There are many ways to screw a consumer. There are some companies that are experts at this. The Public Storage in Morton Grove, IL used the cold weather as an excuse to close its office on the 6th of January, 2014 in order due to “extreme temperatures”. There was nothing wrong with the heating system in their building. They just shut down for no apparent reason – except perhaps for the coincidental reason that, by shutting down on the afternoon of the 6th of January, they prevented their cash customers from being able to pay their rent before the 7th, when a $40 late fee is slapped on all overdue accounts!
Was it cold in Morton Grove, IL on January 6th, 2014? Yes it was. But it was also very cold the day before and the day after – and on many other days this winter. It seems to us that, barring a power outage or the failure of the heating system, a decent company that cared about its customers would go out of its way to STAY OPEN on a day like this. But not Public Storage – by closing early, they saved money on employee salaries AND reaped a windfall of late fees!
The next day, when customers asked the PS employees if the company would grant them an extra day to pay their rental fees due to PS unilateral decision to close on the 6th, they were told: “no”. “You can pay online if we’re closed”. That is true, of course, if a customer has both a credit or debit card with enough money on it as well as access to an Internet connection. Since many PS customers are forced to operate on a “cash” basis (which Public Storage corporate executives are well aware of) these “alternative payment options” do not help them at all. Public Storage knows this, and they don’t care. That’s because they really don’t want to STORE your stuff: they want to STEAL your stuff!
Text of Public Storage, Morton Grove, IL announcement of temporary closing, Jan 6, 2014
[Public Storage logo]
“Your stuff will be happy here… and so will you.”
Due to extreme temperatures, this property office will close today, 1/6/14, at 1:00PM. We apologize for any inconvenience.
5 Convenient Ways to Pay Your Rent
AutoPay: Simply enroll at publicstorage.com or at any Public Storage [Co.?] property. After you provide us with your checking account, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or debit card information, we’ll automatically debit your account and take care of the rent.
Online Payment at publicstorage.com: Visit publicstorage.com and [unintelligible] on “Pay My Bill”. Follow 3 easy steps to obtain User Name and password. [Use?] your checking account or pay with your VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit card.
Pay by Mail: To the address of this facility. Please include your [self-storage?] [account?] number on your Check or Money Order
Pay by Phone: Dial Toll-Free 1-866-444-4747; Enter the [phone?] number for the account you are paying and follow the step by step procedure […]
[Not shown – it’s probably “Pay in Person”]
The office was open in the morning and no one gave any indication that they’d be closing early. If they were so worried about exposing their customers to the cold, wouldn’t that concern have extended to their employees as well? And if so, why didn’t they just give everyone the day off? Instead, they pretended to be open and then suddenly just put up a sign and closed the office. We wonder how many customers hurried over to pay their bills on that freezing cold day only to find the office closed? To Public Storage’s Phil Cacciatore, the manager of this place, this is called “customer service”.
Closing down for no good reason on the last day that customers can pay you without being hit by a huge “late fee” is what we call a low-down dirty move – even by Public Storage’s low-down dirty standards. And it’s another reason why we say: “Public Storage Sucks!”