Candace S.'s review of Southern California Moving

Southern California Moving

         
Customer Reviews & Ratings
Complaint Posted 9/28/2010
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Review 9/28/2010
We engaged Southern California Moving (SCM) to pack and move the contents of our 3880 square foot home in Bonsall, California to West Linn, Oregon. This review outlines the facts related to how SCM handled our personal possessions and did not live up to our contract. Our initial meeting was with Al Davis, who reported himself to be the owner of Southern California Moving. He gave us a whole pitch about this being a family owned business for over 50 years; told us all about his grandfather starting the company, and was VERY personable. He emphasized their great customer service and the care they would take with our possessions. We showed him our entire home and went over all of the items to be moved. Mr. Davis estimated that we had 19,000 pounds to move. He told us they would use a 60 foot truck which holds 23,000+ pounds; so even if his numbers were off (he stated he was very rarely off by more than 10%); there would be plenty of space for all of our possessions. We all agreed that the 60-foot truck would not be able to pull into our driveway. He said the truck would park on the street and they would use another vehicle, I believe he said ‘bobcat’ to move the boxes from the driveway to the truck. They began packing on Sunday morning, August 29th and finished packing/loading at approximately 3am on Wednesday September 1st. When scheduling the timing of our move; we stressed that we needed the truck to arrive in West Linn and unload on Friday, September 3rd. We were told this timing would not be a problem. We were also told that the driver of the truck would contact us to let us know when to expect him. On Sunday (8/29); two men arrived to begin the packing of our home. On Monday (8/30), a 60 foot semi-truck arrived and attempted to pull/back into our driveway. The truck got stuck in the driveway and blocked our street for 4 hours. The truck scraped up the driveway and ruined some landscaping. They (2 of the 4 man crew) wasted most of the day trying to get the truck out of the driveway (which they were never supposed to enter in the first place). After the truck was moved, the entire team of 4 men (different people than the first packers on Sunday) continued the packing job. They were way behind schedule due to the stuck truck fiasco. On, Tuesday, August 31st, a completely new crew of # packers arrived. They were still way behind schedule to finish packing and loading on this day as the truck was originally scheduled to leave by Wednesday morning in order to make the Friday morning delivery (we were told it would take 2 days in transit). Even though the crew from Tuesday stayed until 3:30am Wednesday morning (they woke my my husband – who finally went to bed at midnight -- to tell him that the job was complete). The next morning (when he was scheduled to leave to start his drive to Oregon), my husband found that many items were not packed or loaded on the truck at all and he had to call them to let them know; they had to come back to finish loading on Wednesday (9/1) after all. On Thursday (9/2); I called and spoke to Al Davis. I asked if the was going to make the planned Friday delivery. He said they truck still had not left because they had an issue with the tractor. He said they had a new driver named Tim who was just running an errand; but would be back within and hour and would leave with our possessions on the way to our new home. This turned out to be completely untrue. I asked for & received Tim’s phone number so I could call him to get his ETA. However, I called him multiple times, with no answer or return call. Our driver turned out to be a gentleman named Dave who was not contracted for the job until Friday. He drove the entire way on Friday and through the night to arrive at 8am on Saturday (9/4). On Saturday, September 4th at 7:51 am, I received a message from Dave, the truck driver, saying he was in West Linn and needed assistance locating our home. We received no notice whatsoever that he would arrive. Also, he was not the drive driver (Tim) that Al assured me was leaving on Thursday. They had hired 3 people to assist with the move and they were outside our home already when I received the call from the driver. The driver eventually arrived on our street with the 60 foot semi-truck. The driver called Southern California Moving (SCM). They were holding our possessions hostage on the truck until we gave them a credit card. All 4 of the movers stood out in the street until I looked over & discussed the bill and eventually paid with my American Express card even though the bill was substantially more than the estimate provided, had extra charges that were not previously discussed and the driver said his inventory sheet was useless because it was illegible. They were holding all of our possessions hostage and would not open the truck until I paid, so I paid. As soon as the truck was opened it looked like a disaster hit it. Stuff was obviously just thrown in and not properly wrapped, packed or secured. The driver and the 3 workers (from a local moving company) said “it was so bad, they have never seen anything like it”. They were shocked at the state of the truck and they laughed and at least one of them took pictures with their phone to send to their boss and friends at work to show them how bad it was. This man had 20 years experience in the moving business and he said “I have never, ever seen anything THIS BAD!” All the other workers agreed including the driver. I was very distressed at this point. I had just paid over $10K to SCM and they had turned our possessions into a joke; they had no regard at all for our personal and sentimental items. I called SCM soon after the truck was opened to tell them the state of the truck, but they did not answer, I left an Urgent Voice Message (my call was never returned). The workers hired from Prestige threatened to leave because it was so bad. They said they would need more money to work on this job since it was going to be so difficult because of how everything was improperly packed and loaded. The driver called SCM to relay the state of the truck and that the workers were threatening to walk off the job. He said he was told that we “purchased insurance, just tell them to make a list of the damaged items”. Also, after calls to the office and to his boss, they refused to pay the workers an increased wage. The driver asked me to call SCM to ask about the wage or else they 3 assistants would leave. Again, no answer at SCM and I left an urgent message (again, my call was never returned). The driver basically made it clear to me that I would need to make up the difference in payment to the workers if I wanted them to stay. This was very stressful to have this HUGE truck in our new street; all of our possessions thrown in the truck with no regard and being threatened that there was no way it could be unloaded unless we found a way to get the workers more money. They were basically blackmailing me and holding our possessions hostage and SCM would not talk to me at all (though they did talk to the driver many times). Eventually, I said I would take care of the workers financially so they would keep working. At some point that morning, I was informed that this was not the only truck; there was another truck coming; but nobody could reach the driver. We were never informed by Al or anyone at SCM that there were 2 trucks or when the 2nd truck would arrive. The driver, Dave, ended up spending the night and next day at our home because otherwise, nobody else would be helping the second driver unload his truck. Dave had trouble reaching the second driver on Saturday night and Sunday to find out when he would arrive. Eventually (around 2pm), Dave said he would have to leave because he couldn’t wait any longer. Dave was in his truck with the engine running to leave when the 2nd driver, Tim, called me. Luckily I was able to stop Dave from leaving and he agreed to stay to help unload; even though it would be at least 2-3 hours before he 2nd truck arrived. Dave did leave about 3pm to run some errands. Even though he said he would come back; we genuinely thought he had left for good. This was a very stressful time because it would be getting dark when the 2nd truck would arrive and nobody was here to help him unload in the dark. Luckily, we did hear back from Dave and he came in the truck with the 2nd driver around 6pm on Sunday (9/5). We were all helping unload the truck since it was so late and getting dark. This truck turned out to be a Freight Truck and not a moving truck. It had no “tie downs” to secure furniture or boxes. This truck was just as big a mess (or bigger) than the 1st truck. As our personal belongings were unloaded we again noticed how everything was loaded with complete disrespect. Again, our personal and sentimental items were treated as a joke. This caused us further distress, not only because of how ours things were handled; but also because it was dark and we couldn’t even see very well anymore. Also, there was another family’s load in that 2nd truck and neither driver was sure where our stuff ended and the next load started. As it turned out, we are confident that all of our items did not make it off that truck as we have noticed some missing items (and who knows what items are missing that we have not yet noticed). Here is a partial list of examples of how our personal belongings were unprofessionally packed and loaded (we also have many photos as evidence of this): • A desk was just loaded loose in the freight truck and not secured at all. I t was allowed to move freely in the truck and fell over. A big chunk of desktop was broken completely off; the drawers were all broken. The desk was unusable; it was trashed. • A 30+ lb plant in a ceramic pot was packed on top of my Great Grandmother’s china box, which was marked FRAGILE. The box was crushed; there was no care taken at all when loading. • There were fragile items packed in the same box with heavy garage items. • A computer server was just laid down in the truck on its side, not boxed or wrapped at all. • Expensive and sentimental photo canvases were packed in a box with garage items such as a lawn edger, gas tank, and leaf blower. The canvases were not wrapped or protected in any way. • Mattresses were packed laying down with no wrapping or protection at all (not proper per the movers – mattresses MUST be wrapped or boxed and should be packed standing on their sides, not laying down). Also, furniture, bikes and boxes were just packed RIGHT ON TOP of our MATTRESSES that WE SLEEP ON. It was disgusting to see and I am still disgusted by it every time I put my kids in their beds or go to bed myself. • All desks, dressers, file cabinets, etc were packed fully loaded with nothing removed from the inside. Also they did not wrap the contents at all. Also, the majority of our furniture was not wrapped on the outside, so items were scratched/nicked when other items were placed on top or next to the furniture. Drawers were not wrapped to stop them from opening and closing in transport. Most dresser, desk and file drawers were broken or damaged. The drawer contents inside fell out in many cases and were strewn about the truck floor. The drawer contents that remained were in a shambles from being tossed around, turned on their sides or even UPSIDE DOWN. • They packed hanging clothing – men’s silk shirts (~Tommy Bahama) with liquid, unwrapped toiletries. Not put in a wardrobe box. • Bathroom drawer inserts with many small makeup, or self care items (liquids, lotions, perfumes, etc) were just put in a box loose and unwrapped with other items like linens or books, jewelry boxes, clothing, etc. • Bicycle wheels, pedals and chains were laid on and dug into our couches and mattresses. They basically used the furniture as padding for the unwrapped bikes. No packing blankets/pads were used to protect the furniture from the dirt & grease on the bikes. Also, the bikes were just thrown on top of everything with no care whatsoever. Portions of couches & mattresses were stained and/or ripped. • Bleach was packed in a cardboard box along with other chemicals. The bleach spilled and leaked on other boxes and all over the truck floor. Various items were ruined. • Our bed duvets and pillows were used as packing material for liquid chemicals, knick knacks, framed photos and art. • Most framed artwork and framed photos were not wrapped at all; just placed in a box with other items. Frames were scratched and glass was broken on some. • Computers, hard drives, LCD Monitors were just loose in boxes with absolutely no wrapping or padding whatsoever. They were placed in large boxes with many other LOOSE office supplies. The hard drives were literally tossed around in the box in transport. Just unbelievable disregard for valuable equipment and data (all of our family photos and important documents). It was so stressful to see this and not know if the data was lost; especially since we had to search for the power cables for the computers/hard drives for 2 weeks before anything could be accessed. • Many other examples can be viewed in the photos. Not only were many of our personal belongings damaged or scratched or stained or dirty; but we underwent massive stress with all of the anxiety of what sentimental item would be broken, ruined or disrespected next as the truck was unloaded. Also the fact that the movers and driver were all just shaking their heads, chuckling and repeatedly telling us how bad everything was; and telling us to “take a picture of this and that” all day was just making it worse; especially the 2nd day when it was too dark to get decent photos. It took us much longer to unload the boxes because everything was just a mess. Items were dirty and needed to be cleaned. We had to take the time to take photos. Things that went together were not packed together and it was very difficult to find things. We are still unpacking and trying to locate certain items which we believe were never delivered. It took us 2 weeks to find the computer cables which were not packed with the office items or computers. They did not even use one of their own cardboard boxes for them. They used one of our plastic storage bins. I was unable to work from home (as I do) during this time. I think they must have run out of paper when they were packing because many, many items were not wrapped and many boxes did not have packing paper in them at all. They were using our clean (and expensive) towels, bedding and linens in many cases as packing supplies. They also stopped using the cardboard packing boxes and were using our plastic storage boxes to pack items from the office and garage; also without packing paper. Often times we eventually found office items (even computers & hard drives) in with garage items. My husband had called SCM a couple days ahead and to see if we should pack anything ourselves such as TVs, computers, etc. She said, “No” they will handle everything. We specifically asked the packers to leave anything they were not supposed to pack (like liquid cleaners, bleach, garage liquids, chemicals, etc); however, they packed all of those items instead in boxes with items that would easily be ruined by such items. When first packers arrived, they notified us that if we wanted them to handle the TV, it would be an “extra charge” contradicting what Al Davis told us. I wish I could post the photos we took so you can see how everything was packed and loaded and some of the damaged items. We do not feel the onus should be on us to inventory the damage and fight with the insurance company for reimbursement of damages caused by SCM’s negligence, carelessness and disrespect. They caused the problems, they should be the ones to do the work or eat the cost because of their untrained and disrespectful workers. We paid a very large sum of money for a the professional moving job that was promised to us. We chose this company because it was a locally owned and operated business, which has been operating in the area for over 20 years. We were moved by the stories Al Davis told us about his grandfather's business and how he grew up in the business; and all of their experience and exceptional service. SCMs cost was NOT significantly lower than other bids; we just wanted to help out a local family owned business instead of a huge nationwide franchise. In hindsight, that was a huge mistake. They still have not returned one of our calls to this day even though I know the driver told them how bad everything was. The driver was asking his boss to please give us a courtesy call during the unloading and he refused. They would not speak to us at all even though they were there and available; they would only speak to the driver who was on our side because he was so embarrassed by the whole fiasco. If you want to have a positive moving experience; DO NOT use Southern California Moving.
 
 
 
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Additional Business Information
Hours   Phone   (951) 695-1040 Address   42180 Zevo Drive
Temecula, CA 92590
Website   http://www.socalmove.com Email   sales@socalmove.com
Contact   Al Davis Other  
 
 
 
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