This is why AMSA is so opposed to Rep. Petri's bill. The estimator views the origin access conditions and lures the customer with a "not to exceed" estimate -- And then the "famous moving company" has the audacity to break its contract with you on loading day because of difficult access conditions?!
Believe me, once individuals have the ability to get punitive damages from these companies for their deceptive practices, United's agents will for sure stop pulling this nonsense. United Van Lines will see to that. But for now, it's too expensive to effectively police its agents, so United will just let things be the way they are (i.e., let its agents deceive, extort, and violate the 110% rule every now and then -- Joe Harrison admitted as much) until it gets too expensive for it not to. In fact, for now the "legitimate moving industry" can't even acknowledge that any rules apply to them really, judging by AMSA's self-drafted, self-invoked "exception" to the 110% rule.
Vlady, it is worthwhile to write to United in Fenton, MO to explain to them why you think you do not owe them the extra money. Give them a chance to do the right thing, but be prepared for them not to. Be prepared for them to say even that what they did was completely legal (it's not) and that this conduct is "authorized by their tariff" (which they write themselves, change at will, and don't even file with any government agency except for the .60 per pound liability a/k/a "released rates" sections). I doubt that you can sue in small claims without having made payment first. But once you make payment, you will almost certainly have to sue to get it back.
Good luck. Please keep us posted on how United responds to your letter. And please write to your U.S. Reps and Senators to urge their support for Rep. Petri's bill, H.R. 1070. Tim W. has a search tool on this website for you to find your Reps and Senators. Also write to your State Attorney General. He or she does not have to power to write legislation, but can influence those who do.
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