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Wait a second . . . why do we send invoices?

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  • Wait a second . . . why do we send invoices?

    After a conversation yesterday with one of our corporate tenants who's been an ongoing problem with timely payments and is now requesting we mail them invoices (which we won't do - only email or autopay), it all of a sudden dawned on me: Why are invoices even expected with self-storage facilities? I mean, apartments don't send you invoices for your monthly rent. You just know your due date and pay it since it's the same amount each month. I'm assuming corporate rentals (e.g. a company renting a suite in a strop mall) work the same - no invoices, just make your payment.

    So what makes self-storage different?

    I certainly don't mind emailing invoices, but this company is acting like it's our fault for not getting paid if we don't mail them an invoice, which I think is highly irrational. They can move out before I'm going to give them special treatment.

  • #2
    When we bought our tiny facility several years ago, the previous owners had the rent due on the rented date (scattered throughout the month), we immediately changed that to the 1st. We even have it listed in the agreement that we don't send invoices, it is due on the 1st & I verbally tell them the same thing, like the rent or house payment. Due on the 1st.

    I tried sending invoices through QB but it was a fiasco, as there is a bug in my version of QB that they never fixed in that in a batch email it would mix up invoices & send to the wrong customer, it was awful. I don't do that anymore.

    $20 per month for mailed statement fee?

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    • #3
      I agree. We are down to three paper invoices going out each month and have been slowly removing email invoices to autopay customers as well. They just cause confusion. And we only email receipts if requested.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dieselrealtor View Post
        When we bought our tiny facility several years ago, the previous owners had the rent due on the rented date (scattered throughout the month), we immediately changed that to the 1st. We even have it listed in the agreement that we don't send invoices, it is due on the 1st & I verbally tell them the same thing, like the rent or house payment. Due on the 1st.

        I tried sending invoices through QB but it was a fiasco, as there is a bug in my version of QB that they never fixed in that in a batch email it would mix up invoices & send to the wrong customer, it was awful. I don't do that anymore.

        $20 per month for mailed statement fee?
        Well, thankfully we use SiteLink which makes invoicing really easy. Yes, I could charge them a fee, but that's not even the issue for me. I just don't want to deal with mailing paper invoices. I told them the only way I'd agree to it is if they are invoiced and pay semi-annually. I also told them every other company that stores with us just has a card on file or just sends us a check without us having to jump through any hoops. He replied, "Well we're a big company, and they require all invoices to be processed this way" (newsflash: so are some of our current corporate tenants - certainly a big company could issue a credit card for the director of one of their facilities - he's not exactly the janitor).

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        • #5
          Almost every monthly charge I have (outside of self storage) has an emailed or mailed invoice. The only thing I can think of that does not is my monthly car wash pass.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Middlebury.storage View Post
            Almost every monthly charge I have (outside of self storage) has an emailed or mailed invoice. The only thing I can think of that does not is my monthly car wash pass.
            But self-storage is a rent charge, and residential apartment complexes and commercial leasers don't invoice rent as far as I know. So why is self-storage different? It's not like a charge that varies each month, like your electric or water bill or one that can incur overages, such as a mobile data plan.

            It just seems odd to me that someone would act like they have to have a paper invoice to pay their rent. Would they refuse to pay their apartment rent without an invoice? Don't think so.

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            • #7
              The last thing I want to do is email invoices or receipts, but not because of the hassle or time factor, only because I don't want to remind people they're paying way too much to store things of little or no value.

              My autopay customers don't get an invoice, and when they do get an emailed receipt it doesn't say anything about a receipt in the header, it says 'documents'. Receipt means they paid money - bad.

              Shhhh, keep paying your rent amount found buried on page 3 line 35 of your credit card statement, nothing to see here... I think to some degree that's why I have an average rental period of over 5 years.
              In no way affiliated with Storman software.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RMRSS View Post

                Well, thankfully we use SiteLink which makes invoicing really easy. Yes, I could charge them a fee, but that's not even the issue for me. I just don't want to deal with mailing paper invoices. I told them the only way I'd agree to it is if they are invoiced and pay semi-annually. I also told them every other company that stores with us just has a card on file or just sends us a check without us having to jump through any hoops. He replied, "Well we're a big company, and they require all invoices to be processed this way" (newsflash: so are some of our current corporate tenants - certainly a big company could issue a credit card for the director of one of their facilities - he's not exactly the janitor).
                What, a secretary at the 'big company' can't operate a computer and print out the invoice then take it to accounting? Or get accounting a separate email and change the email to them? I can think of, off the top of my head, 3 or 4 ways to prevent this company from paying late fees.
                "The comeback is always stronger than the setback."
                Mom, Navy Vet, genealogist and voracious reader
                Always sunny in California

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KrisinCali View Post

                  What, a secretary at the 'big company' can't operate a computer and print out the invoice then take it to accounting? Or get accounting a separate email and change the email to them? I can think of, off the top of my head, 3 or 4 ways to prevent this company from paying late fees.
                  He said the company no longer allows incoming emails from gmail.com to come through to their inbox due to issues with spam and malicious emails - they are visible if they look in the right section, but locked (he can't open them). I asked him if they could simply white-list our email address, but he didn't seem interested in going down that route. Not my problem. However, we do have a private domain email address, so we may end up using that to link him to an invoice in our Google Drive (since the email service we use with that address doesn't allow attachments). I can deal with that if it's only twice a year. But I sent him a test email from that address and he never replied, so there still may be an issue with links in an email, even from private domains He also said he was going to pick up the invoice in person two days ago but never came. Called his office earlier today and no one answered or has returned my voicemail yet.

                  Of course, they could simply set this up as a recurring bill to be paid on their own, but I guess "big companies" are too incompetent to do so.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RMRSS View Post

                    He said the company no longer allows incoming emails from gmail.com to come through to their inbox due to issues with spam and malicious emails - they are visible if they look in the right section, but locked (he can't open them). I asked him if they could simply white-list our email address, but he didn't seem interested in going down that route. Not my problem. However, we do have a private domain email address, so we may end up using that to link him to an invoice in our Google Drive (since the email service we use with that address doesn't allow attachments). I can deal with that if it's only twice a year. But I sent him a test email from that address and he never replied, so there still may be an issue with links in an email, even from private domains He also said he was going to pick up the invoice in person two days ago but never came. Called his office earlier today and no one answered or has returned my voicemail yet.

                    Of course, they could simply set this up as a recurring bill to be paid on their own, but I guess "big companies" are too incompetent to do so.
                    Yeah, he's just making noise. He's 'okay' with the late fees or he'd try harder.
                    "The comeback is always stronger than the setback."
                    Mom, Navy Vet, genealogist and voracious reader
                    Always sunny in California

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