• Report:  #1377482

Complaint Review: Alpha and Omega Moving and Storage - Sun Valley California

Reported By:
Laurachop23 - San Diego, California, United States

Alpha and Omega Moving and Storage
8309 Laurel Canyon Blvd #414 Sun Valley, 91352 California, USA
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When I inquired about Alpha Omega Moving and Storage, I received a call from a man named John Gallo. He claimed he was the owner. He told me an entire story about how he was previously the VP for Allied Van Lines, that he owns the business with his sister and brother and between them they had 90 years experience. He said the company drug tests their employees and runs background checks on them. He invited me to look at their reviews and swore they had amazing things to say. I did google them, and saw mostly negative reviews on yelp and other websites, however on google it sounded as if people had been paid to write in some of their

good reviews. They sounded generic and fake at times, but it was this way for many other moving companies as well. I should have listened to my gut instinct, but I was running low on time and funds. When I inquired why there were some low reviews, John  Gallo explained that the company used to run all over the country and had other employees that were no longer with them. He blamed these "ex" employees for the poor reviews of items being broken or prices being raised last minute. That was the number one complaint I saw, was people were quoted one price, just to have a much larger amount added in later. He swore this was no longer an

issue since he took over, and that they only operate from CA to WA and back for better service now. This was a lie as the movers told me they had just come from Chicago when they later arrived... He quoted me $1600 for EVERYTHING I said I had. I even explained that I may sell a few items before moving and would have less. The only reason I proceeded with them was because I was quoted higher prices from other movers. I had explained to John Gallo that I had only $1600 to spend. If my estimate was not accurate we would have trouble. John Gallo gave me his word that the estimate would have "wiggle room" for items that may have

been forgotten to be mentioned. His exact words were "People always forget certain things here and there like the vacuum or microwave, so this estimate is for certain going to cover everything you've told me and more if needed. I think it will suffice so much you'll actually be able to take some money off if we need to. The day the movers arrive, if you've sold anything then we'll lower the cost. Just give me a call and I'll let the movers know. No problem."

First, I was told the movers would be coming on Saturday May 13th. They called Thursday evening to announce they would arrive between 3pm-5pm Friday May 12th. This cut an entire day off for us to prepare. We were scrambling to finish packing and I had to call out to work in order to finish, losing more money. Then, Friday rolled around and no movers. At 7pm I get a call that they will arrive at 8pm. They showed up at 8:30pm. The first mover Johnny Hernendez took out all of the paperwork while his partner began grabbing things and loading them up. I have moved many times and movers NEVER begin loading until the contract is

signed and all final numbers are discussed first. I was also told that there would be 3 men to help, there were only 2. The entire first 2 hours while his partner loaded the truck, Johnny kept telling me to just sign things without clear explanations. He said they were just papers saying they are not responsible if certain items are broken, etc. I did not realize I was signing papers that stated in small print that any stairs were $75 EACH flight, any elevator was $75, and any "long-haul" which is over 75 ft from the truck to the door of the aprtment was another $75! I was never told any of this to begin with. I had an elevator and also two flights of stairs

between the two apartments. Again I have moved once a year for 9 years and have never heard of this from any mover. They stated from the truck to the elevator, which was a short 30ft, and then the elevator ride up, and then 30 ft to my door was over 75 ft so they charged me $75 for that. I was not aware that Johnny was having me pre-sign part of the contract so that he could fill in the numbers after. Also I specifically told John Gallo that I would definitely have about 15-20 LARGE boxes from Uhaul. However he told the movers I said medium boxes. I kept asking Johnny Hernedez what my final  numbers were and he refused to tell me, just

kept saying I have to wait until everything is loaded. Made no sense to me, but I had no time to find other movers since we were supposed to leave from WA to CA the next day. Since one man was doing most of the work (we tried to help to speed it up and they refused saying it was a liability for us to touch our own things), the loading of the truck took over 5 hours. By the time they were done, it was 2am. They also let me know they had been up for over 24 hours, and intended to drive our things immediately back down. This made me wonder if they were on drugs. So when Johnny finally told me the grand total, it came to $2600. An entire extra $1000 for the exact items John Gallo and I discussed. 

I had exactly everything I had told them I would have, no more. He counted every little thing as a separate item charging me for it, such as my patio table, then he charged for EACH little, plastic patio chair, even though I had said I had patio furniture and I was quoted for it as a whole, not 5 separate items that were small and weigh nothing. The chairs were also all stacked not taking up space. He also argued claiming I supposedly  would have 15 medium boxes but I really had 17 large boxes, saying it took up so much room that it would add an extra $1000. I had said 3 times to John Gallo I would need 15-20 LARGE boxes and we

went over the estimate 3 times. He lied about having any "wiggle' room in the price. Johnny Hernendez taunted me to go ahead and call the boss. He knew it was late Friday night or now 2am on Saturday and no one would answer. I tried calling  John Gallo and surprise, no answer. I texted him everything that was happening and never heard back from him at all over the next 3 days. I told the movers I did not have this money, but they refused to unload my items. They said IF they did I would still be charged for their labor. I told them I wanted to leave behind a few items then to lower the price, even though they were on my list to

start with, and they refused. Johnny called his operations manager (but stepped outside where I couldnt hear), and when he came back in he said "My ops manager says we ARE taking the items and leaving the price as it is. You can call the office Monday and speak to someone and they can give you a discount for everything. But we are not taking anything off at this point or we would have to recount everything. We are tired we have been awake for over 24 hours and we have to head out." When I asked about if they drive day and night he said yes and if we werent in CA at the time they arrived, which could be earlier than what we discussed, I would be charged even more for storage. 

I didn't know what to do as I had no time left, I had to be in CA for work by a certain date and since it was the weekend no movers would be available to book last minute. I was forced to accept the papers against my will stating the $2600, as they refused to remove or unload my items. However I did write that I asked the movers to unload items and they refused, on the contract. My mother was there to witness everything. On top of that, despite not letting me take anything off, I had one last piece of furniture sitting in my living room that I had discussed with John Gallo and the movers from the very beginning. It was a wooden, boat shaped

bookshelf that I was trying to sell. I was unable to sell it so I was told we could add it on for $60. Again the movers knew about this from the beginning. However because it was heavy and they were tired, they refused to load it. They also said it was not included in my paperwork with the $2600, the extra $1000 they added on. So they would not unload what I wanted or let me leave certain items behind (which no one should ever be forced to have to do the day they are moving) but refused to load the one item we wanted. This particular piece we bought from a furniture store for $800 only 3 years earlier. Johnny Hernedez and I began arguing

and he tried to yell and intimidate me in my own apartment. I think he thought he could just say or do whatever he wanted since I am a woman and it was just myself and my mother. We felt very uncomfortable and bullied. My mother tried to ask if he would at least take it outside for us since we would HAVE to leave it, he ignored her and walked out and they drove off with our other items. We were forced to move this very heavy item ourselves into our hall and just write a note saying "FREE" on it. What a loss. I still can not believe all of this as I am writing it. 

My mother and I were supposed to take our time down to CA and had a couple of stops planned out, but since the movers said they would be driving day and night and wanted to squeeze in a few more jobs in CA, we had to cut everything out and drive 9+ hours a day to try to make it. They arrived shortly after we did, if we had not been there they would have charged us more for "storage". On the way down I had tried to call John Gallo, I had to use a blocked number so he would answer the phone. When I asked him if he had received any texts, he replied no. He also hung up on me in the middle of talking, but when I called him back he

pretended it was an accident. He also continued to talk to a coworker while I was on the phone and trying to go over everything. I heard him order a cup of coffee, and suddenly he goes "I am in the hospital about to have heart surgery, I can not go over all of this right now. I just can't handle it." Then hung up on me again.

I called numerous times to the main office and finally received a call back from a Phil Cohen who claimed he was a manager. I asked about John Gallo and Phil told me he was definitely NOT the owner, but just a sales man! Phil offered to take a small $300 off for our troubles but confirmed himself saying that just because my boxes went from a medium size to a large size should not add $1000. I actually recorded him saying this. Yet he had no good or clear explanation still of why my price did in fact go up $1000. He also did not put a AAA discount on the new, total price like he did the original one. He argued we were getting a huge discount with $300 and did not care at all about our left behind $800 piece of furniture.

When the movers arrived in CA they had attitude and had the audacity to tell me I had kept them waiting while I went to go get the final cashiers check. I had to call relatives for the money because I literally did not have the extra funds. I was using my entire bonus from work and tax refund for this move and it was completely wiped out from them. And now I owe relatives money back. They refused to unload anything until they had a cashiers check in hand for the full amount or they would keep my furniture. They finally moved everything in and added another $250 for the two flights of stairs. That "$300 discount" was put back on with

all of their charges for stairs. It was supposed to be $75 per 8-10 steps (is it 8 or 10, makes a huge difference but they would not clarify) yet they added $250 back on. I just wanted these men gone and out of my life at this point. I had also requested a different mover than Johnny Hernendez since he had been so awful and they refused. Once they were gone, we realized we were missing a couple of boxes of kitchenware, and old, valuable, classic records that were my grandfathers. We also noticed our coffee table was not the same. It looked VERY similar but was in fact larger and scuffed up. They had swapped ours out for this one.

We tried to call Phil Cohen again and email him to let him know, and received absolutely no response. I am reporting them anywhere possible and warning anyone to NOT use this moving company. I am also reporting them to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. I would have reported sooner but had no time between rushing to get to CA, unpacking and immediately starting work.  I do not know how this is legal, and I hope the government begins to crack down on moving companies taking advantage of people, holding their items hostage and raising their prices once they have your items. It is not right or moral. 

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