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Don Farr / Hindman Moving and Storage / Money scam

1 4920 Buttermilk Hollow RoadWest Mifflin, PA, United States

American Moving and Storage Association

1611 Duke St.

Alexandria, VA 22314

To the AMSA Arbitration Agent:

We wish to file an official complaint against the company that moved us recently from Pittsburgh, PA to Alexandria, VA. The company's name is Don Farr Hindman Moving and Storage located at 106 Hindman Lane Butler, PA 16001.

The basis of our complaint is as follows:

1. We were quoted an estimate by telephone of $3, 400 and in person on the morning of the move of $3, 416.84 ($3, 651.84 with insurance) then asked to pay over $6, 700 after the truck was loaded and we were on the highway in Northern VA

2. We were promised a 1-day move which was important to us because we were moving into an empty apartment with live pets the move was not completed in 1-day

3. There were numerous cases of property damage for which we will pursue corrective actions through the additional insurance coverage we purchased

4. A box of expensive leather coats was found to be missing after the move was completed valued over $2, 500 (home owners insurance company is pursuing actions against movers)

5. Return of the insurance increment of the 10% premium to us that we were forced to pay

We request your assistance please in determining whether Don Farr Hindman has engaged in unfair business practices with regard to item #1 above, and what monies are rightfully due to either party. We would also like to file a formal complaint with you regarding the generally unprofessional service we had to endure, outlined in detail below in the addendum section.

Thank you very much for your time and assistance in this matter.





Anna I. Lasko William P. Lasko

[protected]) 600-8065








Addendum Section


1. We were quoted an estimate by telephone of $3, 400 then asked to pay over $6, 700

Approximately 1 month prior to our June 28 2008 moving date, we phoned 4 moving companies and requested 1-day service and a price quote. Don Farr Hindman agreed to start early and perform the move in a single-day, based on their estimate of our description of the furniture we needed moved and a 30-box load count (which turned out to be closer to 100 boxes). They quoted us by phone an estimate of $3, 400.

No one from Don Farr Hindman ever visited our home to perform a visual estimate, but we did not think that was unusual as all of the price quotes were roughly within the $2, 800 to $3, 800 range. Don Farr Hindman was the only company that stated that they had capacity to perform the move on June 28 so we selected them based on that capacity and the $3, 400 price quote. Early on the morning of 28 June the movers did a walkthrough packed load and after inspecting our load presented us with an estimate of $3.651.84, which included $235 for additional insurance coverage.

The movers arrived at 9:08am (3 hours later than agreed) and packed the truck all day Saturday June 28. We left for Alexandria from Pittsburgh at approximately 3pm ET. At approximately 7pm ET we were driving on US Route 270 S on our way to our new home when we received a call from the driver of the moving truck, informing us that his company estimated the load to be 4, 000 lbs (with 30 boxes) and the actual load was 9, 200 lbs (with an estimated 100 boxes).

He went on to say that instead of the $3, 651 price the new price would be in excess of $6, 700 which immediately raised our suspicions. We quickly pulled out the sales / service agreement which we had signed earlier that day with Don Far Hindman and read that we had the right to arbitrate and defer any payment over 110% of the original price quote. By the way- Don Farr Hindman did NOT provide a written estimate 48 hours prior to services as is required of them by law.

Soon the General Manager (Paul 412 / 629-7013) was on the phone trying to negotiate with us for additional monies. This call occurred as I was now in Northern Virginia traveling on the Beltway with the moving truck somewhere in Maryland behind us.

When it was apparent to Paul the GM that we would not agree to pay $6, 700 + or the $5, 000+ that he tried to get us to agree to he became highly upset and informed us that the truck would NOT make any deliveries that night regardless of the impact on us, until he had FULL payment in hand by cashier check. Prior to this time Don Farr Hindman had accepted our AMEX credit card ($100, 000 limit) as the payment means now he refused to accept the card but rather demanded that we visit a bank even though it was nearing 8pm ET on a Saturday evening.

We resolved that we would spend the evening in a nearby hotel and visit a bank in the morning to obtain a cashier check for the funds he demanded 110% of the original quote - totaling $4017.

After another 15 minutes, Paul phoned us again and informed us that he had authorized his moving team to stop at our apartment and unload a sleeper sofa so that we did not have to retain a hotel room, which I thanked him for.

As of this writing there are approximately $2, 700 of additional costs in dispute.

On Monday 30 June we placed 3 phone calls to competitors of Don Farr Hindman and requested a quote for the following services for a move from Pittsburgh to Alexandria VA:

No packing

9, 200 lbs 100 boxes

a piano and a complex work desk to take apart and reassemble

no appliances

one living room

one bedroom

$20, 000 additional insurance

1 OR 2 day move service at the discretion of the mover

The quotes we received were as follows:

South Hills Movers - $4, 500 (with $60, 000 coverage) 2 days

United Van Lines - $3, 600 2 days

2Men & A Truck - $2, 900 2 days

All 3 demanded to do an in-house inspection 72 hours prior to the move date and to provide at that time a firm written estimate.

According to Paul, the incremental costs were owed Don Farr Hindman because we originally told them there were only 30 boxes and there actually was the equivalent of 100 boxes. He further stated that Don Farr Hindman had estimated the load at 4, 000 pounds, although noone had actually visited our home to compile this estimate.

When I asked Paul the following question he again stated our error

Why did 3 professional movers who arrived at our home at 9am and personally packed all of those boxes onto the truck NOT KNOW that they were dealing with over 4, 000 lbs? Why were we only informed while we were driving down the highway?

And now after conducting my own investigation of the competitive market I contend that it does not even matter that there were approximately 100 boxes weighing 9, 200 lbs (if indeed that is true) since those exact specifications yielded the above competitive quotes that are nowhere near $6, 700.

2. We were promised a 1-day move which was important to us because we were moving into an empty apartment with live pets the move was not completed in 1-day

The company showed up with 3 gentlemen, only one of which appeared to have the strength and stamina for the job. They showed up at 9:08am, which immediately was an issue as a 1-day move involved packing, a 5-hour drive, and unpacking.

The truck was smaller than we feel would have been appropriate for this job, and consequently our furniture and boxes were piled high touching the ceiling and jammed tightly together resulting in scratching and crushing.

Our apartment complex in Alexandria schedules move-ins such that there are no more than 2 per day. Because this move took more than 1-day without any forward visibility, we caused another moving team in Alexandria to have to wait 4 hours for completion of our unpacking.

These 3 gentlemen worked reasonably well for the first several hours in Pittsburgh but slowed considerably as the day went on. Only two of them made the trip to unload in Alexandria, and one of these gentlemen is well over his prime years, and worrying about his health, I (Bill Lasko) felt compelled to help him with his loads.

Because they were instructed by their GM Paul - to wait in Alexandria for a cashiers check for the full 110% amount, Don Farr Hindman movers would not begin the second day unloading until after 11:30am giving us time to retrieve the check from the Duke St branch of PNC Bank and returning. Because of the loss of the entire morning, the second day unloading ended after 5:30PM on Sunday 29 June.

At the end of the unloading, the crew chief Herman attempted to obtain a signature obliging us to the full $6, 700+ in fees. We instructed him that we were indeed intending to arbitrate those fees, and his response was that by signing we were only confirming a full unloading even though the document CLEARLY stated otherwise. Of course we did NOT sign the agreement. Furthermore, he refused to stop to make copies of a release form we did sign with them, stating he was already late. Had we been foolish enough to sign the obligatory agreement, he would not have provided a copy to us of that document either.

3. There were numerous cases of property damage for which we will pursue corrective actions through the additional insurance coverage we purchased

The list of damaged goods includes the following:

A defect on the oak panel of a brand new piano purchased only 6 months ago a large hole in the exterior panel ($5, 500)

Scratches to the exterior surface of an expensive Ethan Allen work desk ($3, 875)

Scratches to the exterior surface of an expensive Ethan Allen armoire ($2, 660)

A broken bedroom lamp (at a welded joint) purchased 1 year ago ($250)

Distortions and defects in carton boxes used to store business supplies these boxes are clearly not weight-bearable but were exposed to stacking nonetheless

4. A box of expensive leather coats was found to be missing after the move was completed valued over $2, 500 (home owners insurance company is pursuing actions against movers)

We have filed a criminal police complaint in Alexandria, VA (case # [protected]) and Allstate Insurance has opened an investigation and claim in this matter on our behalf ( claim # [protected]). Allstate estimates the value of the theft to be in excess of $2, 800.

5. Return of the insurance increment of the 10% premium to us that we were forced to pay

We feel it was inappropriate for Paul (GM at Don Farr Hindman) to include the insurance premium amount in the base calculation of the 10% additional fees we were forced to pay in order to receive our goods.

Total original estimate $3, 416.84 plus $235 for insurance totaled $3, 651.84

We feel the 10% additional fee should have been calculated against a base of $3, 4116.84 not $3, 651.84.

$3, 652 x 1.1 = $4, 017 which is the amount we paid Don Farr Hindman on 29June 2008

$3, 417 x 1.1 = $3, 759 which we believe is the proper base calculation method

Resulting in a difference of $258 for which we request an immediate refund.

Va

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