Storage at your fingertips
Customers can now rent storage garages in Fargo without talking to a human being. Aallen'Self Storage, 3405 Main Ave., has installed a voice-activated kiosk that greets customers, takes their fingerprints and photos, makes a copy of their driver'...
Customers can now rent storage garages in Fargo without talking to a human being.
Aallen'Self Storage, 3405 Main Ave., has installed a voice-activated kiosk that greets customers, takes their fingerprints and photos, makes a copy of their driver's licenses, accepts personal checks, cash or credit cards, and supplies a rental receipt and tamper-free lock to put on one of its 100 storage units, said Mark Bruns, facility manager.
The kiosk is open any time of day, every day of the year, Bruns said.
A recorded female voice greets customers as they enter the self-service kiosk: "Welcome. You can use this rental station to make payments, update accounts, rent spaces and purchase locks."
"Would you like a receipt? Select the receipt button," commands the kiosk voice when the transaction is finished.
The machine will produce a receipt on site or
e-mail it to you.
If there's any problem, Bruns is notified. "Wherever I'm at, it will get ahold of me 24/7," he said.
Surveillance cameras monitor the property, which is also randomly patrolled by the Fargo Police Department as part of its Crime Watch program, Bruns said.
Aallen'Self Storage, owned by Bill Allen, is located where Allen formerly operated Allen's Autohaus, a Fargo Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi and Mercedes Benz dealership that he sold in 1975.
Allen now lives and operates a hardware store in Florida, where he first saw the storage rental technology being used and decided to install it in Fargo.
"I talked to two storage owners that have them. They liked them," Allen said.
The storage units come in three sizes: 10 feet wide by 10, 15 and 20 feet long.
"Most people are renting two to three months at a time. I've got some people that have been here two to three years," Bruns said.
Allen said his grandson, Peter Allen, will soon take over management of the storage business and will live on site.
Bill Allen can monitor how the business is doing on his Florida computer.
"I can go online on the kiosk line and I know how much cash he has taken in. I can see who moved in and who moved out," he said.
For information call (701) 232-9474 or go online to www.aallenselfstorage.com .
Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502