Thursday, May 2, 2019

Consumer alert and warning: American Movers and Storage


We've just completed our move from the Bay Area to Baltimore. I will recount ASAP in dispositive detail our sorry, maddening particulars regarding American Movers and Storage. Stay tuned.

Avoid this company.

From their website:
WHY CHOOSE US?
  • Perfect timing
. Our efficient team guarantees efficacy every step of the way, making sure your move is completed in a timely manner.
  • Satisfaction guaranteed. 
We will surpass your expectations in both quality of service and productivity. Our teams are trained to excel in all aspects of the relocation task.
  • Always extra careful. 
Our clients enjoy our team’s dedication to perfection. We treat your items like they were our own and give it the utmost attention to safeguard the quality of your inventory.
 Our experience with these people has been zero for three on those counts. The marketing platitudes don't even come close to the reality we got.

My 1-star Yelp review:
This review rating should start with a decimal point.

"We're a family-owned business with our own fleet of trucks and drivers." - Our AMS "Senior Moving Coordinator" contact (salesman) Maybe that's even technically true, but it's FAR from the entire story. Their truck showed up two days late for pickup in California, severely complicating our departure. It was an Enterprise 26' rental. The driver and his associate were subcontractors from Las Vegas. One reason they were late was that CHP had sequestered their truck overnight near Bakersfield for logbook violations.

We were quoted a "7-14 day" delivery window to our new home in Baltimore. "AMS" finally arrived after 20 days, and the driver, (another contractor, who spoke broken Russian accent English), refused to enter our neighborhood, citing "commercial vehicle size/weight restrictions," which my new neighbors all scoffed at ("moving vans come in and out of here all the time"). I myself had seen an Atlas Van Lines semi down the street on the day we closed on the house on March 29th.

Mr. "Senior Moving Coordinator" had stopped responding to my phone calls and emails midway through the episode.

They held us up for a last-minute Sunday night additional $1,900 "shuttle service fee" in order to relinquish our belongings. We had no choice, as the driver threatened "I'm leaving Maryland tomorrow."

As we unpack, the inventory of broken and otherwise damaged items grows depressingly. The fact that this seems to be an industry-wide failing in no way excuses AMS.

There's LOTS more. I will be documenting ALL of this in litigation-worthy detail here ASAP:

bgladd.blogspot.com/2019…

AVOID THIS COMPANY.
Up next, their many websites and email addresses that don't work. One domain name goes to a GoDaddy.com "parked URL" page -- "do you want to buy this domain?"

UPDATE

There were accruing yellow flags. I missed them until it was too late. Juggling too many logistical balls in the air.

First oddity. Their "Social Media" links did not work.


Clicking any of them just throws you back to the top of the page. You won't find them by direct searching anyway.

My contact was one Daniel Snyder, "Senior Moving Coordinator." His email footer:
Daniel Snyder
4782197606
Senior moving coordinator
American Movers and Storage
(877) 635-5059  Ext. 1022
daniel@movingservicegroup.com
https://americanmovers.co
"movingservicegroup.com?" That domain doesn't actively exist, it's a GoDaddy.com parked URL.


Ugh. Of course, again, I didn't start drilling down until problems started to ensue, and by then it was too late.

The truck--a 26' Enterprise rental--showed up for pickup two days late, with a driver and laborer that were obvious itinerant subs. The manifest paperwork masthead comprised another yellow flag.


"executivemovingandstorage.com?" Search for them.


Shit.

The email contact page icon for AMS?


It also goes off into the bit bucket, via a different email address ("info@eastcoastvanline.com") than the one visible on the web page.

"eastcoastvanline.com" apparently doesn't exist at all.


Soon after the truck departed Antioch, Daniel Snyder stopped responding to my phone calls and emails. The increasingly petulant "customer service" reps answering the phone refused to put me through to his voicemail.
"Your call is being recorded for quality assurance purposes."
Right. How much you wanna bet those have been deleted had they even been captured?


To be clear: my own due diligence was woefully inadequate. I fell for some slick salesmanship amid a relentless cacophony of contending offers that seemed way dubious by comparison.

We probably have no recourse (though I will seek out legal counsel), except to persistently warn others.

SUNDAY MAY 5TH UPDATE

As I posted to Facebook:
Well, another day, another ugly American Movers and Storage surprise. Matt and Eileen came over yesterday afternoon and moved two of our three 7 ft office library heavy wood bookcases upstairs into the spare bedroom office for us. When I cut the black plastic shrink wrapping off it just now, this is what I found. They literally destroyed the back panel of this one. I was expecting to put in shelves and unbox books this morning, but no.


WHY CHOOSE US?
  • Perfect timing
. Our efficient team guarantees efficacy every step of the way, making sure your move is completed in a timely manner.
  • Satisfaction guaranteed. 
We will surpass your expectations in both quality of service and productivity. Our teams are trained to excel in all aspects of the relocation task.
  • Always extra careful. 
Our clients enjoy our team’s dedication to perfection. We treat your items like they were our own and give it the utmost attention to safeguard the quality of your inventory.
MAY 8TH UPDATE

It has been 10 days since the egregiously late (and last-minute "$1,900 shuttle fee" extortionate) delivery of our belongings. Not one peep of follow-up inquiry from AMS. Imagine my surprise.

The mounting damage toll continues to accrue. Probably at least $500 of loss thus far. It's random, too. Some fragile items survived without a scratch. But many properly packed boxes were obviously subjected to recklessly indifferent, repeatedly rough handling.

We had a foyer 15" x 46" metal table with a beveled glass top. The carefully wrapped top is nowhere to be found. We have to assume they broke and discarded it. (We were given no breakage report.)
We expected to have inevitable, unavoidable breakage and damage. This is well beyond the pale, however. RECKLESS INDIFFERENCE. If this recounting deprives AMS of at least one future victim customer, it will have been worth my time. Beyond that, I'm dubious regarding getting any legal redress, given the mountain of ostructive fine print to which I had to assent in writing. Not that I won't look into it once time permits.
_____________

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