According to five different contract cleaners, the following are the six types of complainers most commonly encountered.

Charlotte, NC – After a few years in the contract cleaning business, most contractors realize two things: complaints are part of the job, and over time, you realize some complainers fit into certain categories.


While it is true that the issues most building managers call about usually need attention, there are some managers that seem to go out of their way to find problems and reasons to complain.


According to five different contract cleaners, the following are the six types of complainers most commonly encountered:


The “cleaning policeman”: According to cleaning consultant Ron Segura, some managers are cleaning policeman; “these are people that call you about everything….two or three times per week with various complaints.”  


The “secret lover”: This person’s passion for cleaning conceals another passion. This person admires the contractor a little too much. One contractor said a female building manager called him regularly, always asking for a meeting at the building to discuss a cleaning issue. “After this happened a few times, I thought it might help if I took my wife with me. That put an end to the meetings,” says this contractor.


The “tester”: The tester likes to leave debris under a desk, on ledges, or under furniture, waiting to see if it gets removed by morning. If not, she/he’s your first call of the day.


The “just wanna complain” complainer: “One unhappy customer asked me to drive over to his office,” says one contractor. “When I got there, he complained that a staple, behind a door, had been on the carpet for weeks ‘which proves your people aren’t vacuuming.'”


Monday morning whiner: All the contractors agreed that Monday is complaint day but that some managers “could always be counted on to whine about something on Mondays.”


The blamer. This is the most difficult complainer to deal with. According to one contractor, “he’s the one that complains anytime something is missing, broken, door unlocked, etc., and blames it on the janitor…but you never hear back from him when they discover who the real culprit was.”


According to Terry Sambrowski, executive director of the National Service Alliance (NSA), a leading group purchasing organization for larger building service contractors and related businesses in the United States, “Usually the way to deal with complainers and complaints is through communication. Listen to the complaint. If they are right, apologize and take care of it. If they are wrong, stand up for your crew.”


The advisory is intended to provide general information on an issue impacting the professional contract cleaning industry.

About the National Service Alliance

The NSA is a buying group serving the professional contract cleaning industry. Starting with19 members, the NSA now has nearly 70 contract cleaner members-most of which are the leading names in the professional cleaning industry-as well as members in other service industries such as security and plumbing. Total membership is now nearly 300 members. Terry Sambrowski, is the NSA executive director.


Terry Sambrowski,