A question I had to ask myself a lot lately. Not sure why, but it may have to do with customer service not existing in Australia. Or the lack of a caring attitude based on the mentality: „She will be right, mate“. Of course, you cannot make allegations without evidence, and you need to provide the evidence to prove them. I am happy to do so.
Dick 1: Company called Re/Max Australia – Department Transact based in Southport
History: For Suasana Design, we have leased a small warehouse in Arundel from December 2018 onwards. As usual, the agent is sweet as honey till you put your signature under the contract and have paid a bond worth 3-month rent and one month rent in advance. After that point, the agent mutates into a black hole. You still know how to find them, but nothing comes back out ever again. It does not matter what you throw at them. No response, emails, not returned, phone calls, not returned, letters not returned, pigeons, we better not talking about the pigeons.
Only when they are after another payment they will come out of the black hole. That happened last week. The second month’s rent was due, better the invoice was sent, done by a lovely lady called Charlotte. Her LinkedIn profile states she has finished Senior College in 2004, worked as a medical receptionist in Coffs Harbour till 2008, moved to the Gold Coast for a Medical Office Assistant job, which she then left in 2012 to become a Sales Consultant at Ray White with the highlight to be a Director of RE/MAX from June 2017 onwards. Her signature says Asset Manager. A look at the RE/MAX website indicates RE/MAX is a Real estate franchise. The website also reveals Charlotte has opened a RE/MAX Transact with her Husband, Kristoffer. Why do I write an entire essay about her, easy to understand the history of the person I am dealing with.
Her first email came through with the following text:
„Please find invoice for rent, attached to this email for payment.
Please ensure you take bank transfer times into consideration when paying the rent to ensure it reaches the Trust Account in time.“
The invoice was not attached to this email. Reading the whole text, I feel it is not well written. But what do I know as none English native speaker?
It looks like they wanted to waste our time because now we had to ask for the invoice. Is it so difficult to do the one job you have to do right? Or was the Latte more vital that it was not possible to check if the email had an attachment? Or is the Smartphone generation not able to hold concentration for long as 30 seconds? I do not know.
Of course, it did not stop there. After we received the invoice in a second attempt, we notice the invoice due date was the 2nd of January, but with an invoice date of 16th of January, the send date. Did I mention the Black Hole already? RE/MAX must be familiar with Einstein’s Relativity Theory and expects me to time travel to pay the invoice on time. Or on second thought, I am sure they refer to the fact time is relative, and I can pay whenever I want.
Dick 2: Company Cleanaway
Cleanaway provided us with a recycle bin for cardboard over the last four years. Usually, they were quite easy to deal with, provided a good service and were well priced. Seeing we have closed one location, the need for their service disappeared. Disappearing should also the bin. I tried, I tried. First, I called them, but the person in charge of closing accounts was not available. I left a voice message, no call-back, or maybe one I missed, no email or further calls. That was late in December 2018. Sure, nothing happened over Christmas and New Year. Second attempt first week in 2019. The same story. At least I was able to cancel the pickups. I tried again and again.
At last, I had the responsible person on the phone. I explained our situation with a note we may need the service in the future again. Mistake, bad mistake. Now they did not know what to do. On Monday, the 21st of January, just letting the reader know we vacated the premises on the 14th of December 2018, I have received an email that we could relocate the bin. It is not possible to have our account inactive. With that information, I advised that we cancel our account immediately. I was also informed about a $150 pick up fee for the bin, a $60 break contract fee and a fee if waste would be in the bin. Awesome customer service. I let them know about my unhappiness about the pickup fee, my rejection of the break fee, and the waste fee. We had no access to the premises since mid-December. I have no idea what the bin collected waste at that time. I have not been there.
Dick 3: Company Platinum Properties – Labrador
The relationship between an agency and tenants in Australia can be best descript as Cold War. It is a constant fight between the two parties. The agency treats the tenants like enemies, and of course, the tenants respond to that. I can write that because that is exactly my personal experience after renting for over 12 years in this God-blessed country. God did not bless the tenants, that’s for sure. On the 31st of December, we had to vacate our rental property. The owner wanted to sell and needed us out for that reason. Not that reader become the impression we are bad tenants and the enemy. Hold on, we always the enemy. Usually, the agency has a maximum of three days after the tenant left to inspect the property to confirm the Exit Condition Report. This is important for the next puzzle in the piece. The reports define if a tenant can claim the paid bond from the third party called RTA back. I understand the 31st of December is not the best day to expect a quick turnaround, but a week should be enough to get it done. That would have been the 7th of January, but nothing. By the way, did I mention the mutation for real estate agent into black holes before? Not sure if I did. Anyway, due to the law of agency turning into black holes after they have your money, I had to call them. I was advised that the form will be mailed to me. Do you know the feeling when doing something and realise it is wrong? Exactly that feeling was coming to me with this advice. I would go so far as to say I have lied to. Of course, the letter never arrived; nothing escapes a black hole, right? Not even a pigeon. There was no other choice to call again. Responses to multiple emails were nada. After numerous calls, the information was given, the form will be emailed to me now. It was guaranteed to get it the same day. We write the 21st of January at this stage. Do you know the feeling when you are lied to? Yes, I had that feeling, and for sure, I had to contact the agency the next day to ask for the form again. I used SMS because I felt like it and was not in the mood to waste my time on another call. It was not the 24th of December, but a miracle happened, an email with the bond lodgement form arrive in my Inbox. Was that to be good to be true? Was it that easy, sign the form and lodge it to get four months of rent back? Of course, it was. The amount in the document was less as the amount we have paid due to an increase in rent a few years back. Another call to the agency revealed that the lower amount is what the RTA had on file. That was what I was told. The feeling that someone is lying appeared somewhere in my lower body again. Sure, I could not wait any longer; I lodged the bond claim form with the lower amount myself. Somewhere in the many conversations, the agency told me to speed the process up, but we have already talked about lying, haven’t we? The reason I can say they are liars is, I have in my records a statement from the RTA showing the total amount of the bond and not the lower one. Sure, I have emailed the documents to the black hole. Let’s see what will happen.
In the whole process, the agency just bluntly lied into my face on various occasions. They are liars, or just simply, they are dicks.
To be continued ….
With the evidence provided for dealing with companies in a time frame of just one month, I conclude:
The majority of Australian companies are DICKS!