Who would think that the government shutdown would affect the spot cooler rental business? Well, we sure didn't think so initially. Be sure to check out the article in Rental Pulse, published by Rental Management Magazine.
We did have some rental contracts that were put on hold while the federal government was shut down but we had a really surprising circumstance develop.
Government Shutdown = Spot Cooler Showdown
Here's what happened.
One of our clients is a government contractor who is renting portable air conditioners for NASA. The spot coolers have been on site at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, FL for several months. Not sure exactly what the project is but hey... it's rocket science, right?
Each month, our support team calls the contractor to see if NASA still needs the portable air conditioners for their project or if they are ready for pick up. We could just re-bill "until further notice" which is common practice in the rental industry but we know things get hectic when clients juggle multiple contracts and we always touch base at the end of the rental period to see if the client wants to extend the rental.
When we touched base with the client at the end of September here's how the call went:
AirPac: "Hi, just checking in with you to see if NASA needs to extend the rental or if we need to arrange for pickup."
Client: "Yup. The project has wrapped up"
AirPac: "Perfect. We'll have a crew in that area in a few days. When would be a good time to schedule the pick up?"
Client: "Well.... the facility where the portable air conditioners are located is currently closed. Guess they were deemed 'non-essential' as far as the government shutdown goes."
AirPac: "When do you think we'll be able to get into the facility?"
Client: "I guess when the government opens."
AirPac: "OK. We'll keep in touch but let us know if things change and we can access the facility to pick up the portable air conditioners."
Client: "Will we still be charged the rental fees?"
So the client is ready for rental air conditioners to be picked up but we're unable to actually get into the space to pick them up! We NEVER could have anticipated this turn of events!
We love to work with our clients and from what our clients tell us, the fact that we are proactive with each rental and don't automatically re-bill is a huge help - and money saver! And they're appreciative that our rental rates are standard and don't change with spikes/dips in the weather. The rental rates are constant despite the seasonal demand.
BUT when we can't get access to equipment for a pick up client is still responsible for the rental fees until we are granted access to pick up the rental air conditioners.
What do you think? Reasonable? Hopefully we'll get paid -- keeping our fingers crossed now the the federal government is back in business!
We'd love to work with you if you need portable air conditioners for your retail, commercial office space, or IT environment. Download your spot cooling guide to see how we can help.
Has the federal shutdown impacted your business? Comment and let us know how.