Spark Moving Company scam

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jen.j.dillon
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:52 pm

Spark Moving Company scam

Postby jen.j.dillon » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:57 pm

I typed “moving company” into Google and opted to be contacted. CH Global Vanlines was the second company to call me, offering several discounts (student, military) so I went with them. They gave us an estimate over the phone for our move from Indianapolis to Seattle on May 6th, 2019. I asked them to provide proof of insurance and they never sent it to me. Pick-up was supposed to be June 10, drop off on June 20th. Payment was to be broken into three payments of equal amounts - a deposit, on pickup, and on drop off. We paid the deposit with a credit card, then when they called to confirm we mentioned a few things we forgot to list and they raised the price (we are fine w this part). We paid the extra amount with a credit card (totaling $2388.55 for the deposit).

They sub-contracted with Spark Moving Company out of Schaumburg, IL. The movers arrived a day late, with a rental van from Enterprise (photo of van and license plate). They packed our things (5:30 pm - 1:30 am). The inventory list was made very generically (i.e. box, box, tote, etc.). After completely packing us, they told us we had more things than in the contract and they needed more money (in cash). We expected to pay $1,733.33 and ended up being charged $3,537. The head guy "Charlie" also demanded a 10% tip after we had already given him and the workers $20 each. He gave us a “discount” of $350, then walked away with a $350 tip, essentially scamming his own company out of money (he asked the other two guys to step out for this part, so I'm guessing he didn't cut them in on the extra tip). Charlie said they'd provide a Bill of Lading via email, which they did not do. I do have a photo of the paperwork before it was filled out though. Charlie is Hispanic and had two large diamond studs in his ears (have pictures). His two workers were orignally from the Ukraine.

Spark sub-sub-contracted the delivery out to Silk Road Van Lines Inc 2988069 17616 600 RED LION RD UNIT E3 Philadelphia PA 19115
Victoria Logistics Inc 2412943 830516 3 STIRRUP CT Lemont IL 60439 (I have photos of semi cab and trailer). Delivery was 13 days late. They no call / no showed once, claiming they forgot to call and let us know it was rescheduled. When they did arrive, they asked for cash upfront (another $3,537). After unloading, only half our things were there. They said, “we forgot to tell you - it wouldn’t all fit on our truck.” We managed to get them to return $537 out of the $3537 we paid them in cash. We paid almost 9K - more than 3K over our estimate. The driver said they would schedule another truck "next week".

I also believe that the inventory list was deliberately mis-numbered, making it impossible to tell what all is missing. We do know we are missing - half a bunk bed frame, a Purple brand full sized mattress (~$1000), a twin mattress, two children’s bikes, an adult bike ($600), a vacuum cleaner, a shop vac, our custom built Little Free Library, glass for a tabletop, 2 folding tables, a large oriental rug ($5000), 3 large rug pads, an air compressor, an air purifier/filter, a bin of framed family photos, a bin of religious items (irreplaceable), a large box of shoes, a box of kitchen items (knife block, cutting board, pizza peel, cooling racks), a wrought iron blanket stand, several boxes of children's books, a gas grill, and an expensive sewing/quilting machine (~$700), two kitchen chairs, and a bin with many hardcover and limited edition books. In addition, there are many items that are broken (wedding gifts, pictures, furniture). Total loss is around $15,000.

The broker company CH Global Vanlines is not returning calls, hanging up on me, putting me on hold indefinitely. We call every day and have time/date records. The moving company, Spark, claimed at one time that I’m not in their computer anymore. Last known whereabouts for my things was a warehouse in Schaumburg. We have been told multiple times that it was "on a truck" and "on its way" but they've given us no delivery date, told conflicting stories (in warehouse vs. on truck) and won't give us the driver's phone number. CH Vanlines claims the driver is not returning calls. It's been over a month. My daughter has no bed to sleep in. I have no shoes to go to work in. This has caused us so much pain and suffering, and I desperately want my things back. Please help.

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4665
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Spark Moving Company scam

Postby BigLeeCalif » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:42 pm

You are correct that Spark scammed you...

Unfortunately, this is how they have been able to get away with these things... You end up with two or three companies involved, and end up paying way more than the original estimate.

Do you have ANY paperwork from any of them with their DOT or Interstate Operating Authority?

Had you come here before the move, we would have flatly stated to you to NEVER use a moving broker. You're in Indianapolis. There are some agents of the largest Van Lines in America, and they would have moved you cross-country for what you got scammed out of.

You were actually scammed in two states, so I would start with the Department of Consumer Affairs in each state.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain


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