I recently moved from Los Angeles to Vancouver. While everything states-side was handled carefully and professionally, the problems started the moment my goods were transferred into the hands of Bandstra's Moving in Richmond, BC.
It first started when I went in to clear my goods at the customs office in downtown Vancouver. Whoever was responsible had not forwarded the necessary info on time which almost made the trip to customs pointless. Fortunately the helpful officer was familiar with the company and rung them up to have the documents faxed. A minor inconvenience, but an unnecessary one and a foreshadow of what was to come.
Before leaving Los Angeles I had arranged to have a few select boxes delivered to my temporary residence while the rest of the goods would be put into storage until I had found a permanent location. The boxes were clearly marked for early release, as well there was indication made on the paperwork of which items were to be delivered first. When that day came, a clueless driver and swamper showed up with everything and were ready to unload it all. I showed them the paperwork which indicated which boxes were actually being dropped off, took those boxes in and sent them on their way. The following day Bandstra's attempted to charge me extra for the time it took them to unload the rest of my stuff into storage back at their warehouse. My move had been coordinated by a relocation company in the states who I won't presently name as their service was really quite good and I don't want them to be associated with this issue. Anyway, I contacted them and showed them my original request, dated, which clearly stated how the destination unloading was to be handled. Thanks to having this documentation handy, and the service of the relocation coordinator, this the problem promptly went away.
Fast forward a couple months. I find myself an apartment and called to schedule the delivery of the rest of my stuff a few days later. A pair of movers arrived, and unloaded everything in about 90 minutes (I don't have a lot of things) until it came time for my sofa. They got it up to my apartment, but could not get it in the front door. They tried a couple different angles and decided that it would have to come up via a hoist onto my balcony. They said that another crew would probably have to come back another time to do it. They said I should hear from Bandstra's the following day to arrange it. Most importantly, they made absolutely NO mention that there would be any additional charge for this. I told them that they had to do what they had to do and sent my couch back with them to their warehouse. Four days pass and still I hear nothing, so I ring up their dispatch to see what the hold up was. Amazingly they were ready to schedule me in just then, but with an addendum... since they -have- to send 4 people out to do this, there will be a $250 charge. Excuse me? The dispatcher emphasized the $250 several times during our conversation, and I feel that he was throwing a dollar value at me to either recoup what they lost on my original delivery (which they were responsible for screwing up in the first place) or to try and scare me off. Now I feel as though my couch is being held ransom... the couch itself didn't cost much more than $250 when it was brand new. I sure as hell don't feel a $250 charge is justified for this service, especially under the circumstances.
This issue is ongoing and any suggestions on where I should go are really appreciated.