sandhasnohome (sandhasnohome) wrote in bad_service,

Very Epic Tales of Sucky Moving Company

Last November my husband and I moved interstate from one city to another (we’re in Australia).  As I had made the same move in the opposite direction 3 years earlier, we decided to go with the same moving company as I had used without incident then.  This company specialises in backloading i.e. they don’t dedicate an entire truck to your stuff; they move several peoples stuff all at the same time to minimise costs.  This works out at about a quarter of the price ( about $1200 AUS) and works if you don’t own a huge amount of furniture, say if you live in an apartment not a big house.


The company doesn’t require a moving date or payment until as late as 1 week prior to the move.  We booked a date and paid 6 weeks prior.  At this point we did not actually have an apartment rented in the city we were moving to, which was no problem as we were going to put our furniture into storage until such time as we found a place.  Two weeks before the move I emailed the company to say that we had now found a place and needed to change the details on the manifesto, to deliver the furniture to our new address and also to request that the moving date be changed to two days later than I had originally requested.  All of this was fine and they emailed a new manifesto with the changed delivery address and the new date.


Moving day arrived.  The company doesn’t give you any ETA on the moving day; it allows you to put a preferred window of time but doesn’t guarantee that they won’t turn up at 3PM even if you’ve requested 8AM.  We had asked for pick up to be as early as possible as our entire apartment was packed up and we had to travel 10 hours by car that day.  We had hired a car so we could travel with our cat and take things like our computers and other things we didn’t want to send in the truck.

Type your cut co

We decided to call the moving company at about 10AM just to see if they could give us any idea at all of what time they might be turning up so we could plan around it.  My husband calls and they gaily inform us that their truck is full from the weekend and that they won’t be picking up until *tomorrow* sometime.  It apparently hadn’t occurred to them to actually call us and inform us that they wouldn’t be turning up at all on the booked date.  We tell them that this is unacceptable to us as our house is entirely packed up, we have booked a car and we need to be in Melbourne by tomorrow.  Also, our real estate agent needs to do a final inspection on the empty apartment before we leave, and we can’t clean the floors until the furniture is gone.  Back and forth the phone calls go.  Finally they ask if it would be possible for them to pick up the keys from our real estate agent the next day, and that they would pay for any cleaning of the floors if it wasn’t good enough from what we could manage with all of the packed furniture and boxes in there.   We check all of this is ok with the real estate agent and it is, except they need to pick up keys from him by 2PM tomorrow as he has to leave his one man office by then.  All good, if annoying.  We set off in the car and drive to Melbourne.


Next day we have major issues with them again.  We call to make sure that they are on track and they say they’re held up and can’t pick up the keys before 2PM.  Our lease actually ends this day so there is no more room for delays.  I tell them to send a courier to pick up the keys.  They call back and forth and will not send a courier.  What ends up happening is far from ideal but we don’t have a choice:  they ask that the real estate agent leave the keys in the letterbox.  That’s right, all of our wordly goods are in that apartment, conveniently packaged for easy removal, and we have to have the keys left in the letter box! 


They pick up without drama.  Meanwhile we are in our entirely empty and unfurnished new apartment in another state.  The day they were supposed to pick up was a Monday, and they ended up picking up on Tuesday.  Their stated delivery period is between 1-3 days.  So we had figured having to camp out until maybe Friday at the latest.  We brought enough clothing and toiletries to cover this.  We stay a couple of nights at friends places but because of the cat can’t really stay longer.  On Friday afternoon we call to ask what time we should expect delivery.  They say, Oh, your stuff is in storage here in Sydney because you don’t have an apartment yet so there’s no hurry!???  Refer back to the start of this sorry saga when I changed the delivery address from storage to an apartment and their emailed confirmation of this change.  This is where we start getting very upset.  We ask that they put it on a truck immediately and get it here by tomorrow (they’re a moving company, it’s not like they don’t work weekends), they say this isn’t possible, and that it will be loaded into the truck on Monday for delivery Tuesday.  We ask to speak to the manager and they say he’s not there at the moment but they will get him to call us in the next 10 minutes.  We wait half an hour.  We call again.  We ask for the managers number so we can call *him*.  They refuse of course and say that he will call us in the next half hour.  He doesn’t and when we try to call again we get no answer.


Cue to Monday morning.  My husband calls them first thing.  They say that delivery will be “tomorrow or the next day”, we say, no it will be tomorrow, your contracted delivery is 1-3 days and we’re now up to 7 days if it gets here tomorrow.  They absolutely refuse to budge, offer no apology at all.  We ask to speak to the manager again and again get told that he will call us.  Which he never does, no matter how many calls we make. 


Next day we call them, guess what they say?  Delivery will be tomorrow OR THE NEXT DAY. We got through the same thing again with no apology and the phantom manager runaround. At this point I am in tears and I call the Office of Fair Trading (consumer advocacy group) to ask them to intervene.  They say complaints usually take 2 weeks to get investigated but as our case was extreme i.e. this company had all of our belongings and it was starting to seem like they had lost them or something for all of the hedging about delivery.  However, the powers of this office are fairly stymied, all they can really do at this point is make a phone call to the company to let them know that they’re in violation of their contract and have been reported.


We call the moving company the next day and at least they don’t say Tomorrow or the next day but actually Tomorrow.  Next day we call them first thing to make sure this is going to happen today.  They say yes, the driver is moving and will be entering Melbourne at around 3PM.  At 2PM we call to make sure it’s all still happening and they say yes, the driver has to drop off somewhere else first but will be there with your stuff by 5PM and that he will call when he is near.


The driver never arrives and we never get a call from anyone.  I am in tears again and am now calling my Mother and asking her to call her lawyer for me first thing the next morning.  However, first thing the next morning the phantom manager of the moving company calls and says the driver will be there within the hour.  No sign of apology from him at all.  We are SO relieved at the prospect of actually getting our stuff after 11 days that we don’t rip him a new asshole for the ordeal his company has put us through.  The movers actually arrive glory hallelujah and they themselves are contractors who are not responsible for the mess so we don’t give them a hard time, although one of the drivers sat in the truck and talked on his mobile phone the whole time so my husband had to do his half of the lifting and carrying upstairs.


Phew, sorry, this ended up being extremely epic, I wonder if anyone made it to the end!  Anyway, we ended up asking them for compensation in the amount of about $600 for the direct expenses incurred by us in the 8 days beyond when they should have delivered and they counter offered $150.  I put a put a claim into the small claims court and it has yet to go before them.

ntents here.

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