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.
Redwood City, California