To Whom It May Concern:
I'm writing to tell a story about an experience I had involving a move that my fianc and I made from Chicago to Arizona. We decided to use a company out of Detroit Michigan to facilitate our move. The reason for using this company came to be because of the quote we got from a member of the company that contracts this type of work out. During our search for an appropriate company we did a lot of price comparing and found that Modern Moving was the best deal to fit our budget.
I'm writing in hope that someone will listen to our complaint, because we have gotten nowhere when trying to deal with this through the company itself. I'm sure three are many people out there who have been taken advantage of in the same way we have in this type of situation, and we would like to help prevent this from happening to someone else.
Let me start at the beginning:
In February we decided to pack our bags and relocate to another state, to start a new life. As most people know moving in itself is pretty stressful and it seems as though it never goes as smoothly as people would like. Not only were we moving, we were moving across the country, away from our families and friends, to a new land. Of course we were excited but terrified as well, the last thing we needed was to be involved in what we consider highway robbery.
The quote we got was half as much as we ended up paying in the long run. My fianc went through the process of getting this quote through a company called National Moving Network (Miami, Fla). This company seeks out consumers and contracts out business to other companies, in this case Modern Moving (Detroit, MI). When we went through the quote process, we decided to OVER estimate our household goods (under the advice of a family member who has been in the trucking business for 30 years) so that we would have no surprises on the day of delivery. We didn't even have a couch that needed transporting. After going through this process we obtained a quote for $1,412.00 and a total of 3,200 pounds. We took it. At the time our budget was very tight, as one could imagine, being two young adults relocating from one state to another. Everything was fine up until move daythat's when the nightmare began.
We had our house packed, said our good-byes and began to wait for our movers. We ended up waiting an extra day for them to arrive. At the time we were pretty understanding and patient with them, we knew that these were the people that would be caring for everything we owned. They finally arrived. The movers were fine; they worked hard and were very pleasant to have around. During the move we bought them lunch, kept them watered and gave them many items of ours that were going to be thrown away (items in which they loaded right onto our truck). After packing up our lives they were off, not to be seen again until we all met in Arizona, our new home.
When they arrived we couldn't have been happier to see them. We had traveled across the country and were in much need of seeing our things and starting the process of building our new home. The first thing they told us was that they tried to call us the day before because they had arrived a day early, due to the fact that they had left California a day early because the clients they had there refused to pay their bill because it had almost tripled from what they had been originally quoted, so they left with their stuff (which they still had on the truck).
With this in mind, we held onto our hats to hear what was in store for uspretty much the same thing. At that point they hit us with the news. Not only did they want us to pay them $300 extra, in cash, due to the distance they had to walk from the truck to our apartment, but they informed us that our things, upon weighing, had exceeded our quote by 3,000 pounds, which brought our price from $1,412.00 to $3,040.00 (which didn't include the extra $300 they wanted in cash)
At this point, as one can imagine, we were shocked. Especially because upon leaving Illinois the movers (both veterans of their trade) assured us that we seemed to be right on the money with our items. 3,000 pounds over, that's pretty much doubled from what we were told. To us, this seemed absurd.
Like I said before, we didn't even have sofas, which when establishing the original quote, we added in sofas and extra pounds here an there, to make sure we were getting an accurate estimate, we thought we were actually going to be under what we were told.
My question isHow would National Moving make such an astronomical error? It's obvious to me that someone is making a habit of this, considering the people before us didn't have their things, because of the same type of situation.
After hearing what the price increase was we were, of course, a little irritated. There was no point in even arguing at that pointbefore we even had a chance the movers were on their way out the door.
They wouldn't unload our stuff until we paid the bill, they were going to take our things as wellso we paid them, not knowing what else to do, we knew they would leave if we didn't. The last thing we wanted to do was have to deal with getting all of our possessions back. If you look at the fine print on the back of the bill it states as follows:
If shipment is refused by consignee at destination, or if shipper, consignee or owner of property fails to receive or claim it within fifteen (15) days after written notice by the United States mail addressed to shipper and consignee at post office address shown on face hereof, or if shipper fails or refuses to pay lawfully applicable charges in accordance with carrier's applicable tariff, carrier may sell the property at its option, either (a) upon notice in the manner authorized by law, or (b) at public auction to highest bidder for cash at a public sale to be held at time and place named by carrier, thirty(30)days notice of which sale shall have been given in writing to shipper and consignee, and there shall have been published at least once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation at or near the place of sale, a notice thereof containing a description of the property as described in the bill of lading, and the names of the consignor and consignee.
The proceeds of any sale shall be applied toward payment of lawful charges applicable to shipment and toward expenses of notice, advertising and sale, and of storing, caring for and maintaining property prior to sale, and the balance, if any shall be paid to owner of property PROVIDED that any perishable articles contained in said shipment may be sold at public or private sale without such notices, if, in the opinion of carrier, such action is necessary to prevent deterioration or further deterioration.
In plain English, they would sell our things within 30 days. Why would we take that risk?
For the past 2 months we have been trying to get some sort of compensation for this error, which we feel, they made.
Nothing, we have written letters, called the company, written the Better Business Bureau, but no luck. We have been treated very badly by all of the above.
They claim that they have the weigh tickets, and that's that. Of course, they did offer to come get our stuff and reweigh itbut at our expense. (We really couldn't afford to do this, or we would have)
We had a family member that has been in the trucking business for 30 years come over and access everything we had, just to get an opinion from someone who knows the business.
After looking everything over, he was appalled, and he too started writing letters. One of the problems I see with all this is that we have no idea when they weigh, and whose stuff is actually being weighed.
Like I said before, the movers collected a lot of things from us that we gave them to keep, these items were placed on the truck as well.
How often does this happen, and who, in fact is being charged for that extra weight? Certainly not the movers (who, in fact, drank a couple of beers in our apartment before getting in their truck to make more deliveries)
As if all of this wasn't enough, the fun didn't stop there. As the moving day progressed we started noticing small things that had been damaged during transport. Mainly my fiancs motorcycle (which was included in the quote) a Yamaha fz 700.
This was very upsetting because not only is this bike his baby, it was what he had planned to use as transportation in our new warm climate (I had sold my car before leaving Illinois and planned to use our other vehicle as my transportation to and from work) The damage done to the motorcycle has made it unusable unless repaired.
Now the process of getting this paid for began. Upon calling Elsie Brower, the claims manager for Modern Moving, we were told to get an estimate on the damage to the bike, which we did, that total was $1400.00. That's when the run around began with this.
Of course we were getting pretty tired of being ignored and hung up on by the people at Modern Moving when trying to deal with the over charge of the whole move, we were defiantly not looking forward to yet more disrespect. Anyway, she received the quote and assured us that we would be reimbursed.
After about 2 months of waiting for some sort of response, we decided to start calling her. Towards the end of April Elsie told us that our claim was under review, and that we would hear from them within a week. A week went by and nothing.
On May 2 we called her again, she gave us the same responseunder review then on the 17th we called againunder review. Then much to our surprise we received a check and a letter from them.
The letter was dated May 2, 2002 and the check for $270.00 was dated May 7, 2002. So basically this woman was plain out lying to us.
She had already written the letter and had the check in front of her; it was post marked for May 18, 2002. Why didn't she tell us this over the phone?
Perhaps she didn't feel very good about the situation. Not to mention the amount of the check. The letter read as follow:
We have completed our review of your claim.
All carriers are regulated by the interstate commerce Commission, to provide coverage of .60 cents per pound to all shipments at no additional charge.
You did not purchase any additional valuation; therefore maximum liability is 60 cents per pound for a total of $270.00.
In concluding action on your claim we assure you we deeply regret the inconveniences you have experienced for the damage that occurred.
Elsie Brower, Claims Manager
What Elsie didn't know was that again we were misinformed. When we got the original quote we asked about having the motorcycle insured separately.
We didn't feel it was necessary to purchase any more insurance on our household items, but we did want the motorcycle covered.
Adrian Calderon, the man from National Moving, that prepared our quote told us that a charge of $100 was added on for the motorcycle for that purpose, and that it was not necessary to purchase extra insurance for it.
It was not considered a household item it was a vehicle. and that extra $100 would cover any damage that might happen on the bike. At the time this made sense to us, so we didn't purchase anymore. Stupidly we though we were covered.
Now this is what we're left with. A damaged motorcycle, that is not rideable until repaired, a check for $270.00 (that doesn't even begin to pay for the damages), and a credit card bill that was double what we had planned for.
Maybe we went into all of this blindly, but who wouldn't have. We have never moved before, we don't work in this business so we tend to trust those that do. I've always been a firm believer of ethical business practices, and I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt.
I feel like we were totally mislead and mistreated and it distresses me to think of how often and how many people this happens to on a daily basis.
It's funny, the more people I tell our story to, the more stories of this same type of thing I get in return. It does happen a lot, to many people.
It's almost as if they do it on purpose. They make sure they are protectedbut who protects usthe customers?
I appreciate your time, if anything we wanted to get our story out there. Maybe we can help prevent this from happening to more innocent people.
Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on National Moving Network and other various transport companies ripping off the consumerClick here to read other Rip Off Report list of other Moving Companies