mdlbear: (penguin-rant)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Email to our apartment manager. Or the leasing office -- it's not clear who the "info@" account is connected to.

To: info@$
Subject: Broken elevator, broken SOPs

Dear info@,

You, whoever you are ($NAME?), are getting this email because there appear to be no other email address associated with either $BUILDING or with $BUILDING_MANAGEMENT_COMPANY. $BMC does have a facebook page and a twitter account; I am resisting the temptation to tag them. Somebody needs to tell them that their procedure for dealing with calls about broken elevators is simply wrong, and I'm afraid that's up to you.

Today a little after 5pm my wife and I decided to go out for dinner, and headed for the elevator. It wasn't working -- the ring light comes on while you are pressing the button, but doesn't stay on when you release it, and there's no sign that the elevator moves.

I should mention at this point that my wife is handicapped, uses a mobility scooter, and cannot use the stairs. I should also explain that this email isn't a complaint, exactly; my intent is to inform you of the fact that your standard operating procedures are broken. Besides, it makes a great story. Let me explain:

After going downstairs myself and verifying that calling the elevator from the first floor doesn't work either, I went back up to the apartment and called $BMC's maintenance emergency number. The young lady who answered the phone told me that I had to contact the fire department(!) even after I explained that it wasn't an emergency. THAT WAS WRONG.

The fire department, which I could only reach by calling 911, because their business office -- the only number I could find for them -- is closed for the weekend, told me that I had been given incorrect information; they wouldn't send someone out unless there was somebody trapped in the elevator who they had to rescue.

I called $BMT back and finally got to someone who said they would contact their maintenance on-call. A little while after that, someone from $BMC called to ask me why I had called 911. I explained, and got passed to their supervisor, who said they were still trying to contact on-call maintenance. Apparently there's a list they go through. I asked what their SLA (service-level agreement) for response time was, and got total incomprehension. Maybe SLAs for oncall's response to trouble tickets is an Amazon thing.

About 10 minutes later a maintenance person called. With no information, so I had to repeat the whole story a fourth time. He said he would have to have the elevator company come out. It is now 7:15; we have cancelled our dinner plans. I do not expect anything to happen tonight, and perhaps not until Monday or Tuesday.

About 7:40 the maintenance guy called again, saying that the elevator company would send someone out tonight. I finally got called at 8:25 with the information that the elevator was fixed. Bottom line: it took two and a half hours, a 911 call, a supervisor escalation, and a truck roll to finally get through to the company that should have been called in the first place. Your standard operating procedures are as broken as your elevator.

I am also somewhat baffled by the fact that apparently I was the only person to call about this. Maybe this happens all the time and they're used to it?

update: 04-23t0830: add music and s/BMT/BMC/g

update: 04-23t0840: heck with it. If the only contact info they provide is twitter and facebook, I guess they want me to use it.


Date: 2017-04-23 07:11 am (UTC)
thnidu: an elegant ligature, or monogram if you will, of the letters "wtf". lj:wordweaverlynn, from (WTF)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
While my "headbang" and "idiots" icons were fighting over which one of them would appear here, this one walked in and took the spot.

Date: 2017-04-23 07:48 am (UTC)
ravan: (wtfi - terpischeros)
From: [personal profile] ravan
SLAs for on-call are not only Amazon (Yahoo had them). Any professional on-call has them. Unprofessional ones... don't.

Shitty elevator service and clueless management companies are not a winning combination.

The "call the fire department" was obviously the "I don't know what to tell you, my nails are drying and I don't want to be disturbed, go away" response of a clueless, lazy idiot.
Edited (update icon) Date: 2017-04-23 07:50 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-25 08:43 am (UTC)
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
From: [personal profile] ravan
Holy shit, that's worse.

Date: 2017-04-23 09:49 am (UTC)
gingicat: the hands of Doctor Who #10, Martha Jones, and Jack Harkness clasped together with the caption "All for One" (all for one)
From: [personal profile] gingicat
I'm sorry.

Sometime in my teens, my Dad became the unofficial apartment building gadfly. He writes letters and makes calls on behalf of the other tenants regularly.

Date: 2017-04-23 10:17 am (UTC)
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
From: [personal profile] madfilkentist
The whole apartment management sounds broken. Call the fire department to fix the elevator??

Date: 2017-04-23 01:52 pm (UTC)
amaebi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaebi
Good Lord.

And that's dangerous.

Date: 2017-04-23 04:06 pm (UTC)
jcfiala: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jcfiala

My best guess is that the other tennants are used to it, or used to someone else complaining, and don't mind going up and down the stairs until it's fixed.

But yeah, that's not good at all, not that I'm telling you anything you don't know.

Date: 2017-04-23 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] pocketnaomi
This is primarily a student-occupied building, in the university district. My strong suspicion is that the other occupants of the building are young and healthy, and just shrug and take the stairs whenever the elevator's out, without having any need to worry about it.

Which is fine. But if one is going to count on that, AND going to have a designated handicapped-accessible apartment, that apartment should be on the ground floor. And this building was not designed to have any apartments on the ground floor at all... just the garage, the leasing office, and the mailboxes.

Date: 2017-04-23 11:34 pm (UTC)
jcfiala: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jcfiala
From my memories of living as a student, sometimes I'd be quiet about problems with where I lived in the (hope) that they would be less annoyed when my rent was late.

Date: 2017-04-23 05:10 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline

*offers hugs*

Date: 2017-04-23 11:42 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*hugs back and purrs*

Date: 2017-05-16 01:52 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
That (by the property management) is really bad planning start to finish, and worse, about a really obvious issue. But that is kind of the way it is in property management.

Our society really is broken - this sort of thing can't be fixed by market forces in most cases and if there were legal protections to prevent it, those regulations would be ripped apart as "jobs destroying regulation" because they can't say "our rich buddies don't like it."

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