With thousands of self storage services in the U.S. alone, it is not unlikely that there will be a few that while legitimate, may in fact just be there to scam customers out of their money. The least that could happen is that the customer loses valuable items. I say least because the worst case is that people will start to distrust storage rental facilities and this will affect the industry in a big way. Think of the jobs that will be lost when such facilities start to close. There are ways however for you to avoid being scammed and here we list 4 ways.
- Inspect the Facility
The best way to avoid being scammed is to take the time and conduct a visual inspection the place where you want to store your items. The first thing you should look at is how clean the place is. If there are signs of rats then don’t give it a second though and look for a new one. Aside from the cleanliness of the facility you should also ask about their occupancy rate. The more people that keep items in the storage rental, the better the facility as this means that people trust them enough to look after their items. Security is another concern that you should consider as well.
- Written Contract
Most people become victims of fraud because they are often convinced by the sweet talk that the people in-charge gives them. Before you put any items or pay them anything, be sure to have a contract drafted. Before signing the contract take the time to read as there are scammers who may have contracts ready but have bogus provisions the fine print. If possible consult your attorney in order for you to understand the terms better.
One way to know if a company is legitimate is to ask if they are a member of any organization. In this industry for example there is what is known as the Self Storage Association. Keep in mind though not all legitimate companies apply to become members of such groups. The next best thing then is to ask if they are licensed by the state. At the very least you know who to turn to when things go sour.
- Do You Part
Just because you will be leaving your items in the storage unit does not mean that you do nothing afterwards. Once the items are inside the unit, it is good advice that you take a photo record of everything that is the unit. This is in addition to a list you may have made. Once the items are inside, take time to visit the storage unit occasionally. This is to make sure that the items are still in place and it also helps that you see the condition of the facility.
While scammer may be few, they can still do damage to those who are working hard to satisfy customers. To know more about self storage units and how to avoid scams, visit Montgomery Self-Storage or go to their website at http://www.MontgomerySelfStorageOxnard.com