This settlement also leaves open my option of going after the individual guy who stole the Xbox. However, according to the police, if and when this guy is actually arrested or brought before a judge is only speculation. So, who knows how that side of the situation will turn out.
In the end, Aardvark made good on the refund and The Librarian and I can put this to rest for now.
UPDATE: It seems this blog touched a nerve with the manager at Aardvark Moving. After posting my review of the company and its handling of this whole situation, the owner decided to cancel the check they had sent to me as part of our settlement.
Yes, you read that correctly, Aardvark Moving cancelled the check they sent me to replace the xbox that was stolen by one of their employees. They have now effectively accepted no responsibility for the fact that one of their employees was a thief.
I have waited damn near a month before posting this. I kept thinking (hoping) that Aardvark Moving's manager and I would come to good place after one of his employees stole my X-box. It's a bit of a long story, but worth the read if you have ever done business with this group.
The Librarian and I were moving from our downtown apartment to our new house out in the 'burbs. Everything was set. We had hired Aardvark Moving to move much of our stuff from our one-bedroom into our new house. Things started well, then one of the movers decided to steal my X-Box.
Despite Aardvark Moving showing up late, the move itself seemed to go pretty smoothly. The three guys quickly got everything from the fourth-floor apartment to the truck and out to the new house. In all, it took no more than three hours to move everything.
Then I received a cryptic phone call from one of the movers. He did not identify himself at first and just point-blank asked if I was missing my X-box. I had not even gotten to the boxes we put in our basement and so I had to go down and dig for a bit to find the box. Sure as shit, the box had been opened, the X-box taken and then resealed and stacked with the others in a corner.
By the time I got back to the phone he had hung up. When I called Aardvark Moving's HQ and asked what was going on, one of the managers told me my X-Box had fallen out of the box on its own and broke. He said they were trying to figure out what exactly happened.
The Police Get Involved
The next day I get a call from the Blue Springs Police Department. The officer said she was investigating my "broken" X-Box as a theft. I had to make a statement at both Blue Springs (where Aardvark Moving is based) and Lee's Summit police stations since they were unsure where the crime specifically took place. What they did tell me was that they had video of the thief pulling my X-Box out of the moving truck when he returned to HQ and took it with him to his car.
At the time, the manager was extremely apologetic and seemed truly interested in getting a replacement since it was one of his employees that was involved. I will also give major credit to the one mover who turned his co-worker in when he suspected something was up. The manager and I started looking up what a replacement would cost and found a couple similar (same specs and storage) to my X-Box online for $350. The manager and I talked about it and he said he would get a check in the mail as soon as he finished the paperwork on his end.
Two Weeks Later
The check to cover replacement of my stolen X-Box arrived and it was half what the manager and I had discussed.
This was infuriating for a couple of reasons. First, this was not at all what we had talked about and agreed on. Second, when I called asked (I agree, I was a bit hot when I called. Even the folks here at the office could tell I was pissed). The manager kept pointing out that according to their own policy, he only owned my $10 based on the weight of the X-Box and that I should be "grateful" for the offer he made me. By the end of the phone call he said any additional money to cover the cost of the stolen X-Box would have to be approved by his boss, the owner.
At this point, he starts sending me emails pointing out that I could simply buy a used X-Box online for less than $150 (none of which matched the hardware of mine). Even better, he sends me a link to an Amazon site where he says I could buy my exact model and type of X-Box, only I would have to ignore the giant crack down the side of the casing and missing port covers.
As long as we were emailing back and forth, I kept hoping that the owner or the manager was finally going to come around. However, when the owner decided that Aardvark Moving had done enough, the manager emailed me reminding me that his company was only liable for $10 worth of coverage and, if I wanted to, I could go after the mover himself in court if I wanted to fully cover a replacement.
Through the whole process I had been pretty clear and upfront about my expectations and what I considered a reasonable replacement cost (especially considering I had fully paid for the move and worked with Aardvark Moving for three weeks now). When I told the manager that I would be posting about my experience and sharing my review of the company, he emailed me back offering me an addition $50 "to avoid any bad reviews of the company."
I told him no, and said I would still be posting about this experience. Now, though, I am torn between a couple of options.
I have the thief's name and address from the police report. So, what do I do with that information? I ran a couple of background checks and did some research online. Not the most pious of individuals. There are no major crimes, but he does have a record.
There is always small claims court, I suppose. Or I could just go knock on the guys door and demand he give me my X-Box back. Of course, I could also do nothing and just wait for the police to pick him up on a traffic violation, then see him in court on the bench warrant.
The whole situation kind of sucks.