Sunday, February 13, 2011 -
In the unfortunate event that a dispute arises between you and your storage company you will need to understand what actions to take towards resolving the issue at hand. Some of the reasons why an issue may arise include missed payments, dispute over charges or damage to property. To prevent any type of dispute it is advised to carefully read the contract, especially the fine print, so that you can take note of any additional charges that may be incurred.
Many storage companies will choose to participate in a dispute settlement program which offers neutral arbitration in the event of an unresolved conflict. The negotiation process will generally be facilitated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in your area.
Disputes over Charges:
It is not uncommon for disputes to arise over additional fees. However, you should keep in mind that if your rate was originally estimated in the contract, the storage facility is not permitted to charge you more than 10 percent above the estimated amount.
To prevent any future dilemmas, it is suggested that you speak with the storage operator prior to doing business to decide how you will be resolving disputes if any arise in the future.
If you have a complaint, you should request a response from your storage company. Always have your contract on hand when contacting a storage operator so that you have the necessary information available. If you are unhappy with your response you will need to contact the main office, which differs from the local office, until you receive the information you are looking for.
Loss or Damage to Your Property:
If you incur any loss or damage to your property, this may be cause for a dispute. To protect yourself from any possible mishaps it is always suggested to get appropriate coverage for your goods and if necessary, obtain additional services such as conditioned storage. In order to be compensated through your insurance provider you will have to present proof that the damage occurred while your goods were in storage. It is a good idea to offer your insurance company, as well as storage company, a list of all items in storage and their current condition. You should keep the inventory papers in a safe place so that you can reference them when needed.
Disputes over Non-Payment of Fees:
If for some reason you are unable hand in your payment on time, the storage operator has the right to take action. What actions will be taken and when are generally laid on in the contract. Most companies will offer you a two month period before they begin auctioning off or selling your goods to make up for their losses. If an auction is held, you will receive a "Notice of Sale" prior to the event date stating the day, time and location. However, if the storage company does not make a large enough sum through the auction they can sue you for the remainder of the payment and will most likely win the case. In the unfortunate event that you end up in such a situation you should contact your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) for further advice on what steps to take.
Don't be afraid to question your storage company about your bill. As a paying customer you have the right to ask for your bill to be reviewed if you feel you have been overcharged. There is always the possibility of hidden fees for additional services such as labor or going over your designated mileage on the "free" truck rental. You will usually be charged a premium rate for these extra services. Be cautious and examine the fine print in your contract; these additional services may end up costing you more than it would to hire help outside the storage company.