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Did you know that the metropolitan area of Boston proper alone has about 60 colleges and universities? Once final projects, papers, and exams are completed, many of the undergraduate residents will have to temporarily move out of their dorms or apartments over winter break. Since Massachusetts schools attract students from destinations many miles away, it’s not always practical for students who live out of state to take home all of their belongings. Many students opt to use a storage service with item pickup specifically tailored to the college demographic. College students who are in the market to utilize one of the various storage companies should consider the following tips:

  • Research storage companies carefully and read consumer reviews of their experience. If your school has a list of reputable companies, start there.
  • Thoroughly read the terms and conditions of the written agreement between yourself and the company because it will govern your relations. Look for parts pertaining to hidden fees, cancellation policies, owner’s insurance and refunds.
  • Several storage companies offer boxes and other packing material included in the cost. Make use of these items and don’t leave anything unboxed as it may get dirty, dusty, or damaged during or after transport. If boxes do not come included in the initial price, it’s probably cheaper to buy them elsewhere separately.
  • Mold and theft are the most frequent causes of item loss. Visit the storage site in person to ensure that it has adequate security measures, as well as climate and humidity controls.
  • If you are considering purchasing optional insurance for your items, make an estimate of the replacement value of each item to help you purchase the best policy to cover damages not absorbed by the storage facility. Find out more about whether renter’s insurance is right for you here.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has not designated a specific state agency to regulate storage companies. If a dispute arises and you are unable to resolve the issue on your own, you may contact a Local Consumer Program for free mediation services. If you wish to file a formal complaint against the company for unfair business practices, you may file a complaint through the Attorney General’s Office

Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer, for more tips on consumer related issues. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education, and also works to ensure that the businesses its agencies regulate treat all Massachusetts consumers fairly.

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