Divine Movers - Virginia Beach, VA / Poor Business Practices
May 5, 2008
Divine Movers moved me out of my apartment in December of 2007 for a negotiable fee of $175 to include a $50 deposit. Based on the quality of service received for the cost I paid, I decided to reuse them again to move the remaining of my belongings out from my apartment into a storage unit.
On May 29th I called Divine Movers to get a price quote and availability for a move for May 31st. I spoke with Chris (the manager) and he quoted me several prices depending on the specifications of the job as follows:
• $90/hr (w/ a 2 hr min.) to include the truck fee of $125 total $305 and it would be $90 for each additional hour.
• Based on the information that I provided him regarding rooms + furniture + boxes, he estimated that the job would take at least 3 hrs which would cost me $395.
I explained to the owner that I might also need his services again in July to help me move out of storage, it was at that time that he mentioned providing a discount of some sort. I originally needed and wanted to hire someone for July 7th (the actual day that I move out of one apt. and into another), but the they only had availability on the 10th so I agreed to schedule them to come on the 10th. I only agreed upon this arrangement because I was under the assumption that I would recieve a discounted rate as the owner stated in conversation during the time I made the reservations.
The owner confirmed that they had an opening and that he had one job to do on Saturday and that he would be available around 3:00 p.m. He recommended that I pay both deposit fees to guarantee my spot for availability. Satisfied with rate quoted above I decided to proceed with conducting the transaction via phone with my credit card. The owner later called and gave me the authorizing code for my transaction.
On Saturday, May 31st, I received a phone call from the owner around 2:40 p.m. stating that he was running behind and he needed to feed his guys and that I should expect his arrival in 30-40 minutes. I was understanding and empathetic and told him that was not a problem. They arrived around 3:30 p.m. and begin working at 3:40 p.m. and finished loading the truck around 4:40 p.m. (exactly one hour)
The storage unit that we were traveling to unload my belongings was exactly 10 min. away. Before leaving my apartment the owner asked if there was a 7-11 convenient store nearby, I told him yes around the corner, (he wanted to stop and get him and his worker a drink) I then informed him that there was a 7-11 across from our storage unit. We actually had to make a detour on the way to storage to accommodate the movers. It took maybe 5-7 minute for them to run in the store and get something to drink.
Upon arrival at the storage I noticed that we did not have that much time to unload the truck into storage, so I and my husband offered our help to stay within limits of the estimated quotes above. After helping the movers we were issued a bill of $295, I asked the owner about the discount, he said that there was no discount because the job was not over $500. He then jokingly stated that it costs a lot of money to fill his truck up and basically they made no revenue. I walked away really irritated and out of words, my husband paid him the remaining balance in cash and we departed our separate ways.
I was very much disappointed in the services that I had received because he did not show us friendly customers service or hospitality by charging us the full $395 for a 2 hour and 20 min service, when (a) he was 40 min. late for the job (b) he charged us for personal time (stopping at the 7-11) (c) me and my husband helped to do the job (d) then after he verbally stated that he would give me a discount for using his services again in July, he reneged on his word. Needless to say, I was unsatisfied with the service for the amount I paid. I feel that we were taken advantage of.
After some careful deliberation about the whole entire terrible experience, I decided it would be less of a hassle and more of a convenience if I made alternative arrangements for my scheduled move in July. I didn’t think that it would be much of a problem being that the owner informed me to call him of any changes when he completed the job. On Monday, June 2, 2008 I called and left a message on the answering machine of Divine Movers in regards to canceling the appointment on the 10th of July and receiving a refund for my $100 deposit. No one had returned my call by Wednesday, June 4th, so I called and left another message. On Thursday June 5th the owner called me early in the morning and left a message stating that he could not give me back my deposit because it was non-refundable. At this time I am livid and I called and spoke with him. He again advised me that it was there policy and that he did tell me that the deposit was non-refundable during the time of the reservations. I then assured him that he did not tell me that it was a non-refundable fee and that I did not sign anything in writing or see any type of contract stating that I agreed to that policy. He also mentioned how the deposit was non-refundable because he had already turned down a job offer for the date and time he had scheduled me for July 10th. I then told him that he had a whole month to fill that slot, surely he can get a booking by then. I made the reservations on the 29th of May and called to cancel on the 2nd of June, that’s only 5 days after the reservations were made and 38 days in advance. In all honesty I don’t see how he turned down a job when he was the one who issued me the date and time (as stated above, I need to move on the 7th) when he would be available. We ended the call after a few more words were exchanged.
Now here I am out of a total of $495 for poor rendered services to include my $100 deposit that was not refunded! I question the credibility and integrity of the owner and his company “Divine Movers” because we did not receive the superior service with complete satisfaction as stated on their web advertisement. I also could have taken by business elsewhere to receive the quality service worth my dollar and time!
Juliana S. Graham