My wife and I relocated to San Diego from St. Louis in June. We contracted with Advanced Moving Systems to pack and move our apartment, and to ship one car. This was arranged through Odelia Vale. She no longer works for AMS, but I've seen her name on some complaints coming from Atlanta, GA recently.
Our original estimate was $8,044. This included Shipping the car, and making an extra stop to pick up a piano. It even included a $95 "special piano handling fee". The quote reads "Price includes: Labor, gas, tax, tolls, mileage, insurance, and full protection of all your furniture with blankets and pads 7 FULLY PACKING YOUR HOME USING ALL OF THE NECESSARY SUPPLIES..."
The truck was scheduled to arrive at 9:00 am Wed. 6/12/02. At noon, I recieved a call from the driver, Itay, asking for directions. An hour later they still weren't there. When they finally arrived (2:00) we found out that 2 of the 3 movers were temps hired from Labor Ready. Not at all the "professionals" we were promised. Before Itay would begin moving anything he insisted I sign a valuation clause on the contract. When I resisted, he said that they would leave if it wasn't signed.
The "packing" was haphazard at best. My wife walked out to see our new white couch being dragged across the ground on its side. After the truck was half full, we were told that we had used the estimated volume. They hadn't even begun to move the large furniture. I reviewed the estimate with the "foreman" Itay. He agreed that everything waqs listed, but insisted that it would cost more money. We were forced to agree. Finally at 10:00 pm, we were able to head to the second place to pick up the piano.
I had to insist on floor protection to avoid cracking tile as the piano was moved. We insisted to no avail that bankets be put around the piano, and that tape not be directly attached to it. I also had to help move it as the two from Labor Ready were too tired to do any more than grunt at that point. With Itay and his two boys on one end and me on the other, we got the piano to the liftgate on the truck. It would not lift the piano, so we had to lift the piano to allow the liftgate to raise. Once the piano was on the truck, they did little to secure it, despite my instructions and requests.
With that I begrudgingly tipped the three and watched them drive off. At midnite we recieved a call from Itay saying that his wallet had been stolen, and he didn't have his visa (he is an Israeli), his driver's license or money. I now believe that this was a ploy to get more money out of us, but when we balked, he said that he would go look for it. The next day, we received a call from him telling us that he'd found his wallet.
Our posessions were scheduled to be delivered on 6/19/02. When I started calling to confirm this, I was repeatedly put on hold for up to 47 minutes.I spoke with Sophie, Tommy, and "the dispatcher". All were rude and unhelpful. I learned that our things were in storage in Texas.
Finally on July 9, 2002 I received a call from "Don". He was from "Moving Express", and wanted to deliver the stuff that afternoon. I told him that it had to be the next day since I was working, and he agreed. He also said that he was concerned because it appeared that our belongings were "thrown" into storage in TX.
Don and Leonard arrived on time at the storage locker where most of our belongings will be stored until we buy a home. The truck they were driving had no license plates and they insisted that they didn't know of or have anything to do with Advanced Moving Systems.
We video taped the entire unloading, documenting the damage to EVERY PIECE of furniture that we own. We also documented the lackof care used in packing, and handling our things. Through it all, Don and Leonard were patient and quite careful with our things.
We are now working on claim calculations for all of the damage. While I don't think much will come of it, I remain hopeful that justice will prevail.
Someone (all of us) needs to stop this from happening again.
San Diego, California Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Advanced Moving Systems