Cross Country Relocation - Bronx, NY / Incredibly frustrated with the service
I used a company called Cross Country Relocation (located in Bronx, NY, [protected]) for my move from State College, PA, to Madison, WI (on June 27, 2007.)
Before my move, I spoke exclusively over the phone with a representative named John. He is the one who recorded an inventory of my possessions to be moved. On the day of the move, it suddenly came to my attention that the list of my furniture that he had compiled from that conversation was incomplete. He neglected to write down several items that I had specifically mentioned, including but not limited to the following: a full size mattress, a large mechanical litterbox, two smaller endtables. When the movers arrived, they informed me that the amount of space my possessions would take up was obviously greater than originally estimated, and I would be charged extra for that discrepancy. I realize now that John deliberately omitted some items in order to keep the estimate low.
When I spoke to John over the phone, he specifically and repeatedly informed me that the estimate he had given me was all-inclusive. He stated on multiple occasions that it included the cost of flights of stairs, the cost of boxes to be used, the cost to partially or fully pack those boxes, and full value protection insurance. This too turned out to be false, with the exception of the stairs issue (there were no stairs involved in my move anyway.)
When I received the work order by email, I noticed that it didn't mention full value protection insurance. I called John to address that issue in specific, because it was important to me to have that type of coverage instead of just basic insurance. He very clearly reiterated that full value protection insurance was included, but that the movers would provide that service when they arrived at my apartment on the moving day. He said they would take pictures and document the state all of my furniture to make sure it was done correctly. This was a blatant lie, which I did not discover until my moving day. The movers forced me to sign a statement saying that the value of my shipment was $0.60 per pound per item damaged. In addition, I was forced to sign a statement which I later realized also included a sentence saying that I had received the pamphlet entitled "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move". I was never given this pamphlet, and cannot believe that statement was quietly embedded in fine print. I did not appreciate being told "you must sign here in order to get your stuff delivered", in fact, it seems a little like coercion, in hindsight.
When, on my moving day, I discovered that John had misinformed me about a number of things, I called the company to ask what was going on. The person on the end of the line was completely unhelpful, and told me that John was away on a two week vacation. It would have been prudent of him to inform me of this when I spoke with him just days before his vacation started, as he was the only company representative I had spoken with thus far.
When I originally spoke to John over the phone, he very clearly stated that I would not owe any money upon the pickup of my belongings, but would only have to pay my balance upon delivery. He said I was not to give any money to the movers packing up my things - under any circumstances. Yet after they had my things on the truck, they demanded part of the vastly increased balance be paid IN CASH before they leave. I had to go to an atm and withdraw hundreds of dollars on the day of my move, as if it wasn't stressful enough. I really did not appreciate that, and it make me very distrustful of the movers. After my things were completely packed up, the movers told me that the total cost of my move would be $2716, almost double the original estimate of $1400.
Another thing John assured me was that the men who moved my things out of my old apartment would be the same men to move my things into my new apartment in Wisconsin. This was an outright lie, and it made me very nervous to see two unfamiliar men show up with my things when I had expected the same three men who originally packed them up.
When my things arrived in Madison, my bike and a small mosaic table (gift from my mother) were missing and my coffee table was irreparably damaged. Additionally, some items were delivered to me in error; items belonging to somebody else, including a painting and a college diploma.
It is now August 26th -- two months since my move -- and the only recognition of my formal complaint against Cross Country Relocation has been a letter (received yesterday) offering me $50 and "promising" to eventually return my bike to me if I sign a statement releasing them from all liability.
I am incredibly frustrated by all of this, and at this point, realize that I will probably never see my $500 bike again, let alone any sort of refund.