Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Aardvark Moving sucks

UPDATE 2: The war of words and email has come to a close. Aardvark Moving made good and sent us a check refunding our move. As part of the settlement agreement, they refunded our move and then paid us an additional $25 (the amount that insurance covered for the Xbox). 

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. 
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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.

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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.

Moving Day


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.

The Bribe


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."

Ov vey.

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.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't wont to shoot down your post but I had almost the same thing happen to me at Two men and a truck and what the manager says is tru, they only offered me $10.00 for the stolen item. I actually think the company is going above and beyond and it seems by sending you links to find a replacement they are making an effort. I would hope people make there own choice on who to use versus you opinion.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up. I'll never use Aardvark moving. That's for sure.

Andy H. said...

Dear Aardvark Moving,

Putting the utter ridiculousness of this entire situation aside for a moment, I DO want to shoot down your "anonymous" post in the comment above.

Your post is so painfully, clearly coming from someone at Aardvark, it's laughable.

If you put half the effort into making this situation right as you do into making anonymous blog comments, then this whole kerfuffle might have been avoided in the first place.

I think it's safe to say that not only will I never use Aardvark, if anyone I know ever tells me they're moving, ever, I'll first send them to this story and so they can read it, along with your sniveling, dishonest reply to it.

Heart,
Andy

Elisabeth Gaston said...

Way to call them out Andy! Did you post anything on Yelp, or other customer service sites? My family had a horrible experience with Allied Van Lines the only time we didn't move ourselves, they broke an entire box of my mom's crystal.
Anyway, we didn't have the internet back then, but my dad worked at a newspaper. I think it is perfectly within your right to post about your horrible experience. They hired the guy, they are liable for him.

Anonymous said...

Hey 11 a.m. anon, do you work for Aardvark Moving or something?

How can you possibly say they've gone above and beyond? They caught one of their employees stealing cargo from a truck. It's reasonable to expect that if one of the employees accidentally breaks something in transit you could cut them some slack. However, in this case, when an employee went ouf their way to mess up their customer's life then Aardvark needs to make good on it.

When you hire someone to ship your goods, you're hiring them based on their word. You're not buying a product like a bar of soap or a banana where if the particular thing you're buying can easily be replaced should it be defective. When it comes to shipping (moving) you're buying the service. And you can't really replace a bad service experience. The only thing you can hope to do is provide a better experience than the customer paid for. Simply saying here's some money - good luck to you isn't good enough.

Jenny Benny said...

Wow. This really angers me.

As an employee, that mover was representing the company, and therefore the company violated you. You trusted Aardvark with all of your woldly goods, for one simple (and short) road trip. With the headache of moving and the ridiculous expense involved, the last thing you needed was someone going through your personal belongings and stealing whatever they wanted. But it happened, and clearly this company doesn't want to own up to it. Even though they were the ones who hired a worker with such a questionable background. Instead of making your move a lot easier (which is their JOB), they made it a billion times worse.

I'm sorry you and your wife are going through this nightmare.

It's common sense that the company should pay you exactly what you had agreed on, instead of playing games with you. That is shockingly unprofessional.

You mentioned that the police have video footage of this mover stealing your xbox? Isn't this enough evidence to arrest him for the crime? It shouldn't have to be your job to go after the guy to get your xbox back, especially if there is video of him actually taking it, right?

Anyway good luck with everything. I hope you get justice.

And yeah, I'll pass on the word about Aardvark being shady. I have three friends moving in January and this will be good info for them to know!

Maggie said...

Hello Andy,

Though we haven't spoken much since High school I was able to find this article reviewing Aardvark moving via your Facebook. I will not be using Aardvark moving ever as a result. I move cross country once every 6-12 months through my company. At our company if an employee makes a mistake while working as an agent of the company we take responsibility for that agent's actions.

I hope whichever Aardvark employee posted the above STUPIDITY saying that $10 was adequate reimbursement for a STOLEN (not damaged, but STOLEN) xbox sees this comment.

Seriously voting with my dollar,
Maggie

Anonymous said...

I posted the above comment and in no way associated with the above company, I posted my opinion its very obvious nobody has had a mover that somthing like this had happen so I posted my exp. So for anyone to insinuate that is sad.From what I read in the story the manager tried to do everything in there power. I looked up this company and Ive seen a ton of great reviews. For you to destroy a company that obviously cares and went to great lengths to investigate seems cruel. You have a blog and followers who listen to your advice and its wrong to abuse your power without knowing both sides. Best quote " with great power comes great responsibilty"

Grant Buell said...

Anon, are you suggesting that fully replacing the stolen property, as any ethical company would have done, was outside of the manager's power? In what universe does that make sense?

Josh@aardvarkmoving said...

I was told of a blog post regarding my company and would like the chance to defend our actions. Mike and I never agreed on a total, I ask what GB his xbox was and he stated a 20gb I would find one of equal power at which case I did with a warrenty and he was unhappy with that. We sent a check for $170.00 to replace the Xbox that was taken and yes I did offer an addtional $50 but it was not hush money as it was put, I was trying to satisfy a customer. The xbox that was found online(Amazon) http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B001GKTE8M/ref=sr_1_cc_1_olp?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1353450376&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=halo+se+special+edition+20gb&condition=used
did not have any damage to it Mike only assumed there would be. We are truly sorry for the action one of our former employee did. We do backround checks on all employees and we don't hire anybody that has any theft charges. We do everything we can to prevent theft by not only having cameras on the trucks for when they get back but having a manager search the backs of trucks. We took steps to insure that justice would be served by calling the cops to report the crime. For those of you that say a company should replace the item due to it was our employee are exactly right . That is what we attempted to do. What Mike wont say is he is looking to get a brand new xbox360 Halo 4 edition(his is a halo 1) that has over triple the GB and is retails for $370.00. Mike xbox is over 3 years old. Mike had a great exp with our company http://www.customerlobby.com/reviews/504/aardvark-moving-co/review/191257?main_page=2
This is a review that he left before being notified of his xbox by us. I do not want to make any excuses for what happend, I'm embarrassed for the movers action, but I applaude the action by the two other movers who came foward to let us know , so we could take the appropriate steps. We are one of Kansas City top rated companys.So where this situation is one we regret there are over 10,000 families we have moved that have nothing but good things to say. But like I've said many times I'm Sorry for what happened on Mikes move it is not at all what I want our company to be known for. I also want people to know the former employee was brought up on charges and will be required to pay restitution to Mike in addition to the funds release by our company, so any additional funds Mike feels he deserves will be heard by a judge and gien to him. Although, I know people will attack our defense, we did attempt to make Mike happy and paid him what his Xbox is worth.In the same concept your car insurance would not buy you a Lexus if your Taurus was stolen.

Amanda Woodward said...

"For you to destroy a company that obviously cares and went to great lengths to investigate seems cruel."

There are so many things wrong with that statement, I don't even know where to begin.

If the company cared, it would have taken full responsibility for its employee's actions and properly taken care of the customer who suffered from it. Because that's what respected companies do. Instead, they're the ones being cruel by not compensating the customer for the full amount stolen.

It's not like the xbox was lost or damaged. One of their employees performed an illegal action against a customer. To offer $10, or even half the amount of what the item is worth, is disgusting, and quite honestly, an insult.

And you mentioned in your first comment that the same thing happened to you, where an item was stolen and the company only offered $10. What a coincidence that you should stumble upon this post! That makes me wonder how often movers steal from customers. It must be a pretty common occurence. Perhaps the moving companies are even in on it. After all, giving customers $10 for every expensive item they steal from them could add up to be a decent profit. Perhaps this is worth investigation.

It merely seems like Aardvark went to great lengths to avoid paying the full amount back for the xbox. Instead, they sent half the amount owed and links to products that simply didn't match what was stolen.

It doesn't take someone of high intelligence to figure out this blogger is getting screwed.

SGElliott said...

Josh,

You are wrong. On at least 3 occasions, I heard you agree to my husband to paying the $350 for a new xbox stating "the check is in the mail". In addition, the amazon link which is conveniently not the one originally sent to us lists that price starting at $198. That is still more than you have paid us. The value of the xbox stolen from us also should include the points, credit card information, downloadable content, and a personal Avengers DVD that we had to change, watch, redownload, and be without. Any perusal through Walmart or Best Buy shows that the value of a brand new 4 GB xbox is $200. Ours was a 20 GB special edition.

I feel we have been more than fair. Had your employee who was my home under the banner of Aardvark Moving not stolen my xbox, I wouldn't be attempting to milk out a Lexus as you so kindly put it. I simply want what is mine and would still be mine had your company not come into my house.

I like that you posted the review we initially posted. Had you continued to handle this issue in your original manner than that review would still stand. Unfortunately, you made a promise and low balled us when the time came for action.

Hopefully, you do no treat your responsible employees who turned in the thief with the same cheapness you easily hold for your customers.

Sincerely,

Sarah Ekey

Anonymous said...

I don't know how Xbox works but items I purchase through my ps3 remain on my profile and I didn't have to buy them twice. I agree with the owner of aardvark and believe they made an attempt to pay. Seems to me somebody should stoP playing games and not be so greedy. After all it a video game that in a year will be ancient history.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Some company owners just don't get it! Aardvark is a petty company that will not get my business. If your employees steal make it right. You are losing out on new business because of this. We are moving before the first of the year, but I guarantee we will not now nor never use Aardvark. To top it off now aardvark has stopped payment on the check they did write. What a classless move by a classless company. I hope your former clients take this as far as they can. All you really have in this world is you word and your reputation, and your company has proven itself to be without integrity. Aardvark Moving you had the opportunity to make this right but the negative feedback your going to get from this just isn't worth it. It is hard to find a reputable company now a days that stand behind their work. It's a pitty some business owners are just too petty to keep their word.

Matt H. said...

My story/thoughts went slightly over the character limit here so......enjoy.

http://hawleywoodfilms.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/aardvark-moving-sucks-from-one-blog-to-another/

Anonymous said...

They went "above and beyond"? Um, no. Not even close.

Above and beyond is perhaps replacing the stolen X-Box and refunding some of the moving money or some other attempt at reparation.

They went halfway and stopped is more like it.

Anonymous said...

your post has cost them thousands of dollars in future jobs already. i'm sure Aardvark (first in the phone book lol) is sure glad they saved $350 on a replacement xbox. what a bunch of clowns.

Burk said...

And now I'm off to yelp to check out aardvark moving's reputation. I'll bet it is getting worse!

Burk said...

And now I'm off to yelp to check out aardvark moving's reputation. I'll bet it is getting worse!

Anonymous said...

Just another dirtbag company trying to wiggle out of paying for the stolen property. It's pretty sad that it's considered above and beyond for the other 2 employees to have called the thief out and for the company to be prosecuting him.

The OP's post hasn't cost them business. The manager behavior has. Maybe next time he will send the amount agreed upon instead of canceling checks and giving the run around.

Travis said...

I almost wish I lived in the area that Aardvark services so I wouldn't use them.

Vincent said...

Wow..
Just wow..
I too will be spreading the word on the thieves and liars that is known as ADVARK.
Really low class of the management to agree to a price, then rescind...
He should have did his homework before making an offer, since he didn't he should EAT the total agreed upon.
Its going to cost ARDVARK more in lost sales and bad press than it would have been to replace the XBOX.

Mike, I hope you contacted your local news outlets!

Make a damn fine TV report.

Bill said...

Hey Josh@aardvark. You just. Don't. Get it. Even posting your defense shows how little you understand. You should have made Mike happy immediately. You should have paid (more if necessary) to make the situation right. The cost to your business could be a thousand times more now because of your shortsightedness. Perhaps you feel you were right but in the end your business suffers. It's not about who is right, it's about customer satisfaction. You and your company blew it.

What you need to do now is go out of your way to prove you are still a good company. I doubt you will listen to this advise and perhaps that's why Aardvark will remain a small business.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of idiots. Now this post is going to go viral and we will all help do it. If they had just paid for the xbox, a whole different story would have been shared giving them kudos and drawing new business. Customer relations is your business here, dummies. You don't take care of your customer, you won't have any! Not rocket science.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous about the company making an effort and offering $10 - do you work for them? Seriously. Who in their right mind thinks $10 covers an expensive electronic item? What if they'd stolen a diamond ring? That doesn't weigh much so they could offer him a buck and say they're even? Come on. Not even logical. Above and beyond means you actually DO something to right the wrong and make the customer walk away happy. This is below the belt and flat out STUPID.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! This is making a ton of noise on the internets! And it should be a fantastic example to all businesses on how *not* to for customer service. Also, an employee from the company defending their actions? Social media and businesses - the WORLD will be able to see how to respond when you have unhappy customers. This is (obviously) going to affect how potential customers view you. If you blame the customer, whether or not they were in the right, you're going to look like a jerk, no matter what. If you engage with them and try to mend your relationship with them however you can, people will see that and have respect for you. Sorry, you blew it.

josh@aardvark said...

I'm fine with what everybody is saying, we have done plenty of moves for charities(hope house,re-start) and people who have had thier house foreclosed on and needed a hand up or time to pay, we provide over $2000 a year in free moves to people in neeed.So will take your pitchforks and throw them right back, we are a good company better then 90% of companys out there, so be my guest use them and spend more money and take the same risk. The fact is we learned from our mistakes and in 10 years have never had an issue with theft. And only now due to the fact the one customer who had this occur has a blog is the only reason you are hearing about it. When I know of many cases this had happend to customer at other companys. I could see a back lash if we had tried to do nothing but offering $230.00 for an XBOX 4 years old it a ton more then nothing.The fact the there are people who are going to try and destroy us is stupid. Every moving company has had a employee who have done something to detroy the company name check the BBB. We tried to replaced his xbox people, that is what is so frustrating. He did not want a Xbox that his was he wants one that is better then his was.

ssm316 said...

Just as a gamer here.. You do know older Xbox's are prone to failure. So telling the customer to get a used one is a load of crap.

The cheapest new one of comparable value would be this
http://www.amazon.com/Xbox-360-250GB-Holiday-Value-Bundle/dp/B0096KEMUY/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1354218121&sr=8-6&keywords=xbox+360
(granted its the holiday bundle but the 250gb is the standard 360 these days)

Suck it up. I don't really care what extra moving you do. In this case you need to do whats right. The employee represented your company and stole. Your now liable.

Specs on electronics change. There is now reason why he shouldn't be replaced with a NEW system.

My insurance wouldn't make me get a used system. I would get REPLACEMENT value for what was lost.

If he paid $400 for the system that is what he should be reimbursed with. Your employee was caught on VIDEO stealing it. Own up or lose even more business. Your already infamous online now. Is it worth $350?

ssm316 said...

Just as a gamer here.. You do know older Xbox's are prone to failure. So telling the customer to get a used one is a load of crap.

The cheapest new one of comparable value would be this
http://www.amazon.com/Xbox-360-250GB-Holiday-Value-Bundle/dp/B0096KEMUY/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1354218121&sr=8-6&keywords=xbox+360
(granted its the holiday bundle but the 250gb is the standard 360 these days)

Suck it up. I don't really care what extra moving you do. In this case you need to do whats right. The employee represented your company and stole. Your now liable.

Specs on electronics change. There is now reason why he shouldn't be replaced with a NEW system.

My insurance wouldn't make me get a used system. I would get REPLACEMENT value for what was lost.

If he paid $400 for the system that is what he should be reimbursed with. Your employee was caught on VIDEO stealing it. Own up or lose even more business. Your already infamous online now. Is it worth $350?

Anonymous said...

ahahaha aardvark gets a glowing 5 star yelp review on 11/29 must have turned over a new leaf

Adam Merker said...

Re-sharing the blog, following the canceled check. It's important to protect the Kansas City community from underhanded companies such as Aardvark Moving. Glad to do my part.

Anonymous said...

After seeing this on Consumerist.com, and having some free time, I decided to write an email to the moving company offering some advice as to how paying for a new replacement Xbox was really in their best interest. I got a reply from Josh saying that they were in the process of refunding the cost of the move. I was just wondering if this is true.

I got the reply at 1:19pm pacific time on November 29th.

Anonymous said...

the newest yelp review for aardvark moving is written by a shill account.. they registered the day of the review, and their only reviews are two, both for Aardvark.

even employing such tactics, they still only rate 2 stars on yelp.

a company willing to file false reviews reflects poorly on their integrity as a business.