Thoughts on this wine storage facility fee change?

Commercial wine storage facility rents wine lockers on an annual basis. There is an underlying written contract for renting lockers, with all relevant terms & conditions.
Each renewal year, a new invoice goes out with pricing for the following year.

The facility has never charged for wine deliveries; just a fee if you fail to pick up within 5 days. Today they sent an email notification of a wine delivery, and the email
says “as a reminder” the facility will now charge $4 per package to receive wine on your behalf. The $4/package receipt fee isn’t in the underlying locker rental agreement, and
the last renewal invoice said nothing about a $4 per package receipt charge. As far as I can tell, it’s simply a brand new fee being imposed in the middle of an annual rental without
any written agreement by the customer.

So I’m curious what you think about this this new fee…?


Is receiving shipments part of the rental agreement?

Fwiw, That was the fee we paid at Chelsea for receiving deliveries.

Doesn’t it all depend on the language of the contract? Is there anything there that would preclude or allow them from creating new fees?

The amount seems pretty reasonable.

(Interesting that you were charged, Jay. I don’t think I ever was, but I didn’t have many.)

I’d complain. It’s not a reminder at all, it is simply a way to raise revenue. Moreover, since you stated that the contract states all relevant terms, if the fee isn’t in there, it’s bogus.

Do they have the right to revise the contract every year and add fees? I would think yes.
Is it possible you missed an email regarding new fees? Maybe?
Is there anywhere else in your area for offsite storage?
Are you stuck with them if you want offsite storage?
Is $4 per shipment a significant amount in regards to the cost of the wine? Is it going to make you order less wine?
Things to think about.

We don’t have anywhere locally for offsite storage, I would be happy to pay a $4 fee per package of we did.

As someone who just moved his wine out of a storage place that raised my rates 60% and raised others by 200%, I can’t get too fussed about a $4 fee.

Bruce - You’re a lawyer. Why don’t you post the relevant clauses?

That seems like a great deal to me. $.30 per bottle to handle the wine. What is the problem?

I’ll just say that I used to store there but dropped them this summer. Things were not going well as they raised prices 25% and rented out one of my lockers 5 months before my contract ended without telling me. Then they kept sending me bills for lockers after I emailed them that I was bailing and that their behavior was not got business practice.
$4 charge for taking boxes is peanuts in comparison with that.

Why does it matter whether the fee is reasonable or not?

If it isn’t in your contract it’s not okay…

I assume you’re asking if we think the fee is reasonable, since no one here can know if this fits your agreement without reading it. Yes, I think the fee is completely reasonable. I’m surprised they were receiving packages without charging anything.

At least where I rent, contracts are renewed every 52 weeks. At the end of each cycle, they can change the contract, and if I do not like the price, terms, or conditions, I can move, or pay up.

They are a business and can do as they like. If it does not work for you, while I know it is a pain in the ass, just find another facility. In LA, there are several to chose from.

Jeff - I read Bruce to be saying that they introduced the new fee in the middle of the contract period.

Bruce, I can’t respond to your PM as you have disabled PM.

When I was renewing my contract over the summer, the man who helped me said that there was going to be a service fee implemented. I don’t recall seeing the fee in the contract though. But, since I don’t ship there, I never paid much attention to it.

I have also noticed a marked increase in empty lockers in the facility.