By Ülvi Gitaliyev
As the end of the semester approaches, many Berea College students are trying to find storage units over the summer break. Unfortunately, one student alleges that the Berea branch of Storage Rentals of America is engaging in discriminatory behaviour. In an anonymous interview with The Berea Torch, a female student alleged that due to her gender and status as a young college student, they were overcharged by the rental company.
“I looked up storage rentals in Berea and I found the brand Storage Rentals of America. They are just down the road from Berea. I called the facility because it didn’t say how many units they had available, but then I started getting questions about how old I was and what my gender was and my reasoning for a storage locker, which was a little weird because why do you need that info? They had basic pricing on their website, but then they charged me $150 a month for a 5×5 Locker, which is a little weird, to say the least. They also wanted a deposit fee of $50. So, I would have to pay $200 for my first month,” said the student.
They also reported that when a male friend asked for the same rental unit, they got offered lower prices. “I had my friend call them because I was like, this is a little weird and he’s a man and he has a deeper voice than I do and they gave him an estimate of maybe 50, 60 dollars per month. No deposit fees or anything. They were just trying to take advantage of the fact that I am a woman and especially a college student, not having many options.”
Lastly, the student spoke on how to company did not stop calling them until they complained about the difference in price.
“They would not stop calling me for weeks until I told them to stop calling me and that I know that they were upcharging me. They hung up on the phone with me after I said that because I explained what I understood and then they haven’t bothered me since. So, I would just recommend everyone to not use that facility.”
When asked for comment, a local Berea employee of Storage Rentals of America said that the company does not ask for deposit fees and that a customer’s age, gender and educational status does not affect the pricing.