This is the exchange of correspondence we had with Movecorp:
GEZ = us
MC = Movecorp
GEZ: - nowhere in your quote or in the BARS terms and conditions is mentioned that the quote can be revised at your discretion without informing us before the work has been completed.
MC: Our terms clearly state:1.2.7 We supply any additional services, including moving or storing extra goods (these conditions apply to such work). You can view these terms here: http://www.movecorp.co.uk/terms.html
GEZ As I mentioned before, you should have stated that your quote was simply an indication and that the final price was going to be charged on the actual volume multiplied by a specific rate. We were not told in advance what rate was going to be used to charge additional cubic feet. We are contesting the "reasonableness" of the charges and the timing of disclosure. As an example (as given by you on the phone this morning) of a clear way to inform customers BEFORE they travel, I would like you to take a look at the British Airways website where they explain exactly what the limits and extra charges for excess and oversized baggage are: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/bagchk/public/en_gb
GEZ it was never explained beforehand, either by phone or in writing, what rate, formula, criteria or method would have been used to price each additional cubic foot that had been estimated from your original quote.
MC: That is why we provide you with a copy of our terms upon booking, these do state that charges will be made for any additional services.
GEZ See above example on BA website for a clear explanation as to what criteria is used to charge extra baggage.
Something like the following may be a suggestion:
"Our quotation is a pure estimate of the volume that is going to be collected and is subject to changes according to the following table:
We charge 3.00 per cubic foot for loads of up to 250 cubic feet
We charge 2.90 per cubit foot for loads between 250 - 500 cubic feet
We charge 2.80 per cubit foot for loads between 500 - 1.000 cubic feet etc.
Our drivers will give you a better indication of the real volume of goods once they are loaded onto our lorry and we will send you a revised quote.
GEZ we do not understand how you have estimated and therefore cannot determine for sure the volume of 1.000 cubic feet
MC: The volume was calculated by a list provided by you, you then asked us to double the volume and provide a re quote, we did this and the final volume was still way over this volume.
GEZ We are not expert and cannot tell what 250, 500 or 1.000 cubic feet look like or what an "average" removal volume for a family of 5 might be. We provided a list of items that we deemed indicative but not exhaustive. If you didn't consider it sufficient, then we should have been asked to provide more information. We relied on your expertise. We asked you to double the volume because we believed that your estimate was deliberately kept as low as possible in order to get us to accept your quote. Interestingly, the total amount did not double from the first quote to the second:
- original of 830 for 265 cubic feet
- revised quote of 1.450 for 500 cubic feet
This is why we do not find it fair that your rate per cubic foot did not decrease when the total volume was doubled again and you simply doubled the total amount. We think we are entitled to question your calculation since no rate per additional cubic foot was provided beforehand. We find your attitude towards our perplexity rather arrogant. It is however consistent with Kate's comment on the phone: "if you are not going to pay the full amount we are not going to deliver and I will put the phone down".
GEZ - we do not understand why a quote can simply double by doubling the volume
MC: The are many factors that influence the quote, it could be argued both ways that we could have collected five smaller jobs that would have earned us a higher revenue. Kate already provided you with a discounted rate based on the original booking.
GEZ You told me on the phone this morning that you are not willing to disclose a breakdown as this would reveal how much profit you are making. I cannot dispute whether this rate is discounted or normal as you have not given us a quote on a "rate per cubic foot basis".
GEZ * your drivers "forgot to bring the wheels (trolley) and left them in the trailer parked at a service station" so they took much longer than if they had had the proper equipment.
MC: We have not charged you for the time taken upon loading, as stated on the phone call today our crew can only work so many shifts per day.
GEZ This argument: "double the volume = double the work" was used by Kate on the phone as an explanation. It appears that you are not using the same arguments. These inconsistencies and your refusal to provide us with a clear and honest pricing method are only fuelling our deep suspicions that you wanted to take the extra money as quickly and as forcibly as you could.
GEZ* I personally helped your drivers to load up to make up for the lack of equipment and had to take time off work because they arrived a day earlier (17th rather than 18th) than confirmed by you (loss of earnings)
MC: The assistance provided was at your discretion and not requested by us, can you tell me what your loss of earnings is for?
GEZ I am a freelance consultant. As your drivers arrived a day earlier than scheduled, I had to cancel one of my visits to one of my clients.
GEZ - I would like to point out that following your original quote, you agreed with my wife on the phone that it would have been possible 'to compromise' and for us to pay a proportion of the total cost upon delivery. Were you authorised to discuss that with my wife and are you now saying that this no longer applies?
MC: During our conversation today I asked you what you are seeking to resolve the matter and you stated that no financial gain but you would like us to show the price per cubic foot on our quote. Is this still the case or can you kindly provide me with exactly what you are seeking so that the matter can be resolved?
GEZ I said I do not expect a refund to be volunteered by you since you have never conceded an inch since we entered into the argument that the bigger the volume the lower the rate per cubic foot should be, as fixed costs are spread over a bigger base, as illustrated below:
Total amount (T)Fixed Costs (FC)Variable Costs (VC)Volume (V)Rate (R)
T = FC + VC x VT = R x V
R x V = FC + VC x V
R = FC/V + VC
Unfortunately, I cannot determine what the real rate and therefore the total amount should be as the only information I have is your estimate of total volume. All I could do was pay the balance to release the goods and get them delivered and hope that you would understand my basic point and agree to refund some money, that only you can determine.
We are also seeking recognition of the fact that we were made aware of the extra demand for payment only two working days prior to the scheduled delivery date (a full two weeks after collection). As perhaps you may appreciate, it is not possible to transfer money from savings into a bank account at such short notice. We feel that we have been made to compromise on many things (accepting your early collection on 17/8 without fuss, having to accept the inconvenience of a part delivery which was only made known to us an hour before your arrival), and yet, you were unwilling to compromise by accepting a part payment to allow for our cheque to be cleared. I'm afraid that the final straw was your company's incompetence in using a 700 cubic foot lorry to deliver a '1000' cubic foot load. We have not received one word of apology for the unfulfillment of your side of the bargain.