PARKER, Colo. — When the Meadows at Meridian apartment complex in Parker first notified Robin Knowlton that her family's rent was going up nearly 10%, it did not even surprise her. But the next line in the lease renewal did.
"This is the package delivery fee," she said, pointing at a mandatory $17/month package delivery subscription for a company called Fetch. "There's no opting out, it's not voluntary. If you want to live here, they get your packages."
Fetch markets itself as a solution for apartment complexes that are buried in package deliveries to help fight porch pirates and free up time.
Fetch acts at the middle man, holding residents' packages and same-day delivering them to their doors at a scheduled time. At least, that is what is supposed to happen. The Texas-based company has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau, with dozens of complaints from frustrated renters about late or lost packages and little recourse.
"It's outside of [the renters'] control," said Keylen Villagrana, a spokeswoman with the BBB. "They're relying on the third-party service. And it looks like their packages keep getting lost or delayed."
Knowlton said she has never had a problem receiving packages, and initially the Fetch service was voluntary.
"Why fix something that isn't broken? I mean, we get our packages to our door from Amazon, from Chewy, from any of the places that we order from. And we just don't want to have to pay this extra fee for something we don't feel we need," said Knowlton.
The Meadows at Meridian did not respond to Contact Denver7's request for comment about potentially allowing residents to opt out of the service.
More apartments across Colorado are adding package delivery services such as Fetch.
"Programs like Fetch are just one innovative way that housing providers are addressing crime throughout Colorado," said Michelle Lyng with the Colorado Apartment Association.
Knowlton, however, said many renters can relate to her family trying to decide if they can afford to move again when rates are so high across the Denver metro.
"They've got you where they want you," she said. "These corporations, they're at the top just trying to figure out how they're going to make more money off of you. What happened to doing the right thing? How much more of this can we take?"
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