Frustration over PODS storage containers and how to get them removed

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Whether you’re in the city or the suburbs, you’ve probably seen moving and storage containers pop up fast and furiously.

The problem can be when they are delivered, how do you get them removed?

Pam Doggett and Blaise Graham’s neighbors in South Philadelphia have expressed frustration at having PODS storage containers sitting on their blocks for weeks.

“It’s annoying to watch,” said Scott Krzywonos.

“Buses have a hard time getting through,” said Roisin Fox.

“Not having a parking space is really frustrating,” Krzywonos said.

It had gotten to the point where someone posted a note on a POD to have it removed.

“Definitely not the way to make friends on the street,” Graham said. “It was a nightmare picking it up.”

The container Graham ordered was on the road for 50 days.

The one Doggett rented two blocks away sat for 25 days.

“It should be picked up within 24 hours,” she said. “I can’t get her to pick it up.”

The containers are owned by PODS.

The company says it’s the #1 moving and storage company in 2022. The commercials talk about convenience and a move-once move.

This is not the case with Doggett. She paid PODS for two storage containers to move from South Philadelphia to Sacramento, California.

“They never delivered the second POD,” she said.

So Doggett said she had to pay another company to get her remaining stuff from a friend’s garage. And PODS has yet to move the first container Doggett filled with their belongings.

“It’s so annoying. It was the worst experience ever,” she said. “So what I’m doing today is I hired another moving company.”

A third company was needed to unpack the POD, load the items onto his truck, get the stuff from his friend’s garage, and finally ship it all to California.

“So I basically started from scratch,” she said. “Even so, I still have no way of getting this POD out of here.”

“It has to get out of here. I mean nobody in the neighborhood deserves that.”

Graham used his POD to move from Washington DC to Philadelphia. He says he called the company at least 10 times to have it removed.

“They just never call me back,” he said.

Complaints related to storage containers have increased in Philadelphia. Related 311 complaints are up 69% compared to this time last year.

According to the Better Business Bureau, customers give PODS 1 out of 5 stars.

And on top of angry consumers and communities, Graham says: “They kept billing me. They tried to bill me again today.”

The troubleshooters have worked their magic to make refunds appear and the PODS disappear.

“And that night, at nine o’clock in the evening, I got a text message that the POD would be picked up first thing in the morning,” Doggett said.

And the POD was gone.

The same goes for Graham’s container. It was gone within 24 hours.

And both consumers got their money back. Doggett received a refund of over $7,000. Graham got back more than 500.

When asked if Doggett would recommend PODS to anyone else, she said no.

The troubleshooters asked PODS a lot of questions. This was her answer:

“PODS verifies all customer reviews and strives to provide all customers with a seamless moving and storage experience. We are committed to working with our customers to resolve any issues that arise.”

We know these customers because our team has worked directly with them. We are pleased to report that both cases have been fully resolved.”

So what can you do if a PODS container isn’t picked up near you?

A complaint about a POD not being picked up can be reported to 311.

The Streets Department’s Right of Way division is investigating whether there is a valid permit for the seated POD, as some PODs are set up without a permit.

If a permit is found, the citizen who was issued the permit could be fined up to $150 ($75 per POD removal inspection).

If the POD is not removed, a letter will be sent to the POD company through the City Legal Department.

While the service contract for reserving a temporary storage container is between the consumer and the owner of the storage container, the Streets Department recognizes that there are differences between the policies of some storage companies and the regulations regarding duration and costs that apply under the Right of Way the city were set unit.

The Streets Department is preparing literature to provide guidance on citizens’ rights and responsibilities, including the costs and fees involved in issuing a temporary parking ban for temporary storage containers.

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