Rating: , Posted by Jeff on Mar 09, 2012
Worldwide Van Lines, through its independent contractor, attempted to scam me. I'm in the process of reporting my whole experience to the Dept. of Transportation. It's a long sordid story. I'll just set forth the highlights.
The Worldwide Van Lines esimator was Leo. Friendly, courteous, and seemed reasonable ethical. We spent considerable time on the phone one day going room-by-room and item-by-item of the larger household goods. Although I was skeptical of not having a live person walk through the house, he explained how the computer worked and that it builds in a "10% cushion" just in case. It all seemed okay and his esitmate of roughly 8,000 lbs. seemed reasonable. The price was right too: $5,000. The contract was titled "Non-Binding Etimate Form" and provided a penalty if the weight was more than agreed.
Eventualy it was move-out time. The driver called 30 minutes before he arrived. He had one helper. The driver had very poor command of English; the helper was more fluent. They continually spoke Hebrew to eachother and when on the phone. Had they not been on the phone incessantly, I wouldn't have minded as much. But as it was, they were entirely unfprofessional.
My house was ready for move-out. All boxes were packed. There were few large items anywhere but on the main living floor, as my wife and I had already moved nearly everything closer to the doorways to make life easier on the movers. The driver and his helper initially liked it too.
The driver presented me with some forms. He asked me to sign or initial each. He then caught me totally off guard when he said, "I have to be honest with you." That usually wakes you up, especially if you're busy signing something. The driver went on to say that in his 4 years of experience he would esimate the household weight at "up to 20,000 lbs." Not the roughly 8,000 Worldwide Van Lines' estimator developed through the aid of his computer. To move this house, said the driver, will cost you an additional $5,000. What? I asked how Worldwide Van Lines' estimate could be so far off, but the driver assured me that the company intentionally underbids jobs to get business. That seemed plausible, so I tried calling Worldwide Van Lines. No one answered. (The next day Worldwide said it's phone system had malfunctioned.)
The driver continued to advise me that no moving company could make money on the initial estimate, that everyone would require more money. He essentially tried to strong-arm me into an 11th-hour deal while we're sitting amongst my boxes and furniture, ready for move-out. He said that Worldwide Van Lines intentionally underbids jobs to capture business. That seemed plausibe too.
The driver concluded by offering me two options: Either pay the $5,000 or agree to a pricing scheme based on volume, not weight. Neither sounded right, so I kicked them out. The next day I called Leo at Worldwide Van Lines. He feigned surprise and even managed a chuckle at the situation. Utlimatey, I went with Atlas. It was downright pleasant by comparison. The price was roughly $6,500 for 7,000 lbs. Their driver never had me sign additional docs, and even called with the weight: 6,700 lbs. So much for up to 20,000 lbs.
All this to say Worldwide Van Lines, through its independent contractors, attempted to perpetrate a scam. In my opinion, Worldwide Van Lines was complicit in this scam and deserves censure. We'll see what the Dept. of Transportation says.
Quote or Order ID: 1799284
Movers Cost: 5.00 USD
Origin pickup Country: USA
Origin pickup State: Washington
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Picked up: Never
Destination drop off Country: USA
Destination drop off State: Texas
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Primary contact person (Salesman): Leo
Secondary contact person:
Dirty Items: No
Stolen Items: No
Damaged Items: No
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