Like any sort of business, self storage companies need to have some sort of policy in place so that complaints and disputes can be dealt with in a formal manner. If you have serious concerns with your local storage provider, then you need to address these in a conversation, making reference to the terms of contract that you signed up to, and get hold of that complaints process, even if it means making a written request. It might be the case that the storage company near you is part of a larger franchise, in which case you could also try requesting the policy from their main headquarters address.
A lot of the time, self storage disputes mainly revolve around fees, particularly a perceived change of fees during the contract period, versus the customer’s expectation. It is an important principle for the storage company to ensure that the fee structure in the contract is carefully explained and understood, and the scenarios spelt out, even month by month if need be. The time spent on a preventative measure such as this will weedle out many complaints that would require a lot more admin work, stress and patience on both sides. In a similar vein, the contract needs to be very clear about what happens if payments are missed, or at least cannot be made on the agreed date, as these scenarios do regrettably crop up more than they really ought to. The flexibility, if any, to the customer that can be afforded needs to be drawn up firmly, all the while asserting the rights of the storage company to be paid fully for the job that they are carrying out.
Whilst self storage is a very secure way of keeping your belongings, with all the protective measures put in place for you by the storage company in terms of security, climate control etc., there is always the tiniest window of opportunity for an accident, theft, or issue. Insurance is very important here, and most savvy self storage users should have put insurance down on their valuables before locking them away, likewise the storage company ought to check that customers have made the required arrangements. Many self storage companies offer insurance in the contract so that there is no doubt around whether should a big problem occur people won’t be covered. Self-storage contracts are generally very wide ranging and will cover everything from stolen property to the effects of building damage. What they might not cover are extreme weather scenarios, but if your goods are going to be washed up in a huge hurricane, they probably won’t be safe anywhere, nevermind self storage. So insurers are likely to become involved where damage or loss of property is the main issue behind the concern.
It’s a case of both parties understanding their rights and being able to execute these amicably. Sometimes it is agreed that legal advice is the way forward, and arrangements can be made for mediation, where a third neutral party sorts out a deal that works to the convenience of both, although that does unfortunately mean more money lost for somebody in the process.
In short it is possible to raise a dispute with your storage provider, who should, according to common business practice, have a followable process available in order to tackle it, and prearranged insurance may have to be the channel in certain circumstances.
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