I have several complaints with Regency Moving and Storage, LLC, Woodbridge, VA, with regards to the ?move? they attempted to perform, as well as their treatment of the customer (myself) and their refund practices after issues arose. I have unsuccessfully tried to resolve these complaints with Regency on numerous occasions, and as a result, I am left to pursue other avenues for satisfaction of these complaints.
My primary complaint is how Regency Moving misrepresented itself. Beginning in mid August 2006, I was looking for a moving company to move my furniture and other belongings from Sterling, VA to Cape Cod, MA. A Regency representative, Sean Quill, came to my apartment in late August to provide an estimate. Mr. Quill told me the following:
1) He estimated my belongings to be 5,700 lbs.
2) The estimate included boxes to move two mattress sets.
3) The estimate would be different by only a couple hundred dollars either way if the weight of the move was above/under the estimated weight by 700 lbs.
4) A team of three Regency employees would load and unload my belongings. These employees have had background checks by Regency and will be fined by Regency if anything is damaged during the move. The employee incentive to perform a mistake-free move was something Regency provides to ensure a smooth move.
5) I will receive 24 hours notice before the movers arrive with my property. The pickup date will be September 6, 2006 and delivery will be some time on either the 8th or 9th of September.
6) My property would not be unloaded off the truck when it arrives at the destination until I pay my bill in full. I will not get the actual bill until after Regency weighs my belongings and gives me an exact bill based on the WEIGHT of my belongings.
7) Regency understands moving is a stressful time and what sets them apart from other movers are the above outlined policies and guarantees and I can be assured the move will go as outlined above.
The estimate Mr. Quill gave me was just one number, ?$2571.27,? without a breakdown of how he got to that number (i.e., fuel charges, charge for the weight of my belongings, packing and boxes, etc.). I did choose, however, to add $150 worth of additional insurance that I knew was not reflected in that quote, bringing the quote up to approximately $2700. From the list of seven things I was assured of above by Mr. Quill, this list of falsehoods, all my other complaints stem.
On the morning of September 6, three Regency movers showed up and moved my property without incident.
September 7th: a Regency mover (Gerald) called at 10:50am to inform me that he would be at the destination the following morning; however, he would not know when he could unload our belongings because he had to find help. Obviously I was surprised (based on #4 in the list above) and explained to Gerald what I had been promised?that REGENCY movers, vested in the move, would be loading and unloading our things. Gerald replied that he was driving the truck alone, that he would be contracting the rest of the move out to local movers, and depending on when he finds help is when he can unload.
Gerald also told me that although my property weighed in at just over 5,800 lbs (only 100 lbs over the estimate), my total bill would be $3005. When I asked why my bill was 20% more than the estimate if the weight was only off by 100 lbs, I was told that I would have to talk to Mr. Quill about it.
September 8th: I was expecting a call from Gerald to let me know when he would be arriving (be it that day or the next), as I had been promised that I would receive 24-hours notice. I did not, however, receive a call from Gerald. I tried calling Gerald's cell phone, but there was no answer and he did not return my messages. I called Regency and spoke to a woman, Gladys, who told me she did not know where Gerald was or when he would arrive, and that if he has not called then there must not be a problem.
September 9: I still had not received a call from Gerald. I called Regency again and spoke to the owner's son, who told me that he cannot get in touch with Gerald either, which is against company policy. Gerald is required to contact either the customer (me) or Regency, and even if something were to happen to his cell phone, Gerald has a toll free number he could call. As a result of these phone calls with Regency, my wife and I are now under the impression that our belongings have been lost or stolen, possibly gone forever. The owner's son told me that unless Gerald had a good reason for not being in contact with anybody he would be fired. (Subsequently, we have been told that Gerald is on probation for his actions and the way our move was handled.) My wife was in tears and the whole moving experience was surely not going as Mr. Quill assured us it would. By now, I have also called Mr. Quill and left him numerous messages to see if he can resolve the issue, but he does not return any of my calls.
Gerald finally arrives with the truck that morning shortly before noon. He said he lost his cell phone which is why he was unable to check in. I provided him the use of my cell phone and advised that he call his company to let them know what happened. After he straightened things out with his office, Gerald asked my wife and I if we have seen other movers (plural), which we had not. He says that they will most likely not show and that he will unload the truck himself. The only problem with that concept is that the large items we hired movers for, such as an oversized couch, 52-inch projection TV, desks, etc., must be moved with help?MY help. It would have been impossible for ONE man to move some of those items alone.
Nearly six hours later, Gerald has piled boxes up in our living room, leaving no room to move. As he is nearing the end of the load, my wife and I are taking boxes from him, moving boxes out of the way so he can get through our house, even unloading our own wardrobe boxes out on the front lawn and carrying the clothes in ourselves. This is what we paid movers for? This is what the movers should have been doing, not us! I end up carrying one end of the projection TV, which Gerald has left sitting out on the wet lawn, and one of the large desks. I had no choice but to assist with the oversized couch, which by the way got stuck in the front door, pinning me against the wall. Then I had to help Gerald carry the couch around the house, through the back door, holding it up while my wife has to move stacks of heavy boxes out of the way so as to clear a path for us to get through. By the end of this fiasco, I was sweaty and sore, and all I can think is that I paid over $3000 for this?
Over the next few days, I called and left several more messages for the owner and Sean Quill demanding satisfaction and compensation for the botched move and misrepresentation of my quote. The seven items I outlined earlier in this letter as the reasons/assurances Sean Quill told me to use Regency were clearly not met.
On September 12, Cliff, the owner, finally returned my call. I explained to him everything I outlined in this letter. Cliff responded that there was nothing he could do. He tells me that the quote I was given did not include the cost for mattress boxes (which were an extra $110 dollars) although I specifically remember speaking at length with Sean Quill about that during the estimate. Cliff more or less implies that I am lying and that he will not provide me with any sort of compensation for my trouble.
I requested that Regency at least refund me the amount of money they were planning to pay the contract movers to help unload since basically my wife and I were the second and third mover that day, as well as the $110 mattress box charge which I was told had been included in the estimate when it was first provided. Cliff informed me that he would not refund the mattress boxes, and as for the contract movers?Gerald was only going to hire one mover at $12/hour, which for three hours would equal $36. Cliff told me he would refund me five times that amount (which I calculate as $180) only. I told him that Gerald spoke of contracting a moving company with a couple ?movers? ?plural, and I myself know from having quoted moving companies that to just load and unload your truck when I was considering driving a truck myself, that they wanted a minimum of $400 regardless of time or weight. Again, Cliff implies I am a liar about both what Gerald said and the cost of movers, and tells me that Gerald was supposed to ?just hire one mover for $12/hour.?
I asked Cliff about all the assurances Sean Quill pitched: that the move would be done by three trained Regency employees--employees with a background check conducted by Regency and a vested interest in the move based on Regency's program of fining movers for damaging property. Cliff again responded that none of that was true. Then he had the nerve to tell me that I only had to move a few things? implying that it was no big deal. Excuse me, but I paid A LOT of money so that I could have ALL my things moved in and not help out at all! Regardless of the amount of items I had to move myself, the fact of the matter is that I had to move them MYSELF, and they just so happened to be the largest items?the exact reason we hired movers in the first place!
I told Cliff that if I was not satisfied that I would report Regency to the Better Business Bureau, as well as any other organizations they were affiliated with, and never recommend Regency's services to anyone. Cliff very bluntly told me that he does not care, that he has done over 80,000 moves and does not need our recommendation or our business, that Regency's reputation is so good my complaints will not matter. Cliff agreed to send me a refund check based on an arbitrary amount he did not share with me, but felt would be fair. This check arrived on September 21 for $100. This is less that the amount he implied he would refund me (approximately $180 as mentioned above), although I would not have been satisfied with that either. Quite frankly $100 is more of an insult than if he had not refunded me at all.
Additionally, after I had this conversation with Cliff, my credit card was charged approximately $3,125 although I was told I was only going to be charged $3005. That's $120 more than I was told. I consider this charge fraudulent and unauthorized, and I plan to take that matter up with my bank. The refund check does not even cover this additional, random, and unexplained $120 increase in my charge.
Basically, I feel that Cliff and his company treated my wife and I like suckers. Cliff does not care about his customers or his company's promises. He has our money now and will not give it back despite the obvious fact that he did not provide the services assured to me during my initial estimate interview. Not only did I have to move many of my belongings myself, but I was treated very rudely when I made my complaint to Cliff as he spoke over me on the phone, not allowing me to get a word in edgewise. Cliff also implied I am a liar many times, overcharged me without my consent, and then had the nerve to send me what can only be taken as a very insulting refund. Talk about literally adding insult to injury.
I feel that paying any amount over $2000 to Regency for this poor excuse for a ?move? is a rip-off based on the sheer lack of service I received and the way my wife and I were treated by this company and its owner. I am seeking a refund in the amount of $1100. I am returning the un-cashed $100 ?refund? check I received from Regency back to them along with a copy of this letter. I will not accept such a blatant slap in the face.
cc: Regency Moving and Storage, LLC.
cc: Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
cc: Department of Transportation: Office of the Inspector General
cc: Bank Of America Credit Card Department
cc: American Moving and Storage Association
cc: Bob McDonnell, Attorney General of VA, Consumer Fraud Dept.
cc: The Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs
cc: Virginia State Corporation Commission
cc: WTTG Fox 5 D.C., Fox5 Newsroom, Fox5 Investigates
E. Falmouth, Massachusetts
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