My experience began in August of 2012. I hired 1-800-pack-rat to move and store my belongings while I transitioned from San Diego, CA to college in Texas. I knew I was going to be living with my mother and a friend for a while until I was able to afford the final move, so I arranged for my pod to go directly into storage until I was ready for it to be delivered. Everything went reasonably well through out the move and the first month of storage. My first storage payment was supposed to be charged to my banking account on October 1st.
When it didn't come out, I called to confirm that they had the right card information. The representative assured me that they did and that they did not show a balance owed. I told her that that was incorrect. She put me on hold and checked her records and again confirmed that I did not owe anything. I was very nervous about letting the conversation end at that point, because I didn't want them to process late fees or worse confiscate my possessions in the pod. I asked her what their process was for payments that don't go through. She confirmed that I would receive a call immediately and that I would continue to receive phone calls until the payment was made. I asked her to make a record of my call and hung up.
On November 1st a payment was processed correctly on my account. On December 1st a payment was correctly processed on my account. However on January 1st, a payment again was not processed. I waited for a call, but never received one. I took their representative's advice and did not worry about it. February's payment was processed on February 1st. On March 1st, I received a phone call and I knew why they were calling. My card had been stolen and I had not yet updated my card information in the 1-800-pack-rat records.
When I spoke to the gentleman he asked if I also wanted him to charge the two back payments to the card. I immediately knew what he was referring to and tried to tell him the story. Joseph Lopez was very condescending and rude. He continually heckled me and refused to acknowledge anything I was saying. He also said that my card was declined. At this point I knew he was lying. I have an account with overdraft protection. It would have processed through with any overdraft under $1000.00. At this point I asked to speak to his manager. The conversation lasted approximately 8 minutes.
His manager called me a couple of hours later and during a 15 minute phone conversation I relayed the previous circumstances and my anger and frustration with his billing representative's attitude. Eric Jones (the Billing Manager) gave me a follow up call on March 5th telling me that he was looking for all records involving my account and also that he was searching for the recordings of the phone conversations. While frustrated with the time it was taking to resolve this issue, I understood. During the call I also made my March payment. During March, I was also orchestrating my move to my own place and my returning to college.
I had scheduled my last day to be on March 22nd at my job and I would be relocating on March 23rd. I knew 1-800-pack-rat required about 5 days to orchestrate delivery so I planned on calling Eric on Monday March 18th for a resolution to the issue if he hadn't contacted me yet and to set up delivery of my pod. On Friday March 15th, 10 days after my 2nd conversation with Eric, Joseph called me to inform me that Eric had listened to the conversation and was willing to waive one of the unprocessed payments. I told him thank you for calling and requested a follow up call from Eric on Monday March 18th.
The phone call from Joseph instead of Eric upset me. I have worked in customer service for a very long time. In an issue such as this when the company is in the wrong, the manager should ALWAYS call with the resolution. The resolution should be brought about in a prompt and courteous fashion. When the manager asks the representative, who was rude and escalated the frustration in the first place, to return the call with their solution, they are saying either they don't care about your point of view or they are just really bad at customer service. Both of which do not help my cause. I waited till noon on Monday before I called Eric directly.
Joseph began by telling me he was in a meeting, but Eric answered when he sent me to Eric's voicemail. He informed me that he was willing to waive one of the payments because the customer service rep I spoke to in October, did say my account was not due. He said that I would have to pay the January payment. I said that while I did not agree with the circumstances and did not agree that I owed either payment, I would agree to make one payment. It was a compromise, and I understand that compromises are part of life. I explained that I was carefully budgeted and would be unable to make that payment until mid April. He told me that I would be unable to access my pod until that payment was made. I told him that it wasn't right to punish me for their errors.
He said that I knew I had a payment to make and didn't make them. I told him that A)I had the money set aside for 2 weeks each time waiting for the payment to process but it never did and B)That I have proof from my bank that a payment was never attempted. I also told him that I did try to remedy this situation in October and it wasn't corrected. He said that is why they are waiving the October payment. He said that if I had called with the same issue in January then that payment would have been resolved also. I said so you are telling that I would've had to call to make sure you were doing your job for this to be your fault? He said yes. At this point I requested to speak to his manager. He spent 3 minutes trying to talk me out of it, but I refuse to speak to someone who says that it's my job as the customer to make sure he is doing his job.
So here I am waiting on a phone call from the VP of Operations or the Fleet Manager and I am very upset. Eric said he would ask one of the two to call me, but refused to give me a time frame. As of now I am very doubtful that will happen. 1-800-pack-rat refuses to work with me on a payment after delivery for an issue within their office, and I am unable to access my possessions until I make the payment or until I speak to a supervisor. I have no doubt they will try to push this into April so that I have to make a payment for that month as well.
My course of action is to call Eric's direct line twice a day until a supervisor gets back to me. If I do make this payment, just to get my stuff back, I will attempt my very best to make sure that I receive some type of recompensation. Pushing the cost of the mistakes of the business onto the client is immoral and a terrible business practice.
My suggestion, if you are dealing with this company, is to call at every small issue and ask for a note to be placed on the account. If you can, don't use them. Any company that is not only unwilling to correct an issue that was their fault nor be apologetic about it, is not an honest company. The amount of time they take to correct issues is also ridiculous and insulting. I am at 18 days so far, without a resolution in site.
I still wonder if they would have ever even have known they made a mistake if I called and corrected my card information ahead of time.
UPDATE: I received a call from a "supervisor" named Kent at 4:45 on March 18th. I am not convinced that he was even a supervisor. Eric gave me two names of the people who might call, and neither of them were Kent. He listened to the entire situation. Then said sorry. That's it. When I requested that they work out a payment plan with me, he said they can't do that. I told him "while I appreciate you commiserating with me, you are still saying sorry and handing me poop."
In other words, I'm still VERY disappointed with this company. Offering me your continued service instead of fixing the issue is not a resolution, it's a pacifier.