This is the true story of why I started web-advice.ru, after my own move went horribly wrong. The following events took place over more than six weeks spanning from October 28th, 2001 to December 6th, 2001 and is the account of my dealings with America’s Best Movers, also known as Majesty Moving and Storage. These are the notes I took about my move as I waited for weeks past the date my belongings were promised to be delivered.
Although this happened in 2001, web-advice.ru continues to regularly receive complaints almost identical to what is described below.
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On 10/20/2001 I requested bids for my move from Sterling, VA to Carson City NV. On 10/21/2001 I received a quote from Tina at America’s Best Movers. The quote was to move 534 cubic feet, at $3.50 per cubic foot. The total for the quote was $1869.00, however the quote also mentioned that any additional cubic feet would be billed. The quote mentioned that I would be billed for packing materials, however it provided no cost of these materials. This was the better of the two bids that I received in response to my request.
I called Tina to set up the move, and we set the move date for 10/28/2001. Tina told me that I would need to Fed-ex a check for $150 as a deposit on the move, and that the total would be due at the time that my belongings were delivered in NV.
The movers showed up on time on 10/28/2001 with a 15-foot truck (my estimate), and proceeded to pack my belongings and load the moving truck. Very early on, the driver said that he thought that my belongings would take up more than the 534 cubic feet that was in the estimate, but made no mention that it may be at a different rate than the $3.50 per cubic foot mentioned in the quote.
When the majority of my belongings had been packed and loaded into the truck (I estimate about 75% of my belongings), the driver again mentioned that it was going to be more than the 534 cubic feet that was in the quote. This time however, he said that the price per cubic feet would be a different price than what was in the quote. When I asked about the price, I could not get an answer from his as to what the price would be for each additional cubic foot.
Once all of my belongings had been packed and loaded, the driver filled out his paperwork and let me know that I had an additional 316 cubic feet, and that the additional cubic feet would be billed at $7.50 per cubic foot. Over twice the original price per cubic foot. The driver also charged me $775.50 for packing materials. His reason for the sharp price increase was that they were supposed to pick up another persons belongings with the same truck, and that that wouldn’t be possible since my belonging took up so much extra space on their truck. This brought my total to $5012.50, a $3143.50 difference from the original quote of $1869.00.
Because I had promised my new employer that I would be in Nevada by the end of the week, I did not have time to refuse their service, look for a new moving company, and make new arrangements. I needed to get driving and was already behind schedule.
The driver then told me that despite what Tina had told me about when I would pay for my move, he needed one-half of the total right away. I had a money order made out for the original quote amount of $1869.00, which he accepted as the down payment. The driver then had the gall to tell me “it was okay to tip them”.
I called Tina on the afternoon of 10/28/2001 and told her that I was very disappointed with the service that I was receiving. She told me that I would need to talk with Joe who is their dispatcher. He would not be available until Monday 10/29/2001.
On 10/29/2001 I called several times to try to speak with Joe, however I was repeatedly told that he would not be in until later. I could not reach Joe on 10/29/2001.
On 10/30/2001 I called and was able to reach Joe. My first question was to find out when my belongings would be delivered. Joe could not answer that and told me that he would know by the end of the week. I then told Joe that I thought it was wrong that they raised the price per cubic foot without letting me know in advance that that may happen. Joe said that he would talk to “the big boss” and see if there was anything that he could do.
I spoke with Joe on Thursday 11/01/2001 and again asked if he could tell me when my belongings would be delivered, and he told me to call him back on Tuesday because he wouldn’t know until then. I also asked him what he had found out about the price of the move, and he seemed to have no recollection of our prior conversation. I reminded him again, and he said that he would get me a better price, but could not tell me what it may be.
I spoke with Joe again on Sunday 11/04/2001. I simply wanted to know when my belongings would be delivered, and he told me that they would be delivered by the end of the week. I said “By the end of the week. I’ve got your word on that?” and he said, “Yes”.
I again called Joe on Wednesday, 11/7 however I was told that Joe was sick and was transferred to Jay instead. Instead of telling me when I would receive my belongings, Jay asked me what Joe had told me about when my things would get here. I told Jay ‘by the end of the week’, and Jay said that it would be here by then. I asked Jay if my things had even left yet, and Jay said that my belongings were ‘in transit’.
Once again, on Thursday, 11/8 I called to speak with Joe. This time he told me that my things would get here by the beginning of next week, and that I should call tomorrow afternoon, however when I called to speak with Joe on 11/9 I was told that Joe left early.
On Sunday, 11/11 I asked yet again when my things would be here and Joe couldn’t give me an exact answer. He put me off again, and said that they would show up by the end of the week. When I argued with Joe about being put off yet again, he said that he would try to get the drivers here earlier and that he would call me tomorrow. When I tried to reach Joe on 11/12, he had once again left early.
I got hold of Jay on 11/13, and he said that my things were ‘in the warehouse’ and he wouldn’t talk to me anymore. I spoke with Jay later on the 13th, and he told me that the movers were in Illinois, had stops in almost every state along the way, but they should be here by Monday. Jay also said that he would look into a discount and call me back. He never did.
I called on Sunday, 11/18 and Tina said that Jay doesn’t work on Sundays. She asked if I wanted to leave a message, but I told her that I didn’t see the point since nobody from their company ever calls me back anyway.
When I called on 11/19, I was told that Jay is no longer with the company. I was also told that it would again be the end of the week because the truck broke down. I called again later that day, and told Joe that I wanted a copy of the repair bill when they decided to show up, and Joe said that they would bring me a copy. They never did.
I called again on 11/20, and after being put on hold for a very long time, Joe put me off again and said that it would be the beginning of next week before they arrived. When I asked about the discount, Joe still didn’t have an answer. He told me to call him back that afternoon, but once again when I called back Joe had stepped out.
On 11/21, Joe told me that the drivers would be here this Saturday or Sunday. He also gave me a $193 discount but said that I would have to pay the drivers $100 for the two flights of stairs at my new apartment.
On 11/23, Joe changed his mind again. Now it’s going to be Monday or Tuesday.
I called on 11/25, and Joe said that my things were in Boston, and that it had just gotten out of storage. He said that it would be here by the end of the week… again.
On 11/26, Joe said that he thought that the truck would be leaving Boston that afternoon and that they should be here by Thursday or Friday.
On the 28th of November, Joe said that the truck is in Texas and would be here by the weekend. Joe said that one of the drivers is sick, but that he’s sending another driver. He also pointed out the weather, which I think is the only honest thing that I’ve heard come out of Joe’s mouth. There was a bad snowstorm in Texas going on.
On the 30th, Joe said that the truck was leaving Dallas that afternoon and should be here Sunday night or Monday, but when I called again on December 2nd, Joe told me that they had left that morning, and that he would have the driver call me.
I called on 12/3 to give them my work and home phone numbers because I was shutting off the cell phone that I had been using. I was on hold for 20 minutes waiting for Joe because the lady that answered the phone said that Joe was on another line. I hung up and called back, but this time another lady said that Joe wouldn’t be in until 2:00pm!
I got hold of Joe later on 12/3, and Joe gave me the drivers phone number. When I called the driver, he asked me how I had gotten his number, and when I explained to him that Joe had given it to me, he told me that they would be here in 3-4 days. When I called Joe back to get an explanation, Joe told me that he thought that I lived in California! He said that it shouldn’t take 2-4 days and that I should call tomorrow.
When I called on the 4th, Joe said that he wasn’t able to get hold of the driver, and that I should call back in 15 minutes. Yep, when I called back Joe was gone. When I called Joe on the 5th, he said that my things will be here tonight or tomorrow morning. The driver actually did call me. We played phone tag until 7:00pm when he got in touch with me at home. He said that they would be here the next morning. They actually showed up this time, and I finally got (most) of my belongings. All this took more than six miserable weeks.
The couch and matching chair had bad damage because they stood them on end, and had stacked things on top of them. My oak desk that my father had given me also was badly damaged. One of my shelving units was completely broken, and all of my kitchen chairs are now all scratched up. I am also missing a box with all of my power tools, a computer (which had hours and hours of my work on it), as well as a bread machine.
In the end I ended up paying the full ransom amount by cashier’s check just to get my belongings back. The owner of the company, and several employees have since been charged and found guilty on several federal charges including Extortion and Money Laundering. I do not expect to ever receive any restitiution because I was informed that Yair has a gambling addiction and by the time he was arrested he had drained the company of all of its cash and even their moving truck had been repossessed.
On January 28th, 2005 (three years later) Yair Malol was sentenced to 12 years and 7 months in Federal prison for his crimes. He was released from Prison in December, 2011.