• Report: #271784

Complaint Review: Public Storage

  • Submitted: Sat, September 01, 2007
  • Updated: Fri, September 19, 2008

  • Reported By:Houston Texas
Public Storage
2850 Rogerdale Houston, Texas U.S.A.

Public Storage Mandatory Padlock and Insurance Houston Texas

*Consumer Comment: Clarification from a Public Storage regional manager

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On August 31, 2007 I reserved online a 10' by 25' storage unit at a nearby Public Storage center to fill with furniture and boxes coming out of a beach house I'm selling. I printed out the reservation and drove over to the Public Storage center. At the PS center, the clerk Kyesha confirmed my reservation, confirmed my price ($55 first month, $19 one time admin. charge, 5% off for 3 months or more) and took me to look at the storage unit.

The storage unit had a large garage door opening secured by two pin hasps with places for two padlocks; Kyesha told me two padlocks were required for security, even though this unit was secured by just one regular padlock. I told Kyesha I had two keyed padlocks in my truck (bought earlier for the storage unit, although I only thought I would need one); Kyesha seemed suprised by this. On the way back to the office, I noticed not every unit had two padlocks, and most of the padlocks were of a average size (more on this in a moment). Back at the office, I began to complete the rental application. Kyesha brought out two HUGE padlocks (5" x 5") telling me these were the "recommended" padlocks, only $19.99 each. I reminded Kyesha I had two padlocks already; another sales clerk behind the desk asked to see my padlocks. I responded I would need to get them out of my truck; this sales clerk stated they must "inspect" my padlocks to determine if the were up to standard - this was starting to look like some kind of scam, but I played along for now.

I retrieved the two Master keyed padlocks, brand new in the package, from my truck and presented them to Kyesha. The sales clerk told Kyesha the padlocks were unacceptable. I asked what the problem was; I was told by this sales clerk the padlocks I brought were "too small", mind you these padlocks were of normal (3" x 3") size and actually a little larger than the padlock that was on the unit I looked at and certainly equivalent to many of the padlocks I had seen on other units. After a terse "discussion" with the sales clerk, where I pointed out these facts, my padlocks were "approved" . Kyesha now informed me I needed insurance; I asked insurance for what? Kyesha told me insurance was mandatory for the contents of the storage unit. I responded that I had homeowners insurance which would cover the items to be stored. Kyesha asked to see my insurance; I clarified that see wanted to see my homeowners insurance policy. In an incredulous voice, I told Kyesha that no mention or notice of these "requirements" was made on the website or the rental application. At this time, a man I assume was a manager of some type came out of an back office and told me I must present a copy of my homeowners policy that clearly shows coverage and amount of coverage for property off premises. I reiterated my frustration at these previously unstated "requirements", for which I was not fully prepared. The manager again stated we could not proceed unless I bought their insurance or provided them the afore mention copy of my policy. Genuinely pissed off now, I left the foolishness of Public Storage which had wasted 40 minutes of my time and returned home to find an alternative storage unit. Clearly, Public Storage is about high-pressure sales of padlocks and insurance (with high profit margins), and could care less about customer service; avoid their unfair business practices.

Houston, Texas

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/01/2007 09:58 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Public-Storage/Houston-Texas-77042/Public-Storage-Mandatory-Padlock-and-Insurance-Houston-Texas-271784. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Clarification from a Public Storage regional manager

AUTHOR: Kent - (U.S.A.)

I also had a similar experience with a Public Storage store when I rented my unit from them around a month ago. I felt pressured at the time to buy two locks and to buy the insurance they offer (as a middleman) since I didn't have any homeowner's insurance at the time. I was told that it was required I have insurance and that I needed two locks. I did buy one of their round, $15.99 super disk locks. In my mind it made good sense simply b/c it's a good lock. I also signed up for their insurance. I was skeptical about both claims that it is required as a part of the agreement, but held off saying much. One of my tip-offs, though, was that I heard the manager state that "I say it's required" to have two locks. Since then I looked closely at the rental agreement and could not find that insurance was required, though it clearly and rightfully states that the renter will not hold Public Storage responsible for any loss if the renter's insurance (or lack of) does not cover a loss. I have absolutely no problem with that; it only makes perfect sense.

However, my issue is having the employees state that insurance and two locks are required when it's not a part of the contract. I also saw that the contract stipulates that the occupant (renter) will provide a lock. No argument here and I think most people are smart enough to know that some locks are better than others--why I chose the disk lock instead of the normal padlocks of two different sizes they sell. In my unprofessional but experienced opinion, both of the other locks offered could easily be cut through with a pair of bolt cutters--like you find at many gyms and fitness centers so they can cut the locks off of lockers when necessary. Also, I suspect many less savory, burglar types own their own bolt cutters as well.

A month later (9-19-08) I have since gotten my own renter's/homeowner's insurance due to renting an apartment. I returned to Public Storage to let them know I didn't want to carry "their" insurance beginning October 1st. I was told that I could return on the last day of the month to cancel it. I asked if it could be done today and was told that then it would terminate my insurance today. That in itself doesn't make any sense--as my contract is with the insurance company and not Public Storage; Public Storage only does the billing on behalf of the insurance company (convenient?). Also, what is so difficult about stopping a service at a particular date in the future? Since I may not be in town on the 30th, I told the clerk that it was OK to cancel it today (if that really is indeed what happens). I then mentioned to the store manager and the clerk that I didn't see in the contract that insurance is mandatory and that two locks are required. I asked them to show me in the contract. I honestly didn't want to make their day difficult, but my problem was that I don't think they should be telling people those things are required if it's not in the contract and I asked them to show me. The manager referred me to the paragraph that when read as it's written properly states that to the extent the occupant's insurance does not cover the loss, then Public Storage is not responsible. It does not say, though, that insurance is required. The manager never read it but just kept saying it was required. I acknowledged that the occupant can't and shouldn't hold PS responsible, but that didn't seem to help. I then moved on to the two locks and even showed them the paragraph of miscellaneous items that states the occupant must provide a lock. To no avail. Two locks are required. I then asked which is more secure, my one disk lock or two small locks. She kind of admitted my one lock probably would be, but that two locks are required. This went on for quite a while. I was fine with the conversation, but the manager eventually told me the conversation was ended. All I wanted was for her to admit that those two stated 'requirements' are not in the contract and are not required at all--though they do make good sense in general.

I then asked for the regional manager's name and number and the store manager kindly provided it with her name on it as well. I thought that was at least professional.

Just a little while ago: the regional manager returned my call in an appropriate amount of time and was very nice to talk to. He explained that yes, Public Storage, does push the two-locks and insurance--as it helps their profits. I acknowledged that making a profit is a good thing, but asked him whether or not insurance and two locks is required since that is what this store is telling its customers. You can tell he's a salesman, b/c he told me again how important insurance is and that lockers with two locks do get broken into less frequently (apparently even those with two smaller locks--even though he acknowledged my disk lock is much more effective than two smaller locks since they could be snipped off and it would take at least a grinder to go through the disk lock). Sorry for the aside. Again, I asked if both are required and he said that no, I am absolutely correct and that neither is required. There! I finally heard what I wanted to hear all along.

He told me he would call the manager and ask them to "tone down" their pitch. I told him I wasn't purposely trying to make his day or the manager's day more difficult but that I didn't want managers/sales people saying that something is required that really isn't. Also, I think it should help them as a company since having congruity between what the actual contracts state and what employees say is a good thing for any business. Also, I think it would help customer relations in the long run. I've read on the Internet (for example the thread to my post here) that people get hacked off at Public Storage for saying these things are required when they're not; like me, they can feel they're being ripped off. Most people would probably respond more favorably with an honest approach of telling them that two locks tend to be safer, but they're not required and that having insurance is a good thing--especially since most people tend to under-estimate the value of their property, etc.

I thanked him for his help, his good attitude and for calling back so quickly and he thanked me for letting him know about this, as he sees it as a teaching moment for the workers at that store.
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