FIdelity Moving Group, Jersey City, New Jersey

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jackieblvot
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:26 am

FIdelity Moving Group, Jersey City, New Jersey

Postby jackieblvot » Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:46 am

I accepted a position with the Southern Nevada Health Care System, Las Vegas Veterans Affairs Medical Center and hired Fidelity Moving Group to move our belongings from Rainelle, West Virginia to Las Vegas, Nevada. I never dreamed that when I moved my family cross country to serve our Veterans that it would ultimately cost us everything and I don’t know if my family will ever recover emotionally or financially from our experience with these criminals.

When I initially spoke to Ms. Kristine Marie Lewis from Fidelity Moving Group on 09/19/2014, I was very clear that I had been researching moving companies for my move from Rainelle, West Virginia to Las Vegas, Nevada and I wanted a firm price because I did not want any “surprise” price increases because funds were limited and I knew from previous moves that all of our belongings fit into one 26’ truck and one 14’ truck. I was assured that there would not be any surprises because the quote was based on volume versus weight and the price included 30 days of free storage, insurance and set up in our new home. Ms. Lewis provided me with some moving dates and I selected 09/26/14 and I was told that she needed a credit card number for a $150 deposit to reserve the truck, at which time she also assured me that her company was a “non-broker” company. I would be provided with a “53’ semi and six guys.” I gave her an estimate of my inventory and told her that the house was packed and she told me I made their job very easy and the foreman would go over everything when he arrived. The initial Moving Estimate was for $6,635.95, which stated that Fidelity Moving Group only required a $100 deposit to reserve the truck, the move date was listed as 09/29/14 and the quote had no indication that this price was binding. I called her back and told her that it was not acceptable because it was not binding and I could not afford to take any chances with the price. I also informed her that there were some items I forgot to include in the inventory and the moving date was wrong. She adjusted the quote to include the additional items and sent me a Binding Moving Estimate for $7,800 with the correct moving date. She assured me that this price was “high” because it included an additional 50 cubic feet of space so any difference in price would be a refund. She said they required half of the fee on the moving date and the other half, in cash, upon delivery. I never heard from her again until 10/03/14, when I received an email requesting my updated contact information.

On 9/25/2014, I attempted to contact Ms. Lewis to give her our final inventory, as previously instructed. I spoke with Ms. Emily Sanchez. When I tried to provide her with our final inventory, Ms. Sanchez told me “don’t worry about it.”

Early on the day of our move, I received a call from one of the movers. They drove all night and needed our address. Three men arrived driving a 32’ truck and we panicked because I was promised a full size semi. My mother asked them where the semi was that I was promised and she was told that it was parked at Sam Black, a distance of 21 to 27 miles away and travel time of 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the route, and we thought this was odd because one neighbor on our road owns and operates a trucking company from his home and our immediate neighbor drives a 37’ motor home up and down our road.

I met the foreman and showed him everything and he NEVER said anything regarding our inventory. We provided the movers with all of the coffee and cold drinks that they wanted, gave them cigarettes when they asked and we supplied lunch. They finished loading the truck and I distinctly remembering my father commenting on how tightly packed the truck was before they left for Sam Black, where they were going to unload the small truck into the semi and come back for the rest, a trip that took them approximately three hours. It was late afternoon when they got back and everyone was tired. While they were loading the master bedroom, I was told that I had to unpack all of the dressers and a freezer that had small boxes in it, something that I was not told in advance but added more boxes to Fidelity’s inventory. They loaded the second truck with smaller items first and my eleven year old son was the first to comment on how badly packed this truck was compared to the first one. As it started to get dark, we were informed that they did not have lights on the truck and we turned on all of the exterior lights and provided them with flashlights to use, which they never returned. We ordered pizza for dinner. After they loaded the second truck and were getting ready to leave, I asked them if they would be back again that night or if they were going to wait until the next morning to get the last of our belongings. We asked them to specifically load one gun cabinet and were told that it would be an additional $85, with immediate payment due. At this time, Sash, the foreman took out the “Binding Moving Estimate” and increased the price from $7,800 to $15,425 and said that if they came back for the rest of our items, the price would increase again! He also asked for half the total, $7,712.50 and a tip for his crew! I was crying and arguing with him that I didn’t have that kind of money but they had already taken our belongings somewhere and I had no choice but to sign his paperwork. Reviewing the paperwork, I noticed a line item of $384 for packing tape for a house that I had already packed!! I was only prepared to pay the original half of the total, $3,900, at this time and he said they were going to charge my credit card in the morning for the difference! We slept on the floor in a house we were scheduled to vacate that day. In the morning, we found some inventory stickers (Lot No. HM2699, yellow inventory sticker #008 and Lot No. HM0827, blue inventory sticker #047 and a roll of blue inventory stickers that began with Lot No. HM0827, sticker #075) that the movers used on items that they inventoried but were obviously still in our house. Of the original inventory that I contracted for, the movers did not take two rockers, one dryer that I sold, a futon couch, the garbage cans, the kayak, a pine chair, table glass, a sofa table and a wagon and these were the only items that ultimately survived intact. I called Fidelity and told Emily what a nightmare our moved had turned into. She promised me that she would speak with the foreman and get back to me. I kept the telephone plugged in until we left at six that evening but, no surprise, she never called me back. We had to rent a U-Haul trailer, at an additional cost of $308.46, purchased two new tow balls, at another additional cost of $60.40, unpack and repack our trailer and then packed the U-Haul. We weren’t able to leave until 6:00 p.m. and we were so exhausted that we only drove 100 miles before stopping for the night. In addition to incurring the additional expenses for the tow balls and U-Haul, we got terrible gas mileage towing two trailers across the country. Even though Fidelity was supposed to store our belongings for 30 days, we had to rent a storage unit here in Las Vegas to store the items that were in the U-Haul and on the trailer until we secured housing, another unnecessary expense of $51.50/month.

I received an email from Ms. Lewis on 10/03/14, the day we arrived in Las Vegas, requesting my new contact information. I responded back that I was still waiting for Ms. Sanchez to contact me and I provided my cell number and then I called her on 10/07/14. I reached Ms. Sanchez, who stated that she was the one who actually sent the email, and I expressed my concerns that their “bait and switch” was fraud, told her about the additional expenses we incurred and requested a price reduction because the initial price of $7,800, which I was promised would not increase, was costing me an ADDITIONAL $8,045.36, not including additional hotel and gas expenses. Ms. Sanchez said that what happened was “my word against the foreman’s and they never had a complaint about him before.” She put me on hold while she claimed to speak to the owner. When she came back on the line, she reported that the best she could do was to reduce the bill to $15,000, a reduction of $425.00? She stated that we have to pay a minimum of $7,500 to release our belongings and she wanted an address for delivery, at which time I must pay the additional $7,500 balance in cash. I told her that since they promised me 30 days of storage, they would have to keep my belongings in storage until the end of this time because my family was staying with friends while we were trying to raise their ransom because Fidelity committed fraud.

On 10/15/14, I received a voice mail from Ms. Sanchez and a text from someone who stated they were the Fidelity “Disperch.” Both indicated that the owner wanted to speak to me to resolve this issue. The owner also left me a voice mail and I did call him back. When all was said and done, he offered to reimburse us for the additional expenses for the U-Haul rental, the tow balls and two months local storage rental which reduced the price from $15,000 to $14,775.

On 10/19/14, I called Fidelity to make a $4,000 payment. This payment was for more than what was required by the initial contract to release my property and I was using the same card that was used for the deposit. I spoke with Mr. Alex Paredes and I gave him the exact information from the same card we used for the deposit and he told me he would forward this to the finance department. On the morning of 10/20/14, I received a call from Alex. Even though this was my mother’s card and we used it before, Fidelity suddenly needed her permission to process this charge. I gave Alex her telephone number and he told me he would call her. My mother, who is recovering from a stroke and has an answering machine, waited all day for a call that, no surprise, was never made. On the 21st, I called Fidelity and spoke with Ms. Manisha Manning. She claimed that Fidelity had tried to call my mother and “they did their part.” My mother called them to get a balance and was provided with a total of $14,883. She tried to get an email address but they did not make this easy for her and I found out later that she spent most of the day trying to get an email out to them but she couldn’t because she was provided with an invalid address. After my mother told me that she was provided with a balance due of $14,883, I wondered why the total increased since my conversation with the owner so I called Alex. When I asked him what the balance due was, he told me it was $14,883. I asked why it changed and he said he needed to check his records and then gave me a balance of $14,783. I asked him again why it changed again, especially since the owner gave me a total of $14,775 and he said to “use that total.” Two phone calls and three different totals? My sister called me in the morning on the 22nd. She was frustrated because both she and my mother had been trying to get the email out but it kept bouncing back. In frustration, I called Fidelity and spoke with Manisha, who promptly told me they never received a payment. I got a valid email address from her and the email was promptly sent out. That evening, my sister and I received emails from Manisha stating, “I appreciate you getting back to me and from here you’re all set.” On the morning of the 23rd, at 7:22 a.m., I responded with our delivery address, an address that we were able to obtain by borrowing money from my parent’s, and I asked when we could expect delivery. At 7:36 a.m., I received a call from Alex. He said they received payment and wanted to verify that we had a delivery address. I told him that we had an address and he said he would contact dispatch to schedule our delivery and he would get back to me. At 11:35 a.m., I received an email from Ms. Manning which reads, “$3,462 is the amount due before we can ship the items. The balance due at delivery is $7,462.50.” THE PRICE INCREASED AGAIN! At 2:15 p.m., I received Fidelity’s response from a complaint I had submitted to the New Jersey Better Business Bureau:

"We have done everything possible to make Ms Britton Satisfied. We are deducting from the balance her truck rental ($308.46), Towing Balls ($60.00) and 2 months of storage ($103.00) Total of $471.46, we will round the figure to $500. Keep in mind that we did not charge her the shuttle service @ pick up. This service runs from $1500 to $2000 for a move this size. As you can see we are making every effort to provide excellent service. Fidelity Moving Group pride itself as a reputable company that provides excellent service from beginning to end, as well as our performance complied with the department of transportation regulations. We have come to a conclusion with the costumer and currently we are working on setting up her delivery."

Both responses from Fidelity to the BBB state that they did not charge a shuttle service. They didn’t need to because they doubled their price and their prices changed within minutes - $7,800 to $15,425 to $14,775 to $14,883 to $14,783 to $14,925.50. There was no conclusion because this issue was NOT resolved because they increased their price again by $150.50.

On 10/28/2014, I went to see a local lawyer, James Fox. I told my story and showed him the paperwork. Mr. Fox said that Fidelity Moving Company broke the law when they drove off with our belongings and then raised the price and the contract should have been renegotiated BEFORE they loaded anything. He said they broke the law again when they raised the price of the original contract more than 110% and, had it been renegotiated legally, the price should not have been more than $8,580. When I told him that I had complained to the Better Business Bureau because I was having trouble raising the additional money and I was very worried about retaliatory property damage, Mr. Fox informed me that Fidelity Moving Group had a fiduciary responsibility to care for our property while it was in their possession. He reviewed the contract and told me that he could not help me because the contract states that Fidelity must be sued in New Jersey. He advised me to pay their “blood money,” get our property back from them and then go after them. Coincidentally, within hours of my meeting with Mr. Fox, I received a call from Mr. Paredes. He said that they wanted to settle this and Fidelity was willing to reduce their final price to $13,900 less the $150 deposit for a total of $13,750. Half due at pickup and half due at delivery was $6,875 each. Since I had paid $4,000 on 10/22/14, only $2,875 was needed to release our property for delivery and $6,875 was due on delivery. He was willing to take a credit card but I told him that I had already got postal money orders and I would have sent it on the 23rd had they not raised their price again. He suggested that I deposit these directly into their Capital One bank account (account #XXXXXX and routing #XXXX) but I could not do this because there is not a Capital One bank in the Las Vegas area. I decided to overnight the money and I called Fidelity to confirm their mailing address, at which time the employee I spoke with recommended that I take pictures of the front and back of the money orders. I then overnighted $3,000 via postal money orders #22168044156, #22168044167 and #22168044178 at a cost of $22.69. The delivery signature I received indicates that Mr. Paredes signed for this on 10/30/14.

On 10/31/14, I received a telephone call from a driver stating that he was leaving New Jersey and expected to arrive in Las Vegas on “Wednesday or Thursday” and the total due was $6,720, which was another price difference.

On 11/07/14, the driver called me to give me an approximate arrival time. When I got home, I noticed a pickup truck with what appeared to be two Hispanic day laborers waiting at the gate of our subdivision. The driver arrived with our belongings and he was paid $6,720 with postal money orders #22168044235, #22168044145, #22168044134, #22168044224, #22168044202, #2218044213 and #22168044180. After everything Fidelity put us through, I thought we were prepared for the worst but there is no way we could have ever been prepared for what we received. Luckily, we had the foresight to take a picture of the semi immediately after they opened the doors. I cried when I saw the visible damages! I took some pictures of the condition of the delivery but I was too upset to take more that evening and the movers did NOT set up anything, as they were contracted to do, and I suspect it was because of the significant visible damages. We had to purchase a dolly to move things that were not set up at an additional cost of $97.28. The driver, Haih, said he did NOT work for Fidelity but I was told by Ms. Lewis during my initial conversation with her that Fidelity Moving Group is a non-brokered company! Haih said that he opened the doors of his truck for Fidelity Moving Group to load the truck and he closed the doors when they were finished loading it and he is willing to swear to that. He also gave us his telephone number (201-954-4944) in the event that we needed to contact him. Later that night, I left a voice mail for Fidelity Moving Group informing them that I intended to file an insurance claim for damages.

Fidelity never responded to my voice message. I called again on 11/11/14 and spoke with Tanya, who gave me the telephone number (877-476-5983) and website (http://www.mymoveclaim.com) for their insurance company, Anthram Management.

On 11/13/14, I received a telephone call from Mr. Paredes. He asked me if I had received the insurance information I requested and I told him I had. Then he asked me if I had filed my claim. I asked him if our belongings were in an accident or if they were maliciously vandalized, which he denied. I told him that the damage was so extensive that I was still sorting through it and I would have to hire an insurance adjuster once I was finished. He said Fidelity Moving Group would “make it right.” I have not heard from that company since.

We left Rainelle with plenty of time to secure housing and get settled before I started work on 11/02/14. We arrived in Las Vegas on 10/03 and should have had plenty of time to be settled but we were forced to stay with a very dear friend much longer than anticipated, while we raised the “blood money” to pay Fidelity. I started working on 11/02/14 while still living with our friend. Our things arrived on 11/07/14. I’m working eight hours a day and spending hours every evening after work and every weekend trying to determine the true extent of the damages. As of now, I’ve completed four bedrooms, an office, the kitchen, two bathrooms, a hallway and what was a sunroom. I still have the living room, dining room, half bath and garage to do but from what I’ve seen in these rooms, most everything was destroyed or damaged, too. Of all of our furniture in the room I completed, the ONLY items that survived Fidelity Moving Group’s destruction is a pair of master bedroom mirrors. Most of our furniture was destroyed and what was not destroyed was significantly damaged. We have motor oil damage, water damage with mold growth on mattresses and furniture, burns and fire damage, gasoline damage, never ending black stains on everything, bent and sharp metal, splintered wood, shards of glass, rocks, rust flakes and screws embedded in furniture and overall filth. Priceless keepsakes have been destroyed, antiques were damaged beyond repair and I have furniture with gouges so deep that there’s blue moving blanket cloth embedded in them. My hands are scared from trying to clean splintered furniture. Fidelity was very thorough and nothing was spared. In an effort to systematically document the damages, I created an electronic photo album that can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/jackie.britton ... 161&type=3 and https://www.facebook.com/jackie.britton ... 161&type=3.
While cleaning and sorting through the damages, I discovered that there were many items that were inventoried more than once and things, such as bed frames and laundry baskets, which were bundled together but inventoried separately, which I suspect was intentional, and explains how the initial inventory doubled. I’m afraid to plug things in now since a once functioning lamp blew a breaker after I plugged it in; the freezer is so dented that I check it at least three times a day now to make sure it’s still working so we don’t lose our food; our washer and dryer, once top of the line Neptune’s are now scratch and dent and have run constantly since they arrived because everything that was on that truck was so dirty that it can’t be put away without washing it and I’m afraid they aren’t going to last much longer after the beating they took; since the TV arrived in a box covered with motor oil, I panic every time the DISH pauses; I sleep on a mattress that has a mattress pad covering mold and sits on box springs that are broken and have fire damage and all on a recently purchased metal bed frame that I’m afraid is going to collapse every time I move because of the damage. I don’t think I will ever know how much was lost or stolen. I lost my sense of security after discovering that the movers had pilfered through our things and stole three sapphire rings, a sapphire pendant and a case of alcohol. I tried to file police reports in Rainelle, West Virginia, Las Vegas, Nevada and Jersey City, New Jersey but Rainelle and Las Vegas have jurisdictional issues and Jersey City will only take a theft report in person. I used duct tape when I packed and yet many boxes were obviously opened and re-taped with moving tape. I found underwear in a kitchen spice box and a summer flip flop in a box of Christmas decorations, an indication that they pilfered through everything. My emotions swing from uncontrollable tears to outright anger. My son, who’s bedroom set was about six months old, sleeps on an air mattress because his mattress is filthy and has holes in it and springs protruding from it and I’m afraid with the water damage and broken wood, his bed will collapse, too. No one in my family was spared; not only are my three boys adjusting to the move but they are suffering from the devastation and the stress of seeing me like this; my parents are blaming themselves – my mother blames herself because she didn’t want my 70 year old father to drive a moving truck across country and she wasn’t able to help us raise the money to pay Fidelity fast enough and my father is blaming himself because he let my mother talk him out of driving a truck; my partner, who lost irreplaceable keepsakes that were his mother’s, who recently died; my friend, who opened up her home to us at a huge financial cost to her.

On 11/23/14, I was notified that Ms. Betty Lou Jacobs posted a story very similar to ours on Fidelity Moving Group’s Facebook page. I am financially, emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted and I am nowhere near finished with the damages. Fidelity broke the law and committed fraud on numerous occasions and then they maliciously destroyed our belongings. I want this company to pay for what they did to my family and I want them shut down so they cannot do this to another family. What was supposed to be a $7,800 move cost us $14,410.00 in “blood money” to get our property back from them but it ultimately cost us everything we worked for and I suspect our property damage will exceed $100,000.

On 12/22/14, I was notified by my insurance company that Fidelity Moving Group will not provide them with any information regarding what happened to our property and as such, they are closing my claim, which is a strong indication to me that our property was maliciously vandalized. This “reputable” company breaks the law on numerous occasions, robs us and holds our property hostage, vandalizes our property and doesn’t have to accept any responsibility or be held accountable??

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: FIdelity Moving Group, Jersey City, New Jersey

Postby MusicMom » Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:36 pm

Wow, this is one of the worst stories I've read in a long time. I'm glad you gave a final tally of how much you paid because I could not follow along with every new charge and discount! Your lawyer was correct, legally once they started loading your very first item onto the truck they agreed to abide by the original binding estimate, regardless of whether they had to sign a new estimate after it was all done.

You may not get your money back, and certainly not your furniture, but you should file your complaint through www.protectyourmove.gov.

Anthem Claims Management is only in the business to stall out claims. They will not pay out to you for your damages. You have 9 months to file a claim so keep at it. When they deny the claim or stop responding, let us know and we'll look up the actual insurance company whose policy was active at the time of your move, and you can contact them directly to file a claim.


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