Won’t believe we didn’t scratch her window

We have been accused of scratching two windows in a condo. We have cleaned this person’s condo 3 times and never used a scraper. We’ve only used our microfibre scrubber, white pad, and squeegee. We knew the window was scratched but it was so obvious we thought the owner knew so we never said anything (our only real mistake). It was first job of the day, clean water, tools and towels. Homeowner claimed she’d never seen the scratches before. (the low sun shines right in that window this time of year). We reasoned with her that we didn’t use any methods that scratched it, that no other windows are scratched, and we never once used a scraper. I can with a clear conscience say it wasn’t us. I have 20 years experience with all kinds of windows. This is my first situation like this. I get why she accuses us, even telling the truth it sounds like we’re lying.

My question is, do you have suggestions on dealing with someone who is unreasonable and just doesn’t believe you?

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This has never happened to me but I would try to assure her that we’re on her side… I go over there to inspect and would tell her I don’t know how that happened since these are the only tools you used (show her) and ask her to try them out on her window.

When she realizes she can’t scratch it with your tools I would recommend to her services she can employ to remove that scratch (they have special tools to polish the scratch out) and inform her that likely the scratch was already there since builders use low grade glass.

When all else fails…Id send her my insurance guy to inspect and tell her himself that this wasn’t caused by us.


Point out all shit wrong with their glass/house, preferably before you tough it.
-I take the approach of “Im sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately, I have to point THIS out, before I work on this window…”


Thanks for your reply. We did inspect the window and talk to her in person. She very plainly had expected us to just say we’d replace the window and refused to entertain any other idea of how it could have been damaged, even refusing to think that the previous homeowner could have done it. She also said that since her door window was foggy (a broken seal) we must have done that as well. The problem is she was plainly unreasonable from the beginning.

The biggest lesson we’ve taken so far is that we’re going to absolutely point out every problem area we see as soon as we see it next time.


yeah unfortunately there are all kinds of people out there… maybe she really does believe its your fault or maybe she’s just trying to get a discount. Theres nothing more you can do. Replacing a window is seriously bananas… if anything id look into those scratch remover kits. Good thing this hasn’t happened more often I guess lol


I have no experience with how good those scratch removal kits are, but this window looks like someone slammed it with a dull hockey skate for a good ten minutes then for good measure used a single 0 steel wool along the bottom edge.

!!! Yep !!!

  • get in the mindset of pointing out what shit you are dealing with!
  • And I realize there are going to be people who want to ‘lick their bawlz’ and boast about how their ‘high end’ costomers arent filthy.
  • they are, too.
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How bad is the scratch? All glass shows scratches - if you get the light to hit it just right you will see it. Heavy scratches means something hard fell against or was scraped across it, light scratches could be dirt and grit dragged across the glass. For this reason it is best to use a well saturated scrubber mop to displace the debris. At any rate, how bad was the scratch? Also some folks are looking for someone to blame.

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The old shaggy song, “Wasn’t me!”
But seriously new scratches look different that older scratches, old scratches you can see the edges they have weathering, where as new scratches will grow over several days to weeks depending on temperatures and hey will generally have crisp edges.

These days I don’t even bother to point out scratches I had this house a few weeks ago that had deep scratches covering most of the glass, I made the judgement that these were far too obvious not for the customer to be aware of and all it would do is make them feel bad for how terrible their glass was.

As I don’t carry a scraper I will refuse all claims of scratched glass even would go as far as launch legal action against anyone claiming I scratched their glass and sue them for defamation, if they made any of their assumptions public.


Yup, I inspect all the glass beforehand when i price it out. I point out all defects in advance of doing the actual work.

Really ??? How long do you spend on your estimates ???

This is it right here. No way glass gets scratch without using a blade. We didn’t use blades , so no way they can get scratched ? Here let me show you how we cleaned each and every wondow.

Yes , while I’m cleaning I will point out scratches, or anything else they might want to blame me for.
I don’t need to point out every single scratch on every single window. Just once , an then let her know no possible way it’s from me. Why , because a strip washer and a squeegee can’t do this.

If I see something on a estimate I point it out , but I’m not wasting my time inspecting every single window.

That’s just plain crazy , and wasting my time.

I remember a store front customer tried to blame me for scratches on her door. I just looked at her like she had 90 million heads , and walked away. Just plain crazy.
Never got blamed at a residential, and I’ve seen Tons of scratches in people’s glass.


FACT: Any builder or window installer guy will acknowledge that manufactured glass comes in all kinds of conditions. They pick the grade and it impacts the price.


I’ve been accused of this as well and know EXACTLY why the homeowner believed it was me. I noticed the scratch the very 1st time I cleaned the windows. You could tell it occured when the place was being built. It was definitely because of the brick layers. Likely dropped a piece of brick and it etched a brown/redish mark on the glass.

Why did she not mention anything unless likely the 10th year of cleaning? Well, I’d always cleaned the windows in May. On this particular year it was in July. Well, the sun in July is positioned in a totally different area. It just perfectly highlighted the scratch whereas in May the sun did nothing. By July the windows were dirty and she never saw the scratch.

I tried so hard to convince her but she felt I was lying. I paid to replace her window and told her that I could no longer service her window cleaning needs because I could not take the chance being blamed for something I did not do.

It was a very frustrating situation to go through.

I used those white pads once, it put fine scratches on a window and promptly went in the trash.

I updated our estimate to include a clause that says

'** WAIVER: (company name) guarantees your 100% satisfaction with our services. Therefore, (company name) practices the safest, most efficient cleaning methods available. However (company name) is not responsible for any damages that are pre-existing and do not respond to standard cleaning methods such as scratches, cracks, broken seals, moisture or other corrosion between glass panes, or hard water damage. Dry rotted plastic parts or paint present on windows, tracks, frames, screens, blinds, shutters may also break during standard window cleaning procedure and are included in pre-existing conditions. Construction clean-up, such as paint or mortar removal is not included in the standard window cleaning packages and requires a separate waiver for the use of scraping tools. Due to the wide spread problems related to poor quality heat-treated glass, (company name) will not be held liable for any scratches on any heat-treated glass during window cleaning. Reasonable measures are taken to verify surfaces prior to cleaning however some pre-existing conditions may only become apparent during/after cleaning. By accepting the estimate, the customer agrees that they have read and accepted the above terms and conditions.

I trust that this will be the end of ‘you scratched my window now pay for it!’ situations.


This is smart.

yup this came after a lady tried pinning damage on us. We cleaned a railing with squeegee and soap and it turned out to have huge defects in the glass (vertical 2 inch haze stripes, micro scratches). We were stumped but of course she was quick to blame our ‘chemicals’ (told her, nope. just soap.), our squeegee or steel wool (which we brought out only AFTER she noticed the stripes and we couldn’t figure out how to get it off any other way…steel wool was basically a Hail Mary). She wouldn’t quit. Her defence was 'it didn’t look like that before!". Yeah. Cause she’s never cleaned the glass before…she later admitted.

Luckily glass manufacturers told us this wasn’t caused by us. Would you believe even after convincing her with online material that she has defective glass - she still expected us to replace it because the defects don’t bother her… it’s the little part where we used steel wool ‘and damaged her glass’ (as she claimed) that bothers her?! Sent her an article that steel wool doesn’t damage glass and reminded her the steel wool came out only after she noticed that spot on her glass already. After that she stopped corresponding. Didn’t help her case that her neighbours (did them same day, they live in a similar unit) were happy with our work…but man did she push to have us replace the railing at any cost…

this situation got me so paranoid I basically summoned my inner lawyer self to write an air tight disclaimer on all estimates to avoid crazies like this…give me a break…what kind of human being does that to someone? That would have been a 15-25k expense for our family owned operation meanwhile she’s going on about how she’s a single mom (uh…in her late 40’s and no sign of a child living there) in a 2 mil dollar home and she ‘can’t live with’ looking at her railing so we need to take pity on her and replace it

A few years ago we were called by a painter to scrape / clean an assisted living community. They oversprayed on a few hundred windows. The windows were probably 20-30 years old at the time.

It was this time of year (summer slump), so I sent a crew over to do them. They spent a week there, and got it done.

A year later the painter calls me up and tells me that one of the tenants noticed a scratch on one of their windows. Luckily I had a scratch waiver with the painter. I literally told him that there’s nothing I can do about it, and that I wouldn’t even go down to take a look because then I would have the other 79 units in the community asking me about every nick, scrape and paint spot on their glass.

After a few back and forths about it, he understood. Not sure exactly what happened after, but because of my waiver, we weren’t liable.

Waivers are key. We won’t even take a scraper out of the van without one.

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