• Report: #816712

Complaint Review: PODS

  • Submitted: Mon, January 02, 2012
  • Updated: Thu, January 05, 2012

  • Reported By: Diana — Rahway New Jersey USA
PODS
5585 Rio Vista Drive Clearwater, Florida United States of America

PODS Anne, Juan ,call center supervisors, Keith or Kevin ,Easton Pennsylvania facility manager, LIARS & THIEVES!!! HEARTLESS, SOULLESS AND CARELESS, BUT NOT JOBLESS!! Clearwater, Florida

*Author of original report: (sigh...)

*Consumer Comment: How They Didn't Rip You Off

*Author of original report: How they ripped me off, explained

*Consumer Comment: Unfortunately This Is Standard for the Industry

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I had been using PODS for 3.5 years to store my personal items. NOT ONCE did I ever make a late payment! Then the day came when I lost my job and my former employer challenged my unemployment. I was no longer receiving income to pay bills and I ended up having to sell and pawn my items to support myself. PODS was already costing me $120.84 a month which I could no longer afford so I attempted to have my container dropped off to my location in NJ so that I could place my things in a warehouse where I'd save $120.84 a month. I was told by PODS that it would cost me $1400 just to drop the container off from Easton, PA to Rahway, NJ! A mere 60 or so miles!! I obviously could not afford to pay that so I called and spoke with several representatives only to be told there was nothing they could do to lessen the price. I also was not able to pay that month's payment which was approaching because I was flat broke so I spoke with a manager named Anne who told me that if I could get to the facility and unload the container before my account became 10 days past due, I would not have any charges to worry about but she asked me to call at least 4 hours ahead when I was ready to pick up my things so that arrangements could be made to make my container accessible. She also informed me that if I paid my bill, "I would receive a partial refund" as "the monthly charge would be prorated because I didn't go past the 14 day mark." So a few days before going to the Easton facility, I called PODS to make arrangements to have my container accessible.

 At that point, my account was only 5 days past due. (which was the first late payment I had ever been facing) The representative told me that my account was locked and that he couldn't access my account until I paid the current balance. I begged him to try to help me, explained my current situation as well as me being told something entirely different. After several failed attempts at trying to convince the man to help me, I asked to speak with his supervisor who said she would contact the Easton facility manager and ask if there was something he could do. I asked her if I could instead speak with the manager myself, but she refused to give me the phone number. She instead placed me on hold and spoke with the manager herself. While on hold, I was able to get the phone number to the Easton facility just by doing a simple internet search. Once off hold, the supervisor told me that the Easton facility manager said I'd have 2 weeks to pay my bill and that he wouldn't add a late charge for a month so I'd have time to get my things out. His offer did absolutely nothing to solve the issue of me not having the money to pay the bill in the first place!

 I was very displeased with how the Easton facility manager, the call center supervisor and her employee handled the situation so I tried calling PODS back and instead spoke with someone else named Brenda. She confirmed that the number I had found for the Easton facility was correct, but then after I told her about a previous supervisor refusing to give me the number and asked her to confirm the number again she said while stuttering that, "she could not confirm or deny whether or not that number was correct." I laughed and said that based on her vocal reaction, that number must be correct and I hung up on her. I called the Easton facility directly and left a distinct message requesting the manager to call me back, but he never did. In tears, I begged local friends and family to help me, my mother loaned me the monthly payment of $120.84 + the $150 cost of the moving truck +$20 gas to retrieve my things. This was money I DID NOT HAVE, but I intended to pay her back once I was able to get my things as I could simply pawn more items. I also kept in mind that Anne told me the bill was prorated and I would receive half of the $120.84 back! I called PODS once the bill had been paid and set an appointment time to pick up my items.

Thursday the 29th at approximately 1pm, I drove to the Easton facility and had the moving truck follow me there. While unloading, a man in a truck approached. He was inconsiderate and rude. He didn't introduce himself nor ask if I needed assistance. He said, "Hey, you guys are aware this is a no trash facility right?" I was immediately put off by his demeanor and became defensive as I was already stressed out from the facility manager not helping me or calling me back. I asked if he was the manager. He replied, "Yeah." I said, "Oh you're the manager who never called me back even though I left a message and my phone number asking you to call me back, right?" He replied, "No, that wasn't me that was Ke***!" (either Keith or Kevin) I told him that I was very stressed out and unhappy with PODS service and told him just to leave me alone. The man walked away, got back into his truck and drove away. I was so upset at that point that I just wanted to get as much as I could and go. By the time we finished, I had no room for anything else which included a memory foam mattress and a mini display case. So I closed the storage door and left hoping that I'd be able to come back the next day to pick my stuff up.

Once I got back to Rahway, I unloaded the truck and went home. I was shocked to hear my phone go off alerting me to an unauthorized debit from my checking account in the amount of $50. This charge was not explained so I called PODS and spoke with a few different representatives. The first woman told me that I left garbage in the container and that $50 was the fee the facility charged me for trash removal, though I never said it was trash. I told her I wanted to go back and pick it up, but she said she had no control over that. I told her that speaking with her wouldn't get me anywhere so I requested to speak with her supervisor. I asked the supervisor where the prorated partial refund I'm supposed to receive was, but she told me she saw nothing noted on my account that stated that. I immediately asked to speak with her supervisor. At that point it seemed as though everyone there was clueless, heartless, careless and unwilling to help me.

 Another supervisor named Juan got on the phone. I immediately broke out in tears as I was so stressed out I couldn't control myself any longer. I very calmly explained my situation and told him what I had been going through and was told by Anne about me not having to pay my bill and if I did pay it, that I'd receive the partial refund. Juan told me that PODS doesn't have a prorated system and said I wouldn't receive the partial refund I was told I would. He also said he could not refund the $50 charge to my account as it was in the contract and completely legal. He said it was "pointless to call my bank or credit card agency as I didn't have a leg to stand on." So how was it legal to debit my account, but also legal to lie to me several times and have nothing done about it? I even asked Juan to provide me with a corporate number so that I could speak with someone higher and authorized to deal with my situation. Juan explained that there was nobody higher and that they're a franchise and each facility operates differently. He suggested I write the Easton facility a letter begging them to refund some or all of my money which I knew I wouldn't receive! They're all a bunch of liars and thieves and care nothing for the people who pay their salaries! They had already gotten $5k out of me in the past 3.5 years, but couldn't get any more so why bother helping me at that point? It's all about money in the end anyway isn't it!?

I am ENTIRELY dissatisfied with my service and would NEVER recommend them to anyone to use. PODS is by far the WORST at customer service, the WORST at charges and rates and the WORST franchise I've had to deal with EVER! STAY AWAY!

DIANA,
AMERICAN DEBT SLAVE

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/02/2012 12:50 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/PODS/Clearwater-Florida-33760/PODS-Anne-Juan-call-center-supervisors-Keith-or-Kevin-Easton-Pennsylvania-facility-man-816712. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

(sigh...)

AUTHOR: Diana - (USA)

The original contract and even the website rental agreement/contract do not specify fees of any sort for trash removal nor is a fee amount specified. Furthermore, the account they deducted money from was not authorized by me so they had no right to do it. Even upon inspecting auto billing and recurring payment settings, the card they used was not allowed and was set to "NO" for recurring or auto payments. The card that WAS authorized was from back in 2009, is no longer active and was set to YES for auto billing and recurring payments. This is clearly shown on the website as well. PODS cannot just assume the other card was authorized to use as payments and/or deductions unless I specified so and gave authorization. I have screen shots, photo copies and saved PDF files proving this. Also, my signature isn't even on the contract! So guess what, anything they say doesn't matter because I did not sign it and therefore I did not agree to it!
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#2 Consumer Comment

How They Didn't Rip You Off

AUTHOR: Jim S - (United States of America)

I just read your response...and....

1.  The final bill is not something done on an oral promise; promises made orally mean nothing in this industry, or any other for that matter, but especially in this one.  It only matters what the outstanding invoice is, and policy in all moving companies is that in order to receive your goods, or even have access to them (most companies won't even allow access due to insurance requirements), the bill must be paid in full.  It's not even a negotiable point....

2.  As indicated previously, it is against most state's laws to prorate anything related to storage, or to the actual moving services.  Movers pay quarterly fees to their regulating state agency based on a percentage of their gross revenues.  To prorate would reduce the fees government gets, so they outlaw offsets, or issuing proratas on the spot.  What companies generally do in such a situation, and to comply with the law, is to collect the entire amount, and any prorata refund (if there is one) is issued within 30-45 days, once all the paperwork is settled.  Whether there is/are prorata amounts at this point may still be something being calculated, so to say there isn't one, or there is one, is premature, because no one knows at the time you're pulling stuff out.  Some companies offer prorata storage, but many don't because the industry generally doesn't want to do the math; it's not worth the calculating, so they don't.  It also takes longer to issue final bills, or figure out what exactly the prorata refund is, so they don't bother.

3.  If I understand your 3rd point, you indicate they threw stuff out you left in storage after you loaded the majority of your stuff in your truck, without your knowledge, and hit you with a $50 disposal fee.  So let's make this very clear because this is not a rip off.  When you paid your final bill to get access to your goods, it was your responsibility to clear out the container because your storage contract ended on the day you went to pick up your stuff.  I know you wish you had a bigger truck to just be done with the whole thing, but what you did was leave items in storage PODS was now responsible for.  You assumed the company would just leave things as is; I'm really not certain where you came up with that idea because that's a completely unreasonable expectation.  It also sounds like you left the facility without negotiating a new contract (if you had, you would have said so), so whatever you left behind that day is considered either abandoned (subject to be auctioned off) or garbage (tossed).  Even telling someone, "I'll be back tomorrow" won't work; the items get tossed.  In order to prevent them from throwing that stuff out, you would have needed to negotiate a new storage contract, and it may have cost you the equivalent of one month's storage.

Moving is one of the most stressful experiences one can undergo, and all of the idiosyncracies of the industry doesn't help.  Being desperate is the worst thing you could have been because people make bad decisions when desperate.  Calling all over the place to try and get an answer favorable to you and then not getting what you want is not a ripoff because the only people who can give you the correct answer, is the facility you had your storage in, and even then.... the answer may not be determinable over a telephone until all of the paperwork is reviewed, tallied, balanced, booked, and then if a refund is due...a refund is mailed.  You may always perceive it as a ripoff; the reality is from what you wrote.... you weren't.  Best of luck to you....
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#3 Author of original report

How they ripped me off, explained

AUTHOR: Diana - (USA)

1st rip-off: I informed them that I had no money for the bill approaching. I was told by management that if I got my things out of the container before my account became 10 days past due, I wouldn't have to pay the bill....though in the end, after only being 5 days past due, I was later told by a different representative that I couldn't get my things out unless my bill was paid, but once paid, I'd receive a partial refund because of their prorated system.

So...
A. I had to pay the bill regardless of what management told me.
B. After paying the bill, I never received my partial refund and was later told they don't offer prorated refunds through their system.
C. They debited $50 from my account and threw my remaining stuff out without informing me.

How did they NOT rip me off should be the question here.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Unfortunately This Is Standard for the Industry

AUTHOR: Jim S - (United States of America)

I'm reading your report, and I'm trying to understand where the company ripped you off.  I understand the company didn't want to work with you in your desperate situation, but companies like this are generally not required to work with you; they lose a lot of money on storage and deadbeat customers to begin with.  A moving company will not allow any materials to be left with them, whether the items are trash or not.  In other words, if the items you left are not put back into storage, and a new storage agreement signed, the item is considered trash, and you would be subject to the dumping fee.  Further, they can't offset any refund due to you against the dumping fee because the states in which they operate in, don't allow it.  Moving companies are licensed and regulated by the state in which they operate in, and such offsets reduce the amount of license fees they pay to the state.



Having said all of this, I wouldn't use PODS anyway because they're more expensive than the competition and don't work certain areas of the country.  I hope the new year brings you better times.  Best of luck to you...
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