- Report: #265639
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Budget Van Lines, Movers USA
Budget Van Lines, Movers USA4615 Hollins Ferry Road Halethorpe, Maryland U.S.A.
Budget Van Lines, Movers USA extortion, theft of everything we own Ripoff Halethorpe Maryland
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My family and I recently bought a house . I contacted Alex Winters at Budget Van Lines to arrange transport of our household goods from North Carolina to Ohio. He was apparently a broker who booked Movers USA to transport our shipment. Alex told me that the cost would be twenty six hundred dollars and sent me a binding estimate stating this as well. I was informed that the movers needed a seventy two hour window for pickup so we agreed on June 30, 2007 July 3, 2007. There was no communication from Movers USA until the evening of July 2, 2007 when Leron called and said that his drivers would be at my residence between noon and 5 p.m. the following day. The next morning the driver called around nine a.m. and said that he would be there in about an hour and a half twenty six minutes later they were at my door.
The original estimate was for 7000 lbs/ 1000 cubic square feet. Upon arriving the driver said that we had too much furniture for the original estimate and he could not do it for the agreed upon price. The new estimation to take everything was over eight thousand dollars. This did not sit well with me at all. We finally came to the agreement that the movers would take as much of the big stuff as they could and still stay within the original 2700 dollar estimate plus 300 dollars for furniture pads, which were supposed to be included.
There is plenty of room at the pickup point for a tractor trailer in the driveway and from the door to the point where they parked was less than fifty feet. I have recently learned that the movers charged me for a long distance walking fee which according to the contract should only be charged if they have to walk more than seventy five feet. I had to disassemble my refrigerator and disconnect the hoses from my washer and dryer as well as move them out of the laundry room. I also had to move the refrigerator from the kitchen to the door of the den because one of the movers argued continuously that it could not be done and we would have to leave it.
The only paperwork that I received was the inventory list and I still have a copy of the binding estimate from my email.
I paid $629.50 and $150.00 on June 27th , the day I arranged the move with Alex Winters. The day of the pickup I paid fifteen hundred dollars to the driver by certified check. Upon arriving at our house the driver told me that we had a lot more furniture than originally estimated so he told me that the new amount would be over eight thousand dollars. I told him that we did not have that much money. He agreed to move all of the big items and a few boxes and stay within the original estimate and he had me write a note on the back of his inventory sheet stating that they had done exactly what I asked by staying within the orginal estimate.
The driver told me that my furniture would be at my new home in seven to ten business days. Two days later I received a call saying that they would deliver my furniture the evening of Friday July 5th or the morning of Saturday July 6th. He did not arrive until six p.m. on Saturday evening.
When we bought the house I asked the real estate agent if a tractor trailer could get to my door, she assured me that others had done it and it would be no problem. I was aware of the fact that other arrangements would have to be made for the delivery if the tractor trailer could not get to my house. The driver made it within half a block of my house, jumped out of the truck with a can of beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, yelling and throwing his hands in the air saying no more, no more I go no further this is bull sh__. I go no further you liar. Then he continued to curse and yell for about a minute and a half. I told him that I lived around the next corner, five houses down, which he could see the corner of my street from where he was sitting. By now my neighbors were outside and very concerned about what was going on. My two year old daughter and three month old granddaughter were screaming and crying. The two year old said that she was scared. Also in my van were my mother, my sixteen year old daughter and my nineteen year old daughter who is pregnant. The driver informed me that I would have to pay fifteen hundred dollars for another crew to come out and deliver my furniture from where he sat to my doorstep plus for the shuttle that they would provide, long distance fees and a thousand dollars an hour for the crew. I told him that I would not pay the additional fees and that if he had been here within the time that Leron said that I could have gotten a rental truck and my brother along with a couple of his friends could have taken it from where he was to my door. None of the truck rental facilities in our town are open on Saturday evening and would not reopen until Monday. The driver said no I will not wait that long. He backed the truck out of our subdivision while I was trying to calm my daughter and call the office for Movers USA so I lost track of him.
I drove into town and found two Sheriff's deputy's Wilson and Chapman and told them what had happened. They went in opposite directions looking for the driver because he was drinking and driving a tractor trailer.
Monday morning I called the office to speak with Leron. He informed me that in order to get my furniture I would have to do one of two things. I could pay all of the fees that the driver mentioned plus a fee for them to get a crew from Maryland to Chesapeake, Ohio or I would have to pay him $1766.00 and sign a waiver stating that I release Movers USA from all liability for damages done to my property and transport it myself. When our discussion became heated he had slipped and told me that my furniture was being stored in Kentucky but that he would not tell me where until I met the above demands.
I called my insurance company and they said that this sounds like extortion but they can not pay me for the loss of ALL of my furniture and appliances unless the property is recovered or the police are willing to state that it is stolen in a report. If I sign the release my insurance company will not reimburse me for any damages and we incur all of the cost for replacement or repairs.
In the last few days I have done a lot of research on the internet and found out that this scam has been pulled numerous times across the United States. When I told the owner I would see him in court he laughed and said good luck, now I understand why.
A Lawrence County Sheriff's deputy found out that the furniture was in Grayson Kentucky so I went there and spoke with one of the officers and the Chief of Police. The chief made a couple of calls and found out that my furniture is being stored in a facility owned by Richard Burton. He told them that the furniture is stolen and asked them to put an extra lock on the door in case they tried to come back and move it before I could get some help with this mess.
The Chief's name is Keith Hill his office number is 606-474-4308, cell number is 606-255-0621. The officer's name is John Fizgerald and his number is 606-615-1478.
Please help me get my furniture back from these criminals. I have no problem with paying the balance of the original estimate and the storage fee but I will not meet the rest of the financial demands or release them from liability for damages.
My husband, a veteran of twelve years, has been working as a contractor in Iraq so that we could afford to buy our first home and I have been in our home with my five children and my three month old granddaughter since July 4, 2007. I was forced to buy air mattresses, a cheap sofa, pots and pans, towels and rent a washer and dryer.
We have nothing and my children are due to start school in a new place where I need to produce shot records, birth certificates etc. and all of these things are being held hostage along with our household goods.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/06/2007 04:40 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Budget-Van-Lines-Movers-USA/Halethorpe-Maryland-21227/Budget-Van-Lines-Movers-USA-extortion-theft-of-everything-we-own-Ripoff-Halethorpe-Maryl-265639. 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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