What are some of the ways that customers drive you nuts? Here are my favorites.

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by Tom Watson on April 26, 2015

On the whole having customers is FANTASTIC. They actually pay you to do something that really isn’t all that hard to do.

And if you play your cards right, you get to earn some really good money doing so. All in all a very good deal for a business owner.

Now with that said, a little bit of bad is almost always lurking right around the corner from all that good. As I’m fond of saying, whenever money changes hands you’ll have some headaches to put up with. And those little headaches are what today’s post is about.

I guess I really shouldn’t call them headaches, they are more “annoyances” than anything. Maybe “pet peeves” would be a better phrase. You get the idea! But after all these years they are starting to drive me just a little crazier than I already was. I’ll share a few of favorites below…

People who leave FULL coffee cups in the trash can – This one drives me straight to the moon. If you don’t want to drink the coffee, then dump it somewhere, or better yet, DON’T GET IT IN THE FIRST PLACE! I have one account where MULTIPLE nearly full cups are stacked like a pyramid at this one persons desk every single visit. They drink one sip, then put it in the trash!

People that can’t hit the trash can – I guess I should be used to this by now. To be honest, it’s not the occasional debris surrounding the trash can that raises my blood pressure, it’s the few “serial abusers” that GET MORE ON THE FLOOR than they do in the can. I wonder if they do that same at their house? Part of me says no, part of me says yes!

People that stuff the trash can with heavy items – There isn’t much worse than trying to change a 13 gallon trash liner when it has a PRINTER STUFFED INSIDE IT! Or how about a stack of heavy reference books? The bags just ARE NOT MADE FOR THAT! Another customer left extra trash bags for me to take out. Problem was each was TOO HEAVY TO EVEN MOVE. What were they thinking?

Well… I just shared a few of the ways that my customers drive me crazy. I could go on and on, but I really want to hear YOUR STORIES. I know there must be some really good ones out there. Just post them in the comments below at your leisure. I can’t wait to hear them!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brenda April 26, 2015 at 2:09 pm

This is what gripes me about a customer. When they say “oh this place is really dirty” and then you find out it’s really dirty and then they say ” I tried my best cleaning up before you got here” and you say silently “really”. Realize they didn’t do anything but acknowledge that it was dirty.
I wish they wouldn’t say that bc then I know my work is cut out. Lol! I guess it’s more a heads up thing then. Never looked at it this way. Hmmm

2 Tom Watson April 26, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Hi Brenda! I hear yea!! When the customer uses the word “tried”, it’s really a secret code word for “did nothing”.

3 vicky April 26, 2015 at 8:15 pm

Im a domestic housekeeper, my pet peeves would be regular clients who notice your cutting the clean short by 5 mins but fail to notice when I go over 15 mins…or those who are waiting for their very small change when you worked over and above their expectations as the home had been very neglected!
Worse ones are those who ask for an estimated quote (with out veiwing) and then dictate they can only afford x amount…but for the size of home and number of bathrooms it would be impossible to complete in that time given! Though I’m very lucky as 95% of my regular clients are some of the most lovely people I can meet…and thats what motivates me to do 110% for them 🙂

4 Tom Watson April 26, 2015 at 9:40 pm

Hi Vicky! They are some good ones! I have felt the pain of each one you mentioned. THANKS for sharing.

5 Joe April 27, 2015 at 2:51 am

A few pet peeves I have are when they pretend to empty the hole punches and they end up having more white paper dots on the floor then in the trash can. A bank I had a few years back, the tellers would get more ink from their stampers on the counters then the checks / deposit slips. Another one is when they pour tons and tons of rock salt in the winter time in front of the entries and it then take’s 3 times as long to vacuum leaving you short on time for dusting and so on and then complain for some minor things there just was not time for. I could go on forever lol!

6 Tom Watson April 27, 2015 at 7:04 am

Hi Joe! The rock salt one is just so true. We have a doctors office that uses the GIANT rock salt. The salt looks like marbles. Just thinking about it makes me want to take an Excedrin.

7 Evan April 27, 2015 at 9:01 am

Hi Tom,
One of the most recent ones that we have run into…is every once in a while we will discover a mountain of black garbage bags…Half full…of shredded paper…almost as tall as me (I’m six foot). Though it is a great workout making 6 trips up and down the stairs…it is such a waste of bags! Also, if you get lucky, one of those little black bags will decide to spring a leak, leaving the office looking like a confetti cannon went off! On the flip side, it pays great and I’m not complaining 🙂
Thanks again for your great advice, tips and guidance!

8 Tom Watson April 27, 2015 at 10:56 am

Hi Evan! I know the feeling. We have a doctors office that shreds until the SHREDDER WON’T RUN ANYMORE (then they stop for the day). Then when we try to empty it, it EXPLODES.

9 Kelly April 27, 2015 at 7:06 pm

I have a lady who I clean for who says “dust management is very important to me.” The trouble is she has a 4000 + sq ft house and every room has several huge windows with those real wood blinds….as you know cleaning each and every slat in blinds is VERY time consuming.

I tried my best to keep up on the blinds, but as the months went by she kept piling more and more “extras” on me (in the form of several texts the day of the cleaning that would start out “oh could you…”) I told her sure, but that some other things might get skimmed over if I was to finish the house in the agreed upon time. Then one day, after texting me with more pile-ons – she then got annoyed with me because she realized the blinds were dusty again. I finally told her nicely, in a text replying to hers, that I had tried to allude to her before that some things might get skimmed over. I was literally breathless the whole time cleaning her house trying to fit it all in! On top of that, she would “forget” to pay me, and I’d have to wait until next time. Grrr….

10 Tom Watson April 27, 2015 at 7:13 pm

Hi Kelly! The VAST majority of the people who do this “know” what they are doing. They just like to see how far they can push it. When I recognize that type situation now, I nip it in the bud by having a FRANK TALK about what is possible within a given time frame. They can accept it or let me go, but I won’t work for free. A little give and take is ok, I get that, good customer service and all, but sadly some are serial abusers.

11 Raymon Samuel April 27, 2015 at 11:17 pm

The ones that bothers me the most? Well, take this one that called me today, we had a contract for December 12,2015 she just made her mind up to get it done?????

12 Wayne April 28, 2015 at 4:13 am

The most annoying thing is I give quotes over the phone or online for end of tenancy cleaning of houses. I don’t have time to drive 20 miles to give estimates.
They often give you basic information, forgetting to mention all the inbuilt cupboards, double windows and extra fat all over the kitchen that they forgot to mention.
We of course discover all this on arrival, and have to say there may be extra costs if we need to use more time. Not my favorite phone call to make.

By the way do you still do cleaning yourself these days?

13 Tom Watson April 28, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Hi Raymon! That happens. It’s not normal, but it does occur from time to time. At least you got it!

14 Tom Watson April 28, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Hi Wayne! Get them to send pictures if you can. One or two per room. Most people are pretty savvy on how to do that. It may not work for everyone, but it will help clue you in.

I only clean commercial in an emergency (all hands on deck does happen from time to time). I do participate in carpet cleaning at times, but I try to avoid it as my elbows are shot from doing too much of it early on (tennis elbow type injury).

15 ana May 3, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Once we got a request for deep cleaning of a 4 story townhouse. Client forgot to mention that there was no running water in the house and she expected us to run across the street to a barber shop with buckets and ask for water. Amazing.

16 Tom Watson May 3, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Hi Ana! I’ve had similar issues on foreclosures. The longer you are in business, the more questions you learn to ask beforehand. THANKS for sharing that Ana!

17 Wayne May 3, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Do you find some windows near impossible to clean? It seems you could clean it all day and it still has smears. I find this to be the case with the old houses I do here in Oslo, Norway!

18 Tom Watson May 4, 2015 at 11:21 am

Hi Wayne! Same issues here on some units. Lots of possible causes, all of them a pain to get clean.

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