Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

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notmeyer
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:08 pm

Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby notmeyer » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:27 pm

I contracted with Stevens International to move me from Italy to San Francisco. They picked my stuff up in mid-July and it came to the SF port in mid-September. I actually got it Oct 3rd after having it stored for about 2 weeks so I could get in my new place.

My things were packed by Alpha International in Italy, moved by Stevens, and delivered by Broadway Moving & Storage in SF. I assume all these different companies were subcontracted by Stevens.

The packing went fine, the move took not too long. But when my shipment arrived this past Friday, the guys unloading alerted me that 3 boxes of mine were very obviously the victim of water damage. To give you an idea:

Image

3 of the boxes had clearly gotten wet. The one above had gotten so soaked that it was warped. Inside the box, I had clothes that were in vacuum-sealed plastic bags (the space bag things), and a digital camera in a foam-padded sealed aluminum case, which was then wrapped in layers of bubble wrap and sealed with packing tape. We're talking like nearly an inch thick. And my things were so wet that the INSIDE of the camera was soaked and everything in the plastic bags was wet and rotten. For example, check out one of my leather jackets:

Image

Victims of the damage were a $900 Sony digital camera, 4 leather jackets, one fur coat, 2 camera cases, multiple cords and a couple miscellaneous articles of clothing not worth mentioning. Added up the cost were to buy them all new exceeds $2700, not including my family picture album from my childhood which was also damaged and is obviously irreplaceable but with no monetary value.

The rep for Stevens, Jill Lickey, has actually been very helpful. We're trying to figure out where during the process the damage occurred, HOW it occurred (since it's clear that these were left in water for a long time to soak through so much, and it had to have happened awhile ago judging by how much mold growth there is) and why on EARTH someone was NEGLIGENT enough to leave boxes in an area where they could get wet and then just didn't say anything and tried to pass it off. Needless to say I'm beyond enraged.

I'm not sure who is to blame as of now, but this happened when using Stevens International. As a result, be it due to their own negligence or their poor choice of subcontractors, I recommend avoiding them even though they are a sponsored company on Moving Scams.

PAC Global Insurance Brokerage is the insurance company, and I'm really hoping they don't turn out to be a pain about this but I'm not holding out much in the way of hope. If this becomes a major hassle I am fully willing to take it to the BBB and small claims court because the evidence is irrefutable. I've taken detailed pictures, listed everything on the claim, and kept the horrid-smelling box of rotten items in a closet should they attempt to deny responsibility.

This has been a terrible experience and I'd really appreciate any further advice anyone may have.
Last edited by notmeyer on Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

farrah7031
Posts: 4619
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:08 am
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby farrah7031 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:52 pm

how much valuation did you purchase and what was your deductible?

Rick
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:59 pm

Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby Rick » Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:23 pm

Removed
Last edited by Rick on Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

notmeyer
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:08 pm

Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby notmeyer » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:43 pm

Stevens has been fine so far (other than the fact that this happened in the first place). It's more the insurance company I don't trust because I never trust insurance companies.

The damage to replace everything comes to a bit more than $2700. The "worth" of the shipment on the form was $8050.00, and the insurance required was 12k. The deductible looks like it's $50. So I should be covered.

I'm not considering legal action right now, it's just something I'd consider if this isn't handled swiftly and well. Why do overseas claims get more satisfaction - what is the difference?

notmeyer
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:08 pm

Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby notmeyer » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:35 pm

PAC got back to me and offered me $900 in damages.

They gave me this added note as to why they refused to pay for the camera or cases:

Notes:
* The Underwriters have offered $0 compensation for these items due to the Terms and Conditions, “Items not declared and valued are not insured.” These items did not appear to be listed on your valued inventory.


These items are listed in my packing list as box #328 - camera. Also, PAC is only offering me $150 per coat they destroyed, including the fur, saying "Max amount offered based on insured value".

I didn't get any form that asked me to list the individual contents of each individual box, and it was professionally packed. The movers in Italy gave me the item valuation form AFTER things were packed, and told me to just list general items (when I asked them how I was supposed to remember everything when it was already boxed up). But PAC and Stevens are trying to get out of paying for the single most expensive thing they destroyed through their negligence. They asked for, and got, pictures of the camera showing mold growth outside and water inside. Apparently this wasn't enough.

I've notified them that I was not accepting their offer. I also stated that if they pay for the camera in addition to the offer, I will accept the remainder of the offer as it stands, but otherwise I'm not accepting any of it. I didn't expect to get the full value of every item, but I do expect something other than this middling recompense considering the extend of the damaged suffered.

Can someone advise me further of my rights in this case?
Last edited by notmeyer on Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

notmeyer
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:08 pm

Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby notmeyer » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:00 pm

I've filed a complaint on MovingScam.com, the BBB, RipoffReport.com, and on The Squeaky Wheel. You can see my complaint on The Squeaky Wheel here. http://www.thesqueakywheel.com/complaints/2008/OCT/complaint41580.cfm

farrah7031
Posts: 4619
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:08 am
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby farrah7031 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:45 pm

Why are you posting complaints before they have a chance to do restitution?

notmeyer
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:08 pm

Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby notmeyer » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:12 pm

farrah7031 wrote:Why are you posting complaints before they have a chance to do restitution?


?? The insurance company is refusing to pay for the camera and anything related to it. I tried to find a middle ground and they refuse to negotiate. So they had a chance to do restitution, and they denied me. I mentioned that in a previous post. They offered me a $900 settlement on $2700 worth of damage.

Moving Queen
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby Moving Queen » Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:46 pm

notmeyer wrote:PAC got back to me and offered me $900 in damages.

They gave me this added note as to why they refused to pay for the camera or cases:

Notes:
* The Underwriters have offered $0 compensation for these items due to the Terms and Conditions, “Items not declared and valued are not insured.” These items did not appear to be listed on your valued inventory.


These items are listed in my packing list as box #328 - camera. Also, PAC is only offering me $150 per coat they destroyed, including the fur, saying "Max amount offered based on insured value".

I didn't get any form that asked me to list the individual contents of each individual box, and it was professionally packed. The movers in Italy gave me the item valuation form AFTER things were packed, and told me to just list general items (when I asked them how I was supposed to remember everything when it was already boxed up). But PAC and Stevens are trying to get out of paying for the single most expensive thing they destroyed through their negligence. They asked for, and got, pictures of the camera showing mold growth outside and water inside. Apparently this wasn't enough.

I've notified them that I was not accepting their offer. I also stated that if they pay for the camera in addition to the offer, I will accept the remainder of the offer as it stands, but otherwise I'm not accepting any of it. I didn't expect to get the full value of every item, but I do expect something other than this middling recompense considering the extend of the damaged suffered.

Can someone advise me further of my rights in this case?


First let me ask, was this your first move? If not, you should have been familiar with the insurance process unless you failed to insure your first move.

Your inventory is NOT your Valuation form. Your valuation form states EVERYTHING that you WANT insured. You can only insure certain things if you choose. I have moved many times and am familiar with the Pac Global form. You should have received that from Alpha prior to your move. Ask your Stevens Rep when that was sent to Alpha.

If you were given the valuation form after they packed, why couldn't you fill it out based on their inventory sheet? You yourself state that item #328 specifically said CAMERA. Also, the valuation you place on items is what you are ASKING them to insure the items for. Shipping insurance is different than other insurance. If you didn't list the camera, that's YOUR fault, not theirs. If you undervalued the coats, that is YOUR fault, not theirs. You stated you asked the shipping company about the insurance. Did you ever ask your Stevens contact? If it is like other moving companies, Stevens is the one who handles the insurance, not the movers so the movers wouldn't have known.

The point is, the valuation form is your responsibilty to fill out completely and correctly. If you failed to fill it out completely and accureately, no court will side with you.
Last edited by Moving Queen on Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

Moving Queen
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby Moving Queen » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:23 pm

Oh, and let's not forget the fact that these were used items. Do you have original receipts for these items? If not, I feel you should be happy that they offered you the full insured price ($150 each). Also, if they offered you anything for the camera, it too wouldn't be a new price but rather adjusted for depreciation. Also, from my prior experience with Pac Global, didn't you have to fill out a separate form for all items of high value? I had to write a hand-written statement of each item that was worth more than $500. Did you do this? If so, why didn't you include the camera? I find it very hard to believe you could forget about a camera if it is worth as much as you say it is.

I still stand by my original statement however. You failed to insure it therefore I feel it's a costly lesson you should have to learn from. Shipping insurance isn't like homeowners insurance. It's not blanket coverage of the entire shipment. It is item specific to what YOU specify.

notmeyer
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:08 pm

Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby notmeyer » Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:37 am

Yes it's my first move. And yes I should have paid more attention and trusted less in the company handling the move. But it hardly excuses the negligence of their handling my things, or would you say that this extent of damage is common, "Moving Queen" who just joined to reply to my post?

I did list other high value items - 2 guitars, because they were shipped in special containers and hard to forget being that they are large items - but the inventory list I was going by was in Italian, which I can't read! The translated US English inventory form I now have a copy of is not the form that I had in Italy, it's the translated version.

I forgot the camera because I don't use it very often, I use a smaller portable one all the time. This camera was too big to carry around with me, so was only used on certain occasions, and that's why I forgot about it. I looked up what that camera is selling for now and its $899. I don't see why that is so "hard to believe" (wtf?? like I made it up?), considering I have pictures of the thing being unpacked and covered with mold, clearly showing the make and model.

My opinion stands - NEVER use STEVENS INTERNATIONAL unless you want your things destroyed. While I wish I had known more and hadn't had a language barrier to work with, it doesn't change the fact that many irreplaceable items were destroyed, including some with no monentary value at all, such as an old family photo album. This kind of extensive damage to your personal things is never excusable, and while a better payoff would have been great, some things can never be replaced.

Moving Queen
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby Moving Queen » Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:20 am

notmeyer wrote:Yes it's my first move. And yes I should have paid more attention and trusted less in the company handling the move. But it hardly excuses the negligence of their handling my things, or would you say that this extent of damage is common, "Moving Queen" who just joined to reply to my post?


Actually, I have been a "lurker" I guess you would say, here for several years, just never needed to join. I usually only come here to read experiences with companies so I know what to be cautious of. I used the name "Moving Queen" because I have moved from the US to Germany and back as well as many moves here in the US for my job so I am a very experienced mover. I have heard many rave reviews of Stevens was surprised to read your complaint regarding their International division. I had also read your posts under Amara and you seemed upset with this move before it ever even seemed to happen.

While the extent of damage is NOT common, I feel your anger is directed at the wrong companies. You need to look at the people who actually handled your belongings. Are you sure this didn't happen while it was in the storage you placed it in for 2 weeks as you state in your first post? It could have happened anywhere. I would look into where the damage occured and direct my energy on that company. While you did fail to insure the camera, if you find the company who caused the damage, I would think they would reimburse you for the camera as it was obvious negligence.

Also, according to your squeakywheel report, you only lived in Italy for a year so I'm assuming you had to have moved before this particular time.

notmeyer wrote:I did list other high value items - 2 guitars, because they were shipped in special containers and hard to forget being that they are large items - but the inventory list I was going by was in Italian, which I can't read! The translated US English inventory form I now have a copy of is not the form that I had in Italy, it's the translated version.

I forgot the camera because I don't use it very often, I use a smaller portable one all the time. This camera was too big to carry around with me, so was only used on certain occasions, and that's why I forgot about it. I looked up what that camera is selling for now and its $899. I don't see why that is so "hard to believe" (wtf?? like I made it up?), considering I have pictures of the thing being unpacked and covered with mold, clearly showing the make and model.


Macchina fotografica = Camera in English. That is rather obvious that is a camera. Also, if you lived in Italy for a year, how could you not have known Italian?

Also, yes, the camera is worth $899. BUT, you failed to do your duty in accurately insuring your possessions. You didn't pay to insure the camera, you paid to insure every other item you included on the Valuation form.

notmeyer wrote:My opinion stands - NEVER use STEVENS INTERNATIONAL unless you want your things destroyed. While I wish I had known more and hadn't had a language barrier to work with, it doesn't change the fact that many irreplaceable items were destroyed, including some with no monentary value at all, such as an old family photo album. This kind of extensive damage to your personal things is never excusable, and while a better payoff would have been great, some things can never be replaced.


You are entitled to your opinion as everyone else is, but you should make sure it is well founded otherwise you will be with one with mud on your face. You have made an extreme effort to drag these two companies through the mud before the situation is even finalized. You seem to have a very strong sense of entitlement and are seeking something for nothing. You didn't pay to insure the camera so why should they be so wrong for refusing to reimburse you for it? As I stated earlier, find out where the damage occured and base your claims on that company.

Please don't take this as an attack of any means. I just hate seeing good companies get a bad review for something that wasn't directly their fault. If you have any further questions, I will be more than happy to help you in any way I can. As I stated earlier, I am a very experienced mover and I understand your frustration in the obvious negligence that occured.

notmeyer
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:08 pm

Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby notmeyer » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:36 pm

Good companies? They destroyed a ton of my stuff, how are they a good company? They don't even know how or when it happened, and won't take responsibility for it, apologize, or admit fault. I think that's pretty damned far from a good company. A good company wouldn't have let boxes to rot in water for weeks in the first place, which is something you seem to keep purposely overlooking. PAC is correct in their offer, I see that now. Stevens should be liable for their negligence, though.

As for how I could not know Italian, that's personal and none of your business.

Please don't take this as an attack of any means. I just hate seeing good companies get a bad review for something that wasn't directly their fault. If you have any further questions, I will be more than happy to help you in any way I can. As I stated earlier, I am a very experienced mover and I understand your frustration in the obvious negligence that occured.


Okay so they are a good company, but you admit it's obvious negligence? But it's not their fault? How exactly does *that* work?

Rick
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:59 pm

Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby Rick » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:20 pm

Removed
Last edited by Rick on Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ArchieWhite
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Re: Stevens International for International move - MAJOR DAMAGE

Postby ArchieWhite » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:44 pm

I might sign up to take lessons from a 'Moving Queen'. I took some golf lessons, the golf pro told me to take 2 weeks off, then give up the game.


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