Need (quasi) legal advice about dealing with a f***ing moving company

I agree that the first part could be read as only preventing us from filing a formal complaint with a government agency or consumer watchdog. But a liberal reading (based on the term “any website”) would imply be a much wider restriction.

Also note that the first sentence of the second paragraph is absurdly broad: “Customer hereby agrees that all events, circumstances, facts, documents, e-mail, contracts, correspondence, communication, and transactions will forever remain confidential.” All events? From the Big Bang to the end of time? Not just all events, communications, etc, relating to this particular case?

Here’s the thing for us: this event was so traumatic (really!), and we are so mad at this company, that we don’t feel that keeping silent about their treatment of us is a “minor restriction.” We really want the truth about this to be known by as many people as possible, and that may be worth more than the relatively small sum they’re offering now. It’s not a gamble: if they won’t pay more, we know what we’re getting for $1,000: our right to speak freely.

And if we’re going to sell out, it won’t be for a mere $2,000. We’d want at least $4,000-5,000 for our silence: the total of our out-of-pocket expenses from the delay and the overcharge due to their bad estimate.

But I’m still interested in the answers to my questions above: do companies actually check up on people who have agreed not to talk about their experiences? Do they take actions on minor things like this? Or is it mostly bully-like bluffing?

Once you post something on a site they don’t control (and that they can’t bully into deleting your comments), the damage is done, from their point of view.

But they may be willing to spend big money to have you muzzled. They may view it as just a cost of remaining in business.

Are your posts on the Dope a violation you’ve already made? Will they require this thread be retracted?
Stick to your guns. Hold out for more money.IMO.

You’re not muzzled yet. PM the name of the company to others. Take the cash. And then your friends can leave “my friend had this experience” posts everywhere.

Would accept their “gag order” if they had agreed to pay you what you asked in the first place? If not, why didn’t you ask for what you really want. I understand that you feel they screwed you over, but they really can’t change that, now. All they can do now is limit the damage.

In all likelihood, you’re no longer dealing with the incompetence that caused the problem, but with a group who has a lot more experience with this than you. Obviously, they will pay more than what they offered (otherwise, they would have offered too much, and if they’re experienced, they aren’t likely to do that). You need to decide what settlement you would accept and politely and sincerely tell them that is what you want.

If what you want now is different from what you initially asked, you will need some justification for changing your mind. If your justification is because you want not only for them to reimburse you for the extra expense they caused you, but you want to continue to make claims against them and complain how they did not satisfy you (even though they did everything you asked), I don’t think you will go very far.

It seems your best bet is to inform them that you expect them to reimburse you for the costs you incurred because of their incompetence and if they do, you would consider the matter closed. No additional claims, no additional complaints. Of course, before you do this, check your belongings and make sure they are safe and not damaged/missing as once they settle with you, they aren’t going to do anything else.

I’d guess you’ve got a 50:50 chance of them reimbursing you for the full amount. If so, I’d feel that you’d won. You aren’t likely to profit from their mistake. If they cover what their mistake cost you, what do you have to complain about?

I didn’t read your whole post, but wonder why you didn’t go on Yelp, find a highly rated mover, and hire them instead.

Easy for me to say, but my gut says you have them on the ropes. They clearly want you to STFU.

Come back at them. Tell them your settlement number just went up to $5000 and you have retained counsel.

I don’t know if I would have the guts to do this myself. Maybe. But it feels right to me.

I understand being this angry, but I would guess that it’s unlikely you will be able to do $2000 worth of damage to them by filing complaints or leaving bad reviews places, so from a pure “how much can you hurt them” perspective, taking the $2000 might be the best cold-calculated bet. Plus you get $2000.

It’s possible you could do more damage in small claims court, or, I guess, by hiring an attorney. But I would bet that your rage will subside, and you’ll end up not following through on those plans. Very few people can keep up the required sense of justice long enough to see those things through. And for the people on the other end, it’s just a day’s work, not personal. And then you won’t have $2000 either.

$6000 or so is probably well below the amount that it rationally makes sense to hire an attorney for, especially given the likely contractual terms that probably say something like “We might get a truck there someday. Who can really say?”

That’s FAR less compelling (and rightly so) than a firsthand report.