The Quote (revisited)

My wife and I left our hotel in Ogden, UT early Sunday morning and made the last leg back to Denver. We did not attempt to call Zooz and they did not return any of our phone calls from the previous day. We were unaware of the status of our move and frankly we were too tired to care. It was clear that she was going to miss her friend’s funeral (long story), but the stress of dealing with ZooZ only compounded that issue. We arrived in Denver at our new house and got some much needed rest.

On Monday, my wife was so frustrated with dealing with ZooZ that I told her that I would take over. I told her that if they called to talk to her, that she should give me the phone and I would deal with it. During this whole mess, ZooZ Transportation had my wife in tears of frustration. She simply could not deal with them any more.

To assess the situation, I called the driver to figure out where they were. The driver told me that he was still in Seattle. In retrospect, the driver was still in Seattle because he wasn’t actually the driver. They were simply packers. He may have been in Seattle, but I have no clue where my property was at the time. At this point, I started leaving more messages for ZooZ Transportation.

I finally got a call back from Erick Thomas on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011. I wish I had recorded this conversation as well. Erick informed me that they had weighed the truck and the cost of our move had now doubled. The so-called “BINDING NOT-TO-EXCEED” estimate was for 4000 pounds, but it ended up being 8000 pounds.

Clearly I was unhappy about this. My wife was in the background telling me about the “NOT-TO-EXCEED” contract and Erick was telling me about how much extra it was going to cost. This is when I finally pulled up the contract and I realized that Erick was right. The contract did in fact say that extra weight would be extra cost. The “NOT-TO-EXCEED” estimate that we were told about over the phone by Maxx (at Moving Mainline and Storage) was an outright lie.

Also, at this point, I learned that our truck was in Portland. Erick gave me the phone number of the driver, who told me he had a pickup in Oregon, a drop-off in Salt Lake City, UT, and that he would be in Colorado on the 20th for our delivery. This was entirely reasonable.

Some comments about Erick Thomas: While it turns out that Erick was a little bit rude at first, he did remain professional and he worked damned hard to resolve the situation. Erick seems like a nice enough person and he really wanted to help, but his company simply wouldn’t let him do what needed to be done. It wasn’t until later that I realized that everything he said was a lie. Any agreement you make with Erick Thomas for ZooZ Transportation is apparently invalid (according to the CEO). Erick Thomas is not allowed to bind the company to an agreement. There is proof of this in the phone recording on the “Actual Delivery” page.

Erick and I had a long discussion about how the estimate could possibly be that far off. We argued back and forth about a number of things. I told him I would contact the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint. He asked what it would take to “make me happy.”

I told him explicitly that he could not make me happy. We were beyond that stage. I told him that I would split the difference of their overage charge. I told him I would pay 50% of the $2,500.00 over the original estimate. They had clearly screwed up the estimate. When I said I would pay half of the overage, he actually laughed at me. He then asked if I was still going to go to the BBB if he gave me this discount. I told him that of course I was still going to file a complaint. … and here is where it gets really interesting.

Erick told me he would call me back in 30 minutes because he would have to discuss this with other people. 30 minutes came and went without a phone call (as usual). About 45 minutes after the original conversation, he called me to tell me that they would not be giving me any discount at all since I was going to file a complaint with the BBB either way. He told me that I would need to pay half of the remaining balance via bank wire transfer for my shipment to be released and put on it’s way. Erick then asked me which bank I preferred to wire the money to.

Edit: I need to add in the part where Erick told me they didn’t care about the BBB complaint with their people stealing our beer because we “couldn’t prove it.” He said the BBB always favored the company, so it didn’t matter if I filed a complaint. I have no reason to make up this story. My dealing with this company is complete. They are paid and I don’t want any money back from them. Erick Thomas told me that they would lie to the BBB because I simply couldn’t prove my allegations. He’s right. I can’t. It’s up to you to decide why I would make up such a story.

At this point, I told Erick the following:

I will pay every single cent that you are asking for. I will wire you the money as soon as possible. You will receive every dime that you say that I owe. Once I’ve done that, I will file a complaint with the BBB, every single website I can find for reviewing movers, and I will create my own website. I guarantee that when someone searches for ZooZ Transportation, they will find my story and I’ll do everything I can to make sure my website is the first hit on Google.

After that little rant, he asked again if I would agree not to complain. At this point, we came up with a signed agreement which I amended slightly to protect myself. If they had honored the agreement, this webpage wouldn’t exist. I agreed to pay 50% of the extra costs and they agreed to delivery by February 25th, 2011 (giving them 5 extra days from the delivery date I was told). This was extremely fair. In fact, I would go so far to say that this agreement actually satisfied me and they had gone above and beyond what they really needed to do. I knew for a fact that by agreeing to this they were going to be losing money on this move. That shows a huge commitment to customer satisfaction, even if I was still unhappy. Again, if they had satisfied this agreement, this website would probably not exist.

I got all of the information from Erick I needed to wire them the $1500. He told me that “as a show of good faith, the shipment would be on the way that night and [we] should have delivery by February 20th, 2011.”

It was too late on the 15th to wire the money. I called the bank first thing the next morning and sent the wire transfer. Then I signed all of the documents including the original bill of lading that was supposed to be signed at pickup and sent it all back to ZooZ Transportation via fax.

I wish this was the end of my story.

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