Monday, May 30, 2016



Read up on how American Utility Management cheats condo owners and apartment renters out of thousands of dollars with bogus bills and unjustified fees!

Although as of Jan. 2013 I am no longer an owner at Nautilus Cove Condo in Panama City Beach, Florida, and have no current connection with AUM this blog site might be of interest to you if you have AUM as your utility billing firm.  I have found them to be cheats and frauds and so have a lot of other people. 

Keep in mind that there is a message board all about AUM.  You can read what others say and you can add your own comments to the site.  Go to:  http://aumsucks.freeforums.net/



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Consumers - Know your enemy:


Our AUM Team


"AUM’s Senior Management Team includes a mix of long-standing multifamily industry experts along with top-level talent from other businesses to ensure we provide the most innovative, holistic solutions for our clients.  From our Account Managers and Invoice Processors to our Senior Executives, we are committed to being the premier utility management and energy services partner to the multifamily industry."

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Why not give all of them the benefit of your opinion of their crappy company?  I email them regularly and you should also.  Reach out for them at:

mmiller@aum-inc.com
malpo@aum-inc.com,
dwitte@aum-inc.com
dcarpenter@aum-inc.com,
dkapsis@aum-inc.com,
jpeterson@aum-inc.com
msmurzynski@aum-inc.com,
Jstackhouse@aum-inc.com,
Pahern@aum-inc.com
Lalperin@aum-inc.com,
Pbosi@aum-inc.com,
Mcoffman@aum-inc.com,
Khughes@aum-inc.com
Dwilbur@aum-inc.com
info@aum-inc.com
customerservice@aum-inc.com,
careers@aum-inc.com
myaum@aum-inc.com


Ownership



Michael MillerBob Malpasuto Dave CarpenterDan Witte
Michael MillerBob MalpasutoDave CarpenterDan Witte
Chief Executive OfficerChief Financial OfficerChief Strategic OfficerExecutive Vice President

Management


Joe Stackhouse  Joe Stackhouse
President and Chief Operating Officer 

Pat Ahern Linda AlperinPat BosiMark Coffman
Pat Ahern Linda AlperinPat BosiMark Coffman
Executive Vice President, FinanceExecutive Vice President, Marketing Executive Vice President, People and Performance Executive Vice President, Operations

Kevin Hughes Dimitris Kapsis Jeffrey PetersonDonna Wilbur
Kevin HughesDimitris KapsisJeffrey PetersonDonna Wilbur
Executive Vice President, Sales Chief Energy Officer Executive Vice President, General CounselVice President, Invoice Processing Operations

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UPDATE  5/15/16:
Here are a few of the newer YELP reviews about the scumbags at AUM.  

There are now 72 YELP reviews, all one star, so be sure and go over there and add your own review to the site.


https://www.yelp.com/biz/american-utility-management-los-angeles 

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Ian A.
Plymouth, MI  4/28/2016

From Plymouth, MI, and I'll add the same: DO NOT RENT AT APARTMENT COMPLEXES THAT USE THIS CROOKED COMPANY! The complaints in this State about AUM are the same as everywhere else: you will be overcharged by them, your payments lost, and should you choose to pay online (like most companies allow for FREE these days), you will be price-gouged for it at a rate of $7.99 per bill payment! Really, it's only a matter of time before a class-action lawsuit is raised against these thieves.


As another person stated, ask each apartment complex if they use AUM before moving in, and if they do, RUN.
 


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Doggin L.

Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA  3/15/2016

PLEASE ask the manager of an apartment you are thinking about renting if they use AUM - if they do then DO NOT RENT FROM THEM. As much as you want the place, tell them you will NOT rent from them because they support AUM. Known offenders who make you sign up for AUM are PAC properties in the valley. They dropped the fact we would have to pay AUM fees at the last moment. 


Trust me, AUM is NOT the norm - it is a scam designed to STEAL your money.


If I could find a way, I would spend my entire life to shut down this company of scammers. The more research you do, the more you realize how sketchy and illegal this entire company should be. I haven't had to deal with AUM in years and if I do, I will go to court.


research, research, research - these criminals need to be shut down.


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Qiao S.

Evanston, IL 3/10/2016

I want to give negative 100 stars. This company is rubbish, I am not at home for one month, they still charges me 30 dollars for trash and 14 dollars for gas.


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Pedro O.

Atlanta, GA 1/27/2016

They charges an extra fee to pay online is alright, but 7.5 dollars extra? Really,  around 15% extra just be able to pay?

Monday, May 9, 2016

AMERICAN UTILITY MANAGEMENT (AUM)

This is a somewhat neglected blog.  I have about 250 sites so I don't get all of them updated as often as they deserve.

Nothing with this bottom feeding firm ever seems to change, no matter how many complaints there are. 

AUM continues to be a major scam and here is a slight update FYI.  Take a look at these various sites, put in your own complaints and also file online with the BBB.

We see just how bad a firm is from www.yelp.com/biz/american-utility-management-los-angeles which has 73 complaints from the first review of 1/23/13 (San Diego, Ca) to 5/27/16 (Hollywood, Ca).

All reviewers gave only 1 star and many said they did not deserve even 1 star!  Be sure and put in your complaints, on Yelp and on the BBB site.

Here are 2 of my sites about AUM:
aumsucks.blogspot.com,
stoneharborsucks.blogspot.com/,

Here are other AUM related sites FYI:
aumthieves.blogspot.com/,
www.apartmentratings.com/ga/atlanta/darlington-apartments_4043515474303091413/review-725295/,
justjdm.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/auburn-place-x-aum-inc-utility-ripoff/,
http://aumsucks.freeforums.net/

Read more:  http://aumsucks.freeforums.net/thread/4/yelps-reviews-say-aum?page=1#ixzz3vwPH8GWG



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12/26/14

Misc FYI:  Keep in mind that there is an under used  message board all about AUM.  You can read what others say and you can add your own comments to the site.  Go to:  http://aumsucks.freeforums.net/

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Just to refresh this site a bit here are 3 recent BBB complaints about this shoddy firm.  Can you believe the BBB still rates them at A+!  That is why I often call the BBB the 'Better Coverup Bureau'

Sep. 30, 2014AUM is nickel and dime all their customers, and the landlords and taking their cut in this. some of the tenants at the ******** apartments run their water 24/7 and the rest of the residents have to pay the bill.

Since AUM my water bill has double if not tripled and the landlords have been told about the water waste and do not do anything about correcting the matter, why their cut in the AUM will be less. Where does one go to when it comes to conserving the natural resources when landlords as ******** and ***** apartments do not care.

by Maria S. on Sep. 30, 2014 | Submit a Customer Review
Was this review helpful to you? YesNo
Sep. 28, 2014My experience with them has been horrible. I would strongly recommend reconsidering moving into an apartment complex that uses AUM. They charged us 2.83 times our city's rate for water and 2.27 times our city's sewer rates. What should have been a 35 dollar bill for 17 days of water use was 97. Plus they charge a $7.50 "convenience fee" for paying online, and make you pay for postage if you pay by mail. When I called them to complain, the representative was condescending, and they refused to change our rates to something more reasonable.

by Ethan L. on Sep. 28, 2014 | Submit a Customer Review

Comments

Comment from the Business:Thank you for your BBB review of AUM. In order to better assist your question or concern, we encourage you to contact our Customer Service Department at 866-520-1245, 8:00am-7:00pm CST Monday through Friday). If you wish to send written correspondence, please send to: AUM P O Box 4957 Oak Brook IL 60522 Or via email: customerservice@aum-inc.com Thank You, AUM Customer Serviceby Business on 2014-10-06 13:49:51
Was this review helpful to you? YesNo
Sep. 09, 2014Dear landlords - only choose this 'management company' if you hate your residents. Actually, only use AUM if you hate your residents *and* they are offering you a substantial kickback, because they will gouge the heck out of your residents and you deserve some of that. I really hope my landlords are getting paid for my pain. If you are a resident with the misfortune of a landlord that uses AUM, offer to bake them a cake and give the money directly. AUM charges a $5.54 fee for to mail you a letter saying you owe them money, I guess.

None of my other bills do this, so I'm not sure what it covers. It will also charge another 'convience fee' exorbitant $7.50 if you want to pay by credit card. There is no easy option to pay by ACH/EFT, even though it's 2014 and literally everyone else does this. To set up direct charge, you have to mail in a letter with your info, and wait 45 days (ensuring you will encounter more bills and 'convience fees') before they will enter in the info. AUM is a company that takes advantage of residents through fees, end of story.

Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right, this is the literal definition of rent-seeking leeches on our economy.

by A. Schafer on Sep. 09, 2014
- See more at: http://www.bbb.org/chicago/business-reviews/billing-service/american-utility-management-in-oak-brook-il-28003768/customer-reviews?cacheit=y#sthash.vilBI3Ts.dpuf




Keep in mind that there is a message board all about AUM.  You can read what others say and you can add your own comments to the site.  Go to:  http://aumsucks.freeforums.net/


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The best summary I've come across to describe AUM is:  
"This is not a business, it's a group of criminals.  They don't even bother trying to hide it."

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Some Info from a blog reader:

Are you suspicious of the high bills and outrageous late fee’s?   I began to research the AUM bills. I have uncovered that AUM is performing shady business practices such as payment date changes and over charging tenants with respect to the actual cost of Water & Sewer! 

I am currently filling a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT against AUM and need your support! 

Please email me at aum@ferreirafilms.com to get a letter to sign and support this case!
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Minor Update:  This blog is widely read, unlike many of my 250 or so blogs this company generates a LOT of traffic for me, 16 look ins just today.

I have recently noted that YELP has no ratings other than the min. 1 star out of 5, on any of the reviews, everyone trashes this firm.

On the other hand the Chicago BBB keeps their rating at A+.  AUM is a dues paying member of the Better Coverup Bureau.  I have complained to them before on this unrealistic rating and supplied information on the actions (covered below) of the City of Panama City Beach and how they dealt with this morally corrupt and evil firm, but of course the BBB ignored my information on this governmenatl action.

The BBB now provides the texts and replies of consumers on their site, so if you go and look at Yelp and the BBB you will see exactly what you have to deal with.

I also note that AUM looks in frequently on my blog site, twice last week, (208.96.245.186 — American Utility Management Lombard, Il) so they know exactly what I say about them.  ie:  they are simply theives and they can sue me anytime they want for saying it, but be assured that if your complex uses AUM you are being totally screwed by them.

NOTE:  Take a look at a message board about this firm, read what is there, add your comments or start another thread.  http://aumsucks.freeforums.net/ and also via http://aumsucks.freeforums.net/board/1/general-board


Don't forget to go via direct link to:  http://stoneharborsucks.blogspot.com/ and get more details on both AUM and Concord Management Ltd.


Just FYI here is what the BBB (http://www.bbb.org/) says about them:  "130 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 44 closed in last 12 months".  AUM has been a member of the BBB since 2006.  That means they pay the BBB 'dues' to be a member. 

The BBB has an outstanding record of covering up for crappy firms as long as they pay the BBB dues. 

So go ahead and put in a BBB complaint but don't expect anything to actually come of it.  By the way, 128 of those complaints were about 'billing', that is to say people complained to the BBB about getting screwed by AUM and they still have their A+ BBB rating.

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  7/21/14

What others think of AUM



The Site YELP has extensive reviews of AUM they are all negative, take a few minutes and read about them below or just go to the site and see them yourself.  

Reviews at: www.yelp.com/biz/american-utility-management-los-angeles 

Read more: http://aumsucks.freeforums.net/thread/4/yelps-reviews-say-aum?page=1&scrollTo=25#ixzz38ATlrh6J


HERE IS AN UPDATE FROM 2014 ON YELP COMMENTS


Thomas P. Escondido, CA 7/7/2014


There are not appropriate words for how much I am bothered by this company. They charge an exorbitant amount to pay online or over the phone ($7.50---more than any company I've ever gotten service from). Their customer service people are rude and unfriendly. If you want to go to an office to pay the bill, you can't. I mean---your entire purpose in existence is to help people pay their utility bills, why do you have to make it so burdensome and complicated and expensive? Their website is also pathetic and doesn't provide much detail at all. 

I will tell you one thing they are efficient at---closing your account---even before I had a chance to pay the bill on the date that it's due. 

I, for one, will not ever rent from another place that does business with these people in the future. There is a reason why NOBODY has anything good to say about them. Why they are still in business is beyond me.

Cathy B. 4/3/2014

Run far away from any apartment complex that is using their service.It's a total scam!!! 7.5 dollars to be able to pay online??!!

When I asked their customer service why they said it was the maintenance fee to be able to keep their website up... Really??? Why in hell should I have to pay for that?
Worst company ever.

Johnny E. San Luis Obispo, CA 6/14/2014

rip off. Charges $4 fee for precessing payment. Really thinking of moving to a new apartment because of this.. Not to mention my apartment complex never gave me a written notice about changes in my contract..

Patrice L. Los Angeles, CA 3/23/2014

terrible, absolutely terrible. Just like everyone saids here. ridiculous on the service fee.


what's the point we are using the internet here on the website that you can do shit.


Paying with credit card, it's $7.50 fee. who does that? To set up direct debit, requires to send paper form. it's just ridiculous. who has all this time figure going through all this shit just to pay your utility bill.

no company should do business with AUM. it is bunch of assholes.

Ross H. San Francisco, CA 2/13/2014


This company is a complete scam. In addition to a $7.50 "processing fee" on EVERY bill, they charge EVERY resident a postage fee for their bill as part of an "admin fee" - even if the statement is delivered online (which obviously requires no postage).

Think about it. A building with 440 units, where half of the residents receive statements online, is getting charged 220 units worth of postage (per month) for things that have never been mailed. Go ahead and ask them about it - they will dodge your question if you make it past the hold.

This is not a business, it's a group of criminals. They don't even bother trying to hide it. I'm extremely disappointed in my apartment's management for making this happen.

Pamela M. Chula Vista, CA 5/27/2014


American Utility Management (AUM) is an absolutely reprehensible company that consistently goes out of their way to charge tenants erroneous fees which include a late fee of $9.50 which is not dependent on when they receive payment BUT when they decide to "process" your payment. They offer online payment service which would be readily convenient for most people living in the 21st century but the charge of $7.50 to "process" your online payment makes it completely inconvenient.

What is the AUM Admin Charge?

The AUM Admin Charge is a fee charged for calculating, processing and managing the property's utility billing program.--Which is a ridiculous $3.25 at my apartment complex.


I no longer have to wonder about the ethics of companies that do business with this reprehensible company after reading the reviews on Yelp and around the web. I will never move into another building that using this company as their utility management service.

K K. Edmonds, WA 6/29/2014

I agree - The Cove in Tiburon, CA uses them and I have yet to get my water, sewer bill correct. Awful.

Jake S. Chicago, IL 6/19/2014


AUM is my least favorite company, there's something about it that just feels like an absolute scam. Charging 7.50 to pay your bill online is beyond insane, and having to send it actual paperwork for direct debit is even worse. I'm actually going to be moving out of my apartment building specifically due to AUM, and I will actively avoid living in any building that is affiliated with AUM.

Kim P Los Angeles 5/9/2014


This company is the absolute worst. I agree with what everyone else has said here. The fees are ridiculous, there's absolutely no customer service, and they are a complete scam. My building was sold and the new owners use AUM and I am so disappointed because AUM has really made a mess of things at our building.

Ben S. San Francisco, CA 5/13/2014

HORRIBLE!!! Worst company of today's world. They only let you pay by check or pay a $7.50 "convenience fee" to pay online.... are you flippin kidding me??? This company is a joke. DON'T rent from someone using them!!!! I will never do it again!!! You can't even pay by phone... and I would accept something like $2.00 but serious f**k them!!!! There customer service sucks, they over charge for online payment and worst of all if you like the apartment you don't have a choice but to use them. THEY NEED TO DISAPPEAR!!!

Carla V. Santa Cruz, CA 5/2/2014


Wow, you know I've lived all over the world and sometimes businesses like these that manage to slink around here in the good ole USofA without check really freak me out. How have they not been stopped yet??? So, so very shady and so obviously out to get your money. Be careful. Sometimes you can't get around dealing with them because often times you don't find out they exist until after you sign the lease (happened to two of my neighbors), so best thing is to just stay on top of everything, and SEND CHECKS. 


Please do not give these people the satisfaction of taking your $7.50 "convenience" fee when you pay online. So disgusted, hope they are shut down soon- and they should be- they must be fairly new as they have no BBB ranking.

Filip B. San Diego, CA 5/2/2014


This company charges you a convenience fee of $7.50 every time you pay online, instead of sending them a check by mail. That is just absurd. We should be discounted by paying online instead. 


Seriously, the less paperwork for a company the less cost, which means more profits. For every customer who pay online the company does not have to deal with the work of opening mails and to put the checks on their records. Therefore the convenience fee is just a scam. Further, I think they charge too much, and I don't get a record of how much usage I have had during a month, which means that they can easily charge you more than they should. 

When I move, I will avoid living at any apartment complex that uses AUM.

Misha V. Phoenix, AZ 3/6/2014


Not that I am adding anything new, but these guys deserve all the negative attention they can get. The $30 dollar trash fee that is already ridiculous also has AUM Admin charge of $3.88 on top of it. And if you are paying with credit card, it's $7.50 fee. There is not a single bank that charges them that high, so they are making a nice profit on that too. 


To set up direct debit, requires to send PAPER form (strangely, they don't ask for carrier pigeon) and they will take 30 to 45 days to get it going. For those reading this review, Internet has been a thing for a few years now, so that's just another level of asshole ripoff. The apartment complex I am in will get a matching review just for supporting this scam of a business.

Read more: http://aumsucks.freeforums.net/thread/4/yelps-reviews-say-aum?page=1&scrollTo=25#ixzz38AU2JkF1


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Here are a few more of the BBB complaints found online at their Chicago BBB site.  I usually refer to the BBB as the 'Better Coverup Bureau' as any dues paying firm is allowed to do anything and still keep their A+ rating.

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by A. Schafer on Sep. 09, 2014
Sep. 09, 2014

Dear landlords - only choose this 'management company' if you hate your residents. Actually, only use AUM if you hate your residents *and* they are offering you a substantial kickback, because they will gouge the heck out of your residents and you deserve some of that.

I really hope my landlords are getting paid for my pain. If you are a resident with the misfortune of a landlord that uses AUM, offer to bake them a cake and give the money directly. AUM charges a $5.54 fee for to mail you a letter saying you owe them money, I guess. None of my other bills do this, so I'm not sure what it covers. It will also charge another 'convience fee' exorbitant $7.50 if you want to pay by credit card.

There is no easy option to pay by ACH/EFT, even though it's 2014 and literally everyone else does this. To set up direct charge, you have to mail in a letter with your info, and wait 45 days (ensuring you will encounter more bills and 'convience fees') before they will enter in the info. AUM is a company that takes advantage of residents through fees, end of story. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right, this is the literal definition of rent-seeking leeches on our economy.

This customer had a NEGATIVE experience with this business.
This customer WOULD NOT recommend the business to a friend, family member, neighbor or colleague.

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09/22/2014 Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details

Complaint:  AUM does not send out their statements in a timely manner. The statement gets to you 1-5 days after you would have had to mail the bill back. This would be fine if online bill pay was an option, but it cost 7.50. They attempt to trap customers with unnecessary fees. I was assessed a late fee last month. I called and they removed it as a one time curtsy. I will be assessed another late fee this month because it is impossible to pay the bill within their timeline.

Working backwards, the bill is due on the 1st, it takes 5-7 business days to process. The 1st is a holiday, they would have to receive my payment no later than August 21, four days for mailing I would need to send on August 16 because there is no mail on Sundays. I did not receive the bill from them until the 19th. This is a business practice meant to trap customers, the statements aren't generated until the 11th of each month and in phone calls with the company they acknowledge that they don't send them out on time. My account number is XXXXXXXXXX.
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07/16/2014 Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
Complaint Category: Improper collection practices

Complaint:  AUM charged me a late fee of $9.00 even though I received the first billing letter after my initial payment was due, thus they didn't allow me to pay on time. I never received a bill for the first payment cycle.

To avoid a second late fee, the only way to pay "on time" was to pay online using a credit or debit card, which is fantastic, but they charge an unreasonable fee of $7.50. No one in the industry or other industries charges a convenience fee of more than $2.00. This is completely unreasonable. If anything, there should be a discount for paying online as it reduces manual work for them plus any paperwork.
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04/18/2014 Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
Complaint Category:  - Credit, Billing or Collection Complaint Issue

Complaint:  Company charges $5 a month to sent a bill that is always wrong. When I asked my apartment complex manager about this charge and how to remove it, I was told I needed to contact AUM directly as they had nothing to do with this. I called AUM and the associate was very unhelpful.

I requested to stop receiving these bills and to cancel and they refused, telling me breaking my lease and moving was the only way to stop this charge. My apartment complex uses separate billing online that I use and do not need or require this bill to be sent or generated by this company.

Further, I have checked my lease and have been unable to find any agreement to this fee by this third party company as they claimed. They seem to be passing the issue off on others instead of doing the right thing and canceling my account or at least stop sending me these pointless incorrect bills that just get thrown away because they are wrong half the time. This company practices some very shady business and needs their BBB Accredited title remove immediately. Shame on this company.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Initial Consumer Rebuttal 
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
This did not address the issue at all. Seems to be a standard pre-written response that you just sent to everyone. Your bills are often for the incorrect amount, resulting in me having to pay my apartment complex twice every month. Main issue is you are charging $5 a month to provide incorrect information. If you must charge me at least provide correct and accurate bills. If you can not do this I should not be required to pay.

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03/18/2014 Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
Complaint Category: Failure to substantiate charges

Complaint:  On 1/24/2014 I received my water/sewer bill from AUM. After opening the bill on 1/26/14, I realized the bill was double the amount than normal. I have lived in this same apartment for 3 years and my water/sewer bill has never been greater than $50.

However, I realized the increase is due to a $56 charge for "Sewer." This amount is almost 3x as much as the charge for our water, which was only $16. After speaking to The Racquet Club, they indicated they had not been aware of an increase in rate/charge and AUM must notify them of an increase, which they had not done.

After speaking with AUM, we were simply told it is the correct amount after installing new meters and a new system. However, none of this was notified to us that our bills would be more than double what we average paying per month. They also failed to substantiate how a flat fee for sewer could be three times the amount for water. It is improper practice to not only charge three times the amount for a sewer fee as you do water, as well as fail to notify consumers and the property of the increase.
Acct number : XXXXXXXXXX

Spoke with a ******** on the phone who failed to escalate my concerns to a manager and verify the reason for the drastic increase in price for a sewer fee.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

If you are not particularly interested in our Nautilus Cove condo problems you will still find other AUM information here, so read on!
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In late 2012 our sister communities problems with AUM/Concord had some major attention from the City of Panama City Beach.  You can read more about this below.


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2/23/13 Update:  2 AUM Federal Court Cases are reported below and today some minor updates to these were added.

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Take a look at the AUM 'message board' at:
http://aumsucks.freeforums.net/index.cgi =======================================================
 
More BBB Information FYI

July 30, 2013 Update:
The BBB now has 137 complaints closed in last 3 years / 46 closed in last 12 months.
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It is absolutely amazing that such a sleezy business has an A+ rating. I have written to the Chicago BBB to point out that they are so bad that Panama City Beach, Florida had to amend their ordnances so that AUM could no longer rip off residents of Stone Harbor Apartments. The BBB simply ignored this and does not list it as a 'government action'.

Feb. 8, 2013

Mr. Steve J. Bernas - President/CEO
sbernas@chicago.bbb.org,
BBB of Chicago & Northern Illinois
330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 3120
Chicago, IL 60611

 RE: American Utility Management (AUM)


Dear Mr. Bernas:

I am writing to you with copies to other Chicago BBB workers who may be interested in this topic.

I and other consumers are entirely disappointed with your continuing to rate your member company AUM as A+.

I will direct you and other readers to a long standing blog site I set up when I found this 3rd rate utility was simply 'making up' billings for my condo. If you read far enough in this blog you will see that this firm simply invented bills and I found that I was being billed for excess water usage during many months that I was NOT even in residence at my condo.

From my extensive dealings with AUM I found that the only 'honest' people they employee were in their tech services area, they were able to look back 90 days worth of billings to verify that there was no water usage and with this information I did get 2 credits to my bill.

The Internet has many examples of complaints about this shoddy utility billing firm and some are incorporated into my blog site.

I have said for many years that this firm is running a scam and a racket and they are defrauding consumers in apartment buildings and condos all across the country. I note that I have yet to be sued by them for defamation or liable, that alone should tell you something about the firm.

 Previously I had written via email to half a dozen of your staff with information about how the City of Panama City Beach (Florida) had complaints from renters at Stone Harbor Apartments, an AUM serviced complex and after looking at how these people were being ripped off the City put through an amendment to their ordnance to prohibit such outrageous billings.

At the very least this information should have been added to your site under 'government actions'. It was not.

 If the Chicago BBB will not now take steps to warn consumers about AUM and their fraudulent practices then I will have to contact other branches of the BBB and Chambers of Commerce in Northern Illinois to alert them to how the Chicago BBB is letting down consumers and not accurately reflecting the problems with AUM.

My blog site is found at: http://aumsucks.blogspot.com/ and I will incorporate two posts in this email FYI.

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A Calif. Class Action Filing Against AUM

American Utility Management (AUM) does business all across the country.

Here is the case of  Nekole Rucker v. American Utility Management it is a class action suit in the Central District of California (ie: Los Angeles) which complains that AUM violated various State and Federal laws including the Fair Debt Collection Act by posting notices on Ms Rucker's front door, visible to all passing by, falsely stating that failure to pay the alleged debt to AUM would result in the apartment complex to refusal to accept her rent and then to evict her, and also the turning over of the account to a collection agency with subsequent damage to her credit.


These tactics by AUM were allegedly done with malace and to embarass Rucker into paying the alleged debt. The request for class action would open AUM to many such claims, all to be heard together. 

The 10 page complaint can be found at the end of this blog via direct click on link and another 11 pages have been updated on 2/23/13:  http://aumsucks.blogspot.com/2013/02/posted-by-picasa.html

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 10/31/12
Misc FYI:  27 pages of letters and email regarding the City taking action against AUM and Concord are at the bottom of this blog site, they would take up to much room to put them on top.  The names and email addresses of those who complained about Stone Harbor are redacted.  

Direct link:  http://aumsucks.blogspot.com/2012/10/posted-by-picasa.html =====================================
Florida City cracks down on AUM and Concord for ripping off residents with water bills!

PCB closes loophole on water charges
Article at: http://tinyurl.com/9okjm69

 Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 19:34 PM.

PANAMA CITY BEACH — The Panama City Beach Council has closed a loophole on an ordinance that allowed apartment complexes to overcharge residents for city utility services.

A city investigation into individual meter readings at Stone Harbor Apartments on Alf Coleman Road showed some residents were billed $9 to $10 per 1,000 gallons of water used, nearly three times the city rate.

The ordinance, which prevents the resale of city water and sewer services by any third party, was amended at the Oct. 11 council meeting, adding language to prohibit landlords from taking utility cost from vacant units or the common areas and distributing it among tenants.

“They weren’t breaking the law, but they weren’t following what we intended the ordinance to do,” Utilities Director Al Shortt said of the complex, which outsources billing to American Utility Management (AUM). Residents “were essentially paying for stuff that should have been absorbed by the community.”
Shortt said the complex, a Concord Management property, was allowing residents to pick up the bills for vacant units and also for the irrigation water in common areas.

The amended ordinance prohibits landlords from charging any more than the city would have charged the tenant, with the exception of an administrative charge not to exceed $3.

“Having the other tenants pay what is the landlord’s obligation, the landlord is making money,” said City Attorney Doug Sale, who provided clarification at the council meeting.

The amendment to the ordinance was prompted after Councilwoman Josie Strange received complaints from residents at Stone Harbor regarding utility bills.

Although the complex runs off one master meter, AUM sets up individual meters at each unit, allowing city officials to determine that many residents were being overcharged for their usage amount.

The city sent a notice of violation and cease-and-desist order to the complex in August, requesting documentation of the actual cost of operating the utility and also information from the third-party bill processor.

Shortt said Stone Harbor residents should see a reduction in their utility bills during the next billing cycle.

“They’re well aware of what they need to do,” Shortt said of AUM. “Now that the ordinance is in place, it should take care of those issues.”

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  10/28/12
City tells Stone Harbor to 'Cease and Desist'

That's right Stone Harbor residents, in Panama City Beach, Florida, benefitted from a City of PCBs Notice of Violation and a demand for Stone Harbor Apartments to "Cease and Desist" usurious water billings

A resident complained to a City Councilman about the high rates for water by American Utility Management.  The Councilman then brought the bogus charges to the Cities attention and after looking into it the City Attorney sent the below letter to Stone Harbor Partners Ltd, which is just Concord Management under another corporate shell.

Note the line that says they must stop: "charging usurious rates which are far out of line with the City's rates set forth in . . . the City's Code".


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What others think of AUM

Reviews for American Utility Management see the original site at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/american-utility-management-los-angeles

Nicola G. Bothell, WA 11/13/2011
I think I've had about enough of AUM's expensive charges and poor customer service. They have moving due dates and no grace period so if you miss the day it's due, you get a hefty late fee (due dates range anywhere from a week before the new month to a couple days after the new month). You can't pay online or over the phone without a hefty fee. They're the ugly of corporations. When I move, any apartment complex using AUM will be out of consideration

Amy F. Dayton, OH 2/1/2013
by far the most awful utility company i have ever used. they change your due date every month. they charge you a late fee if you are ***one day**** past due. no grace period. this wouldn't be so bad if there were a convenient way to pay. you cannot pay online or by phone without getting charged a "convenience fee" of 7.50. they do not care about their customers. they are greedy crooks. i send in my check every month a week before it is due and somehow it magically doesn't get there until 2 weeks past due . since there is no grace period, i keep getting late fees. they should be shut down.

Jackie N. Bonita, CA 1/27/2013
I would give less stars if I could. My bill is usually due around the 30th and as of today I have yet to receive it! It always comes in the mail at the last second before it's due but then if you are late they are going to charge you. Of course that wouldn't be a problem if they just let you pay online without charging a ridiculous fee!!

Hello, AUM wake up, we are in the age of technology where people don't send paper checks, it's way easier to just pay online with the rest of the bills and even my rent is paid online. If they expect to make people may by mail they need to get a clue and give at least a week of time to get the bill and get the check out before it is due!! HATE this company...very expensive, poor customer service, high misc. fees... very annoying.

Ricardo R. San Diego, CA 1/23/2013
COMPANY sucks. Outrageous online fees. If you mail your check, and somehow its late its your fault, even if its post marked, WTF!!!!! I mailed it in 4 days before due date.

John R. Colorado Springs, CO 11/26/2012
My experience has been the same as that of other posters. Exorbitant fees: I have documented the major uses of water: laundry, dishes, toilet flushes, showers. For the past month I also have timed the showers: 5 minutes. I am using approximately one third of the water for which I am being charged.

Apartment management refuses to help; no doubt they are getting a big kickback from AUM. (They just signed with them three months ago, probably because they outbid the previous billing service.)

The location, by the way, is Colorado Springs, CO.

As another poster, I wish I could give negative stars.
Russ H. Corona, CA 11/19/2012
I just started receiving bills from AUM after reviewing the bill I was charged $10.68 for Water, Trash and Sewer; Granted I signed my lease on the 28th of October, I didnt move into the unit until November 2nd, yet I was billed for services I didnt even use... To top it off, I went to pay the bill online and they want to charge $7.95 to pay your bill online...

I hope that since the complex that I am is now under new management companies, I hope that they will ditch this company. Based on the reviews I read this is going to be a long lease!!!

I would love to start class action law suite against these thieves. If more people are interested, leave the message here, and we will get organized.

Vans M Huntington Beach, CA 4/30/2012
AUM IS THE WORST!!! They absolutely change your billing due date all the time and then charge you a 25% late fee if you pay a single day behind. They are horrible. You cannot pay over the phone, you are charged an insane fee to pay online, they are greedy and absurd. Customer service should change their name, as they do not care about the customers and are offering no service whatsoever. If I had any choice in the matter, I would've absolutely switched utility services long ago. I detest paying this bill more than paying taxes. Pure evil.

John P. Studio City, CA 5/21/2012
When you look for a new apartment in Los Angeles, avoid those owned by big corporations like Essex or Archstone. The larger the complex, the more likely that they hire a third party to manage utility costs that are not included in your already exorbitant rent. At the Muse in North Hollywood, the hot water is billed through AUM as "energy," along with sewer, water, trash, and AUM's monthly "admin charge."

Because units do not have individual hot water tanks, you pay a portion of the sum total cost of hot water use by all residents in the entire building. As a single person living in a one-bedroom, I was charged $14.27 for hot water last month, billed as "energy." Individual sewer, water, and trash costs were slightly less. My total AUM utility bill averages $42 monthly.

Of the two AUM customer service representatives with whom I have spoken, both were defensive, interruptive, flippant, terse, and at times angered by any question without cause/instigation. As mentioned in prior posts above, AUM will charge you for any "lapse" in which your lease contract is dated and you start and end your gas service. If you start gas on April 25, but moved in April 24, expect a charge and "feel lucky that you were not charged more," as told by one AUM rep.
 

Michael H. Wst Hollywood, CA 9/22/2012
This company is a complete SCAM!!! AVOID any building that uses them unless you want to deal with headaches!! They charge you fees just for using their service that you did not sign up for in the 1st place. That means you are getting charged for them billing you!! On top of that all the bills are over inflated with FAKE water usage charges, and you get charged for late fees even when you send in your payments ontime!! They are a complete SCAM!!! It should be illegal!!

 
Vans M. Huntington Beach, CA 4/30/2012
AUM IS THE WORST!!! They absolutely change your billing due date all the time and then charge you a 25% late fee if you pay a single day behind. They are horrible. You cannot pay over the phone, you are charged an insane fee to pay online, they are greedy and absurd. Customer service should change their name, as they do not care about the customers and are offering no service whatsoever. If I had any choice in the matter, I would've absolutely switched utility services long ago. I detest paying this bill more than paying taxes. Pure evil.
 

Nicola F. Bothell, WA 11/13/2011
I think I've had about enough of AUM's expensive charges and poor customer service. They have moving due dates and no grace period so if you miss the day it's due, you get a hefty late fee (due dates range anywhere from a week before the new month to a couple days after the new month). You can't pay online or over the phone without a hefty fee. They're the ugly of corporations. When I move, any apartment complex using AUM will be out of consideration.
 

Robert F. VALLEY VILLAGE, CA 1/10/2012
AUM is a joke, if I could I would give them -5 Stars
U can wait on the line for more than 45 min without any answer.
How come everymonth your utility bill is completely different?
How 1 person in studio can get a $75 bill for one month for water and trash?
Defiantly this company is run by the best crocks Managment I have ever deal
with.
BE AWARE

Djordje P. Auburn Hills, MI 10/15/2012
I am trying to understand how can a water/sewer/trash bill can go from an average of $35 per month to over $50 per month. ( $50.09 for August and $58.24 for September). Now my water/sewer bill is as much as electricity and gas bill combined.

I understand their billing practices and how they work, with total usage, square footage and everything else. Their billing system makes it even harder to believe these bills, as when you average apartment complex of 600+ apartments, it makes it very hard for a bill to grow by 50%. This would mean that that every single apartment used 50% more water, which is very illogical.

Water is the most constant utility bill throughout the year, and few studies show that inside house water usage varies only within few percent from month to month. People's habits don't change.

I would love to start class action law suite against these thieves. If more people are interested, leave the message here, and we will get organized.

Filip N. San Diego, CA 10/2/2012
I live at an apartment complex that is owned by Essex. UNFORTUNATELY ESSEX USES AUM to manage their apartments utility costs.
AUM charges you a convenience fee of $7.50 every time you pay online, instead of sending them a check by mail. That is just absurd. We should be discounted by paying online instead. Seriously, the less paperwork for a company the less cost, which means more profits.

For every customer who pay online the company does not have to deal with the work of opening mails and to put the checks on their records. Therefore the convenience fee is just a scam. Further, I think they charge too much, and I don't get a record of how much usage I have had during a month, which means that they can easily charge you more than they should.

When I move, I will AVOID living at ANY APARTMENT COMPLEX THAT USES AUM.

Asmma Y. Pasadena, CA 6/13/2012
Worst company ever, there customer support is really bad you feel like they don't want to talk to you and if you ask for the manager they never answer, I don't know how early you should send your payment to avoid late fees, they over charge you and they always have a stupid reason, and they even made us pays late fees for who ever was living in our apartment before we moved in and there is no way to reason with these people. Its like to take a training course in how to be rode to people.

The worst I tell you the worst company everrrrrrrrrr...

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ALSO FYI:
Here is a case out of Minnesota where the State sues Northtown Apartments for excessive charges for water/sewer bills for the residents of the complex. Clearly AUM is a total scam.

See:
http://www.homelinemn.org/wp-content/uploads/Complaint-MN.vs_.Northtown.pdf



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