WeWork members worldwide have come together to start petitions, websites and YouTube videos demanding that the coworking firm stop collecting membership fees for those unable to use their facilities during the pandemic, and to close their spaces to keep staffers safe.
“They did provide a good service, but now that we’re here in coronavirus all this rhetoric that, ‘We’re a community and we’re here to help businesses thrive,’ goes out the window,” said Ray Miller, who runs management production company Archetype out of a Los Angeles WeWork. “They’re acting like a company that doesn’t have a long-term plan and it’s just kind of a cash grab.”
Just last week, members started a “wehaveaproblem” campaign with a video on YouTube to express their distress with the company. Members have also launched the WeFeedBack website and petition dedicated to collecting stories from tenants over the company’s collection methods and tallying the amount they have been charged. Currently, the total is over $521,005 for 545 unused desks.
Many of WeWork’s members range from entrepreneurs to small businesses, who are being hit by lockdowns the hardest. Some members have claimed that WeWork has been sending demanding emails, threatening to charge a 10% late fee for missed payments and taking money out of their account in the middle of negotiating deferrals.
Ironically, WeWork itself has skipped out on many of its rent payments for April, with one landlord claiming he did not even receive a notice from the company.