Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Betwixt and Between

Have I used that title before? It's one of my favoritest phrases.

I swear I haven't fallen off the side of the Earth. There have been so many things I wanted to write about but writing eats up hours of my time because I'm a perfectionist, and much as I love communicating with whomever is reading and my Higher Self, I'm still unpacking and sorting, trying to get 8 hours of work in every day, and running all the errands that come with fitting yourself into a new place in a new life in a new city. I make a LOT of U-turns, but fortunately they're allowed at just about any intersection in San Diego. Another couple days, then I'll be settled and I can give a real update.

Real quick though (because I'm a writer and this is what happens when I start!): I ended up in the condo in Bonsall. It was my second choice, but thoughts of the Escondido house faded fast when I realized this is definitely where I was meant to be. I'm not disappointed. The location rocks and when I think about it, I got everything in this place that I asked the Universe for down to the details (except central A/C and heat - and in fairness I didn't specifically ask for that, I kind of assumed, so I guess that's a cosmic joke on me). It's a little further out, but not too far. It's so QUIET at night (not even bug sounds!) but that's okay. I take any excuse to drive around because the geography is AMAZING in this area. I can't wait to post pictures.

The first week when I moved in the weather was much like Hell (read: Phoenix), but then the Universe relented and it's been everything San Diego is known for since. I actually have to put on a sweatshirt at night. It's JULY people! A sweatshirt in JULY. I'm not complaining! I'm just amazed! It's warm during the day. Last week it was so perfect (highs of mid-70s all week) that I never turned on the A/C units, but this week has been at 80° in the afternoon, and the chinnies get uncomfortable so I turn one on for them.

Ok, if I don't stop here I'll write for hours then be mad because I'll be working until 5am again tomorrow. Soon though, I swear. I have so much to tell. It's piling up in my head. I'm gonna have to start wearing hats to hold it together.

Until then...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Do Not Use Crown Royal Moving of Brooklyn NY

I am posting this narrative of my experience with Crown Royal Moving, located at 56 48th Street in Brooklyn, NY, web site at http://movingroyal.com, because I HOPE it will help someone else NOT be scammed by this company.

I will be filing complaints against them with several federal and local organizations, plus as many web sites as I can find that report bad movers.

I would like to point out that the loading and delivery crews were polite (with the exception of Eric Lucci once he found out I would not easily agree to their inflated price), and there were only two broken things on the truck, both of which were minor.

My belongings were delivered promptly, but only after I had no choice but to finish paying their inflated price because the owner (Vili) would not honor the BINDING PRICE ESTIMATE with the NOT TO EXCEED AGREEMENT that was promised to me. I don't think my review or my filed complaints should reflect on the individuals that drove the truck, or that loaded/unloaded. My grievances are solely with the owner of the company, Vili, and the managers involved with estimating and managing my move (Paul Towber and Eric Lucci).

Here is what I'm posting for others to read about this company on the scammer lists:

Order #W664077
NYDOT # T37074 - NYDOT # 1230294
ICC MC # 486301
Move Out Date: May 30, 2008

I received an original estimate from Paul Towber for 6000 lbs. He said the cost to move CROSS COUNTRY would be $3500. I found that hard to believe since the other moving companies I'd received estimates from ranged from $5000 - $7000. Paul said Crown Royal Moving could provide the move cheaper because they were the actual freight company, not a middle man that gave estimates, then found a freight company like them to move the load.

I told Paul that if he would provide a NOT TO EXCEED agreement, then I would go with Crown Royal Moving instead of a trusted name like United Van Lines or North American (both of which I had much higher estimates from). He wrote on the Crown Royal estimate, in his own handwriting, that the estimated price was a BINDING PRICE and NOT TO EXCEED $3500. I asked if he was sure that would hold up since it was only handwritten on the document and he said it would. The document does actually have "Binding Estimate of Cost" printed across the top. He said if I had any trouble, I was to give him a call.

Moving day came and the truck was four hours late in arriving. Due to this they did not finish loading my things until 11pm at night. Once they had everything on the truck, Eric Lucci, who was the Sales Manager in charge of the loading crew, told me I had exceeded the allowed space and therefore the price would go up. I told him Paul had given me a NOT TO EXCEED agreement written on the estimate, and I showed him the paperwork. He said he could not honor that price or the Not to Exceed promise, and my only choices were to sign the paper agreeing to pay the inflated price of $5250 or they would unload all my things from the truck back into the house. I argued about the legality of a binding price, but he said since it was so late at night, he couldn't do anything about getting it approved with the owner - either I had to sign the agreement for $5250 or they would unload my things. I signed under duress. Eric told me to call the owner when I got to California and straighten it out.

I called the owner (I think his name was Vili) once I had found a place to deliver my things. Vili was very rude about the price and would not honor the Not To Exceed Agreement. I called Paul and he told me he would talk to Vili but Paul didn't call back. I finally called again since the driver of the truck was calling me repeatedly asking for an address, but Paul would no longer answer my calls.

Vili insisted I either pay him $2500, which was the remainder of the $5250 price, or he would unload my things into a storage unit until I did pay him, and then I would owe the storage cost plus a second moving cost, or if I never paid any of it then I would just lose all my stuff.

Obviously I had no choice and ended up releasing the funds to him on my credit card.

I WOULD NEVER EVER EVER USE THIS COMPANY AGAIN. I was unable to sue them in small claims court for the difference between the $3500 estimate with a Not To Exceed Agreement, and the Final Cost of $5250 because I would've had to file in NY and attend court there, and I couldn't afford to fly back to represent myself or hire a lawyer on my behalf.


Please contact me for scanned copies of the paperwork to prove my story.