• Report: #201268

Complaint Review: Pony Express Van Lines

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  • Submitted: Sat, July 15, 2006
  • Updated: Sat, August 23, 2008

  • Reported By:Redwood City California
Pony Express Van Lines
3463 West Touhy Avenue Skokie, Illinois U.S.A.

Pony Express Van Lines Lies, extortion, theft Ripoff Chicago Illinois

*Consumer Comment: Don't confuse this company with Pony Express Moving services in Boston!

*Author of original report: No theft, thank goodness, but watch out

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We decided to go with Pony Express Van Lines in Skokie, IL because of the reasonable price estimate. They told us our delivery window to California was 7/2 to 7/5 (they picked it up 6/21). The first hint of deceit we received was when we called to check the progress of all of our belongings across country on 6/26. When we finally got in touch with someone from the company they told us our balance was going to be several HUNDRED dollars more than previously quoted. They told us that there were multiple "packing" charges that could not have been estimated. WE PACKED 90% of our stuff ourselves.

Well, 7/5 came and went, and despite dozens of phone calls to them in 3 wks, we've only been able to talk to a real person a few times. The owner of the company, Ori Atkins (who was agressively calling my wife for our business prior to signing the contract) does not answer his "direct" line nor has he returned any phone calls. Once, it appeared he answered the phone (my wife recognized his voice) but then he hung up the phone when he realized it was us calling. The sales and operations lines HAVE BEEN DISCONNECTED !!!!! The other two actual personal contacts we made were to dispatchers. One told us that our stuff was in Texas and there was no way to tell when delivery would be. The other time the "dispatcher" asked why we thought our stuff was in Texas??!! It had not left Chicago yet. The dispatcher did tell us that cash or postal money order was required before any of our belongings would be unloaded from the truck.

It is now 7/15 and we don't know where our furniture/computer/clothes/dishes etc are!!! The company is not returning any phone calls. I am increasingly frightened by viewing all of the online complaints against this company.

Worst case scenario is theft of all of our belongings, if I don't hear something soon we will have to file a police report. At a minimum I feel like the are extorting $$ from us. The new "balance" is several hundred dollars more than the original bill/quote. They will not give us any belongings back until they have that cash or money order in hand. I would be interested in any experience you all have with these individuals and also any advice on recovering costs due to hotel/restaurant bills (because we have no belongings and we've had to start work in our new city.)

If your are reading this, you are smarter than I was. I can't believed we allowed our belongings to be in the hands of individuals inclined to such unprofessional and criminal conduct.

Ryan
Redwood City, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/15/2006 04:02 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Pony-Express-Van-Lines/Skokie-Illinois-60712/Pony-Express-Van-Lines-Lies-extortion-theft-Ripoff-Chicago-Illinois-201268. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Don't confuse this company with Pony Express Moving services in Boston!

AUTHOR: The Real Pony - (U.S.A.)

I became puzzled when someone called my office asking where their shipment to Springfield Illinois was, and apparently this company used our company's number as a contact, though we have nothing to do with them. Scam artists. I called the broker (an internet moving site), and gave them a piece of my mind, called the "pony express" office and didn't get through to them, but left a nice message for them as well.

Pony Express Moving Services in Boston is a primarily local company in Metro Boston with an excellent reputation, and it annoys me to see some shyster company co-opting our name and giving our number out for a contact (fraud!). I indicated the possibility of a lawsuit for fraud on my message to them and contacted the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) with a complaint. I haven't had any more calls about shipments that I know nothing about in faraway states since. Hopefully these sleazebags got smart and changed their name, but bad movers like this are everywhere.

Having been in this industry for 18 years, and a company owner for 12, my best advice is to thoroughly check out your prospective mover with the BBB, your state DOT, the ICC, and any other reviews you can find online. Never deal with overseas-owned moving companies, at least in the northeast, and always ask about hidden charges, such as paying extra for pad "rental" and for the tape they use to put them on your furniture. There are a lot of ripoff artists in this industry, so try to go on a recommendation that a friend or colleague will give you. (Of course, if you're in the Boston area, go with us. . .).
Also if you have any doubts, get a written estimate. The variance from a written price and actual price is 25%, and no more. Beware the "flat rate" and companies that give you a low rate. This is almost never a bargain, and is loaded with hidden charges.

Good luck with your move, we understand that moving is a very stressful time in one's life, and I built my own company to try and alleviate that with honesty and good service.

Josh
Pony Express Moving Services (BOSTON)
617-983-8700
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#2 Author of original report

No theft, thank goodness, but watch out

AUTHOR: Ryan - (U.S.A.)

We finally got our stuff, 11 days late, mildly damaged, after being forced to pay the inflated rate (OVER the 110% rule which is federally mandated and apparently means nothing to Pony Xpress). So frustrating, when the truck was on its way the dispatcher told us our FINAL balance (I asked multiple times) was one figure, the driver then tells me he has another additional charge. It was Sunday when they arrived, I HAD TO GO GET CASH FROM AN ATM before they would open the truck and unload anything at all.

The two guys who unloaded the truck only worked for the company for 1.5 wks and the one who spoke some English told me he wanted to leave the company because EVERY customer is upset. They lost the hardware for our most coveted piece of furniture-so that was not assembled. Also, they delivered someone else's belongins to our home. I sorted it out and told them it did not belong to us. Sorry to any other victims out there--there wasn't a name on the box. Anyway, it's over and we finally have our stuff. We really got screwed (LIED TO, IGNORED, FORCED TO PAY over 110% of the original price) but, man, did I learn a valuable lesson.
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