When the owner wants a "cheap" job not the right job.. what to do?

just got done with my first storefront. it was sooooo easy compared to resi work. The only thing that kinda ticked me off was the water stains. I’m sure they thought that those would be gone after i was done but, theres no waya squeegee is gonna get those off. So whats left is gnarley water marks from a previous window cleaner half a**ed job and inability to touch-up the frame and cause weeping sills. It went unnoticed for so long that it stained like that. Now it looks like i did a poor job. Im not proud to say i cleaned those windows because they still need a lot of TLC. Scraping, water stain removal and finisher application.

I was tempted to just do the water stain removal but no way jose. I caught myself.

Any ideas on what to do? I almost wanna just drop the account if they dont want water stain removal. At the last minute the owner called and asked me to the back doors and i tacked on 15$ and he said no. I ended up doing them anyway cause they give me 50% off at the resteraunt when i eat there.

The job was fun though.

Gosh, I wouldn’t think of dropping them just because of the condition of the windows. You can only do so much. I have some accounts with beat up, scratched up windows, hard water stains, broken seals, etc. But I still do them because I’m being paid to do them.

Do I care what they look like?? Well, yes, but I know (and they know) there are limits to how clean they will end up. I’m happy with the service I provide, but I’m not a miracle worker. So it depends if you are in business to do good work and make money or if you are out to make every window perfect and having to subsequently charge every business and homeowner to do so.

I would just let them know that the windows and sills have hard water stains and won’t clean up with ordinary cleaning methods. But if they would like, … you could fix it for x amount. That educates them about the condition of their windows and gives them an option to make them even better. But if I gave up every account where the windows or sills or whatever have problems, I wouldn’t have much business.

What makes you think a previous WC’er’s lack of touch-up caused stains?

Couldn’t there be other reasons?

possibly, but it looks very distinct. I’m not gonna drop them of course. I just dont like knowing that i can make those windows look great and they choose to just let them be the way they are.

How bad do you want/need this job. Tbh - Personally if I’m in need of filling that inparticular route day, I’ll jump thru hoops to get it. It’s somewhat residual and if I have to spend an extra 30/60 minutes to get their monthly business I do. I always let them know what I did and say something down the lines of “I don’t mind doing this extra work valued at $ ? ? to keep you as a monthly customer” I’ve had several dozen accounts just like this and the majority have stayed with me and were appreciative…

Personally I’d hook em up!!

Yeah but to do water stain removal those chemicals aren’t cheap. maybe i will hook em up on the worst window they have. I’m doing the gig for dirt cheap already. Show em’ what could be though or just put a little bit of effort into it each time I go. Theres A lot of scraping that needs to be done on the mirros inside. also.


How much would it cost to remove the hard water stains and are you sure they would come off?
If you know how to get the stains off for sure, please tell me. I don’t know how.
I am probably one of those mickey mouse window cleaners that was doing the job before you.

If the customer doesn’ want to pay for it, why push it?
I think you are too involved with the idea of doing a good job.

Sprinkler systems are a usual culprit for hard water deposits. I dont think scraping is the best way to go about removing hard water deposits. I use a product called Titan A-1 hard water/stain remover. I works really well from my experience. Yeah its not cheap, but its not going to burn a whole in your pocket if you price the job accordingly. Don’t give up the job, keep on it. FYI, you know you might be doing that job cheaper than you think. You may think you’re making out on a 50% discount on food. But really? how much does it really cost the restaurant to make your favorite dish? Answer:Pennies I may want to charge full price then decide where I really want to eat next.
Food for thought :slight_smile:
Cheers!

Merv- your right but, I just dont want to tell someone that i clean this resteraunts windows and have them go by one day and be like “wow those look like doo doo”

Jet- I use dri-wash. its a product my buddy Lovell sells. Actually talking about trying to get it out to window cleaners. it works great for most water stains. Doesnt get the real deep deep ones like a shower door or something but, i also havent tried it with a rotary tool.

It’ll take me maybe an extra 5 minutes to do it by hand. Plus everytime i go in there i get 50% off. I eat there often so I dont feel like i’m getting ripped.

Merv- your right but, I just dont want to tell someone that i clean this resteraunts windows and have them go by one day and be like “wow those look like doo doo”

Jet- I use dri-wash. its a product my buddy Lovell sells. Actually talking about trying to get it out to window cleaners. it works great for most water stains. Doesnt get the real deep deep ones like a shower door or something but, i also havent tried it with a rotary tool.

It’ll take me maybe an extra 5 minutes to do it by hand. Plus everytime i go in there i get 50% off. I eat there often so I dont feel like i’m getting ripped.

if i see something fixeable i mention to the owner that i can work on it a little bit each time i come to clean, but it will take X amount of cleans to get it looking good. they like this ,and it means you waste little time on the extra effort and go away each time thinking of a fresh approach to the problem. also it ties them in to you,with a sort of loyalty

Thats actually what i was planning on. But i gotta go back there and get that water stain off. Its erking me just thinking about it. It wont take but 5 minutes.

Theres some bad glue drippage on the mirrors inside and i figured i would focus on one part every time i do the inside.

Ya beat me to it Larry!

You say that the other window cleaner cause these “weeping sills”, I truely doubt it was his fault…so soap is going to leave a stain on the window frame…not one that can’t come off with just wiping it off. Are there stains on the top frames too or just the bottom? Are the frames just non painted aluminum?

If you plan to use chem to get these stains off, you may end up damaging the aluminum…if you wool it you may take off any protective coating that may be on it, and although it will look great when you are done, a week later its gonna look horrible and you will have to continue practically sanding those frames.

Any way you can post a picture? I bet its sillicates from the concrete wall thats causing the “weeping”, if you can get a shot of the top frame too?

Yeah i will take a shot. I got 1lb of cerium oxide in today and am very comfortable with it. Gonna take it there tomorrow use it on a small spot to ensure it doesnt cause further damage. Then i also have a finisher or sealer that i got from dri-wash.

green papaya, hi - Google Maps

Its the one that has the green on it in the middle. You can just barely make it out. But i’ll take some pics and post em.

They sell diamonds and Papaya?

Sincerely,

Robert Lamb

270-965-9673
Rob’s Window Cleaning
http://www.robswindowcleaning.com

Lol that would be a winning combo. No they actually expanded and took over the diamond place. So it’s all restaurant. I passed by today and the windows still look great minus the water stains on the one. Im gonna just do it up for free on the 15th. Maybe get a testimonial from em’ afterwards and take some pics of it all.

Ive done a few of these at ‘Burger Kings’… lots of expectations and no budget… I charge 50 a pane (5 x 5) with a signed release for dulling the glass. no one likes that, but its better that replacing the window. and if they need it they’ll do it… I use a standard 1’’ blade and ‘barkeeps’ to polish

This reminds me of something I read in Kevin Dubroski’s book excerpt. He said that window cleaners who are good usually have much higher standards then the customer. What a customer considers a great job a window cleaner might consider crap and continue detailing and wasted time. Then I read that blog some guy wrote about Detail Disorder. I never really thought of it like that and I suffer from detail disorder BADLY. Mind you there are worse things, like not knowing even how to clean a window efficiently, not knowing what a good job is.

I guess what I’m thinking is, do the job, collect the money. If he’s happy you should be also. I certainly wouldn’t cater to a cheap skate.

What is “dulling the glass” and what do you use the 1" blade for? My standard blade is 6" (Triumph.)

There is no such thing as a 1" blade. There is a 1.5" blade however. It’s OK as GANA makes the same mistake in their bulletins.