I’m moving to New Mexico. Yes it’s in the United States, and yes they speak English. I’m just pointing that out, because when I worked for Mountain Bell back in the day, I would get those two questions a lot when people called in to the Business Office. That’s what they called it, the “Mountain Bell Business Office.” I held the distinction, at the time, of being the only male service representative in the state. I think I was the only male service rep in the entire company, but it was during the time they were trying to get people into “non-traditional jobs,” like putting girls up poles, and putting guys in desk chairs. It was a whole different “consent decree” world for the Bell System and a few years short of its breakup as a monopoly. The Consent Decree was signed with the Federal Government to insure that woman and minorities would be hired in a reverse discrimination method that favored woman and minorities, however it also got me my first job when I dropped out of college in 1973.
So, I’m moving, relocating, whatever you want to call it, and I clearly understand that every expense I incur is tax-deductible. Especially since I am relocating, technically, to find work. The unemployment rate up here in Nevada is still running in the double digits. Not a good place to find a job. New Mexico is a little better, but not great, but my daughters and their families live there, and I lived there for 12 years back in the late 70’s and 80’s.
The move has been a coordination nightmare. I’ve had to move out of a house, put stuff in a storage unit, make two runs down to New Mexico with a cargo trailer, and I still have a load left. It was left in a storage unit at “RR Self Storage” (Double R Self Storage) in Reno, Nevada. I paid for July, and I paid for August. Ninety-five dollars a month. Paid up until the 31st of August, but I needed one extra day. ONE extra day because I was working until the 31st and wasn’t getting the rental truck until September 1st, Thursday. I didn’t want to pay another $95 for one day.
So I read on the “Notice of Intent to Vacate” that I could notify them “before the 1st” if I needed an extra day or two into the month and they would pro-rate the rent. They “would be happy to accommodate” this one time request. In bold letters it says “Partial Rent Will Not Be Refunded.” And it also explains that if you are not out by the pre-arranged move out day, you will be charged for the full month. Seemed fair and it was the 26th of August. Almost a week before the 1st.
So I go into the office with my “Notice of Intent to Vacate” filled in with September 2, 2011 as my last day of occupancy, after I got off work on Friday. I will have the U-Haul truck on the 1st, and will load it then, but I figure one more day just to be safe.
I hand the form to the rotund (trying to be nice) girl on the other side of the counter, and I had to reach out pretty good because she’s pretty rotund. And she just says, “Okay” and puts in on the work surface behind the counter.
I says to her, “You’re going to pro-rate those last two days, right?
“Nope,” she says, if you leave on the 2nd you’ll have to pay for the full month.”
I looked at Her Rotundity in surprise. “It says here that you will be happy to pro-rate the rent if I let you know before the first.” I leaned over the counter and pointed to the sheet. I’m not that rotund.
Her Rotundness turns (not a pretty sight) and starts to walk away. Turns back to me momentarily and says, “If you leave on the 2nd you owe for the full month?”
“Ninety-five dollars for one day,” I scream. No… I screamed it.
“Yes,” she says.
“That doesn’t seem fair,” was all I could say. I scooped up the vacate notice and said that I wasn’t moving until the end of September then.
Her Rotundity’s cheery and helpful response, said in a syrupy attempt at customer service, “Sure, why rush. Take your time. You have the whole month.”
That’s when the steam blew out the ears and I turned and got out of there before I hurt someone or something.
I sat in my truck down the street and read, and re-read the clause about being happy to pro-rate the rent. Then I read it again. It still said to me that if I let them know before the first, they would pro-rate any extra days, but then it said in bold type again, no day to day rent allowed. Sounded contradictory. Then it hit me. I would need to know a month ahead of time when I would be vacating the space for them to be happy to help me and pro-rate the rent. In other words, I would have had to tell them before August 1st, that I was not leaving until September 2nd. The clause is written so as to completely confuse the renter, who will almost always think that they are going to pro-rate the rent for them if they tell them before the first of the month that they will only need it for a few more days.
Then I thought, well the rent may be do on the first, but they don’t lock me out until the third, and don’t charge me a late fee until the 5th. So I could clean the unit out on the first anyway, and let them try to get the $95 out of me. By the time all the late fees and penalties were added up, I would owe them more like $200 though. They might go after that. Plus they didn’t say they had to wait until the third to lock me out, so they could technically do it on the first when rent was due which would put me in a real bind from a coordination standpoint. And they now knew that I was moving out on the 2nd.
We moved everything out on Saturday. I had to re-coordinate the move schedule, the help I’m going to need, and I damn near ripped my arm off moving a refrigerator in the back of a pickup. Which is scary in itself because a refrigerator sticks up pretty high in the bed of a pickup truck. And every time I move this $2,400 LG Refrigerator, it gets more dents and more scratches. It’s been a serious thorn in my side, Jesus reference aside.
Saturday, after the last load was in my truck, I pulled into the office of the “Double R Self Storage” at 880 Maestro Drive, Reno, NV 89511, (775) 853-4466. I crossed off the date, wrote in August 26th, and walked into the office. I pitched the vacate notice at the same fat lady in the same black outfit sitting in an itty-bitty black office chair creaking under the strain, and said, “Here, I’m out.”
I looked right at her and said, “Oh, and I wanted to thank you for your understanding and for helping me out.”
She said, “You’re welcome.”
I said as I turned and walked away, “..and I’m telling everybody I know.” So now I have.
I’ve got two questions. Why do fat people always wear black? Where the FLUFFY did customer service go? That place made $190 off of me, and I would have told everyone I knew how great they were about pro-rating the last few days of rent to help me out. Didn’t go down that way though.