Rating: , Posted by Sandra Novack on Mar 02, 2010
Do Not Trust This Company.
We only settled with them because it would have cost us *thousands* more to go to court, and that's over and above the money we lost in terms of Wheaton's damage to our valuables. My husband and I don't have additional time for yet more hassles drawn out over months. The amount they offered was well below the damage caused, but the time needed to get this company to pay a fair settlement and admit they ruined our belongings would be time that would be eaten up dealing with what is, to my mind, a shady company.
My husband and I have moved five times and have never had to spread word about a terrible move until now. This company damaged almost every piece of our furniture, scratched the newly finished hardwood floors in every room of our house (3500.00 alone there, to fix the damage) and destroyed our home interior, wrecking an original 1914 hanging lamp and hitting the walls and knocking two doors off hinges. We had to contact an attorney AND file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau regarding damage, as well as Wheaton's general behavior and professionalism, and I will tell you they seem downright shady when it comes to their "claim filing" process. They didn't even address all our items that were damaged in the claim response (after we had to take the time to document EVERYTHING) and dismissed others, claiming antique chairs they ripped up and broke were inherently brittle, but they never had us sign the "waiver" that their own company policy book says they are to have us sign, in the event they are worried about transporting fragile items. In fact, no one even ever said it was an issue, until after the fact.
As for our hardwood floors, we had pictures documenting scratches in all rooms (from the moving dolly; the mover scratched my library floor right in front of me, about six inches, and then he suggested that "Goo Be Gone" would take it out--right). And we showed the scratches to the person they sent out to survey the damage, when he finally came to our house. But because a customer service person called to check on how the move went *the day after* we had our stuff dropped off, and because I mentioned that the move was problematic and that we already knew there were scratches in one room (and that we anticipated finding more), they then said that one room was "all I mentioned on the phone". Yes, and that's because there were boxes all around the house at the time, and we found the other damage over the next few weeks, as we moved and unpacked things. So apparently they think one observation I made as an *example* of damage is somehow legally binding, and that our claim form for the floor damage is negated! Or they just think we're so stupid that we don't understand that the claim form is the formal complaint. Or they just think they can pretend that they don't have to abide by their own policies (such as the waiver form) and can deny any culpability because the issue is our stuff, that we have (valuable) "brittle" antiques.
If anyone is interested, I posted pics, publicly, on Facebook (you can just type in SANDRA NOVACK and should see them) . You can see for yourself what they did to antique furniture, floors, desks (the movers in our GA location (attached to COPHER moving) took a screwdriver or something to flush wood, to see if a hutch disconnected from the desk base. They willfully destroyed the desk!). After viewing the damage, you can make a decision as to whether or not you'd trust this company with your personal belongings or if you'd want to pay thousands to have your stuff wrecked. I say this in all sincerity, because I do not want anyone else to go through what we've gone through with Wheaton: Do not use them.
And, for those people out there who might be filing a claim now, I also suggest that if you are not happy with the claim outcome--and you won't be--DO NOT use their "arbitration" place, which sides with the company over 95 percent of the time. In fact, San Francisco filed a lawsuit against them, because of their demonstrated bias toward big business. Do your homework, and hire an attorney!
Punctuality: Showed up late
Lost Goods: No
Amount Paid (US$): 6185.00
Order number: 0294-0404
If you want a more specific list:
1) Arrived two or more hours late to Oak Park, IL.
2) I was trying to help show one mover where to put things when the other mover yelled at me, telling me that when he needs me I should be at the front door.
3) When I insisted on drop cloths the driver said, finally (after requesting this all day): "Get a drop cloth so she gets off my d-ck."
4) When husband helped movers move things (because they were late, and because of issues we were already experiencing, there was a running joke of "Well, I guess which one of us boys he (my husband) likes best." This because my husband isn't a "big mover guy?"
5) Two doors ripped off hinges, both our basement and back door.
6) Hanging lamp knocked by mover, disconnected and broke a 1914 architect designed stained glass piece. We can't even get an estimate to fix this because it's one of a kind and have been in touch with antique dealers. Company didn't even address this item (among many others, too, reported on claim form)
7) scraped a solid wood dresser along the front
8) long scrape in bookshelf, running across front.
9) long scrape on another hardwood dresser (found after fact and so no claimed but still! They all had the same scrape patterning.
10) scrape in spare bedroom set footboard and sideboard
11) "fragile" box looked like it got thrown around...antique tractor toy ripped on side
12) more bookshelves with long, flush scratches on side
13) desk chair ripped up
14) desk has long white mark from where they scraped the wall coming up stairs
15) wall sustained damage from them hitting it with furniture
16) scrape along fish tank
17) wicker chairs had all the wicker ripped up
18) knob broken off of an antique chair
19) leather wrapped in plastic and then also scraped along the front, flush, the entire length
20) two long and deep scratches put in a handmade desk
21) nicks in an antique side table
22) another side table so badly thrown around that the entire structure is knocked out of alignment, so that you can't open it
23) screwdriver or some other instrument taken to flush wood (in other words, there were no brackets on this piece of furniture, no disconnecting indicators) and the movers in GA dug into the desk, leaving holes that ran about 1/2 inch deep and about 3-4 inches round. Can't use the desk at all (several items can't be used now, actually).
24) glider scraped along side.
25) hole put in a fabric chair, poked right through plastic
26) about 50 boxes labeled "master bedroom" etc. put in other places, like the outdoor garage, so that my husband and I have had to lug boxes where they belong, on our own
27) scratches, some longer than 6 inches in every single room of the house, from the dolly
28) difficulty with claim, in that they didn't even address most issues and wouldn't cover even things we supplied written estimates to fix or reimburse for their fiasco move.
29) wouldn't transport an item up the steps on day of move. Estimated an extra 500.00 (? I think) to have a crane lift the item and transport through second floor. ALSO wanted to take the item to storage and have us pay extra for delivery and storage THEN gave me hassle when I said, "Well if you can't get it up the steps, you can bring it wherever in the house..."
30) Complained all day that our furniture was "too big." Like, please, just do your job.
31) Arbitration place sides with the company over 95 percent of time
32) Have had to file with Better Business Bureau AND hire an attorney.
There are probably more things! That was genuinely off the top of my head. I hope this helps you make a more informed decision.
Quote or Order ID: 0294-0404
Movers Cost: 6185.00 USD
Origin pickup Country: USA
Origin pickup State: Georgia
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Picked up: On time
Destination drop off Country: USA
Destination drop off State: Illinois
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Primary contact person (Salesman):
Secondary contact person:
Dirty Items: No
Stolen Items: No
Damaged Items: Yes
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