In a lawsuit removed to California’s Northern District, two consumers allege Extra Space Storage deceptively lures customers into leasing storage units by advertising competitive prices only to hike up those prices shortly after they sign a lease.
Describing a quintessential bait-and-switch scheme, the lawsuit claims Extra Space advertises its storage units at certain rates without disclosing that those prices are only “promotional” or “introductory.” Such advertising, the case argues, gives consumers the impression that these rates represent what they’ll pay should they sign a lease.
According to the proposed class action, Extra Space cites its need to keep up with “rising costs” as to why it uses false promotional pricing to lure in customers before hiking up rates. The case argues, however, that Extra Space utilizes this temporary pricing only to generate additional profit.
A reasonable consumer, the case says, would be unlikely to sign on with Extra Space with the knowledge that the rental rate to which they agreed upon signing a lease was only temporary. Moreover, once a consumer signs a lease with Extra Space, the case says, he or she is unlikely to exit the agreement and restart the process of finding another storage facility because, by that point, non-refundable administration fees have already been paid and the process of actually organizing belongings and moving has already been accomplished.