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Flat Rate…No Hidden Fees…Are you kidding me?!?

Submitted this review about Flatrate Moving & Storage Inc.
Review made Live: 11/3/2011 4:02:00 PM
I’ve been waiting a long time to post this review….they no longer have possession of my items & their check cleared….what a nightmare!!! The short story is that their claim of no hidden fees is a joke! I moved from CA to NY & then back (same locations). I had the identical inventory & yet I was charged an extra $415 when they picked up my items in NY (if I didn’t pay they would have left my property & charged a cancellation fee). I was threatened with a $295 fee if their 18 wheeler couldn’t fit in my complex in CA & an extra $650 fee if I wasn’t available during the entire 7 day delivery window they gave me (getting a delivery when it was convenient for me wasn’t an option). Of the $765 in damage FlatRate did to my property they paid me $200 because I am a valued customer (if I wasn’t a valued customer they would have paid me $144). I paid fees of $980 over my $2600 original quote for a total net moving cost of $3580 (not including storage fees)! Here’s more details: The driver showed up to my 1 bdrm apt &, without going past the entrance of my home, declared that I lived in a house (there are no houses in my apt complex)…I knew I was in trouble at that point. My “friend” (as he liked to call himself) Miro in the office (manages long distance moves) was horrible to work with! My sales rep Dejon was useless. The driver runs their moves & I doubt I need to tell you that their drivers are not the sharpest tools in the shed. I was in NY for 6 mo & bought 2 small new items…both needed to be left behind so I didn’t incur even more fees….the inventory was exactly the same as when I left CA! However, the driver insisted that I had more boxes so I was going to be charged an extra $415. Their inventory lists are long & I didn’t go through my original inventory box by box in CA so I was unsure of the total box count yet I did know that the actual items to be moved didn’t change. If you are foolish enough to consider using FlatRate do your own inventory & if you ever move again pack exactly the same way. Don’t trust them to do anything on your behalf…be in charge of your own move…do not rely on them for anything! With a lot of calling back to the office only to have Dejon & Miro tell me that whatever the driver said was what was going to be done (including no heavy boxes), & being helpless to do anything since I needed to be out of my place, I paid the $415 & they took my things. I had no choice other than to have my things stored in NY at $250/mo + $40/mo for insurance (for a small 1 bdrm apt). Storage in CA is much cheaper …I was ripped off at every step! I braced myself before I got on the phone to have my things sent back to CA…expecting to hear about more fees…so I wasn’t surprised when I was told I was going to have pay $295 for a 30 ft rental truck. Also, I couldn’t get a guaranteed delivery on the weekend unless I paid $650 (my “friend” Miro would “do me a favor” & throw in the truck for free then). I explained that I might be working & not available during the week…not their problem. I looked up the cost to rent a 30 ft truck on my own ($59-$100 + minimal $ for gas & mileage) & asked Miro if we could use my rental truck instead. He told me he would “do me a favor” & only charge $195 extra if we used my truck….although I wanted to tell him what to do with his favor I held my tongue. Luckily I was able to accommodate them. Unfortunately I asked Miro if there was anything else he needed to ensure my move went smoothly. He then sent me new forms to sign for gypsy moth damage (FlatRate had possession of my goods & I could not guarantee condition), agent assignment (not sure I needed one), additional terms/charges to my agreement…clearly I wasn’t going to sign any of these. After enlisting the help of a lawyer & AMSA (they monitor movers) sending a letter to FlatRate my goods delivered without threats of additional fees. My things were delivered with the following damage: back panel & door rail broken off of & door gouged on my armoire, glass table missing glass, chest damaged, dishes smashed & shredder mangled. Of the $765 in repair estimates FlatRate paid me $200 (unless you pay a $250 deductible purchasing insurance is worthless (only my armoire would’ve been covered)). FlatRate extracted a lot of extra money from me but in the end they lost the most. I told 4 friends to stay clear of FlatRate for their moves….2 were very large homes & 2 were cross country …they lost thousands of dollars in job referrals. The shops that worked to repair my property are spreading the word about them. Coincidently, employees in my new complex told me that FlatRate charged them 3X what another moving co. charged a sister property. p.s. don’t rely on AMSA affiliation; it doesn’t guarantee you are dealing with a reputable company. AMSA required no consequences for FlatRates actions.