Q: Is it legal for Lowes (or their delivery agent) to charge me a $3300 storage fee without prior notice or authorization?
I bought kitchen cabinets in March, which the manufacturer shipped to Lowes' delivery agent around May 1. They were intended to be installed in June, but due to ongoing construction delays we have had to reschedule the delivery date several times, most recently to October 19. They had mentioned that there may be a storage fee, but it is not mentioned in the contract we signed and they never gave us a fee structure although I have asked about it several times. The store called me last Friday and said if I wanted to take delivery on 8/31, there would be a storage fee of $1300. If I wait until 10/19, the fee would be $3300. This feels like a deceptive business practice. Is it legal for them to charge us without prior written notice?
Many thanks for your help.
A: The paperwork you signed probably says that you must pick up the cabinets upon notice of delivery or something to that effect. There is no law saying that they cannot charge a storage fee or that they have to disclose it to you beforehand. You should seek out alternative locations to store them if you feel the charge is excessive. It is unreasonable for you to expect them or their agent to keep the cabinets stored forever free of charge. $1,100 for 5 months of storage is not per se unreasonable. Look at how much you would have been required to pay for an equivilent mini storage space. Most even non climate controlled storage units in decent repair go for $75 a month or more depending upon size and cabinets can take up a lot of space.
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