American Van Lines - Floridacon artists and rip-offs

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a verified customer
Verified customer

When I first signed up with american van lines, they were kind and courteous and eager to help. I got a binding estimate of approximately $2800 to move from kansas to nc. This was a not to exceed estimate. Apparently binding means to them binding on your part, not theirs. I contacted them with an update of the contents of my move. My binding estimate went from approximately $2800 to approximately $4700, due to a weight increase. I decided to take some items out of the move because of the exorbitant increase. That change brought it down to approximately $3900. Note that this was all based on an over estimation of the weight of each item and that my actual weight would likely not be that high. This was a little reassuring, but had me concerned already that they were taking me to the cleaners. I agreed to the new binding estimate with some trepidation. The day before the move came and I was contacted by their subcontracting mover who could barely speak english. He went through my house to inventory my things for the move. When he came to me with the inventory I was informed that my move was now estimated, on the spot, at a little over $5200. I freaked out and he said that it was just an estimate and that the actual weight would be less and it would be fine, whatever that meant. They would weigh the truck prior to the pickup and weigh it again afterward and give me the actual cost of the move. I signed about a dozen documents to protect his rear and then was told he would be back tomorrow. This was the 6th of december and the movers were to show up on the 7th. Before he left that night I informed him that I would be back home in nc on the night of the 10th. He said that was fine and wrote it down on the paperwork. He showed up with one guy, instead of two to help load. It took them several hours to complete the load and I had to purge even more stuff from the load in order for my things to fit in the truck. My weight should have gone down. When the movers finished loading the eighteen-wheeler I asked when he would weigh it so that I would know the actual weight. He replied that it would be later that day or the next day, very non-committal. Now I was really worried. The subcontractor contacted me on saturday at about 3 pm to tell me that the cost of the move would be... Surprise, surprise... Exactly what the driver/mover estimated. The weight came out to be exactly what he estimated. I thought "this is one amazing man." so, feeling like I had no choice in the matter, I went to the bank on monday, the 9th, to get the cashier's check to pay for the arrival of my stuff in north carolina. I was then notified by american van lines that the driver would be at my house in nc on the 10th despite what I had told him. I was told that if he couldn't offload that day they would charge me an additional $250 for the overnight. Now I am extremely angry and tried to reason with them and tell them what I have written to you, the reader, above. I refused to pay them another penny and was threatened that they would put my stuff in storage if I didn't pay. I counter-threatened that I would sue them if they did. I was not going to play with them any longer. I was to arrive home on the 10th at 11 pm and they could unload then and still be inside my window of opportunity, which was supposed to be between the 10th and the 20th of december. They refused to unload that late. Not my problem then and I refused to give them another cent, end of conversation. Then another representative of american van lines contacted me to tell me the same thing and I told him the same thing I told the other representative, end of conversation. Then a third representative contacted me to try to explain to me why I needed to pay. I refused, told him that he wasn't saying anything I wanted to hear, that I wasn't going to argue with him about it and hung up. Now, the 11th comes after my arrival at 11 pm the night before. There is no notice on the door saying that the driver had been at my house to deliver on the 10th, nothing. He shows up alone on the 11th and demands the cashier's check, which I gave him, and then tells me to sign a piece of paper stating that everything arrived in good shape. I refused to sign anything until he unloaded the truck. He refused to show me the weight tickets, which american van lines said they had copies of, but didn't produce fact, the tickets, by their own admission, didn't have date and time of weighing, so there was no way to prove that my stuff weighed even close to the weight they miraculously calculated by sight alone. Not surprisingly, there was some damage to my stuff: my mattress had a tear on the corner, two of the dining room chairs had small tears on the seats, and my tv stand had a large scrape where paint used to be. Did I complain? No, because I didn't believe that anyone would do anything and the damage was not severe enough to take them to court over and get some small settlement that wouldn't really cover the damage. I would never recommend using american van lines. Buyer beware! They will not honor their binding estimate and the movers will magically calculate the weight of your stuff, by sight alone, and you will pay for it in the end. They are a total rip-off and once you sign the agreement, they will not honor it.

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