California Moving Systems - A Horrific Moving Experience

My experience with California Moving Systems, 3801 Happy Lane, Sacramento, CA 95827 has been a nightmare. This companies actions, practices, and personnel could best be described as negligent, reckless, with the possibility of retaliatory behavior!! I will only highlight a few of the issues with this company.

After contacting Angies List and interviewing several movers I elected to employ California Moving Systems. I met with their sales representative Greg Raiper on 2/7/14, I explained to him my concerns regarding moving since I would have to put my belongings in storage for an extended period of time. I also raised concerns of my property being handled with care as I have Items that were expensive and fragile. I spent two hours with Greg who made a lot of promises and assured that my property was in good hands. I explained that communication was key for me and that I don’t do surprises well. He assured me he would be available by phone.

On February 18th 2014, the truck and crew arrived which to load my household. Little did I know that this was going to be the start of a very costly nightmare. From the start I noticed that this crew had no clue on what the word “Fragile” meant. In the beginning of the inventory, the lead man or driver, who went by “T” had removed the table cloth from my formal dining table. He proceeded to inventory my property using this table as a work area; placing large heavy boxes on the table (made of soft wood) and sliding them across the surface.

A couple of hours into the move there was one mover who stood out from the rest…best described by the phrase “bull in a china closet” his name was Jason. I own a large Mitsubishi wide screen TV that was in pristine condition (that had been through two moves with no scratches or chips). I had expressed to Greg (moving consultant), and the crew the need to be careful not to chip the veneer off the TV. Needless to say my request went on deaf ears. I witnessed Jason and another mover manhandling it through the door resting the edge of the TV on the concrete while pushing it through the door, putting a large chip in the TV.

I called Greg to express my concerns on the way my property was being handled but no returned call. In fact Jason went on to damage several other items. When I expressed my concern about his actions, he raised his voice to me and started to argue with me. I asked him to leave the job site and he said he wasn’t going to go. I walked out to the truck and advised “T” the driver that I wanted Jason off my property and for him not to touch anymore of my property, or they would be putting the furniture back in the house and lose the contract.

I went back into the house to supervise a large executive desk that had to be moved. An hour or so latter I walked outside to the front yard and to my dismay I found Jason in my garage handling my property after I had informed the supervisor that he was to leave my property….now I had a an issue of trespassing. I couldn’t believe how defiant this crew was. I was the customer and the homeowner and they had continued to ignore my wishes. I once again told the supervisor I did not want this person on my property….all together it took about three or more hours before the company picked him up. I called Greg four times to discuss these issues… one returned my call. I asked “T” why no one would return my call and I kept getting the stall tactic….Oh, he is supposed to stop by!!!

About 9 hours into the loading no one returned my call, and the movers were all standing around. I asked what was going on. I was informed that they couldn’t get all my stuff on the truck. I believe I was told it was a 55 foot trailer and they couldn’t get everything on it. The driver said he had to call his supervisor and get a second truck to come out.

After some time the supervisor drove up to see what was going on. His name was Robert. He walked right pass me and was at my home about an hour or so. Never once did he acknowledge me as the customer….in fact he spent most of the time belittling his crew and indirectly me with no acknowledgement. Oh, did I mention that California Moving Systems won a Superior Service Award on Angies List!!

Well, the second truck was loaded up and had left. I pulled my car in the garage and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw my large seven foot aluminum scaffold sitting in my garage which was not loaded. I made my fifth call to Greg and this time he answered….I explained the situation and Robert came out again to pick it up and promised it would get to me. I decided to do another walk through of the house….sure enough I found the hardware to my bed laying scattered around on the floor!!

I drove to southern California the next morning February 19th 2014. While driving I called Greg to remind him to make sure that when truck arrived at its destination that all the supplies that were quoted and promised to me in the contract would be on the truck as not to create anymore distress with this move.

On the evening of February 20th, 2014, I received a call from Greg the moving consultant who indicated to me that his weight calculation was off by nearly 4 tons and if I was willing to pay $2,200 extra. I said no!! The contract was a guaranteed not to exceed the price quote given. I also confirmed with him that he received my call and that the additional packing materials were on the truck. Greg stated that they had a meeting about the events that occurred and that the supplies would be on the truck.

The following morning February 21st, I was surprised to see only one truck arriving at my parents’ house to unload a portion of my property. I asked what happened to the 2nd truck. I was told that California Moving System had unloaded the trucks in their yard and repacked the truck and in addition there was another load added which was going to a customer in Huntington Beach. So initially what took two trucks to load was now consolidated to approximately ¾ of a truck. Common sense would indicate that property being moved on and off trucks is not a good thing, plus I was lead to believe that this would not occur.

The delivered Items at my parents’ house went fairly smooth, an inventory was done and most of the things designated to be dropped off at their residence had occurred. The rest of the items were to be delivered to a storage facility which would soon become another chapter in an ongoing nightmare.

The crew arrived at the Public Storage facility where I had secured two 10 x 30 units. I explained to the driver “T” that one unit was going to be for furniture only and the other for boxes and miscellaneous items. The contract had indicated that I would inspect my property and that the furniture would be wrapped in paper pads, and the mattress box seams were to be sealed with tape (this did not happen). I asked the crew if they would like me to order pizza for them. They said that would be great. I explained that I had to put mothballs and rat poison down in the units and that I would go to the front office wash my hands and order the pizza.

When I returned to the unit the crew had ignored my requests of furniture only and had already ¼ the unit filled with my property. I did not get to inspect the items and no inventory was done. I asked why they were not wrapping my furniture with paper pads as stated in the contract. The driver stated that he did not have any supplies and did not have the contract with the instructions. I immediately called Greg to let him know what was happening. I was informed by Greg that he told them to put the supplies on the truck, however the driver denied it. To make things even worse the crew that was acquired from the Atlas facility in El Monte refused to wrap the furniture and threatened to leave. So now I had a small mutiny on my hands where the workers were going to leave. The driver decided to use blankets to cover my furniture and talked the crew into staying. One of the crew didn’t want to stay because he wanted to go to his son ball game.

My furniture was damaged; I witnessed the crew taking fragile items and stacking heavy items on top of them, flipping boxes labeled fragile end over end with no regard for my property. One of the mover took two 20 gallon pots that still had some dirt in it and turned it upside down spilling soil on the finish of a very nice executive desk. I was perplexed when my aquarium came off the truck with water in it after I had emptied and dried it out weeks before my move. Because of the chaos, close to 300 items had not been inventoried and I had no clue to where most my stuff was. On two occasions one of the crew (Nick) climb up and across my furniture to look for items that I needed access to. Later I discovered that he had broken one of the legs off an end table while doing this.

Several days latter I spoke with one of the owners Dave Higdon who acknowledge the nightmare and wanted to send a crew down to unpack the unit’s, inventory, and finish off the work. Mr. Higdon sent CJ down on March 11th 2014 with two additional helpers. CJ had with him several of my items that had gone to the Huntington Beach job and I ended up with a picture from another customer. Needless to say we were able to consolidate the furniture in one unit and do a complete inventory of my property. As suspected there was more damage to my personal belonging that I had originally noted.

I appreciate that California Moving systems made an effort to try and fix things but as I review all that has happened the negative experience and stress that I have endured far exceeds the positive. Plus there are items on contract that doesn’t appear to have been completed.

I am currently in the middle of trying to document the damages which at a glance may exceed the cost of moving. I am fearful that after all the issues that occurred with California Moving Systems, and this review, that the movers and insurance company will not compensate me appropriately for my time (weeks) and the damages to my property!!

I have contacted Vanliner Insurance Company to discuss my claim. I spoke with Jessica Ems, who informed me that I needed to have my property inspected to settle this claim. I explained that the majority of my property is in storage. I asked if they had a crew or service to unpack the storage unit so that the inspector could inspect the damaged property. I was told that I was responsible for the expenses of hiring someone to empty out the storage unit to give them access. . I also spoke with Eva at Weathersby Guild the agent assigned for inspection. She could not help either.

In summary, I hired California Moving Systems who acted in a negligent way, inflicting hundreds if not thousands of dollars of damages and now I need to cover the cost to have the insurance company inspect my property. This is a cost that California Moving Systems needs to cover. Had they delivered on the contract and acted in a responsible manner I would not have been placed in this situation. I have contacted the BBB over this and I was told that California Moving Systems have not responded to them.

This review is a subjective opinion of a user.
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Apr 08, 2015 #969470

I've had similar experiences with Vanliner Insurance, and Jessica Ems in particular. My moving company has dragged the process out over a year before even turning the claim over to Vanliner. Jessica told me I had to hire my own third party inspector to review the damages. When I called my own homeowners insurance company to ask for recommendations they told me that any company who asks you to do this is giving you the run around.

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Oct 25, 2014 #890590

To date I have still not had my claim settled and doing business with this company has cost me over $10,000.00 up and beyond what Vanliners is trying to settle for.

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