Thursday, July 07, 2011

Head? Meet desk. Desk? *BAMBAMBAMBAMBAM!*

Some excerpts from the emails that have transpired since yesterday.

(I'm very tired.)

Joeb says:
"You deal with me on your insurance. You have $0.60 per pound per article. As i see it right now the weight of the bookcase is estimated at 100 pounds, the weight of the grill cover is estimated at 10 pounds at the most. So that would be a total of 110 pounds. That would be for a totalof $66.00. I am not going to go for you think there may be another wardrobe box missing. You were there when we moved you, you knew there was no inventory taken at that time. It was the cheapest move rate and that was what you wanted."

I replied:
"Hey hey hey, never offered me ANY OTHER MOVE RATE...

I'm not poor, Joeb. And our things are VERY important to us. If you had different rates for different kinds of moves, you needed to communicate that clearly! I have your entire package in a folder, and NOTHING in there indicates that I chose a certain type of move package!

What kind of business are you trying to run, man???

Our bookcase weighs WAY MORE than 100 pounds. You guys all balked at having to move it, especially to a downstairs location in the house. The damage you all did to the bookcase is going to cost WAY MORE than $60 to fix, and you know it."

(I was a little ticked off. Just a little.)

He replied:
"Take a look at the paper you signed. The office just informed me that you took the $0.60 per pound per article. It is in your signed contract with me. The BBB can not make me pay you any different than the contract that you signed. It is a legal binding contract.

At this time i am asking you to stop with the ugly, insulting, slam dunking me at every point that you can think of. I am trying to get this settled and done with. I do not have to continue to have to take your verbal abuse. And every email from you has been full of verbal abuse, insults and threats of an attorney. And any attorney will see this signed legal contract between me and you and find it binding. You may not be happy with the way things turned out but i see no way to make you happy."

Um, you know what woulda made me happy? HIM NOT BEING SUCH A DOUCHE!

My response (this is the full email):
"The paper I "signed" is attached. Of course, I don't have a copy of the one I signed...just the one with your comments about how I paid all moneys due to you, so if you have a copy of one with my signature, that'd be great to have in my possession. (You should have sent one to me after you made a copy of it. If you did send one, I never received it.)

As I see it, I signed a Valuation Option that was marked for the Minimum Valuation of $0.00 of deductible, Limit null, and $0.00 Cost. To me, that means that I have a $0 deductible to meet when it comes to damages, and there is no limit to the damages I can claim. All that for a $0 cost.

I don't know where you're pulling this $0.60 per pound per article nonsense from. Or the $250 deductable.

I've also attached the other additional information included in your quote package you gave us on 4/8/11. On the first page, you state, "As your representative, I pledge a total commitment of my time and resources to assure you a well coordinated and efficient move from inception to completion."

Now, I just ask you to think back over everything that's occurred in this contracted time you've shared with us:

- You didn't bring us additional boxes when we requested them, and when you finally did, it was less than 24 hours prior to the move. We had half of our house to pack up still.
- You didn't bring a truck large enough to handle our load of items on the day of the move.
- You didn't bring an efficiently sized team to move us, and one of them was completely inappropriately dressed for the job at hand.
- You left in the middle of the move to deposit my check. I know that you have said this is standard procedure, but it just isn't. Also, in doing so, you left my husband behind to do your job, essentially.
- You left early prior to finishing the job.
- You ignored my communication to you about our missing items.

Just tell was any of that an example of a "total commitment" of your time? How could any of it be seen as a "well coordinated and efficient move"? I'm asking you calmly and without ire. I'm simply stating the facts.

The way you and your company handled this move made it 100% more stressful that it needed to be. Moves are already stressful without anything going wrong! And in our case, it's as if everything that could go wrong DID go wrong. The only thing that didn't happen is our stuff didn't burn up in a fire of some sort.

I need to go through my files at home to find the weight of the bookcase, as well as the cost info. It was a Crate & Barrel piece, and they no longer offer it for sale. We bought it 4 years ago. But I'm big on saving pretty much everything on stuff like that, so I'll see if I still have it, and then get the info to you later tonight. I believe it cost us somewhere around $1200 - $1500, though. And I'd estimate the total weight of the piece to be around 300 pounds. Each piece separately (top and bottom) likely weigh about 150 each. It took 3 men to move it into our house initially, and I don't know how many of you moved it from the house to the truck, but I'd imagine there must have been at least 3 of you working on it then, as well. Since I wasn't there, I can't know for sure.

I, too, want to get this resolved and just move on. But you've made that incredibly difficult to do. Which is what added to me being angry with you. If you'd handled it differently from the outset, I would have been a much more agreeable customer to work with, I can assure you.

Please advise on the Valuation Option that I've attached in the quote as agreed to on 4/8/11. Unless I'm completely misunderstanding that, it looks like you agreed to pay for the damages as incurred by your team during our move. With no limit attached. So I'm very confused about your information you've provided thus far."

Now, I might be really off in the head (seriously...I can't really tell anymore, at this point! Everything feels melty in there...), but I thought that was quite an improvement from previous emails. I was calm, collected, stating the facts clearly...

But I guess I was wrong...?
"I have recieved your email.I have had it with your rude behavior. You have put me down enough.

Look at your paper. It says

Valuation Options

Minimum Valuation-no deductable Limit null cost $0.00- Has a check mark

Depreciated Valuation-$250.00 deductable- limit null- There is no price there nor a check mark

Replacement Valuation-$250.00 deductble-limit null- There is no cost there nor a check mark
The check mark indicates which Valuation you choose. The Minimum which is by law is $0.60 per pound. To have Depreciated or Replacement Valuation it would have cost you money for that insurance it is not free.

The Minimum Valuationis $0.60 per poud and is free.

You said you have the folder that i gave you, look at it, there is paper work in there that tells you all about it.

I am not going to argue back and forth with you and continue to have you tell me about how to run muy business. Mistakes were made, I said i was sorry and that i would take car of the damage. End of the story.

If you care to email me again do it with out the hatefull statements and utting me down. You have done enough of that.

You will be getting your check in the mail as soon as i get a proper weight on the bookcase."

Good God. So fine. I sent this back to him, and will wait to see if he thinks I'm continuing to be nasty...
"Joeb, that was actually a really nice email, I thought. Maybe you should re-read it again? I was just pointing out why I've been as angry as I have been. (And you just keep trying to tell me why I shouldn't be angry.)

Obviously, we're not going to see eye to eye on this ever. Which makes sense on a fundamental level, but still...I'm your customer. Does that fact mean absolutely nothing to you? I'm so frustrated because it seems like it really doesn't. It makes me want to bang my head on hard surfaces.

I didn't choose the level of insurance you offered me. It was pre-chosen. I didn't put that "x" next to the minimum valuation line, it was obviously typed in on the quote for us, and I clearly have a different idea of what that all means, anyway, so I guess I should have asked you to explain it all to me when I signed it. I thought it meant that I was getting the best deal on my insurance options. I wasn't offered the chance to sign up for the other insurance options. Maybe that was something you discussed with [Leo] on the day you came to gather info for your quote on our move. But it was never relayed to me. And I'M the one that pays the bills, so it really should have been communicated to me better, I think.

Not that I'm trying to tell you how to do your job! I'm just giving you feedback on how I feel like I've been walked all over in this entire transaction.

Also, I included scans of all the documents I had in the folder you gave me. I've included them in attachment form on this email again, in case you didn't see them last time. Neither of them goes over the specifics of the insurance information or what happens if a claim needs to be made. Unless I'm totally missing that point, in which case, please highlight it and send it back to me! Because I feel a lot like I'm going insane over this whole thing, especially when you keep telling me that I've signed something that I don't even have a copy of with the signature on it.

Net/net, you make promises in your contract and the paperwork you give along with it that you failed to meet. Again, I'm not trying to put you down or to be hateful. You simply did not do the job that I paid for. I don't understand why that's something I'm not allowed to say. I'm your customer. Why is my feedback not worth anything to you at all?

I'm trying to be civil civil as I can be, anyway. Because I'm tired. And I don't want to have to deal with this any more. I have lots more things I have to do to deal with the house, my new loan, my bills, my marriage, and frankly, it's all more important to me than it is for me to continue trying to reason with you. I'm not a very nice person to deal with when I'm treated like I'm a complete idiot who is being bothersome to someone that I paid to do a service for me.

It's like going out to a restaurant for dinner, having to pay after I get my drinks but before we finish the meal, and then having them serve me the wrong order in a half portion size, and then have the waitress reach over and break my finger before walking away laughing at me.

Can't you see this from my point of view at all?

I'm pretty sure you're saying you can't, but still. All I've been asking for all along was what the contract promised me.

So, sooo tired..."

It's so frustrating arguing with someone who is defensive and irrational! I really wish he'd stop being like that.


Fred Sanford said...

Oaky, better; things are moving again...

Can hardly wait for the denouement...

Xavier Onassis said...


I've been staying out of this (mostly)because I know you (sort of...we've been reading each other and commenting on each other for half a decade), like you (we've met and spent time together on several occasions), and I have no desire to insert myself into what is clearly a very intense situation of which I have no direct knowledge.

But I have to. I really do.

In my humble opinion, you bear a certain amount of responsibility for this hot tranny mess by going with the cheapest possible provider while expecting the same level of service you would receive from a premium provider.

If I choose to go through the drive-thru at Popeye's on the way home, I don't expect the sit-down, deep-dish, family-style service I would get after standing in line for 90 minutes at Stroud's

I think you mentioned that the mover had rented a truck that was too small for the job.

This tells me, right away, that you didn't hire a professional.

Professionals have their own trucks! Fleets of trucks! They don't rent trucks in a one-off based on the estimated size of the move.

That's what friends that you are paying in beer and pizza do.

You should have known better. You get what you pay for. You know this.

Had you gone with a professional company like Allied, American Van Lines, or even Two Men and a Truck, you wouldn't be dealing with this shit.

That's Number 1.

Next, if you need more boxes than your mover provided (did the contract specify unlimited boxes?), then just go get more boxes! Problem solved, stress removed!

I've hired professional movers on several occasions in the last 6 decades. They do crazy shit like wrap a couch in half a dozen professional packing blankets and secure all that shit with rolls and rolls of packing tape. They charged me for every blanket and every inch of tape.

But you know what? The couch made it through the move without a scratch and I got what I paid for...a professional move.

You also had a major issue with the fact that the mover left in the middle of the move to go deposit your check.

Issue 2: Who the fuck writes checks? This is 2011. Use a Visa Debit card. If you had, you would have had more options for stopping payment.

Xavier Onassis said...

Issue 3: Every PROFESSIONAL MOVER I have ever used has insisted on final payment before delivering the goods. The same way a bankruptcy attorney gets paid in full before your bankruptcy is discharged! The only leverage a mover has is your stuff! What? They are just supposed to trust you to pay the agreed upon amount after they they drip sweat and haul you shit for hours and hours?

Every moving customer on the planet would attempt a post-move negotiation. "I know I agreed to pay you $800, and even signed a contract, but now that I have all of my shit in my new house, I think you only deserve $500, so that's all I'm giving you, you don't make any money for your effort and it sucks to be you! See ya! Wouldn't want to be ya!"

If you had paid by credit card, and if you had hired a professional mover, he would have been able to run your card, verify it was good, and continue the move without leaving.

Having said that...leaving to visit some biker buddy in the hospital? Again, professional movers don't do that. But you have to pay professional movers professional prices.

Then there was the matter of the mover's vacation.

Clearly, based on what I read, the mover was planning on using your moving money to finance his vacation! Which is what he did!

You did your best to fuck that vacation up by harrassing him (yeah...that's what you did) with your expressions if dissatisfaction.

His unresponsiveness pissed you off!

And then YOU went on vacation.

Question: How would you have responded if the mover had been emailing and texting you with updates every 5 minutes while YOU were on vacation?

Can you not see the equivelency between the vacation scenarios?

Lastly, there is the tone and frequency of the correspondence

I spent many years as a bill collector. I was governed by the Faid Debt and Collection Practices Act that prevented me from doing things like calling every 5 minutes, late at night, on weekends, or when the customer told me not to contact them during certain hours at certain places. The law was passed by Congress in 1977 to keep bill collectors from using harrassing and abusive practices. Because no matter how just the debt collection cause may have been, the tactics used to collect that debt had to adhere to simple common courtesy.

Although the situation was reversed and the law doesn't apply in that direction, I think you were still guilty of abuse and harrassment towards the mover.

Based solely on what you posted on your blog without any direct information, I think you went way over the top, blew the situation way out of proportion and expected far more of a lowest bidder than you had any right to expect.

The guy was clearly an amatuer and a world class douche nozzle.

But you hired him. You got what you paid for.


If nothing else, I have proved that I am every bit as verbose as you!

Challenge, ACCEPTED! LOL!

Xavier Onassis said...

OH! One last thing (I promise).

Didn't you say that your realtor recommended this guy???

Where is your criticism of the person who recommended him???

Was he her brother? Does she get a finders fee?

Who the fuck would recommend somebody like him?

Why are you not going postal on that person?

Faith said...

Ok, first of all, you make me giggle, XO. Why don't you comment more often, man? :P

Secondly, I wanted to get to this before the Twin has a chance to later tonight. 'Cuz you KNOW that shit's gon' happen!

How was I possibly supposed to know the guy was going to show up with a fucking rented truck the day of my move? Because he told me he was using a rented truck the week before?

Yeah, that would've been a clue.

But also, I'd signed the contract over 2 months before that.


So, what could I do about it then? The guy had been refered to us by our real estate agent. He didn't have any complaints on the BBB about his company. He was offering what I thought was a pretty fair price for moving across town eventually, and storing us for "free" in the mean time.

$2600. That's not exactly beans, my friend!

We were moving a couch, two beds, a large shelving unit, a fair amount of boxes, and that was about it. We weren't moving appliances. We weren't moving from here to Arizona. I thought the price quoted was rather fair.

And not exactly bargain basement, btw.

If you think that moving two beds, a couch, a large shelving unit and some boxes for $2600 is cheap, then so be it. I've moved a LOT in my life. Particularly since college. But I hadn't used a pro mover since my move here from Boston in 2000. And that cost me about $3,000 for a 1 bedroom apartment full of stuff. They showed up 3 weeks late. They gave me $600 back because of it.

I guess they spoiled me when it comes to my mover experiences.


Faith said...

Oh, and if I'd used a credit card, he would have charged me an ehxhorbitant service fee. Like $150. So, there's the reason for the checks.

Since you asked. ;)

I never bothered Joeb after hours via text or phone call. I contacted him during regular business hours.

And if you're saying that you wouldn't mind if someone fucked up your move, didn't give you all your belongings back from storage, and then disappeared for a week without you worrying at all about it, then I'm saying you must be smoking something, man. You WOULD be upset. Because you paid in FULL for that shit to be delivered back into your care, and the person who had it was basically ignoring you. And you would have...a calm response to that?

More power to ya. Must be a man thing, I guess.

faithstwin said...

Naw, I have had some of the same thoughts as XO, and I think Faith knows that. But I have the benefit of actually being related to her and sometimes not stepping on toes works out better for me. Especially since I have this "I don't care" list and if it weren't bothering my flesh-and-blood to the degree it is? I wouldn't give a shit about any of this mess.

XO, while Faith may have seemed like she was harrassing the mover to you, to me all she was looking for from the guy was what most women are looking for from ANY guy: a response. And when that response was obviously made to buy him more time, she wasn't putting up with it. As a collector you were told to do anything and everything to make the person you were trying to get money from give you the answer you needed in order to make your commission (more than likely. I've dealt with my share of collectors, you see.) You couldn't get that unless they answered you, right?

While the point is well taken regarding the payment being made before the move is done, the mover should NOT be running out and cashing the check instead of finishing HIS job when he is - by his own fault - under staffed for the job. I have had contractors literally leave the job they did for me and cash my check immediately(hired due to suggestion from my Dad, guy didn't take credit cards...) I have never had anyone go to the bank DURING a job, that I am aware of.

The box thing has been brought up before- he said he would bring the boxes to her on two seperate occasions. I am sure she would have gone and gotten boxes on her own had he NEVER said he would bring her more only to leave her hanging until the last minute.

And, yeah, dude: the agent who recommended the douche to you? You need to stop being so nice to her. Seriously.

Ms. Terri said...

I say stop contacting this guy and giving him the pissing contest he (and you, too) seems to enjoy. Contact a lawyer and sue the guy. I had sympathy in the beginning, but now you're looking like a psycho contacting this guy every 5 minutes when he's already demonstrated that he's not planning on doing a damned thing.

Faith said...

I'm not contacting him "every 5 minutes". Not even in the beginning of this mess was that happening!

But thanks for the advice.

I'm not going to sue the guy. It'd be a complete waste of my time and more money. Blah. :/

Ms. Pants said...

You can sue via small claims court ($5000 and under) for about a $40 filing fee. If he doesn't show up, you automatically win. Do it.

emawkc said...

I'm with Faith on this. The guy broke his implied and explicit promises.

Since there's no real, feasible recourse, Faith is doing what she needs to do to make sure other consumers are aware of this guy before hiring him. Forewarned is forearmed. I only wish she would name the company on this blog so we would know who it is.

@XavierOnassis's criticism rings kind of hollow, given his expectations of pizza shops to keep track of his checking account for him.

It's not unreasonable to expect a business to do what they say they're going to do.

Faith said...

I don't want any kind of defamation lawsuit, is all. I'm even spelling his first name differently than he really does, just in case.

But if anyone wants to know who they are, in case they have any kind of move coming up and are going to be searching out a reputable company, I certainly wouldn't mind emailing them the info. Possibly...

Ms. Terri said...

I'd totally do the small claims thing, on principle. The guy is clearly a douche.

Fred Sanford said...

I assume you've added your review of his company in Angie's List?

Faith said...

I'm not on Angie's List, and I didn't know if it was worth it to join in order to put up a review.

You guys think I should do that?

faithstwin said...

Angie's List sucks. And if anyone is like me, if you managed to FIND anything on Angie's List you would go ahead and Google them anyway to see what OTHER people said who haven't paid for the suckishness that is Angie's List.

It's not worth it. You put them out there on many fronts, so I think it's good to go.

faithstwin said...

There's no reason to do small claims at this point, btw. Unless he goes a month or two without addressing the repair of the bookcase? There just is no reason. Hopefully all it will take is Faith getting the estimate on the broken door and giving it to him to pay her, THEN he can file a claim with his goddamned insurance.

Faith said...

He said he's sticking a check in the mail in the email he sent me today. I don't know how much it's for, but I should be able to get the doors down to the cabinet people tomorrow or Monday. It's not far from work.

So we'll see...