Moving Experts lost and broke $3,000 and offered me $96 in compensation...

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may207

Moving Experts lost and broke $3,000 and offered me $96 in compensation...

Postby may207 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:58 pm

Is there any recourse? Any advice would be much appreciated!

This was my experience, as filed with the Better Business Bureau:

To whom it may concern:

I am very unsatisfied with the quality of my move with The Moving Experts (Lincolnwood, IL) and have already filed a claim for items damaged or lost by the moving company.

I received an estimate from the claim company today for $96.00, which is unfair, downright manipulative and quite possibly illegal. I would be more than happy to provide you a copy of the document, if you'd like. Below is the account I sent to the claim company, which I hope will assist the Better Business Bureau in helping me resolve this problem.

I filed the claim as an overall grievance with the lack of professionalism on the part of the men delivering my items, particularly one individual named Michelle. His signature is illegible on the inventory list, and thus, I do not know his last name. This, I'm sure, could easily be verified with the company.

On Aug. 20, 2006, I received a call from Michelle, confirming that my property would be delivered at 7 p.m. the next day at my Hickory, NC apartment. I arranged to leave work early to meet the movers. At 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 21, 30 minutes before my thing were supposed to arrive, I received a phone call from Michelle saying that they had truck problems in Richmond, VA and would not arrive until the next morning. Richmond is at least four hours from Hickory, NC, and Michelle must have realized they were not going to make the scheduled delivery time. It is inexcusable that he waited until 6:30 p.m. to let me know they were running more than 12 hours behind.

They arrived the next morning at 9 a.m., about an hour and a half later than Michelle has said the evening before, and began unloading the truck. Within the first 15 minutes, I noticed the other man (not Michelle) standing on top of a large wicker basket, and it was crackling under his weight. I asked that he please not stand on my things because I was worried those items would be damaged.

As the boxes were moved into my apartment, I began to put the kitchen boxes in the kitchen, the bedroom boxes in the bedroom and so forth. I picked up a box containing my dishes, which was marked FRAGILE in large print, and noticed immediately that the ceramic inside was shattered. I noticed this with another two boxes, as well. One contained ceramic kitchenware and martini and wine glasses, and the other held coffee mugs and drinking glasses. Each item was wrapped in newspaper and bubble wrap. I have moved six times since 2002, both locally and long distance, and have packed my breakable items this way each time. This is the first time that ANY of my fragile things have been broken. The dishes contained in these three boxes included handmade ceramics, two complete dish sets and designer glassware. (The claim company was sent photographs of the damaged items.)

In addition to these breakables, a heavy-duty file cabinet and a large plastic storage box were shattered when my things arrived. The only thing holding my things in place was tape the movers had applied when the boxes were picked up. These are rather durable storage boxes and have made it through six moves, so I can only imagine the utter recklessness that went into moving my items from New York to Hickory, NC.

An antique, handcrafted cabinet was also damaged during the move. When it arrived at my apartment, a large chunk of wood had been chipped off the edge, leaving a very unattractive gash. It had been wrapped with shrink wrap prior to the movers picking it up. The value for the broken and damaged goods is about $843.

I pointed out to Michelle that items in the boxes had been shattered. He snapped at me, "I didn't do it. It was like that." I told him that I was not blaming him, but simply pointing out that my things were not broken when they left New York and that they were now shattered. Again, he yelled, "I didn't do it." I was immediately taken aback by the yelling since this was a professional service and I was paying a lot of money for the service. It was very uncomfortable and threatening. Again, I told him that I wasn't blaming him, but that I was upset that my things had arrived broken. He stormed out of the apartment as I was telling him this. I know for a fact that the items in the boxes were intact when the boxes were picked up because I was with the movers as they loaded the items into the truck. The sound of the glass was audible as Michelle moved the boxes into my apartment and it had not been that way when the movers initially picked up my things in New York.

A little while later, once all the boxes and smaller items had been moved into the apartment, Michelle and the other man were bringing my couch up the stairs. The couch is a large couch and difficult to maneuver. After so many moves, however, I know that removing the block legs from the base of the couch allows it to slide through doorways and around corners with much more ease. I noticed that Michelle and the other man were struggling with this, and I suggest taking off the legs with a screw driver. The couch was wedged between the door at this point, and Michelle has taken off the protective blanket and plastic to make it easier to grasp the couch. Again, he snapped, "Don't tell me how to do my job." I told him that I didn't appreciate him sliding the upholstery of my couch on the dirty outdoor patio and trying to force the couch through the door. Again, I told him that taking off the legs would allow the couch to slide right through. He yelled something about being tired because the truck broke down, swore and said he was leaving. He and the other man started walking away from the apartment as my couch was wedged in the doorway. I was inside the apartment and could not get out, and yelled after him to come back. It was only when I said I had already paid and started crying in frustration that he returned. I had no idea what to expect from this man and had no reason to believe that he wouldn't drive off without completing the move. He came back, took the legs off the couch, and sure enough, it popped right through the doorway.

At this point, I was incredibly uncomfortable having this very volatile man in my apartment and did not now how he was going to react if I pointed out any additional broken items or made additional complaints about the move. I live alone and was scared to be in my apartment with an angry man I did not know. All professionalism had disappeared, and I just wanted him to finish the move and get out of my apartment. As a result, I did not take complete inventory of my items to see if everything had arrived or to see what else was broken and damaged and noted this on the attached inventory list. I had previously called your claim department to find out how the handle the situation and was told to write that I had not completely checked my items for damage or taken full inventory. Michelle yelled at me, as I wrote this, telling me that it was completely "unacceptable" that I was writing such a note. I wrote the following note under REMARKS/EXCEPTIONS on the attached inventory list: "broken dishes in packed boxes, file box (plastic) broken, still need to look at inventory for other damaged goods."

They quickly left, giving me no time to even quickly look over my items to make sure everything had been delivered. When I went back into the apartment and started looking around I noticed that my desk had not been delivered and that at least one box (possibly two) had not arrived. (A list of the missing items and the associated value is included in this claim.) Although some of the things can be replaced, other things in those boxes were PRICELESS and irreplaceable. My photos from the time I spent studying in Europe, in addition to family photos and some handmade pottery, were in those boxes and cannot be replaced. I am heartbroken over the loss of these things and could not be more frustrated over the entire experience. The lost, missing and broken items are worth a monetary value of $1986.

The lost, missing and broken items are worth a total monetary value of $2829.

With that said, I would like to stress that the items lost have much, much more value than the actual monetary value. When I paid for this move (a total of $1361.57), I expected all of my things to arrive in the condition in which they were picked up. Not only was my property severely damaged, much of it did not even arrive. This is not what I paid for, and I would very much like to see a total refund for the cost of the move, plus compensation for the things that were damaged and lost during the move, if possible.


The claim I originally filed with Fixed Price Corp. (c/o Anthem Claim Management LLC) included the following: Letter explaining damages, losses and grievances; List and monetary value of damaged and missing items; Copy of Household Goods Descriptive Inventory; Uniform Household Goods Bill of Lading and Freight Bill; Copy of Contract (Signed copy faxed to the Moving Experts on Aug. 10, 2006); Copy of Contract (Original, as emailed to me prior to move); Labeled photographs of damaged goods.

Please let me know should you have any questions. Thanks in advance for your help.

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

Re: Moving Experts lost and broke $3,000 and offered me $96 in compensation

Postby MusicMom » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:15 pm

May,

Unless you purchased additional insurance, you are covered only by Basic Valuation. This replaces your goods based on the weight of the item rather than the value. So the $96 you were offered by Anthem is unfortunately the most you will see, and frankly, I can't remember the last time someone has reported to us that Anthem hasn't denied the claim outright.

Your complaint should be more focused on Fixed Price Corp than The Moving Experts. TME is the broker that hired FP, and that's where their interest dropped off. The driver was from Fixed Price, the damage was done by FP, the paperwork was from FP, etc.

This is not the first complaint we've seen about TME hiring FP, so they must be enjoying their relationship.

Should you need it, Fixed Price Corp's address and license numbers are:
Fixed Price Corp
220 EAST 134TH STREET SUITE 1
BRONX NY 10451
(212) 267-5053
(718) 246-0578
Fax: (212) 267-7242
DOT# 961903, MC# 410399

Mailing address:
141 SPENCER ST #208
BROOKLYN NY 11205


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