Simply Self Storage
Posted: 2008-07-05. Categories: California, Sonora, Soulsbyville, Twain Harte

Simply Self Storage, not so simple…

When three people live in a two-bedroom house that is only 830 square feet, it doesn’t take long to realize that space is a luxury one can ill afford. Inevitably the time will come when it’s time to make a decision; move into a larger space, dispose of non-essentials or rent a storage unit.

Since, we have been unable to locate a larger home to meets the needs of our family and our growing home business, we carefully considered the latter. There were many things to take into consideration:

Locked Gate - Simply Self Storage, Sonora, CA
  • Price: The cost was a big consideration. How much added expense could our household budget withstand?
  • Location: Could we access our belongings conveniently?
  • Hours: Could we gain access when we needed certain items?
  • Space: Just how much space would be sufficient to contain the stored items comfortably – without sustaining damager?

We determined that a 10×10 unit should be adequate enough to hold our seasonal possessions and be roomy enough to allow easy access, yet affordable. When we called around for price quotes most available units were comparably priced. Which left access hours and location.

When our daughter moved to California from Michigan, she had rented a unit from Delta Self Storage, located right on Highway 108, which we drove past several times per week on our way to town for groceries and things. Our daughter had recommended it to us, even though it had been bought out by a company named Simply Self Storage; it didn’t seem to be a cause for concern. Their hours, while not extravagant, were sufficient to meet our needs. And they were consistent – promising consistent and regular daily access to our belongings. So, last August after discovering they were having a move-in special (pay for three-months, get the fourth-month free) we rented a unit with Simply Self Storage and began to move our summer items into it.

Camping World

In went the tents, the sleeping bags, summer clothes and fans. What a relief to have them out of the way and easy to access. We had previously stored these things under the house, which was barely more than a crawl space and literally a pain in the back to organize. Then we purchased a few pieces of furniture that we could use, when we moved into a larger place, a new desk that we currently don’t have room for and of course the overflowing filing cabinets.

All went well until May, when the trouble began. A new girl was hired, when the regular manager took a leave of absence. The hours our unit was available was immediately reduced by 25%. Of course no one bothered to notify the tenants of this drastic change, they were simply posted on the door to the office. While the access hours had previously been 8 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., 7-days a week. The new hours of availability were erratic and impossible to remember.

When I complained that we had not been notified and that our rent should be adjusted because we no longer had adequate access to our belongings. I was assured that the change was a temporary one and that “by the end of the month” I would have access from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Well now, I liked the sound of that.

I was informed that the owners were unwilling to give me a rate adjustment for that month, due to my reduced access. I decided not to make an issue of it; after all, it would only be an issue for another couple of weeks. I could live with it.

The end of May came and went, June flew by and still the new keypads weren’t in and each time we stopped to try to put something into storage or take something out, we couldn’t get in. It was getting very frustrating. The new office girl was anything but sympathetic or helpful.

Throughout these two months we attempted to gain access to our items no less than three times per week, at times that even normal people might try to use their storage units. Noon, 2 p.m., 10 a.m., and others… At least half the time we tried to gain access they were closed, gates were locked and no justification for their inavailability was provided. What really offended was that every time I did manage to get in the new office girl had the audacity to “remind” me that the digital access was supposed to be active “today or tomorrow” – for weeks on end. She would regularly point to boxes strewn through the office and say that “everything is here, we’re just waiting for it to be setup.” Lies.

Three times I called and requested that a manager contact me and three times my request went answered. To say I was frustrated is an understatement. I was absolutely livid at the way we were being treated. The only reason we put up with things as long as we did was because we didn’t have a vehicle large enough to move some of our furniture we were storing.

My last call to the office of Simply Self Storage was the last straw. I had received notice that as of July 28, my rent was being increased, never mind that it was only $5.00 a month, it was a slap in the face as far as I was concerned.

As I explained the issue I had with their mode of operation, the snippy office clerk kept asking me, “Are you done yet?” After the third time, I finally answered and meant it, “YES!” I was done being ill-treated, I was done being overcharged for services I had carefully negotiated. I was done dealing with a person who obviously didn’t care that I was not happy, and I was done with a company, who didn’t care. I hung up the phone.

I had managed Mel-mar Mini Storage & Industrial Park located in Auburn Hills, MI, for three-years. I knew how to treat customers and how the operation was ran. There had to be somewhere else out here that was customer-oriented. There simply had to be another storage company in town that treated people right, had decent hours and reasonable prices. I was determined to find it.

Mr. Stor-All Self Storage - Sonora, CA

I immediately started calling around our local area. I tried calling Standard Storage several times, but their phone was continually busy, so I gave up. We had previously used Mother Lode Storage, and while they were pleasant to deal with, and had fair prices, they were off the beaten path and not convenient for us at all.

I tried Mr. Stor-All Self Storage (Longeway Road Self Storage) next. The phone was answered immediately, and the clerk was pleasant to speak to, and empathetically wanted to help. She listened politely and answered all my questions. I was pleased to find they were offering a special 25% off rent for the first four months. Wow! Their regular price was already lower than my new rate.

Mr. Stor-All offers an electronic gate that would allow me access to my belongings from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., just as I was ready to commit to moving my things, she informed me that they provide a truck free of charge that I can use to move-in. I was stunned that Mr. Stor-All could not only meet but also exceed my needs. We moved that very same day. Amazingly, our other storage unit was even open to be able to get access to our stuff at 4:30 p.m. We had our doubts.

I find it more than a little ironic that as we were moving out, I finally was able to speak to the regional manager at Simply Self-Storage. She listened politely and was sympathetic to my plight but I was committed to moving and nothing would change my mind at this point. I will never rent or recommend Simply Self-Storage to anyone. They simply don’t care about their tenants.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on our experience with Mr. Stor-All; so far, I’m a very happy camper. Our unit is closer to our home and it even has a light inside, something that was lacking in our unit at Simply Self-Storage. While it’s not normally needed, it might well come in handy one-day.

If you are looking for storage in the Sonora, CA area, check out Mr. Stor-All. Tell them Shawn and Annette Hall sent you, you will get a $25.00 discount and we will, too, for referring you.

Longeway Road Self Storage (Mr. Stor-All)
20828 Longeway Road
Sonora, CA 95370
Phone (209) 533-2022

13 Comments to "Simply Self Storage"

  1. Anonymous says:

    as a former employee of simply self storage i can say your experience is not new,bottom line with the big sss as we called it is money!!!! as an employee you always have someone looking over your shoulder,other employees make attempts to stab you in the back to keep their jobs,simply is not willing to fix or repair anything, if something is broke it will stay broke or the cheapest solution is done. i have seen numerous vendors refuse to do anymore work because it takes months to get paid.as a manager you cannot run your store because you have someone from upper management making demands,i now work for a locally owned company and the difference is amazing.

  2. Retail Bandit says:

    About week after this story was posted (and I had sent copies to both Simply Self Storage and Mr. Stor-All), I was contacted by someone in upper-level management. (Sorry I don’t recall his name.)

    He apologized several times for my experience and informed me that changes we being made in their policies. Since, we had already vacated our unit, it was too little, too late.

    I offered him the opportunity to post an official rebuttal from the company. As of this writing, no response has been received. Apparently, they aren’t concerned with their reputation. Only time will tell.

  3. Anonymous says:

    i am a current employee of SSS, i know that sometimes things aren’t always done in a timely matter. But the main issue you seem to be having is with the manager there. Don’t bad mouth the whole company just cause you unfortunatly had a bad customer service experience. i am sure that the person you delt with has been let go. SSS is a great company and is always looking to improve there stores, and thats probably what cause your inconvience of not having normal access hours.

  4. Shawn K. Hall says:

    The person we dealt with still works there (we can see her vehicle parked outside sometimes as we drive up the hill).

    It has not been resolved.

    While she made every effort to prevent us from getting any form of customer service, she was not alone in that. We called the corporate office and the regional manager several times over the three months that it took before we finally got too fed up to keep “SSScrewing” ourselves.

    I think it may even violate the Strunk and White Style Guide to use “Simply Self Storage” and “great company” in the same paragraph.

    But what do I know, I’m just the customer they abused, lied to, and ignored for three full months while making the same excuses, several times a week, for failing to honor their business hours.

    They never made it right, and they didn’t even try to make it right until we were literally packing up to leave.

    Mr. “Anonymous”, you can claim anything you want, but anyone can see for themselves that the empty promises and lies from Simply Self Storage are the way business is done. They’ve lost my business, and I’m thrilled with our new storage compane: Mr. Stor-All.

  5. Anonymous says:

    As a former employee of simply storage I agree with the above former employee,I left after a vice president told me they know the late fees are illegal,but they will keep charging them,I had previously worked for 2 different storage companies and have never been treated so badly by district or regional management,If the investors want to know why this company is doing so badly talk to the managers,most you find will be scared afraid of losing their jobs,that should tell you something is being hidden,any current employee that says they are happy are lying,they are afraid of losing their job,I am happy I was able to resign and leave with character and morals in tact.

  6. Michelle says:

    I am currently looking for a storage unit and I am sooo glad I came acress your site! It appers SSS is in soulsbyville so I oprobably would not have chosen them anyway, however I when I was searching online I ran across your article and feel it to be very informative. After having a storage (in jamestown) with limited hours (didn’t realize prior how inconvenient that can be!) I wanted to encourage you to post comments on some internet sites that show reviews such as the one below. I always go to the ‘comparison’ type of websites to read reviews. I find it very helpful! Thanks for your review. If I hear of anyone else looking I will definitely warn them!
    http://local.yahoo.com/info-21654724-simply-self-storage-soulsbyville?csz=Sonora%2C+CA -Yahoo, http://www.yelp.com/sonora-ca -yelp.com

  7. Anonymous says:

    To Mr. and Mrs. Hall
    I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for your experience with our business.
    I have taken your experience to heart, knowing that I did not perform to the best of my abilities for you.
    In that time that you have been gone from our business, I have been promoted to train and make sure that all employees here at Simply Self Storage Sonora are performing to the best of their abilities and making customer service is our top priority. We did finally get them on 4th of July weekend.
    Again I am sorry for your experience with our business.

  8. Anonymous says:

    THE POST FROM 4/23/09,SHOWS ONE OF THE MAIN PROBLEMS WITH THE SIMPLY SELF STORAGE STYLE OF MANAGEMENT,A PROPERTY MANAGER THAT DID NOTHING TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR TENANT GETS PROMOTED TO TRAIN PEOPLE,WHAT A JOKE,I AM A FORMER EMPLOYEE AND BY FORMER I MEAN I JUST QUIT 3 WEEKS AGO,AFTER SPENDING 3+ YEARS TRYING TO GET SIMPLY TO DO BASIC UPKEEP AND REPAIRS AND WATCHING PEOPLE GET PROMOTIONS BECAUSE THEY WILL AGREE AND SAY WHAT EVER SIMPLY MANAGEMENT WANTS TO HEAR I WAS DONE,I HAVE 10+ YEARS IN THIS BUSINESS I HOLD A BACHELORS DEGREE IN BUSINESS AND I WAS CONSTANTLY OVERLOOKED FOR PROMOTIONS, IN FAVOR OF EMPLOYEES WHO JUST BROWN NOSED, THE AMAZING THING IS THE EMPLOYEES WHO GOT PROMOTED KEPT CALLING ME FOR ADVISE AND GUIDANCE,I HAVE LEFT AND AM NOW WORKING FOR ANOTHER PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY AT THE DISTRICT LEVEL.I HAVE BEEN TOLD BY CURRENT EMPLOYEES THAT UPPER MANAGEMENT NOW BAD MOUTHS ME,WHICH I AM FINE WITH I KNOW I NEVER LIED OR SCREWED MY TENANTS OVER,AND SINCE I HAVE LEFT I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL OF MY FORMER TENANTS WHO HAVE TOLD ME HOW THE NEW MANAGER TREATS THEM VERSUS HOW I TREATED THEM BOTTOM LINE TO ANONYMOUS POSTED 4/23/09 YOU DID NOT DESERVE THE PROMOTION,YOU GOT IT BECAUSE YOU ARE WILLING TO FOLLOW SIMPLY SELF
    STORAGE RIGHT OR WRONG YOU WERE WILLING TO DO WHAT EVER YOU WERE TOLD TO DO,IT IS UP TO YOU TO USE THIS PROMOTION TO GROW OR JUST FOLLOW THE PACK.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have worked for SSS and I have been the storage business for more the 10 years and in all that time this by far has been the worst company that I have worked for it is unstable, if the investers only knew how it was realy run they would change upermanagment. I have seen this happen before some of the large companies get to big to fast then they get sold and now they are no longer around. Simply Self Storage could be so much better if only
    if they look at there own name. SIMLPY treat the managers SIMPLY with care, respect, and that loyalty then they would get the same back. The uppermangment do the job that YOU were hired to do. and the VPO and especaily the scared DMs who rule with a iron arm will get that same back from the managers. District Managers are should be supervisor yes SUPER that is to be better and help and … adVISOR to teach and incourage, we do not get that at ALL.. This company has good and great Manager that will go to other storage companies were they will get better treatment, but what they dont understand that good manager will be come there compation. This is the most mico-managed company I have ever worked for there is no ingetgraty in this company…. news flash some one tell O Brien.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I would like to know, from ex-employees, what actions does SSS take against tenants who cut their over locks and/or tenants who vacate the facility with rent owing.

    The SSS lease has no direct wording for consequences and the only wording referring to "over lock" says that there is a $15 fee for "tampering or cutting" the SSS lock.

  11. Anonymous says:

    To anonymous dated 6/30/09 it depends on your state’s self storage lien laws, in some states it is considered breaking and entering, most company’s use overlocks that have wording on them that say removal of this lock is a crime.

    As a former employee of simply self storage I have seen police called and charges filed. I have seen the account be turned over to the legal department. I have seen managers fired because they come in and found the unit had been broken into, and upper management would say the manager should have known this tenant would do this.

    After several years in this industry the one thing I have learned is there are always people who will do what ever they have to, to get out of paying a bill they knew they would have to pay. Simply storage is not an ethical company, I believe in time they will fall.

  12. Tammy says:

    Use to have a storage bin with simply self storage,after many complaints over access condition of property, I finally moved my belongings. After I had moved out I ran into one of the employees at Krogers. She told me the Manager constantly battled the corporate office to get things repaired and he had paid for things out of his own pocket, she told me the company was constantly coming down on him and had wrote him up and was trying to get him out. I realize now it was not his fault as I originally thought, obviously this company treats its employees just as bad.

  13. andrea says:

    As a former employee I lasted almost a year I red these comments, see when posted and realize this is the norm for this company, new group of investors came in beginning of the year more executives were hired, no raises to property level employees, lot of intimidation, over getting percentage up to please investors, I worked different stores saw some managers go far to run a good location saw others just facebook, twitter, on cell all day, complaints to district fell on deaf ears, just treated me worst, glad to leave, found another job.

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