Valley woman says moving company never delivered

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by Meredith Yeomans & Carey Pena

azfamily.com

Posted on July 6, 2011 at 6:05 PM

CAVE CREEK, Ariz. - “We have a pot and a pan.”

Chrystal Caudill has been getting by with the bare minimum since she moved to Arizona in May.
“This was supposed to be my son's play room,” she said.

Instead, her rooms are empty, along with her closet, kitchen and dining room.

Chrystal hired a moving company called Colonial Van Lines to bring everything that's missing to her new Cave Creek home from North Carolina.

That was a month ago.

“All I think about is when are my things going to get here,” she said.

Chrystal says she tried numerous times to get Colonial to help her track down her belongings, but got little help, so she emailed 3 On Your Side.

“I'm stressed out, panicked,” Chrystal said. “I feel helpless as a consumer.”

“Our department has been barraged with moving complaints,” Shawn Marquez with the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures explained.

Marquez says some moving companies, like Colonial, act as the middle man, brokering the deal between you and the movers.

“What you don't know about brokers is what they're going to do as soon as you sign the papers with them is that they're going to sell your contract off to the highest bidder,” he said.

That means there's a good chance you're not dealing with the people who will actually be handling your personal belongings.

“It’s a truck, it’s a rental truck sometimes, and it’s a guy and a cell phone,” he said.

Within a few days of 3 On Your Side contacting Colonial Van Lines, Chrystal's stuff finally showed up.

“Oh, I don't think they would've responded to me at all if you hadn't called them,” she said.

But her story doesn't end there.

Even though she now has dishes, clothes, furniture and photos, several items like cushions for a sofa and six dining room chairs weren't on the truck.

Chrystal also says there's damage to her dining room table and a missing piece of a book shelf.
“The nightmare continues,” she said. “There's just no end.”

In a statement, Colonial Van Lines tells 3 On Your Side:

“Thank you for contacting our office in reference to Chrystal Haggerty’s move. Our customer service department has been aware of this matter and has been working diligently to resolve the issue. This shipment was unavoidably delayed due to circumstances beyond our control. However, we take full responsibility and have made a commitment to all of our customers to provide top quality service. In particular we have committed to resolving this matter to Ms. Haggerty's satisfaction.

It is estimated that over two million families will be moving across American this year alone. The Summer season is the peak and busiest time of the year for moving companies. In our industry unavoidable delays and honest mistakes happen. What separates the top quality professional moving companies from others is their commitment to customer service and their actions when an unavoidable delay happens. Colonial Van Lines is a top rated professional moving company that  has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We have a customer satisfaction commitment and stand behind our services.

We have expedited Ms. Haggerty's shipment and expect delivery to take place within the next 5-7 business days. Our tariff says that we are only obligated to pay her $30 per day for the delay. As a matter of customer service we do not believe that $30 per day is sufficient and will instead waive 100% of her entire remaining balance due at delivery in the amount of $1,457.80. 
Sometimes delays are unavoidable. However, we stand by our commitment to customer satisfaction and will be compensating Ms. Haggerty $1,457.80 in the form of waiving 100% of her entire remaining balance due.

Thank you for your interest in this story.”

Crystal has also filled out a claim for with the Colonial for the missing and damaged items.

In response to those items, a Colonial representative writes:

“We settle all claims in accordance to the valuation option the customer selected for their move on their Order for Service and Bill of Lading.  Our claims department will remain in contact with her throughout the claims process. 

As a company we are committed to customer satisfaction and will continue to work with Ms. Haggerty until her claim is completed.“

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