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Report: #320471

Complaint Review: Archstone Walnut Creek, Archstone Apartments, Archstone-Smith, Archstone-Smith Trust - Walnut Creek California

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  • Archstone Walnut Creek, Archstone Apartments, Archstone-Smith, Archstone-Smith Trust 1445 Treat Boulevard Walnut Creek, California U.S.A.


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From the Archstone Walnut Creek Senior Community Manager, aka the Great Little Dictator, I got posted this exacting edict dated 13 March 2008 which read in part:

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that our lease states that we expect our associates to enjoy a harassment free workplace. The contents of your email(dated 11 March 2008)violate section F of our lease agreement. Please be advised that this is the only notice that we will give regarding this behavior. Any further type of harassment to any of our staff members may result in legal action being taken.

As a result of this I would like to advise you that at this time all communication must be sent directly to myself in the form of a letter sent by mail, by phone or through an appointment to meet in person. In the future any emails received will not be addressed due to the nature of previous emails received.

Brief Background:

We have been residents at Archstone Walnut Creek since 28 April 2006 and have now twice renewed our lease on both 28 April 2007 and 28 March 2008, making us two-year residents thus far.

At their so-called My Archstone website for residents, under the Contact Us tab is a so-called Comment Card which asks, How are we doing? and boasts, We're listening with the following invitation(soliciting comments)of pure puffery:

You are in the best position to help us address the way you want to live. Our number one priority is providing you with a quality living experience, so talk to us. Tell us how we are doing. Tell us how we can be better, faster, and smarter. Share your ideas on ways we can make your life as wonderful as possible, or tell us about what we are already doing well.

Recently I completed two(2)so-called comment cards and copied and pasted their contents to the direct email link of the Senior Community Manager aka the Great Little Dictator.

Most recently we got posted to our apartment door a two-day Dear Resident, Good News! notice dated 10 March 2008 that on that imminent Wednesday of March 12th a virtual army of Quality Verification Services(QVS)staff-supervised technicians would be unleashed upon the complex to enter all apartments at will to test/repair all air conditions and air duct systems, including all air vents in all rooms as well as the token furnace and thermostat during normal business hours.

Comment Card #1: So in this first comment card I reported that all our air conditioning/heating vents and thermostat were working just fine and that, quite the contrary, their capricious incursion into our apartment, unduly disturbing our quiet enjoyment, as well as the inconvenience of re-arranging work schedules to be present during their spot inspection and making all systems accessible would pose a great imposition, requesting further if possible the opportunity to opt out of said spot inspection.

Incidentally, I watched several of those roving QVC technicians throughout the day from both our entry peep hole and patio sliding glass doors and absolutely none of the ones observed were ever staff-supervised and all were entering apartments at random with their own keys. And the quite stout technician whom I observed entering the apartment directly opposite to ours went in and out, leaving the apartment door hanging wide open whilst he went back and forth assembling equipment. Such predictable carelessness is one reason why we preferred opting out.

Comment Card #2: So in this second comment card I voiced complaints, both long-standing and recent, concerning the so-called fitness center, which recently underwent certain supposed upgrades, including the laying of fresh flooring, painting and the installation of new ceiling fan and lighting fixtures, as well as two brand-new pieces of Starmaster-type exercise equipment, which is all perfectly fine, well and good.

Ultimately intended likewise is the installation of a cable TV, which I had called a wasted investment inviting theft if anything due to the center front door having been jimmied and breached(for the entire two years we have lived there)to the degree that anybody(even without a tenant amenity key)can insert their arm through to gain access via that front door by simply pressing its inside hand-bar. And that particular breach likewise makes their so-called security crack-down equally token. I made absolutely no complaints whatever against any upgrades made.

My major complaint however concerns the faulty fitness center TREADMILL, which I have been reporting for literally months on end to that listening management office to be both dilapidated and dangerous. All too frequently that obsolete machine has literally CONKED OUT altogether during use and smelt of burnt bearings or rubber or both and requires PROMPT REPLACEMENT.

What these management associates do not know is that a daily email correspondent and sometimes guest of mine can document by both date and time literally SCORES of incidents ranging over a period of literally MONTHS in which I recount in passing that treadmill outright CONKING OUT during use as I resort to it almost daily, performing three-mile running bouts five times per week. And I am quite qualified to testify in these matters since I am also a fitness expert five-times nationally certified(ACE, ISSA, NASM, NCSF, NFPT).

Rather than replace that run-down, dangerous machine that listening apartment management persists instead with making impermanent make-shift, stop-gap repairs that invariably prove to be temporary at best.

Posted inside the fitness center are policies hours lasting from 5AM to 11PM daily though for the past entire two years, being a graveyard shift working person, I have felt free to resorting to fitness center equipment with my own tenant amenity key at all hours of the night or day and without any complaint from fellow tenants.

So my related complaint voiced on that second comment card concerned being recently accosted at the fitness center by an uppity guard from Overton Security who entered the room a little past 11PM, disrupting my aerobic workout whilst I was 2.5 miles into an intense treadmill run, with the curt admonition, Time to shut it down! and following that up with a childish crack alluding to my deep diaphragm breathing, I do not want you to have a heart attack on me. This, mind you, coming from a graying, paunchy, conspicuously out-of-shape security guard! No excuse me. No Sorry to interrupt your workout. No decent common courtesy at all. Just a rude, disruptive, mid-run, Time to shut it down! Most tellingly, this guard admitted with questioning that the Archstone management had threatened to pull its Overton company security account should they not crack down on residents after-hours use of the fitness center. Archstone relishes resorting to threats in treating all its relations, evidently.

Now to re-emphasize: I submitted those two comment cards and copied and pasted their contents to no one else in Archstone Walnut Creek management except the Senior Community Manager, the Great Little Dictator. In response the Senior Community Manager, the Great Little Dictator, made absolutely no reply whatever.

In her stead, some office flunky, a so-called Customer Service Associate, sent me her sometimes pompous and condescending email dated 11 March 2008. A few points to clear up your concerns, it begins, which read in part:

1)The treadmill is fine, in working condition, and a few associates in the office even admit to using it on a regular basis with no problems or interruption.

Essentially here this twirp is calling me a liar outright. Well, my daily email correspondent and sometimes guest who has actually been present during numerous workouts has actually witnessed that run-down treadmill literally conking out on multiple occasions and is quite prepared to execute a sworn affidavit to that effect.

Of course that run-down machine will not conk out unless it is used continuously at a certain intensity(pace or speed), typically past 6.0, which translates roughly to 10-minute miles, and as such is exceptionally slow by any objective standard. In commercial gyms it is quite common to observe fit members regularly using treadmills at brisk paces exceeding 8.0-8.5 performing roughly 7.5-6.6-minute mile runs respectively. Personally I do not ever overwork that decrepit treadmill, rarely attempting paces exceeding 7.0-7.5 or roughly 8.5-8.0-minute miles, which is just moderate performance capacity.

SO, if that machine is not breaking down during operation by management associates then it is obviously due to the fact of extremely SLOW-paced use. And as I pointed out, citing no one in particular: anybody taking a leisurely stroll on any treadmill whilst reading a magazine, a typical scenario, and thinks they are working out aerobically is only kidding themselves.

My sole point being: beneficial and effective aerobic workouts for fitter residents require certain minimum intensities(paces or speeds)of use. Otherwise that treadmill is essentially use-LESS, which that run-down machine most definitely is.

Next that office flunky condescendingly wrote, presuming to pompously preach to me concerning the token fitness center security:

2)The fitness center hours that are posted on the wall are ABSOLUTELY the hours between which you can access and use the fitness center machines. So you can EXPECT to plan your future workouts around the small six-hour period each day that our fitness center, and all common resident areas, will be closed.

Really? In jest, I responded that the police state head had spoken, Yavo, Commandant!

Archstone Walnut Creek has asked our courtesy patrol company, Overton Security, to CRACK DOWN a bit on SUSPICIOUS ACITIVITY in the fitness center, the office flunky added, as if working out after-hours constitutes suspicious activity.

In closing the office flunky presumed to condescendingly lecture me further:

Everyone has a different ideal workout environment and you are MORE THAN WELCOME TO AVERT YOUR EYES from the TV in place if it is a distraction to you and your exercise ritual.

So in response I likewise told her flat-out not to presume either to preach to me or to misquote me as I had not raised the first protest against the installation of any TV as a distraction, other than to term it a wasted investment, which it is, since it would have been a far more beneficial and useful investment simply to replace the dilapidated and dangerous fitness center treadmill!

In her idly threatening letter of 13 March 2008 Archstone Walnut Creek Senior Community Manager, aka the Great Little Dictator, likewise misquoted me and falsely accused me of being unsatisfied with the current upgrades to our fitness center whilst I have never, ever anyplace expressed any such sentiment.

In response then to my email protesting against the pompous and condescending office flunky communication, the Senior Community Manager, aka the Great Little Dictator, sent me her equally pompous and condescending letter, falsely accusing me of harassment and idly threatening me with some ambiguous and vague legal action, citing section F of their lease agreement, which for the record states:

MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEES. Archstone Communities Management is an equal opportunity employer and enforces a harassment free workplace. Resident, residents family and guests agree not to harass, verbally abuse, denigrate, or otherwise disrespect Management employees and contractors. Failure to abide by this policy may result in a termination of the lease.

Well, here is a news flash for all these hysterical little office flunky girls: if they really and truly honestly think that anything whatever contained in any of my emails, past or present, constitutes harassment then they do not know what harassment is or means. And if they really and truly honestly think that any of their idle threats of ambiguous and vague legal action terrorize me in the least then all these hysterical little office flunky girls can think again! And if they really and truly honestly think that they can make a successful case against me in eviction court for any such harassment then all these hysterical little office flunky girls can, in the immortal infamous last words of our bellicose and glorious warrior leader: then BRING IT ON!

But whilst you are pondering this challenge in the meantime get this straight once and for all and get it good:

Archstone Apartments after just two years is already gouging us $1445 a month for an extremely limited-space one-bedroom apartment when its current website lists entry one-bedroom rent at $1340(we were socked with $1365 on move-in two years ago, our monthly rent rose $40 twice in that time frame!).

The bottom line here is: for that kind of gouging, NONE of you dare to presume to high-handedly berate, condescend to, lecture, reprimand or otherwise issue any of your dictates or edicts to ME, not now, not ever. For that kind of gouging, we are not here to bow or kowtow to ANY of you. You on the other hand are here to courteously and politely SERVICE US, not the other way around.

And another thing you hysterical little office flunky girls ought to know: I am hardly intimidated by your idle threats to attend civil court. Far from it, I shall meet you there ANYTIME. Just try me.

Out of five small claims court actions I have brought in Alameda County over the years as PLAINTIFF I have successfully prevailed in four of those actions. Being a Florida police recruit graduate since December 1981 nor am I intimidated by any idle implied threats of legal action of any other kind as well. Pester me further wilth your idle girly threats of ambiguous and vague legal action and I shall answer any challenge you THINK you can wage. Talk is cheap, girls: and talking legal action is one thing, actually DOING it is quite another. And action is all about doing, not talking, or chirping like little henpecked chicks.

RESPECT? Do not ever, and I mean EVER, presume to preach to me about respect, much less write me letters idly threatening legal action over patently false accusations of harassment thinking you can unlawfully infringe upon, usurp or otherwise violate my rights to free speech and expression in PRIVATE EMAILS responding to pompous and condescending communications INSTIGATED by your own customer service representatives.

RESPECT? Listen up all you hysterical little office flunky girls: respect is EARNED, not granted by some ambiguous, vague and UNENFORCEABLE little clause or provision in your lease agreement. And you EARN your respect not just by listening but rather by ACTING positively on the concerns of the residents YOU service. You do not dare to dictate any terms to me as an Archstone tenant, not now, not ever. Your idle, girly threats of ambiguous and vague legal action will never, ever suppress my expression of opinion, not here, not there, not ANYWHERE.

In fact, I am a digital, on-demand book publisher with the capacity of publishing book-length titles at internet bookstores like virtually overnight. Why, if pressed I might just be inclined to compose and publish an internet e-pamphlet about the AWFULNESS that is Archstone Apartments. And being a computer, home-based operation, girls, I have got lots and plenty of time to invest in doing just that. How much time and effort have you got to invest? So I say again: just try me.


Finally, I strongly recommended in my email response to your pompous and condescending customer service rep communication that some REMEDIAL READING work is in order for her evident inability to read, comprehend and act upon an excruciatingly simple appointment for an outstanding maintenance request(for a fully operable stove to replace the one in our apartment that has been repaired inadequately and impermanently multiple times)dating back now to 4 March 2008.

In that Special Instructions request section I most politely wrote: Please confirm your earliest appointment with us present at home via email to.

In the Resolution request section this deliberately illiterate customer service rep falsely reported: Sent email(per resident request)to set up appointment time to service stove/oven on 3/7.

Which is patently FALSE as my request from the outset was to CONFIRM VIA EMAIL rather than waste time and effort to set up an appointment, as setting up an appointment entails needless dickering over when their maintanence staff is next available to make a service visit.

I have successfully resorted to this excruciatingly simply procedure for the entire past two years and now suddenly it becomes so terribly tough for these hysterical little girls to read and comprehend: confirm via email with overnight notice when your maintenance staff is next available to come and I shall be ready and waiting for them, preferably my favorite maintenance worker whom I always mention most favorably by name, a procedure which bypasses the setting up part and works conspicuously both to their convenience and advantage since for the past two years I have invariably confirmed maintenance appointments via email in precisely this manner.

Despite all that, this deliberately illiterate customer service rep in her pompous and condescending communication dated 11 March 2008 pesists with asking as an afterthought: Also, when would you like to schedule a visit for the issues you are having with your stove/oven?


As of 17 March 2008 Archstone Walnut Creek shyster management has falsely marked that service Request Status as: Work Completed.

More, the Senior Community Manager, aka the Great Little Dictator herself, initialed falsely the service request Resolution as: Work order closed per DH, BDS.

And Archstone-Smith Trust, the parent company, has the unmitigated gall to post at its website Honesty and Ethics as amongst its company values, to-wit:

We uphold the highest ethical standards and treat our customers, and each other, fairly and honestly. We take our commitments seriously and do what we say we are going to do. Without this, nothing else matters, because people want to do business with those they trust.

Archstone-Smith Trust was acquired 5 October 2007 by Tishman Speyer and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which perhaps fosters such shyster practices.

Doctoring maintenance service requests, trumping up tenant lease agreement violations with false accusations of harassment to stifle and suppress vocal tenant complaints, deliberately distorted and misrepresented by INEFFECTUAL OFFICE FUNCTIONARIES; such shyster practices are neither honest nor ethical, nor shall such shoddy conduct be tolerated without just-due consequence and repercussion. And that is not just some idle girly threat of legal action. That is a PROMISE!


I adamantly advise that you reply promptly via EMAIL, for MY convenience, not yours!

Joseph Jr
Walnut Creek, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/24/2008 03:45 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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