Ripped off by Crown Castle

by Lester Evans
(Morehead, KY, USA)

This is not a question but my experience with Crown in 2001. I have a piece of property (about 4 acres) in a rural but desirable location along an interstate highway. It must be desirable since the tower is now loaded with five tenants. I had the property sold to Crown but the evening before the transfer was to be made I got a call from some rep. of Crown asking if I would consider leasing them this property instead of selling. I said I would think about it. Response was they need to know by tomorrow. Next day another rep calls for my decision. I asked the lease rate. He said $300 per month with 15% increase every 5 years and a 25 year lease. I countered with a higher rate but was told it was the best deal going. They did increase the offer to $325 and said they needed to know by tomorrow. I agreed.
My point in this is to inform others that Crown Castle is, in my experience, crooked and cannot be trusted. I am sure some rep got a good bonus at my expense.

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Jul 15, 2022
Devilish lease agreement!
by: Anonymous

My parents were also given a lease agreement that some professionals have said, "there is a special place in hell for folks who do those kinds of deals". Well, both my parents have passed and now I am the land owner. Do I have any recourse in approaching Crown Castle for a better lease? Looking at the tax records there is more than one company involved. There are at least 3 companies involved in the property, but it is crown castle we contact with questions.

Note from Editor: Contact Crown directly or reach out to us and send us the lease, we can schedule a call with you afterwards.

Mar 26, 2022
What are Crown Castle lease rates in 2022?
by: Kathy

I need help with determining what average Crown Castle cell tower lease rates are in my county or area currently. We have a cell tower that Crown Castle leases on my parents farm. It is in a fairly rural area in the Southeast. I'm hesitant to share the state or town because I don't want them to know that I am asking a question in a public forum. But I am wondering what our Crown Castle lease is worth. There is no hard data anywhere. I have read several posts on your site that are helpful but even your website doesn't give the exact information. I'm sure you want people to call you, I get that. The annual rent my parents are receiving from Crown Castle seems quite low. They didn't sign the original lease with Crown, and when they signed the tower contract they didn't really know what they were doing. I think we have two phone companies with antennas on the tower and I think that they are Sprint and T-Mobile. I have read about the two cell phone companies merging and I suppose that can't be good for my parents from a negotiating position. Their lease with Crown expires in a few years and they constantly get offers in the mail to sell their tower lease. There is quite a wide range on the future cell tower rent offers that they have received but Crown's term sheet is pretty set in what they are willing to pay to purchase the lease or extend the contract. Their attorney wasn't able to tell them what they should ask for and I was wondering what the chances were of Crown moving the tower elsewhere?

Nov 06, 2018
Offer from Crown Castle to extend cell tower lease
by: Tom

I was wondering if one the the Tower Geniuses can help me with a proposal that I received from Crown Castle?

My parents have a tower and they are inside the second to last term of the lease. About nine and a half years left.

This was an AT&T cell tower originally and we have another company, Verizon Wireless also on the tower. But they aren't paying rent. We receive less than $1,000 per month.

Crown Castle is not willing to pay us what we think it's value should be.

I just filled out a contact form on your website about an hour ago. We need some help.

Oct 26, 2017
crown castle towers
by: Anonymous

I wish my dad would have called you guys before he signed his deal with them.

Oct 26, 2017
We Help Crown Castle Landlords With Their Crown Leases
by: Tower Genius

Crown Castle Landlords... we can help to make sure that you are not getting the short end of the stick when dealing with a wonderful company like Crown Castle. Not saying that Crown Castle would try to rip you off, or that Crown Castle would take advantage of your church, or that Crown Castle would try to scare your senior citizen parents or grandparents into signing ridiculously unfair lease terms or by threatening to decommission or to relocate the cell tower on your property or by using high pressure sales tactics. Of course we are not saying any of that, heck, we aren't even thinking about things like that. Companies like Crown Castle surely don't ever utilize questionable or borderline unethical tactics to achieve the results they want in a lease negotiation. We only have very nice things to say about them. Why, do you think it's possible? That's almost as crazy as saying that the government doesn't have your best interests in mind and would deliberately mislead, lie to you, cheat you or knowingly defraud some of its citizens. Nope. Not saying that at all.

But... just in case if you have a Crown Castle lease proposal in your hands, it's probably not a bad idea to make sure nobody is pulling the wool over anybody's eyes if you know what I mean? Crown Castle landlords, if I were you, I'd probably want to have a cell tower leasing expert like Tower Genius LLC looking out for you best interests.

Tower Genius is a cell tower lease advocacy company who can review your lease and the proposed Crown Castle Letter Amendment. Not saying that Crown Castle would not want you to have a fair deal and slant the lease completely in their favor, of course we are not saying that. I'm sure the nice folks at Crown want you to be very happy with their lease. But just in case there is even an itsy bitsy chance that somebody -- not from Crown Castle of course - just any-somebody slipped in a few cell tower leasing terms that might come back to bite you in the back-side, you really need to have the USA's premier cell tower lease experts review your deal. Just in case. Just to be on the safe side. It can't hurt.

And maybe we are reaching here. It's probably nothing. I just had a crazy thought. No. probably nothing. But maybe, what if just maybe there is a remote possibility, because we know that fat cats on Wall Street love the common folks of this nation, but let's just let our imagination run wild for a moment... Could there be an ever-so-slight chance that the people of Wall Street who call the shots for multi billion dollar companies like Crown Castle want to see profits when quarterly earning reports come out?

Now I'm guessing that a fine company like Crown Castle International could earn hundred of million of dollars every quarter if they were able to get better terms with their clients, like AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon and the like, but those companies know a whole lot about the wireless industry, and it would probably be difficult for Crown to optimize their business operation that way. Or, they could they could generate lots and lots of revenue and earn record profits by squeezing the carriers for better rental terms. Or better yet, I wonder if anyone at Crown has discovered that it's much easier for a cell tower company to go after the "low hanging fruit" and get their profits by squeezing the cell tower landlord who doesn't not know hardly anything about cell towers and the wireless leasing industry? Now, we are saying this ever happens of course, I was just imaging out loud. Oh well, that's crazy, probably not plausible.

Oh.. and another thing. Crown Castle does not suck at what they do. On the contrary. If Crown Castle sucks, then explain how they are so successful and highly profitable? No they definitely don't suck. They actually quite good at what they do. They are a very successful company that leases and manages cell towers. Lots of them. They help all of our smart phones to work.

What actually sucks is when you have a cell tower lease that is undervalued and cell tower companies cry about financial hardships and don't want to give you a rent increase or claim they can't adjust certain unreasonable terms because their master agreements with companies like AT&T or T-Mobile don't allow them to change certain lease terms.

What probably sucks is if Crown Castle negotiates with you to put a cell tower on your property, and then you find out that all their Strategic Relocation department was trying to do is get you to sign a term sheet or lease option, just to use as leverage to negotiate a better deal at they existing nearby tower. Not saying that this is their business model, but it's not too much of a stretch of the imagination.

Fortunately if a company with a Strategic Relocation Manager like let's say, Crown Castle wastes a lot of your time, you might even get a "good faith" check payment of several thousand dollars from them, just to keep you from thinking they never had any intention of putting that tower on your property. Not saying they would ever do this of course. Just thinking out loud about the wonderful world of telecom leasing. But i digress...

So... property owners and landlords who have a Crown Lease, if i had a dollar for every time somebody called me that got a less than favorable deal on their lease amendment or lease extension, I could probably buy everybody at Crown Castle at least one thing at the dollar store, or I would have a very large pile of dollars.

Tower Genius :-)

May 20, 2012
by: L Evans


Moderator's comment:
Not just Crown, but all tower companies and carriers hire professionals aka "experts" to squeeze every penny they can out of the leased Premises. Property owners should keep that in mind and do the same.

Apr 03, 2012
Crowns Generous Offer
by: Anonymous

Crown Castle contracted an agreement with my father who only had a 7th grade education for hardly nothing. My father passed away a couple of years ago and my brother and I inheireted the property. A represenative from Crown contacted us about selling them an easement. We agreed to 125,000 thousand with 50,000 to be paid upfront. That was all and well, but the 70,000 was to be paid over the next 15 years, we even agreed to that, but the kicker came when they wanted us to finance it for them 'interest free'! Well, we refused to sign the deal unless they paid it all upfront or pay interest on the 70,000 we were allowing them to pay us over 15 years. Since we refused to go through with the deal the rep. told us, and I quote, "that's too bad for you because negoiations only go down from here".
We will see...

Moderator's Note:
Dear Anonymous... We doubt that you are making this up. to be fair to Crown, it's not the best idea to "rip" a company on a blog because of a sales representative who may not be very experienced or competent. Give us a call at Tower Genius tomorrow during business hours at 888-313-9750 and see if we can help to clarify things for you.

Aug 18, 2011
How low can you go?
by: Tower Genius

Sorry to hear you you fell for high pressure cell tower leasing sales tactics. This is exactly why in the last three weeks we had 5 different site acquisition consultants tell the property owners that if they hired a consultant (Name our company) that they would not get the site, or call us every name in the book. One of them even threatened to report us to the authorities and threatened us with tort interference. Imagine that , impeding them from ripping off a landlord?

We had a site acquisition company from San Diego, tell our landlord in the Southwest that their site was worth $350 per month for AT&T. Of course it is.

We had a site acquisition from another outstanding firm working for US Cellular tell our client in Oklahoma that they should be happy they are getting $300 per month. ROFL.

We had another 2 fine upstanding site acquisition consultants try to lease towers to a property owners in Texas and Tennessee for about $100 per month.

We also had a love-fest with the nice folks at a leading wireless carrier in San Francisco try to get a property owner to think they should be happy with accepting $1100 per month for a stealth tree pole monopole a few short miles from one of the bay Bridges overlooking the freeway. I think they referred to my company as "Poison".

Here's the thing. There's a lot of money to be made in the cell tower leasing business. Most of the monkey's you come in contact with will go to the lowest hanging fruit where they can make the most money in the quickest amount of time and they cry like a baby after you take away their candy when they don't get their way.

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