Movers destroyed purses - need advice!

a1i50n

Member
Sep 19, 2011
15
0
Texas!
My husband is in the military and we just moved from WA to TX this past summer. The military funded 'professional' movers to pack us up, transport, and store our belongings until our house was ready to be moved into 3 weeks later, then made the final delivery. Over 54 items were damaged/destroyed during the move (including my preserved wedding flowers). ALL of my handbags were removed from the hangers in the spare closet where they were lovingly and carefully stored and literally smashed into a wardrobe box (some they even took out of the dust bags first!), leading to creases in the leather, crushing of the structured bags and bases of most of them, zipper impressions in the leather, etc. I spent HOURS conditioning and stuffing them trying to get the shape back, but some to no avail and a couple of the cheaper (~$200) Kenneth Cole and Hobo International ones I just tossed in the Goodwill pile as they seemed beyond hope. Six months later we just got our first settlement offer (about 1/10th the value of what was damaged), and they have said there is "no proof of transit-related damage; the bags will regain their shape when used", so have denied all claims on my bags, most of which were several hundred dollars each, and a few much more expensive such as my coveted Tumis and Chloe Paddington. Do any of you have any ideas for how I can fight this other than just my say-so? Is there some sort of purse/leather care expert I can show them to and get an official statement of the damages? Clearly these fools at the moving company don't have a clue and don't even want to assign a value for all my time spent on fixing their eff-ups (pardon me), let alone try to make good for all the damages thanks to their shoddy work. Thank you in advance - your advice is very much appreciated!!
 

GirlieShoppe

HermesNewbie
O.G.
Jun 2, 2008
8,111
274
^^Good idea!

Would a home owner's or renter's insurance policy cover the damage? It might be worth looking into.
 

Iwantaspybag

Member
Aug 16, 2011
1,111
9
Secret location
I think you can request to meet with the moving company's insurance adjuster. Have a show and tell ready. Documentation of what the bags cost and pictures of the damage.

The higher you go up the food chain, the more likely you are to get satisfaction. Since you are military, there may be someone who can advocate on your behalf. I am sure the mover would not want to lose a big government client.
 

Sloane_Ranger

Member
Dec 13, 2010
1,311
2
London
Small claims I would think, but I'm not a lawyer so can't advise you.

I know you thought they were going to take care of everything and they were professional.
If there is a next time, please, please box everything up yourself and have them carry it out.

I would never, never let movers touch my valuables.
They don't handle things with care and just want to get everything to its destination ASAP.
 

a1i50n

Member
Sep 19, 2011
15
0
Texas!
^^Good idea!

Would a home owner's or renter's insurance policy cover the damage? It might be worth looking into.

The mover's insurance is supposed to cover it, but after 6 months and 3 companies passing the buck I am not sure we'll get anything. Unfortunately because we were moving from one place to another, we had no insurance at that time and from what I understand from my agent they wouldn't cover anything in transit anyway.

I am crossing my fingers it doesn't come to small claims court, but even then I'd still have to convince them the damage is real and won't just go away with use.

Thanks all!
 

a1i50n

Member
Sep 19, 2011
15
0
Texas!
Small claims I would think, but I'm not a lawyer so can't advise you.

I know you thought they were going to take care of everything and they were professional.
If there is a next time, please, please box everything up yourself and have them carry it out.

I would never, never let movers touch my valuables.
They don't handle things with care and just want to get everything to its destination ASAP.
On our previous move I kept a watchful eye (and didn't have nearly as many handbags), but this time I was working overnights right up until the day we left, so was sleeping while they were there working and the assured my husband they would handle them as 'items of high value' (which meant they stuck a serialized sticker to the box and logged it on a separate manifest). The movers also told us that if we refuse to let them box anything and we boxed it ourselves (we would have to sign the seal on the box and the manifest), they have ZERO liability, meaning they could lose it or crush it (or steal it) and we'd have no recourse. Rock <me> hardplace. I haven't even read the rest of the claim response, I'm just sick about it and don't want it ruining my holiday, but do want to get some ammunition to back myself up with for when I lay into them with a response after Christmas.

Thank you again for taking time to weigh in, I really value everyone's thoughts on this!