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Horrible Experience - DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!

Submitted this review about Golden Hands Movers
Review made Live: 8/15/2007 9:41:00 PM
Golden Hands was hired via a broker to move me from Virginia to Texas. Putting aside the problems I had with the broker (Budget Van Lines - another company to avoid), Golden Hands ended up being a disaster. First, I was given misleading information about the availability of supplemental insurance, which Golden Hands ultimately refused to sell me, but at a point in time when it was too late for me to find other alternatives (both for insurance and for the move). After refusing to sell me the insurance, the owner spent considerable time trying to convince me that "nobody" buys insurance because it is such a "waste of money." Of course, it should be no surprise that the move was a disaster. Golden Hands' delivery drivers arrived at my new place without any notice and in an unmarked truck - not the same truck that my property was loaded onto. The driver refused to even open the truck to show me that my property was on board until I paid the balance due - $1090 - in cash. Although I resisted and asked that I pay half now, half after unloading, they refused and I had no choice but to pay them. As soon as I did, the driver noted that there were "a lot of problems" with my move, and indeed, that was an understatement. As soon as the truck was opened, it was clear that the damage to my property was extensive. My boxes were crushed and gouged - even those marked "fragile." My picture boxes were all gouged, which led to broken glass and ruined art. Many boxes were actually opened. Even worse, nearly every piece of furniture was damaged - much of it beyond repair. Two bookcases were crushed and one had a shelf ripped out; my bedroom set was scratched and gouged, my bike was damaged and cannot be ridden. The worst damage was to my stackable washer and dryer, which is beyond repair - the sides were crushed, the control panel ripped off, and the top wrenched from the base. It also was quickly apparent that items were missing. The first thing I noticed was that my mattress and box spring was missing. It turns out that the driver delivered them to another customer. The driver claimed that he would go back to get them (although he said that I probably wouldn't want them since they were ripped up), but that he would prefer not to, and would give me $100 not to have to return. I declined. He then started to unwrap the furniture that made it through the move with blankets still intact, but got a phone call and left my apartment. After awhile, I went looking for him, and found him on the phone by his truck. He ended his call and stated that he had to "get on a plane" because his brother has a gambling problem and if the driver did not pay the brother's bookie $2000, "someone was going to get killed." I never saw the driver again. Before leaving, the driver refused to stick around and conduct an inventory, claiming that he never did an inventory and that customers just signed the forms. I refused to sign the form, not only because I had not inventoried my boxes, but because I knew my mattress/box spring was missing. Since the driver left, I have determined that four boxes and my tool box and tools were not delivered. After the debaucle of the move, I contacted Golden Hands' owner, Elias Mehri. He has not been helpful and in fact has claimed that I told the driver that he did not have to return with my mattresses. From that, he seems to think that he is absolved of any liability for my lost property. As for the damaged items, he has referred me to his claims department - Anthem Claims Management - which is actually based in Arizona, and which has a history of complaints (see the Better Business Bureau). Those complaints seem well-founded based upon my limited dealings with them. The claims adjustors at Anthem have been rude and hostile, and have told outright lies about how the claims process works (something I have confirmed via discussions with the American Moving and Storage Association - the professional organization overseeing the moving industry). Because of the extent of the loss and damage, and my expectation that the claims process will go very poorly, I am in the process of hiring an attorney to explore my legal options. In fact, I have filed complaints with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the American Moving and Storage Association, both of which suggested that I sue. I have also filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau. I implore anyone reading this not to use this company. I expect some damage during a move - it's hard to avoid - but I have moved several times in the last ten years and have never seen anything like this. It is almost as if the damage was done willfully. I would never wish this headache on anybody and I am happy to talk to anyone about my experience.