As you may recall, Dear Reader, we have recently moved. I’m sorry to say that we weren’t terribly satisfied with the moving company we used. Reprinted below is an edited copy of my letter to them (they wanted pictures and descriptions of the items and their damage).
I have kept the name of the company we used out of this post because I’m a nice guy, and because our claim with them is still being hashed out.
UPDATE: The moving company got back to us about our claim. They are offering to compensate us to the tune of thirty whole US dollars. So we’ll be continuing this saga through other parties. In the meantime, putting their name in this post and then putting it on their Facebook page is worth more than thirty bucks to me.
Dear All My Sons Moving and Storage,
We used your services on April 11th to finish packing up our old home in [Undisclosed] and transport the items to our new one in [Classified]. We had already packed up and moved about 60% of the house, and almost none of the furniture was going, so it should have been easier than an average job, I would think. However, your movers took all day to pack the rest of the house up and as we’ve delved into the boxes it has become clear that their slow pace wasn’t because they were taking extra-good care of our property. On the contrary, as the following pictures will show, your movers pretty much just shoved stuff into the largest boxes they could get (those expensive wardrobe boxes, mostly) and helpfully labelled them “Misc.” Several items got damaged due to this mistreatment.
Let’s take a look at my first example, shall we?
Oh, look! It’s a wardrobe box, a packing container designed to hold your clothing while still hung up on hangers by means of a bar running across the top. I don’t see a bar on this one, though. Let’s peek inside.
It’s a lampshade! And… two of our long plastic tubs that could just have been loaded up into the truck as-is. That’s it? Two plastic tubs, a shoe box, and a lampshade? For that I had to pay for a whole wardrobe box? Wait, what’s that down the side? Let’s take a closer look.
Oh, joy, it’s one of my wife’s lovely pieces of stained glass artwork! She paid $400 for this particular one. Now it’s got a crack in it. Maybe that wasn’t the best place for this…
Now let’s move on to another wardrobe box. This one is marked “Xmas.”
Unloading the junk on the top (well, it looks like junk now), we find a box within a box. This second box, which is at the bottom of the first box, seems to contain at least a couple of wreaths, one of which is our Christmas wreath made up of glass ornaments. It looks a little worse for wear. Santa can’t find our house without this on the door. Sorry, kids, All My Sons cancelled Christmas!
The theme of boxes within boxes continues in example number three, yet another wardrobe box packed fit to burst. This is the very top of the wardrobe box, where we find three containers — one of them a suitcase! — all full of heavy stuff from the craft room. Underneath that blue, metal lockbox we found Neverland’s favorite fairy, Tinkerbell, crushed to death. Quick, clap your hands, everybody!
I think that by now you have the idea that these damages are clearly the result of our property being packed with an utter lack of care. Also, an utter lack of sense, in many cases. Therefore, I will cut straight to the damaged items for the rest, though you may be sure that each could have been accompanied by several photos of equally baffling packing arrangements.
Below, you will find an antique glass bowl. We don’t know how old it is, or how much was paid for it, because it was a birthday gift to my wife from her mother. The only birthday gift she got that year. Now, it’s chipped.
Next up is a nursing stool. In case you didn’t know, a nursing stool is designed to alleviate stress on your back, shoulders and neck while breastfeeding. This Medela Nursing Stool is gently angled to help you comfortably position your baby for breastfeeding, reducing the chance of soreness caused by poor positioning. The excellent ergonomic and orthopedic design allows you to elevate the feet, legs and lap to help prevent back aches, stiff necks and sore shoulders. Obstetricians and gynecologists also recommend the Nursing Stool for prenatal use in the last trimester of pregnancy.
My wife used this particular nursing stool (constructed of fine-crafted wood) while nursing each of our three children. She is currently pregnant with our fourth child and planning to breastfeed him as well. I guess we’ll have to get a new nursing stool, though, because the old one’s leg got broken and we had to put it down.
Once the baby gets here, we’ll be changing his diaper on this nice, comfy wood reinforced changing pad. Oh, wait…
Pretty much all of our small and medium-sized framed pictures now have scratched-up frames that will need to be replaced. I guess the movers at least tried this time, stacking them on top of each other and putting them in the middle of a box full of diapers (cloth diapers, that is, with metal snaps). The larger framed pieces fared better because I stopped one of the workers while he was shoving them into a box and told him to pack them appropriately. I was rather surprised that I needed to specify that I wanted my nice, framed pictures to be packed in a box designed to keep nice, framed pictures safe during transit. This was towards the end of the moving process, unfortunately, or I might have been able to prevent some of this tragedy.
Hey, remember way back at the beginning of this letter when I mentioned that my wife has lovely stained glass artwork? We’ve found some more of it.
Are you familiar with the process of repairing stained glass? You’ve got to unsolder the lead and remove the damaged pieces individually from the soldered framework. Then, you can hopefully find matching glass, cut it to the appropriate size and re-solder the pieces back into place. I understand that’s it’s pretty labor-intensive and produces lead dust.
Are you, by chance, familiar with the proper way to pack and transport a piece of stained glass? Well, it isn’t to put it at the very top of an unpadded box and stack other heavy boxes on top of it.
Finally, we had a set of Mary & Martha foil pans that were brand new and crushed beyond use. I haven’t included a picture because, frankly, the scene was too gruesome.
The Customer Care Team Claims Form form you sent us only has space to list four items. That was awfully optimistic of you. Unfortunately, all our claims cannot fit on the form. Therefore, I have listed them below. (Your form had a space for an “Inventory Number.” Since your guys didn’t bother to inventory any of our stuff, I have made up some numbers so you don’t have a blank space on your form.)
|Inventory Number||Article Weight||Item/Description of damage||Age||Amount Claimed|
|2849JUF991||approx 10lbs||Stained glass (dove)/cracked||50+ years||$100 for repair|
|9Y3KK845X2||approx 3lbs||Stained glass (star)/cracked||15 years||$100 for repair|
|approx 6lbs||Stained glass (flower)/cracked||15 years||$100 for repair|
|AMS11192!||5 lbs||Christmas wreath/broken apart||2 years||$150 to replace|
|F1V3||1.5 lbs||Changing pad/bent||2 years||$38.99 to replace|
|683-23456-1||2 lbs||Tinkerbell statue/broken wing, shattered ego||14 years||$20 for physical therapy|
|3 lbs||Medela nursing stool/broken leg||5 years||$120-$200 to replace with a used, second hand one (they don’t make ‘em anymore!)|
|THX1138||.5 lbs each||5 picture frames/scratched||3-5 years||$20 each to replace ($100 total)|
|867-5309||less than 1 pound||Antique glass bowl/chipped||Unknown, but OLD||Irreplaceable, unknown how much was paid for it, was my wife’s only birthday gift that year.|
|139NC%*#&$||less than 1 pound||Mary and Martha brand hostess casserole tin/crushed||18 months||
In closing, I would like to assure you that not everything was damaged. Before contacting your company, we had already purchased some protective slips for the movers to pack plates and dishes in. I’m pleased to say that we found the dish packing materials had been safely packed up in a box and made it to the new house none the worse for wear.
Thank you for your timely assistance in this matter.