Coral Van Lines Interstate Highway Robbery, Scam, consumer rip-off fraud, deceptive company, screwed others too, the business that doesnt give a dam! Coral Springs, FL. Florida .....
Coral Van Lines seemed reputable when I booked the move. Only in the end did I suspect it was a scam. I spoke with the company representative, Lee Moor on 07/07/03. She called me to respond to an e-mail I'd sent to a mover search service requesting bids. I told her I had already booked a City to City box self-service move at $1980, all inclusive, door to door. She told me that she could beat that price and quoted me a move price of $1100.00 for an estimated 300 cubic feet.
She asked for a specific list of furniture items and number of boxes, but as I had not packed yet, I could not commit to a specific list, but I told her I would target no more than 300 cubic feet of space. We agreed on a list of basic items and an estimation of box specs (which her forms required), but, at my insistance she qualified the estimate to allow changes in specific items by inserting a notation in the quote stating "the customer can have up to 300 cu. ft. at the same price." After which, I kept her informed of spec. updates as I had them.
I packed my belongings and carefully measured the cubic footage of the load, it came to 273 cubic feet. As I had heard horror stories about moving company
"misunderstandings" I carefully measured and took pictures of the load cube I'd constructed, with a witness standing in the picture for visual size reference.
When the movers showed up on 07/15/03 (they were from some sub-contracting company, I had not been told about before), they were condescending to this "first-time" long distance mover. The driver, a smooth talking shyster named John, insisted that the load was more than 300 cubic feet, I told him the load measurements and invited him to check them. He said that once he loaded everything onto the truck, the measurements would be different. I said that in my opinion, a cubic foot was still a cubic foot, if you pack it right.
I also told him that, even if when loaded on to the truck the load exceeded 300 cubic feet, we could leave the loveseat or coffee table behind to keep to the 300 cf target. John then explained that the estimate document I'd received "was a mistake". His company had a minimum charge of $5.50 per cubic foot (or $1650.00 for 300 cf). In addition, he told me about other extra charges, for wrapping items I'd been told would be blanket protected for free (ie. a glass top coffee table, a queen size bed frame and a computer desk. I told him that I did not care to purchase this extra protection as these items were not that valuable. He insisted that his company's policy required the special wrapping for the glass table top, which would cost $80.00.
I told him I would pack it safely myself, and if he wasn't satisfied, we'd leave it behind. He then told me that because of the size of the truck they were using ( a huge 16 wheeler) if the apartment building or street where I was moving to could not provide parking for such a large truck they would have to transfer my belongings to a smaller truck for delivery and charge me $350.00 for this service. I told him this was unacceptable, that I was not told about truck transfers in advance; but because I wanted to do the move, if the big truck could not be accomidated, then to avoid this charge, I would hire a van in DC (the delivery city), drive to the local truck staging area and unload the truck myself.
He also wanted to impose a stair fee for one flight of stairs at the pick-up location. I told him to wait by the truck and I would bring everything down to him by myself. He was still unsatisfied, and called his boss for instructions. I had called Lee Moor, the Coral Van Lines representative, who insisted that our deal was still valid and that she would take care of the situation, but after several hours of haggling - in which John still insisted that he would not move my stuff for less then $1650 (300 cubic foot at 5.50 per), and I insisted that I would not pay more than I had been quoted ($1100) - the truck left without my belongings.
I e-mailed Lee Moor overnight, explaining that if she had not booked a new mover by 10 AM the next day, I would book another moving company. Lee Moor did not call back. When I called her, after 10 the next day, she said the best she could do was to re-schedule another move 14 days later. I told her that this was unacceptable as I was leaving for DC permanently in 6 days. I asked to speak with her supervisor. When transferred, I told the supervisor that I wanted to make a complaint. He responded "what do you want me to do, punish her?" (referring to Lee More). I said that I wanted to make a formal complaint and asked about their company and governmental complaint procedures. He said "there weren't any".
I asked him his name, he wouldn't give it to me. I asked him to give me his employee number or position for future identification. He said that he was just a dispatcher and would not tell me more than that. I asked to speak to a manager in charge, he told me the owner was not available. At this point, I had had enough. I hung up and called another moving company. Now after this fiasco, I found another recent Coral Van Lines complaint on your website. After reading what happened to other customers, I think I got off easy. I can only imagine what other "charges" they might have imposed once they actually took posession of my goods.
In my opinion and experience, either because of intentional fraud, extreme indifference or simple incompetence Coral Van Lines, Inc. is bad news for residential move customers!
San Francisco, California
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