Store your belongings with confidence, not with fear of a scam
BBB advises consumers properly research storage facilities to avoid losing their money or belongings
AUSTIN, Texas - June 19, 2012 – Self-storage facilities dot the landscapes of new and older communities. Consumers rent units to empty overflowing garages, stash furnishings while moving or remodeling, or store business supplies for future use. Better Business Bureau recommends researching storage facilities prior to handing over precious belongings.
In 2011, BBB received more than 1,000 complaints against storage units. Many of the complaints came from consumers who were never able to access their storage units after paying a deposit. Others had their belongings damaged or stolen.
BBB recommends consumers take into account these seven factors before selecting a temporary storage facility:
1. Trust. Research any storage facility at www.bbb.org. Look at the business’s BBB Business Review to check for any past history of complaints and how the company addressed those complaints.
2. Cost. Obtain written cost estimates from at least three facilities. Costs to consider include the monthly rental fee; storage preparation, padding, packing or transportation fees; and fees for extra options such as electricity, pest control and insurance.
3. Size. Consider the type of storage unit you will need to adequately store all your items. Ask if there are any restrictions on how you store your items within the storage unit. Some units may have a weight limit for contents stored within the unit.
4. Climate. Consider the general climate of the unit and whether your belongings will be subject to mold or water damage. If so, you may want to consider an environmentally controlled unit.
5. Insurance. Make sure your items are insured from theft, fire or other damage. The facility may provide basic insurance or you can choose to purchase insurance from an alternate source. Some homeowners’ policies cover self-storage.
6. Safety. Ask if the facility has surveillance cameras on the property and if a system is in place to restrict access by non-renters. Ask for contact information to reach someone at the facility in case of an emergency, both during and after business hours.
7. Contract. Get everything in writing – the size and location of the unit, options, termination regulations and insurance coverage. The payment terms and schedule should be clearly listed out as well. You do not want to accidentally miss a payment, have your storage unit labeled “abandoned” and then put up for auction.
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.
About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.
Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin at (512) 445-4748.