I contracted with Interstates Relocation Service (IRS), a broker, to secure the services of a moving company because they seemed helpful, but as time went on, everything got complicated. My only saving grace so far is the "binding estimate" that I insisted on with the broker. The mover, Modern Moving Co. or Modern Movers (MM), did not give me an estimate as they were working through the broker.
My husband had been in Shreveport, LA, for almost 3 months, while I recovered from surgery and lived out our lease in Las Vegas, NV, with our now 10-month old daughter (June 2004). I had wanted the move to be completed by father's day so that we could be together on a special day after what seemed the longest 3 months of our lives. My inlaws were scheduled to drive with me and my daughter across 4 states to Shrerveport, but had only a small window of time to do it in, as they had to be back in California by June 24.
I had a binding estimate for a June 9-10, 2004 pickup, for 4200 pounds, and a binding estimate of $2211 total cost. The broker fee, or deposit, which was paid in advance, was $575, and was part of the total cost, leaving only $1636 remaining to be paid upon delivery of our household goods. The estimate also has stipulated a 4-10 days window, wich was also binding.
The broker called on June 8 to let me know that they couldn't secure a mover to pick up until June 11, a Friday, one of my travel days. I said ok with the provision that it be picked up in the morning so we could get on the road, and I could turn in the keys to the aprtment and get the walkthrough done in the morning. The broker said she understood.
On June 9, the trucker called me, and arranged for a 9AM pickup, and said he would call and confirm Thursday evening June 10 for the pickup time. He called on June 10 and verified that he and his truck were ready for pickup at 9am Friday morning.
At 8:30AM Fri morning, the trucker called and said he was ging to be late by 3 hours because he was told to do another job first and that job had more stuff than he planned to pick up. At 12:30pm, the trucker called and said he was going to be another 3 hours before he could pick me up because his boss told him to do another job before me.
This cost me an extra night's stay in Las Vegas at the RV park, where my in-laws stayed to prepare for the move, and cost me an entire days' travel, the cushion day that we needed in case something went wrong with the RV or my car. I told him that he had until 5pm to get her and get my stuff on his truck, because the office closed at that time and I had to turn in the keys that day!
He arrived at 3:30pm, and it took until 7:30pm before he could tell me that he couldn't fit all my stuff on his truck because of the previous job, and that he would have to come back the next day and pick up the rest. I arranged to give him access to the apartment on June 12, through the grace of one of the maintenance men, who witnessed my predicament that day, and helped me do a walkthorugh of the apartment even though I had not had a chance to clean and the boxes prevented someof the inspection. But through mercy, I was given an "all ok" on the walkthrough, turned in the keys, as the maintenance man had to go home for the day before the trucker was done.
I tried to get the trucker to understand that I needed something in writing about what went down that day, but the trucker, who is authorized to negotiate or re-negotiate a binding estimate, refused to sign anything, even though he hated what his boss put him through that day. He said he didn't want to get involved.
Problem was, as the trucker he was involved, and by refusing to sign anything or re-negotiate the estimate, he, and his company, are now bound by it.
However, the road trip with the RV went off without a mechanical hitch, thank goodness, and we arrived in Shreveport on June 15, to the delight of my husband and myself. The reunion was sweet but held uncertanty because we now had to wait for the trucker to show up.
On Sat, June 19, at 11:45AM, the trucker called and said he was in Dallas, TX and would be in Shreveport in 3 hours! The law requires him to give me at least 24 hours notice, so that I can get to the bank and obtain payment. Few of our banks are open on a Sat., and those that are close at 1PM. So after 1/2hour of calls to various companies to let them know that this was unacceptable, and that the total that the trucker gave me of $2110 for delivery was too much, I raced to the bank and got 2 cashier's checks (I did not have signature authority on one account and the other did not have enough money for $2110) just in time.
The trucker called me backat 5:00pm because his cell phone didn't work and I could not get a hold of him. Now he says that a cashier's check is unacceptable payment, and that I must do cash or credit card. This was not discussed the day of pickup and I verified with the broker before pickup that cashier's check would be acceptable.
I said i had to talk to my husband and scheduled for the trucker to call me back at 8PM. He didn't call until 10:40pm when my husband was home and our duaghter and I were supposed to be asleep. He then said he wanted to know how much the check was for, and I said that I had the correct amount according to the binding estimate. He said it was very irregular and that he wasn't used to being treated like this and he would have his dispatcher call me tomorrow (Sun) to figure it out.
Now I don't know is the guy will even show up, plus I checked my binding estimate and the federal regulations and it says I only have to pay the binding estimate and 10% more to legally require the truck to be unloaded...that's far less than $2110, and I know he won't go for that. So how do I make sure I don't get screwed anymore and still get my stuff?
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