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Colorado man says $50 window cleaning job done through popular online service became $27K in damages

Posted at 8:17 PM, Nov 27, 2018

BOULDER, Colo. — A Boulder, Colorado man reached out to KMGH, furious about the work done by a contractor hired through the popular online service Thumbtack, and the thousands of dollars he claims he lost. The more he dug into the service, the angrier he became.               

Keeping his windows clean is key for Larry Koenigsberg, considering he has amazing views from his home a hilltop community in Boulder.

"I can see a panoramic of the Flatirons, Pike's Peak when the sun rises in the morning," said Koenigsberg. "It’s like being on vacation every day between Colorado's 300 days of sunshine a year."

Using popular online service Thumbtack, he hired Top Window Cleaning and paid the owner $50 to clean several large windows, a skylight and a shower door. It wasn’t until the next day he realized they were damaged.

"The sun came shining in through all the south-facing windows, and I see all these scratches and I go outside and they're still dirty," said Koenigsberg.

KMGH reached out to the owner of the window cleaning service. His attorney said no comment.

Koenigsberg said that the owner of the company and the only employee came back to clean them again, hoping it was only dirt.

"So severe, it looked like a prism with all the blue and orange. Very deep the scratches," said Koenigsberg.

After confronting the man, Koenigsberg said he only got another bill, not an apology. He went online to several sites to share his experience.

"I wanted a way of venting and letting other people know, and I put my review on there, but also I indicated that his intentions were good. I don't think that anybody sets out with intentions to scratch windows," said Koenigsberg.

Koenigsberg said he learned Top Window Cleaning is not licensed in Colorado and the owner has a criminal history. He believes it was after he notified Thumbtack of the situation they closed the cleaning service's account. 

A Thumbtack spokesperson told KMGH:

We allow professionals to display a badge indicating an individual on their account has passed a background check through an accredited third-party background check provider and to list professional or occupational licenses if we verify that the license appears in a relevant state licensing database. Further, by signing up on Thumbtack, professionals agree to abide by the law, including licensing laws.

"They made a determination that clearly they can’t be sending him to other people's homes," said Koenigsberg.

But that has landed him in a legal battle, as Top Window Cleaning is suing him for defamation of character after his bad review and subsequent Thumbtack account closure.

"He holds against me the fact that Thumbtack removed him, for all the reasons to me: no insurance, criminal background, not my review,” said Koenigsberg.

He hopes Thumbtack will pay for the damages after he felt misled that the company background checks and requires insurance for all vendors. Had this been done, he believes, he wouldn’t have been put in this situation.

For more information about Thumbtack policies, visit their website.