I can assure you that it is not free cable nor is it $15. The plan we are looking at is Digital VIP. It is $43 a month including taxes They actually raised the rates 22% over the quote last year. This will be increasing our maintenance fees by about 20% and making them less attractive than comparable complexes in the area. People who don't want it will be paying an extra $500 plus a year. Good reason not to want it. Annual increases are built into the price. You can add options above this package which are they billed directly to the owner.
Right now, only 48% have this package, a few more have a mid range package and some have cheaper basic cable . So essentially 50% of owners will be paying more money each month to subsidize the discount given to the other 50%. The condo will be taking on the responsibility of collecting the cable fees (through maintenance fees) so it will add to our accounts receivables balance that we carry each month. We have many owners struggling to pay their fees now without adding to them. Since owners in arrears can't vote, they won't even have the opportunity to oppose it.
I, for one get my tv by antenna so I get HD for free and this package won't include HD. One of my favourite channels right now is only available OTA. Plus I watch a lot of US cable network shows that I still wouldn't get with this package unless I wait for them to eventually end up on Showcase. Now I watch them free online right after they premiere in the US or get them on DVD from the library with better picture quality than I ever got with cable.
Jul 19th, 2012 11:16 AM #16
Jul 19th, 2012 11:38 AM #17
Jul 19th, 2012 11:49 AM #18
The cable company on the other hand, has done alot of damage to our property (the common elements) and created many eyesores stringing up cable through the trees or up the sides of units through brand new siding. They regularly tear up lawns and cut of the bottoms of our driveways. I have weeds and ant holes coming out of the crack they left at the bottom of my new driveway after they cut it shortly after it was put in. My lawn used to be cut up every year until finally I got fed up and cancelled my cable. I never complained about how bad the picture quality was because I didn't want them coming out and doing more damage.
Jul 19th, 2012 12:13 PM #19
I would say your problem isn't with whether or not bulk contracts are a good deal, it's more of a condo politics issue. I think you have a lot of good reasons for it to be opposed - you just have to make sure that everyone knows it because let's face it, these days a lot of owners don't care a whole lot and it's difficult to get people to do anything. Maybe go door to door and explain to people what's happening and why it's bad? Get your own proxies? Add in all these things about how you can get a good price yourself, how the cable company doesn't respect anyone's property, how everyone will be paying more even if you don't use it, etc.
Jul 19th, 2012 03:30 PM #20
Jul 19th, 2012 07:06 PM #21
Jul 19th, 2012 07:51 PM #22
- Join Date
- Jul 4th, 2011
For a townhouse complex this is a terrible idea.
Even if all the owners voted in favour they are not considering the choice of future buyers who may prefer a different transmission system or even both.
My opinion is that it is nobody’s right to dictate which choice of publicly available services they should use. This is not a condominium building with rules about what can and cannot be placed on a unit’s facade or balcony. Rogers and those on the board who are in favour are in my opinion being bullies in that it is not as if installing any delivery system is saving the condominium corporation any money. The board can simply tell Rogers that they will not impose a blanket policy on all owners but rather negotiate a deal wherein if X percentage subscribe to the service in a calendar year then an immediate X percentage will apply to all subscribers for the following year. Rogers can gain the holdouts this way.
I’ve sold in condo buildings with units wired for cable and which are also satellite ready as well as those with just one service. The former have a choice and from the latter I’ve heard complaints of unit holders dealing with the sole service supplier. So it is not true that Rogers will not agree to less than 100% participation unless they’ve changed policy recently.
Regardless of what Rogers said about setup and/or disconnect fee, it should be documented in any agreement because the written agreement will prevail.
As an owner in the complex, you might want to go door to door and present your point of view, you have this right.
Jul 19th, 2012 10:14 PM #23
Good point about future buyers... maybe also make the point to the owners that this may impact future resale value because one of the first things buyers do when they see the listing is look at the maintenance fee, and if it's high, look at the services provided to see if they're really going to use all of them. I know when we bought our condo a few months back, if the fee was high and there was stuff like cable TV/internet on there I'd question why I'd want to pay to be locked into something that I can easily handle myself, and whether it was the kind of place where the board likes to get involved in everyone's business.
Mini good luck story: Years ago I was an owner in another condo. One fellow owner was a grumpy old man who liked to complain about everything... he didn't like how I parked (I was unlucky enough to be next to him), he thought the hallways were dirty, that the gym was unsafe, that this and that and everything else. "Other business" at the AGMs were basically this fellow standing up and going on a rampage against everything he could think of. He was like that kid in college lectures who would ask irrelevant question after irrelevant question when everyone else just wanted the professor to wrap it up so everyone could go home. He wasn't a very likeable guy. Then one year the board fired the superintendent, who was well liked, and announced that there would no longer be an on-site superintendent or representative. Grumpy Joe went around all the units, knocking on doors, telling people about this and how it was unfair to these nice people and how it would lead to even more problems with the building and how in the week they've been gone it's already become a filthy pit of hell mud and who in their right mind would want to buy your unit when it's time for you to sell. At the next AGM he was made President and the other people who helped him were all voted onto the board. There was like a 90% turnout or something like that, in a building where owners weren't usually very involved and where there was no real community feeling. The entire old board was voted out (they all wanted to be reappointed but lost). We never got our superintendent back because they had already found a position elsewhere, but it was extremely satisfying, and I rooted for this dude all the way even though he always parked on the line and blamed me for being too close to him. So yeah... good luck!
Jul 19th, 2012 10:56 PM #24
- Join Date
- Jul 4th, 2011
Jul 20th, 2012 12:31 AM #25
Good story Manatus. We actually have a Grumpy Joe in our complex and he is just how you describe. He drives everyone nuts at AGMs with his questions/complaints but he has been getting pretty nasty the last few years and acting weird. People actually don't come to the AGM because of him. He goes through everything with a fine tooth comb and is always complaining about things that happened 20 years ago. I'm not sure he is the one to convince people but we did discuss the issue at our last AGM and he got up several times to say how unfair this was to force cable on people who did not want it or would not use it as he doesn't watch tv. I actually thought it would have the opposite effect ie people would be in favour because he was against it. He really has that way about him and when even your auditor is complaining about him, you know there is a problem. I do plan on talking to him when the proxies go out because I know he can convince some of his neighbours who don't show up to meetings to vote against it.
Jul 20th, 2012 01:30 AM #26
- Join Date
- Nov 18th, 2007
Geez, this seems so wrong and even begs the question "is it legal" which it probably is but should not be. I remember a saying I heard back in a grade 10 law class..."your rights end where my begin" or something like that. Anyhow it just feels wrong that you can be forced to take a service that you have no desire to take. What if you don't want a home phone because you use your cell phone. Can they force you to take a Bell line? What if they want to force you to subscribe to the Globe and Mail? What if they decide you must use Tide detergent? I know, I know, not the same thing, but still. I suppose that you have something in your condo agreement that will allow them to do this but it's just wrong and as some said, it could impact any future sale of your property as there will be those who will flat out refuse to buy your unit based on the fact that you have Rogers.
We just bought a condo in Myrtle Beach and take possession at the end of this month. The condo fees there are much better than up here. We will be paying $261 a month but for that we get landscape, insurance on the building (we have to get contents insurance only), legal and accounting, all exterior stuff like pools, beach cabana etc. etc., water (in and out) AND cable, internet and phone with LD to Canada and Puerto Rico. Not bad for $261. In this case, I will gladly accept whatever cable company they have and whatever phone company as to me it's a good deal but in your case, to be forced to go with Rogers stinks to high heaven. GOOD LUCK with your fight. I hope you win!
Jul 20th, 2012 08:38 AM #27
Jul 20th, 2012 09:05 AM #28
- Join Date
- Nov 5th, 2008
- Toronto, toronto
I have only taken a really cursory look but I think the condo needs more than 50% +1 for this change to pass. If this is deemed a substantial change to service I think this would require 66 2/3% to pass. I will look into more when I get a chance but I think if you really do not want this to pass you need to work the other unit owners. When your board does move to make this change they will have to send a notification to all unit owners about the vote, and the context of the change. You can seek to get support at that time explaining the negative implications of deal. I would probably avoid being the 'negative nelly', and start your argument acknowledging the positives of the plan and just like a lawyer go about giving each one a negative.
Here is what I found in the condominium act...
Approval of substantial change
(4) Despite subsection (3), the corporation shall not make a substantial addition, alteration, improvement to the common elements, a substantial change in the assets of the corporation or a substantial change in a service that the corporation provides to the owners unless the owners who own at least 662/3 per cent of the units of the corporation vote in favour of approving it. 1998, c. 19, s. 97 (4).
(5) The vote shall be taken at a meeting duly called for the purpose of subsection (4). 1998, c. 19, s. 97 (5).
Meaning of substantial change
(6) For the purposes of subsection (4), an addition, alteration, improvement or change is substantial if,
(a) its estimated cost, based on its total cost, regardless of whether part of the cost is incurred before or after the current fiscal year, exceeds the lesser of,
(i) 10 per cent of the annual budgeted common expenses for the current fiscal year, and
(ii) the prescribed amount, if any; or
(b) the board elects to treat it as substantial. 1998, c. 19, s. 97 (6).
Cost of changes
(7) The cost of an addition, alteration, improvement or change that the corporation makes under this section shall form part of the common expenses. 1998, c. 19, s. 97 (7)._______________
Jul 20th, 2012 01:16 PM #29
Jul 20th, 2012 01:38 PM #30
Thanks for the info on the Condo Act. I had looked at it and didn't see it as a substantial change under the definition, (it is to me) but I didn't read it carefully enough and it may be if it considers the total cost of the contract over the 5 or 7 years. If we need 66 2/3, I doubt we would get it, especially when I have them enforce the no voting by people in arrears. I don't think they ever check the arrears list but that eliminates quite a few people. I doubt we could even get 66 2/3 out or by proxy.