By way of Tolewyn, we have discovered the sordid tale of Patrick Rogalin and Public Storage, Inc.
Patrick is a soldier in the U.S. Army Reserve over in Missouri. Well, these days being these days, Specialist Patrick Rogalin got called up for active duty in Iraq. As part of his preparations for his trip, Specialist Rogalin put all of his belongings into a storage unit belonging to Public Storage, Inc.
Spc. Rogalin apparently arranged for an automatic withdrawal from his bank account to cover the monthly rent.
Sometime during his dusty Middle-Eastern trip, something went wrong. Apparently someone accessed his bank account and wrote several hundred dollars worth of checks that cleaned out the account. Anyhoo, Public Storage wasn't getting paid.
Spc. Rogalin states that as soon as he found out he was having bank problems, he made other arrangements, and it seems that Public Storage was more than happy to keep accepting his money -- even better, Public Storage never notified Spc. Rogalin that there was any sort of problem.
Tour of duty over, Spc. Rogalin gets back Stateside in October, heads over to pick up his property as part of the whole "getting-back-to-normal" bit -- and lo and behold! His property ain't there no more.
Turns out, Public Storage auctioned off the soldiers property. In June.
Seems that Public Storage sold all of Spc. Rogalin's stuff, kept the money made from the sale, then continued to accept the payments that Spc. Rogalin was sending them for storing stuff ... that they had already sold.
When Spc. Rogalin -- understandably enough -- asked for compensation for the estimated $8,000 worth of personal property auctioned off by Public Storage, Public Storage offered him $2000.
Mr. Patrick Rogalin is being a gentleman about the whole thing. He doesn't blame Public Storage, and he has been refusing offers of financial aid.
A scholar and a gentleman of the Olde School.
The treatment of Specialist Patrick Rogalin by Public Storage, Inc is shoddy, inexcusable and I'm pretty sure it's a violation of Federal Law, specifically the 2003 Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
Public Storage, Inc. Customer Service department: 1-800-567-0759, Monday through Friday 6:00am to 5:30pm PST, Saturdays 6:00am to 5pm PST.
Public Storage, Inc snail mail:
Public Storage Inc.
701 Western Avenue
Glendale, CA 91201-2349
Be firm, but courteous. Outraged, but polite.
Check in on Specialist Rogalin's MySpace page -- the link is under his name in the first sentence of this article -- for updates.