For whatever reason, I have always thought it would be sort of exciting to take part in a protest of some sort. Not one where the flag gets burned or anything, more like in "You've got Mail" where there's the troupe of mom's and small children walking around with picket signs and reciting a goofy little ditty to get the evil book conglomerate to close.
In that vein of righteous indignation, I have decided to stage a rent coup with my management company. I'm currently living in a condo in Provo. There are 15 apartments in our building--most of which are owned by different people and managed by different companies. We have discovered, through painful experience, that our management company currently charges us about $25 more per month than any of the other apartments. Now, if we had some sort of fabulous ammenity that the others didn't have--I'd be cool with it. I don't mind paying extra for something better. Alas, ours is one of the shoddiest in the building. Particularly when comparing couches: most are microsuede and plush, ours is fabric and broken. That and the fact that there is mold growing in one of the closets that they haven't done anything about. And the really dirty bathrooms.
I could however stomach all this, and even planned to live here next year (there is after all something to be said for not having to apartment shop) and then I found out the price for this apartment next year is going up $15/month. That doesn't sound too bad. But in total it makes $40 extra/month that we're paying more than the others in our building. Which in the 8 months of fall and winter semesters amounts to a grand total of $320 extra dollars, which is just enough for another month's worth of rent! That is what I begin to consider exorbitant. Especially when you consider that, in theory, when the economy goes down, generally housing costs will follow. Instead, we get charged more.
So, I have decided to play the disgruntled customer card. I've actually gotten suprisingly good at this. It's amazing what a business will do for you after threatening to take your business elsewhere.