You may fire when ready, Gridley

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.

I’m not.

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.


Be alert for a southbound stampede of brass monkeys.
Oh. My. Gawd!

17 thoughts on “You may fire when ready, Gridley”

  1. What a crock. I hope those people lose a lot more in lost business than the cost of paying for the man’s stuff.

  2. The latest word on the subject was that there had been a settlement of the matter.

    So any further contact with the company should be in the nature of ‘Thanks for finally fixing part of the problem’ and ‘Don’t do that again.’

  3. Check back with Spc Rogelyn’s site that LawDog cites – he doesn’t exactly sound settled.

  4. Unfortunately, all storage businesses work this way.

    Selling the stored stuff after someone misses rent payments is a big slice of their profits.

    Which is why I won’t use them … if I can’t store it, I’d rather sell it.

  5. lgd,

    On his page it currently says:

    . Public storage has released a “story” saying that we reached, “a mutually satisfactory agreement and resolved this unfortunate matter.” The matter is not resolved and it is definitely not satisfactory.

  6. I posted this over @ Gay Cynic’s blog …………………
    It used to be, service members DID have storage facilities on base for deployed members’ personal belongings, that couldn’t go with when they were deployed …………………. with all the BRAC cuts over the years, though, {plus the “local businesses'” howling over the government ‘cutting into’ their money-making} I doubt that such are still available at any other than the LARGE bases ………………. if there ………………. as a Reservist, SPC Rogalin probably drills at an office-type complex, that doesn’t offer storage …………….. and unless geography and rank are in his favor, storage at a nearby military base is probably not an option ………………. Public Storage needs to make it right ……………… AND offer a written, abject apology ……………
    Semper Steamin’

  7. It used to be that soldiers (male and female) were held in the highest of regards. The few that broke with the honor and tradition while under service were dealt with harshly inside the military while the American People took the rest as the heroes and heroines they are. Sadly, from the government side, this has hardly ever been the case. The Revolutionary Army got ripped by the government, then again in 1812, the 1846 war with Mexico, 1899 Spanish-American war, WWI they actually had thier comrades called out to “crush” them for asking for what they were promised and it continues on till today. The fact that he very rightly says so many deserve the kindness being extended to him is a reason he feel GUILTY…check that folk..HE feels GUILTY for taking help…just testifies to the metal most of those that serve have. As for this fat, dumb, redneck Texan, I’ve done alot to tell Public Storage what I think of this and will continue to do so. If this was a bit back in the past, might even have a “going out of business” sale for them as we run them out of town but, those days be gone.

    Just another case of what is right doesn’t nessasarily equate to what is “legal”…no offense Lawdog, you’ve probably felt that way more then once I bet…

    I just hope he has so many wonderful things come from this that it turns out to be a blessing rather then a curse.

  8. The soldier shouldn’t go Fallujah, he has too much to lose. We should indicate our very verbal disapproval, and vote with our pocketbooks all the while telling the managers WHY they won’t get our money.

  9. I wonder how Public Storage would feel if every soldier that stores stuff with them “voted with thier pocket” and let the managers from the local store level on up know WHY they are losing all those MONTHS of business?

    Group protests still work very well when it comes to the bottom line…

  10. I called them and they told me it was resolved. Then I went to the myspace where Rogalin said it IS resolved but not to his satisfaction.

    I plan on calling them at least once per day asking if they are making any progress on this issue. Please do the same.

  11. Thanks for posting this. I was going to use Public Storage to store the items that I didn’t want to sell when I move, most of which are from my childhood overseas and virtually irreplaceable.

    Based on what I have seen here, I will not be using Public Storage.

  12. DAMN I hate Myspace pages. Couldn’t make heads or tales out of that site. Everything was semi-transparent and ran together. Somebody needs to tap him of the shoulder and explain that this crap has got to go.

    But critiques of his site aside, The situation as described is an outrage and shows yet another example of big business showing little if any regard for customer service.

  13. DAMN I hate Myspace pages. Couldn’t make heads or tales out of that site. Everything was semi-transparent and ran together. Somebody needs to tap him of the shoulder and explain that this crap has got to go.

    But critiques of his site aside, The situation as described is an outrage and shows yet another example of big business showing little if any regard for customer service.

  14. The Marine!Goth is using a local company, not a chain. After reading this, I will contact the manager, take them my power of attorney and tell them that if there is every even the slightest bit of an issue with his allotment, that they are to call me IMMEDIATELY.

    I’d move his stuff home if I had room for it!

  15. my name is sw2 schrag the same thing happened to me on a deployment to iraq back in 2006. i havent done anything about it but thinking about proceeding with it.

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