Here is the letter I wrote to the moving companies involved with my move...I have ***** the names for the purposes of this blog.
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing to describe the experience I had with PS Movers from Phoenix, AZ hired by United States Van Lines. Two days before the first day of my scheduled pick up, I received a call from PS Movers stating that they will be picking up my household items on Sunday, the 25th, the first day of my pickup. They would arrive between 8 and 12 in the morning. The morning of the 25th arrived and by noon I had not heard from them nor were they answering the phone number that the driver gave me to call. At 12:45, they arrived and claimed that his phone was dead (uncharged).
******(the driver), then went through his contract. He explained everything that I already knew from United States Van Lines. He then went through the items that were to be put on the truck, making sure to point out where there was already a scratch or stain to which I agreed. At this point, things were going well and him and another man began to load the truck.
*****stationed himself inside the truck to stack items and place things, while ******* brought out boxes and furniture. They asked to use my tow dolly, when I clearly saw one in the back of the truck. About halfway through the loading, two tiers of Rubbermaid totes that were stacked haphazardly tilted and fell over inside the truck. At this point I witnessed ********throwing the totes on top of each other in his frustration. I watched them drag my mattress and box spring across the ground and onto the truck dragging it on the truck floor. Totes and boxes were stacked and pushed at the edge of the truck to go into it, several fell over as a result. No care was taken for those boxes that were clearly marked fragile or glass items, etc. One picture was wrapped in a moving pad and placed on top of a box unsecured after I had been reassured that it would be placed between the mattress and box spring.
Finally, they were done and I asked ***** if this was the same truck that would be delivering, he said yes. He then went on to explain that he was bringing the truck back to his place because he had someone coming over to fix the AC unit on the truck before he left. He also explained that my things would remain on that truck and as soon as he got to a weigh station he would weigh the truck with my things on it. Note* there was one other persons things on the truck as well at that point.
Two days later, I received word from United Van Lines that the truck had weighed at almost 1k over the estimated amount. I thought this to be impossible seeing as I had removed heavier items from the truck already and UVL had over compensated on other items. ******** (from UVL) then told me he would order a reweigh of the truck to be certain of the weight. I agreed. Later on that day, PS Movers called me to explain that there was another job in Minnesota that the truck needed to deliver as well and it was more effective if they did that move first, then called me to meet the truck in Grand Forks, which according to them was the nearest weigh station. I agreed.
At 11pm that night, I received a phone call from ******* telling me he was an hour away. I asked him about the reweigh and he informed me he had no idea what that was and that his cell phone was not getting a signal. I told him to call his boss for information, and I settled down to bed. ****** called back a few minutes later and said that the nearest weigh station was 85 miles away and that I’d have to pay for the mileage to and from for the reweigh. I said no that was not agreed upon, no one told me anything about having to pay extra for it. He said then that either I paid the extra or I have to get my stuff now, without the reweigh. Since I had no extra money, and it was after business hours and I could not get a hold of anyone at UVL, I was FORCED to agree. He then asked me what floor of the apartment I lived on, I said third. He arrived with TWO trucks 2 hours later.
So, it is now 1am on Thursday night/Friday morning, and ****** comes up the stairs. He came into my apartment and said that he was charging me an additional 100.00 dollars. I asked for what and he said for more than 50 steps. I said no, UVL covers 3 flights of stairs, I have 3 flights of stairs and there are only about 30 steps. ****** was adamant that I pay the 100.00. I informed him I had no more money. I had 3,000.00 in cash to pay him for the 2,970 for the move. He then asked if I could go to the ATM, I said I had no more money. He then asked if my friend had any money, I said no. He got upset when I wouldn’t ask her for money either. He said he would accept the extra 30, but that I really still owed him 70 more. He then complained that I told him I lived on the first floor, I said no I said third, and he continued to argue with me. He then claimed that UVL doesn’t care about him, no one informed him about the reweigh or the flights of stairs.
He went back outside and told his associate to unload the truck. ***** then left the premises with the other truck. ****** at this time went to my friend, who was watching from the ground level, so I could stay in the apartment and direct where things went, and asked her if she had a flashlight. We did not, and then he asked if my car lights could be turned on so he could see to unload the truck. So, my friend turned my car around, and sat in the car while it idled and the lights were on so he could see to unload. After an hour it had to be turned off because it was starting to overheat. He began to unload items that weren’t mine. At this time my friend informed me that he was unloading the Budget truck, not the PS truck that my things had been loaded into.
During one of the trips into the apartment I asked about why the other truck. ******* said I don’t know, I was told to move your stuff from the other truck into this one last night. He then went on to state that they had been working nonstop for over 24 hours with only a 2 hour rest stop. About 2:30, ***** returned with the other truck but did not get out to help. He stayed in the truck. Several of my items were lying in the street, including a sofa cushion. It then began to storm and rain. I asked my friend to grab the cushion so it wouldn’t get anymore dirty or wet than it was. ***** tried to cover the other person’s stuff with tarps, and pulled a lazy boy back into the truck before it got soaked with rain. He then told me he couldn’t do anymore without help and with the rain. He called it quits for the night. He asked me how much I paid ***** , and I told him 3,000. ****** got very upset at this and told me that ******** had claimed I had only given him 2,000.
At 9:30 the next morning I called the cell phone number that ****** had called with the previous night. No one answered, but several minutes later, I saw him approach the other truck. He then left again. Two hours later at 11:30, ******** began to unload boxes again. At one point I was afraid that I was going to have to call emergency for ******* as he was breathing very hard and not getting any help from *****. I offered water and anything else I could for him. My friend even offered to help him move items. He respectfully declined. At about 12 noon, ******* returned with two strangers he had picked up somewhere. The two people were severely hung over from the previous nights drinking and bragged about that fact. One of these persons was not caring about the items in the boxes either, sometimes letting them fall to the ground from waist height. I was told that they were being paid 40.00 each and free cigarettes for helping the move. ***** directed from ground level and even sat down on the other person’s furniture to direct the unloading.
As things came into my apartment I noted several items (totes) that were damaged in some way and items that were stained or torn. Finally, when all was in the apartment, ****** came up to have me sign the nothing missing/damaged form. I refused. He wanted an explanation. I showed him the stains and rip on the couch. He said he had pointed those out. I corrected him that he had pointed out this stain or that stain…this was a new one and was a red color on a mint green couch. It also had a rip in it on the edge and was very dirty where they had laid it on its side in the middle of the street. I then told him one end table was missing. He claimed it was not on the inventory list, which it was. He put all end tables on the list. He then said fine, this is how much?....22 dollars? .60/cents a pound?...do you have change? And he started to pull out a 20 dollar bill from his wallet. I said no I don’t have change. He then said fine, I will charge you for the extra 70 dollars for the 50 steps then if you are going to contest these items. I said no that is not in the contract, I am covered for 3 flights of stairs. He then said if I don’t sign the form that there were no missing or damaged items, he would charge me the extra 70. At this point I wanted this over and I had no extra money either. I was frustrated, angry and tired. I told him I was signing under duress, and that I didn’t agree with the statement. He then said fine and left. After he left I immediately called ******* at UVL and told him everything that happened.
Not only did I have to pay 1000.00 extra for weight that was more than likely not mine, (remember he switched trucks) but total cost of this move was over $5,000.00!! For the amount of money I was paying, the treatment should have been five stars. I can only give a half and that was because ****** was so nice and tried very hard with no help.
In short, I believe I have the right to some compensation from the movers for blackmail/extortion, damaged and missing items, stress, and misleading information. I hope you do the right thing here. PS Movers should not be trusted, and ******* should not be working in this field. I have never been so rudely addressed, or disrespected. I do plan on seeing this through to the end.
Terri E Peterson
p.s. I have photo and video evidence of the treatment of my items, lack of organization and damaged items. I have photo evidence of the two people *******hired, and him not working. I have photo evidence of items being left out in the rain and not being put back on the truck.
**Needless to say I am now in the process of pursuing this...the UVL company has my complaint and demands. I am waiting for a call from their customer service department and expect to hear from them soon. If not, I will be calling everyday until I see some action done.