Report: #1493812

Complaint Review: Official Van Lines - Miami Florida

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: ROSEANN — Warwick NY United States
  • Official Van Lines 512 NE. 190th Street Miami, Florida United States

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A1A dba Official Van Lines gave me a moving quote from FL to NY in the amount of $2,231.50 which included all of the actual furniture in the house. Due to the coronavirus I was unable to fly from NY to FL. I contacted them and asked if they can pack up all our personal belongings, email response from company is below:

Hey RoseAnn, Thanks for following up on your upcoming move! We do offer packing services. As I told you when we booked you, the wrapping of all furniture and fragile items is included in the price. However, if you want your boxes wrapped etc., it will be $10 a box and we expertly pack everything. The price for the additional VIP packing service would be $40. Patti Underhill Moving Consultant Official Van Lines 908-952-0066 patti@officialvanlines.com I e-mail her back to let her know they can move forward and I would have realtor let the movers into the house.

On 3/23/2020 they arrived with my realtor and we went through the entire inventory over facetime. At that time there was no mention of any price increase. Once all of our furniture was packed onto the truck they gave my real estate agent paperwork to sign and told him it was to confirm inventory. I was sent a copy of the bill of lading from my realtor via text message which showed a new total of $8,235.94, this amount is $6,004.44 higher than I was originally quoted. I immediately called them and spoke to Michael, he said this is for the additional space the items are taking up on truck. I told them that can't be possible considering that the additional items were significantly less that the original items I was quoted on.

My husband took the phone from me and Michael admitted that the original quote given to me by Patti was incorrect. This is their fault, not mine, correct? They should have to honor the original price especially because they made the error. The additional charges were not brought to my attention until after the truck left the house. I did not agree to these charges. The additional items added were the 19 boxes they packed up for me plus 1-metal bed frame,2-3drawer plastic bins, 4 lamps, small BBQ grill, 4' ladder, card table with 4 folding chairs, 3 fishing poles, 1-dolly, 1-rake, 1 shovel, 1 small toolbox, 1-area rug, 2 small shoe racks, 1-small luggage. They are trying to charge me an additional $$6,004.44 for these additional items listed above. Obviously the above mentioned items could not possibly take up 3x the space of all the furniture that I was quoted on.

I have been fighting with them since 3/23/2020. They still have my personal belongings and refuse to deliver until I pay half. They have totally taken advantage of me due to the fact that I was not present at the time of the move. I recently found out that by law after the foreman does a walk through and figures out the cu ft. of the items and he is suppose to let me know of any additional charges this was not the case. I was unaware of the additional charges until the realtor send me the text message of the bill of lading.

I believe than I am a victim of fraud and have been scammed from this company. Please help me in getting back my furniture and personal belongings. I've called the company numerous times and they are not picking up the phone. I left a message on Monday 3/30/2020 and still have not had a callback from them. They are holding my furniture hostage!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/08/2020 07:09 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/official-van-lines/miami-florida-aa-movers-price-1493812. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#4 Author of original report

What about this?

AUTHOR: ROSEANN - (United States)

POSTED: Monday, April 13, 2020

What about the fact that last time I spoke to someone (Jeff) was on 3/30/2020 and we were discussing pricing, he said he would see what he could do for me...put me on hold for 10 minutes and then hung up the phone.  I called back and he did not pick up, still haven't recieved a call back from him.  Each time I call noone answers, I also sent an e-mail and still no response from anyone...I believe I would call that keeping my furniture hostage...would't you agree??

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#3 Consumer Comment

I ThinkYou Just Proved Why You Have No Case

AUTHOR: Jim - (United States)

POSTED: Friday, April 10, 2020

The BOL in this situation isn't created until the guys actually load the stuff on the truck - it doesn't happen when the quote is done through Face Time or by e-mail.  Anything done without a surveyor at the site, isn't binding.  Quoting the FMCSA doesn't really mean anything because scam movers also happen to be members of the FMCSA.  It isn't just the guys at United, or Bekins, or North American, or any of the legit movers.  Its everyone.  That's why the FMCSA has no credibility.

Now, here are the facts - not opinions...facts:

1.  Given the way the industry currently works, what you described is perfectly legal.  I'm not just telling you this as a former mover but as a lawyer - I know the in's and outs, what you can and can't do, and the move you described is legal - it was not a hostage load, as you are trying to describe because the BOL was handed to the agent and the agent texted you the pricing.  A hostage load would be the stuff is loaded, The BOL is completed and signed, the truck drives away, and a day or so later, the price gets jacked up over and above what the BOL stated at the time the truck drove away.  The mover is bound to the BOL, which of course is not done over the phone or by face time.  By law, those quotes are not binding in any possible way.

2.  You got sucked in by a low quote - perhaps you should have done some research BEFORE you decided to actually contact a mover - then you would have found out about low-balled quotes, which are also legal in this industry.  Instead, you decide to start quoting me FMCSA rules after the fact - which BTW - the mover you selected did exactly as the FMCSA guidelines state.  Had you done research, then you would have known not to be suckered in by low-ball quotes.  The best site for such things is www dot movingscam dot com.

3.  The worst is yet to come.  Even if you pay exactly as the BOL states, the likelihood that a lot of your stuff is either damaged or destroyed is high.  Pretty high.  Under the BOL, you MUST pay the mover in full BEFORE you can file a claim for any damage, and as I already said:  they are probably offering you valuation at $0.60 per pound.  If I had to guess based on what you described, you're probably looking at maybe getting back a few hundred dollars, and the Carmack Amendment prevents you from collecting anything more than what's in the BOL.  You don't even know where your stuff is and you may not even have the funds to pay for the stuff.  My suggestion?  Find the money.

4.  Using a mover was really never intended for middle-income people who cannot afford an $8K move up the east coast.  It was really intended for people who are far wealthier who can afford the service.  So what do middle-income people do?  U-Haul and DIY.  Seriously.  That's what I used to tell people when they balked at paying what the legitimate service costs (BTW - $8K might be what a legit mover would charge you).

5.  Here's what gets me:  You had a realtor - realtors are supposed to know who the good movers are and who isn't.  They know who to recommend.  If this was her idea....you got a crappy realtor too.

Moving is not inexpensive.  Bottom line.  

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#2 Author of original report

I do not agree with you!

AUTHOR: ROSEANN - (United States)

POSTED: Thursday, April 09, 2020

It becomes binding only upon the items loaded onto the truck at this point, at which the quote was presented to the RE broker. 
The FMSA states that…..Your mover is required by law to prepare a bill of lading for your shipment . The bill of lading is the contract between you and the mover for the transportation of your shipment . The information on a bill of lading is required to be the same information shown on the order for service . The driver who loads your shipment must give you a copy of the bill of lading “before or at the time of loading your shipment” This was not the case. The bill of lading was given to the RE after all the items were loaded and he wasn’t told anything about additional charges. I mean really, are you kidding me????  They asked RE to sign without notifying me first!!  That's a scam if I ever heard of one.  He was told he had to sign to confirm inventory, they lied to him If I had been there this would not have happened…TRUST ME!!!
The $2200 you were offered was a way to get you to accept moving with them.
You said it yourself.....Exactly what I am saying, they low balled their original price and took advantage because of the fact that I wasn’t there. This was done on purpose…they should have called me to discuss any price changes instead they asked the RE to sign which is very sneaky.

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#1 Consumer Comment

That's Not What The Law Says

AUTHOR: Jim - (United States)

POSTED: Wednesday, April 08, 2020

My husband took the phone from me and Michael admitted that the original quote given to me by Patti was incorrect. This is their fault, not mine, correct? They should have to honor the original price especially because they made the error.  No that's not how the law works for this industry.  The quote done via facetime is not binding upon anyone.  It becomes binding only upon the items loaded onto the truck at this point, at which the quote was presented to the RE broker.  Now, even if you had been there, the price would still be $8K or so. 

 I did not agree to these charges.  Well, you sort of did since you RE agent was technically acting for you.  However, the larger question then becomes this:  If you say no, then they unload the truck - in which case you basically are still out a few thousand dollars and nothing has been moved, because of course you would be liable for their time, materials, and cancellation fee.

The quickest way to get your items back would be to pay the amount requested because they are entitled to it and by law, you accepted it.  There is no fraud because the initial quote was not binding - that's Federal Law BTW because interstate moves are governed by the FDOT.  However, that isn't your real problem:

So what's your real problem?  Your stuff hasn't been sitting in a truck for weeks while you're going back and forth over getting your stuff back.  Your stuff was unloaded, moved, probably moved again, and again, and possibly again.  Each time your stuff is moved, it probably got a little more damaged.  The longer they have your stuff, the more likely your stuff has been damaged.  Your mover offered you valuation as a part of the contract....that valuation is $0.60 per pound.  That means something that weighs 20lbs...will get you $12, and there's nothing more you can get.  Moreover, movers are protected from lawsuits by Federal Law so you could not get more than the valuation amount they offer.

So what's the moral of the story?  Moving is not an inexpensive venture.  The fuel and material costs alone are more than $2200 for a move from FL to NY.  The $2200 you were offered was a way to get you to accept moving with them.  It's perfectly legal and movers located in FL do it all of the time.  And no, legally based on what you wrote, your items aren't being held hostage.  Sorry, but this is the way moving is.

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