I thought Uncle Bob's Self Storage was done disappointing me and surprising me with terrible "customer service" -- even from their store managers and their leads.
Boy, was I wrong. And they picked my moving day after the U-Haul was loaded and parked at a second location I was trying -- giving them a second chance.
To summarize the, we have unpleasant surprises from a cast of characters (whose last names and office phone numbers will be added here soon).
For now I'll call them Aunt Lisa, Uncle Mike and Uncle Tom (the boss in Cincinnati over all locations in the "area" -- maybe most of Ohio and Kentucky).
@ Uncle Bob's on Cleveland Avenue in Columbus (Manager Lisa).
After I made a reservation for a new unit at this location to accommodate my moving into a new home with no basement, and the reservation was confirmed through text message and email, I stopped by today ... to be told first, "We have no units available." Not true. It's the slowest time of the year for self-storage companies in Ohio and th have plenty of units available as you can see on their website.
I asked for more details until she admitted, "I'm choosing not to rent to you. I can refuse service to anyone I want. I'm a manager and that's my privilege."
I asked if it was up to each manager or if this applied to me at all Uncle Bob's locations. She said it was up to each one. But she is the lead manager for all Columbus locations and reports to area manager, Tom, in Cincinnati.
@ Uncle Bob's on Evanswood near I-71 & Morse Rd in Columbus (Manager Mike).
While at my new home unloading stuff from my U-Haul, I called Mike, manager of the location where I moved into in early 2012 -- almost 4 years ago. (I had just spoken to him the previous day and he acted like nothing was wrong when I shared that I was moving the next day; said he'd just called earlier to let me know my insurance proof page wasn't the correct document they wanted ... despite what they told me when I dropped it off a few months ago.)
He knew about me being turned away by his boss, Lisa, at the other location. He confirmed that he had to turn me away too if I wanted an additional or larger unit.
Plus, he had some more bad news. They were evicting me.
My stuff (what wasn't damaged or destroyed by their faulty A/C drainage pipe; something Mike said earlier happens all the time) would be seized and discarded if I didn't move it out by the last of the month -- 17 days later.
He let me know a certified letter was in the mail to inform me of this.
Elsewhere @ a better, friendlier, fairer self storage business.
So I found a much nicer place where the customer service is fabulous, the facilities superior, and the fine print in the agreement much more customer-friendly and reason all rather than "gotchya" ... a smaller late fee for first 5 days late after 5 days, willingness to waive a late fee when just a few hours past midnight when paid online.
So, choose wisely and store safely.
STILL TO COME ...
I'll soon be posting a comparison of various self-storage companies fees and policies. For example:
* Administrative fee (for move-in)
* Late fee (how soon, how much; two/three-tier?; leniency?)
* Locks (BYOL? Have to use theirs? If so, how much?)
* BBB record
* Complaints filed with Ohio Attorney General
* Ratings at various places
* Link to reviews at SpareFoot.com (helps you find nearest/cheapest/certain size spaces -- I highly recommend you not go with cheapest -- there's usually something missing like good customer service ... and/or you'll wind up paying higher fees or sooner/higher late fees or something that eliminates your savings and leaves you with bad customer service and bad policies).
Good luck with your next move that requires a new storage space. I hope yours goes much better than mine did today with Uncle Bob, Aunt Lisa, Uncle Mike and Uncle Tom.
Uncle Tom's bosses are in New York at home office with their parent company. If they would like to apologize and offer a solution (at least paying to move my stuff they are evicting -- after first ruining much of with water damage from their A/C drainage pipe, see photos below -- to its new home in Westerville), I look forward to hearing from them:
Or they can call me at (614) 889-4TOM