While consulting with many moving companies one of my calls was to Matthew at Landmark Van Lines. The pricing he gave me was competitive with the other companies I spoke with although not the lowest, but his salesmanship was what sold me on his company. As well as selling me on his company itself, he offered me extra incentives and perks to entice me to go with Landmark. After contemplating all the companies I had spoken with I did decide to use them for my move from Barrie ON to Kelowna, BC because of Matthew alone.
We had several conversations and spoke extensively regarding the process. I have never used a moving company before and had great trepidation in doing so. He was very patient and quite thorough and assured me of all the benefits his company would offer me, most importantly providing me with a stress free move. He advised me that while his company did not have a consultant come to my residence to provide weight estimates as others did, he could go through everything with me over the telephone. We spent quite some time on the phone going through every item I had to be shipped. I gave him measurements for specific items, size, type and build of the few furniture items, number of boxes and rough weight of the boxes, etc. I had no fridge, stove, dishwasher, washer, dryer, or microwave, no living room furniture, television or stereo being shipped. I was extremely thorough as I had explained to him that I wanted NO surprises and required as realistic quote as possible. He assured me we could achieve this over the telephone and that he has done this many time previous as this is the company’s procedure, and that I had nothing to worry about.
He offered me a specific quote over the phone, stating that while the industry standard was 1000 lbs for my size home, he expected that I would be closer to 2000 or very slightly above. He suggested to be safe he would put his quote at 2500 lbs, though he did not expect it would go that high, but also suggesting a slight possibility of being 100 or 2 pounds off. He also advised my preferred pick up date could be accommodated.
My quote included: the first 500 lbs free, and anything over that 2500 pounds @ $0.45 l/b with the total weight quoted at 2500 lbs as per Matthews consultation, 7 weeks of free storage, and any storage requirements after that at 5% of the weight charges, a $100 warehouse handling fee, a $100 destination surcharge fee, and a $40 scale fee. My total quote was $1165 (plus 5% destination taxes). He guaranteed me I would not be billed anything further (save for the possibility of being off by 100 or 2 pounds). I was extremely happy with this verbal quote and wisely had it emailed to me before agreeing to book their services.
The truck arrived relatively on time (they were an acceptable time frame for being late). The two gentlemen that packed everything up were fantastic. They were very polite and took great care of my items, advising me what may need more protection and wrapping everything well for me. I was very pleased with them and putting everything into the truck went very well.
And that was as long as the joy for Landmark Van lines lasted.
I received a statement from them 3 days later that was nowhere near the estimate Matthew gave me. The weight was 62% higher than he advised with the billing priced at 125% higher. I was absolutely shocked and dumfounded, I cannot fathom any ethical reason for this to happen. I was billed the wrong rate, there was no deduction on the first 500 lbs, I was advised the wrong free storage time frame, and I was billed 14% storage fees! Not only this, but the destination listed on the invoice was WRONG and I am not even sure the bill I received is for my things!
I immediately addressed these concerns with the ‘accounting manager’ Tracy, to which I was met with nothing but disrespect and animosity. It became an immediate argument to have my 7 weeks storage addressed, after which I was billed $282 (14% of the weight charges) for my monthly storage. I began paying that believing all the other issues would work themselves out and this would chip down on my total fees once all my billing was properly adjusted.
In the 10 months since Landmark has had my things I have being trying desperately to have this worked out and received nothing but disrespect in the process. I have had to supply all the information I had on my communications with Matthew (instead of her finding out this information, correcting the invoice, and getting back to me) to date, the ‘final corrected bill’ I have received still does not reflect the original quote. She advised that regardless of what is stated in my quote, the outrageous billing for their claimed weight still stands, and that storage is always based on the weight pounds and not the weight charges. I advised her that I followed her company’s procedure for the estimate to the letter, and while I would certainly understand a slight acceptable adjustment for error, (I believe 10% to be acceptable) I cannot comprehend a 62% difference, especially in light of what I knew was being transported by them. I also advised that regardless of how they normally charge for storage, my quote stated it would be 5% of what I was being billed for the weight itself and that they should be upholding that. (I still have not found a storage unit that’s rate is based on the weight of what’s being stored, or that charges $282 for such a small space) She is refusing. I had requested on multiple occasions to speak with someone above Tracy to rectify this which was flat out denied, she claimed she is the last stop and the only person I can deal with.
In the meantime, she has threatened me with the storage facility closing (and therefor all my things must be immediately removed) as well as sending my invoice to her ‘legal team’. At this point, I requested to speak with her ‘legal team’ post haste, as I wanted to know how it is possible or acceptable for a company to waiver so much from a verbal and written quote. She also denied me that possibility.
I finally managed to speak on the telephone with ‘Steve’ who claimed to be the general manager. He basically heard my story, then responded in the same disrespectful arrogant and unethical fashion that I had been dealing with from Tracy for months. When I advised him that my items would easily fit in a 8 x 10 storage unit which would cost under $80 per month, he said that there was no way my items would fit in that size space (regardless of my advising him that I had stored the same items in this size space previous to this or the fact that he had no idea what I had even shipped) and he actually suggested to prove me wrong that I find a storage unit and he would ship my items from Toronto to Kelowna, place them in the unit, and when they didn’t fit, he would have everything returned to Toronto to their unit. He admitted to me that the wording of the storages fees was wrong on their part, but since they always charge storage based of the actual weight (not the weight charges) that is how they would be billing me. I told him he cannot change my billing because of their error but he refused to amend this and said I would be charged as per their procedure, not what I was told. He also said no one talks to owners of business when they have issues with their bills and compared it to a Rogers bill, that if I had an issue with it would I be speaking with Ted Rogers about it? Though I could not comprehend the relevance, I advised him that as a matter of fact, I had. Steve then belittled the possibility, then said ‘so you must have problems with everyone and go after all companies then’. Because I laughed at how preposterous his statements were becoming, he said I was not being serious enough and chastised me like a child. He also advised me they have no ‘legal team’ that Tracy had spoken of, simply retained lawyers in the event that they are sued, and that without suing them they would not involve lawyers, to which he welcomed I sue them if I wanted lawyers involved. I advised him I have no further funds to put towards this as it should have been considered fully paid based on my quote. I also asked him why his company’s on line reviews show that this is regular practice for them and that it is their procedures that are the problem, and how they treat their customers. He then offered to send me invoices from all his ‘happy’ customers, which is in itself another unethical practice. He was outright rude in his dealing with me and refused to come to any type of agreement to get my items to me.
I have paid them $1880 and fully expected that this should more than pay for their services in full as per the original agreed upon telephone quote. This appears to not be the case. Tracy is now telling me that unless I pay the current (and still wrong) remaining bill of $2434.18 my items will be either ‘disposed of’ or auctioned off.
At this point in time I have no possibility of putting any further monies towards this, and as I said, should have been paid in full and my items received 5 months ago. Instead of upholding their salespersons guarantee they have held my belongings and continued to increase my bill by carrying on the exuberant monthly storage fees. I now have family issues that make it imperative for me to receive my belongings, which include remains of deceased family members and the only items remaining of them, as well as 20 years of my children’s lives in photos and mementos (among other things).
Sadly, I see from many on line reviews this is the regular practice for this company-overbilling and holding clients items for ransom in particular. I am dreading how many of my items will be damaged or missing which is also prevalent in Landmark Van Lines reviews.
At this point in time they have blocked my email address from their entire system as they don’t want to hear anything from me other than when I’m am going to pay their $2500 bill. In other words, they are refusing to take accountability for their salespersons verbal guarantee to me and holding my belongings hostage until they are paid what they believe they are owed. I have been advised that as of tomorrow, if their perception of my outstanding bill is not paid, they are going to either dispose of or auction off my belongings. I am still waiting to hear what the going rate is on human remains and a strangers baby photos.
This is the worst possible situation I could have ever expected from any company, especially after the way I was warmly treated by their salesperson when making the sale, and everyone needs to know how awful this company is regardless of what their website claims!!! Even worse, they seem to have no concern whatsoever for what they are doing to their customers.
Looking at the reviews for this company, clearly, this is not just me, or anything to do with my behavior. Every review has the same story as mine, this is how this company treats all of their customers. They don’t even care about their negative reviews!
This is despicable. I have no idea how they maintain a business licence. They obviously have chosen to take full advantage of the fact that their industry is not governed.