• Report: #804020

Complaint Review: Public Storage

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  • Submitted: Fri, December 02, 2011
  • Updated: Sun, January 20, 2013

  • Reported By: CamiRae — Chattanooga Tennessee United States of America
Public Storage
Covington Hwy Atlanta, Georgia United States of America

Public Storage Sold $75,000 worth of property for $140, NEVER notified me of sale then took $500 payment from me Atlanta, Georgia

*UPDATE Employee: try again

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: legality issue

*Consumer Comment: Okay

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In April, 2011 I left all my possessions with an approximate value of $75,000 in two Public Storage units at their property on Covington Hwy in Atlanta while I moved to Chattanooga, TN. Twp weeks after my move, and four days prior to moving into my new home, a devastating tornado hit the area and rendered me homeless. I stayed in CONSTANT contact with Public Storage regarding my possessions, and when I fell behind in my payments by a couple weeks, I was told I would be charged $50/month per unit late fees. I strongly objected to this because NOWHERE in their contract was this outrageous fee mentioned. Suddenly my $130/mo payment became $230/mo, and while I struggled to pay off the rapidly increasing bill, I also struggled to find a home (I ended up living in 8 places in three months time). During this time I made payments on my storage bill, but due to my limited income and lack of permanent residence, I was unable to pay off my bill in full. In telephone conversations with the manager of the location I was ASSURED that NO WAY were my units going to be auctioned off, mainly because I wasn't seriously in arrears and hadn't had the units for very long. WHAT A LIAR CATHERINE BROWN IS. By July my bill jumped to over $500, and again I was told DO NOT WORRY there was no way my things would be sold. Finally, in September I found a permanent home and saved $500 that the Public Storage website said was due, and I paid in full online. Within minutes of making this online payment, while reviewing my account details, I found out PUBLIC STORAGE SOLD EVERYTHING I OWNED IN JULY! I never received any notice of pending sale, which I would have NEVER let happen. Even after the sale, I was NEVER notified that my entire life was sold for $140!! I WANT TO FILE A CLASS ACTION SUIT; I am certain this has happened to many people. What makes this most terrible is they refuse to tell me where my things are being sold, and won't do a thing to help me locate my property. I want to get a court order compelling them to tell the buyers my property was sold without my knowledge and requiring them to tell me where my things are and how I can get back my personal papers, and family heirlooms. Please write to me at my email address listed with this report if you want to join in my suit and/or want to help form or represent a class action. THESE PEOPLE SOLD 35 YEARS WORTH OF MY THINGS PLUS EVERYTHING I HAD TO GIVE MY KIDS AS MEMORIES OF OUR FAMILY. They didn't just steal my property, they destroyed my life! THESE THIEVES NEED TO BE STOPPED.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/02/2011 04:37 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Public-Storage/Atlanta-Georgia-30030/Public-Storage-Sold-75000-worth-of-property-for-140-NEVER-notified-me-of-sale-then-to-804020. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 3Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

try again

AUTHOR: Mixer_26 - ()

The schedule of fees and charges is the very first paragraph on the lease that you SIGNED. The first page ALSO explains the lien and auction process in your state. Are you in the habit of signing things without reading and comprehending them?...I guess so
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

legality issue

AUTHOR: Angela - (United States of America)

I hated how every one whose unit is sold complains about how P.S. sold their stuff legally when they should be complaining about how awful the laws are that allow P.S. to sell your stuff. Under Georgia law P.S. has a lien on your goods once you are 10 days late, that's right TEN DAYS. Then once you become TEN days late you stay in lien until you pay in FULL. They can sell your stuff if you stay in lien for 30 days. Meaning literally If your rent is due on December first and you figure hey I have a ten day grace period and put your check in the mail on the 9th, but it does not make it there until the 11th. Now you did not include your late fee because you expected if to arrive on time. I mean come on the envelope is postmarked; but the contract explicitly states the payment must be RECEIVED not mailed by the tenth. This means your goods are still in lien 30 days later would mean P.S. can LEGALLY sell your goods on January 10th.
 All the while you think you are still in the grace period. You might think you are fine because you did not receive any notice about the auction. THIS IS ALSO LEGAL. According to Georgia law P.S. must notify you at your last known address. You might think incorrectly that the return address on your payment or the new address on your check would tell them you moved, even you telling them over the phone doe NOT constitute a change of address. It does not. According to Georgia law "Last known address" means that address provided by the occupant in the latest rental agreement". GA  10-4-210. Short title. All the while P.S. All the while P.S. pays NO TAXES. They are a real estate investment trust meaning they pay $0 in taxes as long as they distribute 90% of their taxable income to their billionaire investors like B. Wayne Hughes. 
You may want the buyers to know your sob story but I can guarantee you they do not care. I worked with them for more than 7 years and a lot of them are vultures. One time I begged a buyer to sell the unit he just bought at auction 10 minutes after he bought it. She was a widow with two small children. She owed less than $150. It was the current's month rent and the previous month's late/lien fees. She thought she was current she owed the only some fees she was unaware of and that months rent. Her husband was in the service and died overseas. She came in to pay the day of the auction and missed it by 10 minutes. I begged him to sell the stuff back to the WAR WIDOW. She owed less than $150. He bought it for $700. He would only return it for $1400 cash that day. He had not even been inside of the unit. He had not invested 10 minutes of his time. He had not opened one box, but he made that poor woman pay ten times what she owed. 
When I shared what happened at another auction the other bidders called him a fool and said they always charge a 300% markup. Trust me they bid on the importunity to profit off your misfortune. P.S. requires the bidders to sign a "sign in sheet" that says they will return personal documents but less than half the buyers do.    
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#3 Consumer Comment

Okay

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

I am sorry about your loss, but they probably were totally legal in what they did.   Your only "out" would require you looking at the Laws and seeing what they are required to do before an unit is sold.  If they can't prove they did what was required you may have a claim.  However, remember they may only be required to send a letter to the last known address.  Which makes some of your comments quite pertinent.

Twp weeks after my move, and four days prior to moving into my new home, a devastating tornado hit the area and rendered me homeless.
- What about insurance?  You had over 75K in storage so one would figure that you could afford insurance that would have covered temporary housing.

I stayed in CONSTANT contact with Public Storage regarding my possessions,
- Not exactly.  You were in constant contact from April to July.  After July the next thing you mention is finding out in September that your stuff was sold.

I never received any notice of pending sale, which I would have NEVER let happen.

- Interesting how the items were sold about the same time you stopped contacting them.  Also if you would NEVER have let it happened what would you have done?  Would you have found a way to get your bill current?  If so then why didn't you do that anyways?

I want to get a court order compelling them to tell the buyers my property was sold without my knowledge and requiring them to tell me where my things are and how I can get back my personal papers, and family heirlooms.
- Even if they told you who bought the units(which won't happen) they are not going compel those people to return what ever items they have.  In fact as much as you don't want to hear this but unless your items have some sort of monetary value they are long gone.
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