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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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I have items in a storage unit since 2006. My company paid

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I have items in a storage unit since 2006. My company paid for the storage unit until 2009. In 2009, I took over responsibility of the payment of the unit. We were notified in 2012, that we were not billed correctly and have a balance of $14,000 due. I have been paying the correct amount , but feel that I should not be responsible for the entire $14,000 past due. I have contacted them to negotiate a price. Had I know billed the correct costs since I took over the storage unit, I would have looked for other options. The storage unit company is based in CT and the billing company that I am working with is in Switzerland.

Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

First and foremost, what contract/documentation are they relying on to claim that you owe $14,000?


Second, how long has the incorrect billing been going on? How many years?

Also, can you clarify your specific legal question? Or are you just looking for a general response to the situation?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

There is no contact between us and the company. My husband was transferred overseas and his company paid for our items in storage. His former company uses Keller Swiss Group AG to manage their expats and our goods are in storage at company called Bollinger My husband is no longer employed with this company, I contacted our relocation contact at Keller Swiss and asked if Keller Swiss could bill us directly for our goods as we would like to keep in storage. The incorrect billing has been for 2009, 2010 and 2011. I am looking to see if there is an option for me to resolve this issue as I want to move my goods out but I cannot until I pay the 14,000 balance due. I feel that I should not be responsible for the entire balance as this has was their oversight and I was not notified of the situation until 2012 for 3 years of incorrect billing

Hi again.

It sounds like you have a good case. First and foremost, a breach of contract case that is founded on an unwritten contract has a statute of limitations of 3 years in CT. Accordingly, you are automatically not liable for any billing prior to August 2010.

Second, if there were documentation with the correct amount that you owed, and you were simply undercharged, then I'd say that you're likely out of luck from August 2010 onward. But that is not the case. You never agreed to pay more than you were already paying. So, they have no legal basis to demand that you pay anything. It would be like you going to your boss and saying "You owe me $14,000 because I've been undercharging you for the last few years. I normally charge an extra $14,000 for the work that I do." Your boss would laugh in your face if you had no written contract. The same applies in this case.

Now then, there is a common saying that most people know which goes like this: possession is nine-tenths of the law. This is the type of case where that applies. They have your stuff, and they aren't going to give it to you unless you pay them their money. You can sue them, and you'd likely win if the facts presented in court are as you've stated here. But I strongly suggest that you retain an attorney for this case since it could become complicated depending on the legal arguments made by the storage company's attorney. Retaining an attorney could become expensive. Accordingly, if I were you, I would likely write them a letter, explain that you owe nothing, but offer to settle in return for your items. If they refuse, however, and demand the entire $14,000, then I would retain an attorney to take action. It's possible that you could get your way by retaining the attorney just to send a demand letter (which would likely only cost you a few hundred dollars). So I'd do that before actually filing a lawsuit. But if that doesn't work, then you'll need to go to court.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is much appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

If you would like to direct additional legal questions to me in the future, then please type "To VAMD" in the subject line of your question.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One last question, since the goods are held in CT I can site CT law? The billing company is in Switzerland. I am wondering should I also be sending my response to the Storage Company as they have my goods vs the billing company as I do not know if the billing company(Swiss Keller) has been paying the correct amount to storage company.

Also, can I work through the Better Business Bureau as the storage company is in CT?

Hi again.

You can certainly try to work through the BBB, but they have absolutely no legal power to resolve the dispute. Accordingly, the storage company may lawfully ignore the BBB. Still, many businesses take the BBB seriously, so you can certainly give it a shot.

As for the law that's used, that could depend on several factors, but considering there is no written contract that specifies which jurisdiction's laws will govern a dispute, it likely makes the most sense for a court to use the law of the state where the storage company and goods are located.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I think this is my last question. I think that we need to contact an attorney to move forward and deal with the moving company directly. Do we need to contact an attorney that practices in CT or can we use an attorney from any state.

Hello again. Thank you for writing back.

It certainly is a good idea to retain an attorney to contact the storage and billing companies and move this forward. You should retain an attorney in CT since that is where the storage company and goods are located.

Feel free to let me know if you need additional information. Also, please remember to rate me, as a positive rating is the only way I will be compensated for working with you. Thank you for using our service!

If you would like to direct additional legal questions to me in the future, then please type "To VAMD" in the subject line of your question.
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