The self-proclaimed and named "Best Movers of America" (http://www.bestmoversofamerica.com) were anything but when they handled my 400-mile move last month. I had searched extensively for reviews and any red flags online before choosing this company. I found a couple short bad reviews lacking detail, one Better Business Bureau complaint, and numerous positive reviews, many of length. You can't please everyone, so that there were a couple bad reviews seemed to be more than balanced by the numerous good reviews. There was also that the good reviews had details and the bad ones where just a sentence or two that didn't say what the problem was.
The Best Movers of America [BMA] estimate came in below other estimates I had requested. They based their estimate on a property list that I submitted online where I chose from their list of items what I expected to transport. They said that they calculated the estimate based on average weight for furnishings and boxes of the type selected. The customer service rep I spoke to quoted me for 7000lbs and 7500lbs and suggested I go with the higher amount, just in case my things weighed more than the "typical" amount that their estimating program used. So, I went with the 7500lb price.
When received the actual print estimate, I noticed that 7500 lbs. was listed but that after it "1071 cu. ft." was listed in parentheses. I was concerned because that's just 10.23ft x 10.23ft x 10.23ft and that seemed low to me given all the things I had listed, which included several large furnishing (piano, sofa sleeper, armoire, washing machine, patio set, dinette set, etc.). I was assured that I would be charged by weight and not by volume. I was told that the movers would get a weigh bill on the way to my residence of origin at a DOT weigh station that would show their weight before loading and that they would have a second weigh bill after loading on their way to the destination residence.
Unfortunately, I did not ask to have that in writing and took the representative's word for it over the phone. I was also inclined to believe her because the contract listed weight first and in a larger font, whereas the volume listed was smaller and in parentheses.
I asked for an time or time-window that the movers would arrive and was told that they would come at 9 a.m. I said I would be there an hour before that, but would not be reachable by phone before 8 a.m. so I needed to be sure of their arrival time. I was assured it would be 9 or very close to it. They did not arrive until 2pm. I did not get notification of this until 10am when they were already late. It's not pleasant waiting in a packed-up house with nothing to do and nowhere to sit for 5 hours.
When they did arrive, they spent an hour on paperwork; then midway through loading it rained, so they stopped for an hour. It was a little after 6pm that they were finished loading. It was at this point that the lead mover told me I would owe an addition $700 because my thinks were a greater volume than what was on the contract. I said I was told that I would be charged based on weight. He said no, it's volume and is calculated based on where the loaded stuff comes to in the truck. That there are lines in the truck to indicate the volume to that point.
It was after hours, so no one answered at the main office when I tried to call customer service. My things were loaded. I felt I had no choice but to pay what he was asking for. AND he insisted that I pay in cash or money order, which meant I would not have any recourse to ask a bank to stop payment if customer service didn't resolve the issue later.
The movers told me they would be at the destination residence between 9 and 10am. Again, they were significantly late, arriving around 2:45pm. Again it rained, making it take longer. Again, I was waiting around with nothing to do and nowhere but the floor to sit for HOURS.
Needless to say, I tried to contact customer service ... many times. I tried email and phone and got no response until I sent an email saying I would pursue them legally and was going to see if the deposit made by credit card could be reversed (they allow credit card payment of the deposit, but require cash/money order for everything else).
When they did finally get in touch two weeks later, a man claiming to be the owner was the one who made contact. However, it is a different name listed as head of the company on the Florida Better Business Bureau website. Regardless of the man's title or position, he was incredibly rude, argumentative, insulting, and untruthful.
As a way to try and intimidate me, he would say that they recorded all phone calls and "For the record ..." and make some statement that was untrue either wholly or partially. When I would try to say no, that's not what happened, this is... He would interrupt and not let me finish "for the record." When I repeatedly brought up how I was told I would be charged by weight and that I wanted to see the empty & full weigh bills as promised, he said that they don't weigh empty trucks and therefore couldn't possibly show both weigh amounts.
I said that this was how I was told I would be charged and it made no difference that it was impossible to do. That was what his representative promised and he would need to stand by that. I pointed out that if, as he said, all phone calls are recorded, he should be able to pull my calls with the representative and confirm what I was saying.
He side-stepped that issue saying that the contract said volume and also saying that I received a "revised estimate" with those additional charges prior to the movers starting work. I said no, the movers didn't tell me about the additional charges until loaded and again brought up how the contract lists weight primarily and how his rep said weight was the criteria. He would never address or even acknowledge that point about what I was told and how the contract makes weight look predominant.
He was argumentative and would get very loud when he wanted to cut me off mid-sentence. At one point, I said "you need to stop yelling at me" and he just kept going and got even louder. So, I started repeating "you need to stop yelling at me" over and over while he ranted ever louder, ending by calling me a "f___ing liar" because he "knows" that I received the revised estimate before they started work. The trouble with that assertion is that he was claiming that I was charged by volume, and as the mover said, the volume is judged by the lines in the truck after it's packed! So, how could they possibly know how much more to charge me until they'd packed it.
If anyone is a liar, it is the man who claimed to be the owner of the company because you can't have it both ways!!
Basically, his phone calls (the one referenced above and two additional calls) felt like he was trying to intimidate me by yelling and insulting. It felt like he was trying to fluster me into making an admission of something he could use to say I was wrong or untruthful. I felt utterly browbeaten and disrespected. I can't emphasize enough how HORRIBLE this company is and that you should NOT do business with them.
And please note, that this company has "local" listings all over the East Coast, but they are not locally owned franchises. They are all run centrally from their Florida headquarters. All "local" numbers forward directly to Tampa. There is no one local to talk to when you have a problem.