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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

iStorage Bait and Switch

Today I had an experience, and I will try to be brief and concise. My Dad is an auctioneer who has, in the past, made use of public storage because of excess materials.  I live at home due to disabilities.  We also have a joint checking account so that in an emergency I have access to funds as I do not work.  My Dad does not believe in electronic fund transfers, commonly called EFTs, or online bill pay because of the large amount of fraud currently happening, and I don’t really blame him.  He began a business relationship with iStorage in Burlington last year.  He signed a lease, a legal document.  People should always read the documents they sign.  Last month he was informed that he would now have to pay an insurance fee.  This fee could be waived if he provided proof of homeowners insurance. His bill was due today, November 5, 2014.  I have a treatment that requires that I stay four hours in the hospital today.  He told me on the way home that he had forgotten that it was due.  He suggested we stop and pay the bill for the storage unit and bring the insurance information the next day.  I thought it would be an acceptable agreement.  It was late in the day and we would not be able to get back and our insurance agency closes early.  When I went in to the office, I suggested this option.  I was told that I could pay the full amount (with insurance) or I could come back the next day and pay the late fee for the rental of the storage unit.  I was standing there, with a check in hand, waiting to write a check.  I was essentially told that my money was not good.  Both managers were there a well.  I questioned the new policy.  I said that other storage rentals had never asked for proof of homeowner’s insurance or asked for a fee for insurance coverage and when was this policy instituted?  I said that this was not part of the original lease.  I suggested that a lawyer might have problems with instituting a change to a lease midyear without proper notice.  I was told 30 days was proper notice.  Then the story changed to the fact that homeowner’s insurance was required initially by the lease.  I said that if it was required when we signed the lease, I made sure it was provided.  I asked to see the lease that was signed.  I was showed two pages tacked to the end of the original signed lease.  I insisted that if I was asked to provide paperwork I would have.  I suggested that perhaps through no one’s fault it was lost as they said we change storage units (we did no such thing).  I was informed that in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM could paperwork EVER be lost.  Since some of the items in the unit are consignments for my Dad’s auction and we need access to the unit, I paid the D@m^ fee but made my feelings extremely clear.  I was not pleased.  I informed them that I would be bringing the insurance information tomorrow and I would be making this story know tonight on as many social media platforms as I was able.  I also plan to go to the county as on further contemplation I feel that this constitutes bait and switch, in that they change the terms of the lease which also altered the price.  I also would like to make it known that they were arguing over less than $10. Which I also made abundant clear, many times that I felt was a stupid amount to argue over.  My Dad is in business.  If the situation was reversed, he would have waived the fee.  I was told that the managers couldn’t do that because it was the company policy.  In that case, I have had people take the money out of pocket rather that have an irate costumer, take to the internet and their friends and tell the world what happened.  Rule No. 1: The Customer is always right!  Rule 2: If is Customer is wrong see Rule no. 1! So If you use this company tell them what you think, here is there website or at the very least check your lease and terms of agreement.