Real Estate Expert Talks
The Preserve at Ballantyne Commons and Unprofessionalism
In my opinion the Preserve at Ballantyne Commons is a terrible place to live or do business because of a management staff that was vindictive,unethical and unprofessional. Again, this is only my experience but I pass it along so hopefully nobody else has to go through the same difficulty. When it came time to move out I knew I'd have difficulty due to a previous non monetary issue with my lease and prepared accordingly. I went above and beyond what I needed to do on my move out checklist and requested a walkthrough with Tiffany Tuning, property manager in advance. On the day I moved out Tiffany was nowhere to be found and I was told I would have to wait for someone named "Zeke" who was a member of the maintenance staff. The only problem was Zeke wasn't available for about 3 hours and I had a U-Haul rental to return. I turned over my keys and hoped for the best. I was sent a bill to replace a stovetop a couple of weeks later. I called the office and spoke with Ashley Yates, who I believe is the assistant property manager or at least that's what she's calling herself who told me the stovetop was damaged and needed to be replaced. This is one of those glass stovetops we're talking about without the raised coils. The stovetop was not damaged when I left and was in the same condition I found it in. When pressed, Ashley informed me there were "scratches" on the stovetop and that was the reason they replaced it. Those "scratches" she's talking about are normal wear and tear and anyone with that type of stovetop will tell you that but even those were there when I moved in and it looked normal to me. I had witness accounts that the stovetop was in excellent condition when I moved out. To me, Ashley Yates is the equivalent to a high school cheerleader and conducts business as such. She figures that a high pitched cheery voice cancels out ignorance and stupidity and then treats people as if they are beneath her. So after she repeated the same line about how I signed the move in checklist and now she can charge me whatever she wants I gave up and told her I wanted to speak to Tiffany Tuning who is technically her boss. Ashley made sure to let me know that if I didn't pay her she'd send me to collections and make sure I had trouble renting an apartment again. When I spoke to Tiffany she told me she hadn't seen the stovetop so she didn't know if it was damaged or not. Read that again. The property manager had no knowledge of the damage Ashley Yates, her assistant, was billing and threatening collections over. When I told her what Ashley told me she suggested that I use "cheap pots" and if I don't buy the expensive ones the cheaper ones leave marks on that kind of stovetop. I requested to see the damaged stovetop or pictures of the damage. Ashley told me she had pictures but wouldn't show them to me "because she didn't have to" and Tiffany of course had no knowledge these pictures exist at all. I requested to actually see the damaged stovetop itself but again Ashley informed me that she was under no obligation to do so. Ashley Yates sent me to National Credit Systems, a collection agency and so I immediately contacted CWS aparrtment homes corporate office. Someone named Gina Roberts responded to me and the following is the timeline that brings me to today: Gina Roberts and I agreed on a sum to settle the account and be done with it. At this point I just wanted to be done with Tiffany, Ashley and really anything to do with The Preserve at Ballantyne commons. Gina assured me that there would be no negative mark to my credit if I sent payment at that time. I mailed a check out by way of certified mail for the agreed upon amount which was received on 01/27/2012(certified mail with receipt), well within the 30 days I had been given to resolve the account after requesting validation. To date this check has not been cashed and I believe it was purposely held so there would be negative marks on my credit due to animosity from Ashley Yates and Tiffany Tuning. I suppose it could also be incompetence but I have no idea since I can't get a straight answer about anything concerning my account from any party involved. I first contacted Gina Roberts again by email on 02/13/2012 after receiving phone calls from Vincent Fowler of National Credit Systems telling me that if I did not pay him the full amount sent to them on top of the amount I already mailed in he would report the negative mark on my credit. In his defense he did not know, nor had been notified that I had resolved this matter with Gina Roberts like he should have been. Gina responded by email and said she would work with Ashely Yates and Tiffany Tuning at The Preserve at Ballantyne Commons to resolve this. I contacted Gina again by email on 02/20/2012 after the check had still not been cashed and she responded to me on 02/21/2012 by email telling me that National Credit Systems is giving them "push back" on removing this entry from my credit and that was why they had not cashed my check yet. I was assured they were working with National Credit Systems to resolve this as was agreed upon when I sent payment in and was told I should have more patience. This information is disturbing because I was told by Gina originally that this issue had not and would not hit my credit as long as I sent payment. Again I waited about a week and after no correspondence and my check still not cashed I emailed Gina Roberts one final time on 02/29/2012 to which I have received no response. I called National Credit Systems on 02/29/2012 and spoke with Vincent Fowler who informed me he had had no correspondence with anyone at CWS apartment homes or The Preserve at Ballantyne Commons and had no knowledge of any dispute between that party and National Credit Systems. I also was not given a straight answer about where my account is and whether or not this has hit my credit but since he was pushing for a payment I'd have to believe this is ruining my credit now. He said he would research the issue and call me back but he has not done so. Today(03/06/2012) I received an email from Gina Roberts of CWS apartment homes corporate office. The email states that the fine people at The Preserve at Ballantyne Commons have received and will accept my payment and that the account will be closed as it is paid in full. It goes on to say that National Credit Systems(the collection agency) has been notified and should cease all collection activities. Sounds great, right? Well several hours after receiving this email Vincent Fowler of National Credit systems called me to let me know that if I didn't pay him the full original amount by close of business today he would be reporting a negative mark to my credit. I explained what Gina had emailed me not several hours earlier and he said he had received no correspondence from Gina or The Preserve at Ballantyne Commons. He made sure to let me know he didn't care about such things and assured me they would continue to pursue collection activities as well as report negative activity to my credit. I faxed a copy of the email anyway. I checked my bank account and the check I sent to The Preserve has still not been drafted so that could have something to do with all of this. No matter how this goes down now I am assured I will have to work with National Credit Systems to remove the negative mark and more than likely with the credit bureaus as well. To me this is not resolved. To me The Preserve at Ballantyne Commons still houses the most unprofessional, unorganized and incompetent leasing office I've ever set foot in. Again, I cannot recommend anybody does business with them or CWS Apartment Homes. I wouldn't even buy a pack of chewing gum from a convenience store if Tiffany Tuning or Ashley Yates were working there. I will continue to update everything as it goes.
Fort Mill, South Carolina
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