Does this key look familiar? Well if you live in an apartment at Ralph Bunche Cooperative (RBC) it probably does. Ironically, the office at RBC was broken into not once, but twice in the same week back in September. After not making RBC members aware of the break in for several days, Valerie finally sent a memo to the membership. Valerie also sent a memo to members in the apartments advising them that they would receive one key at no cost, but additional keys would be $75. When members asked why did the cost of replacement keys go from $50 to $75, they were advised that Fred's Key Shop has raised the price of the keys.
Recently a member's key was stolen from the laundry room in her building. When she went to the office about an additional key, she was advised that the cost for replacement would be $75. The member then went over to Fred's Key Shop where they were more than willing to replace her key for $10 with a letter from the Cooperative management. Huh? Fred's is selling the key for $10, but RBC management is charging $75? That makes no sense. Obviously, when getting the key from RBC there is going to be a markup. If members were allowed to buy keys for $10 everytime they lost one, there would be RBC keys all over Detroit. However, how does management justify increasing the cost of the key $25? One would have to wonder what the cost of the key at Fred's before he "raised the price". So, we contacted Fred's key shop regarding their increase on the cost of the keys being sold to RBC. Oddly, they claim that there wasn't an increase. Fred's also advised what we already know, which is that they have no control over what management charges for the keys once they are purchased.
Shame on Kirkpatrick Management Company (KMC) and the RBC Board of Directors. To increase the charge on a $50 key is completely taking advantage of members; particularly, when it is the belief of several members that negligence on the part of KMC employees led to the break-in. To have members already panic at the thought that there are burglars on the lose at RBC and then have them paying an additonal $25 that of lot of them don't have is greed.
Here's an example:
40 units at RBC that need additional keys.40 Members x $10/key from Fred's = $400
40 Members x $50/key RBC Cost (previous)= $2,000
40 Members x $75/key RBC Cost= $3,000