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Public Storage Hit with Lawsuit Over Business Practices

By Jessica Tyner


Public Storage lawsuitMost people are familiar with the orange and purple Public Storage facilities that have popped up around the country. You’ve probably even used one before, trusting that when you put stuff in storage, it’s safe. However, the security of storage items might not be nearly as iron-clad as people think. In Charlotte, North Carolina, a lawsuit has been filed against the company claiming that it puts customers and their property in danger.

Eyewitness News went undercover in Charlotte to see just how secure Public Storage was when they thought no one was looking. In Charlotte alone, there are 35 Public Storage sites, and Paul Trott was in charge of managing them for the past six years. However, he claims in a lawsuit against Public Storage that company-wide budget cuts have caused maintenance to completely stop. There apparently isn’t even enough money to replace burned-out lights, making customers lug around flashlights to access their unit after dark.

A Burglar’s Dream Come True

It’s not just exterior lights that are burned out — Trott says many interior unit lights don’t work, either. This makes Public Storage prime pickings for thieves and vandals, and they’ve been coming in droves. Trott claims in the lawsuit that “numerous break-ins” have happened recently. Burglars aren’t the only danger, since Trott points out that the massive industrial doors are broken as well. Since they weigh over 100 pounds, they could easily kill a person if they fall.

Trott already has a laundry list of customers who have been injured, but fortunately there haven’t been any fatalities yet. Trott has tried to stand up for his customers, but his complaints have fallen on deaf ears. He says he’s told his supervisor about the problems weekly, but no changes have been made. It’s Trott who initially filed the lawsuit against Public Storage after realizing the company he’s worked for the past six years doesn’t care about their customers. But he does.

Trott’s Public Storage Lawsuit

Trott was fired in January 2013, and he thinks it’s because he wasn’t pretending everything was fine. On May 28, 2013, he filed a lawsuit against Public Storage and hopes that the customers he used to try and protect will benefit, and that the company will step up to the plate. Eyewitness News tried to reach a manager or supervisor to comment on the investigation, but no calls were returned. One generic message from Public Storage was sent, stating that the safety of their customers is “of course” of great importance.

Trott wants to send a message to the company and let them know they are accountable for safety and security. Many customers aren’t aware of the violations, or they’re used to the shoddy environment. People store precious and valuable things in storage units, and these items aren’t necessarily covered by all insurance policies.

Storage Unit Lawsuits Target Property Seizures

Trott isn’t the only consumer suing a storage unit company from allegedly improper practices. Lawsuits all over the country are being filed by storage unit customers who had their property seized without proper notice. In states like New York, this is against the law. Knowing your rights can help you avoid losing your property to an unlawful auction.

Do You Have a Storage Unit Complaint?

Did you rent a mini storage unit in New York and had your property seized? You may have a storage unit legal claim and not even know it. Just like renting an apartment, you have rights as a storage unit tenant.

Learn more at the New York Mini Storage Property Seizure Class Action Lawsuit Investigation today. You can submit your information free of charge. If you have a case, a reputable attorney will contact you for a free storage unit claim review.


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Updated June 19th, 2013


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  • Donavan July 1, 2013

    I hope he socks it to them. This company is the pits. They have terrible customer service and the facilities are falling apart. All the while, their CEO, Ron Havner, received the highest pay increase of any CEO in the U.S. last year. A whopping +459% increase @ $15.4M. This is the epitome of greed- milk all the profits out of the company so those on top can fatten their wallets.

  • Ex-Public Storage July 11, 2013

    You don’t know the beggining of how corrupt this company is. They force their emp.s to push customers to buy locks and insurance, when a customer already has a lock, and when they don’t want insurance.

    We weren’t licensed insurance agants and the written policy is clear, but the district managers threaten your job if you don’t get 100% insurance on every new customer. They grill you on intimidationa nd deception tactics to force the customer to buy insurance.

    And then there’s locks. The written policy says the customer can secure the unit with any lock of THEIR choosing. The district managers implemented a “security policy” for us to say “your lock doesn’t meet our security standards.” They also try to say you HAVE to have a lock at rental (untrue).

    Locks and insurance and merchandise make up a HUGE bonus for district managers, who are basically sociopaths looking to climb the ladder.

    And everything said about maintenance being withheld on facilities is true. One property had leaky roofs for two years, and the district managers MADE us rent out those spaces, KNOWING the customers would have their items get damaged by rain.

    The security is a jioke. The alarms are turned off so they don’t wake the property managers in the middle of the night. As stated, the lighting doesn’t work. There are holes in fences, allowing easy access. Half the time the property managers don’t do their lock checks because they are so lazy, and break-ins go undiscovered.

    I could go on, but hopefully I have given you a good idea of how thoroughly CORRUPT Public Storage is.

    Go to a mom-and-pop place, they actually care about their customers.

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  • Janis Wohl September 30, 2013

    Thank you for the email option as I am SS Retirement $720 per month and cannot always pay the $50 Net10 fee for my phone. My monthly expenses also include $190 car payment, $53 car insurance, gas and maintenance approximately $300 (I live in my car so it is important) and the $75.89 per month to save my family photos and other stuff to Public Storage which I have paid before the due date by check to avoid late fees, having my lock destroyed and having to buy a new one from them, and having them come into my unit and leaving a dead squirrel’s skeleton on the top of one of my piles of belongings. Before I was late that time I would sit in my unit with the door halfway closed to block the sun as I had melanoma previously till she told me I had to have the “door all the way open or no dice”. I haven’t been back since during office hours and left my check in the drop box after hours. I thought I would give notice, get my stuff and sell or give away everything except my family photos which I would keep in the trunk of my car. I am a grandmother of 8 year old Victoria and I thought she would enjoy seeing pictures of her great great great grandmother outside of her little house in Texas. When I went to access my unit, it was blocked. I called the police and the policewoman who responded said she could not force them to allow access. Upon questioning, I was informed that the rent had been raised in June and I had been charged late fees and that if I didn’t have the money now I would also be charged for October and my stuff would be sold at auction and that I would also be charged for the auction and that proceeds in excess of the amount “owed” would be kept by Public Storage and that I would not be allowed to attend the auction.

  • Former Employee.. October 22, 2013

    Everything this article claims is true. So are all the comments. I worked for this company for almost 4 years. I was one of the top 5 in the district and in the top 20 in the region. When I became pregnant the district manager harassed me and refused to accept my doctor’s note putting me on restriction. When I complained they offered to put me at an indoor facility with another property manager. I was left alone and the harassment continued. I pleaded with my doctor to put me on bedrest to avoid the constant harassment. When I returned I was fired 6 days later with no reason or notice. I’ve filed a complaint with the EEOC and Public Storage wants to settle… They know they are corrupt and that they treat their customers as well as their employees poorly.

  • cindy myers February 11, 2014

    my things where stolen from public storage in webster tx by my ex and the employee that was working there my ex starting sleeping with the public storage employee and she helped him steal my things out of my storage im looking for an attorney that can help me in houston tx

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