Money back guarantee?

Hey guys and gals:

My wife, Jennifer, is working on a brochure to send to upscale commercial properties. Our plan is to write a personalized letter to the director of building maintenance for each property (on our letterhead which is on really nice paper) and then enclose our brochure with the letter. I’ve been reviewing samples of sales letters that offer various professional services and many include a money back guarantee. I think this a powerful way to lure new customers into giving your company a try, but it may also be a way to get burned…badly. What do you guys think? Has anyone ever tried this?

The exact language I’m thinking of using in the letter is this:

"If you do not feel you have received a tremendous value from our services, you owe us nothing!

So, why not give [company name] a try? I am confident you will be extremely pleased with both the service and the results, and if for any reason you are not pleased, you have lost nothing!"

Would love to get some feedback on this. Have you tried this? Positive/negative experiences (or horror stories)? Stipulations that should be included?

Thoughts on what should be included in the letter are welcome too!

Thanks guys. I am eager to hear your thoughts!

I think it’s a great way to ensure trust and reputation with the customer. I don’t blatantly promote it. I include it in agreements where it states the order of events to get to that point of refunding the money: they must contact me to inform me of the issue, I try to resolve it. if unresolved or unable to meet their expectations still, I refund the money.

The refund is an easy way to just dump a problem customer and keep them from hassling you further or being able to hold something over you (on review sites and such). You tried, lost time, and don’t owe them anything more.

My experience is that people love to be serviced and they love to be heard. No one wants a problem, just resolution.

I think satisfaction guarantee is a great thing but unfortunately less of a selling point than price. Simply offer great service, maybe a testimonial or two but money back? No Way! Money back is an at your discretion thing and should be used to avoid a nightmare. Replace money back or you have lost nothing with we take cash, checks or credit card

I’ve been offering a “we don’t charge you anything guarantee if you aren’t completely satisfied, and we cant satisfy you”, for 14 years and have only been burned once.

I offer it on every job from a $25.00 coffee shop that called me yesterday, to a building that called me and the quote was for $18,000.00. That building owner said “well if you are that confident, we want to have you with us”. I’ve been doing that place for 4 years now.

People buy on emotion, and when you let them know they have nothing to lose, it builds up a powerful emotion. Also, when people see that you are that confident in your company’s ability to satisfy them , they love giving you a shot. I will continue to offer this forever.


Charlie that’s a pretty bold approach. I’m intrigued by your use of it on all accounts and you have only been burned once. We say we will fix any issue just let us know. I doubt we would have the same success with a full money back guarantee. It seems every thirtieth of fortieth home the owner is in such a state that I could see them being tempted to take advantage of t he money back. I would stay away from money back promises Although there is a potential selling strength to it. I don’t see it as necessary if you do good work. It just exposes you to unreasonable people, and they exist!

Jared, do you think the northeastern mentality is different from that of the deep south?
Personally, I’ve only had a few people over the years invoke a “streak free” guarantee or “you owe nothing”. I’ve always been able to resolve them and retain the customer if I feel they were reasonable and not completely petty.

I hear where your coming from, but, don’t take this as negative, but I want to be considered bold by everyone, most of all by all my customers. I want them to realize that once they use me, they can throw their phone book, Google, or any other method that they use to find a window cleaning away.

I once went to do a job for a Convention center in Town, and the guy told me the last 3 window cleaners they had were horrible, and he was only calling me because his boss wanted another bid. When he saw my water fed poles, he was like, they wont work, that is what the other company used, (later I found out they used them dry, didn’t even run water through them), I told him no problem, I’m not giving you a bid, I’m just going to do the Job. I said when we are done if you don’t like it, no problem, we’ll shake hands and leave. If you are satisfied, we will leave with a smile and hand you an invoice for $1800.00. He said go for it, but you’re wasting your time with those poles.

My helpers said what if he doesn’t pay you, I said them I’ll just lose what I’m paying ya’ll today and a little bit of my time. No biggie. Needless to say, he was extremely satisfied, and we did that job every 1/4 for 6 years, until the economy went down. Now we still do it, just once a year.

I don’t mind risk’s, I try to make every decision based on, what is the worst thing that can happen, then I say, can I survive the worst thing that can happen, if so, then I go for it. This method is not for everyone, but it keeps my fire lit, and works great for me.



That’s exactly how I feel. Right now, I’m a one man show (well, me + my new WFP). So if they refuse to pay, I’ve just lost time. Which does stink, cause time = money, but it won’t break me. I think ultimately the money-back guarantee will open more doors because people like risk free.

I do agree with everyone who mentioned the stipulation that I should be informed of the issue and given the opportunity to resolve it.

Honestly, I know I’m providing a great service and nearly 100% of my customers to this point have been totally satisfied and pleased with my work. So I am confident in the service I’m providing, and I believe I can market that confidence by offering a money back guarantee.

This has been a great discussion so far. I’d love to here more from everyone! Anyone have an experience to share?

Sounds like a great discussion topic for a Sunday dinner. :wink:

Charlie and Dan, since we haven’t used the money back option I am hesitant to say it would work well or not, it is simply intriguing. I would want to hear from more companies that use that method. If I was a Property Manager I would like to hear money back as part of the sale. I wouldn’t be concerned about professionals taking advantage of a money back guarantee. I am hesitant to think that some, few but still some, home owners and small store front commercial jobs would find an excuse to get away with not paying. Heck, we have customers who cancel services now do it AFTER we have cleaned their windows. It is essentially the taking us for the service! I think some peoples attempt to get money back would be regardless of the service quality. Perhaps I am miss judging how people really function but it seems every once in a while we run into the most irritable picky cheap minded home owners. With that we very rarely are not able to resolve the issue and make them happy. If they could get their money back I wouldn’t be surprised if they short circuited the followup and just demanded their money back.
Perhaps your sales approach is better! I am open to be convinced by more input. There are people lacking integrity out there but maybe your increase in sales overcomes any loss. You say NO LOSSES though. I am intrigued by that.

Satisfaction guarantee seems to work for us. If they are not happy we’ll do what we can to satisfy them. No mention of refunds but will take care of any issues without question. I can remember only two incidents in many years where we were called on that. The complaints were legitimate and we took care of them.