When a Cross Country Move Goes Bad, Rented Truck Driver Saves the Day

What happens when moving, an already stressful life event, turns into a total nightmare? A recent Rented Truck Driver client had a moving experience so terrible and outrageous that she wanted to share her story with other consumers who are in the process of selecting a moving company.

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Katie is a married mother of one who planned to move her family from Sacramento, California to Western Connecticut last year. She contacted a moving company that billed itself as “full service” and signed a contract in late September. She negotiated with them to have her belongings delivered from her storage unit to her new home. She carefully packed her things and traveled east, planning to stay in a hotel until her belongings arrived at her destination. She promised her young son that he would see his toys again soon. Her moving company assured her that her things would arrive within 7-10 days of being collected at her storage unit, and that even in a worst-case scenario, the longest amount of time that her family would have to wait for delivery would be 21 days. Katie’s career is both demanding and deadline oriented, and she couldn’t afford any delays that would cause her to miss work. She was extremely clear with the moving company about the importance of having her move remain on schedule and they assured her that her things would arrive on time. Confident in the contract that she had signed, Katie packed up her family (including her two dogs) and headed east to their new home.

Did You Know?
It’s important to read your moving contract thoroughly and to understand the way in which deadlines are structured. Dates are often estimated and your moving company may not guarantee that your belongings arrive by a specific deadline. With Rented Truck Driver, driver arrival and drive time are calculated when you plan your move.

A week after the date that the moving company was scheduled to collect Katie’s things from her storage unit, they sent her a bill of lading with a $4000 price increase and stated that they had miscalculated the size and weight of her belongings. She was shocked not only at the price increase, but at the timing; she was under the impression (based upon the contract that she’d signed and the schedule that the moving company had assured her they would adhere to) that her things were already on the way to her new home. Now a week behind schedule, she felt trapped. The moving company now had possession of all of her belongings, she was across the country, and the company would not continue with her move or provide her with a delivery date unless she agreed to pay the additional amount. She felt that if she complained, an already terrible situation would get worse. She paid the increased amount immediately and waited for her belongings after assurances from the moving company that this delay was the last.

The next day, the company called Katie and told her that they were packing her things onto a truck to be delivered to her new home. She had planned to stay in a hotel for five to seven days until her things arrived so that her family would be comfortable. She assumed, based upon what she’s been told by the moving company, that everything was back on track and that her family would be moving into their new home within a week.

In mid-October, Katie and her husband made the decision to leave their hotel and move into their new (still empty) home, with the presumption that their things would arrive shortly. They bought beds, linens, and other furniture so that they could live somewhat comfortably during the interim. After over a week of waiting, Katie called the moving company and was informed that her things were at the company’s storage facility in Las Vegas and that the driver was having “truck issues” and that even now, a month into what was supposed to be a week-long move, their belongings were still not en route to their new home.

Meanwhile, Katie purchased yet more household items at massive personal expense, doing her best to piece together a household while waiting for her belongings. She contended with heartbreaking questions from her three year old son, who was devastated that his things haven’t arrived. He was excited to unpack boxes and settle into his new home and was totally confused and understandably upset by the interminable wait. At one point he even wondered aloud if his toys have been stolen.

At this point, the moving company began screening Katie’s calls and were incredibly rude when she managed to get in contact with them, claiming that there was a truck shortage and that they didn’t know when her things would be transported. They claimed that they didn’t know that there was a shortage, then made totally contradictory statements about when they knew that Katie’s things couldn’t be delivered due to a lack of available trucks. The excuses continued. Katie was calling both the original moving company and the company that they contracted to complete her move daily, and was offered a $25 per day discount for the delay as compensation, which was an absolute slap in the face when compared to the thousands of dollars she had spent on furniture and household items, along with the incredible inconvenience and distress the situation had caused her family. 

Did You Know?
The moving company that you call generally isn’t the company that will actually move your belongings. Most moving companies act as aggregators, selling moving jobs and then contracting them out to other freight companies. This means that you have no way of researching the company that will actually be transporting your items. Plus, your ability to work out a solution when things go wrong is limited because the moving company that you thought you’d hired doesn’t actually have possession of your things.

Weeks passed, and with winter and the holiday season approaching, Katie remained hopeful that her things would arrive. Her husband’s birthday in early November came and went without their belongings arriving. She’d made Thanksgiving plans with family well in advance of her move, thinking that surely her household would be set up prior to the holiday. Her guests quarantined in order to be able to eat together in her new home and ended up having to eat Thanksgiving dinner off of paper plates. Her son was beside himself, saying that he doesn’t like Connecticut and wanted to go home.

At her wits end, Katie offered to have her husband come to Las Vegas (where her belongings were located, awaiting an available truck and driver) to retrieve their belongings himself. The company was entirely unwilling to negotiate any type of solution. They claimed that no one was allowed to enter their warehouse and that hiring someone to complete the move would be impossible. Additionally, Katie’s husband was uncomfortable leaving her alone in their new home during winter, with an already inconvenient solution further complicated by the pandemic. Her husband suggested looking into hiring someone to drive a rented truck to pick up their belongings, and while researching solutions, Katie found Rented Truck Driver’s website and decided to call and find out more about her options. That call marked a turning point.

Katie spoke with Frank Futie and told him her story and he immediately sprung into action. He called Katie’s moving company and acted, as Katie puts it, “like a hostage negotiator, a fixer.” He was able to negotiate a pickup date for Katie’s belongings, making more headway with the moving company in one 20 minute phone call than Katie had been able to in months of daily contact. He negotiated every detail, from getting the names of the warehouse workers where Katie’s belongings were stored, to finding out the preferred type of wine for the woman who took his initial call as a way of ensuring that the process would run smoothly.

Coincidentally, Frank’s brother Anthony lived in Las Vegas near where Katie’s belongings were being held and is a licensed truck driver. Seeing an opportunity to get Katie’s things to her in the fastest way possible, Frank contacted him and scheduled the move within days. Katie felt as though a massive weight had been lifted off of her shoulders. She was able to tell her son to pick out a favorite toy to unpack once their things arrived. The relief of knowing that she had a trusted professional on her side was indescribable.

Although the move, now in Frank’s hands, was finally inching towards a resolution, the original moving company wasn’t done throwing up roadblocks. They’d unwrapped Katie’s things, demanded that she sign a release exculpating them from liability, and delayed the pickup from Tuesday to Wednesday. They demanded that Katie pay to have her things repacked and rewrapped. Frank and Anthony manage to secure packing materials on the fly and finally got Katie’s belongings onto her new rented moving truck and on the way to her home. Katie called Rented Truck Driver on a Saturday and her things were safe and on the way to her on Wednesday. Her belongings arrived at her new home within a week with no surprise charges and no delays.

Katie ended up filing complaints against her original moving company and the company that they contracted to move her belongings. She plans to take them to court to recoup the thousands of dollars she spent because of their mismanagement of her move. Although the moving company that she initially contacted has offered a nominal refund, the contracted company still has not offered any compensation.

This story is outrageous, but it’s far from uncommon. It demonstrates why it is so incredibly important that you work with a moving company that you can trust, and it’s why Rented Truck Driver was created. When you rent your own truck and hire one of Rented Truck Driver’s professional drivers, you never have to worry about long delays, surprise charges, or unprofessional customer service. You never have to wonder where your belongings are, and you have trusted moving professionals on your side, helping you plan and execute your perfect move.