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Subject: Re: RAINdrop: Legal
From: eton SINGLETON <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 9 Oct 2003 00:27:06 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (48 lines)


>The complaint, moved to U.S. District Court on Aug. 19 by attorneys for
>Iron Mountain, alleges the storage company continues to hold about 16,000
>boxes of "primarily client information" hostage in exchange for more than
>$150,000 in termination fees. Butzel wants the court to order Iron Mountain
>to give the boxes back.
>
>"Effectively, Iron Mountain is holding Butzel's client files hostage while
>attempting to extort termination fees which were never contracted for," the
>complaint says.

WOW!  This is exactly what I was asking about!

I can't believe that a vendor can actually expect to be paid $150,000 by a
customer so they can re-take possession of their own records.  Our present
invoices and contracts and the quotes I've been getting have all been
anywhere between 18 and 35 cents per unit, per month.  If this law firm had
16,000 boxes that would amount to $10 a box to get them back!  My retrieval
rates are much less than that, so even if they were to take back all their
boxes, they should be subject to chages much less than $10+ per box.

I guess this was what someone meant when they said "it's cheaper to leave
them there, so that's what many people elect to do", but how can a firm
justify this type of charge and where is it in the Contract that people are
missing it?  Surely no one can be legitimately AGREEING to accept this, it
must be "hidden" somewhere in the terms and conditions.

I guess this Iron Mountain isn't a member of the PRISM trade association
some vendors are telling me about that they belong to.  On their web site,
there is a code of ethics page that says something about all terms in
agreements are clearly identified, and it's hard to believe any contract
manager, purchasing agent or records manager would miss something like that.

Do these kind of law suits happen regularly?  I saw something here about a
fire where two large firms lost a lot of records and the storage company
being sued for a bunch of money (millions, I think) so it sounds as if it
does happen periodically.  Any personal experiences with this?

Thanks in advance, and thanks for all the good information from everyone so
far.

Rich Singleton

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