Would this be unethical?

She contacted you. The “cool” thing to do would be tell him. He may tell you to go ahead. He may have even given her your number. You could tell him that you are going to charge more and are willing to kick him a little something in appreciation of the fact that he gives you work and this was his job. Your work and your word are two things that only you can decide on their worth. If you feel guilty there is probably a reason. It’s not that the event happened but rather how you handle it that determines whether or not you are a back stabber.

“Let your conscience be your guide”

[I]“because glass looks it’s best when you can’t see it”[/I]

Well, I offered to either do the job and cut him a check for a couple hundred or to walk away. His choice. I told him that if I walk away, one of our competitors will get the job and neither of us would see another dime from them. If I do the job, at least he and I both get something out of the situation. He chose to let me do it and for me to pay him $200. I still think his feelings are hurt by the actions of the homeowner. He’s been doing their windows for around five years and he said they’ve never complained.

They never complained because until you were there they had nothing to compare the work they were getting to. You handled it well. Pay the guy, do the job and don’t feel bad about it. Hopefully the other guy will learn from this and improve the quality of his work so his feelings don’t get hurt again!

True. Its happened to me, and it was crushing! I thought I was the best of the best, but when it happened to me I was able to see the things that I was not doing that I should have been all along. Wake up call for sure.

Everyone could use a good wake-up call every once in a while. No one (except for me!) is perfect. you can’t please everyone everytime, but you sure can try and every once in a while it’s good to re-evaluate how you do things. Live and learn.

[QUOTE=TheWindowGuy;50485]I try to operate with integrity, or at least what I perceive integrity to be (integrity is doing the right thing when nobody is looking). I believe you do to, or you wouldn’t have told your friend about what happened.
I understand the desire to take on a new customer who is willing to pay for quality. That’s a tough thing to let go of. But, I believe it’s in your best interest to maintain a good working relationship with your friend.
I’ve gotten a lot of business through the relationships I’ve built in my industry. People have learned to trust me. There are currently 5 window cleaning companies I sub for. Some bring in paltry sums for me, some major. But, they all trust me, and that’s what’s important.
I’ve got close to $1,000 scheduled in sub work over the next 2 weeks alone. My phone has stopped ringing lately. So, I’d just have my few days of route work over the next 2 weeks were it not for sub work.

Additionally, one of the 5 companies that I sub for has talked about possibly selling their business to me in the future. They currently have more repeat residentials than I do…MUCH more.

I know there are folks who go after every buck, and who are out to bury the competition. That’s not me. There’s too much stress in that kind of life.

You have one other option, as I see it. Offer to “buy” that one customer from your friend, now that it seems he doesn’t want her. Tell him you’ll buy the customer, or decline her offer, his choice. You keep your integrity, he still trusts you, and you may even get to keep the customer.

Otherwise, I’d just decline her offer.[/QUOTE
Great advice ! (integrity is doing the right thing when nobody is looking).

I say follow the golden rule. [B]“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”[/B] Ask yourself honestly what you would expect him to do if the situation was reversed. If you think it would be the wrong thing to do it is probably because it is the wrong thing to do.

If you gave him your word, he should be able to trust you. JMO

Maybe this has been said, but I think you should simply put it in his hands. Your question of ethics means it isn’t illegal (illegal would be if you had a contract with him … and even that would be sticky). But in terms of “what the right thing is” I would let him decide. Personally, if a customer was wanting to change companies I would rather have that client go to a friend … but that’s just me.

Thanks for the continued suggestions guys, but we worked it out (see my last post above).

Well done Rob! Seems like a win/win.

Have you ever thought that you may just be better looking than him and
just be easier on the eyes to those home owners?

Non-compete agreements only exist between Employers and Employees.

If you are merely subcontracting from this business (or “person” as you refer to), you are simply one business doing business with another. It is understood that you are both active in the same industry, and as such compete for the same client base, and your knowledge of that industry is probably why your business has been asked to help out.

This customer does not belong to the entity you are subcontracting for unless there is a binding service contract, anymore than you belong to Wallmart because you once shopped there. If there was a contract, it has been breached by the residential customer who called you rather than her contracted cleaner.

Assuming no contract exists, it would be unethical for the entity you are subcontracting for to either express or imply a sense of ownership over this customer, much as it would also be unethical for this entity to express or imply a non-compete agreement with you, since you are not an employee.

In a nut shell, this is a free market economy and your loyalty belongs to you and your business ambitions, rather than to some entity you do business with on occasion.

Hey Rob,
I visited your web site and now I know why you were so concerned about doing the right thing. Very nice site.