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The Hilarious But Terrible Story of Why You Should Always Get Yelp Reviews On Your Movers

nevilleneville The Worst Gay(Seriously. The Worst!)Registered User regular
edited July 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
LONG MOVING WOES POST:

So I got my apt in San Francisco(which is super nice) last Monday (in June), leaving me only a few days to prepare for the move. YES it stupid to accept a good offer without doing any research, but it is what happened. At some point jokes about this will be funny: for the near future, they will not, so don't make them please.

Anyhow, USA Relocation said they'd deliver yesterday from 4-5 pm. They didn't show and called at 9:45 (after I called the driver who picked up my things Friday 3x and he hung up on me twice) saying they'd deliver at 6-7 am tomorrow "Or else maybe in 1-3 days we'll give you a shot"

Anyhow, they ended up showing up at 9:30 (shockingly late, who would have guessed) and I called the policy for a civil standby to make sure nothing happened. The driver guy came up and was clearly angry I had a cop there and then yelled we couldn't take pictures of him and his guys (we can and continued to, obviously). The guys refused to move my couch into my apartment, claiming it was impossible (later I got the highest yelp-rated movers to do me a favor and move it and just 2 of them did it in 10 minutes... derp!) and anytime I pointed out huge damaged things the driver said "Oh well, that's what insurance is for right?"

At the end, he wanted me to sign the list of items and their status. Looking at all the items and how damaged it was, I got madder and madder and then told him no. He kept arguing I had to sign it and I refused. Eventually he said to just write I refused to sign it due to whatever reasons I had. I did that, then he refused to give me my copy. I've been told to get ALL documentation possible, so obviously that would be a huge thing to not have. So I kept saying he had to give me a copy and he kept refusing. I threatened to call the police, so he jerked the papers away and said to his guys they were leaving.

So we went downstairs and I had @Dubh and her gf video everything. The guy kept saying they'd be gone before the police arrived... so I got in front of their truck. He said they'd hit me and I pointed out we had pictures of the truck, license plates, all sides of their van, and were taking video so I said "Go ahead and hit me. I fucking dare you. Meanwhile, I'm taking more pictures of you and your guys." So he got out of the truck and started getting in my face. I said if he touched me that'd be it, which he did by pushing me out of the way, so I called the cops.

The dispatcher asked if it was the same problem with the same people as the civil standby, when I said yes she said she'd send a response team... 4 cars, 8 officers and a Sergeant. Yeah, that's a good team. :D

They listened to my story and went over to him for about 30 seconds then got the papers I wanted. :-) As the police were leaving, the guy got BACK out of the cab and said "We aren't done yet" and I flagged down an officer who told the guy if he didn't get the hell out of there right then, he'd arrest him on the spot. So the guy left.

Then I spent the next 3 hours calling the lawyer @fightinfilipino recommended and calling my credit/bank companies. I still don't know the total extent of the damage. Both of my bookshelves are damaged, one severely. My entertainment center is missing pieces. My DVD shelved are ruined. And judging by the wreck of boxes, I'm willing to bet a LOT of my things are destroyed. But on the plus side, not everything is and if I can do anything to get a bunch of low-life scumbags to stop scamming people, I am going to do it.

____________________________________________

I have spoken with a lawyer a bit as I said, but overall if anyone has any experience with this sort of thing (especially how to deal with it), advice would be appreciated.
I've unpacked almost all of my boxes and fortunately thanks to @sarukun 's packing help, not much of my smaller things have been too terribly damaged, it's mostly the furniture.
I've heard these people (USA Relocation is the company's name) will refuse all certified mail, etc so it seems like a number of the traditional methods of filing complaints will fail, since they won't respond.
It's also hard to send a bill and/or take a company to small claims that won't do anything; even if I win a default judgement, they'll likely just ignore demands of payment.

If I don't have over $7500 in damages, I don't think it will be worth actually suing.
And regarding the pushing incident, is that something I file with the police? Is it part of the civil suit?

Any H/A would be appreciated.
And since I have all my things, I'm also ok with any "Next time don't be so damn stupid and do some research" posts, because I sorta deserve it.
At this point I obsessively yelp anything though, so it's unlikely that sort of thing will be -as- useful. :)

nevillexmassig1.png
neville on
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Posts

  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    pushing could be assault and/or battery and a criminal suit.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    I'm not sure what the dollar limits on small claims filings are in california, but you can easily do that without a lawyer and with the documentation you already have it will probably be a slam dunk.

    If this company is like, incredibly skeezy they might still just skate on paying you, but for 5+ grand I would at least make the attempt.

    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • MichelanvaloMichelanvalo Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    I would definitely start compiling a list of how much everything cost and is worth.

    Did the moving company offer any kind of insurance on your items when you were scheduling?

    Edit: Jesus, here's the BBB reviews for the one in Van Nuys, Ca.

    http://www.la.bbb.org/business-reviews/Moving-and-Storage-Companies/USA-Relocation-Inc-in-Van-Nuys-CA-100068562

    That could be the single worst BBB rating I've ever seen.

    Michelanvalo on
  • NoisymunkNoisymunk Registered User regular
    Oh man, that sucks. I've moved several times in the past 5 years, including 2 overseas trips that involved a container ship and 2 cars. Never had any trouble like that, though my mind definitely made up a thousand worst case scenarios while it was in transit.

    Was there any kind of insurance or liability papers signed before the move? You should be able to recoup your losses from the damaged furniture through insurance. For each one of our moves there was always extensive insurance paperwork to fill out.

    Give the Better Business Bureau a ring and see what they have to say, and it might be worth checking up with your local police fraud squad. They might be very interested in taking a look at the photos and video.

    brDe918.jpg
  • nevilleneville The Worst Gay (Seriously. The Worst!)Registered User regular
    Serpent wrote: »
    pushing could be assault and/or battery and a criminal suit.

    I did some research and the type is "simple battery" (and any battery is a successful assault).
    I'm just not sure if I file a lawsuit or what. Also I don't have the guy's name, but I do have his number.
    I would have filed charges at the time, but it was so ridiculous I didn't think of it and just wanted them gone.
    I'm not sure what the dollar limits on small claims filings are in california, but you can easily do that without a lawyer and with the documentation you already have it will probably be a slam dunk.

    If this company is like, incredibly skeezy they might still just skate on paying you, but for 5+ grand I would at least make the attempt.

    Unfortunately I've seen some people who successfully won small claims against them (the company didn't show), but they refuse certified mail.
    So sending them something saying "YOU OWE" will be rejected, so I dunno. Could I hire a debt collection agency maybe?
    I would definitely start compiling a list of how much everything cost and is worth.

    Did the moving company offer any kind of insurance on your items when you were scheduling?

    Edit: Jesus, here's the BBB reviews for the one in Van Nuys, Ca.

    http://www.la.bbb.org/business-reviews/Moving-and-Storage-Companies/USA-Relocation-Inc-in-Van-Nuys-CA-100068562

    That could be the single worst BBB rating I've ever seen.

    Yeah, that's the company; there seem to be 2-3 locations listed for them, but it's all the same scumbags.
    They refused to give me any insurance except the basic. That's fraud/against the law, since they're required to give at least 2 types, but again, is it worth a full lawsuit over $2000ish of damage?
    I'm already working with my banks to dispute ALL their charges since they forced me to pay 3x the estimate (also against the law).

    nevillexmassig1.png
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Unfortunately I've seen some people who successfully won small claims against them (the company didn't show), but they refuse certified mail.
    So sending them something saying "YOU OWE" will be rejected, so I dunno. Could I hire a debt collection agency maybe?

    They do have physical locations, right? If there's one nearby you can go serve them in person rather than sending mail, and if they flatly refuse to pay you can get the police to enforce a lien against their property (after 30 or 60 days of nonpayment, depends on the state.)

    Whether that's worth your time depends on how big the judgment winds up being, how much you want their office computers or something and how vengeful you are interested in being.

    I'm not sure if there are collections agencies that will buy debt like this from consumers or not, but if there are that would work pretty well, since pursuing debt from an actual small claims judgment against a functional company should be really easy if they are willing to do the legwork.

    ed: obviously it's really easy for this kind of thing to wind up not being a good deal in terms of your time/money. But it's also kind of a fun/empowering process in a 'take the law into your own hands' kind of way.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • nevilleneville The Worst Gay (Seriously. The Worst!)Registered User regular
    None of their offices are nearby, unfortunately. They're all vaguely in the LA area. But enforcing a lien sounds like an idea at least.

    nevillexmassig1.png
  • JarsJars Registered User regular
    if they are this awful I'm sure there are testimonials around of how people dealt with them you could look up.

  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited July 2012
    I'm not sure what the dollar limits on small claims filings are in california, but you can easily do that without a lawyer and with the documentation you already have it will probably be a slam dunk.

    If this company is like, incredibly skeezy they might still just skate on paying you, but for 5+ grand I would at least make the attempt.

    You could always file the suit, win, and then if they don't pay, have the sheriff help seize the company's assets. (link has video and audio if you're at work)

    Edit: Eat it beat me to this. That'll teach me to open a window, walk away, and come back later...

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    neville wrote: »
    None of their offices are nearby, unfortunately. They're all vaguely in the LA area. But enforcing a lien sounds like an idea at least.

    For about $100, you can hire a process server.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    How did you pay for the moving?

    Cash, check, credit card?

    Ladies.
  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    I'd see if you could talk to a lawyer about suing on a contingency fee basis, with payment based on what you collect versus what you're awarded.

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  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Personally I think your best bet is to work the bank to reverse all the charges, or at least anything over their base moving fee, and then let them try to take you to court if they want to, you've got more than enough evidence to get that thrown out.

    Also, this is me being paranoid, but since the guy had the balls to give you the villain's threat "I'll be back, this isn't over!" in front of an actual cop, I'd consider at least the possibility of a restraining order if he tries to contact you again (aggressively)


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    kaliyama wrote: »
    I'd see if you could talk to a lawyer about suing on a contingency fee basis, with payment based on what you collect versus what you're awarded.

    You'd be very hard pressed to find an attorney interested enough in such a small amount to accept a contingency fee.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    Jesus christ dude. Yours is the worst-case scenario everyone fears when entrusting removalists with their belongings.

    That sucks.

    Don't let this go - if you have thousands in damages, they should be paying every last cent.

  • nevilleneville The Worst Gay (Seriously. The Worst!)Registered User regular
    Dhalphir wrote: »
    Jesus christ dude. Yours is the worst-case scenario everyone fears when entrusting removalists with their belongings.

    That sucks.

    Don't let this go - if you have thousands in damages, they should be paying every last cent.

    Yeahhhh.. I have the best luck.
    I'm following up with my lawyer, to see what's what. My guess is he'll say it isn't worth their time RE: the money.
    I'm still not sure about the battery charge, though; it may be hard to make stick if they won't release the driver's name.

    I will likely sue them in small claims and do the lien thing, but I'll ask him about all that to see.
    My biggest hope is that my banks side with me so I'm not charged; if they don't, I'll be out some bogus costs AND the repair/replacement costs.

    nevillexmassig1.png
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    As said already, you don't need a lawyer to bring them to small claims court. You have more than enough evidence if you've been documenting half as well as you have been in this thread.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    I was thinking tort claims. Also look at the agreement, it might have an attys fees provision.

    fwKS7.png?1
  • KiasKias Registered User regular
    Well, while the situation may suck, props to you for not letting them pull this sort of shit on you. People like this rely on complacency, and it takes folks like you to keep them from getting away with it. It sounds like you handled a bad situation incredibly well (kept cool, documented, called in authorities in the proper fashion, etc.), and for what its worth, you should be somewhat proud of that.

    steam_sig.png

  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    i had a sherriff serve my defendant for about $40 for my small claims case. i'd go that route.

    collecting is a huge pain in the ass (lots of stupid paperwork and stuff to file), but not impossible, especially on a business.

  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    My wife is always anal about checking BBB ratings and such on companies we hire for moving, landscaping, plumbing etc. I think I now respect her like 10x more for this.

    That said, don't forget to file a complaint with the BBB on them... It doesn't sound like their rating could be any worse, but it might help someone else go a different route next time.

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • TraceofToxinTraceofToxin King Nothing Registered User regular
    All the advice so far is very good, I just want to say that regardless of whatever mistakes you've made, standing up for yourself was a damn good move. If people don't take it to these dickwads, they'll just do it again to someone else, and the cycle will continue. You've got the responsibility to get your shit taken care of and make sure these cocksuckers never pull this shit again. Even if you just want to say fuck it and move on, remember, you've got the power to do something about this.

    tumblr_ksczlyQbeU1qzx4k0o1_500.jpg?1318992465

    Keep at it and we're all behind you.

    Everyday I wake up is the worst day of my life.
  • KrathoonKrathoon Registered User regular
    Well. That settles it. Definitely researching like crazy before I move.

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    I might have missed whether you did this or not, but did you look into restraining orders against these guys?

    It sounded like they wanted to get extremely violent with you - and they know where you live.

  • grouch993grouch993 Registered User regular
    I had a very bad experience with North American movers. Was the Beltmann group going between Detroit and Chicago.

    Then I had an outstanding experience with Bekins. They are more expensive, but also worked with us on packing up the house, meeting us as the exact scheduled time and moving the possessions into the new house and taking away the packing materials.

    Hope you manage to get something worked out on this one Neville.

    Steam Profile Origin grouchiy
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    Oh yeah dude I moved a couple times back before the Internet was much of a thing. The first time was awesome, they did everything great and charged me a very low price and it was wonderful. So the next time I moved, I went throught he same process but ended up with a different company somehow. Long story short, they waiting until after my stuff was gone and then tripled the price, I didn't get my stuff for weeks, a lot of it was broken, and I ended up talking to the FBI and signing affidavits and they went to prison.

    Report them to the BBB, FTC, and anyone else you can get ahold of. I filed reports with every government agency I could find that seemed to apply. That's how the FBI eventually found me. My wife had to identify them via photos and all sorts of stuff. Vindication!

  • KrathoonKrathoon Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    I think part of the trick is to move all you valuable stuff yourself and just leave the furniture and maybe the TV to the mover. Of course, this only works if you don't move very far.

    Krathoon on
  • nevilleneville The Worst Gay (Seriously. The Worst!)Registered User regular
    I -did- only leave the furniture and TV to them, @Krathoon - and they broke a ton of my furniture. That's kind of the problem.


    So an update:
    Heard back from my lawyer. They bill $250/hr or $150/hr for the paralegals who will be doing research. They want $1000 up front for a retainer.
    I have a bunch of options from him, although I still haven't decided if I want to do that or just go the route with small claims.

    I will be emailing him back and we'll see what he says.
    I really appreciate all the help/suggestions from everyone so far. :-)

    I have contacted (and have filed or will finish filing soon) complaints so far with:
    Both of my banks, MoveRescue, BBB, California's Public Utility Commission, and I think 1-2 other places I forgot.
    I'm also planning to send information to the state attorney general and my senator/reps.

    nevillexmassig1.png
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    if they refuse certified mail, you should be able to hire a process server to serve them in person fairly inexpensively. Their company should be incorporated, that incorporation should list a number of people who can accept service - harass the council that did the incorporation a little and he should roll right over on them.

    There's also an option called certificate of mailing (many collections places use this, as it's cheaper than a certified letter) - this is proof from the USPS that you mailed the letter in good faith, but without the element of it being delivered by hand and signed for. It may be enough for some legal processes, but in california I doubt it.

    If you really want to raise hell, you could try to contact others burned by this mover and form a class. That would get lawyers more interested.

    Another option would be finding some of those news reporters who do 60 minutes type ambush interviews with shady businesses.

  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    Oh god. I'm going to have to make a cross country move early next year, and I this thread is making me lean towards selling/giving away anything that I can't squeeze into my car.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    Just rent a truck. once you pass the california border (headed east) or Ohio (headed west) it's all interstate anyway.

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    noir_blood wrote: »
    Oh god. I'm going to have to make a cross country move early next year, and I this thread is making me lean towards selling/giving away anything that I can't squeeze into my car.

    I would do that anyway since cross country moves suck regardless

    camo_sig.png
  • nevilleneville The Worst Gay (Seriously. The Worst!)Registered User regular
    So Bank of America are trying to refuse my dispute, saying I need to provide proof I filed a claim with the movers AND that I filed with my renter's.
    1. My renter's doesn't cover it, so that's a non-starter.
    2. The movers aren't going to do -anything- and have failed to return my phone calls plenty of times, but I'll send a fax on Monday and we'll see how that goes.

    In the meantime I'll be sending them a MOUNTAIN of documentation (over 100 photos of my boxes in various stages of D: , the multiple pieces of furniture they completely destroyed, copies of BBB complaints against the company, print outs of various review sites with stories very near to mine, copies of the testimony/explanation from the forumers from here who witnessed both the pickup and delivery)

    I'll continue to update, especially if I take them to small claims court.
    If I do it with a lawyer, I'll see what he says.

    nevillexmassig1.png
  • nevilleneville The Worst Gay (Seriously. The Worst!)Registered User regular
    Also... It looks like there's more than meets the eye. I've found at least FOUR other companies that share one or both addresses with these people. No wonder they keep going; one company takes too much of a hit, they literally just kill another and keep using the others. This is insane... Why hasn't anyone shut these scumbags down yet?

    And yes, -every- single one has terrible ratings saying the same thing these assholes do.
    :\

    I feel like I NEED to sue them in real court, because how else is someone going to keep these wastes of humanity from continuing to do this?

    nevillexmassig1.png
  • tarnoktarnok Registered User regular
    If you really feel the need for some justice this might be a convenient way to make it both painful for them and cheap for you. If they've changed names frequently to escape bad reviews you might be able to bring a class-action suit against them. This dramatically increases the pain for them if it is successful and makes it cheaper for you because you can usually find a lawyer to take on a class-action suit for part of the settlement. There'd be a lot of work involved in finding other victims, but if you can find enough evidence to convince a lawyer he has a case he'd probably pick up the rest.

    This may be much harder if they actually re-incorporated every time they decided to do a blow-off, but ianal.

    Wii Code:
    0431-6094-6446-7088
  • nevilleneville The Worst Gay (Seriously. The Worst!)Registered User regular
    So the lawyer said given all the info I found, it seems highly likely a real case wouldn't work:
    1 - There's not enough guarantee for payoff
    2 - #1 is the reason they won't do it on contingency
    3 - The company could easily declare bankruptcy and just use one of their other companies

    He said it's far less likely they'd declare bankruptcy over a small claims; I'll likely get a default judgement.
    And then I can call for a lien on their stuff, so I get money. And unlike a lot of the stories I read, I'll make sure they realize "If you don't pay me by X, I will collect the lien just because I'm legally allowed to."

    I still think posting it on reddit and having them wreak havoc wouldn't be a bad thing, but we'll see how small claims goes first.

    nevillexmassig1.png
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    RE: 1& 2

    I coulda told you that
    *scrolls up*

    kidding aside. Good luck in small claims/collecting from these chucklefucks.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    Collection is the WORST part of a court case. Hopefully you win, and it's a lot easier to collect with a business.

  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Yea, good luck. Once you call the Sheriff's office to help you pick up their desks and clean out their supply closet, do us a favor and call the media. Give them a heads up on what you're doing.

    Only so we can see the results posted to YouTube. ;-)

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • iRevertiRevert Tactical Martha Stewart Registered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Yea, good luck. Once you call the Sheriff's office to help you pick up their desks and clean out their supply closet, do us a favor and call the media. Give them a heads up on what you're doing.

    Only so we can see the results posted to YouTube. ;-)

    Nah your doing it wrong, you need to repo one of their moving vans so you can move all the stuff your repo'ing more easily!

    spool32
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