Follow up to "Finding a Mover on Long Island"

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qjakal
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:48 pm
Location: Forest

Follow up to "Finding a Mover on Long Island"

Postby qjakal » Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:39 pm

I originally posted requesting help to find a mover on Long Island and now that the move is done I wanted to post how things went.

I ended up using Hall Lane Moving & Storage for my move from Mount Sinai, NY to Forest, VA. Their salesman, Alex, actually gave me the highest weight estimate at 17,000 lbs but he freely admitted he estimates high so that there won't be any surprises when the weight comes in. My other two weight estimates were 12,000 from Maher and 15,000 from Avatar.

Shortly after I got the estimates, I decided to give one of the bedroom sets to my in-laws and called Alex to see what it would cost to bring it there. He told me it would cost about $40 for the extra stop and the furniture would be dropped off before the truck was weighed so it would not be counted into the weight. This was a complete set of bedroom furniture which included a queen size hospital bed, triple dresser, big chest, light bridge headboard and two big bookcases. When I told my husband, he made me call Alex back and verify that they would move and deliver that much furniture for $40 and not include it in the weight and Alex assured me that it was no problem. I asked Alex if he should do a re-estimate but he said it shouldn't matter as the weight is the weight. He also told me that we would be able to witness the truck being weighed as their was a weigh station just a couple miles from my house that they would use. At this point we decided to use Hall Lane. Then we managed to sell a 10' X 14' area rug and our complete set of outdoor patio furniture which included 8 chairs and a large and small glass top table. So, in our minds we were sure we had taken at least 2500 lbs off the estimated weight that was, supposedly, high to begin with.

On the day of the move my driver, Rick, and his crew showed up on time and ready to go. As we went through the paperwork I asked if he knew about the extra stop and to drop off the bedroom set before the truck gets weighed and he got a bit upset informing me that he is an independent contractor and there was no way he was going to move 2000 lbs of furniture (his estimate on the weight of the bedroom set) for $40. He needs to get paid. Not a good start to the day. After several phone calls to the office, salesman and owner, the driver finally told me that they would drop off the furniture before weighing the the truck but someone was going to pay because he wasn't doing it for $40 but that I shouldn't worry about it because, apparently, it wouldn't be me.

It took most of the day to load the truck and as they were finishing up I asked about following them to the weigh station after they dropped off the bedroom furniture. The driver looked at me like I had two heads and asked what I was talking about. When I explained to him that the salesman said I could witness the weigh he said he will be weighing his truck at a location about 30 miles away and it wouldn't be until about 6:30 am the next morning as it was getting too late to go there today. He knew nothing about using the weigh station that was only a few miles away. If I wanted to come in the morning, I could but of course he didn't think it was necessary. As we were planning on driving over 500 miles the next day and needed to sleep we decided against going there in the morning.

The next morning before we started our trip I called the office of Hall Lane to find out what the weight was on my load. I was told it hadn't been figured out yet but they could call me later with the weight. A couple of hours later I received a call from the weigh master telling me the weight was 17,500 lbs. Needless to say, I was not happy. But I was on the road and needed to pay attention to the road so I complained a little and let it go. But, later in the day when we stopped to eat, I called back and had them track down the weigh master and told him the whole story of how my estimate was 17,000 lbs and then I removed a whole bedroom set, a large outdoor furniture set and a large area rug. So how could the weight be 17,500? He said there is nothing he can do and that I need to call my salesman. Well, I was not in the right state of mind to hash through the whole story again, right then, with my salesman and I had to get back on the road. So, I figured I'd deal with it once we got to Virginia.

The truck arrived close to on time on the day of moving in, just about a half hour late. And, after they were done unloading, the driver sat down with me to go over the paperwork and I asked him about the weight of my load and to see the weigh tickets. He told me he had nothing to do with the weights. He just drives the truck onto the scale. He did show me the weigh tickets and sadly they were a mess. The ticket for the weight of the empty truck had been changed in two places. Both the date and the trailer number had been written in and then written over with different numbers. And then on e ticket with the loaded weight, the actual weight number had been written over to change the weight. Next to the change the weigh master had put his initials but this did not make me feel better. Even the driver had to admit the weigh tickets were a mess and he understood why I was questioning the weight but there was nothing he could do. So, I called my salesman, Alex. I got his voice mail and left a message.

Alex called me back the next day and I explained to him my issues with the weight even before I saw the weigh tickets and how after seeing them I was even more convinced there was something wrong. He said he would have to look into it and get back to me. Well, between Alex being sick and then not getting into the office that often it took quite a while of going back and forth with no explanation and no resolution. After finally confirming the inventory and seeing the weigh tickets himself he decided to have Alan, the owner, call me.

Well, it took another few days but Alan did finally call. I explained to him about the $40 extra stop issue, the estimated weight versus the "actual" weight (after removing at least 2500 lbs of furniture) issue and the unbelievable weigh tickets issue. He said he would look into it and get back to me. It took at least two weeks for Alan to talk to everyone involved and, of course, there were what they considered "reasonable" explanations for everything. As to the first weigh ticket, the weigh master sometimes writes down the wrong date and had to correct it and he thought he recognized the truck when it pulled in and wrote down what he thought was the right trailer number only to find out he was wrong and had to change it. It was the same weigh master for the second weigh as well. He claims that when he punched the ticket for the weight a couple of the numbers didn't print dark enough so he just wrote over them to make them more legible. No one can explain how an experienced salesman could have missed by so much on the estimate. Just that it happens some times.

Obviously, this did not satisfy me. So Alan went back and talked to everyone involved again which took another week and a half. When he finally got back to me he said all he could offer me was a refund of $242 which he claims is a reduction of 1000 lbs. I don't see how 1000 lbs comes to $242 when I was charged almost $5900 for 17500 lbs but Alan insisted that if my weight had been 16500 lbs that my bill would have only been $242 less. He also said that he wasn't admitting to any wrong doing and believes that everything was correct but under the circumstances was trying to make me happy and it was a take it or leave offer. So, I took it.

The bottom line is, I still believe that something underhanded happened here. And I believe it stemmed from the $40 extra stop charge that really ticked the driver off. So, consequently, I do not recommend Hall Lane.

I know this is long but I wanted to tell the whole story as accurately as I could. And the old saying that "if you are offered a deal that sounds to good to be true, it's probably not a good deal" is still true.

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

Re: Follow up to "Finding a Mover on Long Island"

Postby Diane » Sat Nov 10, 2007 8:01 pm

qjakal wrote:Shortly after I got the estimates, I decided to give one of the bedroom sets to my in-laws and called Alex to see what it would cost to bring it there. He told me it would cost about $40 for the extra stop and the furniture would be dropped off before the truck was weighed so it would not be counted into the weight. This was a complete set of bedroom furniture which included a queen size hospital bed, triple dresser, big chest, light bridge headboard and two big bookcases.

This is contrary to everything I have believed about how things are charged for. Even though the bedroom set didn't go all the way to VA, I don't see why it would be excluded from the total weight. I think the sales rep made a mistake if he told you that.

You could be right that there was funny business with the weight tickets. Was the driver from Hall-Lane or from United Van Lines? If he was a long-haul driver for United, then Hall-Lane can't be blamed for any possible shadiness with the weight.

On the other hand, $242 is probably the correct price reduction for 1000 pounds less weight since you can't just divide 1000 by the weight and get a percentage and multiply that by the $5900 original charge. It is not a strict $ per pound reduction, and you get less of a reduction at higher weights like yours than at lower weights such as 3000 pounds.

Why did you choose Hall-Lane over Maher?

qjakal
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:48 pm
Location: Forest

Re: Follow up to "Finding a Mover on Long Island"

Postby qjakal » Sat Nov 10, 2007 8:33 pm

I chose Hall Lane over Maher because their estimate came out at about $.33/lb while Maher charges $.47/lb. I assumed that the weight would be the same no matter who weighed it so it seemed obvious to go with Hall Lane as they both had good recommendations.

The driver is an independent contractor. I'm not sure if he works for Hall Lane or United. The weigh station is at Hall Lane and the weigh master definitely works for Hall Lane.

I now realize that the salesman probably made a mistake but I didn't realize that at the time. It just seemed like a good deal but, of course, didn't turn out to be.


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