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Report: #328749

Complaint Review: New Zealand Van Lines, Movements International Movers - Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch New Zealand

  • Submitted: Thu, April 24, 2008
  • Updated: Thu, April 24, 2008
  • Reported By: Torbay Other
  • New Zealand Van Lines, Movements International Movers
    19 Barnes Street, Seaview, Wellington,
    Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, New Zealand
    New Zealand

New Zealand Van Lines, Movements International Movers Thieves & Vandals! Do Not Use These People! Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch New Zealand

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In June 2007 I contracted New Zealand Van Lines to transport my personal effects and two sports cars, a Hillman Avenger rally car and a Toyota MR2, from Wellington, New Zealand to Perth, Australia.

Right from the outset, this exercise was a disaster. The packers arrived two hours late, failed to pack a number of items and did not pack many items sufficiently resulting in a great deal of damage in transit.

During the following three months it took for NZ Van Lines and their Australian agents Movements International Movers of Perth to deliver my effects and vehicles to me, almost $7000 in parts and accessories was stolen from the vehicles.

Both vehicles were also significantly damaged by the shipping companies' staff joy-riding in them. One arrived with a blown clutch and damaged tyres, the other with damaged steering, driveshaft and electrical systems. The total repair bill is over $16000.

For reasons never explained, Movements International Movers held my property for ten weeks (customs and quarantine clearance should have taken no longer than four) and during that period made several demands for money for 'inspections', 'fees' and the like.

When questioned about the charges and delay, the manager became abusive, telling me that he didn't "give a f*** about me or my cars". Their demands totalled over $3600, none of which was ever supported with documentation. Effectively, my property was held to ransom for six weeks.

Complaints made to NZ Van Lines and the directorship of Movements International Movers about the delays, charges and conduct of the Movements International manager elicited no response whatever.

Both my vehicles were thoroughly steam cleaned and water-blasted before delivery to Van Lines Wellington depot, were water-blasted again (allegedly) by Van Lines to remove any road-dirt they had accumulated between my home and Wellington, and as such, should have been clean when they arrived in Australia.

Movements claim the vehicles had to be cleaned again in Australia (at significant expense of course) because they were muddy inside and out. When I picked the cars up, the Avenger had mud splattered all through the engine bay and on the undercarriage, it even has mud splashed on the inside if the rear window. There is no way the cars would have passed strict Australian quarantine inspections in this state.

Movements claim they were never able to start the cars (because the batteries were flat), and that the Avenger had two flat tyres. Movements claim they do not know how to change or charge a battery. With that level of incompetence, why were they handling vehicles in the first place?

It never occurred to them, it seems, to call me and ask for advice. They did pump the two flat tyres up (several times, according to them) and claimed that the tyres went flat each time overnight.

When I insisted on removing the remains of the Avenger from their care, the sales manager of Movements Perth office tried to persuade me to leave the car there for another night while the tyres were repaired as he didn't think I would be able to get the car back to Albany without the tyres going flat. (Why did he want me to leave the car there I ask myself?)

Miraculously, once I took possession of the Avenger from Movements, the tyres have stayed inflated (for five months so far!). Once I got both cars out of Movements" hands, I discovered that numerous items that had been in the Avenger were now in the boot of the Toyota. It appears to me that the intention was to steal the Toyota once all parts of value had been removed from the Avenger.

Upon eventually retrieving the vehicles from Movements International Movers' offices, I took photographs of the damage and laid a complaint with NZ Van Lines and Movements International Movers.

NZ Van Lines, as the primary carrier, with the duty of keeping my property safe and secure while in transit, started an 'investigation'. Despite several offers, NZ Van Lines saw no need to include the photographic evidence in their 'investigation".

An approach to NZ Van Lines by my lawyer in NZ was met with the response that I was welcome to take civil action against them, but they had "far more money to throw at this thing" than I, and that they would delay proceedings until I could no longer afford to pursue the matter.

Both NZ Van Lines and Movements International have repeatedly told me that I should have paid for their insurance scheme for the vehicles (which I did not) and that the thefts and damage would have been the subject of an insurance claim.

I opted, on the advice of Char Macintosh, the Wellington branch manager of NZ Van Lines, not to take out the insurance because their policy specifically EXCLUDES parts, accessories and components, not part of the vehicle". The legal definition of not part of the vehicle is any part, accessory or component not fitted as a standard part of the vehicle at the time of manufacture.

Clearly, had I spent the extra several thousand dollars on the insurance, the thefts would not have been covered. The insurance, in fact, covers very little and certainly does not include mechanical damage suffered while NZ Van Lines" staff, agents or assigns are test driving" my cars.

My initial complaint was made by telephone to Char Macintosh on September 13th, followed on the 18th by a detailed assessment of the thefts and damage via email, as she had handled my shipment from the outset.

She referred it to Warwick Woodley, a director of NZ Van Lines. He took 21 days to reply to me, despite promising, via Char Macintosh, to respond within 10 days. Two days later (now October 11th), he handed the issue to another director, Clive McCall. On October 17th, he informed me that he had taken over the investigation".

Another three months passed. When NZ Van Lines completed their 'investigation', the details of which they do not see fit to share with me, I received an email from Clive McCall, a director, who stated "We have been unable to establish how these items were stolen or lost. Or even if these items existed in the first place ..... We value your business and truely (sic) regret that there has not been a more satisfactory out-come. There is little more we can do."

I then laid a complaint with Fdration Internationale des Dmnageurs Internationaux, the global organisation representing professional international moving companies, which accredits both NZ Van Lines and Movements International Movers. While they are unable to resolve disputes, they can remove accreditation.

This resulted in the managing director of NZ Van Lines offering $4000 compensation as 'full and final settlement' of my claim. This was later increased to $6790, being the replacement cost of the parts stolen. I have been advised to accept this second offer and to be as happy as I can with the outcome. This only leaves me $9000 out of pocket.

It has now become apparent that NZ Van Lines are well versed in situations such as this. In 2006, a few weeks only after acquiring World Wide Movers, personal effects sent from Wellington to Brisbane in Queensland, Australia were held to ransom for more than six weeks over some internal dispute. See

http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_budget_story_skin/919572

It later transpired that the same familys vehicle was also driven and damaged during transit, arriving in Australia covered in mud. The owners were charged for additional cleaning of their vehicle and the insurance cover they paid the shippers for was never filed.

As far as New Zealand Van Lines is concerned, the matter is now closed. I am out $9000 and have not been able to use the vehicles for six months. I have been lied to, insulted, accused of being a liar and threatened by these people. They hide behind the clients expenses taking them to court, cover for their own thieving staff and draw out proceedings in the hope that the problem will go away.

I have been travelling most of my life and have never seen behaviour like this from a moving company. I should have gone with my instincts and used Pickfords!

Rod
Torbay
Australia

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/24/2008 07:32 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/new-zealand-van-lines-movements-international-movers/wellington-auckland-christchurch-new-zealand-6000/new-zealand-van-lines-movements-international-movers-thieves-vandals-do-not-use-these-328749. 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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