Understanding the Costs of Records Storage

We looked at managing the costs of document scanning last week, but what about when maintaining paper documents is preferable.

There are things that your company can do to make sure they are getting a reasonable price. There are some things that you can’t manage.

The most basic of these is the volume of documents you need to store. Your document retention program will dictate what you need to maintain for legal and business reasons. What can be managed are the costs you pay to your vendor. Here are some tips to get a good rate.

Hidden Fees

Don’t be fooled by low up front pricing with add on fees. Some document storage companies will try to add on fees to increase your costs. Some times this can add a significant amount. One common one is fuel surcharges.

They often are added on to invoices but rarely come off when the price of fuel decreases. Another sneaky fee is the “minimum service fee.” This is often written so it applies to every customer. Unless you change your level of service make sure that it doesn’t apply to your account.

Local Records Storage vs National Records Storage Companies

There is a lot more competition for local services than national. As a result the few national companies are able to charge a premium for national accounts. They keep this pricing structure for their local accounts.

As a result, they are often a much more expensive option. Some national companies have their own hidden fees like “administration fees” and “account maintenance fees.” There is no need to pay for fees that only apply to large companies with multiple locations.

Records Retrieval Costs

The costs of retrieval may or may not be a significant factor for you. Obviously if you are not needing the documents very often than you would rather have a lower storage fee with a higher retrieval costs. It is also nice to have costs vary by speed of delivery.


Beware of the onerous contract. There are some companies that spend more time trying to keep unhappy customers locked up with a contract. They have plenty of lawyers who will enforce the contract at all costs.

These companies are easy to find based on their contract. If there is no way for you to get out if they fail to provide adequate service levels than beware. If they have a high cost to pull boxes at the end of the contract it is another sign of problems to come.

The tactic is to have a pull fee so high that our boxes are now held hostage. Any company that offers good service will know that their customers will want to stay; they won’t need multiple pages of legaleze they will know that customers will want to stay.

Add It All Up

Once you have all the fees then add it up to get the total costs. Consider how much you anticipate your storage needs growing over the length of the contract. And get someone who will treat you fairly. If you ever have a problem will you need to deal with seventeen layers of management in another state or can you talk to the owner and solve the issue quickly.

Get FREE Quotes on Records Storage and Records Management

Information governance is an ever changing field as federal and state laws require more retention and faster discovery. Our experts will help you maintain your records storage needs regardless of format.  We can help you manage your hard-copy records, and even guide you through the transition to a paperless office.

Record Nations has been providing document management solutions for over a decade.  Let us help you find the right document storage solution for your business.

To get started, fill out the form on the top right of this page, or give us a call at (866) 385-3706. Within minutes, you’ll have several companies in your area to choose from.

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