US-1 Van Lines / About 35-45% of my belongings are damaged and at least 20% never arrived at all
I would say about 35-45% of my belongings are damaged and at least 20% never arrived at all to my new home! I have a call in to Danny Vin-something-or-other who was identified to me as the president of the company, and a call in to the "claims department" neither of which have returned my call from 3 days ago.
Now US-1 showed up at my door at 10pm on Sunday night and when I asked why they hadn't called they got angry...not defensive...angry and stated that they had called twice but no one answered. I had the phone sitting next to me for the prior two days as I was told to expect a call and delivery on the 15th or 16th. I had called US-1 and gave them my new phone number the week before because my cell phone was getting poor reception in my new state and I did not want to miss the call...they assured me they would relay the new number. The driver (mouth full of gold teeth wearing a "wife beater" tee shirt and jean shorts...oh and a US-1 baseball cap...nice uniform huh?) told me if I didn't let them unpack my belongings it would be taken to Atlanta and they would charge me to re-deliver it. They had already had my belongings for 3 weeks at this point and I was tired of sleeping on the floor. I gave them the cashiers check for 2500 and they started bringing in boxes...smashed boxes! Everything marked fragile sounded like jingle bells as they carried it in! As I was directing the first to guys to bring the boxes up to the spare room I looked up at the door and there is a kid... an 11-12 year old boy carrying one of my boxes in!!!! (I later asked him what grade he was in and he said "going from 6th to 7th this year" so I am assuming 11-12 years old) Now it's 10:30pm and this child is being yelled at to "pick it up, tighten that [censored] up" in my living room. His father, the "job supervisor" comes in with a box marked attic and asks where it goes...when I reply the attic he says "I'm not being paid for more than one flight of stairs". I tell him that when the guys came to pick up my belongings I told them that the new place had an attic and that that is where the majority of the boxes were going, they told me that the paperwork should indicate 1 flight of stairs because the house was on the ground level, unlike the apartment that was on the 3rd floor. Well the delivery guy once again got angry and abrasive. He literally threw down the box he was carrying and said "you expect me to make my sons do work they aren't getting paid for?" I tried to explain that I had filled out the info as instructed by US-1 and that I was looking to US-1 to guide me in this move...he told me to bring things up into the attic it would be $85 an hour in cash! I was not about to ask my boyfriend to leave me in this house with 4 angry movers and a kid and go pick up cash for them to bring the boxes upstairs. So I told them to just stack the boxes in the 2nd bedroom. Stack... what does that word mean? I don't think they got that concept as both bedrooms were filled to the door with my belongings that was thrown around and left wherever it landed. You could not enter either of the bedrooms without bringing things back downstairs to make room. Oh and while they were throwing things into the master bedroom one of the boxes landed so hard on the floor it shook the ceiling above the kitchen and the light fixture fell to the ground and shattered. When I pointed this out the "job supervisor" said "must not have been on there too good"! Nothing should have hit the florr so hard as to make the light fixture fall! When I asked the "job supervisor" what my options were for getting my boxes put into the attic he told me that he could call someone at us-1 but they would be mad at him for calling and making them talk to a customer, and when I requested he call he threw up his hands and said "I'm done trying to be nice to people, I don't want to talk to her anymore" as he walked out of my house (with 75% of my belongings still on the driveway). I told him "I understand you are tired and mad that the paperwork wasn't filled out the way you expect it to be but I only did as I was told to by US-1 ... we still have to have a working relationship" to which he replied "No we don't I don't have nothin to say to you" then as he passed me with a box in his hands he said to the older mover "I'm bout ready to blow up in here". I was seriously considering calling the cops at this point, I was very uncomfortable and I knew my boyfriend was getting angrier and angrier at how this whole thing was being handled. I should note that my boyfriend tried to talk to the guy too saying things like we're not blaming you and no one is attacking you, but he was met with the same replies I was getting. The job was being rushed, we were outnumbered and couldn't effectively supervise anything that was going on beyond standing at the door and directing where items were supposed to go. They mentioned at least 50+ times during the whole process that they were tired and had to get done ASAP cause they were driving from NC to Orlando that night. It was rushed and overwhelming and almost surreal.
At another point I offered the movers bottles of water and they said thank you that they would take them when they were done. No more than 3 minutes later one of them, that hadn't been there when I offered, actually looked at me and said "don't offer us no water of juice or nothing, you see we sweatin here" to which I replied "I did offer, do you want some water?" he said "I'm just playin with ya". Now I'm starting to notice every piece of furniture that was supposed to be professionally wrapped and packed is dinged up, dented, ripped, or broken entirely. I'm actually missing cushions from my loveseat, there are supposed to be 5 and there is 1, making it useless now! I start to lose it, I'm overwhelmed and my eyes start to well up with tears. One of the movers jokes that I'm having a nervous breakdown! I start to open boxes marked fragile and lo and behold a 28" by 42" gold leaf framed mirror is smashed. (I hope that counts towards their bad luck not mine!) I finally understand the expression "beside myself" as I am standing there beside myself with disbelief that this is actually happening. Have I mentioned yet that the entire time they are all throwing around curses I wouldn't use in front of my mother? Or that when it came time to bring in my dresser (which is large long ways) they "try" for a good 20 seconds to get it up the stairs then inform me that it can't go upstairs...then they ask me how they should position it to get it up the stairs and I tell them "I don't know I'm not an engineer or a mover" the "supervisor" says to me "everything you say is 'I don't know, what do you know'" to which I reply "I'm not going to tell you I know something when I don't" and my boyfriend adds "we paid to have this done professionally because we don't know how to do it all, we paid almost five thousand for the service". So they tell me the dresser can't go upstairs and leave it in the living room. Next came the box spring. Queen size. (They have already scratched up every wall in the house, the house was professionally painted prior to our moving in now the walls are all scratched up and dinged and dented...mush like the furniture.) They start to try to shove it up the stairs, past the banister and scraping the walls, ceiling, and front door in the process. They give up and tell me that the box spring can't get up the stairs either. My boyfriend suggests taking the front door off the hinges to give them the extra few inches they'd need and they tell him they don't have tools to do that. In the contract they are supposed to reassemble the furniture like the beds...how are they going to do that with no tools? My boyfriend goes out to the garage where thy put a tool box (one of the two we shipped...the one that actually made it) and it is the smaller of the two tool boxes and does not contain a screwdriver, it has mostly nuts, bolts, nails, and wood sculpting tools in it. So now we don't have the tools to take off the door either. The box spring is leaned against the dresser and left in the living room. The beds are not reassembled... there is no room anywhere for us to sleep and we still aren't done!
I start to take pictures of the damaged furniture and the broken items and I happen to catch the 11 year old in one of the pictures, the dad/supervisor then tells the child not to go back in the house, but rather to go fold moving blankets on the truck. I am glad for this as I was very uncomfortable with such a young child being made to work in the heat in the middle of the night. One of the two identified as the sons pulls me aside and says he is sorry his dad is acting so "ugly" and that he would try to get a few boxes up to the attic without being caught. He doesn't, but it was a nice gesture/thought. There are stains and foot prints and dirt all over the carpets that were professionally cleaned on the 30th of June. I am horrified to tell my landlord what happened to his house.
They are done bringing in all the boxes now the rest of the furniture has to come in. Remember there is a large dresser and a box spring that I had not anticipated being in the living room to contend with. The supervisor asks where I want the rest of the furniture and suggests the garage. I tell him that nothing but the large upright freezer was to be in the garage and he says "fine we'll pile up the furniture in the living room" and that is exactly what they did...until they walked up to the door with a very large still wrapped in shrink wrap sofa. When I see it coming I tell them to stop and inform them that the sofa they are carrying into my house is not mine! To which the supervisor say "well then it's mine now' and one of the sons says "that would look nice in my dorm room". They load it back on the truck. The older mover puts his hand on my shoulder and tells me that I will have to file a claim and that it's going to be all right...then he asks me... "Do you want some Valium? I have 10 milligram tabs in the truck." HE OFFERED ME DRUGS!
Next the supervisor comes in and puts the paperwork down and tells me to sign and date this blank line. I start to read the paragraph above where I am signing and he says "just sign and date there" and pushes it further in front of me. Then he has me sign one or two more of the same sheets and rips off the copies and hands them to me. Two of the pages are the inventory sheets...when my belongings were loaded there were 3 inventory sheets...I don't even know what to say about that. There is no way they could possibly have been checking the items if they didn't even have a full inventory list! I am discovering more and more missing as I begin to unpack and assess the damage.
I asked about the other tool box and am told "it must not have made it" ...my father's tool box that he left me when he passed...with his tools and my grandfathers tools in it... the tool box I pad locked. Gone. I step outside as I think they are about done and there is charcoal all over the driveway, broken up and ground into the cement and brick. "Oh" I'm told when I ask what is this all over the driveway, "your grill fell over and the coals fell out". they made no effort to clean it, nor any of the tape or other debris that was laying all over the ground (I guess they figured it was dark and I wouldn't notice) there were water bottles tossed into the bushes of my new neighbors house, and the next day I walked out and noticed a blouse of mine strewn in the bushes next to my front door! The grill that "fell over" was leaned up against my car! Then I noticed there was a large box leaned up against it too. I asked what the box was and the older mover said he didn't know. I asked my boyfriend if he had instructed anyone to leave a box outside and he said "no, of course not". The older mover then said he'd move it. When the supervisor saw him doing that he shouted from the truck "What are you doin? Y'all actin like you gettin a tip or somethin, just leave it!" I turned to him and said you might have gotten a tip if I had more than 3 seconds warning that you were coming" he called me a ### and got in the truck.
That night my boyfriend spend about 30-45 minutes in the bedrooms and stacks things up... there is now enough room to fit a queen sized bed in each room and be able to walk around it. That is how disorganized and "just thrown in" all of my belongings were. I contact the better business bureau and after telling only 2 minutes of my story the woman on the phone tells me that with so much involved I should contact the president of the company and attempt to work it out with him, as she believes they would not want this on their public record and I would get fast resolution to my problems. I start trying to call US-1. I get a person when I select option 3 (for claims) and I ask for the president of the company's name and phone number. I am put on hold and hung up on. I call back, get the same girl and she gives me the name and the extension number, and informs me that he is not in and that I would probably just get his voicemail. I do, and leave a message letting him know that the bureau told me I should talk to him before filling a formal complaint. I still have not heard back.
To recap..if you are still reading:
No call, arrive at 10pm on a Sunday night.
Bring an 11-12 year old boy with them to unload my belongings.
Rude, abrasive, threatening (throwing boxes).
Not careful with belongings or the house (scraping walls chipping corners).
Not uniformed as the hold music and contract indicate.
Not fully trained as the hold announcement claims, how much training do you think the 11-12 year old got?
Hold announcement claims "Never a charge for stairs" I was told $85 an hour in cash.
Most items are damaged.
Quite a few items missing (I still don't know the full extent of the missing items yet, just the boxes that are missing and loveseat cushions).
They offered me illegal drugs.
They comment about a tip.
They leave the house and yard a mess.
They do not reassemble the furniture (they don't even leave room for us to do it).
They throw boxes so hard they shatter the kitchen ceiling light fixture.
I'm called a ### as they are leaving.
That about wraps it up! I'm sure there is more actually, but my boyfriend would have to read this over and add to if and he is asleep. I can't sleep because I keep thinking about this whole thing and how much I lost by using US-1.
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