The Green Couch Incident

We are having a bit of a debate in our office right now…

We washed a house last week and somehow the seal around a door must have been boken. Some of our solution made its way into the house and got some bleach speckles on a green couch.

What would you do in this situation?

Pay or not pay?

I say pay, most of my staff says dont pay.



Pay. But first check out “the cleantrust” website and look for a certified spot dying firm in your area. Might be able to repair it cheaper

You could also buy a kit and try it yourself. I know Jondon sells them. Not sure how it works with upholstery. If you go that route, send a female employee. Females have more cones in their eyes which helps them see shades of color better.

So it turns out they dont want us to pay… But I dont feel to good about that…

We are exploring furniture restoration options.

“Client must ensure that all doors and windows are properly closed prior to work. We are not responsible for damage to items/articles left within work areas or building leaks due to improper construction and/or weather-stripping”

as found in our proposal/contract. Have always preferred to make it right rather than try to beat someone over the head with a rolled up contract. Like you, I would want to do something to show that they are dealing with pros.

I would consider that but better yet because the couch probably has been in there house for awhile and the worth of it without counting sentimental value probably isn’t that much. And maybe you even gave them a reason to junk it and finally buy a new one… I would stick to what you know best and it’s window cleaning and Powerwashing. I would take a $100(just throwing a number at ya) off for there next cleaning where you now have a return customer who will be happy and also since cleaning is your business you’ll still make a few bucks profit anyway that day next year after you pay your worker.
This is how I would handle that so we always stay busy, my guys stay working, I still make a profit…and last but not least cleaning is my expertise and that’s what I know best— not being a couch salesman… Couch potato maybe…lol

Thats a good idea John… I may do just that once we get back up with them.

I say buy them a new couch.

Take this “spotted” green couch and place it in the new WCR warehouse.

Then get back to filming “Nation” videos on this “spotted” green couch.

I think that’s the best idea I’ve heard, but I would take it a step further by giving them a voucher for $xx.xx off of their next service and hand deliver it. Use your photoshop expertise and make it pretty. That way they are assured to use you again with no hard feelings and it would be a lot cheaper than buying a new couch. Even though it’s not your fault, it will show how much of a professional you are.

I heard a story about Sam Walton (When Walmart was a nice place to shop)… In Fayetteville, Arkansas he was working at one of the stores and he approached a manager at the customer service desk that was having a conversation with a customer. The customer was trying to return a shirt to Walmart that he bought at Kmart. The manager kept refusing for obvious reasons. Then Sam Walton, overhearing the conversation, walked up, opened the cash register and gave the man his money back and threw the shirt in the trash.

The manager was upset, but Sam Walton told him, “I am not going to lose a customer or risk negative comments about our store over $10.” I have always used that logic when dealing with customer. I know sometimes they are wrong, but consider if they are going to be a repeat customer and if their negative dealings with your company could negatively effect your business in that area. It takes 10 to 20 positive reinforced statements to undo the bad effects of 1 negative remark.

Bingo— Sam Walton obviously was no dummy…
Long story short. We did a condo complex a couple of weeks ago. This prop man. Company pays fast. We had two incidents in there with probably neither being our fault. One was a piece of viny was cracked. I have the faith in my main guy that he wouldn’t lie because he said that it was there. The prop man. Co sends me an email of the crack vinyl. It’s obvious there was a cutout for a wire done in there. The other thing was a camera we covered no longer worked because the home owner said it got water in it… So I get an email pic with that… I’m not at these jobs but if I showed the pics from the email you would say there is no way we could have damaged either. Solution was since the condo complex had extra vinyl I paid one of my guys $50 to take out old piece and install new piece… Took him 10 minutes between cleaning. The camera I gave my main guy the $280 check to put in plastic bag under the Mat of homeowner to cover for new camera.

Result the prop. man. co paid 50% up front and the rest within 2 days of completion. I got a few emails that where a pleasure to work with and we made everything run very smooth… In return thru them were doing another condo complex the week of June 11 from another prop. Co who we got recommended to from them…

I generally have a fight mentality but my wife is right and so is this… Are you ready cause I hate this but take this attitude and you’ll get way ahead with less stress and more money and a better reputation ala Sam Walton… “THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT” don’t you just hate that…lol Well look at the above perfect sample of Sam Walton…and happily to say I just learned that about him on PWR bb:cool:

Good thread!
I like the idea of the money off the job or a future job. That way you could still cover your costs and keep a client happy.

Buy it and move it into an empty room with a huge whiteboard across from it!

next time get a picture? maybe you added character and they should be paying you??

This is a very good thread. I like the idea of giving the customer some thoughts ahead of time as far as what “we are not responsible for”. This at the very least will educate the customer and probably get most to prepare for your visit.
In window cleaning, this could be used as far as moving already broken furniture and handling blinds and screens that will break when the next person touches them.

Yea this has been a pretty good learning experience for us. Im surprised in all these years this is the first time it happened.