Can't get company to fix wifi provided via apartment deal
July 29, 2013 11:25 AM   Subscribe

We moved in to our apartment last October. It provides public wifi as part of the amenities. Problem is, it doesn't works consistently. "Works" as defined by not being able to simply go from one link to another without the computer/tablet being used dropping connection or lagging for over 5 minutes. We don't expect super streaming or anything. Just basic 1999 level internet. I have called Meraki (owned by Cisco) over 14 times since last October with varying responses and excuses and promises of call-back by managment, with few calls back.

Sometimes it will work again for an hour..a day...a week..1 month...

(On our part, we have tried our computers and tablets in different areas, in other public areas such as coffeshops and so forth, with no problem.) And this happens often in non-peak times. If it was simply slow on a Friday night, that would be one thing. My Mac is constantly in roaming mode and can't even stay on the internet right now.

Is there anything more I can do? Do I have any more recourse or should I just pay for internet at the $45/mo rate of the companies here in my area? I don't want to, because I don't have sophisticated needs but basic internet needs. I don't download/torrent and rarely use Netflix. My money is a little tight right now. I've tried complaining to the apartment staff but they refer me to call Meraki. It is Maddening.
posted by chicaboom to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Is it actually in your lease that the wifi is part of what you get for your money?
posted by Sequence at 11:26 AM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes.
posted by chicaboom at 11:33 AM on July 29, 2013

Best answer: My ex went through this, and he told them that he would just take the cost of obtaining cable internet off of his rent. They told him that wouldn't be possible, so he ended up eating the cost for DSL. But you could perhaps try to negotiate something with your apartment management?

Probably easier solution: Are you on speaking terms/friendly with any of your neighbors? Maybe you could split costs with someone nearby and similarly frustrated.
posted by sm1tten at 11:40 AM on July 29, 2013

Best answer: Check with your local tenants group. They'd be able to tell you if its legal for you to pay reduced rent for not being able to use an amenity listed in your lease and what steps you might have to take to document things to make it happen.

You could also try to organize other tenants to pressure management to fix it.
posted by oneear at 11:55 AM on July 29, 2013

Best answer: What state/country? This could be considered a reduction in services and something the law allows you to a) force the landlord to fix; and b) legally deduct from your rent (if you follow the legal procedure).
posted by rhizome at 11:57 AM on July 29, 2013

Best answer: If its in your lease they have to provide the service or work something out. However, in most states you can't simply deduct the costs of fixing the problem yourself. I'd call legal aid or a tenants rights organization in your area, laws and regulations about this stuff vary a lot. For starters, start keeping a log of the failures in your Internet service and the type of operations that you are trying to do (so you can establish that you're not trying to do bandwidth heavy stuff that's not part of your service promise). Personally, I'd be an asshole about this and make your landlord fix the problem, but I imagine it would be a significant time investment and probably won't get resolved without at least the threat of legal action.
posted by skewed at 11:57 AM on July 29, 2013

Best answer: There are a seriously limited amount of reasons and situations in which you're ever allowed to deduct rent in my state. It's VERY small. Even for "my fridge exploded and the plumbing stopped working" or "there's no heat in the middle of January" type situations its very slim.

Don't do anything like that without consulting a tennants rights organization/some type of legal clinic therein/a lawyer of your own.

Personally, I'd call a lawyer specializing in landlord tenant/housing law and ask them if this was enforceable even though its on the lease, and to write them a letter pretty much saying "hey, I'm a lawyer for tenant foobotz, this is the situation and this is your legal obligation. Fix it or lower your shields and prepare to be assimilated/pay back the costs I've incurred by not having this service(of having to travel places to use reliable Internet, for service, etc).

My comment on this as someone with some landlord tenant act/law experience in my area(parents were landlords at a large complex, have dealt with several illegal landlords, etc) is that stuff like this that isn't expressly legally required but guaranteed in the lease is hard to enforce if they can't be bothered. Some things are less of a big deal in some areas and a big one in others. For example, air conditioning in Washington vs some of the southern states where it's required by law like working electric service or water. As I said, talk to a local legal professional. It's possible it being on the lease makes it ultra-required, it's also possible getting a lawyer will make them act instantly, it's additionally possible they'll go "your not my mom! make me!"

Order your own Internet service before you start this crap. Every service has some $29 6 month promotion. Is it really worth having bullshit Internet for likely months while you arm wrestle the landlords?
posted by emptythought at 12:50 PM on July 29, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. Wisdom as usual here on metafilter. Sometimes there is a choose your battles situation vs I will go to death fighting this. Still not sure but this is all excellent advice if I "storm the breach". (Pacific Rim reference unintentional.)
posted by chicaboom at 1:37 PM on July 29, 2013

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