I'll begin at the very start. Nationwide Moving obviously purposefully showed up to pick up our items two days early and without any warning or notice. This was clearly meant to catch me unprepared. Nevertheless, the movers themselves, as well as a qualified friend, estimated our total weight at about 200o pounds, which is what we estimated and what our quote was based on. The movers noted the items would be moved on to another truck, but I thought nothing of it.
Along the way, the weight of our items (clearly weighed with someone else's items also in the truck) became 4000 pounds. I contacted the company dozens of times but was only given the runaround. And despite the fact they knew, obviously, their final destination was an island (Sanibel, Florida), they suddenly tacked on a $70 "island fee." It costs trucks, and anybody else, $6 roundtrip to cross the causeway. I called and checked.
In order to prove the weight of our goods, we were offered this option. I could meet the movers at the nearest weighing station some 30 miles from the island and on the Florida mainland. I would then follow them back and pay them for the full 4000 pounds. They would unload it, and I would then follow them back to the weighing station, where I would receive a refund, supposedly, for any difference.
I skipped that; it was obvious they would have rigged the truck somehow or simply disappeared, in the same way a box of very expensive music disappeared. I lost probably a thousand dollars in music.
I contacted the company and cc'd my new state senators. I was then offered a $125 courtesy check, which has yet to arrive after at least a month. And supposedly, my claim for the lost music would still be considered. I have heard nothing.
Essentially, this company practices extortion. When I looked at the terms of what they wanted me to sign to make a claim, they offered an amount per pound that added up to about $200 less than the total amount they were charging. Thus, they could basically steal our entire household and sell it, subtracting $200 from their profit.
There was nothing I could do. Like everyone, after two weeks living on air mattresses and lawnchairs, I wanted my stuff and was desperate. The drivers didn't even have any idea how to get here. The idea that they could have managed to meet me at a weigh station an hour from here, follow me back to my house, then back to the weighing station, is ludicrous.
Obviously, this company is benefiting from what I can only believe are the most lax standards possible under the Bush ICC. One look at the Bush FCC will make that clear.
Where to go? Is it a state issue or a federal issue? I doubt anything can be done. I suspect the National Movers Association, or whatever the name of their lobbyist, greases the politicians' pockets sufficiently to make people absolutely powerless to do anything about what amounts to, again, extortion. If a taxi driver picked me up and refused to let me out of the car unless I paid triple the fair, I'm pretty sure that would constitute kidnapping.
At the least, I hope this message leads to no one ever, ever using this company even to move across the street.
Paul a. toth