• Report: #266547

Complaint Review: Fish Window Cleaning Services

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  • Submitted: Fri, August 10, 2007
  • Updated: Mon, October 29, 2012

  • Reported By:New Orleans Louisiana
Fish Window Cleaning Services
200 Enchanted Parkway Saint Louis, Missouri U.S.A.

Fish Window Cleaning Services They are a scam. They make earnings promises that are not true. They take your franchise fee and then don't support you. They have taken the life savings of many good families and left them with nothing. ripoff Saint Louis Missouri

*Consumer Suggestion: I Like Working for Fish

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: royal ties out of employees pockets

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Fish is morally corrupt

*General Comment: Fish Window Cleaning franchises are a joke.

*UPDATE Employee: Unhappy people shouldn't throw stones....

*General Comment: Are you serious !!??

*General Comment: Get a clue...

*General Comment: Fish Window Cleaning

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Salary

*General Comment: not happy 99% of the time

*UPDATE Employee: salary

*UPDATE Employee: Just saying

*General Comment: Believe it Kang "hard to believe"

*Consumer Comment: Hard to Believe

*UPDATE Employee: Fish window cleaning acam

*Consumer Comment: I Don't Believe it's a Scam


*Author of original report: Fish Window Cleaning - Don't be fooled into buying a franchise by the "best franchises or top franchises to buy" reports from Franchise50.com and Entrepreneur.com, etc.

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Fish Window Cleaning is a fraud. They charm you into buying into their franchise, take your franchise fee, and then don't support you. The whole time, they are getting royalties off the top of all of your sales and then you are never able to make a profit. It will take you several years to realize what's going on, you drop out and cut your losses and then they move on to the next victim.

Their scam is that they teach you to sell all of these $10 - $20 storefront jobs door to door. Its almost like multi-level marketing. You have to get a whole lot of these jobs to even break even considering the overhead costs that you have. They are getting royalties on all of these jobs, a percentage of the gross amount. That doesn't amount to a whole lot until you think about the fact that they are doing this to 150-200 franchisees. That's where their money is coming from.

When you ask for help, you don't get it - they just try to make you feel like it is all your fault that you are not making a profit.

They have the resources to have the best of the best attorneys to write up their UFOC and Franchise Agreement to cover their a_ _ and the franchisee has no way to fight them, because they have already stripped them of everything.

There must be a way to stop them, before more and more innocent people are victimized by this scheme!

I am writing this for a friend. He is afraid to do anything, because he is scared of them.

New Orleans, Louisiana

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/10/2007 06:20 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Fish-Window-Cleaning-Services/Saint-Louis-Missouri-63021/Fish-Window-Cleaning-Services-They-are-a-scam-They-make-earnings-promises-that-are-not-t-266547. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

I Like Working for Fish

AUTHOR: Pidasso, Stuart - ()

 I like working for FISH. 

 I think my net pay of $11/ hr. is pretty good cunsidering I only have GED. 

 I am thankfool for my munny. 


 Stuart Pidasso


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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

royal ties out of employees pockets

AUTHOR: WindowGuy - (United States of America)

"And as for the person that states the employee pays royalties on THEIR earrings that is NOT true by any means. Yes there are royalties but for you to imply that the employees pay them is insane. Which probably goes to show why your not still with FISH, because you care enough to find out the the truth"

Then you point out what the truth is because as an ops manager just as I was you do the payroll and should know their computer system. explain to me why in that system it does the 35% commission to the employee then does adjusted gross, which so happens to be exact same percentage as the royalties.  I know the truth and so do you and it is exactly as I have stated.

And to the person who said they found this looking for a Fish phone number , I have to call bull on that as soon as you used the term "bucket bob" which is a term I have only ever heard Fish use that you are a Fish representative.

Furthermore I no longer work for them for a multitude of reason none of which involves me not caring, but it was caring about my family enough to get a job that I made real money.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Fish is morally corrupt

AUTHOR: badfish - (United States of America)

I too was a franchsee. They gave us all the same info as stated by othes - flexability, great pay, great support, etc.

They took a nice big check of ours and after years of working, we had a 50,000 loss to our family. Got divorced because it ruined our family. I went back to corporate america and couldn't be happier. I look back at my times with fish as the low point of my life. I thank God every day for my real job and if my coworkers complain, i tell them nothing could be worse than having this franchise.

Yes, the owner makes no money. Cleaners get less than minimum. Salespeople quit. You will be broke all winter. You are forced to go to a yearly convention, that you cannot afford, to here a few successful people tell you that you just aren't working hard enough. Bull!

Their crack sales office in St. Louis called all the businesses in a town of 30,000 people and did not get me even one sale or lead. Yeah, i had to pay for this 'service'.

Watch your checking account drain because of overhead:

Royalties Advertising Phones Internet Office rental Convention Their materials - advertising, invoices, etc Commissions Salaries Gasoline Heat, gas, electricity Credit card processing fees Loan repayments Vehicle maintenance Tons of clothes Tons of alcohol so your water doesn't freeze Deionized tanks, rentals. Huge expenses in hiring and training someone who ends up quitting. Unemployment taxes - good luck firing someone Huge payroll taxes Payroll processing company Accountant Tons of equipment

Buy a bucket and do it on your own. Fish makes fun of these people and calls them 'bucket bobs'.
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#4 General Comment

Fish Window Cleaning franchises are a joke.

AUTHOR: kpm - (United States of America)

I can always give a better price than Fish...the math doesn't lie...I don't have stupid franchise fees, or the requirement to pay rent for an office outside of the home...I always do a better quality job than Fish...I love to see the results of the work they do...streaks, bleeds, smears, skipping windows, etc...Fish is actually a laughable company...get a clue people...shadow a REAL window cleaner and don't waste your money...you'll be better off in the long run.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Unhappy people shouldn't throw stones....

AUTHOR: WOW! - (United States of America)

Hi There, 

I am actually having a WOW moment. I just read this "scam" report and all the comments under it. I find it funny. Look I have worked with the company going into my 5th year now. I am an OPS Manager. I will address certain comments:

AS for FAILED franchisees: Personally I can see why your upset, but if you failed there was something that YOU or YOUR team was not doing. There are a lot of SUCCESSFUL Franchisees in the system. THE SYSTEM WORKS and yes Corporate is there to guide and assist you, but it is up to you to  make the correct choices. 

As for the pay for the cleaning staff, they ARE compensated at the State wage requirement for using their cars.  And they STILL make way more than min. wage on average.

And as for the person that states the employee pays royalties on THEIR earrings that is NOT true by any means. Yes there are royalties but for you to imply that the employees pay them is insane. Which probably goes to show why your not still with FISH, because you care enough to find out the the truth. 

To me this whole RIPOFF report is a joke. It sounds to me like a pissed off owner who thought this was going to be a get rich quick solution. Its not, its a real business and you have to work at it. And typically it takes about 5 years to see a profit in ANY business. Regardless of your own or a franchise. 

As for the person that said that they could underbid FISH anytime. I am sure you could, I don't know you and I am sure you could do a quality job just like FISH. However, there is lots of glass out there and many many window cleaners. I am sure you will win jobs because your cheaper, FISH could win job because their cheaper. THAT IS BUSINESS. 

So I could keep going on and on. But I am not going to. If there is any potential franchises looking at this do your do-diligence. Make your own conclusions and make the validation calls.

Thank you for your time. 
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#6 General Comment

Are you serious !!??

AUTHOR: kpm - (United States of America)

To need a franchise to be a profitable window cleaning business is like trying to catch water with a colander... I really question the intelligence of those who buy into this franchise...I can always kick Fish Window Cleaning's rear end !!!
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#7 General Comment

Get a clue...

AUTHOR: kpm - (United States of America)

Just think....you could have made all of that money working for yourself !! You gave away $185.00.
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#8 General Comment

Fish Window Cleaning

AUTHOR: kpm - (United States of America)

If you really want to be a window cleaner...there is absolutely no need to buy into a predatory franchise...there is nothing special about the concept of how the work is done...hasn't changed much in 100 years, (if you use a squeegee like the real window cleaners do)...it may not be a scam, but a real businessman with some intelligence will learn from the non-franchise window cleaners, and not waste precious money and energy with a franchise...I've been doing this for years, and can ALWAYS under bid Fish, and outperform them...the real independent window cleaning companies have owner operators who actually know all of the ins and outs of the industry, not some franchise smoke and mirrors....If you are independent and proud of not being shackled by the tethers of corporate b&*%sh&t...learn from the real pros, and be truly HAPPY !!
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds


AUTHOR: WindowGuy - (United States of America)

As a former operations manager at a Fish location I read the posts about employee compensation and do agree with the people saying it is by far inadequate. Yes you get a max of 35%, sounds good? Not really since the Fish computer system has your gross income, then your adjusted gross which mind you is your gross minus 6% royalties. Yes the employees pay the franchise royalties out of there gross pay I have witnessed this myself.
Yes they do $10-$20 dollar jobs which to get those jobs a lot hire a salesman who gets paid nothing unless he sells and even then it isnt worth anything so they quit. So that causes the well underpaid Operations manager to have to do all the sales or spend his time interviewing more sales man.
As an operations manager I got paid $150/week salary for 15 hours of office work(yeah right more like 30) 40% on windows that i never had time to do because i had to be out selling all the time to get paid next to nothing for it.
I am not sure how much the initial franchise start-up costs are but from what I can see in order to make profit Fish passes its cost down to the employees behind there back which is morally wrong.
I would not recommend franchising or working for this company to my worst enemy!!
Macomb Michigan
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#10 General Comment

not happy 99% of the time

AUTHOR: Never stop three feet short - (United States of America)

I am not happy at all at how many fish franchise have failed. I am not happy most weeks and I am usually fed up by midweek.

You need strong $$ accounts (not $12-$20 jobs), the majority of the your accounts need to be above $40 and only great employees on your staff in order to make this venture work. That is a red flag.  You should be able to make this business work with good employees at the middle of the bell curve. Not every window cleaner can be a rock star. You maybe able find one rock star per year if you are lucky.

if you buy a franchise from fish make sure you don't have a lot of industrial or all older homes with triple track windows in your territory. You need homes across all income ranges if you even want a chance at making it in this franchise.  You need someone out selling everyday to get new accounts.  Most of all, you need strong business communities in your territory. 

I am a person of faith.  I believe that "With God all things are possible".  I have accomplish more than most in my life because I never stop three feet short of my goals. However,  prayer is the only thing keeping me going has a fish franchise while I push myself to the limit everyday.  I go home and ask God sometimes, who did I get myself involved with.  The profit margin are way under what I was told it would be. 



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#11 UPDATE Employee


AUTHOR: Tim - (United States of America)

I work for fish and I will be doing a little over $300 worth of work tomorrow and it will take me about 7 or 8 hours and I will make $115. That is a lot more than what you said you made an hour. The gas I use will be only like 5 dollars so that is is a pretty good income.
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#12 UPDATE Employee

Just saying

AUTHOR: window man - (United States of America)

Hello all, I am an employee of fish window cleaning in North Carolina. This is directed first to the employee who stated he only makes about $4 or $5 an hour. If that is all you were making then you need to learn how to hustle a little bit. The whole reason why fish gives you 35% of the job is to motivate you to want to get work done!! I've been a window cleaner for a long time, going on 16 years now and i've done everything route work, buildings, residential and this is by far the best deal as an employee.

And now to the original poster Fish is by far not a scam, you have to g out and hustle. When it comes to the window cleaning bussines, work doesn't just fall into your lap. But on another note you don't have to just go after $10 and $20 stores bid on buildings or bigger department stores. try to do more residential the oppertunity is there you just have to run wth it.

Well thats all that i really have to say on this matter but i hope for nothing but the best for you two. don't ever give up though in anything you do. God bless
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#13 General Comment

Believe it Kang "hard to believe"

AUTHOR: We are a Franchisor - (United States of America)

To, Hard to Believe aka: Kang - Hurst (United States of America). You wrote:
"I find it hard to believe that the gentleman stating he is a customer of Fish found this web site while looking for his Fish guy's phone number. Unless you actually type "rip off" after "Fish Window Cleaning," this website does not come up in the top search results."

Kang, Yes it does! In my browser I have a search field built in that skins to Google. I am the President of a franchise system (different industry that Fish) and I wanted to find the phone number to the lady (the president of Fish Window Cleaning) that helped me with some questions 3 years ago. I typed in "Fish Window Cleaning" and was intrigued by the OTHER results served automatically by Google. One of them was "Fish Window Cleaning Scam" ..so, I being human, was attracted by the word "Scam", and clicked that link out of curiosity. So, Kang this is why the customer above "Jewlz Beads - Layton (United States of America)" IS telling the truth and it's easy for me to believe because that is exactly what I did.

As the president/founder of a franchise-organization I can add to Jewlz' feelings by adding the following: "The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary." 

Kang, I will now go back, click the link to Fish Window Cleaning and speak again to the lady that helped me about 3 years ago with our franchise program. It was nice that 3 years ago that she took my call and was generous with her time since she knew my desire was to be of SERVICE to our franchise owner vs. SERVE-US. I am writing this rebuttal because the President of Fish Window Cleaning generously gave me her time and helped me. She and/or Fish had nothing to gain, but good deeds and a good word always make it back over time, 3 years and a couple of months to be precise. 

Human nature is so predictable. We are attracted to hear and learn about scams (dirt) vs taking responsibility to work. 

Eric, Founder/President/CEO

Anonymous Franchisor 

(Questions? I will identify myself but only to the principal owner(s) of Fish and/or principals of ripoffreport.com) 

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#14 Consumer Comment

Hard to Believe

AUTHOR: Kang - (United States of America)

I find it hard to believe that the gentleman stating he is a customer of Fish found this web site while looking for his Fish guy's phone number. Unless you actually type "rip off" after "Fish Window Cleaning," this website does not come up in the top search results.

Also, it's ridiculous to claim that the only other option that you have for getting your windows washed is some local wino who only comes around when he needs a bottle. Sounds rather like you are an employee of Fish or a franchisee.

I will state that when I looked up Fish online, results primarily appear as either an employment opportunity, or a franchise. I had never heard of this company until looking for employment in my geographic area on craigslist. I googled it and searched through several links, including the BBB rating- which is showing 2 complaints for service, (but they were both administratively resolved or some such nonsense). They still show an A+ rating, so I started looking for derogatory comments, typing in words like "rip off." When I did, several suggestions popped up along those same lines, "scam," etc.

35% of $20 an hour is a rip off, as pay for what amounts to a contractor, a worker that is a self-contained window washing unit who pays for his own transportation and insurance and gas etc. Just for using the name "Fish," 65% of the money for the job he is doing is sucked out the window, no pun intended.

I have advice for those needing their windows washed- look up a non-marketing scam company in a local business listing (Yellow Pages or such). And my advice for people looking to work as a window washer- go somewhere that actually pays you an hourly rate or submit bids to companies yourself- make your own company. If you are going to have to drive around and do all the work by hand, yourself, $20 an hour would offset your gas much better than $4-$7 an hour.
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#15 UPDATE Employee

Fish window cleaning acam

AUTHOR: 1pissedpuppy - (United States of America)

The franchise may not be a ripoff, but the employees who clean the windows are definitely ripped off. we work on a percentage basis, which is ok, but we get nothing for the use of our own vehicle. we do not get paid to attend mandatory safety meetings. after it is said and done at the end of the day your may make 4 to 5 dollars per hour. The only incentives for the cleaners only comes if you clean more windows. They are walking on thin ice as far as labor laws goes. Their franchise motto ought to be come work for me and help make me money...35 percent max is what we get so for you folks that gets your windows cleaned by fish for 21.00 we only get 7.00 to 7.50, then we deduct from that the wear and tear on our vehicles and gas. I giving my 2 weeks notice because I can't afford to work for them anymore...
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#16 Consumer Comment

I Don't Believe it's a Scam

AUTHOR: Jewlz Beads - (United States of America)

I found this accidentally while searching for my Fish guy's phone number.

I just wanted to say that I am a business owner and Fish Window Cleaning has done my windows for the last three years.  They are dependable, honest and do a great job for far less than Bucket Bob the local wino, who only came in when he needed a bottle.  I appreciate their professional courtesy and appearance.  They also give me a proper vendor receipt for my accounting. They came to me and and asked for my business, I did not have to pick a service from the phone directory.  Perhaps this original complaintant expected the franchise owner to send them customers?

I have been so happy with my Fish Service that I've referred them to all the other business owners in my strip mall.  They may only get $21 for my windows, but multiply that by 6, for an hour's work and that seems like a profitable business to me.

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#17 UPDATE Employee


AUTHOR: Dc - (U.S.A.)

I am a franchisee with Fish Window Cleaning. It's not a "scam". Like any business it requires effort and hard work to make profit. The person who filed this obviously had the mindset that someone else was supposed to work hard to make them money. I've had the franchise for 4 years. We made a profit in year 3 and are currently growing (in a horrible economy) 11% over last year. Mostly from 10 to 20 dollar jobs.
There's a reason why Fish Window Cleaning is consistently rated as a top franchise by Entrepreneur and other magazines...it's a good business!

It's unfortunate that business fail. But it's more unfortunate when people have to blame others for their failure.
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#18 Author of original report

Fish Window Cleaning - Don't be fooled into buying a franchise by the "best franchises or top franchises to buy" reports from Franchise50.com and Entrepreneur.com, etc.

AUTHOR: Robert alan kelley - (U.S.A.)

They are not true. BEWARE!!!
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