THE HIDDEN COSTS BEHIND A CHEAP STORAGE PRICE
George’s story in his own words
Wow! I've just booked a hire car for a weekend trip to a friend’s wedding. Should be simple right?
I GET A QUOTE
So I’ve opened the right web page and they ask me to:
- Choose a pick-up location and date.
- Choose a drop-off location and date.
- Then they ask me to press “get a quote”.
...this looks easy. I'm thinking - I’m going for something that will reliably get me from the airport to the wedding and has slightly more space than a student’s locker...
THE HEADLINE PRICE LOOKS GREAT
I get a great total price for the three days of £57.53. They want me to 'Book now', so I'm going for it. The internet whirls into action to load the next page, and while it does I get my credit card ready to pay. But wait... They want more... I thought I was finished?
- Pay on line or on the day – Add £11.67/day
- Loss damage waiver – Add £14.78/day
- Additional Driver – Add £7.00/day
- Tire and windscreen cover – Add £3.90/day
- Roadside Protection
...hang on I’m only looking to rent a “reliable” run-around for three days!
IT ENDS UP BEING THREE TIMES THE HEADLINE PRICE
Without going for the sat nav, automatic gears, winter tyres and booster seats I am already at £175. That’s more than three times my original price!
OK, now I’m annoyed. The only reason I have ventured this far into this website is because the original headline price looked so attractive compared to other rental websites.
IT'S PRICE COMPARISON MINEFIELD
Like anyone planning a mini break, I’ve found from this recent experience that websites fail to disclose charges up front, which makes comparing prices increasingly difficult.
The sneaky nature of these charges make some services look like they cost hundreds of pounds less than they really are. Apparently this is known as 'drip pricing' in the industry.... and in some cases it illegal! Well, as the owner of a small business I guess you learn something every day.
DOES THIS RING A BELL?
I admit I was suckered into the attractive headline price, I devoted quite a bit of time to processing the purchase. It is only now that I have made the decision to buy, credit card in hand that the unavoidable extras are introduced.
I read that the principle purpose of 'drip pricing' is to distort service costs, therefore making it difficult for business with more transparent pricing to compete on a level playing field. There is an interesting article about this on the Which website about comparing self storage prices here.
Turning to my own business, I can tell you that comparing self storage prices sadly is not as simple as comparing the cost of renting two identical cars for a 3-day mini break.
On the face of it you may think simply comparing two headline prices is the best approach to make a decision to purchase. My advice to you would be to firstly think about how you want to use the storage facilities, and only then decide which storage price offers fair value for the service that matches your needs.
So if you’re in the process of evaluating storage options and how they can accommodate your storage needs have a look at some of the great articles about comparing storage prices, the cost of storage and things you should know before renting storage, all designed to help you avoid being taken in by drip pricing.