I bought a condo, exactly one week ago. It’s always a little tricky dealing with mortgage brokers, lawyers, insurance agents, real estate agents. Buying a home is really a logistical obstacle course of multiple hoops to jump through. I’m not the greatest hoop jumper; but, I managed to pull it off and on time.
The fascinating thing about home buying, in relation to this blog, is the sheer amount of people you deal with who are providing you service at varying degrees of adequacy. My team did okay. There were a few times where I had to prod someone; but, heck, some of them had to prod me.
But, and there is always a but, at the closing, the buyers did not hand over keys because they had bought the unit at a foreclosure and claim that they never got any keys other than the unit key. The customer service problems began to mount from this moment on. I just bought a condo but did not have any keys to get into the building. The realtor said she’d talk to the management company. Two days passed and I had to access the building by calling ahead and having the realtor (who interestingly enough, lives in the building) or the super buzz me in. This is a supreme hassle, especially since my parents came down to help me paint and get the condo ready to move in and they were actually staying there overnight. It pretty much pissed me off and after two days and no key, I ran into our point person at the management company. I politely introduced myself and told him that I needed the keys. This man began an epic customer service fail that has yet to end. Here is how he has handled my request.
- He abruptly told me, “I don’t have your keys” and to get the keys from my landlord. The realtor jumped in and said, “She owns.” She explained the whole foreclosure fiasco and how I basically received nothing at the closing.
- He sighed and looked completely irritated.
- He told me I had to pay 50 dollars for the missing keys. I told him that no where in my contract did it say I would need to pay for keys. He said, “You have to leave a key deposit.”
- He finally told me that he would give the super the keys that day. He wrote down my name and phone number to put me into the security system so I could buzz people in. This took 3 1/2 days.
- I asked about parking and he said he’d put me on the waiting list which he has yet to do.
- I was still talking when he turned away to make a phone call unrelated to our conversation.
- He did not make the keys like he said he would. So, I left a voice mail reminding him I needed the keys.
- My father left a note on his office door.
- I ran into him the next day and said, “Hey, I need the keys.” He acted like he had NO idea what I was talking about. I went through the whole story and he finally said, yeah…give me 20 minutes.
- 2 hours later, my father went to his office and demanded the keys. The keys were given to my dad.
That would be the end of it except I still do not have keys for the storage unit or my mailbox and believe me, I do not look forward to hounding this guy just so I can get my mail. And he misspelled my name on the directory even though I spelled it for him and watched him write it down.
This is the exact opposite of how this whole customer service interaction should have been handled. I plan on being active at condo board meetings and my first question just might be, “Why are we still using this management company when they basically suck at customer service?”
Where does such poor service come from? Boredom? He was on his cell phone every time I encountered him. Perhaps he doesn’t see his role as customer service. He definitely has the attitude that he is some sort of gatekeeper and we should be grateful that he does anything for us. He was so bad at giving me customer service that it was almost absurd and definitely fodder for a painful sitcom situation.
The good news is that the super is one of the nicest, coolest guys I’ve encountered. I ran into him outside one day and asked him how his day was going and he told me that he was having a good day and he was about to take “one of the old ladies” to the beauty parlor to get her hair done. Now that is my kind of sitcom. If you’re old enough to remember One Day At a Time, you’ll know what I mean.
I would imagine the poor customer service comes from the guy having a good deal of control over his job, not to say that I don’t think that people should.
Hmmm. That might be true, which is why it is in my control to find out where to send my complaints and if those aren’t answered, I can either appeal to my condo board or become a board member myself and instigate some change. I think people should be empowered to do their jobs to the best of their ability. Perhaps no one has ever complained about the poor service before now.