Moving is stressful in the best of times--but it's far worse when the likes of this week's rogue, Lester Charles Kasprowicz, is involved.
Attorney General Hardy Myers finally shut down Kasprowicz's company, We Move For Less Inc., with a temporary injunction Dec. 21, a decade after the Milwaukie mover first fell afoul of the AG's office. Rather than carefully packing people's cherished possessions in boxes, Kasprowicz came up with an easier--and cheaper--method.
"What this guy does is lowball your moving bid, then picks up the stuff in a U-Haul and takes it to a freight company, where they put it on a pallet and shrink-wrap it," says AG spokesman Kevin Neely.
The technique leads to breakage and loss, Neely says, but isn't the worst problem. "Then he sends an invoice that's vastly different from the bid," Neely explains, "often two times or more than the original estimate. If you don't pay, he holds the freight hostage and threatens to charge a big storage fee."
Neely says that Kasprowicz was investigated by the federal transportation department as well as the Oregon Department of Transportation, which in 1998 forbade him from moving household goods within Oregon. But the rogue mover could still do business across state lines.
In early January 2001, for instance, he moved Portlander Julie Steffanoff to Maryland. After packing Steffanoff's goods, Kasprowicz sent an invoice that not only demanded an additional $1,856 but required that the full invoice be paid 72 hours prior to delivery, instead of on delivery as agreed, according to an affidavit Steffanoff filed with the AG. Despite making several phone calls Steffanoff never got an explanation for the new charges and had to pick up her goods from a freight company in Maryland and deliver them herself.
A lawsuit Myers filed Dec. 12 aims to stop such practices. The suit, which claims that We Move For Less misrepresented the quality and cost of services on 13 occasions, seeks to ban Kasprowicz from doing moving business in this state. Myers is also asking for nearly $200,000 in civil penalties and attorney fees.
We Move For Less' phone number has already been disconnected, and efforts to find Kasprowicz proved unsuccessful. Perhaps he has moved--no doubt using the services of a more reputable company than his own.