Public Storage: Legally “Stealing Your Stuff” All Across America!

We promised you we’d scour the Internet for first-person accounts of Public Storage’s suckery – and we’re going to hold up our end of that bargain!

It turns out that Public Storage’s strategy of legally stealing people’s stuff isn’t just happening in Illinois – it’s happening all over the US – and it’s been going on for a long time:

01/07/2014

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA — Received notice that my storage rent was due “BEFORE NOV 2ND 2013” If not paid a lien would be placed and my lock cut and unit to be scheduled for auction.That in itself is acceptable terms as I was running a month behind on paying my rent for the last 2 previous months but I was always able to get my payment in just under the lien date deadline. When I received the preliminary Lien Notice I was okay with its terms because I receive my temporary disability (emergency surgery) payment on November 1st. 2013So I proceeded to go into the facility cash in hand to pay my bill on Nov 1st at 9 AM which is before Nov 2nd it is right or is there another calender I’m unaware of.LOCK IS CUT, LIEN PLACED, UNIT SCHEDULED FOR AUCTIONand when did this occur I asked and the very rude representative said it occurred at the stroke of midnight Oct 31st/Nov 1st I showed him the notice where it stated payment due before Nov 2nd he stated that they could take possession of the unit any time they wanted.I completed the “DECLARATION IN OPPOSITION TO LIEN SALE” Public storage filed in small claims court we go to court Jan 14th at 8:30 AM Dept N10

Any direction of regulations or codes that anyone believes would be relevant would be great. Oh and they were also charging me a $30.00 late fee but legally at most they can only charge $15.00 civil code 21713.5

 

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07/18/2013

BURKE, VIRGINIA — I’ve been dealing with a severe illness and frequent unemployment for several years. When I lost my apartment about 5 years ago, I put all my belongings in storage.During that time, Public Storage has repeatedly raised my rates (to amounts far above what they advertise), but with the help of family and friends, I have been able to keep my things until recently.In the past couple of months, I began to try to sell off all but the most important items. Unfortunately, the effort didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, and I found myself behind in my payments with some things still in storage and no way to pay.At this point, about 35 days overdue, I got a relative to agree to help me out with about $450 and take my stuff out of the unit on about the 10th of the month. My rent was $220/mo, and of course I expected a couple of late fees. So, I expected about $220 + $70 for rent and probably $80 in late fees. Less than $400.They demanded $600 to release my stuff. There would be absolutely no negotiation. I explained to several levels of managers and customer service people that there was almost nothing of monetary value, but only personal stuff, and offered to show them. They refused.I pointed out that they could have the unit right now, in the middle of their so-called busy season, rather than letting it sit not collecting any rent until the auction date. They refused.

I asked about going to the auction to try to buy it back, since no one in their right mind would have offered more than $100 for it. They told me I wouldn’t be allowed to bid.

After calling the attorney general’s office about this – they changed their story to there being a minimum bid of the amount owed. They told me a couple of other things about the auction process that will have me talking to the AG again, but I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag here.

Well, that’s my story. Maybe I’m being whiny, and for the most part they have the legal right to do so. But they seem to be willing to completely screw me at a more human level, even if it means costing them hundreds of dollars in lost rent, auction costs, and finally disposing of the crap that no one is going to buy.

Do you want to do business with a company with that attitude?

PS – (After a week of unbelievable stress and anguish, I found someone willing to help me with the money. Now I have all the photo albums and other stuff with personal meaning – but they still have a unit full of crap to sit unrented until it goes to auction. I’m damn sure not just giving them the keys back after this.)

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12/01/2012
JAMAICA, NEW YORK — Never again will I ever use Public Storage or tell anyone to use Public Storage. They are a rip off and the property managers are oblivious and have no respect. They speak to you as if you are stupid and have no common sense.I’ve beenn a customer of Public Storage since April 2 2012 and every month I have a problem with them. If you don’t pay your bill on the first of the month, after the 6th they lock you out of your unit and they tell you that you have to make the payment before you can go in your unit. It clearly states that your unit is month to month and after the 6th is considered late and you will be charged a late fee, not that you won’t be able to use your unit.Due to Hurricane Sandy, I lost my car and have been without lights for 2 weeks and no heat, so I was late with my payment. I called Public Storage to ask them if I can make the payment for October because that’s what I can afford at the moment. They told me no, I had to make the full payment for October and November because it’s the 1st of the month. I explained my situation to the manager and he told me he just works there and is only doing his job.I called customer service and the lady whom I spoke with was even more belligerent than the property manager. I finally got the district manager number and called him. He showed some compassion and I was only able to pay for October. Now, I called to pay my November bill it’s the same problem all over I called the property manager he said if I can’t make my payments on the first I should just move out, if I don’t like what he’s saying.Very disrespectful and unprofessional.
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12/03/2011

CORONA, CALIFORNIA — I was late paying my rent only by two weeks, due to my being out of town for my job as a long distance trucker. I kept in contact with them informing when I would be in to pay. When I went to there office, they had already cut my lock off and started the lean process. They wouldn’t reimburse me for my $20 lock, they made me pay two months rent and a $25 lean fee in order to release my families belongings back to me. I have five children, all we owned was in there.They are crooks, CAUTION THEY WILL TAKE EVERYTHING you own, AUCTION it off and leave your family with nothing, they are banking on it.

 

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05/09/2011

FAIRFIELD, OHIO — Public storage in Fairfield OH. committed a crime and auction my life without any notification except one phone call the day they had the auction. My invoice says we are paid up until July 2011. We have called for the regional MGR phone number and they keep giving me a wrong number. Customer service (WHAT A JOKE) They never answer only music. I am OUTRAGED with such poor business manners and how many other people do they do this to. I am searching for an attorney to get this handled and will most likely set up a protest in front of their store.
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01/09/2010
VAN NUYS, CALIFORNIA — I know I was 2 months overdue. Dealing with my Mom’s Cancer, my Brother’s stroke, attending to their needs in a different state, my focus was just off course.BY the time I made the call to them, they said I have 1hour to make payment, as it was schedule for auction.The bottom line, the staff was not very helpful, as this unit was in my son’s name, who was not arround, and I had to get the correct phone #. It wasn’t until after the auction, that I requested to speak with the DM, and he said he would give me 5mins to make the payment online. We tried, and by the time we did get thru, it showed they had SOLD my storage unit.Because of the way this was handled, I desire to bring a major Lawsuit against them.The value of my items was way over a $1Million, but they sold it for $2250.00. They sent me a card, stating they will send me a check for the difference and that I must cash it, otherwise it will be cancelled and donated to some charity.They are not going to get away with this. What they did was wrong. They even refuse to allow me to sign the “Opposition of Lien” to sell.

This is the location on Oxnard and Sepulveda. Their staff is HORRIBLE.

Now, I’m legally going after them. I do believe I have a case.

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08/19/2010
HAZELCREST, ILLINOIS — I just don’t know what else to do in order to get closure. It seems I’ll never get over loosing EVERYTHING I WORKED FOR ALL MY LIFE. I fell on hard times, became homeless and was living in a shelter 200 miles away from my storage. I had managed to get enough money together (barely) each month for almost a year. When I was finally approved for SSDI the very same day they sold my unit. I begged them to give my name to the buyer so that I could at least retrieve my important papers and my family pictures. I am having a very hard time dealing with this. I cannot imagine doing this to anyone, and I would have contacted someone if I had bought a unit to make sure the person could at least get personal pictures back. My pictures are gone forever. Lost, and my life still is in shambles. Don’t ever get sick – you loose your things and your life at the same time. If anyone happens to read this who may have purchased a storage with a LARGE doll collection, teal colored sofa/loveseat and tons of beautiful things I will gladly buy the pictures – may help me heal because I have yet to recover.
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And now, for a sense of balance: Public Storage managers posting on the same website as the complaints republished above defend their company and offer helpful hints to their customers facing the stealing of their stuff:
IRVING, TEXAS — I’ve read enough complaints about Public Storage. Now heres is some advice from me. Keep your contact information current-Address and phone number. Pay your bill on time. Set your bill up on auto pay if you can’t remember to pay it ontime. Rent is due on the 1st. Not the 7th. If its paid on the 7th and you get a late charge, its 7 days late, not 1 day late. Put your account number on your check. Your name is more common than your realize. We close at 6. If you throw your check thru the payment slot after we close, it will be posted the next day. We don’t live in the office.
This is self storage, not Ft Knox. Lock it up.
Be considerate of the manager. If they live on site, that is their private residence. Don’t beat on their door at 10 at night wanting them to open the gate for you.The dollar for the first month is not a lie. You were charged 1 dollar for the rent and a 19 dollar one time administrative fee. This was explained to you.
If you think you have felt frustration, imagine calling 7 pages of deliquent customers to try to get them to pay their bill before late charges acrue or stepping in human waste because people do their business on the ground and leave bottles of urine all over the place for me to clean up.
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06/20/2010

I’ve read some of these reviews, and all I can say is that these people should have paid attention when the agreement was explained to them.Here are some facts:-If your things were auctioned, its because no payment was made in 60, 90, 45, etc days depending on your states laws. I make calls just about EVERY DAY to try to get people in to pay their bill to keep them from getting a late fee. It is not my fault if these people don’t answer the phone or return my calls.-If you put a check in the night drop on the last day of the month, and we don’t get it until the next morning, you’re still going to be charged a 30 day fee.-They do raise rates every year by a dollar or two. A letter is sent 30 days or more to the address that we have on file. Did you move? Well, its in the agreement that we need to know if you change your address.-Our locks are NOT overpriced. Where else can you get a disk lock for $11.99? Ace Hardware, $16.99. Home Depot, $15.99. Walmart, $13.99. Yes, I’ve looked.

-Insurance is required. People get mad at us if something were to happen, and blame us if their insurance is canceled. If you go 45 days late, your insurance cancels. You will have to reinstate it, on top of everything else. We can’t force you to get it, but if you decline it, its totally on you if there is a fire or break in.

-It’s also in the agreement that we can ask for a key if there is maintenance that needs to be done on a unit. It is not personal, and no one wants to go through your stuff. Are you going to scream and holler and threaten to call the media if your apartment complex needs to get into your place to do some work?

-You were told how much the rent is after your pro rate. Just because you were charged something cheap for your second month doesn’t mean that is the rate. It was explained to you. Its the dollar/admin fee/ lock and insurance for the first month, and a pro rated amount for the second, with a full payment due your third month.

-It is also explained that we do not give refunds. The only way you would get a refund would be if you paid for say 6 months, but moved out after 3. You will not be refunded the current month, but will be refunded any months after the current one. The only way to have a discount in the month that you vacate is to let us know when you make that month’s payment the date you intend to leave.

-Your rent is due on the first. It doesn’t matter when you moved in. That’s how you get the pro rate for the second month.

I can’t believe some of the garbage I’ve read in some of these reviews. Public storage is not out to screw anyone. All you have to do is pay attention when the agreement is explained, and ask questions if you have any.

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So there you have it from the horse’s ass – you were warned by us that we’d rip you off when you signed your lease, so don’t be mad now that we actually ripped you off!  That’s real customer service there!  Of course, any company that intends to sandbag their customers with such devious and underhanded schemes will have to hire scumbags who will defend their vicious practices, won’t they?  So this kind of “defense of the indefensible” by the lowlife managers at Public Storage should surprise no one.
  This is just a sample of why we say… PUBLIC STORAGE SUCKS!

 

 

 

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5 responses to “Public Storage: Legally “Stealing Your Stuff” All Across America!

  1. at a loss for words

    does any of you know of an attorney that will handle a case against public storage…they got my daughters storage unit mixed up with mine and auctioned off everything i had…

    Like

    • Very sorry to hear of your loss; so many stories just like yours all over the Internet as storage companies rob their customers blind pretending that their customer’s possessions were “abandoned”.
      The best law offices we know of are the People’s Law Office in Chicago. Give them a call at 773-235-0070 (website address is http://peopleslawoffice.com/). And if they can’t help you ask them if they know who can – and let us know so we can inform everyone else who discovers too late that PUBLIC STORAGE SUCKS!

      Like

  2. Our things have gone and my mom desk, wedding pictures. My son PlayStation, my husband tools everything is gone. I have paid 600.00 but they told me that they will return unwanted things back. I did go to woodbridge police department and they got our personal information and others that it. The public storage staff did not tell me if I don’t pay SIX months. They lied to us becausey husband and I are deaf. What a idiot are they..

    Like

    • Laura: Thanks for sharing your story. We’re very sorry to hear of your loss of your family’s priceless photos and mementoes. These storage companies simply do not care about their customers; all they want is your stuff so they can go on a “treasure hunt” and steal whatever they can manage to find. The scumbags who buy these things at auction just throw all the “worthless” items – like family photos – in the trash. The storage companies have lobbied state governments to pass laws making it “legal” to rob people blind. Landlords are prohibited from seizing peoples’ property and the storage companies should be forced to follow the same laws as the landlords. Our bribed legislatures have allowed these crimes to become legal and the storage companies even have the nerve to make “reality TV” shows about their crimes. It’s disgusting! That’s why we say: “Public Storage Sucks!”

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      • Laura Zygmont

        That why I went to woodbridge police department to get our personal information and high school diploma too. The girl from public storage told me that they want my phone numbers because they want to give back clothes, kitchen things and homemade table . they did not know that we are deaf. They won’t go back to auction again.. Woodbridge police will find the person who threw all things on the street.. They will have pay fine… Hahaaaaaa

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