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Old 02-16-2015, 03:13 PM
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Are movers the most unethical professionals or what?

I have never used movers until now, but have heard some horror stories from others. My wife is in the middle of a 3 week ordeal trying to ship a family heirloom (basically a large piece of furniture that was handcrafted by her grandfather for her grandmother) from France to our hometown. In the last three weeks, her piece of furniture has basically been held hostage by a locally contracted mover (picked by the international shipping company) who wants an additional $500 to release the piece of furniture for mistakes that were made by the international shipping company. This is on top of $6,000 that her family has already paid (in full) to ship the piece originally.

The shipping company initially lied to us about the reasons for the charges and tried to get us to pay them, although NOW agrees that the charges were their fault. However, they have dragged their feet paying this guy. Meanwhile, the local mover doesn't answer his phone, doesn't show up to meet us at pre-arranged times at his warehouse, and has now decided to add an extra $300 for delivery of the piece (despite the fact that he was originally contracted to deliver the piece to the destination of our choice), OR $100 to release the piece from his warehouse if we choose to have a separate moving company pick it up to deliver to the final destination.

Anybody here ever used movers? Is this basically what I should expect from this industry? As a side note, any suggestions on trying to compel these people to get this piece of furniture back into my family's possession (legal action, BBB complaint??).

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Old 02-16-2015, 03:16 PM
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Sorry to hear of the problem. I can offer no assistance though. Sorry.
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Old 02-16-2015, 03:19 PM
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I have had only one experience with a moving company and I would never want to repeat it. My sympathies. Perhaps pay with a credit card and then dispute the charge? Or small claims court after paying the charge?
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Old 02-16-2015, 03:23 PM
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It's a racket of an industry.
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Old 02-16-2015, 03:52 PM
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Having done two trans-Pacific moves, the lessons learned are 1) always get the insurance and 2) watch the load out and unboxing like a hawk and have helpers to watch. There's a high probability that things will be damaged, scratched or broken in transit, but a higher likelihood of things going missing during the load out and unwrap.
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Old 02-16-2015, 04:20 PM
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Thanks, it seems like they basically take advantage of the fact that they hold all your stuff and can extort you for extra "fees" should any little thing come up. We probably should have gotten everything in writing before this all started, but the local moving company was hired by the shipping company. I am half wondering if the armoire will be busted when we finally open it up out of its shipping crate.
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:00 PM
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Sorry to hear about the hassle. Don't bother with a BBB complaint. The BBB is a scam to keep businesses in business.

Twice I had contractor estimates in place documenting the expected cost of a project up front. Twice I was charged more than the estimates, for no apparent reason. Twice I complained to the BBB. And twice the BBB threw out the complaint because of insufficient evidence. So basically, unless you have a video of someone taking money out of your pocket, the BBB will say they have too little evidence to make a reasonable conclusion. An estimate does not have to be honored in their minds.

And if you are wondering why I paid the extra money when I knew I was being overcharged: 1) one time the contractor filed a lein against my home just as my first child was being born, and I didn't want to deal with it anymore, and 2) the second time I needed my engine back (it was a machinist) and had to pay what he demanded to get it.
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:03 PM
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Filing a complaint with the state Attorney General's office and sending a copy of the complaint to the office of the owner or CEO of the company may get results. At least it worked when a car rental firm in California tried to grossly overcharge me for a minor scratch on their car.

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Old 02-16-2015, 06:17 PM
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How about contact the police local to that warehouse where your item is and have them accompany you to that guy and demand your item. If they deny having it they have a problem, assuming they actual did receive it. If they admit having it and can't produce some contract that allows them to hold the item ransom they have another problem. A phone call from some investigator at the PD might get this released ASAP.

That local shippers' problem is not with you and he has no right to hold this. His only recourse is against those he contracted with, assuming he has a good contract.
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:13 PM
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Is the company in the US, is the piece in the US, or is it still overseas? I don't really have any advice but I feel like that is key info.
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:37 PM
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6 grand to move a piece of furniture? Seems like you could ship a CAR for that. I've never really moved, and do not wish to. Sounds like a nightmare.
You're a daisy if you do.
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:30 AM
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Hi everyone, thanks for the replies. The suggestion about the AGs office and/or the police are helpful. I'm also going to talk to a lawyer friend of mine and see what he thinks my options are.

The piece is here in the warehouse locally - my wife has laid eyes on it. The local mover just refuses to release it to us until he gets even more money than he has already been paid (the original contracted amount). I am trying to get a copy of the original shipping contract my inlaws agreed to to figure out what the terms are exactly. It seems like every time we talk to the local mover he adds one more fee for us to get our property back.
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:51 AM
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Ouch. When I was a kid my dad was in the army, so we moved a lot. Most experiences with movers were pretty good except for one time when some marble table tops got broken.
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:02 PM
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Just go at night and take it if I was closer to sac I would come help

Not home moving, but I work in produce (vegetables) which is a lot of shipping.

It is cut throat. Logistics is a huge part of our life we don't think about.

There are better companies. I'm a big fan of CH Robison. Great people to work with and no funny business. Coincidently, they just bought freight last year, which we all can use.

There's a lot of t's to dot and I's to cross legally with my work, and people will look for liability loopholes to not pay for the load they just received. They think I won't pay to send it back, but honestly if I have suspicions I'll jump on an airplane and go look at their supposed bad broccoli.

Cutthroat, borderline pirates.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:09 PM
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How easy would it be to steal?

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