ED Magedson – Founder
Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage2725 Franklin Turnpike, Danville, Virginia United States of America
This report concerning Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage in
First, I do not intend to discourage prospective customers from doing business with the company. I encourage them to research Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage (located at 2725 Franklin Turnpike,
Second, I do not intend to disparage the employees named in this report. This report concerns the company, and since the owner Alex Perkins (also owner of the Mount Hermon Courtyard conference center and dinner theater among other property) and manager Alison Curry represent Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage, it is only logical to mention them by name since they are the individuals with whom I spoke.
Third, I feel that since the nonemployees mentioned in this report may be considered victimsand since police often protect victims identities by not disclosing their names for publication in newspapersit is only proper that I do not use their real names as well. In place of their real names will be pseudonyms within quotation marks.
Fourth, I encourage owner Alex Perkins of Mount Hermon Courtyard to write a rebuttal of the report and answer the questions I present at the end of my report. In addition to informing the public about the company from my (a customers) experience, this report is my attempt to resolve my complaints with the company since it has been nearly a year and the company has made no apparent effort to reconcile the matter, despite my efforts.
The Federal Trade Commissions Bureau of Consumer Protection also is aware of the companys practices and has a report on file.
Now, as for my experience with the company (and I do apologize for this reports lengthI feel that I need to be as truthful and detailed as possible):
I rented a moving truck from Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage in
Since Mr. Rochester had been renting a storage unit for quite some time and had only one use of the truck (according to what he was told by the company), Mr. Rochester understood that there was no mileage fee for using the moving truck. He wanted to use his one use of the truck to help me move my soon-to-be-wifes belongings to cut on costs.
When picking up the truck, in which the manager said we had to fill up the tank of the truck before returning it, I clearly remember Mr. Rochester asking the woman in charge, So the gas will count toward the mileage? She answered yes. To clarify this, since I wanted to make absolutely sure of my expenses, I asked, So all we have to pay for is the gas? Again, she answered yes, and so I was led to believe there would be no mileage fee (which did not seem odd since Mr. Rochester was paying for a storage unit).
The next day, Saturday, March 28, 2009, we returned the truck, and during the week of April 5-11, just before my wedding, I was told by Mr. Rochester that the company charged $173.46 based on mileage (which naturally confused us both).
Now, this was not the only issue I encountered. When we were moving my wifes furniture in the moving truck, it rained, and we discovered holes in the roof of the truck. At the time, I noticed two holes the size of a finger. I had a container to catch water dripping from one hole and a towel to absorb the water coming from another (that was away from belongings). I would like to point out that Mr. Rochester and I had briefly checked the inside of the truck before leaving the companys parking lot but the holes were not noticed at the time and would not have been seen unless it rained or if a maintenance worker had looked at the truck beforehand.
We waited to see if the rain would stop before continuing to load the truck, and I noticed that water had soaked the top of a wooded entertainment stand placed in the back left corner of the truck (if looking into the truck from the rear door). There evidently was a hole in the roof I could not see but where water was entering. I wiped the water off the entertainment stand and put a bucket on top to catch the water, but the damage to the property was already made. The entertainment stand cost around $150, according to the purchaser. Also, two additional places where the roof leaked were found, but, fortunately, they were away from the furniture.
In an attempt to stop the leaks, I, Mr. Rochester, and my wifes brother tried to tape the holes shut in the roof but could not stop the leakage. Since it continued to rain, and we needed to protect any other furniture from possible water damage, my wife drove Mr. Rochester and me in her car to Walmart and then to Lowes to buy supplies. I spent $46.89 at Walmart and $48.05 at Lowes buying towels to soak up water, large plastic sheets to cover all the belongings, plastic containers to store items so they wouldnt get wet inside the truck (a few were to catch water during the night), and other items pertaining to the moving truck. At both stores, the total cost was $94.94.
After covering the furniture in the truck and doing the necessary precautions, we continued moving my wifes belongings in the morning when it wasnt raining at the time (it rained that day as well but we made sure to cover the belongings as they were moved). Since Mr. Rochester is related to Mount Hermon Courtyards owner Alex Perkins, as I have mentioned, he called and talked to an immediate family member of Perkins and told him about the leaky roof.
Although there was damaged property, I reasoned at the time that since I only had to pay for gas to use the truck, I wasnt going to make a big deal of the matter. It wasnt until I was notified of the $173.46 mileage charge that I decided to discuss the problems directly with the company.
After my wedding, I arranged Mr. Rochester and my wife to come with me to talk to the company in person on Friday, April 17, 2009. I figured I needed my wife there because it was her furniture that was damaged, and I need Mr. Rochester there because he was the one who signed the contract and drove. (As a side note, I would like to point out that, in my opinion, the company had been very nice to methat is, until I reported the property damage and mileage issue.)
The manager there, Alison Curry, said that the company would call me the following Monday after maintenance looked at the truck. When I asked her if she knew about the holes in the roof of the truck before it was rented, she evaded a direct answer. By Thursday, April 23, 2009, I did not receive a call from the company. I mailed a letter that day to explain the situation and formally dispute the mileage charge in writing. I asked only that the mileage fee be forgiven (in which the company would not pay me anything) in exchange for the damage to my wifes furniture and the other expenses I had to pay because of the leaky roof of the truck, and because I was misled about the fee. By Thursday, May 7, 2009, I had not received a response. So I went in person to deliver another letter and to discuss the matter with the company around 2 p.m. Friday, May 8, 2009.
I discussed the issue with the owner, Alex Perkins, in a professional manner, and discovered that Perkins was, in my opinion, quite unprofessional. He yelled at me and told me to leave and never come back. He even got manager Alison Curry to call 911, which greatly shocked me since I was very civil and not saying or doing anything that would merit his reactions. When I asked for their names, Perkins did not give them to me at first but reluctantly did later. I left the building as directed, and since a dispatcher was already on his way, I wanted to meet with him to give my side of the story. However, Perkins then told me to leave the parking lot as well. I asked him if I can see the policy of the company, and I clearly remember him saying, I own the (expletive) place. From his shocking reactions, I was worried that he may try to use violence. So I got into my car and drove next door onto property he did not own. There, I called the police and requested to talk to the officer who arrived at the scene.
The officer who talked with Perkins and me afterward was Deputy Alex Shields from the Pittsylvania County Police. Shields was very understanding and polite when I told him what happened. Shields proceeded to tell me what the company claimed I said and did, and it left me both shocked and hurt. False allegations were made about me, which I took as both appalling and slanderous. To put it nicely, the company apparently claimed I was acting in a very ruthless manner, in which I was not. In my opinion, the officer was lied to in order to justify Perkins reasons for banning me from the property.
Naturally, I was very hurt by the incident. I contemplated why Perkins would ban me from the property and came to this conclusion: In my opinion, I believe Perkins knew that he was responsible for covering the damages to my wifes property (although he apparently gave excuses) and decided to ban me from the property so he wouldnt have to deal with the issue. Also, I believe that the false accusations were spoken about me in order to discredit me if I should pursue legal action. In that case, I believe that Perkins would try to cast me as an obscene, disgruntled customer who was just trying to make money off the company, in which I am not and was not.
But I digress. I will now detail the illegal activity Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage had committed. On June 24, 2009, I called On the Move Inc. (800-645-9949, www.onthemovetrucks.com), which Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage claimed to be a licensee of in the truck rental contract. I thought that perhaps On the Move Inc. would reimburse my wife for the property damage, but after many phone conversations and e-mail exchanges with On the Move, I received confirmation by Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009, that Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage in
On the Move employee Sylvan Mallaise (who was very professional and kind) said that Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage was using On the Moves name without permission (which is illegal), and was using its contract with only slight changes (which is plagiarism). (As a side note, a lot of the contract was practically illegible.) According to Mallaise, a manager with On the Move addressed the issue with the company and told the business not to use its name anymore.
Now, let me make it known that Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage did not offer me or Mr. Rochester any insurance options as other truck rental companies do. When I told the business about the property damage, the company claimed that it is not responsible and that homeowners insurance would cover the damage. However, since the damage resulted from a truck that had holes in the roof (which was not in proper renting condition), Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage is responsible for the damage, as I understand it. Homeowners insurances that have a rental insurance option cover other damages that result from unpreventable means, for example.
As for the $173.46 mileage charge, Mr. Rochesters mother, Mrs. Rochester, initially paid the mileage fee. She did so because, according to Mr. Rochester, the company blocked access to the storage unit with Mr. Rochesters belongings in it and in part because I had little money at the time. I have long since reimbursed her for the $173.46 amount. According to Mrs. Rochester, Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage also charged late fees, in which she said that she paid a total of $220.00, including the mileage cost. My intention is to reimburse her for all of the money she spent in my behalf, and I have asked Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage in a letter as to the exact amount of late fees. I have not received a response.
Beyond my letters, I also have sent e-mails to the company since Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009, but they were not successful (it appears the company no longer uses the e-mail listed on their Web site www.mthermoncourtyard.8k.com as of writing this). My most recent letter to the company was taken to the post office around 2:23 p.m. Jan. 20, 2010, and was sent through certified mail delivery. According to www.usps.com, the mail was accepted by the company at 3:43 p.m. the next day. I still have not had a phone call, letter or e-mail from the business.
Since the company apparently is ignoring me, I filed this report at www.ripoffreport.com in another attempt to resolve the matter. I do hope that the company will respond and a mutual agreement will be made. Although I believe the company should be liable for more than $400 in reimbursement (mileage fee, property damage and supplies), the most I have sought so far is reimbursement for the mileage fee (in which I was informed of after renting the truck) and half of the cost for the damaged furniture.
If the company responds to this report, which they will be notified about, I have the following questions I hope the business can answer:
1. Have you created a new contract since On the Move, Inc. contacted you?
2. If so, what day did the new one go into effect?
3. Did you still use the old contract for a customer?
4. When was the last time maintenance inspected the moving truck before it was rented March 27, 2009?
5. Were the holes in the truck fixed?
6. If so, on what day?
7. If fixed, did you rent the truck to any customers before it was fixed and after I mentioned the leakage to you?
8. What was the exact amount of late fees charged in regards to the truck rental?
9. Since you are not a licensee of On the Move, who are you a licensed through?
10. What is the name of the manager I talked to who acknowledged all I had to pay for was gasoline?
I do hope that the company does not lie in answering these questions (as it apparently has to a police officer), and I hope that prospective customers of Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage will get both sides of the story before doing business with it. If anyone has had similar problems with Mount Hermon Courtyard Mini Storage of Danville, Va., please let me know.
Thank you for your time.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/29/2010 12:37 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/mount-hermon-courtyard-mini-storage/danville-virginia-24540/mount-hermon-courtyard-mini-storage-danville-company-illegal-activity-property-damage-561903. 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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