Rockville, Maryland local move

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MusicMom
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Location: DC Metro

Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby MusicMom » Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:50 am

Thanks for reporting back to us, and I'm so glad you had a great move!

onlinediscussion
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:48 pm

Fairfax county local move - JK Moving (not that good after all.)

Postby onlinediscussion » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:12 pm

I do have a comment about JK Moving (local Fairfax County move.) I note that they tend to have good comments on this forum, and I will agree and disagree with that.

In terms of the actual move - the service, the packing and moving teams - yes, they were a good crew (just a few things broken, which were not valuable, so we didn't bother to complain)

BUT in terms of their quote (we obtained a maximum guarantee) wouldn't you know it they are now trying to claim that we changed the scope of the move - and have charged our credit card for what "they" have decided to bill us despite our instructions that they are not authorized to charge our card with more than our contracted and agreed to amount.

BTW we aren't just bellyaching. We had an attorney look over our contract, and they are in agreement with us. We have paid what we owed in full, and JK should not have charged us extra.

We have made it clear to JK that per the contract we did NOT change the scope of the move and that we dispute the extra charges. We also made it clear - in writing - that JK was NOT authorized to bill our card for the disputed amount, but they are either totally lacking in customer service or extremely disorganized behind the scenes, because they went ahead and did so anyway. The receipts we signed (upon service completion) very clearly have my comment - these prices take us over the maximum guarantee made to us. Please be sure to credit the difference.

Well we were billed in dribs and drabs - not sure what that was about, but for the final amount - we wrote to them and specified which charges we disputed, but that we wanted to be sure we had paid the non disputed amount in full. They did that, but weeks later ran the disputed amount through on oiur credit card.

Their owner Kuhn is less than professional in response to us our opinion (we told JK they had not demonstrated to us change of scope and they responded with threats about law suits and collections) - but we have a clear contract and had been very clear about all aspects of our move before JK made the quote to us. We moved to the location we said we would move. We actually moved fewer items in the end (because we left some furnishing behind for the people who purchased our home) and we told JK in advance of the quote that there were two scenarios for us - either a local move, or we'd need to put our items into temporary storage because we had not yet purchased our new home. Based on all that informaton JK made a revised quote with a maximum guarantee to us.

In addition, as we were arranging the service dates, JK didn't mention a thing to us about "change of scope" - that is until AFTER the service had been performed. How convenient for JK! If they had told us when we were making the arrangements that they were no longer going to honor the maximum guarantee, we would have contracted with someone else. We consider this bait and switch to obtain our business.

Because we had our items picked up on day one and delivered on day three, JK is claiming we owe them "loss of efficiency" and "truck storage" charges. Well there's nothing on our contract that says local move means same day move, and we had been very clear in advance that we might need to put our items into temporary storage (in this case 2 days) and that was all discussed before JK made the maximum guarantee to us. So for them to now claim - after the fact - that there was a change in scope smells to high heaven. They sure didn't say so when we were making the arrangements. And of course we have a written contract where there is NOTHING about loss of efficiency or truck storage or same day moves.

Also by way of background, we first declined to contract with JK because they were nearly twice as expensive as all our other quotes. We asked them if they would come back with a better bid and include a maximum guarantee in that. We have that in writing, and based on that we contracted with JK.

And yes we asked for the maxium guarantee for just this reason - to protect against this kind of behavior. So JK's Kuhn may talk the talk in public, but JK doesn't walk the walk when it comes to being up front about costs with customers, in our opinion. Will keep you posted on this issue. We do NOT intend to be bullied by JK into paying what we do not owe.

Much less so, run the disputed amount through on our credit card when we specifically told them they were not authorized to do so. Obviously we have filed a charge back through our bank.

Whatever you do - do NOT allow JK to keep your credit card on file, and understand that "maximum guarantee" is meaningless to this company.

Can you tell I'm furious with them! We paid just under $10,000 and the extra is only $1300, but it is the principle of the thing. Our maximum guarantee was for $9500 (plus of course we paid the extra - that we agreed to in advance I might add - for insurance, etc. which we chose over and above the contract agreement.)

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby MusicMom » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:02 am

I might be misunderstanding a bit of what you've written, but this is what I gather from your post:

You got an estimate for one of two scenarios. 1. That you'd have a local move from one place to another and that would be that, or 2. You'd need temporary storage if you didn't have a house by then. It turned out to be #2. Since you say they're billing you for 2 days of storing your things on their trucks, I gather you didn't inform them until they arrived which type of move it would be, and at that time you didn't know when the new house would be ready, and it took an extra day to get into the new house. Did I get that right?

As a non-professional, I'd have to say I completely understand their position. Your things sitting in their truck for 3 days cost them the use of that vehicle for other paying moves, and they certainly have the right to bill you for that lost income. What size truck did they send for your move? Was it a normal moving truck with the extra space over the cab, or was it a full tractor trailer combo? If your bill for the local move was over $10,000, this must have been a very large move.

It also sounds to me that you did NOT in fact make all aspects of the move clear to them, since you didn't have the new location prepared to move into. Telling them ahead of time that it might go one of two ways is NOT giving them enough info to create a set-in-stone estimate, or to dispatch and carry out a precision move.

I'm not aware of any mover being able to make a guaranteed price on a local move, as these are usually billed by the hour. Did they make it a "flat rate" estimate? This was probably tossed out the window when your move turned into a 3-day affair. It's not a "bait and switch" unless they planned from the getgo to do something different with your move.

I'm sure some of the professionals will comment on this. I would love to hear JK's take on this, but please, do keep us updated on the goings-on of this move's disputed bill.

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

Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby Rick » Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:22 am

Removed
Last edited by Rick on Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

onlinediscussion
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:48 pm

Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby onlinediscussion » Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:55 am

We did make it clear before we received the maximum guarantee what the two scenarios for final pick up would be (we already had a first load of items go into storage when we put our house on the market) and based on ALL that information, we received the revised quote and maximum guarantee.

JK knew full well when they quoted us and gave us a maxiumum guarantee - that they needed to provide that to us in order to obtain our business - because we had already declined to contract with them based on their first quote and told them that IF they could provide a discount and a maximum guarantee we would reconsider. They KNEW they were making this quote based on the fact that they might have to put our items in temporary storage. We have a written quote that the storage would cost $250/month.

Also, after the quote, and when scheduling the final pick up and delivery dates - again IN ADVANCE before they arrived and before they selected which trucks and service line to use (we didn't spring any surprises on them) we gave them all the details of our move (pick up day one, delivery day three) they said not ONE word about any change in scope from the quote they had given us. It wasn't a change in scope, we had made it clear in advance that this might be the case.

I should add, as we were getting closer to the move JK asked me did I know whether they should use local delivery trucks or storage trucks. When I called back - in advance - with the details (day one pick up, day three delivery) to schedule things, JK called it a local move. I took that at face value - I'm not a mover and there was nothing in our contract that said local move = same day move. If I had known for a minute they would charge us "truck storage" and "loss of efficiency" we would have asked them right then and there, why are you using local trucks instead of your storage trucks then?

I cannot tell JK how to run their business, but if a local move would result in change of scope, then they should have remembered that they obtained our business with a maximum guarantee and used the storage side of their business not their local delivery trucks - our quote for storage on the contract is $250/month - not $500/night! They were always aware that they obtained our business based on the maxiumum guarantee that they made to us (in writing) based on our final move being either of these two scenarios.

As I've said an attorney has reviewed the contract and agrees with our reading of the contract.

JK chose not to bring this up until "after" the move was complete. At that point all we could do was dispute their logistics decisions (our contract is very clear) Although of course now they have put through the disputed amount - even though we have made it clear to them on our receipts (once we realized they were charging us more than they agreed) and in written communciations that we dispute this change from our original written contract and that they were not authorized to do so.

Why are they SO careful to get advance signatures and discuss pricing for things like insurance before providing service, but find NO need to discuss any other costs with us beforehand? We would NEVER have agreed to this arrangement and would have hired a different company, or pointed out to them that their contract DID include storage pricing ($250/month) and that is the business process they should have followed.

JK clearly had no incentive to communicate clearly and their sloppiness benefitted them. We don't accept that.

This is why we are posting - buyer beware. Maximum guarantee appears to be meaningless, because the company will do what it wants and then claim "change of scope" after the fact and come up with charges for those changes out of thin air. Regardless of how much information, you the customer, provide to the company - so that everything is VERY clear in advance.

To answer the comment that JK couldn't give us a firm quote based on the two scenarios, then our response is that then they had no business making a maximum guarantee to us - in effect misleading us that they could guarantee a maximum charge - in order to obtain our business!

PS. To answer the credit card billing question - I think that they are just totally disorganized in their office and left and right hands don't talk to one another. I'd like to think that they did not put the charge through willfully and against our express authority. We made this very clear to them in writing. Now that we realize that they had our card information written down in a file somewhere we have asked them to remove our credit card information immediately. In this day and age of information security issues, that our card information was laying around in a file somewhere so that someone could run it through weeks afterwards is not comforting.
Last edited by onlinediscussion on Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

ArchieWhite
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Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby ArchieWhite » Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:48 am

We get involved in situations like this once in a while, and to my recollection, we have never 'won' once lawyers and credit card companies get involved. I tried the read the whole story, but I've had too much coffee to concentrate, but if the agreement changed, then the price should change too, but like I said, lawyers and credit card disputes can make bad things happen to good people.

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

Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby Rick » Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:50 am

Removed
Last edited by Rick on Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

onlinediscussion
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:48 pm

Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby onlinediscussion » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:16 am

"What was the amount allowed for drayage in, warehouse handling, delivery out and insurance while in storage? "

That's exactly my point and ergo my warning to consumers - maximum guarantee is meaningless, because you are at the mercy of the company finding "other things" to charge for - regardless of how much information you give them. All they need to do is "claim" change of scope.

As a lay person you aren't asking, does it include X, Y and Z when they make a maximum guarantee to you!

As I've said, if JK couldn't have given us a maximum guarantee based on the information we gave them, then they had no business making one in order to obtain our business.

And again the point, we did not change anything about the move from what we told JK fully and in advance - which is what they based the revised quote and our maximum guarantee on. Also at NO time during the scheduling did JK tell us, "Oh this is a change in scope and do you agree to these revised prices" giving us an opportunity to address the issue beforehand.

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

Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby Rick » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:56 am

Removed
Last edited by Rick on Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

onlinediscussion
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:48 pm

Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby onlinediscussion » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:48 am

"the term "maximum guarantee" is somewhat misleading when referring to the pricing arrangements for a local Virginia intrastate move."

This is definitely a consumer beware situation which is why we are posting about it.

As a lay person, you expect maximum guarantee (if you have been up front about all aspects of the move - NO surprises to the moving company) to mean what it says. Especially when it is used as a tool to win your business.

As a lay person you don't know all the "a la carte" details involved in a move.

We were completely candid with JK about all aspects of the move, we showed them everything in our home, we told them where we planned to move (we knew which town, not which street address because we hadn't purchased our new house yet) and we added in everything and anything we could think of that might impact the move, including critically of course, that because we hadn't yet purchased a new home the items might need to go to temporary storage. Then as a lay person you TRUST the company to know their logistics well enough to be up front with you about all the costs involved when they quote you a maximum guarantee.

At the time of scheduling the pick up and delivery service (in advance), once again we were absolutely candid about all aspects of the move, and even went into excrutiating detail about the location/size of the road - anything and everything we could think of to help the company plan. And JK said not ONE word about the fact that they would later claim we were changing the scope of the move. Maybe it isn't typical to give a customer a maximum guarantee, and so they weren't thinking through the logistics and that this should be put into storage instead of being handled as a local move. Who knows what happened, but we do intend to share our story, so that other consumers aren't burned in the same way.

We chose to spend $4,000 MORE on moving than our next highest quote when we selected JK - but we agreed to go with them, even though they were the highest quote because we thought we'd have better service (we were pleased with the moving crew) had the protection (or so we thought!) of a maximum guarantee. It was a specific condition of our agreeing to contract with them.

MusicMom
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Location: DC Metro

Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby MusicMom » Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:59 pm

I almost never contact the mover for a reply, because, well, I don't have time to be a mediator. But this story seemed to be rather one sided, given the reputation of the mover in question, so I emailed Chuck Kuhn at JK Moving and here is his response to the customer's complaint:

The customer received a quote from JK on June 10 for one day's local move, one hour's travel time, full packing plus one special crating, and "declutter phase". These charges were listed line by line, with the "Total Estimate based on this scope of work" being $8706.64, and the final line item saying "Based on this scope of work not to exceed $9577.30".

The morning of the move, Customer called JK to say they could not get into the new house, so they'd be needing truck storage. This turned the one day move into a multiple day affair. This "change of scope of work" resulted in additional charges for storage, insurance, 2nd day move travel fee, and "efficiency lost due to 2nd day move", for an additional $2251.95. JK has documented phone calls on the move day explaining the new charges to Customer. JK totalled the new bill, deducted the amount already paid, and gave Customer the balance due. Customer had paid the amount of the original estimate, but refused to pay additional amount because it was a Not To Exceed estimate. JK maintains the additional services are rightfully billed and due to be paid.

Mr. Kuhn has documented repeated requests for Customer to contact him to discuss the matter. Mr. Kuhn says Customer did not reply to emails or phone calls. When Customer did reply to an email regarding the bill, it was almost 2 weeks after Mr. Kuhn had sent the email and requested Customer to call to discuss.

On October 7, Customer gave written authorization for JK to charge $4832 of the $6149.25 in additional services to their credit card. The $1317 left (efficiency lost charges and second day move charges) is what remains in dispute to this day. On Oct 24 Mr. Kuhn gave a final date due of Oct 29th, after which time the matter would be sent to a collections agency.

Regarding the second credit card charge, Mr. Kuhn admits this was not an intentional charge. JK had turned the account over to Collections, and Collections charged the card to clear the account, although it was not supposed to have been charged at that time.
[end of JK Moving's response]

At this time, it appears to me as if Customer is maintaining that because they were vague from the start (no set delivery date, no set delivery location) that Customer should not be held liable for the extra charges incurred due to the change of delivery date and location, and that JK should eat the loss of their truck and cost of the crew for the second day's move.

According to the Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet provided at www.protectyourmove.gov the customer "... must also be prepared to pay at delivery the cost of any additional services that you requested after the contract was executed that were not included in the estimate and charges for impracticable operations. " The loss of truck and the second day move would count as Impractical Operations.

It's important to note that the estimate, even if it is a Not To Exceed, is not a contract. It is an estimate of charges based upon all the knowledge of the move's details to that point. The Bill of Lading received upon pickup is considered the contract.
Last edited by MusicMom on Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MusicMom
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Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby MusicMom » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:00 pm

Rick is not a layperson, I am. Rick has years and years of experience as a professional mover and he knows what he's talking about.

Even if you'd used the next most expensive mover on your list, the mover would have billed you in just the same way for the same impratical operations.

Rick
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Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby Rick » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:07 pm

Removed
Last edited by Rick on Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MusicMom
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby MusicMom » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:17 pm

Good point, Rick, I completely forgot that the interstate rules wouldn't apply here.

onlinediscussion
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Re: Rockville, Maryland local move

Postby onlinediscussion » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:02 pm

"Mr. Kuhn has documented repeated requests for Customer to contact him to discuss the matter. Mr. Kuhn says Customer did not reply to emails or phone calls. When Customer did reply to an email regarding the bill, it was almost 2 weeks after Mr. Kuhn had sent the email and requested Customer to call to discuss."

This is untrue. In fact WE had to contact JK a second time to say we wanted to at least pay the undisputed amount. Perhaps like the credit card charge that "accidentally" was put through, handling of customer communications is disorganized also. We have a very clear email communication trail which is what we sent to our credit card company for the chargeback.

Nonetheless, JK did credit the unauthorized charge back to our account. So we wanted to update the forum in that regard.

We still maintain that JK had NO business making a maximum cost guarantee as a means to obtain our business if they could not honor it. They had all the information IN ADVANCE of making the revised quote to us, and did NOT bring the excess charges up until AFTER the move had been made.

If JK had said to us we might have additional charges to the maximum guarantee because they weren't taking everything we had told them into account before giving us the revised quote, we would not have contracted with them and would instead have opted for a MUCH cheaper moving company. JK is the "expert" here and should have known all the ins and outs to consider before saying "maximum guarantee" to win a customer's business.

This is a customer beware story.


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