Below is my horrific experience using these SCAM ARTISTS!
On June 20th, 2012, I spoke to Nathan, supposedly the owner of Great American Van Lines, who proceeded to send me the initial estimates for our upcoming relocation to CA.
Over the course of the following month, I was exceptionally thorough sending a number of emails that included lists specifying exactly what we were planning to move, as I didnt want there to be any additional charges. Due to this specification, the initial estimate was almost doubled. The total for my mothers move from Watertown, NY was $3,180 and my move from NYC was now $1920.
I found that communication was sparse, and that the only time I spoke to the company was when I called to update them and/or confirm the move dates. (I realize now that I was charged for boxes that NEVER ARRIVED!!!)
On July 21, 2012, the movers arrived to my mothers apartment in Watertown, NY, took approximately 6 hours to pack the truck with her belongings, and said that they would see me on the 23rd to then pack my belongings. On July 23rd, I was met by 2 different movers at my apartment in NYC, who explained that my mothers items were put into storage and our things would be combined that week and our things should arrive within 8-10 days. In addition, after loading my things, I was told that it would cost an additional $600 to move my things, due to the square footage in the truck and their estimate on space was wrong. I contacted Nathan who said that he would do his best to reconcile and that he would bring the request directly to
the owner. I thought he was the owner!? Having no choice, I agreed to this increase, which was now a total of $2,535 for my move from NYC.
My mother and I flew to CA on July 27th and did not hear from anyone regarding our shipment until I placed a call to dispatch a few weeks later. Having no clarity, on August 10th, I sent an email directly to Nathan, explaining that I had tried to get an eta on our shipment, but that no-one could answer me. I explained that we were sleeping on an air mattress and that my mother is disabled. He responded apologizing saying he was in Europe, and that hed try to find out where our things were. I never heard from him, and began calling dispatch daily, as I was not comfortable with the situation. They finally admitted that the truck had broken down, and that it was the second time in 2 weeks, and that our things were still in NJ!!! They
continued to lie every time I called, saying that the truck was on its way, that it would be here on a certain day, only for me to call again and to hear the date being pushed out again and again. For a few days, the number to dispatch was disconnected, and/or no-one answered and I began to panic. I truly felt they had ripped off all of our things.
I finally got through and was given a delivery date of August 13th. Again, I called when there was no word from the company, and the delivery date was pushed to August 14th. I received a call from the driver at 7:30pm the evening of August 14th stating that it was too late, and if he could come the next morning. By this time, I was beyond frustrated. We had officially been on the air mattress for almost a month.
Again, not having a choice, we agreed on delivery at 6am on August 15th.
The driver arrived at 6:30am with a young man in the passenger seat, I believe it was his son. There were no movers to unload our things. The driver placed a call and in about 45 mins, 2 random guys showed up, the driver spoke in private
to them, handed them a wad of cash and they began to unload the truck.
Throughout the process, I was asked to take inventory, marking off boxes as they came in. ISNT THAT THEIR JOB!!!?? Smooshed and disfigured boxes were being placed in our apartment, some missing the numbers and about 15 boxes that had
been completely opened (no tape on them, when we taped EVERY box). Furniture was broken, glasses that were triple wrapped in bubble wrap were now shards due to the damage to the boxes. Everything was a mess. They even attempted to
deliver items that werent ours! This made me beyond uncomfortable. As I went through the inventory list, we found that my mother was missing 15 boxes, I am missing 5 boxes, and that her inventory list was incorrectly numbered. The 2 guys who were unloading the truck mentioned that there were triplicates of the same numbers, and that the inventory is a complete mess. I called Great American during this process a number of times, not being able to reach anyone. I then informed
the driver of the missing boxes, that my mothers inventory list was incorrectly marked, etc. He then began to argue with me that he was marking everything off as it was unloaded. I showed him the list I was marking off with a number of missing boxes and he forced me to take it up with the company. He instructed that I write down that the tvs and nightstand were not delivered and had me sign the paper.
I gave a tip of $200 to one of the men who were unloading the truck, asking him to split it with the guys. The driver then came back to me for a tip. I explained that I gave it to the other guy, he checked with the man, and the guy told him I only gave him $40. The driver came back to me asking how much I tipped and made this an additionally uncomfortable situation.
I wanted to tell the driver NOT to hire random, untrustworthy people to unload their trucks!
In the end, the missing boxes mentioned above, my night stand, our 2 flat screen tvs, and my mothers mirror were not on the truck. I immediately called Nathan, who said that he had found our tvs, and that they were mistakenly left in storage in NJ!!! WHY WOULD OUR THINGS BE SEPARATED AT ANY TIME!!??? He said that the tvs would be shipped express via UPS, and would arrive in a few days. Even that was a headache, as it took them FOUR days to send me a tracking number, and whoever shipped them, didnt include an apartment number!!! I drove 40 mins. to the UPS facility, only to be told that
the tvs were now scheduled to be delivered the following day.
As we have begun to unpack and get settled in, we are now realizing everything that is still missing and/or damaged. My mothers vacuum, which she had put a new bag in prior to shipping off, was delivered completely full of someone elses dirt and a grey carpet was tangled in the brush can no longer be used. Im including a list of the items, as this moment, we realize were not delivered. The ONLY items we have received are the tvs. Ive sent a few emails since inquiring about the
missing boxes and my night stand, but have not received a response.
I cannot begin to express the frustration and stress we have been put through. People need to be aware of the scams they are attempting to pull off and what all they could lose. They need to be taught a lesson, that you cant falsely advertise as being a reputable company and allow this to happen! There needs to be CONSEQUENSES!!! Ive been reasonable up to
this point. Im DONE!