Business Ethics

Pete Marentay

Distinguished Professors
Hey, y'all!

You know I don't post often now that I have retired, but I have a question for the community of pressure washers that intrigues me.

I know that business is competitive and that some dirty tricks might be expected, but where is the cutoff line? I think I know guys in this business and how they think, but I want to see what you say to reply to these questions here in this thread.

For example, if you owned Fred’s Pressure Washing and operate your web site and are pretty successful, is it OK for your upstart competition to register and use or

What if the new competitor just used these addresses as re-directs, with the plan to just "steal" the customers who make simple typing errors? Does that make the competitor less guilty?

I mean, I know it is legal, but is it ethical? Does this group accept that this is just how life works and Fred should just suck it up? What if that same competitor named his new start-up business Fred’s Pressure Wash or tried to register Fred’s Pressure Wash as a D.B.A. or even a trademark? Is that OK or going too far?

What happens when a customer thinks he has contracted with Fred’s Pressure Washing only to have someone else show up and do the work? What should Fred do when these sorts of shenanigans happen and his business suffers? What can or should Fred’s loyal customers do, if anything?

“Legal” is different from “fair” or “ethical” or even “acceptable”. I would love to see how this community looks at this issue.


New member
Do you really need an answer to your post??

Of course its unethical

I would think the professionals on this board would not engage in the practices you mention

Pete Marentay

Distinguished Professors
No, not suggesting that at all. It does happen, however. Probably more often than most think. I know of a case like this in our industry, for example. Just wanted to know if something like this outrages people or if it is just accepted. Thanks for replying.


Graphic Designer
"Business Ethics" is an oxymoron (IMO), and yes, what you describe is unethical, BUT....

An insightful business owner would register those others names (and more) and redirect them to their main site to protect themselves (for the reasons stated that someone else might).

A true professional is ethical as Mike stated. Ethics are a true professionals' tool by which they choose to operate their business. If an ethical business owner leaves themselves open for an unethical attack, then it's their own fault.

Ron Musgraves

Exterior Restoration Specialist
Staff member
I don't even worry about my competitors , don't really even care what they do. It has zero effect on my customers.

If they are robbing or stealing they will get caught. I'm not one who cares about what others are doing.

You go about your honest business others see it. Those who get burned will seek you out no need to worry.

Ron Musgraves


Graphic Designer
Pete, where's your signature? What's your primary website? Is it BTW... is for sale, so if you think it'll help drive business to your primary site, then yes.

Scott Stone

New member
It isn't so etching i would do. However, I could give you chapter and verse on how to be unethical and threatening. I have had them all done to me. It was a salutary experience that I doubt I will ever forget.

Luis Orts

New member
Not saying I would do something like that because I don't have a need to... But if I did get into something like that, it wouldn't be done the way you mentioned it to be done.

To me, it's get it by any means necessary. I primarily worry about myself and the way my business operates.But if one of my competitors got out of line... let's just say they should think twice before proceeding.


New member
I don't even worry about my competitors , don't really even care what they do. It has zero effect on my customers.

If they are robbing or stealing they will get caught. I'm not one who cares about what others are doing.

You go about your honest business others see it. Those who get burned will seek you out no need to worry.

Ron Musgraves


I dont have time to worry about competition-i know they are there, but i do my own thing regardless

Every industry has unsavory unethical business owners- its a fact of life

Ive had lots of experience with such businesses -this thread isn't long enough

I walk around with my head high in the sky

Karma is a B****

Guy Blackmon

Roundtable Host 2009
Pete, hope you Family & back are doing great!!

You've been around long enough to know how this stuff plays out. Doesn't matter if it's web stuff, ideas, designs whatever someone will take advantage of the situation. People that do these things have no ethics....what comes around goes around.....Karma gets them every time.

Hope retirement is agreeing with you Buddy!


New member
I've had some in the industry brag about how they were doing this very thing. In the end those types get exactly what they deserve. And many times before that happens others begin to see them for what they are and avoid them.

Tony Evans
Sent from my S4

Tony Shelton

BS Detector, Esquire
Pete, this is the type of stuff that these scumbags who can't compete do.

They justify it because they hang around with a bunch of other scumbags who cheer their scumbaggery along.

There is a web guy on one of the boards advertising that he does this and offering the websites back for sale.
I hope he chokes on them and he probably will end up just like any other scumbag thief, with a whole bunch of work and profit that slips through his hands like water leaving him with nothing but his shriveled up pickled face in the mirror.
This is no worse than the scumbag who turns his competitors in. That piece of garbage in Denver lives off turning in other contractors.
If there was any integrity at all he would do the same thing we do when we see a contractor who is harming the environment, that being,
a) We approach them nicely to show them what they are doing wrong. or
B) we just simply clean up after them on our own dime.
The last thing we need in our industry is bad press. Just pull up with you vacuum or some booms and take care of it for God's sake!

And what about these large companies who brag about missing services and billing for them?
People to be looked up to in the industry?
I thing not.
They are scumbags with a lot of borrowed money usually from their spouse who eventually leaves them.

Then there's the pieces of garbage who go around lying to regulators claiming that everyone else but them are "polluting" or alternatively going around trying to make changes to make it more difficult for good environmentally conscious contractors to earn a living to "thin the competition".

These are signs of a weak business and a leader who, even if they make money, live an empty solitary life one step above suicide. (Though they will never admit that.)

Yes, there are a lot of unethical scumbags in every business.

And I disagree with the post that implies that ethics and business can't be one in the same.

There are many, many contractors I personally know who operate with the highest ethics and don't go around thinking about their "family first".

That's bullsh*t. That's why we have corruption. That's why we have a wimpy pussified police force that can't seem to negotiate much of anything, instead, hiding behind things and firing off shots like a russian racehorse with no regard for human life. But, all that matters is "they get home safe" first. BULL!

Raise your family to trust God and you have PUT your family first EVEN IF YOU ARE HALF BROKE.

Any contractor who tells me they "have to think of their family first" is either a scumbag or an atheist or needs to read a little scripture. Because any Christian knows that GOD will take care of your family if you operate ethically and DO THE RIGHT THING.


Breathing normal now.........

It's distressing to me to have gotten to know so many great and honest businessmen and women in this industry and watch them be preyed upon by those who will justify anything if it makes money.

Stepping off the soap box.