Thursday, August 04, 2005

Due what? Do when?

Why can’t people just do what they are supposed to do? You have a house/apartment, a car, electricity, gas, water, sewer, phone, etc., etc. You make your mortgage/rent payment, car payment, and other payments for your utilities….right? There is a designated time to make those payments, ahhhhhh the due date. As a responsible adult, we make our payments on time, otherwise what happens? Right, you can lose your house/apartment (because no one lets you live for free) or your car gets repossessed (because no one lets you ride for free) or your power gets turned off, water gets shut off, or you no longer have phone service (because nothing in life is free)! Ok, I understand that, so why am I having so much trouble getting money that is owed to me from my previous apartment and my previous cable provider? I lived in my last apartment for 3 years.
When I moved in, along with my first month’s rent, I paid a deposit. The deposit is held until you move out and is only refunded to you if the apartment is left clean with no damage. When I left the apartment, it was sparkling clean and had absolutely no damage. On May 31, 2005 the manager said, “it looks great, you will be getting back your deposit.” That is completely satisfactory to me, even when they told me it would take approximately 4 weeks to get a check. I thought that was a bit long, but I said fine and left it at that. A month later is when I ran into problems. I spoke to the manager and she said, “well, it has been ‘put in’ for, but I haven’t heard anything”. I left my phone number, she was supposed to call me back, but that never happened. I called the manager back again a few days later. She said she should have it in a week and she would call me. Again, I had to call her back in a week. “Well, I still haven’t heard anything”. I asked her if she would be able to find out something by the next day, she said yes. I called the next day, she said, she hadn’t heard anything. Ok, now I am not happy! It went something like this….“I lived in that apartment for 3 years, and I really don’t think this is good service, and I shouldn’t have to wait 2 months, that is ridiculous, what is it going to take, this is not the way any person should be treated….etc. etc”. She kept agreeing with me, then said “well I can give you a name and phone number of someone you can call at the home office” WHAT? I do believe that should have been her job, lazy butt!” So I said “NO, what can YOU do for ME to resolve this quickly?” (I was trying to hold her accountable for her job) I told her that I was willing to drive to pick up the check and that she really needed to work with me on this. Then she said she would call and find out about it and call me back tomorrow afternoon… I told her that was not acceptable, that I needed to hear from her this afternoon. Of course, I didn’t hear from her. When I called her back the next day, she gave me the runaround…..blah blah blah. So, now I called the home office, turns out that the property manager only called in the request for the check the day before (when I let her have it). That was 2 months of BS! The home office expressed to me how angry they were when they got the request 2 months late! Now exactly 2 months and 5 days later……I drove to the property and picked up my deposit refund without even an apology.
I am still waiting for my cable modem deposit from my previous cable provider. They tried to charge my account after I had closed the account in writing and via the phone. They told me this only after I called about it 4 weeks later looking for my deposit refund. Finally, after we went ‘round and ‘round, that was straightened out; they said that I would be getting the full refund in about 6 weeks. OMG! So, that is 2 months after I discontinued service and got their equipment back to them. To date, still no money in hand!
The bank, the wonderful place that holds my money and makes money from doing it! Prior to moving, I sent the bank a change of address and ordered new checks with my new address. I received the new checks at my new address the day I moved in. Two months after I moved in, I was verifying my checking transactions via the automated phone system. There was a charge that I had no record of, so I called customer service to inquire on it. She told me that it was a charge for returned mail. I questioned her… “What do you mean”? She said “It must have been a return statement or something, please verify your current address”. So, we went through the list, name, social security number, address, phone number, work phone number. “Hmmmm, that is all the same information we have, I don’t know why the mail was returned”. I told her that I gave a change of address before I moved and I was even using the new checks they had sent me with the new address. I couldn’t believe they charged my account for returned mail, when it shouldn’t have been returned in the first place. She posted the $ back to my account. That is ridiculous.
And last but not least, my counter top is supposed to be replaced at my new apartment. They were supposed to do this for the past 2 weeks. I kept clearing all of my little appliances, and other kitchen stuff off the counters, to come home with nothing being done. Of course, the manager makes excuses…. “They came today, but said your counters were not cleared off”. When I told her that they were, she says, “maybe they got the wrong apartment then”! HUH???? Now, a week later, I cleared everything out of the kitchen again, go home, open the door, very strong smell! “hmmm, they must have done some work in here”! Yep, they did, but they did not replace it as they led me to believe. They painted it! The smell is so strong and it is still wet. Wonder how long it will take to dry. I didn’t even know they could repair a countertop that way. At least it is done, but I still can’t put my things back in the kitchen. (Hopefully by the weekend)!
Why can’t people just do what they are supposed to do? Why do they have to make things so difficult? I did my part in paying on time and giving proper notice of discontinuing service, returning equipment, proper nonrenewal of lease, and clearing things to make it easy for them. I did what I was supposed to. They should too. Too many people (in general) do as little as possible; it is either ignorance or laziness (maybe both). Why can’t these people be held to a due date?


The Zombie Lama said...

I feel your pain. Seems like when you owe people money, they want it NOW, but when it comes time for someone to give you what they owe you, it takes forever.

Kind of like the IRS....

Fred said...

This sounds like one of those stories the local newspaper's "Action Line" would love to print. One call from them and your deposit will be ready that afternoon.

ticharu said...

A fine example of why people like me quit and move to the middle of bloody nowhere. A lot of hard work out here but very little BS. That kind of crap pushes people over the edge. You are a saint where others would go postal.

Frank The Tank said...

Completely agreed! It's ridiculous! They should be alloted no more than 60 days to remit payment! I HATE cable companies!!!

BeckEye said...

I agree with Fred! Call the local media, or at least threaten that you're doing so.

Lee Ann said...

Zombie - Isn't that the truth.

Fred - Now that sounds like a good idea! Thanks for stopping by!

ticharu - You may have found the answer! Im no saint, really just fed up. I will be better tomorrow:)

Hey Frank - good to see you! I sort of have my hands tied...I need cable to run my computer, you know so, I can blog! (no landline for the past 5 years and I love it)

Beckeye - thanks girl...could be the answer.

The Husband said...

you should call and say you have taken the advice of legal counsel in regards to getting your deposit back...ask for a mananger and tell them that. oh, and of course you get to keep your Ronny award!

Lee Ann said...

carl - yeah, that might work! and thanks, I keep it with pride:)

Edge said...

Unfortunately, you need your agreements in writing for them to stick. I've learned to say, "I need that in writing." And I force them to send it to me or hold out something. It's unfortunate that they do this, but "deposit" is another word for "we're keeping that money."


Chris said...

Having been an apartment dweller for quiet some time, I have become accustomed to the legal aspects of the tenant / landlord relationship.

Depending on your state, you may have legal avenues to take against your former land lord, without having to spend 25x's the amount of the deposit to get it.

I know in virginia (and many other states), security deposits are usually due to be returned to the tenant at the end of 1 year. Therefore if you stay longer, its considered "wear due to use" for pretty much any damages they can find.

Do a quick google search for "tenant rights" + "YOUR STATE HERE"

You'd be surprised what you find.

Lee Ann said...

Jef - that is the best practice, to get it in writing. Otherwise, they feel they can abuse the situation and you don't have a leg to stand on.

Chris - thanks for the suggestion. I will have to look into it. I think I get smarter with each lease I sign. I can't wait to some day have my own home!