This is a copy of the letter I just sent to my lawyer about these people.
So, here's the history of the Carmel Mover's saga, up to this morning.
In February, I contacted Carmel Movers to ship the contents of my house from Somerville, MA to Portland, OR. The agreed dates were- pickup in MA on 06/08/06, and delivery in OR between 6/16/06 and 6/19/06. This was necessary, because from 6/20/06 to 07/08/06, my girlfriend and I were to be on vacation and unable to accept delivery. I paid a downpayment of $342, which was an estimated 15% of the total costs.
On 06/08/06, the movers arrived, and everything was fine until they prepared to leave, when they hit me with extra packing charges. It seems there is a specific charge for packing a television, and for using their boxes. This would have been acceptable, except they only told me about the costs after the fact. Also, the boxes they charged me for were filled with boxes I had packed, so I don't understand why their boxes were required. At the time, I complained, but acquiesced only to move the process forward. I also made a second payment of $1026, an estimated 40% of the total cost.
On 06/09/06, I called Carmel to find out what the final cost would be, after the wieghing of my property. It was significantly higher than estimated, but there was more to ship than expected. This extra cost was, at the time, understandable.
However, at the same time, I was told they cold no longer guarantee my delivery date, instead saying the truck would arrive in Portland between 06/18/06 and 06/23/06. I told them this was unacceptable, and they said there was nothing they could do, despite what the contract said. This seems to me to be a clear breach of contract.
After thinking about the issue, I gave in again, and called later that day to leave a message changing the delivery date to 07/09/06. I received no communication from Carmel to indicate that would be a problem. Meanwhile, they would store it in MA.
On 07/03/06, I received a message from Carmel that they would pack my property and ship it out on 07/05/06. At this point, I was a little worried, since it seemed clear they were not going to make the delivery date. Still, I figured it couldn't possibly take more than a week, and I was willing to wait until Wednesday, 07/12/06.
I heard nothing from Carmel for a week. On Tuesday, 07/11/06, I contacted them, and was informed that the truck was in Nevada on the way to California, and that the driver would call me that day. He didn't. Still, I figured- Nevada to California in one day, California to Oregon in one day, and I'd have my property Thursday or Friday.
On Friday, 07/14/06, I finally received a message informing me that the truck with my property had arrived in California, and did I want them to send it to Oregon. I called the office number given to me, and no one answered. I left a message saying, in effect, 'Yes, I want my stuff sent up to me, a week ago, and it had better be on the way.' When I called the cell phone number, the man said he didn't have any paperwork with him, and would call me when he got back into the office in half an hour. He didn't call. I called the office later that day, and again no one answered. I called the cell phone again, and this time he could apparently help me. Although he then told me it was now to late to send it up on Friday, since they hadn't heard from me since they called. No acknowledgement of the fact that I had in fact called them, and the lack of communication was theirs. He did say that he would work on scheduling my load in that weekend, and he'd get back to me. He didn't.
I called on Saturday 07/15/06, and was told a driver would 'probably' be there Sunday or Monday, and would drive my property up the day after. He also said he would call me with an update, and didn't.
Having heard nothing from them, I called on Monday 07/17/06. The shipment is now a week late from the revised drop date, and nearly a month from the original. Apparently the driver never showed up, but they didn't figure I needed to know. I was told that the next truck would be leaving for Oregon on Thursday, and that his brother would be in the office dealing with scheduling from this point forward.
Tuesday, 07/18/06, I called the new person at the California office, who said he was working on a schedule, and would get back to me. He didn't.
Wednesday, 07/19/06, the new person said he didn't think everything would go on one truck, but would try to get most of it up 'in the next couple of days,' and the rest next week. He would let me know the situation once the truck was packed Thursday morning.
Thursday, 07/20/06, I was unable to get in touch with Carmel in California all day. I left messages. They never called, or answered the phone.
Friday, 07/21/06, after they finally answered the phone, I was told there was a problem with the truck, and it couldn't drive to Oregon. The next one would be next Saturday. I yelled for a little bit, got nowhere, hung up and called the head office in Boston, hoping they might be able to do something. Apparently not.
The woman at dispatch in Boston talked to the California office and came back with an interesting story. Apparently, the California office's justification for delaying my stuff was that I hadn't gotten back to them within 24 hours of their notification. Which is clearly a blatant lie to cover themselves with the home office. She also said that I had been dealing with the same person over there the whole time, which is also not true. Or, if it is true, then he told a bizarre lie about a brother and having to be in Colorado. Ultimately, she said there was nothing she could do, and my stuff would arrive on Saturday, 07/29/06. Three weeks later than the revised date, and a month and a half from the original one. When I asked about how much of a discount this massive inconvenience would create, the woman got somewhat cold, and told me I'd have to talk to the California office.
As I was writing this letter, the California office called me to say that they were sending a half loaded truck up with my stuff, and it will arrive on Monday or Tuesday. He says they'll call me on Monday to arrange a specific time.
Frankly, I don't believe it. Throughout this experience, dealing with Carmel has been nothing but a hassle. They refuse to call when they say they will, they don't answer the phone, and they are clearly incompetent at actually getting property across the country, which is, in fact, their job.
At this point, I have been sleeping on the floor for two weeks. I have no furniture, very few clothes, no computer, no kitchen implements. Every day my property is not here constitutes a significant loss to me in terms of productivity, efficiency, and comfort. I in fact have no proof that they haven't just stolen everything I own to sell to a pawn shop. I want to know how much liability Carmel has for this delay due to their clear incompetence. I'm thinking at least $100 a day. The question is, would the start date of their liability be from 06/19/06, when the contract says they were to deliver, or from 07/09/06, the date it got changed to once they broke contract.