Was I scammed? Read for details

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Was I scammed? Read for details

Postby azchuck » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:45 am

First, when picking a moving company I came here and read up -- did my research. Picked a long standing local company that is a United franchise. They even are the "official" movers for some big sports teams in the area.

(I'd rather not name them at this point until I know if I was really scammed)

So anyway, they come about a month back and give me a quote -- it was $2900 for 4000lbs -- not to exceed. The sales guy was very nice and appeared to be quite honest. Either he is one hell of an actor, or he was legit...who knows...

So about a week ago I realized that a dining room table and four chairs I thought I would be able to sell were going to have to come along. I called the sales guy up and told him about this, also mentioning that a grill and a bike that originally I thought were going were sold. I asked him if it would be a problem that I was bringing the table and chairs, would that affect anything. Basically I was told "no problem".... There was no mention of additional fees.

So the movers come (whole other story) and I get a call the next day saying my total is $3500. Now, I took the $215 insurance, so that puts about a $400 difference in my quoted price.

When I call them up he says my weight came in at 4200lbs and that the items "not on the inventory" are the cause, and I must pay for the overage. I ask him why this wasn't made explicit to me when I called prior to the movers coming and he says something about "well I did say if the weight changed" -- which he didn't or he never used ANY words indicating there was even a POSSIBILITY of additional charge.

Add to that the movers took 3 folding chairs from a card table that I didn't want them to. I was just going to toss them but it probably added 50 pounds or so. He said there was little he could do because I signed the paperwork saying the truck was packed with the right stuff. The chairs were tucked in a corner of the garage, 99/100 people never would have noticed they were gone until it was too late, like myself.

So, what do you think? Was I scammed? Personally I get the feeling he thought my shipment would be a lot less -- he even said he figured I'd have around 35 boxes or so (I had almost 60) and he didn't think I would approach 4000lbs, which of course I did. I think they wanted to make some of their money back...

Also there was a side debacle where the movers wouldn't take apart my treadmill (it had to be broke down to get out of the basement). Problem being the sales guy said they would -- no cost to me -- part of the move. The movers had a different story -- it was extra labor. So I had them call the guy right then and there and he was like "Well the mover is saying that it's more complicated than just taking the arms off" and I was like "No, he's saying that if he has to touch as much as one screw, it's extra labor". Ultimately I just took it apart myself (it ended up being quite easy). Later the sales guy said that he had "never had a problem with that". The movers of course claimed that the sales guys "do that too them all the time".

I honestly don't know what to think. Like I said, this company is reputable and well known, it's even gotten a few props on this board. But in the end I feel like I was a bit screwed. Truthfully, I think that $3500 for my move (with insurance) is a fair price, I just would have liked it up front.


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Re: Was I scammed? Read for details

Postby 23 » Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:42 pm

Scammed would not be the proper term for this type of situation.

Miscommunication sounds more like what happened.

You adding a DR table, chairs, bike, and grill should have alerted the sales rep that the cost should be more. The simple way out is to just say "Oh that's fine, we will take it".

What he/she should have done is given you a revised estimate based on the additional items. That would have been more clear for you and the driver.

That's about the only thing I see wrong here. You can however ask for a re-weigh before delivery if you do not believe the weight to be 4200# and also be present to witness the weighing.

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Re: Was I scammed? Read for details

Postby Nancy » Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:54 pm

Your original quote was $2900

You added valuation for $400

You added items to the move

Final price was $3500, so the added items cost you $200. Is that accurate?

I do not think you were scammed. I think everyone got confused with the additions to the contract and ultimately you paid for the actual weight and services rendered.

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Re: Was I scammed? Read for details

Postby azchuck » Fri Feb 17, 2006 3:19 pm

Extra cost was $400

$2900 (original) plus $200 for insurance = $3100.

My cost ended up being $3500.

Basically I spent $400 for table I was trying to sell the day before for $200.

My beef is about the call I had with the agency prior to the move. I specially called to ask what would happen if I were to bring the dining table and chairs. Also to the one reply -- at that time I said I was *not* going to bring a grill and a bike (which were going when he gave me the original quote). So I took some stuff off, added some stuff on.

The call was very clear. He knew what I was asking. And when I spoke with the guy the other day after I found out my total cost I was very descript in my displeasure with the situation. He had every opportunity to say "You are adding a dining set and because of that if you do go over 4000lbs it will cost more".

I would have rather left the dining room set on the curb than pay $400 extra to take it, and that's why I'm so pissed.


Re: Was I scammed? Read for details

Postby Fred0844 » Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:27 pm

Talk to the branch manager regarding the extra weight issue.
Regarding the treadmill, servicing (dismantle) is your responsibility. If the mover takes it apart not only is responsible to put it to-gether and what happens if it doesn't work. There is a "logic cable" that runs from the control panel to the motor drive through one of the support tubes. It is very fragile and easy to damage. Mine cost me $ 125 Cdn + service call. I run a moving company, guess what my crews do not do.

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Re: Was I scammed? Read for details

Postby PMueller » Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:49 pm

Definately talk with the branch manager, if the sales person did not revise your estimate when you called - then my office would make the sales person eat this difference. The only time this difference would be passed on to the customer would be if you added the items and did not call to discuss.

While this is not really a scam, I can understand why you would feel uncomfortable, since you did the right thing by calling ahead. "23" hit it on the head by saying the sales rep took the easy way out and not following through with the changes and discussing them with you. Mention to the branch manager or sales manager that you had a GNTE estimate for 4000 lbs and you did not exceed a 10%variance which is usually accepted by all carriers and drivers on a load. Let him know you have no problem with the original contract and do not feel you voided by the addition of the items since you called and talked with your sales rep!

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Re: Was I scammed? Read for details

Postby hardatwork » Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:44 pm

What how could it cost $ 400 to move an extra 200 pounds over the estimated weight?

Isn't that $ 2.00 Per Pound for the extra 200 pounds? What am I missing here?

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Re: Was I scammed? Read for details

Postby twalker » Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:51 pm

Pretty steep eh? One time probably isn't a huge deal and most people would probably overlook it and move on, but if they do that 10 time a month then they could hire an extra employee for free every year (or just pocket the cash).

Tim Walker

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Re: Was I scammed? Read for details

Postby nyaccent » Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:03 pm

From my understanding the table and chairs weren't on the original roster list but ended up being moved.

The bike and grill were on the original list, but were sold and were NOT moved.

This should have been a trade off.

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Re: Was I scammed? Read for details

Postby Rick » Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:30 pm

The options that should have been presented are:

1. A revised "not to exceed" estimate or addendum changing the price to reflect the changes to the piece count and services you ordered.

2. Confirmation in writing that the additional services were covered under the orignal "not to exceed" estimate price.

3. Confirmation in writing the shipment was going to be moved for the cost of the actual weight and services ordered.

Everyone can speculate about the unexplained increase in weight but the only real way to determine what caused the overage is to compare the bill of lading charges and driver's inventory of items actually moved against the original estimate and cube sheet.

If movers were paid for the actual weight they hauled on all guaranteed estimates, they could probably buy a couple of more trucks at the end of the year.

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Re: Was I scammed? Read for details

Postby moveman » Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:04 pm

If you called your mover and added items, the mover need to amend the original estimate showing the additional items going and have you approve a new estimate. Verbal approval never flys.

The mover must prove before loading that you have added these items. Not after the fact. A binding estimate is a binding estimate.

It's the customer's responsibility to assure that the movers are taking the correct items. They will have you sign a "Most Important" form releasing them of any liability for items that were to go and did not and vice-versa.

For such a small amount in question, the United agent should make amends and honor the original agreement.

Did they tell you these items that were added the day of the move before they were loaded or after the fact?
an honest mover

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