Problem with Victory Van, Alexandria

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deliotb
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:33 am
Location: Arliignton, VA

Problem with Victory Van, Alexandria

Postby deliotb » Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:47 pm

I am having a problem with Victory Van of Alexandria, Virginia. The problem is detailed in the latter below, which I am sending out today. I will let you know what response I get.

Dear Mr. Patton:

I am writing in regards to a problem I am having with your company. My wife and I moved from Arlington to Ann Arbor, Michigan in August 2005. As part of that move, we have Victory Van pack most of our goods and put them into storage. These goods were in storage until January 2, 2007, over sixteen months. As a result, we paid Victory something over $10,000 over this period of time.

In late November and early December, we were planning our move back to Virginia. We had several housing options, and narrowed them down to a smaller townhouse, and a larger single family house. In either case, the housing was temporary, for about six-seven months, until we either move to permanent lodging or out of state.

My wife wanted the townhouse, and I wanted the single family house. The latter option was a bit more expensive, but I pointed out to my wife that the house had plenty of room for all of our stuff, including a large unfinished basement for storage. The townhouse would require us to find new storage for some of our things.

At some point, I was talking to Annie at Victory Van about the date for moving our goods out of storage. I explained our dilemma, and she said, “oh, we can just move back into storage whatever you don’t want or don’t have room for.” I asked, “won’t that cost a lot?” And she said, “no, we have to go back to the warehouse that day anyway, it’s no problem just to take your stuff back, and we’ll charge you for the storage.”

I was surprised by this, and thought it was a little strange that you wouldn’t charge to haul this stuff back. On the other hand, I figured that we had been very good customers, having paid more than $10,000 to you already, with the prospect of more income from storage over time, and a future move, so I didn’t question it too much. However, I did speak to people at Victory Van at least two more times about various issues, and just to be sure, I asked again, “and no charge for moving things back to storage?” And each time, I was told, “no charge.” It couldn’t have been more clear, there was no ambiguity whatsoever, I was told at least three times there would be no charge.

Meanwhile, we took the townhouse precisely because of these conversations.

On moving day, Mike Gerchik, who had done our original estimate, came by, and told us he would have to charge us for moving the stuff back to storage. When I told him that we had been told there was no charge, he said, “we can’t do anything for nothing, I don’t know what you were told, but it was wrong.” Mike estimated that we had three thousand pounds of good to go back to storage, that these would weight about 3,000 pounds, that it would cost $300 to put these things back in storage, and that storage would cost us $90 a month, which was discounted.

I told Mike that I wasn’t going to get into a major argument over $300, but that I would take up the issue with management later, because I think a company should stand behind what they say.

In any event, I just spoke to Annie on the phone earlier this afternoon, and learned the following: (1) that the goods put into storage allegedly weighed over six thousand, eight hundred pounds; (2) that the fee to move these goods into storage is over $900; and (3) that the monthly storage fee will be over $200.

Imagine my shock to find out that the “free” shipment into storage is now going to cost over $900! And that Mike’s estimate of 3,000 pounds turns out to be almost 7.000 pounds! And that storage that it seemed would cost us a total of $90 a month for six months is now costing us over double that, plus another $900+ . The weight for storage, I should add, seems highly questionable to me, given that we only had 10,500 pounds to begin with, and took almost everything heavy–books, large pieces of furniture, etc. with us to the new townhouse. I would note that we had some “trash” that the men took with them, to give away to any colleagues at the warehouse that wanted it (bookcases, etc.), and that should not have been weighed with the stuff going into storage.

I expect Victory Van to stand by its representations, and not charge for putting my goods into storage. I also expect Victory Van to look into how an estimate of 3,000 pounds of storage (plus, I will acknowledge, one heavy chest and one dining room table that we decided to send back because they didn’t fit) became almost 7,000 pounds worth. Annie tells me that each “pallet” typically weighs between 1,000 and 1,500 pounds. I saw we had four pallets worth of goods. Taking the midpoint of that range, and neglecting the fact that we intentionally took everything heavy with us, would get you to only 5,000 pounds!

I am posting this letter on Movingscam.com, and will update that message board with your response. I am also sending a copy of this letter to Allied headquarters. My wife, by the way, can corroborate everything I've written above.

Sincerely yours,

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

Re: Problem with Victory Van, Alexandria

Postby MusicMom » Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:51 pm

Oh, dear. I'm sorry.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Problem with Victory Van, Alexandria

Postby Diane » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:08 pm

Keep us posted.

deliotb
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:33 am
Location: Arliignton, VA

Re: Problem with Victory Van, Alexandria

Postby deliotb » Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:33 pm

I forgot to mention in my initial letter that there was a reason we had all of our stuff moved to our townhouse, and sorted through it there, rather than using the inventory sheet to ask that only specific items be delivered. The reason is that when our goods were originally tagged for storage, the crew leader informed us 3/4 of the way through that they had accidentally double-tagged some items (used the same number twice for different items), and that we would therefore not be able to take out specific items from storage. On moving day (January 2), Mike told us that the crew leader was uninformed, and that we could have sorted the items in storage. I told Mike that I only could go by what I was told by Victory Van employees. I assumed that this numbering foul up was a primary reason the company was willing to move my extra stuff back to storage for free.

Followup

Re: Problem with Victory Van, Alexandria

Postby Followup » Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:05 pm

Additonal note: it was perfectly logical for Victory Van to offer not to charge to move some goods back into storage. A certain sum was agreed on, well in advance, to move ALL of the goods from storage to a new local location. Only some of these goods were moved, the rest were moved back to the same location. It takes a lot less time to leave things in the crates, or even move them off the crates and back in, than to carry them into a townhouse and up the stairs. So it probably took Victory LESS time and energy to put some stuff back into storage than to move everything into the townhouse.

Guest

Re: Problem with Victory Van, Alexandria

Postby Guest » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:42 am

I promised a followup, and here it is:

I was put in touch with Steve Henegar, I vice-president of the company. After a few days of investigating, he proposed to me what I consider a fair, bordering on generous, solution to the problems that arose. The fee to move my goods back to storage is being waived, and the storage fee will be calculated by container instead of by weight. He also offered a discount even from that fee, to make up for the misunderstanding re the move into storage. As I replied to him, I think the test of a company is not when customer service or billing issue arise, which is inevitable when you have a large business with many employees, but how the company ultimately deals with them, and I think Victory Van has now more than passed that test.

I should also add that aside from the issues I raised previously, the moves themselves with Victory have gone very smoothly, and the company was accommodating in changing our move in date at the last minute.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Problem with Victory Van, Alexandria

Postby Diane » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:42 am

Good. I bet Steve will be glad that he made that decision. Your positive report is the fifth good review that I needed to push Victory Van into the :thumbsup: category on the Superlist linked to below. I am still troubled by Victory's low internal quality scores from the van line as of 9/06 ("meets standards"), but the positive reviews and comments by industry professionals here are enough to make me - cautiously - give Victory a thumbs-up rating.
Diane
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