What’s up, gang? Time for another edition of Ask T Squeegee, where I answer your questions in the most awesome magazine in the universe, American Window Cleaner Magazine! If you have a  question you want answered, send me an email at [email protected], and I will answer it here.  

Alexander Clay asks, 

“I’m new-ish to the game after recently coming back to the trade after doing it for years and decided to pick it up again to make some extra cash. I’m getting as much work as I need, but I’ve run into a frustrating issue. Brand new squeegee rubbers are curling on the ends of my channel after installation. I’ve pulled them out and reinstalled them on my channels, and still, the same issue. Is it possible I’m just using a bad brand of squeegee rubber? They are a roll of rubber that I purchased at home depot. Thoughts? Thanks.”

Well, Alexander….that’s not “great” to hear. But you’ve answered your own questions. Most big box stores carry the tools you are looking for, yes. However, they are homeowner-grade tools and supplies. It may work for Karen to squeegee excess water off her glass shower doors in between uses, but they aren’t meant for the applications you want to use them for. You are providing a professional service and should use professional supplies and tools. The quality of the rubber you’re getting at home depot is not the quality of rubber you will get from your window cleaning supplier. I suggest going somewhere like  www.windowcleaner.com and getting some rubber there to help you give the professional results you want and your customers deserve. I hope that helps, and best of luck to you! 

Andrew Richards asks, 

“Have you ever told a customer to go “F” themselves and gotten away with it?”

I am extremely professional and always try to come at problems in that manner to give the customer the best service I can provide. However, in the last few years, there have been about seven customers who were terrible people. I’m afraid of bad reviews, which keeps my behavior in check, but I’ve let loose when I felt I couldn’t hold it in. I recently met a guy that says he has no online presence and just says what he wants because it doesn’t affect him. And doesn’t  care about telling customers how he feels…” 

First off, Andrew…. BOY, HAVE I! But I must admit I’ve never done so. Trust me, I have wanted to on many occasions in the almost twenty years I’ve been cleaning windows. I have always employed the “Kill them with kindness” strategy. After all these years, I’ve gotten pretty good at judging someone’s worthiness of me working for them. Which weeds out most of these interactions; however, some clearly slip through the cracks.

In most cases, I  provide the service, get paid, and then I am conveniently unavailable the next time they call. I had a customer I had been working with for almost ten years, and one day out of nowhere decided that they wanted to be very nasty and demanding. She started screaming at me like I was one of her children because I didn’t clean her screens. She never, in ten years, asked for it nor mentioned it in the two hours I had spent cleaning her home. I politely went down the ladder, put it and my tools in the truck, and went home. I left her with six dirty windows and the rest of the glass cleaned, free of charge. This is very important in case you find yourself in a similar position where you can’t finish because they are being nasty. Don’t charge them for what you’ve done. They can’t give a bad review of something they didn’t pay for. At least, that’s the way I see it. As far as not having an online presence, those days are fading fast. The more people use the internet, the more you need to have a place online for people to find you, as phone books are going the way of the dinosaurs. Just kill them with kindness, Andrew. You can sleep well at night knowing you didn’t stoop to their level and have to worry about your reputation. And you’re only out a lousy customer. I hope that helps.