Although as of Jan. 2013 I am no longer an owner at Nautilus Cove Condo and have no current connection with AUM (American Utility Management) 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/
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."
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 email@example.com to get a letter to sign and support this case!
Minor Update: This blog is widely read, unlike many of my 200 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, (22.214.171.124 — 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
Have some issues with AUM? Here is a list of Email contacts, give them a try:
Chief Executive Officer
In addition to his responsibilities as President of AUM, Michael serves on the Board of Directors of the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC), a participating member of the Data Taxonomy Group funded by the MacArthur Foundation, and has held similar positions with industry groups such as the Chicagoland Apartment Association.
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Strategic Officer
Executive Vice President and Chief Energy Officer
President and Chief Operating Officer
Executive Vice President, People and Performance
Executive Vice President-General Counsel
Executive Vice President, Finance
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.
CONTACT AUM AT: firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
02/21/2014 Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
Complaint Category: Improper collection practices
Complaint: Company charges a $7.50 "convenience fee" to make your payment on time, doesn't offer any reasonable way to get the payment to them on time.
they charge over 30% of the bill itself to make a payment on time. This is unethical and management will not contact the consumer or speak with them in any way, even if the bill is sent out late which it often is.
- See more at: http://www.bbb.org/chicago/business-reviews/billing-service/american-utility-management-in-oak-brook-il-28003768/complaints#sthash.CsMKEQAy.dpuf