CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If you're considering renting a storage unit to keep extra belongings you don't have room for in your home, or are in between permanent locations, you'll want to read the fine print on any contract before you sign the dotted line.
Save Green Self-Storage in Concord, North Carolina, was the place that Ben and Amanda Fishbeck chose to store goods during their moving process. It's a decision the couple says they regret.
“Rats, mice, whatever it was, they got inside there," Amanda Fishbeck said. "There ate holes in it. It was a brand new mattress, there were holes in the foam, as soon as we lifted it up, we thought, 'we're not touching it, we're outta here.'"
The Fishbecks took plenty of photos showing vermin droppings all over the unit.
"They ate the mattress," Amanda Fishbeck said. "It was disgusting."
The Fishbecks signed a contract with Save Green, which was thorough. They say after the rodent damage occurred, there was moisture damage, as well. So they took it up with management.
After all, it says right in Section 4 of the contract they are covered up to $2,500. Beds these days aren't cheap, so they felt they'd get what was fair. The payout? $500, not exactly what they expected at all.
“This has been a while now, they don’t seem interested in helping other than having us sign a paper and giving us a $500 check," Ben Fishbeck said.
This is where contracts like this of any kind get dicey. In Section 4 of this contract, it clearly says, in big print, limit of claims is $2,500. But that doesn't mean you'll always get it. Human nature is to remember the big print when you are signing up for something.
On the flip side, Section 4G on page 7 of the protection plan signed by the Fishbecks has some disclaimers. Now you see what isn't covered for the full amount, like rats and vermin, which states damage is only payable up to $500.
Tom Bartholomy with the Better Business Bureau sees contract disputes a lot. They key word he says you need to watch for is exclusions.
"Up to, that's the operative word there," Bartholomy said. "Because, those exclusions kick in, and a rat infestation? Ah, no, that maxes out at $500. Why? Because that's what the contract says."
WCNC Anchor Bill McGinty sent two emails to Save Green. With no initial response, he called and informed them that WCNC had questions about this contract. McGinty later received and email saying “we have no comment regarding your recent inquiries.” McGinty was also told to leave them alone.
The email went on to read “…we are requesting that you refrain from contacting the facility’s team members effective immediately.”
How does all this sit with Ben and Amanda Fishbeck?
“It’s completely disgusting, and it was a bad, bad experience for us personally, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through it,” Amanda said.
It comes down to reading the contract thoroughly. As for Save Green Storage, they have many good reviews online with many people saying they would store their stuff there again.