• Report: #495339

Complaint Review: Air 1 Moving And Storage

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  • Submitted: Tue, September 15, 2009
  • Updated: Wed, September 16, 2009

  • Reported By: Brandon — Salisbury North Carolina USA
Air 1 Moving And Storage
11255 Vanowen Street North Hollywood, California United States of America

Air 1 Moving And Storage, Air 1 damage disorganized inarticulate confused demanding incompetent unprofessional novice North Hollywood, California

* : Consumer Protection? For The Moving Industry?

* : Regarding Jim's remark

* : Forget Your $2,000 Claim

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As of today, September 14, 2009, I have sent via UPS my claim form to them claiming nearly $ 2,000 in damages that I've been able to spot; others may still be undetected.  These stemmed from a totally indiscriminate disregard for personal belongings.  It's because of companies as this one that movers in general get such a bad rap.

After requesting quotes from several movers online in late June 2009 for a move from California to North Carolina, an Air 1 Moving & Storage account manager named Holly called me with a quote, which was initially $ 1,800 for the goods I claimed.  Only after I verbally went over all of my belongings did the price jump to around $ 3,300.  Still less than others, I contracted to do business with them. 

Holly assured me of how I would "love her company" because they are such professionals (the on-hold messaging states how they're experts in piano and antique moves ... we'll get to that in a moment).  I called her a few times prior to the date of the move to follow up on some things, and she never remembered who I was, where I was moving, and I ALWAYS had to leave my phone number again and again; they're terribly disorganized.  I expressed frustration and concern that they never remembered who I was, and again it was, "Oh, I'm going to make sure you love us so much, etc." 

Move date arrives: I've already paid $ 672 of the cost on my credit card as a downpayment.  They wanted half of the remainder, so I give them an official check for around $ 1,300.  The original moving team did a pretty good job, I must give them credit.  Air 1 stored my goods for a month in their warehouse (presumably) in CA until I called for them. 

They then hired a separate company -- a red truck from NJ with an Allied Van Lines trailer behind it to come cross-county.  The driver was an older gentleman who spoke some Scandanavian language I couldn't understand.  His partner was a very VERY slightly framed youngster (maybe 130 pounds) who spoke in an Asian tongue, and I'm not sure they understood each other ... I understood neither of them !   In any event, my goods were in the middle (front-to-back) of this 53-foot trailer.  They couldn't put a ramp and unload my things with handtrucks, etc. like normal people.  They unloaded everything totally by hand, furniture and all.   Oh, they demanded $ 1,500 in cash before opening the doors, by the way.

All told, I have substantial damage to the legs on my brand new grand piano (I haven't yet unwrapped the actual piano), bedroom and office furniture, mattress, there is a box totally missing.  Plus, first thing that happened when they opened the trailer door is that a full box of expensive books from all over the world fell on the asphalt and busted the spines on all of them. 

There is some nonsense on this "bill of landing" (I swear, it's spelled that way, it isn't spelled "bill of lading") about there being a maximum of a $0.60 per pound liability exposure they have on goods in shipment.  I want to make it CLEAR that I did NOT agree to that; the original driver wrote that on the document and I was not briefed on what that meant.   Holly kept assuring me over the phone they have "a million dollar minimum" of coverage from their insurance company, etc. 

Finally, when this move took place, cash or certified check was demanded at the outset, and I was asked to sign all these documents in haste.  Consider the inside of your house when you move: the furniture is in disarray, boxes litter the floor, nothing is in the place it "normally" is, and you don't have adequate time to read and understand these documents.  Further complicating matters is that the initial movers / driver ALL spoke Spanish and extremely little English at all. 

I would NEVER recommend this fly-by-night operation.  Ever !!!!   I had to call THREE times to get a claim form sent to me.  When it arrived, it looked like a copy of a fax of a copy of a blank claim form that they had been using for 20 years; barely legible.  Anyhow, the claim has been forwarded to them via UPS today.   Check back soon, and I'll have an update on the status.  

No one should ever have to contend with this.   Please do yourself a favor and stay far, far away from Air 1 Moving & Storage !

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/15/2009 04:00 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Air-1-Moving-And-Storage/North-Hollywood-California-91605/Air-1-Moving-And-Storage-Air-1-damage-disorganized-inarticulate-confused-demanding-incomp-495339. 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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Consumer Protection? For The Moving Industry?

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

Are you kidding?  BKK, there is none.  The laws may be there but the enforcement hardly exists.  Do you know the number of people assigned to oversee interstate moves in the Federal Government?  It is now less than 3 people.  That leaves the poor honest customer (as you put it) scammed.  This scam happens to thousands of people each year, yet it was our government in the late 1970's that decided to do away with enforcement (the Interstate Commerce Commission) of the industry.  It has been the wild west ever since.  Complaining to the FMCSA or even the DOT will register the complaint...but little to nothing really happens.

The Carmack Amendment was initially created to protect railroads from additional liability in transporting articles.  The amendment was then extended to include, among others, moving companies a few decades later.  Courts have ruled the Carmack Amendment as enforceable against the consumer seeking additional monies from moving companies for damages to their goods.  The only courts I've seen anyone collect from a moving company is small claims, but only because the mover messed up and didn't bring the contract to prove his case.  In the case of the OP, the mover will only pay on $0.60 per pound.

If you signed any document it will be enforced against you, whether you knew what it was or not.  There are a number of documents you will be forwarded as a part of the move process to sign.  It isn't a fraudulently signed document if you signed it; let's be clear about that.  Insofar as it relates to fraud, there has to be intent.  There is no way you can prove fraudulent intent in a court because your signature is on the documents.  The judge would tell you that it's your responsibility to read all of the documents you sign.

There is a reason why people should research anything they aren't sure about and moving is one of those things.   Choosing the wrong mover will cost you more than you could ever imagine.

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Regarding Jim's remark


OK, true, I did initially get quotes from companies who advertise online.  When they called, I did ask them if they come to my house to view the goods.  I've moved in the past and that has happened. 

Nevertheless, what has happened to consumer protection in this country ???  Are the laws designed to protect the miscreants who violate them ??   And the poor honest paying consumer is left in the cold, with damaged personal belongings in this case.  And what is this "Carmack Amendment" ??   How can a company of any kind, moving or otherwise, falsify a document and it be legally enforceable ??  I know I signed the thing, although there was no communication at all regarding what I signed.

This is fraud in its rawest form.

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Forget Your $2,000 Claim

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

The most you will ever receive on your claim is the $0.60 per pound valuation on the Bill of Lading; you agreed to it whether you like it or not.  You have no recourse and no choice but to accept that.  You can't even sue them in court for more because of a Federal law called the Carmack Amendment which limits a moving company's liability to whatever the contract states; even if they were negligent, the courts have limited the mover's liability, and your ability to collect.  The valuation of $0.60 per pound is standard for all movers; the reputable movers in the industry out there offer more - the others do not.  You did not select a reputable mover - and unfortunately you have no one to blame for that except yourself.

Your biggest mistake was to select movers online; there are several websites that advise consumers on how to avoid the pitfalls of moving - the number one step is to avoid online movers.  Almost every scam mover is online and they always lowball a quote without taking one look at what you have.  A reputable mover would come to your home, see what it is you have to move, and then give you a quote that won't increase.  It may be more than what your comfortable in paying, but since reputable movers only make 5%-7% on a move, you are getting a quote inline with the cost to perform the same move.  If you get a quote that's 50% less, you will end up paying a whole lot more in the end.

Moving is not an inexpensive venture and choosing the cheapest mover will often result in the most expensive move possible in terms of final cost, delayed delivery, broken items, broken promises, hassles, and heartaches.  You just found out what this means by choosing an online mover; focusing on this one alone won't matter because they won't be in business more than a couple of years before they change names and start clean....

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