I am moving from California to Georgia on 5/4/07 for the first time and did research on the internet to figure out how much it was going to cost me to take my one-bedroom apartment and car with me. Based on the estimate, that was going to determine when I was going to move so I could budget for the expenses, save and make my plans. I know my report is long but the details are where the scam and screw takes place.
I emailed a few places to get qoutes and Nationwide Relocation Services was one of the companies I found. They were very helpful in explaining to me the process of moving and how they quote prices, which is based on the weight of items (.42 per pound) and what to expect with moving.
So after seeing that the prices from other companies were roughly the same, I decided to go with Nationwide based on their customer service. They weren't even the cheapest but I appreciated them taking to time to reply to all my emails and answering my quesitons on the phone figuring this was the service I could expect the whole way through. WRONG!
Based on my list of items for the size of my 850sq.ft apartment, they quoted me 3007 lbs, plus $400 for them to supply boxes AND pack me up. This non-biding qoute did not include the $1050 for their sister company, Nationwide Auto Transporters, to take my car. So they qouted me $2315 to move + $1050 for my car = $3365 for me to move with my car from CA to GA.
Their moving quote included boxes at a discounted rate cause I was going to pay the $400 for them to pack me as well which I was content with. They mentioned they quote the weight higher to compensate for the box weight and said if at weigh-in I weighed less, the cost would be less overall. Still sounds good to me.
My deposit was $780 and they said once I was packed and weighed, I would be told what my exact balance due would be (currently it was $1535). A few months later I called them to add on a few more furniture items that I was asked to bring with me from my grandparents house (2 twin beds, a dresser and a nightstand). I figured the additional weight wasn't an issue considering they over-shoot the weight estimate.
Nationwide then changed my original weight from 3007 lbs to 4623 lbs based on these new items and a few additional boxes I asked to them to through in just in case I needed them (only charged if I use them), making my quote $3861 now (not including car) for me to move based on 4623 lbs.
I had to pay an additional $570 deposit cause they said the weight changed (making $1350.59 my total deposit paid) and changed my balance due to $2510.97 based on an over-weight quote of 4623 lbs and 36 boxes total ($559 for boxes & packing), so worst case scenario was I would need to pay $2510.97 IF my stuff did weigh 4623 lbs.
I asked to be present when they took the loaded truck to weigh it so I could rest assure I was paying for what was mine and they were ok with that. So far nothing they had done seemed fishy and I even liked they over-shoot the weight cause it gives you the worst case scenario on what to expect to pay.
The movers came last Sunday on 4/29, in a Penske rental truck saying they were from Cross Country Movers (based in New Jersey). Only one barely spoke English and shoved papers in my face to sign. Until I signed the movers could not start packing. When I had questions regarding his chicken-scratch for writting he kept saying this was just papers required to pack and move me.
Once the 4 of them started packing my things (as my friend and helped) we quickly ran out of the 36 boxes that was part of my qoute and he said I would need more boxes. When I asked how much the additional boxes were, he told be $16. When I asked how many more he thought I would need, he said he was not sure. Looking around at what I thought was left to be boxed, I figured it was ok to agree to the additional boxes.
Then he told me if I got them Greek gyros for lunch he would give me some boxes for free. I thought he was kidding and he said that since I was Greek I would know where to get them in my area and he would not charge me for some of the boxes if I did. A little unethical and unprofessional but figured free boxes were worth providing lunch, so I got them the food.
After they were done packing me, I ended up with 80 boxes total! I couldn't believe my 850sq.ft one-bedroom apartment could produce 80 boxes, but since I didn't see them pack each and every box, I had no idea if they packed 2 glasses per box or not, and besides that, they put EVERYTHING besides the beds and couches in a box which I didn't know they would do.
So 36 boxes were in my qoute and 28 were the additional I had to pay extra for (plus the 16 free he gave me for the food). So at $16 for the 28 boxes, I had to add on $448 to my $2510.97 balance IF my stuff weighed 4623 lbs (making it $2958.97 worst case scenario due).
I was shocked that Nationwide grossly under estimated how many boxes I would need since they stick everything in a bog, but figured $448 more for those 28 boxes wasn't too bad since I knew the balance would go down at weigh-in.
By the time we were ready to go to the scales, they had closed and the driver said they would go in the morning and fax me the receipt showing me the weight. I wasn't able to meet them the following day due to getting my carpet and apartment cleaned for my walk-through and told them that I wanted a re-weigh in Atlanta when my things arrived so I can be sure I was weighed correctly and was paying the right amount per pound.
The next day he faxed me the receipt as promised and my things weighed 3840 lbs, at .42 per pound made my balance due $1612.80 + $448 for the additional 28 boxes at $16 each, so $2060.80 TOTAL was my new balance based on the weight and boxes. I was pretty happy it was fairly close to my original quote based on an over-weight quote and figured $1050 more for my car would make my move from CA to GA $3110.80.
Then the scam was revealed. I get a call from Nationwide on 5/2 telling me the final balance due on delivery would be $3309 (NOT including my car). I asked them how can I owe that much when I already paid $1350 deposit, weighed in less than the qoute and added on $448 in boxes and the rep tells me that the $1350 deposit was their finders fee for finding the movers and not applied or deducted from my balance. The additional 28 boxes were $1090 (not $448) cause they were really $40, $60 and $73 per box, not $16.
I was floored. I asked where did it say that my deposit was not applied to my move or that the boxes were that expensive when the mover told me they were $16 each, and she said on my deposit slip that I signed it stated the deposit goes to Nationwide. I agreed and said "Yes it did go to you cause I was doing business with you and paid my move deposit to you, but where does it state it is NOT going to be applied to my move and was your finders fee?"
The deposit slip shows my qoute, shows my deposit paid and shows my balance due (with $1350 less) which looks like to anyone who can read, the deposit was DEDUCTED from my qoute and not a separate fee as they are trying to convince me of.
Then I asked her how they could charge me so much for boxes when my original 36 boxes were $16 that they quoted me and she said the additional boxes were not part of the original quote or deal, and were a separate fee without a discount. I told her "when the mover told me I needed more boxes do you really think I would have agreed to those prices when I could have gone down the street to UHaul and picked up some boxes a lot cheaper, but I didn't cause the mover told me they were $16 which was acceptable to me" and she said "I wasn't there to know what he told you and besides, he can't qoute prices".
I was furious. $1090 more to my balance because of 28 boxes. I wasn't expecting this disgusting over-charge and told them I am canceling my car transport with them since that $1090 more would have been my car money I needed and I didn't want to continue doing business with them. She told me I would lose me $100 deposit on the car and I told her at this point after screwing me out of $1090 for boxes, they can shove my $100 where the sun don't shine.
Then the icing on the cake came this morning when Cross Country Movers in New Jersey calls me to give me the balance due upon delivery in Atlanta and tells me its $4109. I ask how they came up with that amount ($800 more) and he tells me the additional boxes were $1890 not $1090 what Nationwide told me.
I asked how that was possible and he said Nationwide quoted me THEIR prices not Cross Country Prices for the boxes which are separate companies. At this point I am on the verge of tears I am so upset. I told them this whole ordeal has been one scam after another and he had nothing to say except that cash or cashiers check was due on delivery.
Once Nationwide got my deposit they never returned my emails or calls. With my $1350 they kept and the $4109 I owe Cross Country; what should have cost me $3110 to move based on weight, $16 per addtn'l box, PLUS my car, now is costing me $5459 JUST TO MOVE (and that doesn't even include my car)!! That's a huge difference of $2060 that it should of been just to move based on weight and $16/28 boxes.
Nationwide are crooks and Cross Country Movers are just as guilty in my opinion. My things should be delivered between 5/5-5/17 and they can't even give me an exact date yet but I have a terrible feeling this scam isn't over. I wonder what will happen when it comes time to deliver and unload my things what extra charges will be due.
San Jose, California
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Report list of other Moving Companies Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on National Moving Network and other various transport companies ripping off the consumer