My mother contacted A Plus Van Lines and spoke with their salesman Joey in November of 2008 on behalf of myself for a move from MI to GA. My mother told him that though she did not know how much stuff I had, I had once lived in a two bedroom apartment. All of that stuff (no furniture) was now stored in her basement. The original estimate was $600.00 for them to pick up (MI), drive (gas included) and unload (GA).
When I returned to MI just before Thanksgiving I spoke with Joey and gave him an ESTIMATE of 30 boxes. I told him that everything was previously packed and stored in my parents basement. I told him that I was counting a large moving box the same way that I was counting a toaster. He said that was fine as it was an estimate. At the time we also discussed two glass tables which were stored at a secondary location. I informed him that I was trying to move them from location two to my parents residence so that the movers would only need to make one stop. He indicated that their company would be happy to pick them up and box them for me at no additional cost. Several times Joey and I discussed the cost and I was given a price of $850.00. This $850.00 was to include the following: pick up at two locations, packing of the two tables, transport and gas from Michigan to Georgia and unloading of the items at my new residence.
Several times I inquired as to how the price could increase when the movers got to my house. Each time I was assured that this was a firm price. I was not concerned about the $250.00 rise in cost, as my mother had no idea how much stuff was down there. I was also assured that they were both licensed and insured.
Moving pick up was scheduled for early afternoon 12pm-2pm on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I needed it to be as close to 5pm as possible as that is when I would have access to the 2nd location. So when they were late I was relieved, not concerned. When the movers had not arrived by 6, I began to get irritated as I had not heard from them.
I went to the 2nd location to await their arrival and my parents and aunt waited at home. They were to pick the items up from home first and then from the 2nd location. During my conversations with the drivers starting around 6pm they indicated they were unaware of a 2nd location. I indicated that I had spoken with several people and they were all aware of the 2nd location so I did not see how that would be lost on the drivers.
Around 8:00 pm I made contact with the drivers and they indicated that they were still an hour from me and wanted to know if they could move the pick up to the following morning. I told them that would be fine on the items at my house, however they would need to remove the tables from the 2nd location that evening.
They arrived around 9:00pm. Before packing the tables (A glass coffee table and glass end table that are extordinarily heavy, very valuable and not replaceable) I was informed that there would be a charge for packing those items and that would be due to them tonight or they would not be packing them. An argument between the drivers and I ensued and they contacted their supervisor. According to what the driver told me (the 2nd call placed to the supervisor gave a different version) is that I would need to pay the charges or they would neither pack nor move the tables. When I insisted that the driver call back and let me speak with the manager I was told that the charge would be added to the bill and that I could argue it with the salesman after the holiday. I agreed and the tables were packed. The tables were hauled away.
They arrived around 10:00am (4 hours late) to my parents house on Thanksgiving morning. We were generous and offered food and drink to them. I observed them repacking some of my items into moving boxes (all of my items were packed by me when I moved into my parents house in 2000/2002, they were all subsequently re packed by me just before the move in 2008. All of my items were in good condition, and unbroken. Any item that might be fragile or breakable was packed to ensure to the hightest degree of certaintity that it would arrive in GA safely.
The movers tagged right off the bat 30 boxes. Then I was told that if I wanted the remaining items to be taken it would be $5.88 per cubic foot. When asked what the cost would be I was told (after the driver calculated it that it would be about $260.00) Please note: when they measured the cubic feet they neither stacked the items neatly in a pile or piled them floor to ceiling they were measured as they lay haphazardly on the garage floor. While any one person can assume that there would be an additional charge for extra items it was never relayed to me how the extra charges would be incurred. (Due to a work conference, a holiday and a funeral the contract remained unopened in my email until December 7,2008). Though pissed, I okayed the additional charge.
As I signed off on the contract the driver explained the different sections. I signed off that I would need Postal Money Order or Cash to retrieve my belongings. (I had already made a $400.00 deposit). I was told that the next box was to sign off on them having insurance coverage. I signed off on the document, without the full understanding of what I signed.
Had I read this paragraph more carefully or trusted my driver a little less I would have known that I was signing off on the full replacement value and my items if they reached GA broken would not be covered because they were 99% packed by me. The items (tables) which were packed by the moving company would only be replaced at .60 per pound (government rate on weight not actual weight). The remaining section was crossed out I was told that this pertained to items packed by them and since my items were not packed by them, this did not pertain to me. Had I read the section that I believed did not pertain to me I would have known that there again was a full replacement value on items and that I was entitled to.
When signing the document about pickup I did not notice that I had signed off that I had received and read the booklet: Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move and pamphlet Ready To Move. I have neither received nor been provided either of these documents.
My final bill came to $1314.00 a full $464.00 more than the promised price.
I had to argue to get the reduction on the packing costs, which was eventually eliminated. I was given the run around by almost every person in the company. I was told that a high level manager would call me back, and no call was received. I was told that my stuff would either be delivered Friday, Saturday or Sunday (weekend of December 6, 2008). According to the dispatch manager my truck sat in a garage in North Carolina for lord knows how many days before my stuff was delievered. A 5:30 in the morning on the day my stuff was delievered (December 11, 2008) they called my mom in Michigan to say that I was not answering my phone in Georgia (that was a lie, because they were not calling me).
When they delievered my stuff it was raining, boxes were left sitting in the rain while they attempted to bring them inside. My large plastic storage container which housed collectible barbies and other dolls was broken and the doll boxes were wet. Paper items were left sitting in the rain in cardboard. To my disgust the only items which were packed by this so called professional moving service were broken when they arrived. The tables which have a full value unknown to me at this time but estimated to be worth over $1500.00 are either chipped, broken or totally destroyed. These tables have been moved at least 3 times, all un packed and have been unscathed each time are now in pieces on my dining room floor. I am told that basically they will be worth whatever the Federal Governments says their weight is regardless of actual weight and am told there is basically nothing that I can do about it.
I do not know what name this company is going by: A Plus Van Lines (1920 Tigertail Dania Beach, FL 33004 www.aplusvanlines.com) Chicago Moving Systems (7007 N. Austin Avenue Niles, IL 60714) or the name which appears on the caller ID which I don't recall of either Moving Made Easy or Easy Moving. But they are not to be trusted. They are dispicable, disgusting and shady. I will pursue the value of my tables and an end result that hopefully will be satisfying to myself. At the least I will make sure that they lose something which is more valuable to them than my tables were to me and that is future business.
I should have known better, I should have listened closer, I should have read more clear or understood better, I should have asked for clarification and promises in writing. If I knew then what I know now I would two tables in my living room instead of in pieces on my dining room floor. The bottom line is KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, because I didn't know mine and I just got burned.
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