"I requested service six hours ago! Why don't I have hot water yet?" - Text message from tenant, 10pm, Feb 2 2011 - Snowpocalypse Chicago.
"Why should I have to pay for it? My lease says you will maintain the fixtures!" - 375 lb Tenant after breaking his toilet seat for the fourth time.
"I've got my lawyer on speakerphone and we will sue you if you don't fix the mailbox!" - First verbal report of a problem.
Customer service and long term contracts do not go hand in hand. From cell phones and cable providers to apartments and employers, once you're locked in to a long term contract you may cease to be a customer at all in the eyes of the company. In the case of a landlord, the desire for retention becomes even less important. The experienced landlord learns that your decision to stay or leave is more dependent on other factors in your life, like your income and your family status.