Strimmers, Stones, and Windows...

This one has been giving me headaches over the weekend and was just wondering how others have managed this one in the past.

A stone has chipped a window from a strimmer. Its 10-15mm in diameter on a large pane of glass. 

My PL is up for renewal in June. A £250 excess that needs to be altered with this eventuality in mind. Never had it before in 9 years. 

It leaves me in a pickle at the moment. The customer is a new lawn mowing / lawn treatment customer, estimate the value of the job to be £400-500 per year. 

I'm being given that it's not covered on the customers home insurance, is too big to repair, and that a replacement is going to be around £300. The customer is being understanding for the time being - this did only happen on Thursday and I've done a fair bit of homework on it since. 

Does anyone have an advice / similar stories I can draw from? 


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  • PRO

    ive done large customer conservatory window (i covered cost for replacement) and my own van window twice in 5 years :-( 

  • PRO

    Thanks all. To pick up on a few of Ben's points, it's not a contract, I am a nice guy (I hope). Quite certain it was myself, but strange that I didn't notice at the time that's all. Can be 95% sure. 

    I was always intending on covering it, but could do without the outlay at this time of year that's all! No one was in a rush in my area to get back to me on it on Friday - have a guy going to have a look on Thursday. Just a frustration I guess. Refusing to believe that it can't be repaired given it is a single impact of a small size. 

    • PRO
      From personal experience I always take before and after pictures all my customers are aware that's part of the deal so we're both always covered, get some window tools and spaces and repair it yourself as down south the unit and fitting prices have doubled if not more in 2 yrs patio door unit 2ft x 6'2= £90 2yrs ago due to the lawnflite mower picking up a 1/4" socket, the same company last summer French door 14"inchs x 6'2 = £160 that was a stone off the 410 10+ metres away
    • Jack it sounds like you have made the right decision. I was thinking about this thread today when i was strimming around some newly built houses and the 20mm golden gravel that is everywhere on the site!  Low revs on the strimmer!

  • PRO

    we've smashed a few over the years with mowers and strimmers. I always pay a local odd job man who will replace it quickly. 

    for cars, I pay the customers windscreen excess. 

    one of those things, and another reason not to work for £15 an hour!!!!!

  • PRO
    In 15 years we have hit three windows - straight away you have got to admit fault regardless and take the initiative to organise the repair. The most local glazier that can do it the soonest is my modus operandi (or If the customer has one they use, let them organise it if it makes them happy and then stump up). Then, before you leave that garden, let the customer (in one case it was a neighbouring property who subsequently became a customer) know the repair is in motion.

    My one and only ever personally has to be the most unlucky though (the above were employees). As usual I had blown all these really annoying little pebbles off a path before strimming these really annoying little thin strips of grass edges before mowing. I was on the last two metres of strimming when I heard a loud 'POP'. I continued not thinking anything of it (this had never happened before!) - then I heard it again. Strange I thought - never her heard that noise before, but too much of a coincidence. The taxi driving bide-in boyfriend had pulled into the lady customers driveway of an housing association property in his four day old gleaming white taxi just a moment ago. Within seconds I had just taken out both driver and rear window. Whoops!

    You just got to put your hands up and apologise, do everything in your power to remedy, and an extra crate of beer for his inconvenience. Because it was a brand new model of vehicle the poor guy had to wait until the following day for aa autowindscreens to source and fit the windows. I very kindly attached some black bin bags to the side of his car to keep it water tight. I think he parks his car round the corner now.
  • Yep I have done this. A punter had one of those ketler plastic storage box on his lawns. For weeks I was so careful around it, then one very hot day, I was tired and wearing tinted safety glasses and I caught the corner of it. I had to put my hands up to it, even through to be honest it didn't compromise the structure and looked a bit like part of the molding, I couldn't have not admitted it, just not in my nature and I would have worried. The client was absent so I text him with photos, I replaced it before he returned. With the same customer I ran over a plastic raised drainage cover with the mower which developer hadn't sunk into the ground, that I was worried about because at first i thought it was cemented in but i found it was a push fit. I replaced it. Typical not damaged anything in around 10years of gardening then break 2 things within weeks in a new clients garden.  However, I still work for him, he is really fair with me and this year encouraged me to put prices up! Aside form morality, honesty makes good business sense, it builds relationships and reaps its own rewards.

    • PRO
      We've done the same over the years and dealt with at no expense & minimum inconvenience to the clients.

      The way you deal with all issues is a reflection of your personal & business morals.
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