5 On Your Side

Couple loses stuff in storage company mix-up

Posted November 5, 2012

Smartbox is one of several portable storage companies in the Triangle area.

Matt and Heather Wrenn needed to make their home appear more spacious as they tried to sell it. So, they grabbed some boxes and began packing some of their belongings.

“As you can see, we just kind of staged the house to make it be as roomy as possible," Matt Wrenn said, showing his home to a visitor.

In July, the Wrenns rented two containers from Smartbox. The company delivers portable containers for customers to fill, then moves the containers into a warehouse for storage.

“Pretty much got all of our furniture out except for some living room stuff and TV,” Heather Wrenn said. “Because can't live without our TV.”

Everything seemed fine until September, when they tried to get some things out of their boxes.

“They didn't have our boxes when we got there,” Matt Wrenn said. “They told us to come back another day. We obliged and came back another day – no boxes still."

Couple loses stuff in storage company mix-up Couple loses stuff in storage company mix-up

The Wrenns say they called countless times over the next month, but Smartbox could not find their units.

“I would lay awake at night sometimes just thinking of what I could say to make this process go any faster, have my boxes be found,” Heather Wrenn said.

They even gave the manager the keys to their units to help find them. Still, no luck.

The frustration built.

"Where is my stuff? Why can't you find it? What are you doing to look for our boxes? Are you looking for our boxes?" Wrenn said.

The couple finally emailed 5 On Your Side, and we called Smartbox.

Owner John Coor assured us three employees were on the hunt. The next day - a month after the search started – the couple got the call. The crew found their boxes.

"Oh, I was elated,” Heather Wrenn said.

She said Smartbox told her the boxes were misplaced in a long-term storage section.

“You guys are great,” Matt Wrenn told 5 On Your Side. “One day of phone calls from you guys, and the next day our boxes are delivered."

The units were delivered to the Wrenns that same day – just in time for the family to move into their new home.

8 Comments

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  • superman Nov 8, 11:03 a.m.

    I would have spent a little more and got a storage unit with a lock and key. I could have gone back at any time to retrive anything I wanted without removing everything. It just never pays in the long run to go cheap.

  • concerncitizen Nov 8, 10:26 a.m.

    Finding them in one day. Proves, there were never looking until that day!!!

  • Scubagirl Nov 6, 3:17 p.m.

    It's so sad to me that with many companies it takes a call from 5 on your side to get something done that they should just DO because it's how business is properly done. Glad they got it back

  • baracus Nov 6, 10:13 a.m.

    "This could be the result of an employee who's personal problems have caused them to make a mistake. Not that its excusable, but a woman in my community works for a moving company in Goldsboro and she has a raging alcoholic husband to deal with which has affected her work competence."

    Yes, mistakes do happen. How a business responds to mistakes is what differentiates between the good ones and the bad ones. The fact that they let their customers twist in the wind for a month until they finally made some noise does not speak well for this company.

  • Nov 6, 9:40 a.m.

    This could be the result of an employee who's personal problems have caused them to make a mistake. Not that its excusable, but a woman in my community works for a moving company in Goldsboro and she has a raging alcoholic husband to deal with which has affected her work competence.

  • JustAName Nov 6, 8:30 a.m.

    From watching the story, it seems that the communication issue was that the couple had initially put the items in long-term storage and by asking for their stuff early, caused the problem. However, the storage place should have better records and should have found the box sooner.

  • dollibug Nov 5, 6:13 p.m.

    Well....at least they got it back....and it was not stolen or sold....things happen....

  • ncveteranswife Nov 5, 5:58 p.m.

    Smartbox knew where their stuff was all the time and would have probably kept it or gave it to someone else if they had not contacted WRAL.