ISS Blog

Customer Excuses: Creativity Runs Amok

Blogger Gina Six Kudo discusses the never-ending excuses self-storage tenants give for missing their rental due date.

Quick, take a moment and remember the most outrageous delinquent customer excuse you’ve ever heard! I’d bet it’s a doozy too. I’m sure you’ve seen the trends if you’ve been in the business for any length of time. The customers who are late in November and then you fear they may be in the witness protection program when they’re no-shows yet again in December.

Come January the delinquents show up and respond to your question, “How were your holidays?” by regaling you with the details of their fabulous cruise or the new car while asking you to waive the late fees since they couldn’t afford their rent for the past two months while you’ve already prepped everything for an auction. The audacity of it all can be unbelievable.

Or how about the ones who owed so much in taxes from their obscene earnings that they couldn’t pay on time in April? How would you respond to Mr. Entrepreneur who comes in sharing his misery of losing over half of his multi-million-dollar-plus portfolio who wants the fees waived? 

How about this one? “Our kid graduated in May, and we had a party for 200 people and forgot all about the rent being due. Won’t you please waive the fees? We’re strapped.” We’re all very sympathetic people, but how many times can the one guy’s aunt in Poughkeepsie pass away?

Consider the business owner who charged crazy rates for his products but figured he didn’t have to offer any customer service, as he was the only game in town. Now he wants you to bend over backward to provide him with some type of customer service above and beyond as he argues about his two months’ past-due account and the associated fees. Harrumph!

On the flip side ... we’ve all had those days, too. You know, the day your customer service level is just at par, not exceptional by a long shot. Murphy’s Law states that will be the day that: 1. The boss shows up wanting to talk. 2. You have a ticked-off tenant (not your fault of course). 3. The mystery shopper call will come through when you have three people standing in front of you. 4. Someone will damage your property.

With laughter, I will now ask, “Why are you in this business?” Share your best “Waive my late fee excuse” in this Self-Storage Talk thread. All in all, when you think you’ve heard it all, there will be a new and better one that comes along. 

If you have a sure-fire way to diffuse the late-fee whining, post a comment below or share it on Self-Storage Talk.

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