Storage Facility Insights
Storage units are widely used these days but there are some factors that may dissuade people from using them. Some of them include partial access through the day, inadequate customer service, hidden charges, untidy storage space, and mismanagement on the company's part. Further details about each of these factors are outlined below.
- One of the things that customers dislike about self-storage spaces is the unavailability of their space 24/7.
- This deprives customers of the freedom to access their belongings at the time of their choosing.
- For example, a customer complained about his storage facility not being available throughout the day. He said about Extra Space Storage, "Friendly staff and quality units. My only complaint is that I cannot access my unit 24/7."
- Bad customer service has been one of the most common reasons, across many industries, that angers customers; the same is the case with self-storage units.
- Most of the complaints reported by customers were about rudeness on call, responsiveness, and even incorrect information. This is mainly due to untrained or poorly skilled customer service officials.
- One of the customers said about Public Storage, "Not Satisfied. The rubber seal on the roll up door was broken and mice would enter my unit. Management said they would repair seal. I had to call district manager several times (she never returned my call). Took 2-3 months to repair the seal."
- Another common complaint regarding storage units is that of hidden charges. This is due to unexpectedly high rents that the company charges as opposed to those that were originally conveyed.
- One of Public Storage's customers said, "I chose Public Storage as a place to store my belongings from my house and stored it there for 5 years. When I moved my stuff there it was the middle of the month or towards the end, whatever. They prorated the month for me and gave me a month for $1.00 or something to that effect... I finally finished my new home and went online and scheduled my move out which was Oct 2. I closed on Monday the 30th. They are charging me for the entire month! I called the DM and Regional who said they do not prorate and just blew me off."
Messy Storage Space
- Storage units that are untidy and not properly maintained often turn customers away.
- Apart from the aesthetic unpleasantness that comes with untidiness, the risk of pests and molds, to the contents of the storage unit, increases. A similar issue was faced by a client when they went to retrieve their winter clothes from the storage unit. The complainant said, “We open the box with our daughters’ shoes [and] there was white mold. We spot white mold on the walls of the unit, furniture, dresser, mattresses, & boxes… Our kids are depressed and disturbed by the lost [sic] of everything.”
- One of the reasons why storage spaces are untidy include the failure to evacuate the unit from previous customer's belongings before handing over access to the new customer.
- In some cases, the companies can be very careless towards their customer's belongings, which obviously translates to an unpleasant experience for customers.
- A family experienced such a mishap where they lost all the contents of the storage unit due to the company's mismanagement. A car accident that led to the customer's mother's death left them homeless, after which they signed up for a storage unit where they stored all their belongings. Later, they found out that the company mistakenly auctioned off the contents of the storage unit.
- The customer was extremely disturbed by the loss. They said, "I cried for three days straight. This has been so devastating that it affects my emotional well-being every day and likely for the rest of my life…so unfathomable."
We also found other similar issues that cause displeasure to customers. These include break-ins, finding rodent droppings inside the storage unit, water damage to stored contents, etc.
Length of Occupation
- Most of the customers that rent out a storage unit do it for a longer term. According to a survey, 52% of the respondents said that they rented for a year or longer.
- As per the same survey, only about 13% of renters occupied a storage unit for 3 months or fewer.
To find out issues and/or factors that people dislike about storage facilities, we turned to review sites, e.g. Consumer Affairs and Better Business Bureau. We were able to identify several issues that have been the cause of unrest among customers. We have also included examples of actual reviews given by customers on these platforms for each issue we identified.