I went through the moving broker Nationwide Relocation Services located out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. "Mike", my consultant, was very persistent. I felt after all of the quotes that they were the cheapest and Mike was very helpful. Boy was I wrong.
Mike quoted me a price of 1388.37 after my estimate over the phone. I put the intial deposit of 684.67 on my credit card. He told me that the balance would be partially due at pickup and the rest at delivery.
Nationwide then passed me off to "Ginger" who hooked me up with the carrier Century 1 Van Lines in Lexington. I called Century 1 and they told me that they would arrive at my residence on June 28.
June 28 came and went, so did the 29. My final move out date of my apartment was midnight on June 30. On the morning of the 30 I made several telephone calls to Nationwide. "Brian" promised he would call me back. "Mike" soon called after that and said Brian was taking car of me. Hours went by and I called back, Brian had mysteriously left for the day with no return phone calls. Finally a representative named Joe answered my calls. He immediently called Century and called me back promptly. He said that a carrier would be there by 5 and that their trucks were broken down on the 28.
The carriers arrived 9:30, 4 1/2 hours late. They were completely lost and made me meet them at a local McDonald's. After arriving at my house I explained to them what to pack/what not to. The head guy took me into the kitchen and pulled out the contracts.
He read through the contact and marked off that I owed the company 50% at pickup. He wrote in 85%. As he finished packing up all of my stuff the trouble started. He had charged me 266 dollars worth of packing material (40 dollars to wrap my mattress in saran wrap, 45 dollars to pack up my couch pillows!) He had also packed up furniture that did not belong to me after I told him not to. He tried to talk me into keeping it!
The total price I had to pay him that night was 1260 dollars, and it was 12pm at this point. I would not get cash so I wrote him a check. He told me that if I paid the FULL price that night he would not weigh the truck and I would not have to pay anymore at delivery. At this point the price of my move was almost 30% more than estimated. I agreed with this because we had been yelling for a while.
He then explained that a 100 dollar tip was standard. I gave him 50. He then swore my furnitue would arrive by July 3, the date I agreed on with Nationwide.
On July 3rd no one came. I waited until later that day to call. They explained to my that they could not arrive until Monday and to make sure not count July 4 as a business day.
On Monday I called. They then said my stuff would arrive Tuesday evening, the truck was stuck in Georgia because of a dispute with a customer. Yesterday, Wednesday July 9, I called to find out what was wrong. They would not give me an answer saying that they had not contacted the driver since Georgia and he would be calling later b/c he was going to make a stop in Alabama.
On Wednesday I called. They still had not contacted the driver. Finally my father called. They explained to him that the truck had broken down on I-10 in Alabama and would be here Thursday,July 10. It is now Friday, July 11 and they have stopped returning my calls and the owner was "very busy" and "out of the office" all day.
I do not forsee me ever getting my furniture. The girl in Alabama that Century 1made a stop with before contacted me through a website. She told me that most of her stuff was damaged/missing. The truck that arrived at her house was Amerivan Inc., not even Century 1. Her furniture was picked up the day before mine. She got the driver's cell phone off of caller ID.
I called the driver to inquire how far away he was from New Orleans. He explained to me that Eli, the owner of Century, had asked him to take my job to New Orleans but he refused because he was already doing a favor for him for taking the load to Alabama. The truck did have a blown tire, but my possesions were not on it. He then told me that my possessions were in a storage unit in North Carolina, and last time he checked there was not a driver available that wanted to drive them to New Orleans.
I do not forsee myself ever having possesion of my belongings again. I am pretty sure what they are doing is taking them "hostage". Since I payed the full amount up front, and the man wrote on my contact I would not owe anymore money, they have no incentive to deliver my possessions. Now the only way to make money off of me is to keep them in my possession until I pay more.
I am not sure what to do at this point. I am very young, 21, a recent college graduate. I have no money and currently cannot go on interviews to find a job because Century 1 also has all my clothes, birth certificate, ss card and resumes in their possession.
Nationwide does not really care anymore. Everytime they call Century they get the same response "Tommorow, it will be there tommorow, be patient...why are you so impatient?". Nationwide does not care and will not intervene.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE no one use these two companies. North Carolina has a lot of good movers and this is the first mover in NC, to my knowledge, that is also a thief and a scam. The owner, Eli Ben Dahan, used to own Century 1 Van Lines in Hollywood, Florida...which is infamous for moving scams. He quite the business there in 1999 and began in NC in 2000. As of April 7, 2003, Century 1 did not have the proper insurance nor liscenses to operate for interstate moves.
They DOT number is 1016053 and their ICC number is 425987. DO NOT USE THEM.
New Orleans, Louisiana
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