Tag Archives: consumer fraud

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!

 

 

 

How Public Storage in Morton Grove, IL Profitably Tricked its Customers by Closing “Due to Extreme Temperatures”

 

There are many ways to screw your customers.  This is one of the ways that Public Storage of Morton Grove, IL does it.

There are many ways to screw your customers. This is one of the ways that Public Storage of Morton Grove, IL does it.

There are many ways to screw a consumer.  There are some companies that are experts at this.  The Public Storage in Morton Grove, IL used the cold weather as an excuse to close its office on the 6th of January, 2014 in order due to “extreme temperatures”.  There was nothing wrong with the heating system in their building.  They just shut down for no apparent reason – except perhaps for the coincidental reason that, by shutting down on the afternoon of the 6th of January, they prevented their cash customers from being able to pay their rent before the 7th, when a $40 late fee is slapped on all overdue accounts!

Was it cold in Morton Grove, IL on January 6th, 2014?  Yes it was.  But it was also very cold the day before and the day after – and on many other days this winter.  It seems to us that, barring a power outage or the failure of the heating system, a decent company that cared about its customers would go out of its way to STAY OPEN on a day like this.  But not Public Storage – by closing early, they saved money on employee salaries AND reaped a windfall of late fees!

The next day, when customers asked the PS employees if the company would grant them an extra day to pay their rental fees due to PS unilateral decision to close on the 6th, they were told: “no”.  “You can pay online if we’re closed”.  That is true, of course, if a customer has both a credit or debit card with enough money on it as well as access to an Internet connection.  Since many PS customers are forced to operate on a “cash” basis (which Public Storage corporate executives are well aware of) these “alternative payment options” do not help them at all.  Public Storage knows this, and they don’t care.  That’s because they really don’t want to STORE your stuff: they want to STEAL your stuff!

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Text of Public Storage, Morton Grove, IL announcement of temporary closing, Jan 6, 2014

[Public Storage logo]

Your stuff will be happy here… and so will you.”

Due to extreme temperatures, this property office will close today, 1/6/14, at 1:00PM. We  apologize for any inconvenience.

Thank you

Public Storage

5 Convenient Ways to Pay Your Rent

  1. AutoPay: Simply enroll at publicstorage.com or at any Public Storage [Co.?] property. After you provide us with your checking account, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or debit card information, we’ll automatically debit your account and take care of the rent.

  1. Online Payment at publicstorage.com: Visit publicstorage.com and [unintelligible] on “Pay My Bill”. Follow 3 easy steps to obtain User Name and password. [Use?] your checking account or pay with your VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit card.

  2. Pay by Mail: To the address of this facility. Please include your [self-storage?] [account?] number on your Check or Money Order

  3. Pay by Phone: Dial Toll-Free 1-866-444-4747; Enter the [phone?] number for the account you are paying and follow the step by step procedure […]

  4. [Not shown – it’s probably “Pay in Person”]

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The office was open in the morning and no one gave any indication that they’d be closing early.  If they were so worried about exposing their customers to the cold, wouldn’t that concern have extended to their employees as well?  And if so, why didn’t they just give everyone the day off?  Instead, they pretended to be open and then suddenly just put up a sign and closed the office.  We wonder how many customers hurried over to pay their bills on that freezing cold day only to find the office closed?  To Public Storage’s Phil Cacciatore, the manager of this place, this is called “customer service”.

 

Closing down for no good reason on the last day that customers can pay you without being hit by a huge “late fee” is what we call a low-down dirty move – even by Public Storage’s low-down dirty standards.  And it’s another reason why we say: “Public Storage Sucks!”

 

PUBLIC STORAGE MORTON GROVE SWINDLE: 21 Days from First Late Payment to Auction Proceedings

Customer Service at Public Storage: long-term renter gets just 21 days from non-payment of rent to Lien Notice!  "Dear Occupant": Public Storage wants to steal your stuff!

Customer Service at Public Storage, Morton Grove, IL: long-term renter gets just 21 days from non-payment of rent to Lien Notice! “Dear Occupant”: Public Storage wants to steal your stuff!

Today, we’re initiating a series of articles that will show just how big a ripoff operation Public Storage has become.  In fact. we’re going to have the opportunity to show you, in near-real time, what a bunch of thieves Public Storage is.

The customer, who received the threatening letter from Public Storage we reproduced above, works primarily as a laborer in the moving and delivery business in the Chicago, IL area.  That business is extremely seasonal, as everyone knows; from about Thanksgiving Day to March 1st, no one moves in Chicago, and the workers in this industry have to pick up temporary jobs to carry them through the winter or must live off whatever savings they’ve been able to scrape together during the previous moving season.

This winter was a particularly hard one in the US midwest.  Chicago experienced one of its coldest and snowiest winters since 1875, when the US Government began systematic collection of weather data.  Consequently, many workers got caught in the twin pincers of lost days of work due to bad weather and increased costs for heating and electricity due to the cold.

In cases like this, workers must “triage” their spending, carefully allocating their scarce dollars to those bills that absolutely must be paid, and putting off those that can wait.  Rent, food and heating bills take precedence over everything else; ancillary items like cable TV and storage bills may have to wait a couple of months.

Years ago, companies like the phone and gas companies and other bill collectors would make some kind of allowance for people caught in these situations.  Payment plans could be worked out over a period of months.  This gave people a chance to pay those vitally important bills and to postpone the others until winter ended and they could get back to work.

In the past few decades since the election, in 1980, of Ronald Reagan, the willingness of corporations to wait for “their” money has steadily decreased.  The phone, electric and gas companies successfully lobbied the bought-and-sold politicians of both the Democratic and Republican parties to permit them to force their customers to pay, and allowed the companies to shut off services for those who didn’t pay, or who had trouble making the payments on their debts to those companies.  Elderly people started having their gas and electric cut of even in the dead of winter and the middle of the summer.  The result: people freezing to death in their apartments in the winter and being cooked alive in them in the summer.  In the summer of 1995, over 750 people died in Chicago as a direct result these inhuman policies of the capitalists who run the utility companies.

Decent human beings read about those heat deaths – which were blamed on the savage policies of the greedy capitalists who run the public utilities in the United States – and saw untramelled greed wedded to boundless contempt for the lives of human beings.  The corporate criminals at Public Storage saw read those news reports and saw – OPPORTUNITY!

The storage companies were slow to catch up with their counterparts in the public utility companies.  Public Storage in the 1990s was relatively accommodating to those who ran into trouble paying their bills.  As long as customers made payments and kept in touch with the company, the customers did not have to worry about losing what in many cases amounted to the family jewels.

Some time in the last decade, Public Storage started to adopt a more “vulture capitalist” attitude towards their customers.  No longer content with the massive profits rolling in from their rentals, where per-square-foot prices vastly exceeded those of apartment rents, they embarked on a plan to accelerate the timetable for customers who fell behind on their rent payments.  Where once customers would be given a couple of months to catch up, they now were forced to either pay their storage fees or lose everything they owned.  Instead of being allowed to pay their utilities bills and make the storage company wait, customers are now forced to pay the storage company first and then risk an eviction from their homes due to late rental payments!  Thus the tail began to wag the dog.  Today, as the document above shows, Public Storage will initiate the process by which they can legally steal your stuff in as little as 21 days from the time you miss a payment!

Our unfortunate victim, who provided us with the document shown above, is a long-time renter at the Public Storage facility in Morton Grove, IL.  He has been storing his stuff there for 5 years in this particular facility; he had previously stored his belongings there for several years.

One would think that a loyal customer like this might be treated with respect when he or she has some difficulty paying the rent.  But in our lovely “Land of the Free(TM)” – where no one and nothing is actually free – the concept of “customer service” has been stood on its head.  Today, in Democrat Obama’s America, where the notion of “free market capitalism” is worshipped like a pagan god, companies that once prided themselves on their stellar reputations for treating all their customers – and especially their repeat and long-term customers – fairly, now don’t care about anything except their stockholders return on their speculative investments and their own executive bonuses.  Public Storage is a case in point of this untrammeled greed that is destroying the lives of so many people in the U.S. of A..

Public Storage is not really in the storage business any more  – it’s in the auction business.  PS doesn’t care how long you’ve been their customer – if you stop paying your rent, they immediately initiate the seizure of your property.  Auctioning off people’s stuff isn’t just a minor sideline of theirs – no.  It’s a way for them and their friends to make a lot of money by stealing people’s stuff and selling it to themselves dirt cheap, and then selling it again, at market prices.  This disgusting form of bottom-feeding, by which people’s family heirlooms are stolen from them on flimsy pretexts and then sold off at a fraction of their value is one of the most repulsive swindles going on in the United States today – and Public Storage is at the bleeding edge of innovation in this form of barely legal criminality.

The unfortunate victim of Public Storage’s swindlery whose lien notice we have published above tells us that he has been told by Phil Cacciatore – a regional manager for the firm – that the only reason his stuff wasn’t auctioned off on MARCH 23 was that PS had screwed up the advertising for the auction.  Now, PS plans to steal his stuff and auction it off on April 23 – unless he pays every penny he owes by the 22nd of April.  They will allow him to make payments, but he will NOT be allowed to keep his stuff unless EVERY SINGLE PENNY is paid of his past-due amount by the close of the business day on the 22nd.  Since Public Storage has been slapping late fee after late fee on his bill, what should be a $606.00 bill will be almost $750 by the 22nd of April.  That’s a nice way to treat your customers, isn’t it?

We’ll keep updating this story as we receive new developments in it.  Meanwhile, beware of those ads that tempt you with “$1 First Month Rent – No Commitment” – because that’s Public Storage trying to STEAL YOUR STUFF!

That’s why we say: PUBLIC STORAGE SUCKS!