Renting Storage From a Kiosk?

What Are Storage Kiosks Anyway?

With crafty storage owners forever trying to reduce costs and increase profits, certain mini storage facilities throughout the country have begun to be outfitted with automatic storage rental kiosks, special automated booths that allow a tenant to rent storage any time of night or day. These kiosks can allow you to select a unit size, print your rental contract for you, and accept your first rent payment. Unfortunately, there are a couple of things these storage rental kiosks can’t do, which can potentially lead to some frustrating late night encounters.

Downsides to Rental Kiosks

Rental kiosks, being designed to essentially provide round the clock service, even when an employee can’t be on property, are supposed to automate the entire realm of storage functions, right? They should take payments, rent units, process move-outs and the like. Unfortunately for some tenants who come by late at night hoping to perform a complex operation via the kiosk, such as pay off their delinquency and have the company overlock removed, many kiosks are not sophisticated enough to perform many of the functions that still require the direct attention of a human employee.

Know Before You Go – The Limitations of Storage Kiosks

Keep this in mind if you’re ever trying to get something done at your storage facility after hours. For example, you might be able to show up and pay off your late storage bill, thereby bringing yourself current within the system. However, the kiosk has no way of tromping over to your unit and removing the overlock. You will have to wait until the next business day to have an employee help you get into your unit. Bummer! This can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’ve just dropped a few hundred bucks to regain access to your belongings.

Why Keep Kiosks on Limited Duty?

Additionally, most kiosk-equipped mini storage facilities are not designed to grant a tenant immediate access to the property even after they have completed the rental process. Unfortunately, this is another complex action that requires a tenant to come during business hours, when a real live employee can check over the rental agreement and verify that the tenant has completed it correctly. Some folks are upset to find this out after using a kiosk in hopes of getting onto the property immediately after. Some advanced kiosks are in the works that will be capable of opening and closing units electronically, but, again many owners and management companies want a real live manager in place to handle the move in process, for a number of good reasons.

For one thing, kiosks cannot observe or discipline new tenants that are using their brand new unit as a storehouse for tons of fresh dynamite, for example. If a kiosk sees you storing truckloads of poorly sealed damp dogfood in your dark unit, it has little recourse beyond beeping. A real manager would put the hurt on you pretty quick, in order to protect the overall value of the property and the storage experience of all the other tenants.

For the most part, these automated storage kiosks excel at taking payments. They can do this when a manager is busy at the bank, or on property, or handling phone calls or out to lunch.