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Customer thinks this is Pawn Stars

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  • Customer thinks this is Pawn Stars

    I work at a facility that offers use of our dumpster for a fee. Customers are supposed to inform staff and we will determine the rate based on how much room the items will occupy in our dumpster. We try to pick a reasonable price that is slightly higher than what it would cost to take it to the transfer station down the street.

    Our dumpster is right next to the loading and parking area, so when customers have items in that area it's not always clear if they intend to dump it there. Generally if a customer looks like they might leave anything behind I ask them if they will be taking it with them. This way I don't directly accuse the customer of dumping, and if they tell me they wish to let us dispose of the items I can explain the rates.

    The other day a guy left a pile of junk by the dumpster and I told him that the rate to dispose of this quantity of waste would be $50. He told me that another staff member had told him he could leave it with us but didn't say there was a fee. I clarified that while the other employee may have neglected to mention the fee, we could dispose of it for him and the fee for the service would still apply. He told me he would come in to pay after he finished loading.

    But he never did. We identified him through the gate log and called the tenant. He agreed to come by later and take the items back.

    When he returned, he went on a tirade about how no one told him there was a fee. He said it was actually his relative who left the stuff there and ranted about how he was a long-time customer and deserved a discount and I couldn't get a single word in. He smugly told me that the most he was willing to offer was $25 for the disposal fee. There was no way he was getting a discount, but I went through the motion of calling my manager to placate him.

    Me: The Facility Manager says the disposal fee cannot be discounted
    Customer: Hmm. Well, I don't know what to do then.
    Me: I imagine you will have to pay the fee, as your unit will be locked until you do so.
    Customer: My unit is locked?
    Me: Yes, when you have an outstanding balance, your unit will be locked.

    And so, he grumpily loaded the dumped items into his vehicle and carted them away. Someone needs to watch a little less Pawn Stars and a bit more Storage Wars.

  • #2
    You also need to correct what the other employee may have said. So many times a tenant will try to play it off on someone who isn't there at the moment. In my case it is only me so that would not work here. Plus, the maint man knows to ALWAYS steer the tenant to me for any questions.
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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    • #3
      We have people try to pull that here. I simply say, "ok, I will call my wife and check" (just me and my wife here). I already know the answer, and I know the customer already knows the truth. If they want to waste my time, I'm happy to waste theirs calling my wife for "clarification"

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      • #4
        I find it remarkable how easy it is for the American public to just outright "lie" about things. Values that used to be accepted as the norm in the U.S. are now by the wayside. The closer you get to homeless camps and drug hangouts, the worse it is.

        One thing caught my attention recently here in the PNW. Seattle says they have an "opioid epidemic" and they must do everything they can to fight it and correct it and then in the next breath they talk about the areas that have been set up in the city, paid for by tax dollars-$90 million allocated for the homeless population alone, to have safe zones for people to shoot up. WTF is going on here!!!!!!!!! The thing is, the people that make those decisions get elected and when they do what they do, the public steps in line with them and just think it is a-o-k to lie to someone's face.
        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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        • #5
          When I first got into sales I learned there are three basic truths when dealing with the public.
          1. Buyers are liars.
          2. Truth is a matter of expediency.
          3. Reality is subjective.

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          • #6
            Sometimes the only reasonable way to deal with this bunch of clowns is to just to threaten them. They wouldn't learn through the soft approach, so why not take the harsher route instead. We are running a business, not running a studio to broadcast a TV show.
            Cameron Robertson - Self Storage Northern Beaches

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            • #7
              The best thing we did was downsize our bins and restrict them to our use only. In some cases we hid them in enclosures. We don't have any disposal on site for customers other than paper/cardboard recycling and shredding. This solved are dumping problems. It's amazing that when you have bins or garbage cans present it can get out of hand. By having a clear policy that we are a self storage facility (not a dump!) and even hiding the bins out of site, most of the dumping issues disappear.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CameronRobertson View Post
                Sometimes the only reasonable way to deal with this bunch of clowns is to just to threaten them. They wouldn't learn through the soft approach, so why not take the harsher route instead. We are running a business, not running a studio to broadcast a TV show.
                If it comes down to it, I can always throw an overlock on the unit as a last resort and tell them their items will be auctioned if they don't comply. We might not actually have grounds to do that, but it's not like these people have ever tried to educate themselves about the law and the threat of losing their stuff shapes them up pretty quick.

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                • #9
                  When I was in real estate we had a saying - Buyers are liars and sellers are too

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