Hey, guys. The name's Kendra. I'm a writer! You may have seen my stuff in Lenny, Cosmo, ESPNw, Elle, and The Gaurdian, among other places . I've been freelance for ages, but last year I got my dream writing job, which necessitates a move to Los Angeles (from Harlem, NYC) on Sept 11. My company even gave me some money to fund the move. Awesome!
I booked my move with a company called Schneider Moving And Storage , based out of Brooklyn, and they sent an estimator named Kirk Gillums over to my apartment to price me on August 9. The price ($1575) was great, so I agreed to move with them after recieving an official estimate email and receipt from his company address. I called Kirk up at the office later the next day (August 10) and gave the required $150 debit deposit to book my date. I got an updated receipt again from his company email address with company letterhead. All good, right?
He called back on August 10 to let me know that if I paid an additional $800 up front, the company would give me a 15% discount on the move total. This didn't strike me as weird-- companies do this all the time, especially with large amounts. He came back to my apartment on August 14, I gave him the money, and showed him a bike and 5 boxes I was adding to the estimate. He wrote me a receipt, again on company letterhead, and said he would email me an updated estimate with the additional money paid and the boxes and bike added. It took him 3 days (Aug 17), but he did, again company letterhead, company email. Literally no reason for me to think anything was wrong.
Yesterday morning (Aug 24) I get a call from someone else at Schneider Moving asking to confirm my move date. I happily do. She reminds me that I'll have to pay half the balance up front, and the other half once my belongings arrived in LA. I said, "Absolutely, minus the deposit and the $800!" She was like, "What $800?"
SURPRISE! Kirk doesn't work for Schneider anymore. He was fired for stealing from the company last Wednesday (August 16), but they didn't shut down his company email until the next day, hence his ability to send me that final (falase) receipt. He never reported getting $800 from me, even though he emailed and wrote receipts using the company's servers. That discount is NOT a thing they do. This is the second person they're hearing from that gave him money which they then never got.
If their employee is sketchy, the company may be sketchier. I can't get anyone from management on the phone, and I keep being told that management will call me once they've spoken to Kirk. They want to speak with Kirk first to "try and settle this without getting the authorities involved." I tried going down to their address in Brooklyn yesterday evening, and found what they claimed to be a "suite" was really a rented UPS PO Box. They're a real company --my attorney's started tracking them down-- but the girl in the office refuses to give me their Queens address.
I, on the otherhand, have tried getting the authorities involved. Unfortunately, because he scammed via the company it's not a criminal case, it's a civil case. The NYPD won't let me file a report of theft or robbery, despite the fact that I brought them all of my email correspondance, text, recorded phone calls, a picture of Kirk, his age, address, and home phone number. Also, his criminal record, as he's been in jail for larceny before, I discovered. I have to sue the company (I plan to-- I'll be filing in small claims on Monday, Aug 28), but that's not an instant fix and the fact remains that I need to book a new moving company.
So that's what I'm asking for help with-- money to book and pay a new moving company so that I can move to Los Angeles on my planned date of Sept 11. My plane leaves at 1pm on Sept 12!
$800-- To cover the cash Kirk pocketed
$150-- To cover the deposit I gave Schneider Moving (and I am 75% sure I won't see again)
$300-- I'm booking with a new company, so my estimate is very likely going to go up. This covers that.
$90-- To cover GFM fees.
[EDIT: I've Rebooked with FlatRate Movers! The estimate has come in at $2019. I am so thankful for everything people have already donated, and have raised the limit by $200 to cover the hike. You are all literal angels, thank you.]
I'm suing, and my attorney says I shouldn't have an issue getting the judgement given all the documentation I have. Because I'm asking for donations here, I'll be donating (out of any eventual settlement) at least the equivilent of whatever I'm able to raise to Planned Parenthood.
Thanks, everyone. And if you happen to see this guy in NYC (probably Queens or Manhattan) please give him the Evil Eye for me, thanks.
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