By Ashley King, Property Manager
Choosing an alternate contact for your self storage account may not seem all that important. However, this person will be responsible for getting in touch with you if your property manager is not able. Sometimes things go wrong, and you are just not available, or the contact information we have on file for you is no longer current. This is when the alternate contact comes into play. If we cannot get in touch with you, we will contact the alternate contact listed on your account and ask him or her to have you contact us.
When selecting your alternate contact, it is important that you choose someone who you speak with often. It doesn’t mean you have to speak with them every day, but it should be someone who is consistent in your life. Although it may seem like a good idea at the time to add your new significant other or a new friend as the alternate contact. But what if that new relationship comes to an end? If it ended badly, this person may not let you know that we called to reach you. Remember that we will only call you for urgent matters, such as: your account is past due, your credit card on file has expired, the very rare chance something has happened to your storage unit, or even something as simple as you forgot to securely lock your unit. So, it is important that you choose someone who will always be in your life.
Picking someone who is reliable is also important. It’s not a good idea to choose the friend who never answers calls, or rarely checks voicemail. This person may be consistent in your life, but without answering the call or checking the voicemail, they are not going to be a reliable source to let you know something is wrong. Most times family is the best option. If you have a sibling, parent or child who you speak to often, that means you can very likely depend on them to let you know that we are trying to reach you. In most cases, family is the most consistent part of your life. And just like you, they don’t want anything to happen to your belongings either. Someone who has been in your life (on a consistent basis) for years is going to be more reliable in the long run than the person you just met four months ago who moved in down the street.
If family is not an option for whatever reason, you can pick the person who you have been friends with ever since you can remember. Or at least a friend who has been in your life for a few years. This person doesn’t have to live in the same state as you, which many people don’t realize. We just need to be able to get in touch with them if we cannot reach you. It is important to understand that your alternate contact has no rights to any information on your self storage unit; they are just serving as an emergency contact. We will never share any information with them, except that we are trying to get in touch with you about your storage unit and that you need to return our call. No details will be shared on the reason.
Maybe friends and family are not the best option for you. Have you been at the same job for a long period of time (meaning several years)? You can talk to your employer and let them know you need someone reliable to put as an emergency contact for your storage unit. Most times your boss or a close co-worker will have no problem being your emergency contact. And, most likely they are available every day during the week if we call, and they will see you sooner than many others in your life. You spend more time with your coworkers than you do with your best friend in most instances. Again, remember they will never be given any information about why we are calling, just that we need to speak with you.
No matter who you choose to be your alternate contact, the most important thing is to keep all of your account information up-to-date. So, if your relationship with your account’s alternate contact sours or ends, you should provide us with updated contact information for a new alternate contact who you can count on. If your contact information is accurate and current, there will basically be no reason for the property manager to call your alternate contact because he or she will be able to reach you quickly. But if a situation arises and the property manager needs to reach you, having your account information accurate and current means we can reach you or your alternate contact quickly to resolve the issue.
If you’re ready to start using self storage for the first time, or even if you want to add a second storage unit for your excess treasures, you can reserve or rent a unit online now. Or if you have more questions about selecting the best alternate contact or want to update your account details, reach out to your property manager and he or she will be glad to help.