleaning job from Thumbtack became $27K in damages

How in the heck did the $50 guy cause this. Was he using swords instead of squeegees?

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Well, first off, thats not $50 in window cleaning. Second, I think he used a chainsaw as a scraper. Third - the 'window cleaner" doesn’t have a clue. You would certainly feel that under your scraper.

You get what you pay for.

with a house like that and the sense he had after the fact, it would seem he would have done more due diligence than trusting thumbtack, has had experience dealing with vendors and would know better, would be suspicious of such a low price to begin with

basic principle: price vs cost

seems a person with a home like that would have learned that ages ago

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Just $50 - what really does he expect?


Yeah… when I first started it took awhile for me to be confident quoting market rate prices but even if I was working for minimum wage that house should have cost way more. I’m curious to learn how those scratches happened. If I was charging only $50 for that house I’m not taking long enough to use abrasive pads let alone razors.

Wow, $50!!! Geez!

I mean, it’s only window cleaning right?


$50?! I won’t even show up for a residential for $50 unless it is next door to another “paying” job. Big huge windows, shower doors - he must have charged like $2.00 per window and skipped a couple to boot. That homeowner might have just used him for blame after the contractors crew did a botched job of CCU and wouldn’t accept blame. Just too much stinks about the story.

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Wow. What do you expect though. Who would do that job for $50? I have seen some commercial glass that was scratched up badly before doing a cleaning. I always take photos prior and mention to the client.

Dude must have been using some rusty ass non-stainless blades on his scraper or that glass was just crappy glass with loads of fabrication debris. I mean he goes for a $50 window cleaner he probably bought the cheapest glass he could get his hands on too.

Story doesn’t make sense. Why would he use a razor blade for a basic maintenance clean? For $50 I wouldn’t even come for one window. Was probably a bad post construction from before.

I have to agree with others… I know I recently said I’m not leaving a customer behind… But if this guy and his $50 was offered to me I would have to knock on his neighbor’s door…

$50 for maybe just the shower… But this goes to show you why a waiver is important.

Anyone else have customers sign a waiver? I believe in educating customers of potential risks and what may be waiting under the dirt and grime. I would make a point to identify at least one window with an issue and scratch so the customer isn’t blind sided.

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I think you are absolutely correct. It is so important for the customer to realize what they get when they hire you. When I send an estimate to a customer I put in the notes/terms: “If you would like us to remove certain types of debris, such as paint spots, artillery fungus, or other hard to remove contaminants, we may request that you sign a scratch waiver before we can use certain devices such as razor blades and scrapers.” I keep a stack of waivers in the folder that I take with me on every job and every estimate.

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I’ve noticed there’s a lot of power washing companies around my area lately and a lot of them are these younger dudes who have a partnership arrangement. For some reason a lot of these kids get into business with a partner lol

Just today I got an ad on ig where the one guy was saying “We will not charge you more than $250 for a house wash, we don’t care how big or dirty it is.” They did one of my neighbors on the block who should have been at least a $400 wash.

I mean $250 for a wash regardless of size would mean that the same 10k sq ft home we did last week would be $250 just for a house wash. What about all the other work? I’m not knocking them down, I get it they’re newer and eager to make a name for themselves. I’m just wondering how many of these guys are around year after year?

It seems like an epidemic with them.

Either for clicks or market saturation is likely. Not many ways to stand out when you’re new, other than to do $250 washes for any size/dirt.

They must be changing up the price/conversation when people inquire about a 10k lot. No way, lol!

I’ve seen that ad. Those kids have signs everywhere now too. Last year was apparently their first year. Good for them. You can’t read the contact information from your car, its too small.

There’s also a lot of signs out around our neck of the woods that say “$197 house washing”. If you look REALLY close, in tiny letters it says “$197 per 1000 sqft”. We’re still cheaper, so I let them stay lol. We were booked to clean windows at a property they washed last year and had to reschedule multiple times because that wash company just couldn’t make it to the job site over and over. Thats not how this game works… if you say you’re going to be somewhere, you make damn sure you show up. We take deposits to hold scheduling slots for people, and believe it or not, people love that.

Last year, closer to your town, there were a half million signs for new companies out. Between my house and the Acme in Boonton (about 3 miles) I counted 14 nondescript companies with signs out. All of them were named similarly, so there was no differentiation between them all. Everyone one of them saying “HOUSE WASH $199 - $249” with a phone number and some generic name like North Jersey House Washing, Jersey North House Washing, North Jersey Soft Washing etc. None of them registered with the state (I got bored and checked). They haven’t been put out this year, so I’m guessing they didn’t prepare for winter lol.

This was a large part of my deciding to scale down this year. I’m actually making more money with one full timer and myself part time than I did with 5 vans out. It took the new, cheap guys out of the equation and we are booking damn near to the 4th of July.

P.S. - I have a buddy in the neighborhood whose son put out a bunch of house wash signs for his new company 3 years ago. I ran into my buddy a few months ago and he said his son did exactly zero jobs lol

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That’s crazy. Maybe it is better to stay smaller.

an older wiser business friend told me in the 90’s the most profitable size a service business will be is around 1.5x what you would do full time

i’ve definitely found it a sweet spot

How would that look like with employees? Like 1-2 full time employees, owner in the field?

along those lines
owner ft and helper ft
owner ft and a part timer on own
owner pt and 1-2 ft on own

owner not in field usually takes 3 ft+ each on own at full tilt production (or 2 ft teams) in field (since other expenses grow) and this gets tough cause owner can still be pulled in field for sick days, misc jobs and other pick up or schedule deadlines (you’d be amazed how much come up) and then still all the office work. hire an office person and you need more teams/work when you need more work you need more marketing, larger service areas, when you have all those people you need backup people etc etc etc oh what about extra vehicles and equip . . . what if a vehicle is down? . . . where do you store them? now you need a wherehouse/office . . . whose washing the towels and checking the equipment? now you need a manager . . . .

pick your poison, headache or backache as it was always presented to me by another colleague lol

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