In our last article we told you about the tragic case of David Goldner, an L.A. artist whose life’s work was irretrievably auctioned off by the treasure-hunting pirates at Public Storage. Here’s a class-action lawsuit that has been filed on behalf of all Californians who have been defrauded or otherwise abused by the Poblic Storage crinimals:
Tag Archives: deceptive business practices
Class Action Lawsuit Launched Against Public Storage for “False Advertising” and Violations of California Consumer Laws
[UPDATED!] Public Storage Deceptive Business Practices: Not Notifying Customers of Date of Impending Auctions
[UPDATED 30 April 2014 (see below)]
We’ve been following the slow progress of one of our correspondents’ attempts to keep their personal belongings from being legally stolen by Public Storage in Morton Grove, IL. This person reports to us this week that although the managers at Public Storage have related in phone conversations that the auction is scheduled for the 23rd of April, no written notice of this auction has been received, and though Public Storage has sent him several emails warning that an auction “is scheduled” not one of these emails has stated the exact date for that auction. In addition, when this long-term customer of the company goes to their website to see what is owed on the storage unit, the website mentions nothing at all about a pending auction nor does it give the scheduled date of that auction. These are screenshots of the Public Storage website showing this customer logged in to their account information:
This is clearly a very deceptive move by Public Storage – they make it look like it’s “business as usual” as far as the customer can tell. There are no big warning notices that an auction has already been scheduled – and is due to take place in 48 hours if FULL PAYMENT isn’t made! And this document shows how long this “loyal” customer has been renting this space from Public Storage – since January of 2009! Thus, in spite of the fact that this customer has been a long-time customer and has paid the bill every month for over 5 years – a grand total of at least $12,000.00 – Public Storage REFUSES TO ALLOW THIS CUSTOMER TO MAKE PAYMENTS on an arrears of just $780.75 and is set to legally steal this customer’s belongings and sell them at an auction as if they were abandoned property! This is highway robbery! And they refuse to work out a way for this customer to keep their property! “Storage Wars”? It should be “Storage Pirates”!
We’ll keep you posted if we receive any news on this case in the next 2 days.
This is why we say: “PUBLIC STORAGE SUCKS!”
UPDATE: Our correspondent reports that they were able to come up with the money to pay off the prates at Public Storage the day before the scheduled auction on April 23, 2014; however, there was a strange wrinkle to the end of the story.
When this person went in to pay the bill and inquired about the scheduled auction date, the Public Storage employee on duty stated that the auction had been postponed for a month – until late May. This customer had not been notified by mail, email or any other method of communication from Public Storage to this effect. The customer asked for a copy of the document stating that the auction had been rescheduled; the PS employee replied: “I can’t print this out for you, the computer won’t allow it”. Unable to verify that the auction had, in fact, been postponed a month, the customer elected to pay the amount past due, settling the case. All of the property that Public Storage had essentially confiscated from this customer for the past two months was found intact as it had been left by the customer, in his storage unit.
The customer told us that the reason that he did not believe the PS employee when he told the customer that the auction was rescheduled was because “you simply can not trust these people to tell you the truth”. The experience this customer went through with the managers of the Public Storage facility in Morton Grove, IL was of such an acrimonious nature that this customer no longer believes a word they say. “What if I was to wait, assuming that there had been a new auction date set and just took the employees’ word for it? How do I know that it wasn’t just a trick to get me to not pay the rent on time, and then Public Storage would just go ahead and auction off my stuff anyway?”
It’s a very valid point; and in fact we have received another communication from another source in Morton Grove who told us that he overheard a woman telling someone on the phone that she had just been swindled out of her prized family memorabilia by an unnamed storage company in Morton Grove that misled her about the scheduled auction date for her property. They told her that she had several weeks before an auction would be scheduled; then when she had raised enough money to pay for her rent, and went to pay the bill in person, she was informed that the storage company had “moved up the date” of the auction and had, in fact, sold her property. In this case, we have been unable to confirm that she had been victimized by Public Storage; but we relay it to our readers in order to warn you that these self-storage companies are turning into a bunch of wolves who are out to legally STEAL YOUR STUFF!
Public Storage Sucks!
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:
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
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.)
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.
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.
-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.