Ughhh...Gave Out My First Refund Today

I cleaned a customers home back in September, and when we finished she was ecstatic…she even threw in a $30 tip. One week later she called back complaining that her windows looked dirty again. I promptly went to her home and rewashed five exterior windows using different soap combinations, including plain water.

The issue was that she had casement windows and there appeared to be dust on the outsides. After re-cleaning the exterior five windows, I told her to call me back in a week and let me know how they looked. Well a month later now she called back, and I revisited with her today. The dust was now forming on the interior and exterior side of the glass. All five windows that I re-washed were dirtied in the same manner. The dust would just wipe off, or transfer to another part of the pane.

I figured it was something to do with static or her windows in particular.

After hesitating a bit, I decided the best thing to do was fully refund her cleaning, including the extra tip. Grabbed a blank check and poof - $300 out the window…literally. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but so goes my zero risk guarantee.

How bout you guys? Have you ever had to refund anyone yet? Any ideas on what caused the glass to act so static like?

My guarantees are worded; “you DO NOT PAY until your satisfied” and “NO CHARGE until you’re satisfied.”

“Until” is the key word, but the emphasis is on the NO CHARGE and DO NOT PAY.

Sure it may seem like ‘slight of hand,’ but worse case I only lose the money of labor by re-doing the job.

Were you using one of the many WC soaps that claim to be anti-static?

What was her reaction? Did she begin by mentioning something about your guarantee or was she amazed at your respecting it?

I dont think that is your fault. if every window is spotless when you leave the property you have done your job. its not your fault her windows get dirty faster than others. What if a customer had sprinklers that hit the windows and they got water spots after you cleaned them, or their dogs slobber all over the doors, whats the difference.
Try to get her on a monthly service agreement for a discounted price.

but hey at least she knows your guarantee is no bs, she will probably refer you to a friend

Good for you Shawn.

I would suggest telling the refund story to your clients, and explaining the incredibly rare characteristics of her glass, and how you honored your guarantee as promised. It’s a powerful marketing tool for you, and it cost $300. Give it some legs and let it run around a bit :slight_smile:

+1 she should of felt guilty for taking all the money back.

Sometimes rain will wash down a wall and go right on the window because the drip guards don’t work. I’m curious, did she ask for the refund?

I am calling BS on her part!. You went back recleaned 5 no biggy…then called back after a month?!, and says they are dirty… of course they will be dirty its been a month…ever seen a car outside for a month?! plus you said call back after a week, she waited a month!? You did your part.

I agree about it being too long, but you honored your word and stood by your gaurantee. That is worth something. It is worth something to her too, and she can’t say anything bad about you at all. Good for you man.

Using a rubber squeegee against glass causes static, eh?

But not a pure water scrub abd rinse…

Zappos has customers like this all the time. They buy boots, wear them for special occasions, and then send them back for a full refund.


Because they can.

Zappos directors insist that these “abuse” stories drive honest, moral shoppers to take a risk on their products, too, knowing that their guarantee is for real. The extra revenue more than makes up for the fraudulent abuse.

Kind of like this example, too: window cleaning inside and... | Review of Paneless Perfection Inc | HomeStars

It proves that you are a man of your word, and trustworthy. Trust is massive. You just bought yourself some. Now leverage it.


Gave back money once, actually it was this year. Our situations are different, while I will agree you went above and beyond you should have that client for a long time, our story wasn’t the same, we couldn’t agree on who was firing who!

Pretty sure I over used commas, but oh well!

I can understand the part about her windows being dirty a month later, but initally I did go back one week later and the windows had this static dust - both inside and out.

My guarantee is worded the same as others - satisfaction or you don’t pay.
Well she was satisfied initially, and then a week later was not. I quickly realized that the defect was due to her windows, or geographic location, or whatever - and not me. Therefore, I would have rather refunded her then hear back from her a million times wanting the windows recleaned every week.

Know when to hold 'em - know when to fold 'em.

I actually felt good driving home, knowing I honored my guarantee, whether she was impressed or not I do not know. She did come out and ask for the refund versus the re-cleaning.

I do not agree how she waited a month, and then all of a sudden wanted a solution. Especially during busy season.
I thought about calling her up and getting a testimonial from her regarding the refund. She probably wouldn’t go for it, but nonetheless I can now use it to my advantage.

But regarding the static issue - what gives? I even used plain water on one window, and they all appeared the same.

I agree with the whole “They were clean when you left, so no refund” school of thought. I would have explained though that some windows get dirty quick, depending on where they are located and the environment, and would offer her discounted regular service because of that.

My guarantee is basically if the client doesn’t like it, they don’t pay for it. If there’s something that i know looks like crap, or will not come out to my standards, I will let the client know, make an attempt to clean it, and if they don’t like it I won’t charge them for those particular windows. I haven’t had to refund a penny because of that

I smell a soap war brewing…

You people are sure coming across some strange windows. This weekend I have to do eaves and windows at a previous customer who has all new windows. At first I told her good but then she went on explaining these windows have UV on the outside and your not supposed to use windex or vineger. I only use a bit of dish soap but I’m just going to do what I can and then I will get paid. No refund either.

I guess in a way she abused the layout of our guarantee, but I chose the lesser of two evils. It’s not like I want to retain a client whose windows never look good after I get done with them. She could have done way worse with bad word of mouth, now what can she say? Oh geez, my windows looked so great and then a week later not so much, and then a month later I got a full refund from the owner. I bought my way out of bad word of mouth.

The one thing that struck a nerve more than anything, was when I left she said " Well, thanks for trying."
I actually mumbled a few choice words right after that. I was thinking, hey lady - I don’t try - your windows did look great…remember?
Her words just struck a nerve…ughhh.

I have had SOOOO many great clients this year, and only three issues to deal with. This being one fo them, another due to mosquito fog spraying, and the other due to hard water issues. These customers make me soooo grateful for my other customers. My other customer are ectstatic, I have one lady whose windows I am doing this Fall who has literally landed me thousands in work just from referalls. I am sending her flowers out of the blue just because.

UV on the outside? What’s that?