Public Storage - Totally Inflexible - Pray You Never Have Money Problems
Rental Unit - Complaint
BURKE, VIRGINIA -- I've been dealing with a severe illness and frequent unemployment for several years. When I lost my apartment about 5 years ago, I put all my belongings in storage.
During that time, Public Storage has repeatedly raised my rates (to amounts far above what they advertise), but with the help of family and friends, I have been able to keep my things until recently.
In the past couple of months, I began to try to sell off all but the most important items. Unfortunately, the effort didn't go as well as I'd hoped, and I found myself behind in my payments with some things still in storage and no way to pay.
At this point, about 35 days overdue, I got a relative to agree to help me out with about $450 and take my stuff out of the unit on about the 10th of the month. My rent was $220/mo, and of course I expected a couple of late fees. So, I expected about $220 + $70 for rent and probably $80 in late fees. Less than $400.
They demanded $600 to release my stuff. There would be absolutely no negotiation. I explained to several levels of managers and customer service people that there was almost nothing of monetary value, but only personal stuff, and offered to show them. They refused.
I pointed out that they could have the unit right now, in the middle of their so-called busy season, rather than letting it sit not collecting any rent until the auction date. They refused.
I asked about going to the auction to try to buy it back, since no one in their right mind would have offered more than $100 for it. They told me I wouldn't be allowed to bid.
After calling the attorney general's office about this - they changed their story to there being a minimum bid of the amount owed. They told me a couple of other things about the auction process that will have me talking to the AG again, but I don't want to let the cat out of the bag here.
Well, that's my story. Maybe I'm being whiny, and for the most part they have the legal right to do so. But they seem to be willing to completely screw me at a more human level, even if it means costing them hundreds of dollars in lost rent, auction costs, and finally disposing of the crap that no one is going to buy.
Do you want to do business with a company with that attitude?
PS - (After a week of unbelievable stress and anguish, I found someone willing to help me with the money. Now I have all the photo albums and other stuff with personal meaning - but they still have a unit full of crap to sit unrented until it goes to auction. I'm damn sure not just giving them the keys back after this.)