I'm writing to you to explain our experience(s) with your company, World Moving Services. On Monday, 2-9-09, I was contacted via e-mail and phone by your representative, Benjamin Aaronson (888-742-6683 ext. 409). Ben immediately began taking my information and calculating numbers, assuring me that it was his goal at World Moving Services to provide us with not only the highest quality service, but to also provide us with a competitive quote. He wanted us to be satisfied with our move from start to finish.
My first request was an in-home estimate. Ben assured me it was not necessary to have someone come to my home and that he would be able to assess our move based on my itemized descriptions over the phone. I was very direct in describing each piece of furniture and the estimated weight, down to the smallest piece in our furniture. He told me he was over estimating the foretold objects by at least 25% and this would overcompensate for any additional weight he may have missed. I then requested a full service move, indicating I did not want to lift a finger (I wanted everything boxed, wrapped, and moved by professional movers). Again, Ben assured me it would not be a problem and directed me to visit the Better Business Bureau's website to see your company's A+ rating. He also informed me that he was our certified moving consultant, and should we have any questions or concerns, he was always available.
Over the next week and a half, he e-mailed me documents, but failed to tell me I needed to have them faxed in by a specific date and time. On Wednesday, 2-18-09 at 4:45 p.m., he called me and said if I did not fax the necessary paperwork within the next 15 minutes, our move would not be possible. Considering the move date was only 6 days away, I literally raced to sign the paperwork and faxed it over immediately. Shame on me for not reading the fine print, because had I done so, I would have realized everything that Ben had told me up to that point was completely false and misleading.
Sharnette from the insurance department (888-451-9989 ext. 336) e-mailed me on Wednesday, 2-18-09 regarding additional insurance I had purchased. The estimate contract I had signed and faxed already had insurance included and because I had already paid the necessary deposit, I did not understand why she was billing me additionally. I called Ben and left him a message to return my call regarding insurance questions.
On Thursday, 2-19-09 I proceeded to call and leave Ben two more messages and it was not until the third attempt did I finally get him on the phone. Ben said he was on the other line and would return my call when done, which he did not. I contacted him again that afternoon and left another message. It was on the same date in the early evening, a quality assurance employee named Karlos Stevenson (888-742-6683 ext. 410) contacted me to go over the moving estimate Ben had done only days before. Over the course of the next few minutes, my estimate suddenly increased $1432.66 due to inaccurate weight estimates and itemized objects Ben had failed to include on the original approximation (remember, when I originally had questioned Ben about specific items and weight, I was told not to worry, he was a professional and was overcompensating). Karlos impersonally apologized for any inconvenience and stated he could not help me. Upon asking for my deposit to be refunded, I was told that it was not possible due to the time frame stipulated on the contract and it was now less than five days away from the move date. I immediately phoned Ben and left a message asking him to contact me. I had two pressing questions regarding the price increase and insurance paperwork that needed answers that only he could clarify.
The same phone and message routine occurred again on Friday, 2-21-09 with Ben disregarding my efforts and never returning my calls. He was able to e-mail us the updated paperwork regarding the estimate increase which my husband faxed over, including insurance paperwork that was never clarified. We then received an e-mail stating that all necessary paperwork had been received. Because of this e-mail, I believed everything was in order for the move, including insurance.
On Sunday, 2-22-09 the third party moving service Ben set up for us named Preferred Relocation, Inc. arrived unexpectedly to do a visual inspection. Sili (201-304-1785) demanded my husband sign paperwork, though he declined because I was not present. Sili's 18-wheeler was in parked in front of our house and after examining our home's contents, he said he had plenty of room in his hauler. Before leaving, he explained gratuity was not included in the contract and he expected a minimum of 20%.
Preferred Relocation, Inc., (Sili) arrived at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, 2-23-09 and began packing our belongings. About a half hour after he arrived an unidentified man arrived in street clothes and began helping him unassemble and box items. Someone from your insurance department called and informed me that because they had not received the necessary paperwork, insurance was no longer included in our move. I requested to speak with a manager and again was denied insurance, regardless of my explanations. I called Ben and described the situation and he hung up on me.
Preferred Relocation, Inc.'s work performance and actions were completely inexcusable and unprofessional. At no time were runners used on our carpets (weather conditions that day included snow, rain, and sleet), several pieces of furniture were not protectively wrapped at all (resulting in scratches, dents, broken dressers, water damage, etc), packing material was not used at all (instead they used our clothes and personal belongings as padding), and to add insult to injury, they did not even pack our entire home. At 8:00 p.m. we received a call from Sili that he was done and we could come back to our home. Once arriving, we noticed that both of our bathrooms had not been touched, our garage still had several items that needed to be packed, our family room contained wall art and a vacuum cleaner that needed to be shipped, not to mention non-perishable items, towels, a garbage can, and tools in the kitchen. When asked about cupboard items, we were told liquids could not be boxed (the items in reference were peanut butter and rice, amongst various other food). He had also strewn garbage all over our home. We counted 40+ empty masking tape rolls, muddy shoe imprints and debris in every room, cut-up unused boxes and rails, food and drink items (that were supplied by us as a courtesy) spilled on our counter tops and kitchen floor, and several scratches, knicks, and dents in our walls, door frames, and doors. When asked why the rest of our home had not been packed, we were told there was not enough room on the truck and there was nothing that could be done. As a result, we had to leave many of our personal belongings, numerous items from our bathrooms, three household garbage cans, several large pieces in our garage, etc.... We also had to re-paint the walls, scrub the carpets, and clean the entire house before driving cross country early the next morning.
After reviewing the bill of lading (BOL), we realized that Preferred Relocation, Inc. described the majority of items as being loose, scratched, dented, scratched, chipped, and dirty. These claims were false and quite the contrary. We were not able to dispute any of this because our belongings were already on his truck and he could not/would not unload them by himself. We were forced to sign the BOL because of the extenuating circumstances. He also made reference to dropping our shipment off in New Jersey and having another van line transport it to Massachusetts. When we said this was not part of our contract, he laughed and waved us off.
Within days I was notified by Latoya (1-888-451-9989 ext. 342) that once again, our original estimate increased, this time by $2604.35 due to an inaccurate weight estimate, excess packing materials, and a shuttle. I explained I was never told about a shuttle or associated fee when telling Ben my final destination was Boston, and although she agreed there was never an explanation, I was still responsible for the charges. I requested this price increase in writing, but she could not guarantee I would receive it because they did not have access to e-mail.
Over the next three weeks, I received daily phone calls and messages from several of your representatives regarding payment, but I could not locate any answers of when to expect my shipment besides the two week window having been given initially. I was able to get Ben on the phone twice during this process, but was quickly transferred to his voicemail or other employees. Ben told me to contact Preferred Relocations, Inc. if I had any further questions and that he was no longer of service. I contacted Sili at Preferred Relocation, Inc., and left numerous voicemails inquiring his travel schedule, only which of two he returned. He explained rough weather had delayed his trip and that his truck had broken down, resulting in more lost travel time. He was rude and discourteous in both conversations and did not display any concern for our belongings.
On Tuesday, 3-10-09, an unidentified man contacted me from Preferred Relocation declaring that cash, a cashier's check, or a money order would need to be made in full prior to our shipment being delivered (cash was preferred). I expressed wanting to use my American Express, but was told a hefty usage fee in excess of $400 would apply. He was very rude with me on the phone and would not answer any of my questions. At this point, I became concerned that our belongings would not be relinquished if we did not comply with his request.
We were given confirmation in the early evening on Wednesday, 3-11-09 that our shipment would arrive on Friday, 3-13-09 between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Felenti from Preferred Relocation called at 10:00 a.m. on Friday saying they would arrive between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. and that gratuity was not included. I requested weight receipts during this conversation. Upon arriving in a Penske rental truck, he would not unload our shipment until payment in the form of a cashier's check was received. He did give me weight receipts dated on 2-22-09 and 2-24-09, but did not have any for the date of delivery.
Below is an itemized list regarding the damage we incurred during our move from Coeur d'Alene, ID to Malden, MA by way of World Moving Services and Preferred Relocation, Inc. Three gentlemen (Felenti, Habarro, and Paco) arrived to unpack our shipment from their truck (Penske rental van). The following is a detailed account of damages (please see pictures for details):
Item #76 (Dining Table) center leaf portion of table broken and missing
Items #80 & 81 (Chairs) dented, chipped
Item #70 (Armoire) top left corner of molding pushed down and uneven, bottom left edge unhinged
Item #119 (TV Stand) entire left portion of edge, corner, and side rubbed free of mahogany finish, peeling, and water damaged. Listed as carrier packed CP
Items #71 & 72 (Night stands) back edges knicked up, finish rubbed off, chipped in center
Item #74 (coffee table) chipped on top, badly chipped edge,
Item #127 (dresser) cracked on right side, chipped on top of dresser, dented several areas, chipped and water damaged edges
Items #174 & 175 (Box springs) torn, stained, and soiled
Item #41 (Mattress) Sheets were not removed from mattress during move. Sheets arrived torn, stained, and soiled.
Item # 129 (Office Desk ) top portion of desk warped and broken (could not be re-assembled). In addition, all poles and desk itself were chipped. Movers requested desk be added to list of damaged items because they broke it apart moving it into the house
Item #126 (Oak dresser) had three wheels broken off. On inventory sheet, movers noted one broken leg. Item showed up missing remaining wheels (3 wheels total missing)
Item #120 (Oak dresser) had right side of legs broken off by movers as they were pushing it into the corner. Felenti repaired the legs/support back into place, but it is now leaning to the side and starting to break away again
Box #178 (China Box) 3 glasses crushed/broken. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #151 (China Box) soaked and mildewed. 12 pairs of shoes were destroyed due to severe mold covering insides/outsides. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #95 (China Box) lamp broken due to no packing materials. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #79 (China Box) 12 books soaked and mildewed, picture frames damaged. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #130 (China Box) porcelain statue and hand blown glass dish were cracked/broken. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #140 (China Box) movies & DVD's water damaged. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #173 (China Box) no packing material used, food processor scratched/dented. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #174 (China Box) broken plate. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #170 (China Box) crushed box, loose non-perishable items, open liquids. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #164 (China Box) broken plastic storage system (pieces snapped in half). Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #165 (China Box) broken
Box #182 (China Box) bleach bottle stained all items in box and damaged all contents. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #140 (China Box) no packing material used, TV dented. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #172 (China Box) no packing material used, broken trophy, two magazine containers bent. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #159 (China Box) no packing material used, yard tools boxed with photo albums resulting in scratches and tears, water damage. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #154 (China Box) no packing material used, 2 perfume bottles broken. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #144 (China Box) no packing material used, Buddha statue chipped, lamp broken, magazine rack bent. Listed as carrier packed CP
Box #138 (China Box) no packing material used, broken lamp shade, scratched/dented computer monitor screen, scratched/chipped computer tower
Box #142 (China Box) all contents thrown out due to mildew and mold (all teaching related items, 7 children's books, wool blanket, grate container, hair items, travel bag, one pair bowling shoes, 2 shirts)
Item #161 (Plastic box) packed by owner, but delivered cracked and broken
Box #107 (Picture Box) no packing material used, paintings/pictures/frames scratched and chipped. Listed as carrier packed CP
Item #104 (China B) television screen no longer displays color correctly. Listed as carrier packed CP
Items #149 (Ladder) missing
Item #139 (rocking chair ottoman) missing
China Box #168 missing (contents include glass lamp shade, sweaters, dresses)
China Box #169 missing (contents include slacks, sweaters, dresses)
Movers did not takes sheets off king mattress and as a result the sheets had black marks and tears in them
Many boxes included stickers that were worn (numbers could not be identified) or didn't have stickers at all. As a result, boxes could not be identified that were missing when signing inventory received paperwork (note remarks on BOL)
Numerous boxes were delivered soaking wet and many contents inside were also soggy, drooping, or mildewed
Hazardous liquids were packed (bleach, cleaning products, Miracle-Grow liquid plant food, etc) into boxes. These types of items should never have been packed, let alone in boxes with food products, photo albums, etc
We were charged an enormous amount for boxes and packing materials, yet packing materials only used to wrap one box of dishes and one box of glasses. Otherwise, our personal belongings such as cloths, blankets, pillows, and sheets were used to wrap/cushion 95% of our items. As for boxes, Preferred Relocation, Inc. also used boxes from our home to pack items.
Book Boxes and China Boxes labeled this end up, glass or fragile were treated haphazardly. Movers were throwing boxes up the stairs, sliding boxes across the floor, and placing heavy boxes on top of each other.
On Monday, 3-16-09, Berte (888-451-9989 ext. 176) contacted me with information to file any claims with Anthem Management Group. An unidentified woman followed up on Thursday, 3-19-09, to see how our overall experience was. I voiced my concerns and frustrations and her resolution to this experience was to offer a $100 credit. I inquired if this credit would void World Moving Services responsible from any future claims and was told no, World Moving Services would still be responsible. When reviewing the settlement form, again, the verbal discussion I had differed significantly from the written agreement regarding claims, complaints, or grievances. I declined that proposal.
I would like to know if the business etiquette that your employees displayed is common practice? World Moving Services was not only deceptive, but fraudulent in many cases. Ben Aaronson orally agreed to many of my requests, but the written contract stated otherwise. He used a low-ball estimate that eventually doubled (actually, almost tripled) in price once I signed the dotted line. He also disregarded many large furniture items on the original inventory to get a lower quote, yet when Karlos Stevenson called to double check the list, how convenient that it increased significantly. Latoya warned that if we did not pay the difference of the escalated price, our shipment would not be delivered. These events and actions are inexcusable.
I have contacted the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General(s) in ID, FL, and NJ, the Chamber of Commerce in Coeur d'Alene, ID, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Hackensack, NJ, the Federal Trade Commission (Consumer Protection & Information), the National Association for Insurance Commissioners (fraud unit), the Public Utilities Commission (ID, FL, & NJ), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association and the American Moving and Storage Association to make formal complaints. I've also contacted my lawyer who will assist in recouping any related fees and belongings due to damages incurred by World Moving Services and its affiliate, Preferred Relocation, Inc.
I hope this disagreement can be settled out of court and welcome your correspondence in a professional and timely manner.
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