They will say anything to get you to sign a contract.
Submitted this review about Always-Affordable
Review made Live: 12/12/2014 1:48:00 PM
On September 23, 2014 I won 35 Microfilm Cabinets on a auction. I went on the internet seeking a way to ship these items to me. I put a description of my items on Billys.com and Uship to get bids. I received several quotes but two movers prices were substantially lower. Kate with Always Affordable was the first to call me. She sent me an email with a quote for shipping. I had requested a full description including from the seller and received it after Kate had sent me her quote. I sent her the new weights and dimensions to have her adjust her quote. I had estimate the weight when publishing my items to ship as 5000 pounds. The new weight was 11,120. She told me her company ships off inventory and dimensions of the items. She said her quote was still good. When I reviewed the quote I emailed Kate with a list of items I found that differed from her quote and my list of items. Below are the I sent and Kate's reply:
Moving Estimate Information:
I was reviewing your quote and the Moving Estimate Information: states The price above is based on the accuracy of the inventory list provided by the customer. My first description was significantly differs in weight. Are you telling me that the quote listed above will not change with my total weight of 11,120 pounds. The statement listed in the quote leads me to believe the moving company will charge me for the additional weight.
"Always Affordable would like to point out that as a moving broker it is in its best interest to have the estimated volume on its quote to be as accurate and as close to the actual shipment. Since Always Affordable is a Licensed Moving Broker it has no access to additional funds collected and has no personal gain if the total move price goes up. In the event that the items being shipped on move date do not match the itemized inventory below additional weight or cubic feet will be charged at your current rate per cube/pound subject to space availability on the truck. "
In the quote the Cubic foot and weight differ.
I have calculated 675 cubic feet and weight of 11,120 pounds. The description lists the cabinets as 20 four drawer cabinets and 15 five drawer cabinets while my cabinet description should be 20 five drawer cabinets(15 cf each) and 15 eleven drawer cabinets (25 cf each).
Under the Accessorial Service there is a charge for elevator usage and nothing is noted in the quote.
You should advise your Always Affordable representative of any accessorial services, such as flights of stairs, elevators, extra drop-offs or pick-ups, re-delivery, storage, long carries or other services needed; as these may incur supplemental charges. Applicable charges will be based upon the carrier's tariff, with the exception of the following pre-defined items:
Elevator: By the law there will be a one time charge of $75.00 for elevator at the origin and destination place (unless otherwise disclosed or waived).
Finally, there is a statement of special handling fee for heavy items. Is this telling me that the moving company could charge me a special handling fee for the weight if these cabinets?
Certain items on a full standard move may be subject to a special handling fee, or a bulky item Fee. Those fees may be applied to unusually large or awkward/odd shaped items, breakables, heavy items, e.g. please notify your Relocation Specialist of any items you feel may be subject to these fees.
Could you correct the quote to match the description of my items and include any special handling fees? I don't want to be surprised with a additional weight or special handling fees.
On Wednesday, September 24, 2014 6:32 PM, Kate Perez <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
IN THE CONTRACT I WOULD HAVE YOU SIGN IF YOU DID DECIDE TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THIS WOULD HAVE THE DESCRIPTION AS MICROFILM CABINETS SO THAT IT IS SPECIFIED. ALTHOUGH IT SAYS FILING CABINET AFTER SPEAKING DIRECTLY WITH MY DISPATCH I WAS ADVISED SINCE WE GO BASED OFF OF INVENTORY THE FILING CABINET WAS THE APPROPRIATE ITEM. LIKE I SAID REGARDLESS OF WEIGHT OR CUBIC FEET ITS BASED OFF OF INVENTORY. I APOLOGIZE FOR OVER READING THE FACT YOU STATED THERE IS AN ELEVATOR SO YES IT WOULD BE AN ADDITIONAL ONE TIME FEE OF $75. YOUR CABINETS ARE NOT WHAT WE CONSIDER A BULKY OR HEAVY ITEM SO NOT ADDITIONAL FEES WOULD APPLY. OTHER THEN THE $75 ELEVATOR FEE THE PRICE I GAVE YOU IS ABSOLUTELY FINAL. WE MAKE NOTHING IF THE PRICE GOES UP AS IT STATES SO WERE GOING TO MAKE SURE WE PRICE IT RIGHT SO WE DON'T LOOSE OUT ON MONEY AND I'M BEING COMPLETELY HONEST. I CAN GET THIS JOB DONE FOR YOU $2809.62 WHICH IS INCLUDING THE ELEVATOR FEE. DOES THIS ANSWER ALL YOUR QUESTIONS?
I had several concerns with the weight and questioned it in several emails. Kate was persistent with phone calls and email traffic. I followed up with Kate the email listed below followed by her response:
On Sep 24, 2014, at 8:22 PM, Mike Belcher <email@example.com> wrote:
I understand that you would not make any additional monies if my price went up, but that does not give me any guarantee that the price would not go up. I hate to find out I owe an additional $3000 or $4000 because of the weight.
On Wednesday, September 24, 2014 9:16 PM, Always Affordable <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Trust me I completely understand that's exactly why we don't go off of weight or cubic feet. You won't be penalized for the weight of your items. I sent you a new quote with the specific items so as long my inventory list matches what we put in the truck the price is guaranteed. Your contract specifically states your price is BINDED to the inventory not weight. Which is what we guarantee everyday and makes us so successful in having happy repeat customers. I can't stress enough that the weight of the cabinets have no meaning it's strictly just the items. You sound confident that you have exactly 35 cabinets and nothing more there for I'm 100% confident in my price because my inventory list will match perfectly. As long as it's nothing more then the 35 cabinets on the list you are not responsible for a penny more.
I reviewed her estimate and asked Kate to alter the weight on the quote. She told me she could not override the weight because it is based off of the cubic foot that was entered. Before I processed with the move I had her add the weight of the cabinets to the notes section. On September 29, 2014 I was contacted by Most Valuable Movers and made arrangement to pick up my cabinets on October 01, 2014. There was some communication problems between myself, the mover and the driver so no pick up was performed. I rescheduled the cabinets to be picked up on October 06, 2014. The mover arrived and loaded 28 of 35 cabinets and told he needed to collect the second payment and that the new price was $5,500. I told the my quote was a binding quote and I would not pay the $5,500. He told me he was unloading my cabinets unless I paid the $5,500. I told him to I would only pay the $2809.62.
I called Always Affordable and talked with a gentleman which I assumed was the owner. He tells me due to the weight the driver will not stack the cabinets and the cabinets are taking up more room in the truck than what was expected. He tells me the price will be $5500. I inform Always Affordable that the quote that I received was a BINDING estimate and unless my inventory changes they are required to honor the quote. He refused to honor their quote and tells me that I am refusing service. I ask for my deposit back and he tells me it is nonrefundable.
The Department of Transportation website governs the transportation of goods. Below is the section that governs binding estimates. http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/375.403
Definition from DOT
Binding Estimate, An agreement made in advance with your mover, which guarantees the total cost of the move based upon the quantities and services shown on the estimate.
It is evident that this broker does not have the ability to provide a "BINDING ESTIMATE"
I will gladly send you a copy of original emails between Always Affordable and myself.
A complaint with the Department Of Transportation was also filed. reference #10085524