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Storage charges are fees associated with the storage of freight or belongings. These can include base fees where consumers pay for storage directly, as well as added fees that may be incurred in situations where a company is forced to offer storage in connection with another service. For example, if a client drops a car off for repairs and does not pick it up for a week, the mechanic can assess storage charges to cover the expense of securing the vehicle for the driver. The laws surrounding added charges for services like storage vary, and consumers may want to familiarize themselves with them.
When consumers pay for storage directly, fees are usually based on a flat rate. Consumers can pay extra for special features like climate control or additional security. For highly sensitive items, storage charges can be very high. A luxury car, for example, may present some complexities to a storage facility. Usually consumers can shop around for prices to find the best rate, and sometimes they qualify for promotional fees that are less expensive than the publicly listed ones.
Sometimes consumers inevitably incur storage charges as part of a larger service. For instance, a person moving house might need to pay the movers for temporary storage if the new house isn't ready by the time they pack up the old house. Likewise, charges can happen when freight arrives somewhere before the recipient, or when people store freight before shipping so it will ship after they leave for a destination.
In other cases, storage charges are unexpected and the result of some kind of problem. Companies can charge extra in these situations because unplanned storage can present logistical issues. For example, if a company does not arrive to pick up its shipping containers, a warehouse may be filled with its goods. The warehouse owner cannot accept other goods, and this may create a backup in a port because boats have nowhere to offload, or loads must be shuffled around to different facilities. The warehouse can levy storage charges for the inconvenience.
Likewise, storage charges can be incurred when people leave possessions at a repair facility without making prior arrangements for storage. The law may also allow the owner of the facility to sell items after they have been abandoned for a set period of time. Companies typically disclose information about these fees in their contracts, and consumers should review them carefully so they understand their liabilities and responsibilities. If a consumer knows she will need to leave something in storage after repair or in association with shipping, she should negotiate the fees ahead of time.