Archive for July, 2013

July 20, 2013

Van Lines Direct – Toronto based moving company

photo(5)If  you’re looking to crank your stressful moving experience up a  few thousand percent, contact these thieves. Our friend hired these shysters after sending his information into one of those sites that will throw your moving request out to a whole bunch of moving companies who basically contact the mover with promises they don’t keep. This is a cautionary tale about these companies. Our friend is kicking himself now!

RED FLAG!  They didn’t show up when they were supposed to. The definite “time” of arrival turned into a “window” the day before the pick up. The window was open pretty wide. He was actually starting to feel relieved that they hadn’t showed up so he could get a better company when they finally pulled up.

RED FLAG! The company has a Grasshopper 800 number, our friend later finds out. The requested time for drop off on the other end is ignored. They call from the road two weeks early to inform our friend that they need an address to deliver to which was already told to them on the original order. WTF?

RED FLAG! Here’s what you really need to know; this is when our friend finds out the company has doubled the moving cost estimate and is holding our friend’s contents hostage. This move has really turned into a sickening ride. As of the time of this post, he doesn’t know where his contents are and is pretty confident anything breakable is demolished or sold or….

RED FLAG! This is a bad company with a new name. So many new names! Our friend’s company contact says her name is Tuana Ozturk. She also goes by Tuana Turk. Tuana seems to be having problems with her company email right after he books with them. He keeps getting his emails bounced back. Then, the call with the “damage” due comes – the price has skyrocketed. Somehow they’ve ignored that he’s already given them his credit card information which is good. Fictitious new fees have been added to the bill. He told them he doesn’t have that kind of money. Now there are threats. Tuana likes to make threats – lots of threats. Our friend has contacted the police and the BBB – now he’s contacting a lawyer.

RED FLAG! When they’re trying to send new payment collection forms her email has changed from Tuana Ozturk (tuana@vanlinesdirect.com) to Tuana Ozturk (ulusoy.tugba@hotmail.com) because of “technical difficulties.” (We have to wonder if  this company is also behind some of the Nigerian barrister emails we all get spammed with!) Yes. Let’s all send personal credit information to this hotmail account. SKETCHY MUCH?

As of right now, our friend has no idea where his belongings are. He’s trying to go online to report these people but they’re so “new” that they don’t exist on any major site lists yet. They will shortly. We will help him warn people to avoid this crock of crooks like the plague!

Take our friend’s warning – do your research and avoid scam artists like Van Line(s) Direct. Spread the word about this bunch of scam artists. He took a picture of their truck when they showed up because he immediately knew hiring this company was the worst move he’s ever made – note that a completely different company name is on this old rust bucket.

Now lawyers are going to be involved. Was it worth it? No. Our friend’s advice? Don’t move. If you have to, talk to people, don’t trust companies on their contracted promises. His #1 advice?

Avoid Van Line(s) Direct with no head office when you ask for it, and tell anybody who is looking for a mover to run like hell from:

http://www.vanlinesdirect.com

Van Lines Direct: 1-888-387-7199

Van Lines Direct: 416-572-3922

Van Lines Direct Fax: 647-777-7776

Mobile Contact: 416-970-9614

Run. Like. Hell. from this company!

UPDATE:

Legal and Police help had to be called in. In the beginning of this abhorrent company’s fraudulent behaviour, police were contacted and declared this “a civil matter” until our friend found an officer who knew what he was talking about. In Canada, “Colour of Right determines ownership of property. This scenario from the get-go was “Theft by Conversion.” Van Line(s) Direct STOLE our friend’s property, ignored the legal authorities trying to mediate and eventually got their asses kicked by the police. Police tracked their information down to a VIRTUAL OFFICE.

WTF? A moving company that doesn’t have an office?

That’s because you, me or any yahoo can rent a trailer like the one above. They’re not a real moving company.

It seemed the storage facility  Van Line(s) Direct used to hide our friend’s belongings was looking forward to the fallout. Van Line(s) Direct refused to tell our friend where his contents were and deliberately let the storage payments lapse after the first month. When police contacted the storage facility they said they were going to auction off the contents. The police informed them that they were not entitled to auction off stolen goods so they’d better get on board. Right up to the very last minute police were involved in getting the storage company to turn the goods over to our friend and he’s eternally grateful to the officers who took the time to research statutes, make calls, check, check and double check our friend’s legal consumer rights.

Once the police had the storage company turn the units over to our friend, the storage company handed over a list of phone numbers that Tuana had given them as contact numbers for our friend. 444-5555 was one. Our friend’s cell number with one number wrong was another. There were four phone numbers, all deliberately wrong. The storage place said Tuana had instructed them to phone her if our friend showed up. Despite being given the ultimatum of releasing the goods to our friend directly to the storage company or being charged with multiple counts of theft and fraud, Tuana ignorantly believed she was above the Law.

Stolen property.

Extortion.

Fraud.

Make sure you remember those three words if you’re considering using Van Line(s) Direct.

If you’re going through this or any moving company, make sure the police know about

http://www.lawyers.ca/statutes/criminal_code_of_canada_theft.htm

http://yourlaws.ca/criminal-code-canada/322-theft

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/01/13/bc-moverextortion.html

Know your company, know your rights and know a good lawyer to sue for damages when crooks like these people (who apparently don’t know how to speak or write English) are trying to screw you over.

We know they’re one of many unscrupulous moving companies. It took over a dozen police officers and a dozen lawyers who didn’t know about consumer rights to find one who knew his stuff. Know your rights. Make sure the authorities you deal with know your rights, even if you have to show them where to look it up now that one smart cop stepped up to the plate.

Our friend was told by one officer, “You gave them your stuff.”

“Not so,” said our saviour cop, “It’s no different than asking someone to watch your house while you’re on vacation and coming home to an empty house. It’s theft.”

So, if you’re going through total bullshit with Van Line(s) Direct (the company name you make the cheque out to is different than the company name – we never know when to or not to use the “S”!), we hope you get some help here that you might not have been getting with the legal avenues who didn’t know or care.

Save your emails to and from them.

Save those texts.

Document all telephone conversations with them.

Take pictures of your goods and the truck and the people loading it; get the license plate numbers, check drivers’ licenses if you want – cover your bases.

Charge them.

Sue them.

For our Alberta readers, the police know about the Fair Trading Act – you can look it up on the Service Canada site. It’s a consumer protection act that prevents companies from charging over 10% of their original quote to you. One lawyer also advised, “If you pay them, be sure to write ‘Paid Under Protest’ so that a court will know it was your last resort.”

LOOKING FOR A RECOMMENDATION FOR MOVERS?

Our friend took a chance on Owner Operated and is thrilled to report honesty and integrity. They took pictures of damaged items. They wrapped things in blankets. They let our friend get other people to help unload and make the process quicker and easier. They were more than affordable. They do long and short hauls. They showed up on time. They covered the flooring with mats so as not to damage it. They spoke only English. They were polite. They didn’t take one break. They got the job done and done right. They even re-weighed our friend’s goods and lo ‘n behold – they did not weigh nearly as much as the scam artists at Van Line(s) Direct reported. Thousands of pounds less. Here’s what the Owner said:

“Companies will drive the truck nearly empty on gas and have all the guys jump out to weigh it. Then they’ll load the truck, fill the tank and have the guys jump back in for the weight they tell you you have. That’s one of the reasons I quit and started my own. I couldn’t stand what they were doing to people.”

Our friend is comparing the sticker-list the original company gave them with the things that were brought from storage and they’re missing a LOT. Exercise equipment is missing parts/damaged. Chairs to the dining set are irreparably broken. An antique fireplace mantel has gouges in the wood. Lamps busted. Paintings damaged. All this from the initial unpack – he’s so not looking forward to going through everything. Don’t forget how much he had to spend buying necessities while all of these tricks were going on – beds, dishes, clothes, towels, cutlery – thing of everything you pack expecting to have it handy when you arrive at your new home and then not being able to look after your family’s basic needs? EXPENSIVE!

This is just the beginning of an onslaught of complaints about this company. We like the class action lawsuit idea. If anybody out there is going through similar drop us a line in the comments.