Another Moving Fiasco – Lost and Beheaded

It’s been just under a week since our moving truck arrived, and much of my time has been spent unpacking boxes and reacquainting myself with my wardrobe and kitchen wares. But as we’ve been unpacking, a few items we love haven’t turned up. Most specifically, my Dad’s old antique 1960’s acoustic guitar, my purple bass guitar, and a subwoofer speaker.

See this picture, right in front on the right….MY GUITAR!!! Where, oh where, is it now???

We found our box of carefully wrapped, double-bubble-wrapped Willow Tree Statues, but most of them were BEHEADED!!! Moving 1 pulled a Marie Antoinette on us!!

We thought our small TV was lost too…but we recovered it in a box of Rosie’s clothes??? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. I don’t care too much about the broken mirrors and picture frames, the multiple cracked Rubbermaid containers, and a few other items that are missing. I want my guitars back! There’s a chance the moving company found a strange place to stash them, but in our survey of every room in the house….no strummable instruments found.

I called Moving 1 to find out how to file a claim with them. The receptionist bluntly said, “We are not responsible for lost or stolen items from your move.” If that’s the case, why on earth do they spend all the time tagging each packed item on the bill of lading? The receptionist sent me to a 3rd party claims company, who said that our lost and broken items will only be covered at $.60 per pound. Did you hear that???? My guitar valued at $1000 will only be replaced at sixty cents per pound!?! She said, “All movers offer full replacement insurance when you schedule your move.” Well, yes, they did offer additional insurance….but should we be responsible for THEIR EMPLOYEES losing our beloved instruments???

I am sooooo ready for this fiasco to be over.

The Moving Truck Came! Our Stuff is Here!

For the first time in 7 months, we have a full house.

Despite all the lies and disappointments, I have to admit that I was really excited when the moving truck pulled up in front of our house at 8:00 am Tuesday. Sure, it was a month later than we’d originally anticipated, but it did come. After 7 months, I’m pretty sure my heart did grow fonder.


When we moved out of our Atlanta condo in June, our stuff went into a very cramped 10X10 storage unit. We had to wait a few months for shipment (because we’ve been so tight on money) Our stuff was picked up 6 weeks ago, and finally made it to Spanish Fork yesterday. For a little perspective, our belongings took up the majority of space from the ramp to the end of the truck. Somewhere around 10 feet, and only about 25% of the truck. What a joke. We ended up having to pay $2900 instead of $1820.
Putting the house back together has been a bit of a pain (actually a lot of a pain in my back). Taylor’s first order of business was setting up the TV and entertainment components. I went for the boxes, bags, and crates of clothes. We only had a few hours to unpack before he had to leave for the airport, but we got a lot accomplished in those hours.
We did have some casualties with a few of our items. The above frame is from a large fancy mirror that broke, and we also lost the framing elements of one of my favorite Japanese prints. My saddest loss? The beheading of several of my Willow Tree statues. We’re going to attempt a claim on our broken items, but I’m not holding my breath.

As much as I have hated living out of boxes and suitcases the past two years, I have to admit that I really love having ALL my belongings in the same state; my linens, my dishes, my movies, my tech items, and my clothes! That hasn’t happened since 2003. Other than a short anxiety attack, the unloading process was pretty standard.

Now to find help Unpacking.

Another Moving Fiasco: Part 4


Today is moving delivery day. Or it was supposed to be.

Earlier this month, we decided to have the movers bring our stuff, despite the contract issues and having no idea how we’d pay the balance. I asked how quickly it could get there…Rob said cross-country transit usually takes 3-5 days (which to me is reasonable.) I told him we’d have the money on payday (Jan 16th), and he said they’d plan on delivering it the week of the 18th.
I talked to Rob last Monday, the 18th. He said our stuff would be there by Thursday, Friday at the latest. He promised to call by Thursday to give our firm delivery time. I called back and talked to a receptionist about acceptable forms of payment. She said certified bank check was fine, but they took credit cards and money orders as well. My dad agreed to lend us the money, found a bank branch open on the MLK holiday, and got the certified check ready for us.
Thursday came and went. Delivery didn’t happen. No call from Rob.
I called Friday morning. Rob said he’d get in touch with the dispatcher and call me back within 30 minutes. He didn’t call me back. After a few more calls near closing time, the receptionist finally let me talk to him. Rob called the truck driver. The truck was in Texas, would be dropping a shipment in Colorado on Sunday, and would deliver our stuff in Utah “first thing Monday morning.”
Sunday night around 9:00 PM, the driver Alex called us. He said that he would be delivering between 11 am and 2 pm, and to have payment in postal money order ready. (HUH?) I told him that the moving company advised us that certified check was acceptable…he said that I’d have to take it up with the moving company.
I called Moving 1 right when they opened this morning. Rob discussed methods of payment, and he said that Moving 1 has NEVER accepted a certified bank check for delivery. I advised that I called last week to verify, and was given incorrect information. Rob said, “If the driver gets to your house, and you try to pay in certified check, he’ll just turn around and drive away.” I looked at our contract, and sure enough…only acceptable payment on delivery was postal money order.
At that point it was 7 am, and we had about 4 hours to figure out payment before the delivery window. My dad (who is wheelchair-bound, btw) was preparing to leave on a business trip. We explained the situation, and we knew the only way we could fix the payment was to have him physically come to the bank to cash the check. Taylor drove up from Spanish Fork, and my dad drove down from Lehi, and they met at a Provo branch to cash the check. Taylor took the cash to the post office, got the money orders, and hurried back home to be there for the movers at 11.
Our 11 am to 2 pm window passed. No movers. We called the Moving company – they had no clue. We called the truck driver – no answer. As we were stewing over what to do next, the truck driver called. He said that his truck broke down “een esalta laka seety.” (in Salt Lake City) If he could get the truck fixed, he’d be there by 6 pm. If not, he’d come “first thing in the morning Tuesday.”
At 6:15, the driver called. He can’t come to “The Espanish Fork” tonight. He will come at 8 am tomorrow. We shall see.
At this point…I’m at a loss for words.
***
As for the dispute with the BBB, the moving company representative did respond to my complaint. It was written by Donna, the claims adjuster, poor grammar and all:
“First we would like to apologize for the inconvenience the customer may have sufferred during her move. However, we do not increase any shipment size or cost unless the customer has more items. Which means that even if we were mistaking in the estimation of shipment size, but the items list were the same, we would not have charged her more. We find it a little rude that the customer is only listing the increase in charges but not listing any of the adjustments that Rob the “rude” manager has authorized.

“Rob has authorized a charge for 750 at the same rate initially quoted to the customer which resulted in a discount of $378.00 discount. The customer shipment size was estimated by other companies the same 560 cu.ft. just like we have because of the list of items the customer provided. She also sent us copies of estimates she received which were for more than 500 cubic feet only. so to say we were the only ones is just wrong.

Furthermore, if the customer wasn’t just looking for bottom line price when comparing quotes she would have been able to pay more attention to details. We are very sorry the customer is not completely happy but trust our above explanation sheds some light over the REAL move details.”

I am composing my rebuttal as we speak…

It is true that when I sent my complaint to the BBB, Moving 1 had made no price concessions other than giving us “free” storage (while we came up with the the extra $$$ they overcharged us). After the complaint was submitted, I finally made some headway with Rob (see THIS post). I’m not sure what Donna was talking about when she mentioned the other estimates I submitted for comparison. (the ones submitted were for a 2 bedroom apartment, and for 760 cubic feet…nothing lower than the 560 CF we got from Moving 1.) The quote I am primarily concerned about is the one they “matched” from Bravo Movers…the 760 CF quote for $1820. The quote that would have saved us much of this hassle, had we dropped Moving 1 when we had the chance.

I am now working with a company called www.moverescue.com. Not sure if anything can be done at this point, but I’m not giving up yet.

Another Moving Fiasco: Part 3

Phew! I finally made some headway in MovingGate 2009-2010. It took bombarding Moving 1 with voice mails and emails for a few days before Rob would actually accept a call from me (I was really getting sick of the receptionist whispering to him that I was on the phone, thinking she’d placed the call on hold). After reviewing the emailed quotes I’d sent from other moving companies, (and sternly warning him with some legal mumbo-jumbo suggested from my buddy in law school,) Rob finally agreed to removed the $2/CF surcharge on the “extra” 190 CF. That brought down the price $360. Not terribly significant, but he said it was the best he could offer outside of court. Since I didn’t want to wait for my belongings through a lengthy multi-state court process, I accepted the arrangement. It’s still $1075 more than the binding estimate, but I don’t think I could have been any more successful without paying for a lawyer. I never heard back from Gephardt, but if he does contact me, I’ll see if he has any additional tips for me. I’ve reported the company to the BBB and American Moving and Storage Association. In the words of Mr. T: “I pity the fool who uses Moving 1!”One other bright spot: We negotiated with Taylor’s company to give us additional reimbursement towards our moving costs. They’ll cover the $450 in packing supplies. With the “discount” from Moving 1 and extra money from the airline, we are scheduled to have our stuff arrive in Spanish Fork sometime between January 16-22. We’ll have to do some mad pawning, Ebaying, and KSL.com selling to get enough cash this week (since the reimbursement will take a while). I’ve got a ton of Rosie’s baby clothes (newborn to 4T) if you’re interested….


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Another Moving Fiasco : Part 2


Ah, the continuing moving saga of the Bullock family. Part one of the Atlanta moving fiasco is here.

I was hoping that after two weeks I’d have more good news to report on the move, but we’re still in a stalemate. We’d hoped to have the issue resolved quickly, and to have our belongings delivered by Christmas or New Years’. I’ve talked to several receptionists, two reservation specialists and two managers, and have gotten the most information out of the manager Rob (but on only one occasion). When I call to ask for Rob, I am typically put on hold for 10-25 minutes before I’m told “He’s already left for the day,” or “He has taken the day off,” or “He’s meeting with a vendor in the warehouse and can’t talk for at least an hour.” All excuses are given with a promise to have him call me back immediately, but as of today, I have not had ONE email or phone call returned. I have messaged Erica the reservation specialist a few times, and she is no longer returning my emails or voice mails.

Currently, our items are sitting in their regional warehouse in Arkansas. We have gotten the moving company to agree to not charge us storage fees until we are able to pay enough to start transit (which we will do as soon as they give us an agreeable total price). But at the rate Moving 1 has been going, who knows if it will happen anytime soon?!?

I don’t know what else I can do. I just emailed Get Gephardt for help.

Yet Another Moving Fiasco

Moving 1 steals your belongingsThe storage unit in Decatur, GA that has held our earthly possessions since June

When Rosie and I headed out to Utah in June, all we brought with us was what fit into my Camry. We packed pretty creatively, so we haven’t been totally barren. Unfortunately, most of the clothes we brought with us were capris, tees, sandals, and light jackets. Now that it’s Winter, fleece jackets just don’t cut it! We’ve found some amazing finds online and at thrift stores. We’ve received calls from neighbors and family members when they were getting rid of something we might be able to use. But after 6 months of shelling out $100 bucks per month to Public Storage, we knew we had to get our stuff out to Utah sooner rather than later.

Over the past few months, I’ve gotten about 20 different price quotes from traditional moving companies, freight companies, cube storage/shipping, U-Pack, U-Haul, etc. We had chosen a broker called Moving 1 (who we did ultimately use this week) and we told them we weren’t sure when it would happen because we didn’t have the funds to pay yet. Once we got a quote lower than Moving 1’s quote, we asked them to match it. They DID match the total, but not the rate per cubic foot. We had reserved 800 cu ft (10x10x8 storage unit) but they way they scammed us was to only give us 560 cu ft for the $1820. When we used 720 cu ft, we got slammed with a higher price for that “extra” 190 cu ft.

In all, they charged us $3.75 per CF, and $5.75 for the extra CF (when all other CF quotes were between $2.15-$3.00 per CF.) Also, they charged us $530 for packing materials which consisted of 12 boxes and packaging tape, and a “dish packing fee” to put our bagged pots and pans into a box. When the truck was all packed, they movers said that the price was now $3200, not the “binding estimate” of $1800. We then found out was binding for weight…no matter how much it weighed, it would cost the same…but we’d have to pay extra for added volume. While at the storage unit as the movers packed, we tossed out dressers, mattresses, garbage bags full of linens and clothes, etc to make take down the amount of space used. We were supposed to pay half in cash at pick up, and half on delivery. We only had $1100 available to pay, so we have to wire them another $700 before they will ship it out to Utah. Our treasures will sit in a warehouse in Arkansas until we have paid half of the balance. Then we have to figure out the other half upon delivery. Hopefully we’ll get some cash for Christmas.

I have already submitted several comparable quotes I had obtained from various other companies to the manager at Moving 1 (and the “going rate” per CF obviously is nowhere near as expensive as Moving 1). I’ve also spoken with the manager of the dispatching trucking company to request an itemized bill for packaging materials, and will get rates from other movers to see how much our crew overcharged us. If the trucking company doesn’t help resolve this fiasco, we can go to small claims court over it. If we win, we’ll only have to pay about $200 out of what we recover. I am willing to fight, because I have no other choice.

With all of our interstate moves over the last 5 years, we’ve had varying luck with companies. We had something similar happen to us when we moved from California to Michigan, and luckily my in-laws bailed us out. Our Utah to California move was spot on with ABF U-Pack, and I wish we’d gone with them again. Our Michigan to Georgia move was fairly close to the estimate, but the movers took so long to move it out that we talked them into hiring a crew to unpack the truck for us for free. I’ll post an update on what happens with the GA to UT move as soon as we have any answers.

Merry Christmas, right?