NEVER, EVER use PODS!

UPDATE 12/27/18 — PODS finally makes it right in the end
After I published this post, sent multiple tweets, emailed (and faxed to) the CEO, a customer advocacy guy (Nathan) was put on my issue. He and I interacted for a couple of weeks and no, I was not unreasonable but was clearly upset. I made certain Nathan knew I was NEVER going to let this go until PODS made it right.

Nathan did arrange to get our PODS container here one day before their “process people” said it would be here so that was a bonus. Since we had to be out of our temporary leased AirBNB townhouse, I’d asked for PODS to compensate us for hotel rooms for the 4-5 nights we’d be forced to sleep elsewhere (since our beds were in the container!). Instead they got off easy: since we’d closed on our new house and could stay there, we purchased two highly rated inflatable mattresses which were good enough to sleep on for a few nights but we wanted to be compensated for those. (Hotel rooms would have cost about $1,300 but the beds were about $400 and we thought that was reasonable).

Nathan also did get back to me with a compensation resolution the 2nd week of December. They would credit my account but only if I signed a pretty draconian release that would take down this post, tweets about this incident, any other social media posts (e.g., Facebook), and any complaints or comments to the Better Business Bureau or other forums.

Um….what?

I absolutely and flatly refused. After several more days (and me repeatedly asking for updates) PODS did do the right thing in the end as the credit was posted to my credit card on December 20, 2018 without me signing that release. Though this sum doesn’t make up for the angst, anger and anxiety surrounding the PODS-mistake arrival of our goods, it does somewhat soften the blow.

Ten days ago (on Tuesday, November 13, 2018) I scheduled the delivery of our PODS container (containing our household goods) to be shipped from Minnesota to California and arrive the day after we close on our house November 29th.

After a lengthy phone call that Tuesday I received the confirmation email so ordered PODS Hire a Helper and we were all set to receive our container the morning of November 30th, the day after we close on our new house.

PODS made a huge mistake and fucked us over though. We’ll be lucky to see our container until December 5th, five days after it was promised and I received the confirmation you see below, specifying its delivery would be made on 11/30/18!

TODAY’S HOLIDAY WEEKEND, KICK-IN-THE-BALLS

Here’s what happened. Today is the day after Thanksgiving and I received a call from a PODS “logistics clerk” Shyron Baker, who informed me that “we were unable to ship out your container since you did not complete a Gypsy Moth form (California requires it) and a new order since this is in ‘inter-franchise’ shipment.

WTF? I actually recall completing a Gypsy Moth form when shipping from Minnesota, which I handed to the driver who picked up the container. About the inter-franchise shipment, I have no idea. BUT WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T SOMEONE FROM PODS DOUBLE-CHECK THAT ALL PAPERWORK WAS IN ORDER AND EITHER TELL ME ABOUT THIS MISSING STUFF WHEN I SCHEDULED DELIVERY OR, MORE IMPORTANTLY, CALL ME IMMEDIATELY WHEN I HAD ORDERED SO AS NOT TO DELAY THE SHIPMENT!?!

Shyron proceeded to tell me that *I* would have to call to reschedule (shitty customer service, heh?) and that if I did so today it could be delivered by Wednesday, December 5th.

I blew up at the guy:

  • We close on the new house November 29th and PODS confirmed that the container was to be delivered the morning of November 30th and we need our stuff.
  • We have to be out of our rental townhouse by 5pm on December 1st. Without our household goods we have to rent two hotel rooms (one for my wife and me and another for our son) for four nights since we won’t have our damn beds!
  • We had scheduled movers to come to unload the container and now have no idea if they are available.
  • But mainly, this was PODS fuck-up and they were doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to make it right or help me.

All of my plans for this afternoon were put on hold and I skipped everything to deal with this PODS MISTAKE. Thanks for the great weekend PODS…you assholes.

By the way, here is the confirmation with my personal information redacted:

   

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT

I had to reschedule (again, they didn’t help me with this task at all) which I did immediately to have the next available date locked in: December 5, 2018, even though I fully intend to shake the PODS corporate tree on Monday to get it here when PODS PROMISED.

The young woman who helped me with my rescheduling was fine, but had very narrow ability to do anything but reschedule. So, after I kept hammering on her for help, she “escalated me” to Tier 2 customer support.

After I got on with this new Tier 2 person, I explained at length our situation but she basically could do nothing. She did send an email to the logistics department and received a near real-time reply. The email message essentially was that “no trucks are available since it’s a holiday weekend” and that “the December 5th date was the earliest available.”

Shyron, the original logistics clerk, also could do nothing when I emailed him back.

The bottom line? I learned that all three of them could only spout three things over-and-over-and-over again:

  1. Sorry for your trouble.”
  2. That is our process.
  3. That is all I can do.

But here is the big question: If PODS is so big on process — and they apparently have this stuff all nailed down — how did our order get so screwed up?

None of the PODS people had any answers except for those boilerplate responses, as though this kind of thing happens all the time. These three might as well have said, “This shit happens all the time and we basically don’t give a shit that you are upset. Order confirmation or not, you paid us, we have your stuff, so fuck you and you’ll get it when we get around to it and it fits our processes.” Seriously…this was the exact take-away message I received from all three of them.

The Tier 2 customer support woman did say something that I felt was truly the final “fuck you”. The only thing I didn’t hear was her chuckling while she said it, and I don’t think she understood that this additional escalation “process” would likely not conclude until after the container shows up, five days late:

An “escalation specialist” would review my case “probably Tuesday” and that “it will take 3-5 business days to listen to all calls and review all information and then that person will email you.”

SO NEVER, EVER USE PODS

So THAT is why you should never, ever use PODS to ship your stuff. If they do fuck up and make a mistake, they will not make it right, and remember….they have your stuff.

Beginning Monday morning November 26th, I’ll be calling in to PODS corporate to discover a logistics executive that might help me. I’m NOT going to let this go and bend over while PODS rams it in to me.

4 Comments

  1. PXLated on November 23, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Ouch!
    Have you ever dealt with other moving shippers? I haven’t but a lot of my friends have and seems glitches like your PODs experience are rampent in the whole moving industry 🙁



  2. alan geeves on November 23, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    Ive just been through the same thing with a much happier outcome but different country company etc. Looking through the feedback for the company I used found several similar things to you but then again so did the feedback from every other company that gave us a quote. The company we used was $1000 less than the next quote and half the most expensive.
    I have to agree though that paying up front does take away the incentive for a company to do their best to help when things go astray.
    An option you could look at is buying some cheap op shop furniture to tide you over till your real stuff arrives. It will be heaps cheaper than a couple of hotels



  3. Steve Borsch on November 24, 2018 at 11:23 am

    PXLated…yep…we have used other shippers in the past, including when we shipped our daughter’s stuff to California a few years ago. No glitches like this one…ever.



  4. Steve Borsch on November 24, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Hi Alan. We haven’t yet paid for the move of the container across country, only the monthly storage fee at this point. So that gives me some leverage, except they have our stuff. So any disputes will happen after the delivery, and their contract is completely in their favor. Sadly, it essentially comes across as though we should just be feeling damn lucky that they are going out of their way to accommodate us.



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