On approximately July 31, I engaged All My Sons Moving & Storage (4330 E. 48th Ave., Unit B, Denver CO 80216) by phone (via an Internet inquiry) to move my belonging from 1120 Antelope Drive West in Bennett, CO 80102 to a home located approximately 2 blocks away at 983 Pinehurst Court, Bennett, CO 80102 at 8:00 on Aug. 4, 2008. After a series of questions, the woman I talked with provided an estimate that the move would take 3-4 hours, with a three man crew, at a rate of $117.00 per hour + a one hour charge of $117.00 for drive time. She indicated at that time that all furniture would be â��shrink-wrapped.â�� I inquired on that day if the shrink-wrap would be an additional cost or if that service was part of the $117.00 per hour as quoted. I did not inquire about items such as lamps or small breakables, but previous movers had moved all items. She indicated that the $117.00 price included all services. The time estimate is of major importance in this dispute. Five years ago, I had engaged a different moving company to move essentially the same furniture approximately the same distance from 875 Antelope Drive West, Bennett, CO to 1120 Antelope Drive West, Bennett, CO. The two man crew who performed that previous move (April 21, 2003) did, in fact, move all of my belongingâ��essentially the same belongings I have nowâ��in 3 Â½ hours, 2 trips, in a snowstorm without shrink wrap and without damage to my belongings. (I still have the paperwork on this previous move). Thus, the 3-4 hour estimate seemed reasonable to me, and basing my personal price estimate on the quoted rate of $117.00, I budgeted $500.00 - $600.00. I was told that I would be called the day before the move to verify the booking, which I was, and also that I would receive a call from the assigned driver on moving day to let me know of arrival time, a call which I did not receive (which can be proven because my cell phone records (Verizon) all incoming phone calls as well as all missed calls, and no attempt to call me was made based on that evidence). In anticipation, my brother and I had boxed all lose items and books, and moved the majority of those boxes and other oddly shaped items to the house prior to the anticipated arrival of the movers on Monday morning Aug 4, 2008.
The crew arrived at approximately 8:30 AM. The day began badly when Louis, the crew chief, told me as he walked through the front door that he had called me, but that I had not answered, which as noted above, was not the case. I was a little surprised to find that they were driving a truck that appeared to have been rented from a public truck rental concern rather than a truck with a company logo. Louis and I walked through the house to determine what needed to be moved. There were some items in the garage and in the basement that were not to be moved, including a pile of merchandise to be donated; I clearly pointed these out to Louis. At this point, I was informed that shrink-wrap would cost an additional charge of $20.00 per item, and as mentioned above, I had been assured on the day I booked the move that the $117.00 charge was inclusive of all services. Given my previously planned budget, I decided to use the wrap on only two items, the grandfather clock and the antique china closet (items which I had discussed with the appointment setter at booking). Louis, however, insisted that he should determine which items should be shrink-wrapped, and essentially intimidated me into using the wrap on 8 items (which I later understood when I saw how my belongings were treatedâ��turned upside down and on their sides, which even with shrink wrap allowed many small items to fall out, including jewelry and the remote control for my Bose radio). Please keep in mind that I am an obviously single, middle â��aged woman at 5â��5â�� and 130 lbs. Louis is at least 200 lbs and his manner isâ��in my perceptionâ��very pushy, bordering on implied threat. I was also told at this time that they would not move the smaller items such as lamps, which I had been told previously that they would, in fact, move.
Thus, the crew began to work. As we looked at items in the garage, the crew began asking if they could take items I no longer wantedâ��which in some sense, I really didnâ��t mind since I was planning on throwing the items out, but found unprofessional and a bit off-putting. One half hour later, one of the crew members came to me and if they could place their Gatorade in the freezer to chill, and although I was hesitant, I agreed because it was a very hot day. A few minutes passed and the crew then approached me to ask if I had a radio they could listen to while they worked. I had packed all the radios, and told them so, but turned on the TV which was still hooked up, so they could listen to cable music. Another half hour passed and one of the crew approached me and indicated that they had consumed all the drinks they had brought with them, and asked if they could have some of the individual bottles of water that I had stored in the garage. I said yes (what else could I say?). They then asked if they could put those bottles in the freezer. Throughout the day, they kept telling me over and over how hard they were trying to save me money and asking me to compliment them on how fast they were working. I went to the garage to retrieve a box to transport last minute items, and found that although the crew had no reason to be near or looking at items marked for donation which was some distance from the items that did need to be moved, that they had, in fact, retrieved a broken radio from the pile of cast-offs and had plugged it in and were playing it in the garage. Seeing that they were drinking quite a bit of water from my supply, I offered them some left over soft drinks my brother had left in the garage which they also accepted and immediately consumed. I went over to the other house with the cable installer, and when I returned, all crew members were all sitting in the truck taking a â��break.â�� As I approached, one of them indicated to me that â��this is too much house for just one personâ��â��which I found to be totally inappropriate, and then one of them asked if I was moving because of foreclosureâ��which I believed was absolutely none of their business. They finally got the first load into the truck, and we all drove down to the new locationâ��but not beforeâ��without askingâ��the crew had helped themselves to ice-cream bars in the freezer. There were still major furniture items left in the house. Thinking that it would speed up the process which was dragging along, I told them to take only the large furniture into the house and leave boxes and small items in the garage.
They off-loaded the first load, with yet another break (that I witnessedâ��there were possibly more that I didnâ��t see), then we went back to the house for the second load. I continued packing last minute items, and when I again went to the garage, I noted that one of the crew members was lying on a piece of exercise equipment in the driveway. A short time later, when I went out, one of the crew members was feeding ice cream to my dogs in the back yard. The second load was finally loaded at approximately 2:00. At this point, I told them to just unload the rest of the items in the garage because I had run out of money (I had $1400 available in my account). They did put parts of my bed and bedroom furniture in the bedroom, but I later had to go look through the mess in the garage to find the slats, so I could the bed together to sleep in it, and off-loaded everything else in the garage. My brother and one of his in-laws had to take a day off from their jobs the following day to drive to Bennett and move the rest of the furniture into the house.
Louis calculated the total price at $1076.00, which given my planned budget based on the estimate I had been given and existing outstanding checks, would be approved, but would (and did) overdraw my account. He literally insisted that I give them a tip and indicated that they prefer individual checks. I had run out of checks in my checkbook, and the new checks were packed and lost somewhere in the mess in the garage. He then attempted, against my objection, to place an additional charge on my debit card. I told him that the bank would not approve a second charge, but he insisted, and discovered that I had been correct when the charge was, as I predicted, declined. I was appalled to discover that a mere mover would be given an old style carbon credit card charge form. He then insisted that I go to an ATM and get cash, which, of course, the bank also declined, but I had to show him the ATM receipt to verify it. He then insisted that I send checks to them all via mail to cover the tip, which I didnâ��t want to do, but I took addresses and promised to do so just to make them leave. By this time, I was in tears. I believe they had assumed that because I live in a high middle class neighborhood on a gold course, that I had plenty of money to squander (when in fact, I had only recently been hired at a good job after two years of near unemployment following having been â��down-sized.â��) I also felt as if they saw a â��markâ�� in a single, middle-aged woman. I immediately cancelled my debit card because of fear that they could easily have taken down the card # on the paperwork and used my card either to extract a tip or otherwise breach my account.
On Tuesday, August 5, despite having to work, I called All My Sons Moving to file a complaint. At that time (around 2:00 pm), I talked to Amanda who indicated that she would provide the information to her supervisor to see what could be done. She indicated that I should not mail the tips to the crew, and that I should call back to follow up on the results. On Wednesday August 6, at 9:00 AM, I again called All My Sons to check on the progress of the complaint, given that I had had requested at least a partial refund immediately. At this time, I talked to Victor, who refused to listen to any of the details of the complaint, and who told me that nothing could be done because â��moving expenses have gone up in the five years since I had last moved.â�� When I protested that there are still sixty seconds in an hour and that the quote had been for 3â��4 hoursâ��not 6 plus, he just kept repeating that nothing could be done because â��moving expenses have gone up in the five years since I had last moved, â�� an argument that had nothing to do with any of my complaints. Initially, I had no problem paying the quoted price with my knowledge that it could, in fact, have been doneâ��betterâ��in 3-4 hours without begging and intimidation, but I have since disputed the entire charge with the bank that issued the debit card (Guaranty Bank & Trust in Strasburg, CO) because I donâ��t believe I should have to pay for such bad treatment, even if the furniture â��or part of itâ��was moved partially.
I believe that the crew deliberately slacked in order to extend the move time to make more money. They also spent much of the day priming me for a big tip by telling me what a good job they were doing. Shrink wrapping is an environmentally unsound scam to cause the move to take longer and allow the crew to mishandle belongings. I also believe I have been taken deliberate advantage of, and in addition to this complaint, I have or will also file complaints with The Arapahoe County Sheriffâ��s Office, The Colorado PUC (which immediate transferred the complaint to a more appropriate entity), The Colorado Attorney General, and the Better Business Bureau, and I will also file a complaint regarding age and gender discrimination.