The final invoice was double the in-home estimate we received. Also, we were not reimbursed for damaged items caused during the move.
On October 9th, a Woody & Sons representative did an in-home moving estimate. He spent 30 minutes assessing our upcoming move. He determined the move would require 2 movers, 5-7 hours, totaling $510-680. The moving company owner ***** ***** called a couple of days later and said the estimate forgot to include the $149 piano moving charge, bringing the new total to $659-829. In addition, she agreed to lower our hourly rate to $75. The move took place Oct. 30, 2013. The 2 man crew took 9.25 hours, forgot the wardrobe boxes (which were itemized in the initial estimate) and did not have enough pads and blankets for the furniture. As a result, many pieces of furniture were scratched and damaged because they loaded them unwrapped into the truck. The movers attempted to hang the clothes from a rope in the van. The rope came loose and the clothes fell into the street and onto the floor of the van. My husband and I loaded both of our cars up with boxes and lamps to speed up the process as it was getting late. The crew was exhausted and dropped a box of dishes, breaking many of them. When the 14 mile move was complete, the crew gave us an invoice for $1020.25 and noted the broken dishes on the invoice. Since it was after 10pm, we agreed to pay them and call their boss in the morning. My husband called Woody & Sons on Nov 1st and left a message regarding the damaged items and overcharge for the move. As of Nov 4, we did not get a response, so I sent an email reiterating our concerns. Nov 5, we got a response from ***** that she would talk to the movers and damage control. She also requested pictures of damages. My husband sent pictures and itemized the damages and overcharge. ***** refused a refund because the move was more difficult than they anticipated due to the stairs in the condo. Our point was that the stairs were there when the rep did an in-home estimate. There were actually less items that needed to be moved since we had taken several carloads to the new home after the estimate was given. She sent an email to us implying that we should have told her movers that the last movers had a difficult time navigating the stairs. We did tell them that the previous movers dented the staircase, which is why we decided to go with a different company. Many emails were exchanged trying to convince ***** that the reason we had her company representative do an in-home estimate was so there would be no "surprises". She also implied that she was not responsible for the broken dishes since they did not pack them. The box fell approximately 4 feet from the top of a stack of boxes on the hand truck. The dishes would have broken if anyone packed them being dropped that hard. On Dec 17, we had still not even received reimbursement for the dishes, which she had agreed to. We contacted ***** and she said she would have a check sent that day. On Jan 14, we still had not received the reimbursement check and sent a reminder email.
We are requesting the balance of the highest in-home estimate ($680+ 149 piano charge= $829) and what we were actually charged $1020.25. We were actually charged $85/hr instead of $75/hr which we had agreed upon (we have the emails stating this). We did get a $100 check for the damaged dishes but no compensation for the damaged furniture.
An actual charge should fall between the estimate. With that in mind, generously using the highest point of the estimate (680) plus piano charge $149 (which should have been included in original estimate, since it was present when the Woody & Sons rep came to the house) totaling $829.
Invoice: 1020.25 less 829 = 191.25 reimbursement.
Again, this is a compromise, since it does not even take into account the furniture damages.
The $75 an hour offer was to be honored should the client hire Woody & Sons Moving for both moves that he was having quoted, he did not. Secondly, the quote that he accepted was written at $85 per hour. All quotes are sent to the client on an "estimate" basis only. We did perform an on site in the home, however we could not account for ther issues that we had on moving day with the items coming down the stairs. It was shared with my movers by the client(s) on moving day that the movers had the same issues when moving the items into the home, why this was not shared with us at the time of the estimates is unknown. In our written quote it is very clearly stated "MOVE DURATION Each move is unique and its duration is determined by many factors, eg: customer preparedness, stairs, weather/driving conditions, truck loading proximity to property, distance between locations, size/weight of furniture pieces, and etc. " as well as "LABOR TIME There is a minimum of 3 hours for every move. Labor time starts when our movers arrive to your starting location and begin paperwork and concludes when they are finished unloading your shipment at your final delivery destination, eg: loading beginning at 9:00am, with unloading finishing at 5:00pm, equals total labor time of 8 hours. Driving time between pick-up and delivery locations on local moves is included in labor time." which make it very clear that the total payment is based on actual move time. An estimate is an estimate not a guaranteed rate, nowhere does it state the estimate is guaranteed and I will again state that we can plan or be prepared for size and fitting issues coming down the stairs with just looking at the items... this is something you learn about verbally by the client who knew it was an issue on move in or by actually beginning to move the items down the stairs.. we discovered this issue by moving the items. Also it is not stated that my two man team completed this very same move in less time than the four man team that moved the same items in...again information that it took 4 men "all day" was not relayed to our team at the time of the estimate but instead it was relayed at the time of the move.
Finally, as for the furniture damages, our rep many numerous attempts to contact the client via phone and email in order to resolve the issues, he failed to get back with him and even told me at one point that "he could not answer his phone at work, though he was at work talking to me on it" and to have him email him ... we emailed several times with no response. Now months later we are here.
We will not be honoring any discount as I feel this was unethical from the beginning, details of original move time and issues were with held, discount offered if BOTH moves were performed by our company, written estimate at $85 an hour was accepted.
We will have not further offerings or action on this account.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The response from Woody and Sons is full of inaccuracies.
First , we did respond to the requests about the damaged furniture by emailing photos of the damaged items, as they requested. The response we got was that they would forward them to their woodworker.
Second, they keep mentioning that our previous move required 4 movers and it took them longer. I am not sure where they got this information. There were 3 movers previously and they took 8 hours to complete the move. We did relay this information to the representative that did the in-home estimate. We also pointed out that they damaged furniture during the move and that is the reason we chose to hire different movers this time.
Third, the $75/hour was agreed upon via several emails since we had planned on using Woody & Sons for another move. We decided not to use them after all the problems that arose during the first move.
Finally, we are not professional movers. Woody & Sons keeps blaming us for not giving them enough information about our previous move. The issues that arose during the previous move could have resulted from inexperienced movers. They did not see the stairs until they arrived with the truckload of furniture, so they were unprepared. Our previous move should be irrelevant since we had a Woody & Sons rep physically assess our move. He saw the stairs, as well as the piano, clothing, furniture and boxes that needed to be moved. Yet, they forgot wardrobe boxes and a sufficient number of furniture pads for our move.
We are shocked at the lack of accountability that Woody & Sons has taken for the many problems during the move. We never received any type of apology. They immediately took on a defensive stance and blamed us, the customers, for the issues.
Final Business Response
First, yes the client did response to the us with the photos and description of damages - we then did forward to our wood worker - it was the numerous attempts to contact by the wood worker that went unanswered by the client. Wood Worker notes state "called - left message 11/11 &11/13 emailed 11/18 - all with no response Copy of sheet with notes uploaded
Second, whether it was 4 men all day (which the woman stated and the male didn't argue in our previous emails regarding this issue until now) or if it was 3 men at 8 hours...lets go with 3 men at 8 hours, it took my TWO MEN 9 HOURS --- I would say that this supports the fact that our team was efficient and in equal standing with the previous movers. If the client knew it took 3 men 8 hours to move the same items in, why would he himself accept a written estimate of 4-6 hours with 2 men and not speak up knowing this would have been impossible based on his previous experience -- not having to be a professional mover himself, but knowing that a professional moving company had 3 men take 9 hours and our written estimate was much less...and again, nothing was explained of the difficulty with the stairs or previous move time until the day of the move. so here we have ,lack of information and acceptance of a under bid estimate with less men being offered followed by a request for discount and complaint bc the known under bid was just that...though it was not a purposely unbid estimate.
Third, yes the $75 an hour was "for each move" prior to the written estimate quoting $85 per hour being sent and accepted by the client. - no mention of the $75 an hour was mentioned when the quote was accepted (clearly written at $85 an hour) and again the offer of $75 an hour was for each move...this did not occur --- needless to say, I am willing to offer a $10 per hour return to the client for the hours worked.
Finally, I believe I already address this and what I feel is the major issue. The client doesn't have to be a professional mover to relay previous issues with a move - most clients tend to be more than willing to offer and share previous move issues so that they can be properly quoted. however this client, with held information whether it was intentional or unintentional, then accepted a written estimate of 4-6 hours with 2 men knowing it took 3 men 8 hours to move the same items ---you don't have to be a professional mover to see any red flags here.
I personally have apologized numerous times to the client, did not place any blame, but have stated facts - just as we have laid out above. What I have not done is agreed to offer a refund the difference of actual cost to the highest estimated amount... the client knowingly accepted a 4-6 hour range with 2 men that he knew took 3 men 8 hours to complete --- I don't feel any further explanation is needed on this as anyone in the public reading this will more than likely see the clear issue here.