• Report: #437061

Complaint Review: America Van Lines

  • Submitted: Tue, March 24, 2009
  • Updated: Sat, June 18, 2011

  • Reported By:Maggie Valley North Carolina
America Van Lines
10711 Red Run Blvd. #108 Owings Mills, Maryland U.S.A.

America Van Lines Moving Co. Scam, Company exhorted belongings for payment, Double cost fo move, decietful business pratice Owings Mills Maryland

*Consumer Comment: I Wouldn't Trust the BBB Either

*Consumer Comment: Just Plain Devastated

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Officer Armstrong with the 5 District of Courts. Fugitive Recovery Division.

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Mr. Avraham is a crook

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Mad Maven

*Author of original report: American Van Lines doesn't make sense with rebuttal

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: America Van Lines

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This company, America Van Lines, is not to be trusted. After they had my belongings loaded on the truck I was informed that what was supposed to have cost me $2100 had now doubled to over $4000. Here is what happened.

I contracted America Van Lines on Feb. 20 to move my belongings from a 10 x 20 storage unit in Maryland to North Carolina. I told them that the storage unit was full and tried to navigate there online inventory list. Not an easy feat as the list is extremely confusing with many items listed multiple times in multiple ways. I was given an estimate for the move of sightly over $2100. Included in this estimate was $150 for packing, so I though I had that covered. I checked the company out on the internet and thought they were reputable. How mistaken I was. I agreed to pay them $432 for a deposit and thought we were ready to go.

The crew showed up for the move on time, and I thought this is going to go great. I was mistaken. My first clue should have been when I was told that I would be renting the moving blankets from them at $4.00 each. I didn't think they would need that many blankets right? Wrong, apparently I needed 32 blankets at a cost of $128. I was trapped at that point as I needed to move and couldn't run around trying to find blankets. I wish I had, I could have gotten them from Penske for $15 a dozen. This was just the beginning.

After the truck was loaded the Crew foreman had me sign a revised estimate for the cost of moving. It now has a cost of $458.00 for packing. What happened to the $150 etimate? Apparently I was not only paying for the moving blankets but I was now paying for 30 rolls of tape @ $5.00 per roll. I was never told that I would be paying for the box of tape that they brought out. Have you ever priced a roll of tapeits a heck of a lot cheaper than $5.00 per roll. I also paid $20 for a wardrobe box and other boxes as well. To say that this is price gouging is to put it mildly. Still this is just the beginning.

After I sign the change in estimate, the foreman informs me that I have used more cu. ft. than estimated and that he would have to call the office to get a new price. He then informs me that the cost of the move is now over $4000. Apparently he is a trained professional and he has now estimated the wait of the move to be almost double the estimate. If he is such a professional why couldn't he have estimated the difference while my belongings were still in a confined storage space? It gets even better.

I inform the company that I do not have $4000 for the move and to take my belongings off the truck. I am informed at that point that it will cost me $1600 to have them remove the items from the truck and place them in the parking lot of the storage facility. Are you kidding me? I am a single woman, how am I supposed to move everything back into the storage unit? I tried to come to some kind of agreement with the moving company. They very graciously offered to let me make payments on the amount over the next 30 days while they kept my belongings in storage. It took me a long time to come up with $2000, how was I expected to come up with another $2000 in 30 days? The moving company finally ended up taking the truck with my belongings on board back to their facility. Oh yes, they also to all copies of the contracts with them. So I did not have a copy of any paper work.

America Van Lines then informs me that I have 30 days to come up with the funds for the move or they will begin to auction off my belongings. I ask them to mail me a copy of all the paperwork/contracts. When I receive them I find that I had somehow agreed to the new estimate of $4086 while the contracts where in their control. It's amazing how that happened. I tried to come to some sort of agreement with them to get my items back but they were unwilling to negotiate any sort of agreement. I finally ended up paying $1759 for the luxury of bringing a truck to there facility and loading it up. That's right the cost went up due to storage costs. I would also have to bring blankets so that they would have there gold plated ones back (gotten at Pensle for $15 per dozen). The interesting part in this is they told me I would need a 26' truck and that I would have to be very careful in how I loaded it because they weren't sure it would all fit. I ended up with extra space. So much for their ability to estimate space and weight.

This has been the most horrendous experience of my life. The emotional blackmail that they use is tremendous. The fact that companies can get away with this type of extortion is amazing. Do not trust America Van Lines. They are running a scam and you may be the next victim.

Mad maven
Maggie Valley, North Carolina

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/24/2009 09:12 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/America-Van-Lines/Owings-Mills-Maryland-21117/America-Van-Lines-Moving-Co-Scam-Company-exhorted-belongings-for-payment-Double-cost-fo-437061. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

I Wouldn't Trust the BBB Either

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

Their comment about getting 3 quotes is only good if you find two or three reputable movers.  But if you started hunting online, you're chances will be that you'll find no one reputable to service your move and all will low-ball you.  The trick is to do your research online.

The BBB is notorious for giving companies ratings they don't deserve and this site goes far more into detail than I will here.  The BBB once gave a mover with more than 800 complaints in 36 months a rating of A-.  Meanwhile, it gave a reputable mover with less than 5% that number of complaints in the same period...a D.  Why?  One pays membership fees - the other doesn't.

Obviously, the person who advertises himself as a police officer should also know there is nothing the officer can do to stop a scam mover.  A scam mover and the shippper signed a legal contract and interference in a scam move by the police officer could result in trouble for the officer and the city the officer represents.

Scam movers will cease to exist when people actually understand that moving is not an inexpensive venture.  Reputable movers make about 3%-5% profit on every move.  If a reputable mover quotes you a price, and an internet mover quotes one-half that (or less), chances are you're about to be scammed if you decide to go cheap.  Cheap moves always end up costing far more in lost items, lost time, damaged or destroyed goods, and frustration beyond belief and there is nothing you can do about it.  If a reputable mover quotes you a price you believe is too expensive, consider doing the move yourself.  If you can't...pay the price.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Just Plain Devastated

AUTHOR: 85224 - (United States of America)

David I have read your rebuttals on multiple sites and you try to defend your company in a manner that says that you and your company are
always right and everyone is wrong, lying on your company, misleading the readers, etc.

Ser vice dates: pick up 6/2/11 delivered 6/11/11 at 5pm Herndon VA to Chandler AZ

As a recent client, I am going to add my input because I am currently going through the issues with your company which has lost two 4ft tall wardrobe boxes.

Let me start with the comments that you made about how you are operating within the legal limits that is indicated in the documents that
your customers signed and that the BBB has agreed that your company is
operating within the legal guidelines and parameters set by your documents.

Yes I agree your drivers did show up on the date we agreed, 6/2 to pick up our furniture. Problem here is the on the spot shakedown. When you have discussed with the customer an estimated amount the customer is
assuming $100-1000.00 dollars maybe, of an adjustment to pay for any additional items..but reasonably who has 2000.00-3000.00 extra dollars for adjustments. Any con artist knows the laws and how to get around the laws and still operate within the legal limits but why not do things a little on the up and up.

 BBB  suggests that when looking for movers that you never go with companies that just do quotes over the phone. That the prudent
person should receive in home estimates so that they would have a more accurate amount. Does your company do in home estimates as a standard? No. If this is done and at that time of the in home estimate you discover that the estimate over the phone is 2100.00 but the in home estimate is 4500.00 that is fair because at that time the customer can decide to get another estimate or find the money to pay your company. But to give the additional estimate as in home, on the spot, when the movers are there and have already placed the majority of your belongings on the truck to leave you stuck on the spot with the decision to either pay the rest or pay to have it removed is not fair.

BBB suggests consumers to get 3 quotes. How can you say that you are fairly competing with other companies when you will probably ensure a
lower rate because your rate is not really accurate when a more thorough
company will go into the home and tell the person a more accurate rate at that time. True enough all consumers are looking for the best deal but when your company is not dealing with an honest hand you will get more clients but you will have more disappointed clients.

Lastly, I am glad that you feel that you can send these rebuttal comments but in all fairness when you are not the customer who has been dissatisfied with the services be it the cost, damages, and any other issues that your clients are dealing with, I would rather you sound more humble and reach out to try to help those customers. I have seen your posts that advise
for the people to contact you and you will see what you can do. However I am positive that they did reach out to you and to no avail and the final result was them venting on these different ripoff or complaint websites. I am one who tried to reach out to you via email per the conversation I had with your dispatcher. I realize you are busy but I know that the damaged items and the lost clothes should have been a priority. As I am typing to you I have just received a call from a claims specialist. 

This is good after 5 days of following up on my lost items. Sadly my
husband and I put our trust with our furniture, our wedding gifts,  our clothes, our livelihood in your hands, with the hopes that it would be delivered safely from Herndon VA to Chandler AZ. This move was a relocation to my husbands new employer and I have been devastated
by your services.

  Still saddened by your services,

Paula K
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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Officer Armstrong with the 5 District of Courts. Fugitive Recovery Division.

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

As a police officer I am sure that you are aware of the meaning of defamation of character.  You are not a judge and jury to say who is wrong or right without knowing all the facts (which you obviously not aware of). It would be in your best interest to retract your comment on this website or provide me with your lawyer information. 


Kfir David Avraham

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#4 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Mr. Avraham is a crook

AUTHOR: Officer - (United States of America)

To all that read this Mr. Avraham is a crook in my opinion. My name is Officer Armstrong with the 5 District of Courts. Fugitive Recovery Division. Mr. Avraham made wrong quotes in his statement and I would like to clarify what his comments were made about me. For one there was no badge that was so-called "Flashed". I did wear a badge on my belt to represent who I was and was there in a capacity to insure that there was no more wrong doing by his company. Fortunately for him that this is a civil matter but in my belief this is really a criminal matter on what his company practices.

 I challange Mr. Avraham to make untrue quote's about myself again and I won't be as forgiving as his client was. I suggest to all not to use this company unless they change how they do business and if by chance you do use this company PLEASE make sure all documentation is clearly looked over before you ever do business with this company. As they say a snake is always ready to strike. As I had suggested to his client before she made the mistake of hiring this company was to have her friends move it with a ryder moving truck. That way she is sure to have all of her belongings transported in the most cost effected way that there is.

And I would like to repeat again in my opinion this company is very crooked. i just wish this client had more money to pursue legal action for I am very confident that she would prevail in court for their underhanded practices.

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#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Mad Maven

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

Mad Maven is a consumer that is refusing to accept the facts as they are. She is the only one who can explain to everyone why she agreed to the new price at start and then changed her mind afterwards. Not us.
Her body guard she is talking about was a security person in other website.
Again, We at America Van Line can show our paper work and prove our statement. We will no longer will response to MAD MAVEN complaint for we think that she have proved our points.
We have been in business for over 5 years and have not had any major issues with any of our customers like we have with MAD MAVEN.
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#6 Author of original report

American Van Lines doesn't make sense with rebuttal

AUTHOR: Mad Maven - (U.S.A.)

American Van Lines states it would use common sense but does not. Here is common sense - if they had given me the revised estimate prior to the loading of the truck, how did they know the exact amount of the moving supplies that were included? They knew that I would need 32 blankets and 30 rolls of tape? I don't think so. Common sense - why would I agree to a revised estimate of $4000 and then have an issue with it after the truck is loaded? Why would I then ask them to take my items off the truck? That does not make sense. The fact is that I was not presented with the revised estimate until after the truck was loaded. When it was given to me the ONLY item on it was the Moving Supplies. Their foreman then talked to the main office and came up with the adjusted price of over $4000. America Van Lines was in sole custody of the contract for days until I requested that I be mailed a copy. When I received it I found they had added to revised the amount.

As for everyone finding in their favor. The AMSA is moving and storage association funded by moving and storage companies. Little wonder they spent five minutes coming up with their conclusion without ever asking me for information. I have never been informed by the Better Business Bureau that this complaint has been settled. And the States Attorney's office is still investigating my claim, as a letter that I received today attests.

As for there other statements. I did not bring a fake cop with me when I picked up my belongings, he was a hired body guard as I am a single female and was afraid to pick up my items alone. I have statements from individuals who where present at the storage facility on the day of the move saying that I was not given the Revised estimate until AFTER the truck was loaded.

The FACT is that the foreman made a mistake on the day of the move and did NOT notify me of the adjusted estimate until after everything was on the truck. Had I been given the proper information prior to loading I would have thanked them for their time and found another way to move to North Carolina. I did not have to move that day. I did not have to be out of the storage unit that day or any day. I did not have to have my belongings in North Carolina by any date as they were going in another storage unit. It does not make sense that I would agreed to something that I could not afford. I would NOT have deliberately put myself through the hell that it turned into. Whether or not America Van Lines set out to scam me does not matter, what does matter is that they are not honest enough to accept responsibility for the mistakes of their employees. And filling items in on a contract after it is signed is just plain fraud. Beware when dealing with a company like this. My only hope is that others will be spared the same ordeal.

Unhappy Consumer.
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#7 REBUTTAL Owner of company

America Van Lines

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

This is the web site which every customer can get on and tell his/her experience with a company without having anything to back it up. America Van Line on the other hand can back up all of what we will say here and we will address the common sense of the people.
The customer has hired us to perform a move job for her to NC on Feb 20th. We have arrived on time to complete the job. The Forman, after reviewing the storage and the amount of item that was much more than the customer has informed us initially, had to do redo the contract as required and gave her a NEW BINDING ESTIMATE and the customer HAS SIGNED AND AGREED to the new contract with the new price. When the crew finished the loading and payment time came, customer has refused to pay saying it was more than the original estimate we gave her even though a new one was provided her. She wanted us to unload it back to the storage but customer has refused to pay for the labor involved for the reason she did not have the money. We ended up taking it back to our facility.
Customer had login few complaints with the AMSA(the moving associations) which have review the case, facts and paper work and has favored America Van Line, with the Attorney General, which has review the case, facts and paper work and has dismissed the case, with the BBB, which has done the same.
All the facts in this case that we have presented here we can back up and show all relevant paper work who ever wish to and can call us directly and the # below.
The customer will say that he has sworn affidavits from people but one of those people came to our warehouse with the customer to load up her belongings and told us he is a police officer and flashed us a fake badge.
David Avraham
Managing Manager
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