- Report: #210532
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: AAA Countrywide Van Lines - Countrywide Van Lines
AAA Countrywide Van Lines - Countrywide Van Lines155 51st Street Brooklyn, New York U.S.A.
AAA Countrywide Van Lines - Countrywide Van Lines Extortion for moving, stolen personal property ripoff Brooklyn New York
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We informed Tom that we lived on a 4th Floor walkup in Boston and would need 3 months storage over the summer. He ensured us that all of this would be covered in the set fee, based on the weight of our goods.
When our movers arrived in Boston, they promptly asked where the elevator was located. Upon hearing that there was no elevator (as we had verified twice with Tom), they became very upset and called the company on the phone. Of the two movers, both Russian, one spoke little English and the other was the "business" guy. They came up to our apartment about an hour later, and then the business guy declared within one minute that we had underestimated the amount of goods that we had to move, and that we would have to pay an additional amount based on the cubic feet we would be storing.
When we challenged his estimate, he said that he was the one who made the determination, and that we could either pay more or they wouldn't move us. He did give us the choice of paying $500 officially (the "company way," as he put it) or $300 cash ("his way"), directly to him. He refused to sign a paper indicating that we were paying the additional amount. Having to leave the next day, we (foolishly) paid the $300.
The movers, again Russian with a business guy and a guy who spoke little English, arrived 3 hours late when delivering our furniture in D.C. That didn't stop them from immediately trying to negotiate a big tip upon delivery (before they had moved anything - again claiming that going up one flight of stairs was "extra"), or trying to charge us an additional $170 for storage. Luckily, we had a signed contract indicating that storage was included, and called the police when they attempted to hold our belongings in the truck before securing additional payment from us. The central office agreed to charge us what they had actually agreed to previously, and the movers began to deliver our belongings as the police arrived.
As we unpacked, we not only found that several items were broken (including an entire box of dishes) or seriously damaged, including an antique wooden desk that had not been wrapped at all, but that a DVD player and digital phone had been stolen. Other items were moved into those boxes to make us "forget" about the items, and the boxes were re-taped shut. A backgammon set not belonging to us was placed in a box where the phone had been.
Of course, this means that our "movers" had likely sorted through a good deal of our boxes to see where the stealable/saleable merchandise was. The loss of the electronics was bad, but the sense of violation and thought of how much more could have been lost was much worse
When I called Tom to complain about the theft, he promptly cut me off his line, oddly having much less patience and good humor than he did at the beginning of our move. I wrote a letter to the head of sales but have little hope of recovering any of our losses. The company is good at paying attention when it counts, and then using their leverage to their fullest advantage against their customers. I would avoid them at all costs.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/12/2006 07:19 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/AAA-Countrywide-Van-Lines-Countrywide-Van-Lines/Brooklyn-New-York/AAA-Countrywide-Van-Lines-Countrywide-Van-Lines-Extortion-for-moving-stolen-personal-pr-210532. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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