Moving Company Scam

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May 29, 2020
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I hired the company Moving Pro US to move me from Virginia to Ft. Collins, CO. Originally I was going to get PODS and move myself, but I had a lot of belongings and I was in the process of closing out my parents' estate and basically moving twice. They had quoted me about $8K for two PODS and I decided to call around and get quotes. The Initial quote from Moving Pro US was $6858.25 for approximately 1600 cu ft. and I made a downpayment of $2347.29 (roughly a third was expected as deposit, the second payment to be made at time of pickup, and third at time of delivery). I thought this was a really good deal because the movers were going to do all the heavy lifting - all I had to do was pack. I was told due to the size of my move, I would have a "whole truck" reserved just for me. I was also told when I made my initial deposit, that I could make the move anytime for that rate up to 18 months.
I had already given my required 60 days notice at my townhome the end of February and was supposed to be out by April 30th, but the unexpected Covid pandemic delayed getting my parents house finished and on the market and I had yet to find a place in Colorado because a lot of things were falling through. Trying to negotiate a new home long distance is hard, so I tried to postpone the move due to these circumstances.
I was told it was too late because the truck was already on order and would cost me $600 to cancel, but I was offered help with the move (it would now be more of a full-service relocation - they would have to help me pack the remainder of my belongings because I was not ready). They even offered to go to my parents house as an additional stop because it was within 10 miles for free, so I went ahead with giving them an inventory of my belongings (of which there were many because I was also moving items from my parents house after clearing out their home to get it ready to sell). With a full service move and the items I listed, the distance being traveled, etc. the new estimate given was $12,294.29 - again this was supposedly based on the number and volume of my items and the new amount of cubic footage it would occupy on their truck. I was told that if my items did not take up as much space as estimated, I would get a refund but additional space was charged at the rate of $3 per cu ft. My estimate was bumped up to 2189 cu ft and I was asked to make another deposit at that time of $3248.90 bringing my total deposit to $5596.19. I should have done the math then, if that was considered a 1/3 of the amount due, but it did not occur to me at the time. I had spoken to other people making cross country moves and they had said it had cost them around $10K. I thought based on how much stuff I had and the distance, that a move of this size costing around $8-12K was reasonable.
The moving truck arrived late on April 24th (around 4pm). At that time, it didn't occur to me to notice that they were NOT Moving Pro US but my move had actually had been outsourced to a company called Integrated Moving Solutions, Inc. - and they began loading. They finished the following day and presented me with the bill of lading. My stuff was already loaded on their truck. The new cu ft was listed as 3700 cu ft (more than double the original quote). I had no way of ensuring the accuracy of this number. My new total for the move now that my belongings were in their possession?? $18,962.48. Amount due at time of pick up was now $6683. This brought my total paid to date to $12, 279.19. I felt I had no choice but to pay this - they had all my stuff loaded. I had to vacate my townhome by April 30th - in 5 days! What was I supposed to do now? Tell them to unload all my stuff again? In hindsight that is EXACTLY what I should have done!!
Also, the "whole truck" that was supposedly reserved just for my move? Lie. They had two other moves after mine, but I was told because I "unexpectedly" had SO much stuff, they would now have to take my belongings to New Jersey and drop them off in order to go to their other scheduled moves.
I tried to call Moving Pro US to discuss the costs and payment options but was unable to reach any of the people who had been so helpful originally but had now disappeared and would not return phone calls. I was then told I would have my belongings 5-15 days after pickup at which time I would have to pay the balance of $6683 upon delivery - in CASH. I kept trying in vain to get hold of Moving Pro US....nothing. I was now dealing with Integrated Moving Solutions, Inc and Moving Pro US was just the "broker" with no further responsibility to me at all! I contracted with THEM, not Integrated Moving Solutions, Inc. Nevertheless, that was who I was corresponding with - and I say corresponding because now it was impossible to get any response on the phone - only email.
I was provided a form to send in that told them where to bring my belongings, but I still did not have a new address. That was ok because I had been given "30 days of free storage" with my move and when I needed to delay/tried to postpone it, they extended that to 45 days. However, when the movers arrived to load up my stuff, that had been reversed back to 30 days again. I sent in the form and provided them a new address as of May 1st. I told them I would be able to take delivery as of May 6th thinking that was enough time for them to transfer my belongings and once I was in Colorado, I wouldn't have to wait as long to receive my delivery given the 5-15 day window I was told I had.
Fast forward to my arrival in Colorado. I followed up and provided a forwarding address. I was ready to get my stuff. Having heard nothing, by May 15th, I reached out to ask when I might be given an update or eta for receiving my belonging which they'd now had in their possession for 3 weeks. I was told I would hear something by that upcoming weekend - the 16th/17th. I heard nothing. I tried again Monday the 18th. Heard nothing until Wednesday the 20th saying my stuff was on its way to me and I would have it by the weekend. I was told again to have the balance at TOD of $6683 to pay in CASH to the driver. This sounded fishy to me so I started attempting to reach out to attorneys for advice.
On Friday, May 22nd, I got a call from the delivery driver. He said he was in Kentucky - sent me a text with his location - and said he would be here by Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning at the latest. YAY! I had been sleeping on an air mattress in an empty house now for over 2 weeks. Two hours later I get a phone call from the truck driver - oops I am sorry, I was just told I had to make 3 delivery stops in TEXAS and another pickup before I get to you. I will call back and give you 24 hours notice before I arrive and will give you a new eta as soon as I have one. SO I WAIT. I hear nothing until Monday, the 25th when I receive an email from Moving Pro US saying they were notified I received delivery of my items over the weekend! WHAT??? NO I HAD NOT!!
So I call and email and call again. I'm distraught. I'm in pain. I don't know where my stuff is or when I will get it. Had the driver just disappeared with it? I started reading reviews online (should have done that to begin with but they were so helpful and so nice and so AVAILABLE when I contracted with them). Apparently this is Standard operating procedure for this company. Get your goods, jack up the price, then hold your belongings hostage and CLAIM to be "just the broker", NOT the "movers". I'm crying. Finally get hold of someone at Moving Pro US named Jennifer Knox. She seems kind, sympathetic and helpful. Please just upload your bill of lading to our support team and we will work with you! $18K is a lot of money, sure we can do something for you. I never heard back from her. Shocker!
Finally, Wednesday the 27th, I get a call from the truck driver again. I am SO sorry ma'am, this trip has been plagued my mechanical difficulty and my truck broke down. It has been repaired and I am going to "drive all night" to get to you and be there in the morning. I finally reached an attorney on Wednesday and told him my story and sent him all my paperwork - everything I had agreed to and signed. The truck driver calls me at 8 am on May 28th. I will be there at 10 am. I am on the phone with the attorney and he manages to get hold of an actual person at Moving Pro who claims she will have a supervisor call him back. I told him good luck. He gets hold of Nancy at Integrated Moving Solutions who claims I signed a "revised estimate" agreeing to the new charges. I tell him all I have is the bill of lading. I kept copies of EVERYTHING.
The truck driver arrives. He won't unload until I give him $6883 in CASH. He says he has 4 other people coming to help but right now it was just him and his 15 year old son. He tells me the truck kept breaking down. He tells me if I won't pay cash, he's just going to leave with my stuff. The attorney advises me to get my stuff and he's still trying to negotiate with Nancy at Integrated Moving Solutions and get copies of this form she claims I had signed (see attachments). She sends the form and claims it "won't scan" because it's too long but it appears to be something I signed. The truck driver pulls out a packet of paperwork - all the original papers I signed at the time of pickup. This form? NOT THERE. So NANCY at IMS is the only one with a copy! HMMMMM
I go to the bank and my attorney advises me to delay as much as possible because there was a $1250 discount applied by Moving Pro that I was not given credit for. She tells him if I don't pay the driver, he will just leave with my stuff and continue on his route. Finally after much negotiation, he manages to get her to remove the $1250 so I only have to pay the driver $5433 in cash. He is in a hurry and says he is paid hourly and I need to hurry because he's only allowed to travel 11 hours per day (so much for driving all night to get to me!!) and he has another job in California.
Two other guys (not 4) who are locals, show up to help with unloading my belongings (they were great!) and tell me they are paid based on the moving weight. I ask if they even know what that is? So one of them asks the guy (now they are there and helping already) and he says "no, that's not how we do it". They worked their tails off and tell me he told them he's just going to finish off loading and then leave them to help me finish - and that I will "take care of them". Ummmm what?? I was told - and paid for a FULL SERVICE MOVE! They are supposed to put the furniture back together, bring in all items and place them where you want them. They ACTUALLY unloaded all the boxes and bins into the garage and put the furniture in the house but did not re-assemble my bed or dining room table etc. I was not going to make those other two young men do that nor was I about to pay them extra out of my pocket! The driver did nothing but stand around and complain.
During unloading the driver comes across my coca-cola mini fridge and says would I be willing to sell it to him because it would fit perfectly under his cab bench. I said I'd consider it but I had paid about $300 for it new. He said he'd offer me $150. I agreed (at this point I am trying to recover any money I can from this move!). When they are getting ready to leave he says to me "if you want to buy back your fridge it will be on eBay in about 45 minutes for $250!! WTH?!?! I know I sold it to him and this was on me and it's now his property to do what he wants to, but this was just insulting and cruel. Adding insult to injury.
Finally, I am asked to sign paperwork saying I received all my belongings prior to him leaving my home! I have no way of verifying that I have everything or what condition its in because it is stacked wall to wall in my garage. I won't know til I unpack if anything is missing or damaged. As it is, a lot of my furniture is pretty scraped up and pieces broken off. I will have to fight to recover any damages.
This has been a total nightmare. I am heartsick and disgusted. I feel violated. I have been financially and emotionally raped by these two companies: Moving Pro US and Integrated Moving Solutions. They do NOT care about the customer, they are NOT there to help you and once they have your business - and your signature on ANYTHING, beware! Please don't let this happen to anyone you know.
SHARE SHARE SHARE this story. Go online and read the reviews. They take your items and then hold them for ransom until you are desperate to have them back. They write in actual disclaimers on forms (like supposedly I was told it would be 21 BUSINESS days from time of pickup or when I said I could accept delivery - your FADD which is First Available Delivery Date should be given to them as the day after your belongings are picked up in order for you to get them ASAP so according to them they had until June 6th to get my stuff to me). DO NOT HIRE these people. Be careful of any moving company's promises and read every contract thoroughly. Finally, do NOT believe anything they tell you on the phone - ONLY what is agreed to in writing.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,730
10,525
113
San Francisco
Oh what an awful story, I am so sorry that you went through such a nightmare. I couldn't read the whole narrative, there is just too much detail. Did you get 3 bids on your move when you first were making plans? Where did this company stand with the cost and the details? How did you pick this company's bid? I'm sorry you didn't read the reviews before hiring them. Do you have all the little deviations and extras they promised in writing, about the storage, the delivery date, etc? Is it standard policy for movers to insist on cash for inter-state moves? I hope that an attorney can help you, but fear that s/he will charge you even more. From what I understand, the moving business is a very tough one and many consumers are unhappy with how they're treated and what they're charged. After all, if a moving company wants to cheat you, they just keep all your possessions on the truck until you pay in cash. I wish I could be of more help.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
1,283
1,756
113
This is way too long. Please make a bulleted list outlining your problem so we can help you. Ex: 1) I contracted with Moving Company on (date) to move my possesions from point A to point B for $X. 2) Moving company showed up on (wrong date) with (wrong estimate.) Also, please re-read your contract to let us know what exactly it says about adjusting your original estimate to the actual cost.
 
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May 30, 2019
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This forum is generally focused on self-advocacy. To the extent that I was able to understand your post and it's closing, it appears that your not trying to get resolution or money back. You just want to spread the word that this moving company scammed you.

Your story is sad but all too common with moving companies. I had a similar situation a few years ago. Without going into details, I learned that aside from nationally branded companies, many are fly by night and disappear quickly before they can be sued; lowballing estimates are common (however, movers often underestimate how much stuff they have to move); it's a cash business; and if it isn't in writing, it's not real.

You already involved an attorney (again, if I understand the post correctly), so there isn't much more I could suggest to help you.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
What you can do is file a BBB complaint and post on Yelp and any other review sites for moving companies that you can find.

Folks should check the BBB for reviews of companies before ever hiring a mover.
 
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