xtitsx: (Default)
( 20 Jun 2017 02:17 pm)
as of the 15th of this month, five days ago, the PSE and i have lived in our Fort Worth apartment for one full year.
time flies when you're going to Law School part-time and watching TV.
which means that our apartment and the utility companies feel that they have a right to come around and try to stick us for more money.
and because rental and utility contracts are 'contracts of adhesion' [i learned the technical term this past semester] the PSE and i can either accept the terms we are offered or fuck off and go be homeless.
i don't have to go to Law School to learn that there is no negotiating with a landlord.
not unless you're willing to commit to Communist Revolution, anyway.

our apartment sent us a renewal letter all the way back in the end of April.
it said we have until 14 June to respond and let them know if we want to renew our lease and if so, for how long.
normally i am the kind of person who deals with demand letters immediately but because it was finals week at Law School i set the thing aside and didn't pick it up again until grades came out for Spring Semester just two Mondays ago.
i didn't want to go ahead and extend my lease and then find out that i've failed out of Law School.
if i'm gonna fail out of Law School, i at least want the consolation of getting to get the hell out of Fort Worth.
but it turns out that i earned good enough to stick in the fight, so, that Tuesday i went down to the office and tole them to prepare a new lease.

the Apartment Manager gave the PSE and i a range of lease terms to choose from, from six to thirteen months.
normally the PSE and i have a preference for flexibility but Management disincentives shorter lease terms by fucking with the rental amounts.
if we selected a six-month renewal term monthly rent would be $845 per month.
prices were staggered downward from there until their cheapest offer $709 for thirteen months.
i guess the PSE and i will have to take the thirteen month option, then.
when we first moved into our apartment, rent was $675 for the first six months then they raised it to $695.
now apparently we are going to have to pay $709.
we're not getting anything extra for the additional $14 per month. Apartments just have the balls to demand more money because fuck you, that's why.

the lease that the Apartment Manager presented for my signature said that, if we have a pet, thee would be an additional $10 a month “pet rent” whatever the fuck that is, plus a non-refundable $300 deposit, in addition to the $200 we already paid.
this isn't anything new, our original lease had the same stipulation, as did the first renewal we signed after six months.
but when we first moved in we didn't have a dog, Monster wouldn't come into our lives for another few weeks and, after we got her, we never bothered to tell management.
we have gone through several Apartment Managers in the year the PSE and i have lived here and surely at least a few of them have seen us walking the Monster around the complex, but nobody has said anything to us about her and apparently nobody has made a note in our file.
i am fairly certain our latest Apartment Manager, Delilah, knows we have a dog and i wasn't sure if she was going to make a big deal about it, but in the end i guess she decided not to.
i think she likes the PSE and i because we pay our rent on time and we're not scumbags which is fairly uncommon.
so we dodged another bullet, staving off the “fuck you and your fucking pet-rent” fight for another day.

after signing our lease renewal i went across the street to our Credit Union and took out a money order for $1,500.
that's $1,418 for two months rent, July and August, and the rest will go towards the miscellaneous utilities the apartment bills us for every month.
$15 for “water” $7 for “sewer” $10 for “trash” $2 for “pest control” even though the Orkin man has only been in our apartment maybe three times.
rather then worrying about these supplemental bills as they come every month i figure it's easier just to round our rent up to $750 every month and worry about any balance left over whenever it's time to move out.
i keep good records.

a few weeks ago i got an e-mail from my internet service provider Charter Communications.
they thanked me for being a loyal customer for the past year and that they would be raising the price i pay for internet every month from $39.99 to $65.
why? because fuck me, that's why!
cable companies have “introductory rates” where they give you their services for a time being, then jack things up once you become accustomed to their product.
like a drug pusher might do.
surely Charter is making plenty of profit off of me paying $39.99 a month for internet, they wouldn't have sold the stuff to me for a year if they weren't, so, for them to think they are entitled to an additional $15 for no fucking reason is an insult.

i called up Charter, fairly confident that i would be able to straighten this shit out.
everything is negotiable with people who aren't dealing with hard numbers, who just make figures up because people don't have any choice but to pay it.
i figured if i made a stink, they would fold.
i asked to speak to the people in “retention” because they are the department who can do the deals.
i told the pleasant-sounding woman in retention that i have been a customer for a year, that i pay $39.99 for internet which is already way too much, and that i would like for them to either give me a better deal, or to at least extend the one we have.”
the Pleasant-Sounding Woman tried to go through her script, tried to “review my internet needs” but i told her i don't give a shit about megabytes, i just want the cheapest product they offered.
she told me that was $65.
she told me that she could offer me internet for $33 if i bundle it with TV for $33 and home phone for $33 but i pointed out that $99 is more then $39.99, though, isn't it?
it takes a lot of chutzpah for the Pleasant-Sounding Woman to offer somebody calling to complain that their rates are too high the opportunity to pay even more for products they don't want.
how do you live with yourself, Pleasant-Sounding Woman?

i told the Pleasant-Sounding Woman that if she wasn't going to be able to keep my rates what they are then i was going to have to cancel my service.
to my surprise, the woman called my bluff.
we made arrangements for my service to be turned off at the end of the billing period, giving me two weeks to figure out an alternative.
of course there were none.
the only other internet service provider that covers my area is AT&T and their prices are just as high, plus they require you to sign a two-year contract with cancellation fees.
Charter knows that they've got a virtual monopoly and if i don't want to deal with them i can just go without internet, like it's 1992.

after a week i called Charter back and asked to talk to “retention” again.
i got a different Pleasant-Sounding Woman and tried to see if she would be any more agreeable.
after going back and forth for a while this second Pleasant-Sounding Woman said that the best deal she could give me was $55 for internet, $10 off of the price they wanted, but still $15 higher then i am already paying.
what choice did i have? i told her i would have to take their deal.
one day the Communist Revolution is going to come and we're gonna line up all the Pleasant-Sounding Women against the wall to be swiftly shot but until that day comes, i am going to have to continue to pay a company i despise way more money then they deserve for a product that ought to be a human right.
how else am i going to be able to grumble about the cost of things on the internet?

//[ab irato ad astra]
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September 2017

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