My moving experience

Our open community forum is for general moving related questions, comments, and useful information about local and interstate moves.
x-countrymove
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Ormond Beach, FL

My moving experience

Postby x-countrymove » Wed May 19, 2004 6:11 pm

The following letter I sent says it all:

May 18, 2004

Mike Kachmer
Alex Moving & Storage
2610 S. Birch
Santa Ana, CA 92707

RE: Reference #LGB319

Dear Mr. Kachmer:

This letter is to express our extreme dissatisfaction with your estimator, Erika Burke. Ms. Burke provided us with an estimate for our move from Huntington Beach, California to Daytona Beach, Florida. Her estimate of weight for our household was 11,200 pounds. Actual weight was 16,480, a difference of 5,280 pounds. I can understand a minor difference, but 5,280 pounds is unacceptable. Ms. Burke even commented to my husband that her estimate was a “worst case” and the actual weight would probably be less. Making her estimate even further inaccurate is that we did not even take everything that was included in the original estimate. We left behind our L-shaped sectional sofa bed, reclining chair, one bedroom dresser with mirror, 5 tier glass knickknack shelves, patio table with 6 chairs, large standing wood yard swing, and approximately 8 lawn and leaf size garbage bags of clothing. Has Ms. Burke been in this line of work long? Are all of her estimates this grossly inaccurate? I think Ms. Burke needs to go back to estimator school.

I decided to use a major van line after reading many horror stories on the internet about scam operators low-balling estimates by thousands of pounds. I decided to use NorthAmerican due to their NRA connection, thinking I would save money. Based on my experience, I can only conclude that your agency is no better than the scam movers I read about. Had I anticipated this situation I would have chosen another estimate I had which included packing of the entire house (including packing material) and saved myself and my husband a lot of work. That estimate was guaranteed not to exceed ~$9,000 – the same that your final invoice turned out to be and we wouldn’t have had to pack anything.

I suppose that I am screwed on the weight issue, but I do expect the following adjustments to my final invoice:

 Origin weight was 16,620 pounds. A re-weighing at the destination was 16,480 pounds. Please adjust the transportation charge, origin service fee, and destination service fee for the difference.
 No unpacking services were rendered at the destination. The entire contents was unloaded into a storage facility in the packaging. Please credit charges for unpacking.
 The cost detail indicates a charge of $128.35 for packing material. We purchased our own packing material, including boxes, dish packs, tape, bubble wrap, packing paper, etc. The cost detail signed by my husband at the origin lists that you provided one large carton. I find it hard to believe a one carton costs $128.35 and I expect an adjustment.
 The cost detail indicates a lump sum valuation of $9,972. Our great NRA deal was supposed to provide $50,000 lump sum valuation.

Another disturbing situation occurred at the destination. My husband paid the driver 110% of the original estimate, as is our right, and the van was unloaded. The driver called my husband back about an hour later and told him that his boss was mad and if he (the driver) didn’t go back and get the balance due that it would be taken out of his pay. My husband then had to spend a lot of time that he didn’t have that day contacting someone at NorthAmerican’s office to straighten out the situation. I consider ourselves fortunate that “the boss” didn’t find out until after our possessions were unloaded. Unfortunately, we were not able to get this persons name. I think someone needs to read the “Rights and Responsibilities” booklet that is handed out.

Needless to say, our move was every bit the horror story I was hoping to avoid by using what I thought was a reputable mover. At the time of the estimate, Ms. Burke asked us to write a recommendation letter to NRA after our move was over. You can be assured that they will hear from us.

Sincerely,




cc: National Rifle Association
NorthAmerican Van Lines
American Moving & Storage Association
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Every moving company opinion website I can find

Tyrone
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2003 5:18 pm

Re: My moving experience

Postby Tyrone » Wed May 19, 2004 6:31 pm

Salespeople are often DIRECTED by their bosses to lowball in order to bring business in the door... I fear that Ms. Burke is more likely to get a bonus than to get the boot... :cry:
Dominus amotioni capitis e clunibus sum.

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: My moving experience

Postby Nancy » Wed May 19, 2004 6:44 pm

You should ask the NRA to reimburse you for their cut of your move! I think they make 2 to 5%! You can also complain to the NAVL agent that holds the NRA contract.

Were you given a guaranteed not to exceed price? Why did they make you pay 110%?

User avatar
twalker
Site Admin
Posts: 3491
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 11:46 am

Re: My moving experience

Postby twalker » Wed May 19, 2004 6:49 pm

Patti,

I am very sorry to hear that your move ended up like this after all of the time and research that you put into trying to find a reputable company. Although, from what I recall, this was a non-binding estimate, I do hope that NorthAmerican does the right thing in this case. A 47% increase of the weight from the estimate to the actual is completely unacceptable under any circumstances. Unfortunately this also proves once again that even the major van lines can violate the trust of consumers by utilizing unscrupulous estimating practices.

I do hope that things work out for you and your family.

Sincerely,
Tim Walker
MovingScam.com

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

Re: My moving experience

Postby Diane » Wed May 19, 2004 7:32 pm

Patti, this is so disappointing. For those who want to review the alternatives you had and how carefully you considered them, this is the thread: http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1027

Moverguys:-
Is the lesson here that people should always, always insist on a GNTE estimate unless there are special circumstances such as storage in transit or an unknown delivery address?


On reviewing the old thread, I see that the reason she couldn't get a GNTE with NAVL was that they were quoting on a frozen NRA contract.

Again, Patti, you are so correct that this is what we would have expected from an overt scammer and not from a supposedly reputable moving company.

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: My moving experience

Postby Nancy » Thu May 20, 2004 10:15 am

Diane, yes, abosulutely, the customers need to demand a GNTE price. If they had an NSO contract, it says all over it that the price could be higher. If I remember correctly, this final weight is close to what the other movers quoted them. Perhaps if the customer had demanded a GNTE, the weight would have changed?

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

Re: My moving experience

Postby Diane » Thu May 20, 2004 10:40 am

Nancy, I remember that you mentioned at the time that Patti should try to get a GNTE (23 and Michael also implied this), and you said that the NRA thing might not be as good a deal as it seemed. But her discount seemed very high (67%) and I can certainly understand why she made the choice she did.

In view of what happened to Patti, I think I'm going to stress with everyone inquiring about movers that they should get a GNTE and should favor the companies offering a GNTE even if the estimate is somewhat higher than non-binding estimates from other companies, other factors being equal. Of course charges can still be tacked on at the end, as for a shuttle, but at least the customer will have 45 days or more to pay those added charges.

According to BigLee, the main situation in which people will not be able to get a GNTE will be if the goods are being moved into storage or the customer hasn't settled on a delivery address at the time of the estimate. He also said that people should try their best to insist that the shuttle question be settled at the time of the estimate so that there aren't unpleasant surprises at the end.

I'm also going to stress with people that the driver will probably try to get them to pay all of the charges at the time of delivery, even though legally they are required to pay only 100% with a binding estimate and 110% with a non-binding estimate. 23 has mentioned this also--that this is what is likely to happen in the real world.

If anyone disagrees with this advice that I propose to give people, please tell me.

Natasha Fatale

Re: My moving experience

Postby Natasha Fatale » Thu May 20, 2004 10:45 am

My husband paid the driver 110% of the original estimate, as is our right, and the van was unloaded. The driver called my husband back about an hour later and told him that his boss was mad and if he (the driver) didn’t go back and get the balance due that it would be taken out of his pay. My husband then had to spend a lot of time that he didn’t have that day contacting someone at NorthAmerican’s office to straighten out the situation. I consider ourselves fortunate that “the boss” didn’t find out until after our possessions were unloaded.


Patti,

Do you know which hauling agent was involved in your move? Your driver is most likely contracted with the hauling agent. If you can find that out, then we can warn others not to do business with that particular agent. The person who runs that agency is obviously concerned that if you don't pay the bill for the remaining amount (because you're ticked at the booking agent's lowball estimate), then the money is going to come out of that agent's pocket. It's not his fault that the estimator low-balled the job, but it certainly isn't yours, either, and you should not have been put in the position you were put in.

How was the situation sorted out after your husband called NorthAmerican's office? Did you send your letter to NorthAmerican as well?

Please keep us informed on how Mike Kachmer and/or NorthAmerican responds to your complaint.

x-countrymove
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Ormond Beach, FL

Re: My moving experience

Postby x-countrymove » Thu May 20, 2004 11:50 am

Is the hauling agent the same as the destination agent? I have the destination agent's name. They had no way of knowing that I was not happy. I didn't write the letter until after my goods were delivered (I didn't want any retaliation).

According to my husband (I am still in California), NorthAmerican called the agent and got him to back off. It will be interesting to see if I get any response from either Alex Moving or NorthAmerican.

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: My moving experience

Postby Nancy » Thu May 20, 2004 11:51 am

You need to review your contract and see who your BOOKING or SELLING agent is. They hold the NRA contract and you should give them your feedback as well.

The hauling agent could be any of the NAVL agents nationwide. Normally you should direct complaints to the booking/selling agent or the NAVL corporate office.
Last edited by Nancy on Thu May 20, 2004 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Natasha Fatale

Re: My moving experience

Postby Natasha Fatale » Thu May 20, 2004 11:57 am

x-countrymove wrote:Is the hauling agent the same as the destination agent? I have the destination agent's name.


It's possible. Who is the destination agent?

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

Re: My moving experience

Postby Diane » Thu May 20, 2004 12:19 pm

Patti, to try to untangle this I just went to the NRA website and saw this blurb: "NRA members receive 40% and up discounts off the ICC tariff rates on interstate moves of household goods, plus up to $50,000 free insurance. Call 1-800-524-5533 for information or a free estimate."

I called the number, and the (very pleasant) person who answered the phone said that her company, a NAVL agent located in Pittsburgh, PA, had been handling these NRA discounts and assigning the moves to local agents for almost twenty years. I wonder whether the name of this booking agent might be on your contract somewhere, because they probably get a cut and should be notified about what happened on your move.

Incidentally, she said that the "$50,000 free insurance" is actually valuation coverage but NRA members are "given the opportunity to upgrade . . . to purchase FVR coverage at favorable rates." (Not sure what that means, exactly.)
Last edited by Diane on Thu May 20, 2004 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

x-countrymove
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Ormond Beach, FL

Re: My moving experience

Postby x-countrymove » Thu May 20, 2004 12:24 pm

The selling agent is Moving Solutions, Inc. in Cleveland, OH. I'll send them a copy of my letter today. I also sent one to NAVL's corporate office.

The destination agent was Volusia Van & Storage in Ormond Beach, FL.

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: My moving experience

Postby Nancy » Thu May 20, 2004 12:31 pm

I'd suggest you get on the phone with the selling agent and voice your displeasure with the process and the origin agent they selected. The destination agent would not be involved in your shipment.

x-countrymove
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Ormond Beach, FL

Re: My moving experience

Postby x-countrymove » Tue Jun 15, 2004 5:51 am

I finally received a wimpy letter from NAVL corporate customer service. Basically, it was a "gee, we're sorry but it's really not our fault" type letter. Minor concessions were made, but not on any major points. I am in the process of drafting a reply; however, have a question: If the goods are delivered to a self storage facility, can an extra charge be made. If so, why? It would seem to me that unloading into a storage facility would be easier than unloading into a house, i.e. shorter carry, no sharp corners or doorways to move large items around, etc.

As soon as I finish the reply, I will post a copy along with NAVL's letter. Thanks for everyone's help. This is almost over!!


Return to “Open Community”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 15 guests