VAT Change Will Not Affect Service Levels, Says Flexistore

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A leading self storage firm has vowed not to let the recent introduction of VAT charges impact its delivery of personalised and cost-effective customer service.

Our service [will] not be compromised at all by the change.

The storage industry was dealt a huge blow by March's budget, which announced proposals to make all self-storage providers charge VAT, having previously been exempt as the use of self storage units was viewed as a licence to occupy land.

The controversial new rules came into effect on October 1, and some providers have highlighted the potential impact on customers.

But Edinburgh-based Flexistore Self Storage, which was founded in 2002 and now operates across the UK, insisted it understood the reasoning behind the change.

A Flexistore spokesperson said:

"The change to the VAT rules affecting the self-storage industry has obviously been controversial, but in these difficult times we recognise the need for the Treasury to do all it can to lower the national deficit.

"Of greater importance to us is ensuring that our service is not compromised at all by the change. Our goal is to provide an ever-more personalised and well-staffed experience for our customers, and we're confident that this will continue to be the case."

Flexistore's innovative solutions for storage in London, Edinburgh and many other cities across the UK were recognised for their originality at the 2011-2012 Self Storage Awards.

Judges hailed Flexistore for its mobile self storage service, which sees a storage vault loaded on-site at a customer's house. Flexistore is one of only a few companies to offer this service in the UK.

The spokesperson added: "We have been pleasantly surprised by the popularity of our innovative mobile service, which customers love for its flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

"It also creates a great opportunity for us to help customers who don’t have the vehicle or means to transport their belongings to a warehouse facility independently."

The most recent data provided by the UK Self Storage Association shows that self storage usage is more popular than ever.

Over a quarter of a million people use the service in the UK, with the average length of stay rising from 22 weeks in 2007 to 38 weeks in 2010.

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Tom Ash