• Report: #132669

Complaint Review: Storage USA

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  • Submitted: Thu, February 24, 2005
  • Updated: Sat, February 26, 2005

  • Reported By:sayreville New Jersey
Storage USA
1001 Route 9 Old Bridge, New Jersey U.S.A.

Storage USA Altered my contract and took everything! Old Bridge New Jersey

*Consumer Suggestion: No Excuse For This

*Consumer Suggestion: No Excuse For This

*Consumer Suggestion: No Excuse For This

*Consumer Suggestion: Put on your boxing gloves

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On June 12, 2004 I rented a 5x10 storage unit at Storage USA in Old Bridge, NJ. My entire paperwork, contract, insurance, and gate access card reflected the same unit number. My mother's boyfriend and I loaded up our cars and made several trips to the unit, making sure it was secured by a keyed padlock each time. I was told by the person who drew up the contract that if I missed a payment, they would pad-lock my unit and lock me out. To avoid that, I put the charges on my credit card ($89/month) which they took religiously!

On December 16, 2004, I went to the Storage USA to get some of my belongings. As I approached the door to my unit, I noticed there was a red lock on it, which meant, my bill had not been paid. I went down to the office and asked them why I had a red lock on my unit. They told me I didn't pay my bill. I let them know I was paying automatically.

The manager asked me for the unit number when I gave it to him, he told me he had a different unit number listed for me. I asked him what he had. He told me 2627. Then he did a search for my name I came up 2627. He told me I went to the wrong door. I had an overhead door on my unit and he's telling me that I put my belongings in a unit with a regular door. I specifically pointed to the unit which I accessed several times.

We went back to the office and pulled up unit number 2627 and it belonged to someone else! The manager pulled up unit 2621 (what is documented on my contract) and it belonged to someone else! I asked him where my things were and he said he had no idea. He said, according to their system, he had no record of me even having a storage unit there. I asked him what I've been paying for the last 6 months. He told me to file an insurance claim to be reimbursed for my payment. Ok so what about the rest of my belongings?

I called the police and filed a report. In reviewing my copy of the contract and the original that was kept on file, the employee changed my unit number from 2621 to 2627! So as I put all of my belongings into 2621, someone went in an emptied everything I own. They totally wiped out the contents. I had an entire library of books, CDs, DVDs, skis, a Sheet Music Library and several musical instruments, among many other items. The police had the manager cut the lock on unit 2627 and take pictures of what was there. He asked me if any of the items in the pictures were mine. I told him no. Again, I asked where my things were. There were three people paying on only two units. That's fraud in itself!

I have been calling the 800 number to file my insurance claim for 8 weeks now and no one answers. I have to leave my information for someone to call me back and no one does!!!

I am very disheartened at the way I've been dismissed by the insurance company and by Storage USA. Shame on GE for having a black eye such as Storage USA!

Pamela
Sayreville, New Jersey
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/24/2005 01:13 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Storage-USA/Old-Bridge-New-Jersey-08857/Storage-USA-Altered-my-contract-and-took-everything-Old-Bridge-New-Jersey-132669. 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 4Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

No Excuse For This

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

I manage a self-storage. This all sounds pretty suspicious. There are many different computer programs for managing a self storage and this could not happen at my place without some deliberate actions.

Your gate access card had unit 2621 as part of the number. If the computer had you in 2627, then your card should not have worked. (Our place uses unit number plus a number chosen by the tenant.)

Then there is the question of where the money was going. The books would not balance if two people were paying rent on the same unit. Either the person they put into your unit was paying no rent or the manager has been pocketing your rent to make the books balance.

Our computer program would never allow two tenants in one locker. The old tenant has to be removed from the computer before the new one can be added. Removing the tenant from the computer also terminates the credit card billing. It would require some real chicanery to charge rent to two tenants for one locker.

If I understood you correctly, first the manager said his computer showed that you were in 2627. Then he said someone else was in 2627. Then he said he has no record of you ever being a tenant in any locker. But when the police show up magically he has a copy of your contract. Am I the only one that smells a rat? The manager is making up one story after another to cover up something.

If the managers got off their lazy butts and did an audit, they would have found that unit 2627 was rented according to their computer but empty and that unit 2621 was shown as vacant but had a tenant's lock on it. One look at the contract they had for 2627 would have showed that it was supposed to be 2621. (This happened at my place just once and it took about 3 seconds to figure out what had happened.)

My first guess is that the managers found 2621 to be occupied when their computer said it was vacant. Normal procedure is to overlock the unit for a month or two and see if anyone shows up to claim it. Having failed to see their computer mistake, they cut your lock off. So what happened to your stuff? The managers probably took it as they assumed it was abandoned and then lied to you when you showed up.

Storage USA may not be the actual owner of the property. They often manage properties under their own name. My place was once managed by Storage USA but the owner of the property felt they took too big a bite of the income to pay for a bloated management staff.

This is one of the worst negligence cases I have ever come across. You should not be calling their insurance company -- it is not your job to file a claim. Do some research to find Storage USA's corporate offices and send them a letter by certified mail demanding compensation. If they fail to respond, then hire an attorney and sue the pants off of them. Your property is gone as a direct result of the manager's negligence and gross stupidity.

One last thing. You put your property into 2621. When you went back you found the unit was overlocked. The manager said you had rented 2627. The manager cut the lock off 2627 for the police and it was not yours. Did they also cut the lock off 2621 and look in there? Your property may very well still be there and you cannot rely on the manager to tell you the truth. You might want to see if the police will come back and search 2621.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

No Excuse For This

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

I manage a self-storage. This all sounds pretty suspicious. There are many different computer programs for managing a self storage and this could not happen at my place without some deliberate actions.

Your gate access card had unit 2621 as part of the number. If the computer had you in 2627, then your card should not have worked. (Our place uses unit number plus a number chosen by the tenant.)

Then there is the question of where the money was going. The books would not balance if two people were paying rent on the same unit. Either the person they put into your unit was paying no rent or the manager has been pocketing your rent to make the books balance.

Our computer program would never allow two tenants in one locker. The old tenant has to be removed from the computer before the new one can be added. Removing the tenant from the computer also terminates the credit card billing. It would require some real chicanery to charge rent to two tenants for one locker.

If I understood you correctly, first the manager said his computer showed that you were in 2627. Then he said someone else was in 2627. Then he said he has no record of you ever being a tenant in any locker. But when the police show up magically he has a copy of your contract. Am I the only one that smells a rat? The manager is making up one story after another to cover up something.

If the managers got off their lazy butts and did an audit, they would have found that unit 2627 was rented according to their computer but empty and that unit 2621 was shown as vacant but had a tenant's lock on it. One look at the contract they had for 2627 would have showed that it was supposed to be 2621. (This happened at my place just once and it took about 3 seconds to figure out what had happened.)

My first guess is that the managers found 2621 to be occupied when their computer said it was vacant. Normal procedure is to overlock the unit for a month or two and see if anyone shows up to claim it. Having failed to see their computer mistake, they cut your lock off. So what happened to your stuff? The managers probably took it as they assumed it was abandoned and then lied to you when you showed up.

Storage USA may not be the actual owner of the property. They often manage properties under their own name. My place was once managed by Storage USA but the owner of the property felt they took too big a bite of the income to pay for a bloated management staff.

This is one of the worst negligence cases I have ever come across. You should not be calling their insurance company -- it is not your job to file a claim. Do some research to find Storage USA's corporate offices and send them a letter by certified mail demanding compensation. If they fail to respond, then hire an attorney and sue the pants off of them. Your property is gone as a direct result of the manager's negligence and gross stupidity.

One last thing. You put your property into 2621. When you went back you found the unit was overlocked. The manager said you had rented 2627. The manager cut the lock off 2627 for the police and it was not yours. Did they also cut the lock off 2621 and look in there? Your property may very well still be there and you cannot rely on the manager to tell you the truth. You might want to see if the police will come back and search 2621.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

No Excuse For This

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

I manage a self-storage. This all sounds pretty suspicious. There are many different computer programs for managing a self storage and this could not happen at my place without some deliberate actions.

Your gate access card had unit 2621 as part of the number. If the computer had you in 2627, then your card should not have worked. (Our place uses unit number plus a number chosen by the tenant.)

Then there is the question of where the money was going. The books would not balance if two people were paying rent on the same unit. Either the person they put into your unit was paying no rent or the manager has been pocketing your rent to make the books balance.

Our computer program would never allow two tenants in one locker. The old tenant has to be removed from the computer before the new one can be added. Removing the tenant from the computer also terminates the credit card billing. It would require some real chicanery to charge rent to two tenants for one locker.

If I understood you correctly, first the manager said his computer showed that you were in 2627. Then he said someone else was in 2627. Then he said he has no record of you ever being a tenant in any locker. But when the police show up magically he has a copy of your contract. Am I the only one that smells a rat? The manager is making up one story after another to cover up something.

If the managers got off their lazy butts and did an audit, they would have found that unit 2627 was rented according to their computer but empty and that unit 2621 was shown as vacant but had a tenant's lock on it. One look at the contract they had for 2627 would have showed that it was supposed to be 2621. (This happened at my place just once and it took about 3 seconds to figure out what had happened.)

My first guess is that the managers found 2621 to be occupied when their computer said it was vacant. Normal procedure is to overlock the unit for a month or two and see if anyone shows up to claim it. Having failed to see their computer mistake, they cut your lock off. So what happened to your stuff? The managers probably took it as they assumed it was abandoned and then lied to you when you showed up.

Storage USA may not be the actual owner of the property. They often manage properties under their own name. My place was once managed by Storage USA but the owner of the property felt they took too big a bite of the income to pay for a bloated management staff.

This is one of the worst negligence cases I have ever come across. You should not be calling their insurance company -- it is not your job to file a claim. Do some research to find Storage USA's corporate offices and send them a letter by certified mail demanding compensation. If they fail to respond, then hire an attorney and sue the pants off of them. Your property is gone as a direct result of the manager's negligence and gross stupidity.

One last thing. You put your property into 2621. When you went back you found the unit was overlocked. The manager said you had rented 2627. The manager cut the lock off 2627 for the police and it was not yours. Did they also cut the lock off 2621 and look in there? Your property may very well still be there and you cannot rely on the manager to tell you the truth. You might want to see if the police will come back and search 2621.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Put on your boxing gloves

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

Pamela,

See a lawyer, take him/her your original contract and sue for both the rent you've paid, damages for the items missing and punative awards - this sounds like a lawyer's dream and he/she would probably do it on a fee recovery basis.

Forget the insurance company, they'll jerk you around anyway, get that lawyer and don't just take the first one you interview. Make sure the lawyer you do interview is one you like, i.e. he/she sounds intelligent, is willing to give you references etc.

Good luck and I hope you end up owning that place.

The Hammerhead
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