• Report: #1069119

Complaint Review: BestWay Moving, LLC

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  • Submitted: Mon, July 22, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, July 22, 2013

  • Reported By: Michael — Niles Illinois
BestWay Moving, LLC
3700 Ironwood Place Hyattsville, Maryland USA

BestWay Moving, LLC Nightmare Moving Experience with BestWay Moving - BUYER BEWARE! - Hyattsville Maryland

*Author of original report: Response to BestWay's Rebuttal

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Response from BestWay Moving

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BestWay Moving has violated numerous consumer protection standards, including bait and switch, failure to meet the terms of a contract, failure to provide services paid for, damage to property not associated with the actual move (i.e. movers damaged the walls and floors of the new home we moved into), etc.  

We needed to move in June of 2013. I met with the sales representative (who came to our home for a visual and video assessment/estimate ONLY because I requested it, even though the company IS REQUIRED BY FEDERAL LAW to do so if we live--which we did--within 50 miles of the business) who surveyed our materials and provided a written estimate. On the day of our move, June 23, movers arrived and loaded and packed some of our belongings (which we paid for). Once all our materials were loaded, the mover estimated that the cost of the move would be DOUBLE what the original estimate said.

This meant our only option was to say no and have everything unloaded, or go along with the bait and switch. Some increase in estimate is logical. But DOUBLE? That's either a classic bait and switch or the sales person is entirely incompetent.  

We were originally told our shipment would load on the 24th or 25th of June. We left for Illinois ourselves on June 26. On June 27 I spoke to the salesperson (my only contact at BestWay) who told me he would send the certified weight tickets and and update on the ETA of our shipment that day. On the 28th I still had not heard from him.

On July first I got the following email from him (Marc):   "The truck loaded on Sunday. I am unsure of what crew is driving. The Drivers name is was not on the paperwork. That is not a big deal it just means they changed drivers  The driver will give you a call and setup a time to delivery. I think the delivery will be made on Wednesday.  "  

Sunday in this context means June 30. Wednesday means July 3. But even though we were told the shipment had loaded, that was a lie.  

On July 3 I received this email:   "Can I give you a call on Friday? Sorry Michael your stuff did not load last weekend. It’s going to load this Friday. I am trying to get things delivery to you this weekend.  The truck I thought it was going on was going on went to New York.  Sorry about the mix up. I will call you Friday about 3 pm when I have all the information. I will get this worked out for you. I will see what I can do go get you a break on the price."  

No price break has been extended.   As it turn out, our shipment did NOT load on Friday, July 5. It supposedly loaded on July 6, but when we spoke to the driver he informed us that he drove a truck straight through from Maryland (which is less than a 12 hour trip, 14-15 hours at most, which means it did not LEAVE until at least July 9. The movers were supposed to call us 24 hours in advance to schedule delivery. I have this in writing from BestWay.  

On the morning of July 10 at 8:31AM I received a call from the driver who said, "I'm 5 hours away." I was in a corporate strategy meeting and could not leave work; my spouse was home alone with our three dogs, so my mother had to drive from Madison, Wisconsin on the spot to help her with the movers. July 10 was 17 days after our shipment was taken away. BestWay promises delivery in 1-14 days to the Midwest. 17 days violates the terms of the contract.  

In addition to breaking and or damaging 4-5 pieces of antique furniture, 2-3 pieces of art, 4-5 glass items--all of which we paid to have packed by BestWay, the movers damaged the walls in our newly remodeled home and tracked or spilled oil on a 5-6' stretch of carpeting. This is a newly remodeled rental property which we are financial liable for.   When my spouse saw that the movers were damaging the walls carrying in a table, she asked them to stop and be careful. Their response was: "This is heavy."  

We paid, in cash, the FULL BALANCE of the amount owed (again almost DOUBLE the original estimate). The movers would not unload anything from the truck until we paid. In additon, the movers left numerous boxes labeled "kitchen" or "bathroom" in our garage, so even though we paid for movers, we now have to move them in.   Several pieces of furniture that BestWay disassembled while moving were not put back together. Other pieces of furniture that were partly disassembled have missing screw and bolts, many of which were custom hardware.     Bestway is running a scam, and on top of that a horrible business that takes advantage of consumers, violates contracts, and damages personal property. To this date we have not received an apology and have been told that the "price break" we were promised may take up to 30 days to adjudicate.



This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/22/2013 01:31 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/BestWay-Moving-LLC/Hyattsville-Maryland-20785/BestWay-Moving-LLC-Nightmare-Moving-Experience-with-BestWay-Moving-BUYER-BEWARE-Hya-1069119. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 0Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Response to BestWay's Rebuttal

AUTHOR: Michael - ()

Given that BestWay Moving is now sharing specific, identifiable financial information about my move in a public forum (a serious no-no) and cutting and pasting the contents of personal emails sent to me (BestWay's rebuttal is the body of an email I recived), allow me to share my email response verbatim in this forum to clear up some of what has been happening.

Of specific interest to readers of this forum is the fact (as you will see below) that BestWay is now requesting sales receipts for items we purchased years ago that the company damaged or destroyed during our move. None of this documentation was required at the time we purchased full value protection, nor did BestWay's claim form/instructions require this information. Only after we submitted our claim was "additional documentation" requested.

To be fair (which is more than any courtesy I have been afforded--see paragraph 2 below), BestWay--as far as I know--is working to process our claim. Time will tell what the outcome is.

_______________________________

Mr. Maltsev—


Thank you for your letter. It is a long letter but I will try to respond to as many direct points as possible for clarification.

Before I begin, however, I will say that I find not only the tone of your letter, as well as the responses to other consumers I have seen from your company in public forums entirely defensive. In my experience in business and as a consumer, customer service goes a long, long way. It is amazing to me that not once from you or from any of your employees have I heard the words, “I’m sorry.” That simple statement is a basic tenet of good customer service when things don’t go as planned, but that courtesy has never been extended to us.

I will also note that a significant part of our frustration related to destroyed or damaged items derives from what we see as inexplicable negligence on the part of BestWay employees. The raku sculpture that was destroyed, for example, was packed by BestWay in a box with a pillow next to it. No paper, no bubble wrap. I have photographs to document this. The same is true of the Wes Freed oil painting. We were stunned to find two of our expensive art objects packed in this way, when in fact we had paid for professional packing and had a full, large roll of bubble wrap which we offered to your movers that went unused. In addition, when my spouse saw that your movers were tearing up the walls in our newly remodeled home moving in a table she cautioned them about the damage they were doing. Their response: “This is heavy.” We have witnesses who can corroborate those statements. So while we understand that accidents do happen—which is why we paid for FVP—careless packing and lame excuses for damaging walls and carpeting are candidly unbelievable.

To your first main point about “threats,” understand that we are not making threats. Also note that I clearly said we expect that BestWay—through its claims process—will resolve this matter professionally. What you call threats are simply statements of fact. We have sought the advice of legal counsel and we are prepared to file a complaint with the Maryland State Attorney General. Both of these are true statements. It is my hope and belief that this will not be necessary.

To your point about “estimated delivery time,” I see what the contract says. That said, part of the reason we chose BestWay over other movers was an understanding that we could move in June. And it seems to me that there is a common sense issue here about reasonability. If you want to hold to the term “estimated,” you could have delivered our belongings in September and said, “well, we estimated 15 business days but in fact I guess it took 45.” And while we appreciate the late decision to send our belongings as an individual shipment, that choice was made by BestWay so late in the process that it raises the question of why, when we were told on numerous occasions “the shipment will go soon,” or “the shipment has gone,” you didn’t just send our stuff out sooner (which was in your power) rather than holding it.

As to the 24 hour notice, you may be correct that the contract doesn’t state 24 hours notice. But Marc told me we would be given that notice and—contrary to what you wrote below—I did contact him immediately after the driver called me to tell him what had happened, so your statement that I didn’t contact BestWay is false.. Not only was he shocked, but he was angry with the driver and said he had given him explicit instructions to contact us the day before. He also said at that point he would work with your accounting department to see if he could get us a price adjustment. That was a truly kind gesture—and smart customer service—but why would he do this if he didn’t think the “no notice” was a problem? Moreover, I was never told that I could request a hold for a day if I needed it. In fact, your contracts explicitly say that if wait time is required the customer will incur additional charges. At a wait time of $100/hr that would have been an additional $2400. Can you see why I would have never thought to ask?

As to the cost—my cost—of our move, the total did come to $7200 and change to be precise. That FVP is optional doesn’t mean it’s not a cost. And regardless, we’re splitting hairs here. I’ll say more about social media and public review forums shortly.

As to the estimate issue, which you will note is really the core of my formal complaint to the BBB, let’s clarify some things. You wrote: “At the day of the move , you decide to take more items than what you originally told Marc. In fact, your items list completed by our foreman and signed by you contained 171 items. It is more than triple of what we based our estimate on. How could you expect that your price will not change when the size of your move tripled?” Marc did an in-home estimate and took video footage. Do you think we went out and bought 3 times the stuff we had after that estimate. We did not; in fact, we got rid of loads and loads of things—the amount of stuff in our house between the estimate and the move dramatically decreased. I can document this through numerous witnesses who either helped remove these items, were given these items, or saw us dispose of them. My claim here is that BestWay either deliberately or inaccurately grossly underestimated the size of our move. This made your initial quote lower than other carriers. Then, on the day of the move, once all our belongings are loaded, we are told that the cost will be substantially higher than the original estimate. This is the classic definition of a bait and switch, deliberate or not. Even if that first estimate was just a gross miscalculation, you put us, as consumers, between a rock and a hard place. What are we supposed to do, have your employees unpack all of our stuff, forfeit our deposit, and start over from scratch scrambling to find another mover? No, instead we’re more or less forced to pay whatever is now “required,” regardless of how erroneous that first estimate was.

As to the issue of slander and defamation, I trust that you are aware of anti-SLAPP laws in both Maryland—where our move took place—and Illinois—from where I posted reviews based on my experience with and opinion of BestWay Moving. Statements of opinion are protected speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution, and anti-SLAPP laws are in effect in these states precisely to protect consumers and their speech in public forums. I work in marketing, and before that in online publishing. I am well aware of the legal protections afforded to consumers.

I also don’t see any function where I can modify my complaint to the BBB.

All that said, I just want BestWay, as a responsible business, to do the right thing here and resolve our complaint and financial loss under FVP. Once that is complete I am happy to remove or update my comments on public review forums to reflect that BestWay resolved the issue professionally.

 

Finally, as to these points:

 

            “Also, my claims department will need additional information:

1. Exact dimensions and weight for each item claimed.

2. Valid proof of purchase showing, date, place of purchase and price. As well as a deed and/or certificate of authenticity that comes with high value items (for artwork of extraordinary value).

All of this information must be received via claims e-mail in order to proceed further with the review of your claim.”

I and our attorney have reviewed the original contract and the claim forms and letter sent to us by BestWay. Nowhere are these requirements written. In fact, your letter says: “…best recollection if you do not have a record… if a gift… estimate of its original value.” The claim form does not request purchase receipts.

Some of these items were in fact gifts; others, like some of the artwork and furniture were purchased from antique stores. I don’t know anyone who keeps a receipt several years later for a piece of furniture. In addition, how am I possibly supposed to weigh our dining room table, for example?

We have made truthful statements of value (as indicated by my signature on the claim form, per its requirement). Moreover, we paid for $25,000 (actually the original contract says $27,000) of FVP. If I wanted to be dishonest, why wouldn’t I claim much larger amount than the modest and accurate sum we have indicated?

I need you to respond to me on this point in particular, because according to your letter you are refusing to move forward with the review of our claim unless we can provide proof of purchase, when no such requirement is written in the contract, the claim form, or was known to us before today. I have already discussed this matter with our attorney.

Mr. Maltsev, I would like us to resolve this issue expeditiously, both for our benefit as consumers (and to compensate for our losses) as well as—and I say this in all honesty—for the benefit of your business. No business wants negative publicity or formal complaints. Your decision to resolve this matter professionally and satisfactorily will allow that to happen.

I await your response on the issue of proof of purchase/weights, etc. as well as your sense of next steps.

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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Response from BestWay Moving

AUTHOR: Claim Department - ()

Mr. Klozotsky and consumers!


We have been working with Mr. Klozotsky on his claim and while it is going through a standard claim process, we would like to point a few things out. We have a hard time understand the way he chose to pursue his claim. Moving industry is complicated, and while we do everything in our power to make sure that the customers receive their items as quickly as possible and without damage, sometimes things can happen. No one ever has any intention to damage another person's belongings. When something like that happens, there is basic insurance or full valuation protection in place to resolve such situations.  Generally, when anyone has any issue with any company for any reason, first thing that they do is call the company and discuss the problem, request a claim form or follow other legal procedures. However, in Mr. Klozotsky’s case, the first thing he did in response to damage was to send us an e-mail stating "I hope your company has the $25k in FVP insurance". All of this was done without filing the claim, knowing the result of the claim or anything else. Also, after we sent him a claim form, he took his time to smear us all over the internet, without even submitting a claim for us to see. In our experience having been in the moving industry for a long time this is the first time that we have seen a customer take such measures prior to ever filing a claim. We don't understand what he is trying to achieve by threatening us with a list of actions that he will take if his demands are not met. Mr. Klozotsky’s claim will be processed in accordance with the moving contract, bill of lading, and other moving documents that he has signed along with our moving tariff. His tactics of threats and intimidation will not have any effect on the way we do business. We will present all of these items in court if it comes to that.


In our response, we would like to draw the attention to a few points that Mr. Klozotsky continuously lists as his reasons for a claim. In his complaints using various websites as well as our claim form, he states that we broke contract by not delivering his shipment within the delivery time window listed in the contract that he signed. He is saying that it took us 17 days to deliver his shipment. As a person, who constantly uses various legal jargon, and writing as a person supposedly well read, and knowledgeable of what he is talking about how can he miss the fact that the contract and supporting moving paperwork that he signed clearly states that the delivery window is 1-15 BUSINESS DAYS from the earliest possible delivery date posted on the long distance information sheet signed by Mr. Klozotsky on the day of the move? Please also note, that his moving contract signed by him at the time of scheduling also clearly states  that 1-15 BUSINESS DAYS is an ESTIMATED time of arrival. His earliest possible delivery date was given by him as 6/23/13 which is a Sunday and cannot be counted (4th of July is a national holiday and cannot be counted either). Starting and including 6/24/13 and counting business days only, we had until 7/15/13 to deliver his shipment. His delivery was made on 7/10/13 which was well within the estimated time of arrival as discussed in the contract he signed.  We would also like to point out that misunderstanding regarding loading of his shipment in his conversations with our representative Marc, didn't affect his delivery in any way.


In this complaint, Mr. Klozotsky has stated that he did not get a 24hr notice prior to delivery. However, nowhere in our contract does it say that we are required to give a 24hr notice.  The driver called Mr. Klozotsky and asked if he can make a delivery within 5 hours. Mr. Klozotsky never notified the driver or the office that this was a problem for him. We were trying to accommodate his move by sending a 24ft truck for delivery instead of a 53ft trailer, so if he told us that he couldn't accept his delivery on such short notice or that it was causing him any inconvenience, we could have waited until the following day without any problems or additional charges. We didn't have any other deliveries or pick-ups scheduled for that trip. Since he never told us of any issues with this delivery when the driver called him, we don't understand what he is complaining about in this case


Mr. Klozotsky paid $5421.98 for the move, and chose to purchase FVP for $1785. The price for FVP was not affected by changes in his move weight, and thus cannot be counted as a moving service expense. FVP purchase was solely his decision; in fact our representative suggested other options to him that were less expensive. Regarding the cost increase in his move: When Marc did an at home estimate Mr. Klozotsky showed him the items that he was taking; he put those items in the moving contract and sent it to Mr. Klozotsky for review. By signing the contract Mr. Klozotsky acknowledged, that he have reviewed, read and agreed to all the terms and conditions listed in the contract, including the price that was given to him based on the 54 items listed in the items list in the moving contract.


We gave Mr. Klozotsky an ESTIMATE of $2830.50 based on 4500 lbs and Full Packing Service for this size of the move. As we mention before , he chose to purchase FVP for $1785.00.


On the day of the move, Mr. Klozotsky decided to take more items than what he originally told Marc. In fact, his items list completed by our foreman and signed by him contained 171 items. It is more than triple of what we based our estimate on. How could Mr. Klozotsky expect that his price will not change when the size of his move tripled? Also, the foreman informed Mr. Klozotsky about the move size and estimated cost change right away, completed Revised Estimate that he signed.  Mr. Klozotsky’s Moving Contract CLEARLY states:


"Only the items that were described and services that were requested by the customer during FREE in-home estimate/on-line estimate/phone estimate are included in the Total Moving Quote. Any additional items or any additional services added will result in an additional cost according to the guaranteed rate that has been given to you on the quote.


Total cost may vary based on actual size of your move and services required."
The weight of his shipment ended up being 8620 lbs x $0.39/lbs = $3361.80. The fuel charge increased accordingly, 10% of the weight cost to $336.18, Full packing service increased accordingly since it is $0.20/lbs x 8620 lbs = $1724.00. So Total move cost was $5421.98 plus $1785.00 FPV (optional, and requested by Mr. Klozotsky)


We have formally requested that Mr. Klozotsky stops posting erroneous information online, as it constitutes slander and defamation of our company's character. We have also formally requested that Mr. Klozotsky removes such erroneous information from any and all reviews that he has posted online and from this BBB complaint. Otherwise, we will be forced to contact our legal council to discuss how to respond and act towards false information being spread regarding our company. We would like to once again stress, that every person/party has a right to speak his/her/their mind anywhere regarding any dissatisfaction that he/she/them has/have with any company or service provided. However, posting false information that constitutes slander and defamation of a company or an individual does hold potential legal ramifications for the person/parties that post the false information in question.


Keeping in mind everything that we have mentioned above, we would like point out that there is no scam being run despite what Mr. Klozotsky may claim, when his pricing, delivery, and claims process have been and are being done by the contract that he signed.


Best Regards,
Claims Department & Owner
BestWay Moving LLC

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