Snapped a little today on a customer

Well business has been ok. Nothing to scream about. Gutter cleaning has been holding me over an getting the bills paid. Anyway I charge $55 per level to clean gutters, example. 1 level home = $55, 2 level home = $110.00 an so on. I took advice from Chris and schedule with a 3 day window. This allows me to bang out many homes in 1 day then just going an doing 1 or 2 per 3 days. Anyway got a call from a customer, told me he had 2 levels. But he has 3 levels. Just the way the home looks from the front, looks like 2, but the back is 3. There is a 3 rd lower level over the back section of the house, it’s an attached garage that the customer has to drive around and down a slope to get into. The customer is not home. I call the guy and get no answer. So I start on the lower level. I hate stuff like this cause now the customer has a window to complain. He thinks it’s 2 I know it’s 3 and we will most likly argue. The guy comes home while I’m at the job and on the roof. I come down, we talk I tell him the cost is $165.00 he hits the roof (no pun). We argue and argue. I still have my ladder set up and decide I’m done. I’m not arguing anymore. When I get in this mood. I don’t talk much. If I start to talk I get more angry and can be prone to violence. So I keep my mouth shut more to keep myself out of trouble. I’m not 18 anymore. Anyway the guy keeps hawking and hawking. The guy is on the ground, yelling how I am ripping him off. Once again I keep my mouth shut but felt like dropping my bucket on his head. Anyway I’m setting up my ropes for my decent and I hear his voice close to me so I turn around. He came up my ladder and is now standing behind me yelling. I lose it. I stand up (still tied off) grab his forearm and walk him to the edge of the back of the home (the highest part). I tell him. LOOK OVER!!!. LOOK DOWN!!!. YOU THINK THAT FALL IS WORTH $165.00? YOU THINK I WANT TO RISK STANDING UP HERE ON THIS EDGE OF YOUR ROOF FOR $50? IF YOU HAD THE BALLS TO DO THIS YOURSELF, YOU WOULD RIGHT? With that the guy cools off and starts saying he was sorry. I don’t speak. He tells me he is going to pay me and I tell him it has to be CASH. NO CHECKS. Anyway I felt great when the time came for him to get back on the ladder and come down. Took him 10 minutes to get the balls to step over. When he did get back down he went inside and got the cash. I did not even say thank you. Just took the cash and left. Some people drive me nuts. They want CHEAP NO COST SERVICE. Even when they know the job is a high risk job. Just amazing. Well I’ll be surpised if this guy calls next year. I’m sure I will be very busy that time, if it even happens.

Damm thats crazy… At least you got paid.

I believe I would have packed up and went on to the next job. I don’t like starting a job unless we arrive on an agreed upon price.

In the future, you or anyone else in this situation should do this.

Agreed job price is 2 levels of eaves for X amount.

Arrive at job and count 3 levels?

Talk to customer if available, otherwise clean just the lower two levels.

When you see/talk to the customer, mention that while you are here you can also take care of the third level for X amount. If you can’t clear it with the customer, just take care of what was agreed to from the beginning. They have no reason to raise a stink. If they call you back on another day for the third level, charge accordingly.

I have learned that the hard way too

wow that is smokin! i have only been in this business a short time,and
have had a client not home a few times, and now that i think back on it,
there was always a situation that arose from it, sometimes mabey they do it on purpose to save themselves $,one time with an over the phone quote
the person haggeled with me on a per pane price and i held my ground,they went ahead and scheduled with me,only to not be home when i got there
i looked around left a card and went on to the next job,well they call back and asked if i looked around at the house, i told them “yes” they were home, just not answering the door but they continued to grind my price,thinking i was going to fold,some peoples children! new costomer,not home no service
thats my new motto

Good for you jugg, I seem to get alot of customers that do the low gutters themselves and therfore should get a substantial break on price,BS. I kindly explain that a fall from a 1 story gutter will probably hurt, but they will still sleep in bed tonight. A fall from 2 or 3 stories will be quite a different story(get it). The most I have ever knocked off for this is $25 and this house had mostly low gutters.

$165 seems a little low though, so when he call next season I’d go $200-$225 or sell him Rain Flow for like $15 a foot then wash your hands of this P.I.T.A., or don’t hold on so tight next time!

“Customer Service” sometimes needs a visual.

I get the feeling the visual of seeing the ground while being held, firmly, by an angry man I just yelled at…has a certain…


Such an impact is hardly forgotten. Juggs, it think it safe to assume this ‘man’ will think long and hard about some behaviour modifications.

While many may read this and form an opinion…I read this and see the long term value of such an experience. It is possible you have just ‘trained’ an A-Hole to be more thoughtful when around others.

I owe you a beer.

I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t call the police.

For what? There were no threats made. He came up on my ladder, which for insurance reasons is a NO NO. He walked up behind me and started ranting and yelling. I could just as easy turn this the other way on him and tell the police he was going to try and toss me off the roof but noticed I was tied off and gave up. Who’s to say either way what happened? It would be my word against his and I have over 200 customers who can attest to the fact that I am extreamly nice to all of them. He would have to hope he had a neighbor looking out the window when he an I were both on the roof. And even then looking 200 ft across a street an another 28ft up on a roof an your going to be able to tell the cops what happened on the roof? Can’t hear anything we said to each other. As far as the neighbor is concerned I could have been showing him a problem with his gutters and thats why he was yelling. Calling the police would get him no place fast.

Except that the original confrontation is recorded here in cyberspace. Never underestimate a customer that’s a jerk. I got a call from angie’s list once telling me I had an unfavorable report about my service. It turned out to be someone who I gave an estimate to and she wanted to haggle over price and I said the price is firm. I guess she didn’t like it. Of course that isn’t what she put on angie’s list. Some people aren’t worth the effort.

Question: When he came back to pay you was he wearing a new pair of clean pants?

Alberto Einstein

Oh sh*&! I can only imagine what was going through this guys head as you walked him to the edge of his roof in the middle of an argument.


Tony is that hard to get off Angie’s list once they put it on there?.. Sounds like border line Libel, since she could potentially be harming your business with a false story.

Although I’m accurate with profitable bids in spite of my status as a hybrid zombie effected by the fall-out of California’s Tax implosion; There are times when a customers hears my competitive bidding utterance and everything stops. A silent clock starts ticking and I feel my eyes glaze over. I can hear the depths of the customers belly start to rumble and I tell myself, “you must stay focused.” Count down the poker face clock. Four seconds go by, then five and just when I think the customer may speak, they exhale and adjust for comfort along the beam of the door. I’m almost there, I tell myself. Just a few seconds longer and I know the customer will break, the unspoken bid war vow to not speak first, will be mine along with the prize!.. A few seconds pass and I beat the previous customer stare down record by 2.5 seconds… But then it happens; my knees unconsciously wobble. I go to distract her eyes from batting down and my attempt at a hearty smile goes awry. The cheek bone flexes as my mouth smacks for water and I settle abruptly with a frown… The wobble in my leg surges through my spine and into my larynges. The level of deafening silence is lifted, the tables have turned. They got me…!

Man thats crazy that he actually came up your ladder! At least you got the cash

I see Larry’s point re: police. Once you put your hands on the man that is a “battery” by the penal code. There is also the implied intent to harm or threaten him by leading him to the edge and showing him the ground. I’m not saying there would be charges filed if the District Attorney (or who ever is in your area) reviewed the case. The man could say he felt threatened by your gestures and that’s all Larry was referring to I believe. Doesn’t matter if there were no witnesses and your 200 clients (character witnesses) weren’t there to actually say you didn’t threaten him. I understand frustration, but putting your hands on the guy 3 floors up could have ended up badly had he pulled away from you in anger and fell. Not saying the jerk didn’t deserve it, just saying, it’s best to keep things verbal. All in all, I’m glad it worked out and you got paid.

Wanna really irk him,send him a 10 dollar gift card to starbucks,after a blow up like that it will make him feel like a jerk

Dude, that is so core man,
I can’t believe that…nailed him when you asked if a fall that high was worth 165.00 bucks…However as soon as that guys started to get aggressive with me, I would have loaded up and left and tell him that he wasn’t worth being my client.