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Are all elevator companies equally bad

harry_fine

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I live in a new downtown condo, won't mention the name at the moment so as not to stigmatize it. It's a small building about a dozen floors. It's been occupied for about 18 months. The elevators, ThyssenKrupp are awful in terms of reliability. Perhaps not the elevator per se but when they break they are down for days. Parts need to be flown in, perhaps from Germany. Our condo board tells us that only TK can fix their elevators, that they don't supply parts to third part elevator companies, they keep it all in-house to create a monopoly.

Last year sbortly after the building opened, one car was down for 2 weeks. We only have 2 cars. With our new-buikding move-ins, life was hell.

Now a year later, since Thursday, none of the buttons on the floors work, you press the button and light goes on, you take your finger off and light goes off. So to get by they put it on automatic service opening on every floor 24/7 until it's fixed. Usualy wait is about 7 minutes. TK seems either unable to fix it or in no big hurry.

On one of the cars we've had the door close button not functioning. They have been in several times. Unable to fix it. It's been broken for 6 months.

Wondering if people here have similar experiences and have found a way not to be held hostage by these elevator companies?
 

Tuscani01

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Its a citywide issue and has nothing to do with the elevators and quality itself, but a labour shortage in the industry. There simply aren't enough techs to service the number of elevators in the city. It doesn't matter which company has the contract, they are all suffering from the same shortage. In terms of elevator parts, many buildings store commonly needed parts in order to reduce the need to wait for parts in the future. Since your building is relatively new, I doubt this is happening. Eventually, the condo board will have a better idea of which parts are difficult to get, and which ones need to be replaced most often. This will allow them to order parts in advance, to reduce the wait for parts in the future.
 

TheKingEast

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The elevators seem to suck everywhere. I have a rental in a 40+ tower condo with 3(yes3!) elevators. One is ALWAYS out of service. On the weekends, there's 1 operational elevator as the other elevator is for move-ins/outs. You will wait 10 minutes at peak times.

I find the high speed elevators are highly unreliable.
 

lead82

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The elevators seem to suck everywhere. I have a rental in a 40+ tower condo with 3(yes3!) elevators. One is ALWAYS out of service. On the weekends, there's 1 operational elevator as the other elevator is for move-ins/outs. You will wait 10 minutes at peak times.

I find the high speed elevators are highly unreliable.

I also live in a high rise in North York and we get very strange behaviour from our elevators. When they work, they are nice and fast. However, sometimes they reset mid-lift and the floor you pressed gets reset and they stop on a random floor. When we call in our elevator company Fujitech, they just come and reset it and say everything is fine. I think the issue is that there is a labour shortage and there just aren't enough trained technicians to go around. So they do band-aid fixes. Doing anything with elevators takes a long time and a lot of money to fix.
 

Jonny5

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I suspect the shortage has to in part with downtown office buildings having much more lucrative contracts with which condos can't afford to compete. I work in a ~30 floor building on King West. I once dropped my pass card down that little crack where the door opens (of course it fell right there!). I went to the security office and they said not to worry as they have a standing order for a tech to come in twice every week, problems or not, and he would take the elevator out service and find in the pit at the bottom of the shaft. Sure enough, the next day, building security brought it up to my office. I wonder how much they have to pay to have a tech guaranteed to be there twice every week no matter what.
 

Jonny5

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I also live in a high rise in North York and we get very strange behaviour from our elevators. When they work, they are nice and fast. However, sometimes they reset mid-lift and the floor you pressed gets reset and they stop on a random floor. When we call in our elevator company Fujitech, they just come and reset it and say everything is fine. I think the issue is that there is a labour shortage and there just aren't enough trained technicians to go around. So they do band-aid fixes. Doing anything with elevators takes a long time and a lot of money to fix.
I recently lived in a new building in Regent Park and it had chronic problems too. We had the exact same "reset" problem where everyone would get on at the ground, the doors would close, and then all the selected floors would be wiped and everyone had to hit the button again. The "close door" buttons would almost never work. It was pretty frustrating when you would have no choice but to sit and wait 7 seconds at every floor for the doors to close. When an elevator totally broke down they would have the tech fix it, but it would only keep working for about two weeks and then it would be back to the endless waits again. The elevator AI was also really bad. If you were on the lowest parking level and hit the up button, and there was an elevator on the 30th floor heading down, it would make you wait for that one to arrive; even if there was a car sitting in the adjacent shaft one level above your floor, it would not dispatch it down one level to pick you up, just make you wait two or three minutes for the one 30 floors up that was already coming down.

I eventually gave up and took the stairs down from my unit every morning. But, like most new buildings, there is no access to stairs up from the ground floor, so you have to use the elevator. It sucks when every day you have to wait for the people going up one floor.
 
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harry_fine

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I appreciate all your comments. But whatever the reason it's now 5 full days. Elevators running full time 24×7 stopping at every floor. No part in yet. Lots of wear and tear and utility costs that my condo is saddled with.

I feel like we sre being held hostage. If an ambulance was called I'm not sure what would happen.

Is there such a thing as independent elevator repair companies that fix all brands?
 

aiekon

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I live in a new downtown condo, won't mention the name at the moment so as not to stigmatize it. It's a small building about a dozen floors. It's been occupied for about 18 months. The elevators, ThyssenKrupp are awful in terms of reliability. Perhaps not the elevator per se but when they break they are down for days. Parts need to be flown in, perhaps from Germany. Our condo board tells us that only TK can fix their elevators, that they don't supply parts to third part elevator companies, they keep it all in-house to create a monopoly.
I can relate. I have lived in two new condo buildings (both between 3-5 years old) where the elevators were installed and maintained by TK. The first building, TK introduced new gearless elevator technology that was relatively new to North America and therefore they were the only ones that could provide parts. Problem being that when we experienced a major elevator issue, the required part was now obsolete and had to be remanufactured from scratch. We were also told that having other elevator companies in to fix the elevator issues would void the existing warranty and so we as residents had to sit through literally two months of really terrible elevator service while this part was built and sent over to us.

Other issues experienced with TK between both buildings relate to the wrong elevator cables being installed... Which eventually led to more downtime as these needed to be replaced. From what I can recall, both Boards had to go after the developer and/or Tarion to get these issues resolved without it being a cost to the corporation.
 

fiendishlibrarian

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Is there such a thing as independent elevator repair companies that fix all brands?
Not to my knowledge. The major companies (TK, Otis, Kone) are, I believe, all beholden to the same union for their workforce. That union went on strike about two years ago if I recall correctly and to call it chaotic would be a vast understatement. Saw many ugly scenes walking by the downtown towers they picketed. I used to know someone in that union (regular at one of my bars and always have to avoid him) and if he's representative of that workforce, well, my advice is to live on a floor that you can, in a pinch, walk up and down to.
 

wopchop

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There are technically non-union elevator repairworkers, but if you use them, then the TSSA will never certify your elevator for service. The regulator (TSSA) will not allow anyone except certified technicians to install or repair elevators (same goes for escalators). You cannot undertake the training or testing required to receive your CofQ without becoming an apprentice first, which forces you to go through the Union of Elevator Constructors, whose training program is overseen by the TSSA.

All the elevator companies (KONE, ThyseenKrupp, Otis, and Schindler) are part of a national association, which has a collective agreement with the elevator constructor's union.
 
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beemicha

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Its a citywide issue and has nothing to do with the elevators and quality itself, but a labour shortage in the industry. There simply aren't enough techs to service the number of elevators in the city. It doesn't matter which company has the contract, they are all suffering from the same shortage. In terms of elevator parts, many buildings store commonly needed parts in order to reduce the need to wait for parts in the future. Since your building is relatively new, I doubt this is happening. Eventually, the condo board will have a better idea of which parts are difficult to get, and which ones need to be replaced most often. This will allow them to order parts in advance, to reduce the wait for parts in the future.
Yeh I think you're right. When ours went out we had to wait over a week just to get someone out to look at the thing!
 

howl

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Up until ten or fifteen years ago Otis elevators used to have a supply building on McCaul Street. Ironically it was one of the only one storey buildings in downtown Toronto.
 

Admiral Beez

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The "close door" buttons would almost never work. It was pretty frustrating when you would have no choice but to sit and wait 7 seconds at every floor for the doors to close.
I always thought the "close door" button was fake, just to make you think you're in control. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo_button I know for certain that my office uses a Placebo thermostat.

Looks like elevator repairman/women would be a good trade to get into. http://www.ontariocolleges.ca/SearchResults/PROFESSIONS-TRADES-ELEVATING-DEVICES/_/N-lppf Maybe some of UT's members pursuing urban planning and other nowhere degrees should consider elevator repair.
 
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