I would like to file an official complaint against PODS (Portable On Demand Storage) a moving company that delivers mobile storage containers to a persons residence for them to fill, then picks up the pod and moves it to the location requested. The telephone number for the company is 877-770-PODS (7637) and their company headquarters is listed as being located at PODS Enterprises, Inc., 5585 Rio Vista Drive, Clearwater, Florida 33760.
Approximately a month ago I began searching outside my current state (Georgia) for a job. A few weeks ago (I am not even certain of the exact day), I had been conversing with a prospective employer and was beginning to think a job offer would be pending. To begin to prepare, in the event the position was offered and I accepted, I decided to find out approximate moving costs. My first call was to PODS, as I had never used their type service before, but had heard a lot about them on TV and wanted to find out their price to compare to U-Haul prices.
I called the phone number listed on their Web site (identified above) and spoke to a CSR named Bethany. I explained to her my exact situation, that I MIGHT be moving, but that I did not know for sure yet If I would be moving, much less an exact date. I told her that I was simply looking for a quote, and that they (PODS) were my first call and I would be calling other companies to get prices to compare.
She asked for information regarding the move, and I gave her the starting and ending points, she asked for a date of the move and I explained again that I was uncertain of the date since I wasnt even positive the move would occur yet. She said something along the lines of, but If the move did occur, about when would you need the POD. I could have answered a couple weeks or I may have answered, just put in the 11th (I dont remember exactly what I said to that I have talked to more than a dozen other companies since that discussion, and honestly, since PODS was the most expensive option, I dismissed them from consideration almost immediately).
She then asked for my credit card number. I explained Again that I was simply looking for a quote, that I was not at all ready to complete a transaction or schedule an actual moving time. She said she understood, but that the card number and specific information on the move, such as the location of my home and driveway, was needed to complete the quote and store the quote so that the quoted price would not go up. I repeated, at least twice more, at this point, that I was NOT authorizing a purchase, that I wasnt even sure of the move, and was just starting to get quotes to compare. She said she understood, and that the information would just be used to save the quote and not be processed.
I was very emphatic about this, knowing that the situation that I was in precluded even knowing if I would be making the move at all, much less when. When she finally went over the amount of the quote, which was above $3,000, I was almost certain that I would not be using them, as that was well above what I could possibly afford. I allowed her to save the quote in the computer on the off chance that I was unable to find cheaper arrangements, again reiterating that I was not authorizing any charges that I was only seeking a quote and would call them back if I wished to confirm any purchase of services.
I then hung up and procured several other quotes. As I thought, I was able to get much cheaper quotes from U-Haul, even considering the added cost of gas to drive the truck myself. In addition, the offer of the job remains in limbo and I am nowhere, even now, close to knowing IF I will be moving, much less when.
Therefore I was quite surprised, and angered, when I arrived home late yesterday evening to find a POD in my driveway, and my bank account overdrawn due to two charges (totaling nearly $800) processed by PODS.
I immediately called the PODS Company and requested to speak to a manager, which I was informed was impossible, that no one but the sales representatives who answer the phones was available to talk to me. I explained the problem, and was told basically that because they had my credit card number and the information regarding my driveway (which I had been told was needed to save the quote) they assumed the order was confirmed, despite the fact that I had told Bethany multiple times that was most definitely not the case. I again asked to speak to a manager, and was refused. The CSR told me he would forward my complaint to their platinum team who would listen to the recording of the call and decide what to do and whether to return some or any of my money, but that that process would take at least 72 hours.
Nothing I said made any progress or change in that stance, despite the fact that their actions constituted, at least in my view, fraud and/or theft. Considering the fact that they said they would also charge me even more to cancel the order (which I never placed) and since the bank informed me that their second charge processed included the notation ongoing which indicates to the bank that they plan on processing further charges, I am fearful of the situation becoming even worse than it currently is.
I spoke to the company again today, and was again told I was not allowed to speak to any manager, and that the Platinum team would listen to the phone call to determine the status and get back to me in 72 hours after much talk, I got the CSR to at least say he would try to get them to call me back today but since it is now after 5 p.m., I dont have much hope of that.
This action of dumping a huge container unit in my driveway (which the owner of the house is not happy about) and stealing money from my account and refusing to refund it or even let me talk to someone in charge or to expedite the matter when it is continuing to cost me money and cause hardship on a daily basis is not only completely incomprehensible and beyond the pale of honest business transactions, it constitutes deceptive business practices. I would appreciate any advice or assistance in resolving this matter in a timely fashion.