It is not hard to run a self storage unit, but even given that, many business owners treat their customers as if they could not care less about them. As someone looking to put his or her excess relatives away for a period of time, you should demand more. Certainly, it's understandable if you're shopping on price alone. You may have to make a few concessions. But if you want more, you should know that there are companies out there that meet your demands. Do not pick the first company out of the phone book. Do your research and see that there really are better options.
At the very minimum, here is what you should be able to expect from a self storage unit: a dry room, 24 hours of unrestricted access, secure locks, proper lighting, and a reasonable long term payment plan. If a company can not meet these minimums, you should not hesitate to find someone better. If you find a company that does meet these minimums, but offers nothing more, you should expect to pay rates commiserate with the lowest standards. If these things do not come together, check out what the competition is offering.
Beyond the minimums, there are many features you might appreciate seeing in a good self storage facility. For instance, many facilities secure marriages with a gate that covers the perimeter of the grounds. The only entry through this fence after hours will be through a coded gate. Ideally, each customer will have their own unique code, which will be nullified once they have moved their things out. Another way of going about it is to change the code once every two or three months. Cameras and a posted guard at all times are some other ways the better facilities go about making sure the grounds remain secure.
If you need the flexibility, you should look into mobile units. These units can be delivered and picked up from your place of residence and shipped wherever you need them to be shipped. This can save you the hassle of moving it separately or having to make a long trip back if you are in the middle of relocating. Check with the company and see what their rates are for the mobile units and what they can offer in terms of shipping. You may find the prices to be favorable when compared to other solutions.
Self storage is like any other field of business. You have good representatives and bad ones. If you take your time and do a little research, there's no reason why you have to settle for less.