Transport Van Lines
20404 NE 15th Court
Miami, Florida 33179
I spoke with Jonathan at Transport on 3-15-08 to schedule an upcoming long distance move on 4-29-08. We spoke about the fact that I was in a 2 bedroom apartment and this was my 3rd long distance move in 5 years and I was unable to hire my previous mover because they were based out of California. He assured me that they were a company of integrity and carried on about how reputable they were for the next 10 minutes. At that time he requested an inventory list. I shared with him that I had gone over a list with another company and they had mailed me a quote. He asked me to email him the list & quote so we could go over it in detail so I complied. While going over the list I told him that I had always gone by weight in the past and preferred to do that this time around. He assured me that the inventory list was standard to get a basic idea of what my load would be carrying. I shared with him that since my stuff wasnt packed up yet, I had no idea how many boxes I would have to be exact until the move date. He assured me that we would be able to go according to weight as I knew for a fact that my previous move in 2006 was 5642 lbs. @. 59 per pound totaling $3328.78. With the cost of inflation & gas prices he quoted me a current price of $3758.55 which included a $110.00 credit card service fee for 5901 lbs. And an insurance binder through Baker International. I agreed and signed the contract while sharing with him that my upcoming employer would be taking care of the bill and I gave him her contact information. On 4-29-08 the driver called at 11am to inform me that he was 40 miles away and had a quick 30 minute stop to make and hed be over. 5 hours later the crew of 3 movers showed up and the head driver was annoyed with me because I had called him twice to find out if he was lost during those 5 hours. The crew leader/driver stated that the small job prior to mine ended up being much bigger with many flights that he was unaware of. This driver was the most unprofessional, rudest, arrogant man I have ever spoken to or been forced to deal with. From the beginning, he was telling me that hed have to charge me extra for packing fees that were already included in the contract and specifically written out, that I had to point out to him because it was apparent he hadnt read it. He only had 1 blanket available on his truck so he would have to use packing paper which would be at an additional cost. He was resistant to everything that I had to say regarding the binding agreement & refused to give me a direct answer when confronted. I shared with him what Jonathan and I had spoken about and he replied Jonathan is the salesman, Im the mover and I know what Im doing so dont question me. I eventually called Jonathan who assured me that the driver would be receiving a call within 5 minutes from his supervisor to resolve this whole issue but he suggested that I not tell him how to do his job anymore. The arrogance still continued as they went about putting my items on the truck. As they wrapped my new bedroom set, I noticed much of the wood uncovered & unprotected (witnessing them scratch the tall dresser as they were trying to bring it down the steps) so I asked him if he was planning to wrap it up in its entirety like the contract states because its just been scratched all the way up the side and he told me not to worry, he knows what best for packing & loading. I was horrified at his response so I shared with him that I was concerned about my belongings as the dresser was just scratched and Ive moved before and had never experienced anything of this nature with any previous movers because usually everything is fully wrapped with blankets and they were using packing paper instead and only wrapping things partially. He replied Scratched by who? I was shocked and asked why he had such a problem with my concerns and he rudely responded once again. At that point he began to use cardboard on top of the packing paper because he didnt have blankets like the contract states the packing includes. Trust & believe I would have sent them on their way right that second if it wasnt after 5pm and I didnt have to be out of my apartment by 8am the next morning and could have made other arrangements. I didnt know what to do. I felt helpless and trapped at this point in the move. At one point I shared with him that I was going to need 2 wardrobe boxes to prevent ironing when I arrived at my destination and a box for my computer tower and asked if he could provide them for me reasonably or else I would run 2 blocks away to Uhaul to purchase them. He said yes he could. Around 8:30 pm the driver approached me and said Im at 843 sq. Feet, do you want us to continue loading the rest of it or to stop and go? Confused, I asked what he meant and he replied that the job was 843 sq. Feet so if I wanted him to continue loading there would be more charges. I shared with him that I was weighing my load and he informed me that was not the case and the contract states cubic feet. I tried calling Jonathan, the salesman but no one answered at the office. Not knowing what to do and basically being backed into a corner, I had to sign an authorization for more charges agreeing to let him load the rest of my stuff onto his truck. When he finally provided the boxes I needed at the very end, after loading almost everything, it was after 10pm and he informed me that he didnt have any wardrobes but he had 2 Extra Large Boxes for my clothes so Id have to fold them and throw them in. Obviously, Uhaul was closed so I had to take the boxes he was offering. At the end of all of this I had to negotiate the final price as he was attempting to add on a couple thousand dollars more above the binding agreement. When I confronted him on all these charges he responded Isnt your employer paying for your move anyways? Horrified, I informed him that this was a family business that I was married into and the agreed rate for the move was the binding agreement. He began to work his reasonable rates and brought it down to roughly $1200.00 worth of additional charges which included extra cubic feet, extra fuel charges, packing fees, extra flight of stairs (which I only had 1 flight that was included already) and a tip which I felt obligated to give so Id get my things handled & taken care of delicately enough to arrive at the destination. I asked the mover what he would do if he was in my situation when he asked for my authorized signature in the end & he said well your stuff is on our truck & you want to get it back right? Shocked and horrified with this whole situation I signed and the movers went on their way. I called Transport Van Lines the next morning and got the voicemail. I left an urgent message for Jonathan requesting a call back and never got a reply. The next day, they called my employer for her credit card number and authorization for even more money than the additional $1200.00 that I had to sign for to get my stuff back. She reached me on the road from Pennsylvania to Colorado and I began my dispute process with Jonathan. I had a tape recorder available & told him that Id be taping the conversation for my records and he agreed. He began to tell me that just a few of the reasons for the additional charges were as follows: along with my queen size bed was a headboard, a footboard and a frame that he didnt have on his inventory list which he had told me originally were included in a bedroom set which we wouldnt have to write out specifically because we just needed that inventory for a rough idea of cubic feet and the what the load itself was carrying anyway's. I had numerous extra boxes that werent counted on the inventory sheet & so forth. I mentioned weighing my load and our original conversation and he told me that I chose the cubic feet option and there was nothing he could do about that now. I asked him what he was talking about being that we spoke about weight and my not being able to give him an exact amount of inventory ahead of time. He told me that it was to late now. He told me I was charged 25.00 for each extra large box and 38.00 for the computer tower box so I should be grateful because United charges like 70.00-90.00 per box. He then told me that they did me a favor and didnt charge me for tape either when they had used a case and a to wrap up the items (that were already included in the cost per the contract I might add) He struggled & refused many of my disputed charges before finally agreeing to take off the tip & the extra flight which took $225.00 off the total. At one point over the next 2 days I was threatened by a man named Joey at Transport that they were stopping the delivery to my destination and he hung up on me. This entire situation was a complete nightmare. Then to top it off, Transport was set to deliver on Monday May 5th per the agreement and called me on the road to inform me that theyd be arriving on Saturday May 3rd. I told him that my new lease didnt even start until the 5th and I wasnt anywhere near the destination address and wasnt able to get a key ahead of time anyway. He asked if the 4th would work then. I told him NO the 4th wouldnt work, didnt he hear what I said? Then over the next 2 days I received 2 more separate calls from the driver and also from dispatch asking me the exact same question! What a complete disaster so far! My boss ended up having to pay $3648.55 with a cashiers check & I had to pay an additional $880.65 that I put on a credit card plus $75.00 paid by check at the destination for long carry. Transport faxed over a Terms & Conditions paper that I had to sign which was an agreement that states I was signing of my own free will that they could charge my credit card and I would agree to not dispute, revoke, or reverse any of the charges or SAID INVENTORY and if so they have the right to take all legal action against me remaining in full force and effect. Fortunately, the movers were at the destination address unloading my stuff already when this was faxed to me, so I refused to sign it. However, I do have a copy of this tform was faxed to me with all of the above, that requests my signature which I will be giving to the Better Business Bureau upon request and so forth. (See CC below of company's that I am informing of this entire situation.) It is now May 11th and to date so far I have a list of my items that are missing, broken, scratched etc which include a brand new DVD/VCR recorder player that I purchased 2 months ago for approx. $289.00. (I should have known better than to pack it in its original packing box and should have put it in a plain brown box.) A DVD player for our bedroom that was also in its original box as well. My living room lamp base is gone and assumed broken because I have the lamp shade & the metal that connects to the lamp, but no base arrived. A standing floor lamp broken, 1 ceramic end table broken, fairly new bedroom set nicked, scratched and gouged in several places which was almost $3000.00 brand new and much more which I will be including in my report to Amy Jones at Baker International that includes this letter as well.
Transport Van Lines is a scandalous moving company. They are dishonest people who have no values and no integrity. They are unethical and they prey on the pocketbooks of vulnerable families when they are in a position where they have no other choices because they are moving and have to be out of their place of residence and on their way to their next home. I will be reporting them to every agency that consumers have the right to look into (See CC below) and be aware of in regards to their unethical practices to inform families of my horrific experience so they can choose NOT TO hire Transport Van Lines.
Total Quote of Move: $3758.88
Total Cost of Move: $4604.20 plus hassle, stress, damaged, missing & stolen items
Better Business Bureau
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Department of Transportation's Office of the Inspector General
American Moving and Storage Association
Reps of the US Senate
House of Representatives
fort collins, Colorado