An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.

Published July 16, 2016


I'm not sure if the boards hiring the Association Services of Florida -- better known as ASSOCIA -- as their community association management company, are aware that more or less the first order of business of this company is to "squeeze" their vendors for $150.00 -- claiming that is the charge for becoming a member of their "PREFERRED VENDORS LIST."

      Vendors receive communication from ASSOCIA, asking them to go through the "ASSOCIA Vendor Access Compliance Process". It's fine to ask for regular information, from address to insurance info, but in my opinion the main reason for this "required process" are the $150.00 fee the vendors are supposed to pay to ASSOCIA.

       And even if the vendor supplies all the required info, ASSOCIA still considers the vendor not being in "compliance" as long as the fee wasn't paid. That is minimum the tenor of e-mails from ASSOCIA employees vendors sent to me, complaining about the process.

       Vendors complained as well that ASSOCIA is withholding payment of long overdue invoices as long as the fee wasn't paid. And if vendors are refusing to pay the fees the ASSOCIA employees will work very hard convincing the board that this vendor is bad and needs to be replaced a.s.a.p.

       Let's be honest: Minimum in my opinion charging a $150.00 fee to be placed on the ASSOCIA PREFERRED VENDORS LIST is nothing short of a kickback, some may even call it "blackmail" considering the methods used to strong-arm vendors into paying these fees.

       Remember, our friends in Texas warned us when ASSOCIA made the move to expand its "services" to Florida. Remember my opinion article: "TEXAS SENATOR JOHN CARONA'S ASSOCIA INVADES FLORIDA."  Well, I think the complaints I heard from Texas about ASSOCIA had merits. I consider their business practices to be dubious -- to say the least.

         And I well remember the cheers coming from Texas when voters finally succeeded in voting John Carona out of office as a Texas senator, because the voters felt that he was not representing their interest, but only the interest of his business.

         But I guess we have to get used to management companies with their own private agendas: Squeezing money out of owners and vendors. And if the company's reputation goes sour, they quickly change their name -- hoping that their prior misdeeds are quickly forgotten.