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To expect my window cleaner to clean ALL my windows?

(56 Posts)
janerowena Wed 02-Apr-14 13:57:01

My usual window cleaner is currently away in Afghanistan, a reserve for the Air Force. He is a good-looking charmer, a local lad, really lazy and not very bright but everyone uses him because they all know him/his mother/his wife and DBH plays cricket with him so I can't face getting rid of him. He gives the windows a mere spit and polish and just takes the worst off. He always misses out one window round the side and I have got fed up with reminding him about it, so simply refused to give him more money when he asked for it, and if I am out when he comes round he often misses out another couple that are harder for him to get to, due to plants.

So his replacement turned up this morning. He cleaned meticulously at the front, I was in heaven and wondering how to get him to stay on instead of James. Dreaming of offering him more money.

Then he came round the back. He didn't clean the French windows, and neither of the two back upstairs Velux widows. I was stunned. The ones he has done are excellent, but I certainly shan't offer him more money!

But then I thought, maybe it's about the money? Should I be offering more? I am paying £15, but it only takes about half an hour at most and they work their way up the lane from house to house, so aren't wasting time.

felice Tue 08-Apr-14 14:38:59

Agree with susieb755, my X had a contract cleaning company which included window cleaning. He had complaints about flattened plants when the ladders had to be stood in flower beds also the cleaners, and windows half covered in climbing roses, almost impossible to clean and then complaints. velux windows no way, that is on the roof, and no insurance for that. We lived in the N.E. Scotland and his insurance only covered below certain wind speeds, so lots of days of no work.
He would never ever take business for inside windows, far too many risks, even wet carpets could be claimed for.
I am sure susieb755 and I could tell you a lot more. Respect please folks they may not be heart surgeons but they are doing a job.

janerowena Tue 08-Apr-14 18:07:15

Our velux windows are low, not high. I wouldn't expect anyone to go up to above second floor height on just a ladder!

It's good to have some info from the other side. But I do wish my window cleaner had told me all that, and it's pretty obvious I'm not the only one who was unaware of them not being supposed to use a ladder above ground floor height. We still have builders in this area working from ladders to fix rooves, and I used ladders to prune back roses and climbers from great heights when I was a gardener. I suppose if they use the pole cleaning system, it will cost them far more in equipment wear, but all they need is perhaps a stepladder. If that.

felice Tue 08-Apr-14 22:12:01

I am sure if you employ a builder you have a contract with them, which means their terms and conditions and insurances are all written in. Would you be prepared to sign a contract with a window cleaner,,,, I don't think so,,,,,,
Surely velux windows are always set into a sloping space, that is their function.?
you can go up a ladder as high as you want, I hope you are going to pay for the lost earnings of the window cleaner you insist on climbing up to clean your windows.
When X had the company it was above first floor windows not ground floor.

Purpledaffodil Thu 10-Apr-14 19:53:07

Seven largish 1950s size windows , French doors and two patio doors £25. I thought that was standard these days, but live in Surrey where anything service based seems to be sky high because rents/ house prices are high and people have to live.
Someone else made the point that it is a popular recession occupation and I think that is the case round here. Also gardening, although that takes more equipment and hopefully knowledge.
Have no head for heights and hate grubby windows, so no b. Option but to pay up.

janerowena Fri 11-Apr-14 15:33:43

Or we could all just have dusty windows!

And do you know, I didn't have a contract with my last builder, two years ago. He came highly recommended, so just let him get on with it! All I have is his written quote, and receipt for payment.

Maybe that's what we need from window cleaners, a written quote and statement of what exactly they are prepared to do. And a receipt.