Sponsored By

Inside Self-Storage Magazine 10/99: Ask The Waldmans

April 1, 1999

3 Min Read
Inside Self-Storage Magazine 10/99: Ask The Waldmans

It's Not User-Friendly

DEAR WALDMANS: I love all the new computerized products for thisindustry, but I don't think the inventors ever try them out before placing them on themarket. The security-system keypads I use at my facility seem to create a lot of griping.They are either too low or too high, depending on what kind of vehicle a tenant is drivingat the time. It seems like a small thing for me to complain about, but my customersconstantly nag me about this. Do you ever have this problem? What can I do to solve it?


DEAR PUZZLED: As trivial as it may seem, this is a realisticproblem--I find myself grumbling about this very same issue. It was so exciting when wefinally got to the point of using a keypad, because the manager no longer had to open andclose the gates by hand. To be honest, though, we have had some problems with malfunctionsof the automatic gate. The motor had to be replaced or maybe it needed somereconditioning. But through all of the malfunctions, we still prefer the keypad to openingand closing the gate by hand.

We, too, have had our share of complaints or problems. We have had the keypad post hitbecause tenants try to pull their car up closer to it. One of our tenants tried to get soclose her car was sitting on the keypad. Needless to say, she never did open the gate thatday. Instead, we were blamed for her mishap, and she wanted us to pay the repair bill.

I know from experience that when I go to the post office to mail a letter from the car,I seem to try and hang out the window to slide the mail through the opening. Frustrated, Ihave dropped the letters on the ground, had to open the door, get out of the car and slidethe letters in again. Sometimes, I have put my car in reverse and then tried to get closerto the bin, hoping I would not rip off my outside mirror. Now, thinking about it, it wouldcertainly be easier just to open the door, insert the mail and carry on with my day.

Just the other afternoon, I was in line at the drive-up ATM machine. I was watching theperson ahead of me and had to laugh to myself. He was not close enough to the machine andthe ATM was much higher than his car, but he attempted to reach it and his card fell tothe ground. When he tried to open his door, he banged it on the machine.

Small things do seem to get the best of us. Maybe if we practiced being patient, thingswould go smoother. So, when your tenants complain about the height of your keypad, referto some of the other "convenience" items we use in our day-to-day lives.Unfortunately, there are no mechanisms to raise and lower these items to suit our tastes.Maybe the next invention will accommodate us with this problem. My suggestion is to listento your customers' concerns and tell them you have the same problems. The creator of thekeypad pedestal seemed to know only one height. Whether or not he tried out his owninvention, we will never know.

A father-daughter team, the Waldmans are self-storage owners/operators and attorneys. In addition, Ms. Waldman holds a master's degree in labor and employment law from Georgetown University. The Waldmans are co-authors of the industry's leading series of books on self-storage operations: Getting Started, Forms, Policies & Procedures and South Carolina Tools. Another creation of Ask The Waldmans are their colorful posters designed exclusively for the self-storage industry. Comments and questions for ASK THE WALDMANS may be sent to: The Waldmans, P.O. Box 21416, Charleston, SC 29413.

E-mail: [email protected]; Web: www.askthewaldmans.com

Views and opinions on legal matters are those of the authors. Professional counsel should be obtained before any determination or positive action is taken.

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter
ISS is the most comprehensive source for self-storage news, feature stories, videos and more.

You May Also Like