Movers Break IKEA Bookshelf, Shrug

For their recent move, Derek and his wife selected a local operator of North American Van Lines. Things went pretty smoothly, except for one IKEA Expedit bookcase that was somehow cracked while leaving the couple’s previous home, and subsequently fell apart when it was brought into the new house. Someone gave Mrs. Derek what she assumed was a claim form to sign, but ended up being a “Particle Board Furniture form” absolving the movers of any responsibility for cheap furnishings.

My wife and I recently relocated for her new job. After shopping around for moving prices, we decided on the steep, but within our limits, [redacted], an operator of northAmerican Van Lines. When inventory was complete, the mover offered us their optional, “full valuation,” coverage; working in the rental car industry, and knowing the coverage business, I decided to consult my rental insurance company to see if our household of junk would be covered while in transit.

My agent let me know that our stuff would not be covered and that it was up to us whether we would like to risk damage or not. January 13th and 14th in the place we were moving to were marked by severe winter storms and this led us to accept the coverage.

That said, at this point, we assumed all of our stuff would be covered. When the movers started moving stuff out to the truck, they man handled one of our Ikea Expedit bookcases to the point of making a loud crack noise. They continued to move it with no further problems. The following day when moving the bookcase into our house, the bookcase fell apart when similarly torqued.

I appreciate the fact that this is an Ikea bookcase but I also understand I’ve moved a great number of times and have never replaced one of these bookcases for lack of durability. We asked the driver/mover what we would need to do to further the claims process at which point he provided what he called a claim form and requested my wife sign it in my absence.

The mover wrote in the bookshelf information, asked my wife to sign the form, and then asked her if she could find the inventory number on the bookshelf. At this point, we assumed the claim process had begun and we followed up that Monday with a call to the movers to get the claim process in action. After repeated calls, 2 full weeks later, our claim was denied. The moving company claims, “…prior to the move of your household goods you signed a Particle Board Furniture form,” which is clearly dated the day our stuff was delivered to the house.

Dear Consumerist, Does a mover simply say, “What you wanted moved was too delicate, I have no liability for this item…” or should my bookcase have been handled gently assuming they knew of the fragility of such bookcases. And what of my wife being conned into signing a waiver?!


Comments

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  1. FirePuff says:

    I hate to be the one to blame the OP, especially when the movers did break the stuff, but…

    Always read the fine print. Always. Never ever sign something you aren’t completely sure of what it is.

    • Cat says:

      “At this point, we assumed…”

      Ass. U. Me.

    • DariusC says:

      Wouldn’t it be easier if the moving company didn’t trick her into signing a waiver of claim rights? Why do we have to protect ourselves from dishonesty when others should simply stop being dishonest?

      “This is madness!” “THIS…IS…AMERICA!!!”

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Yes, the moving company was dishonest, but by signing you are agreeing to everything in the document. If you don’t know what the document says, then you bear some responsibility. That doesn’t mean the moving company wasn’t guilty of fraud, but it’s pretty much impossible to prove that something was misrepresented when your signature is on it, so it’s more of a matter of being prudent, like not leaving a wad of cash or really expensive jewelry laying out in the open if you’re having work done in your house. It doesn’t mean their action wasn’t criminal, but you should be cautious and not make it easy for criminals to take advantage of you. Reading or at least skimming what you sign is one of the most basic things you can do to protect yourself.

        Their best defense is if the moving company said not to bother reading it, they had to sign RIGHT NOW or they would leave with their stuff, which means they were signing under duress. But that wasn’t mentioned in the OP.

    • Denidil says:

      i moved with them a little over a year ago (paid corporate move) …. the particle board waver must be signed up front. so if she claimed she was ambushed by it – BULLSHIT. you signed that before they touched your furniture.

      particle board is garbage, and no matter how carefully they load it just rolling down the road – one bump.. BLAM, broken.

      • Jawaka says:

        I call BS on this. I’ve moved particle board furniture plenty of times without problems. you just can’t throw or abuse them which is why moving companies have these clauses.

    • Jawaka says:

      I didn’t chose either of the voting choices because of this. I’m not blaming the OP because she should “get some real furniture”. I’m blaming the OP because she clearly didn’t pay the least bit of attention in what she was signing.

  2. Cat says:

    Read what you sign.

    • DariusC says:

      Contract law, according to the government at least, requires that both parties are knowledgable in the terms of the contract. By “tricking” someone into signing something, it is null and void. It is the exact same as if you tricked someone into signing their worldly possessions away, no judge will believe it just as no judge will believe that she signed a form to waive all rights to claim after the movers broke her furniture.

      • Jevia says:

        Yeah, but now they’d have to fight to prove that, and said fight will cost money, a lot more than replacing an Ikea bookcase. Put it up to a life lesson learned. Read before you sign.

      • Such an Interesting Monster says:

        But unless the wife is of questionable intelligence, or they otherwise physically coerced her into applying her signature to the form, it was her responsibility to read and understand what she was signing.

        You simply can’t sign whatever someone puts in front of you without reading it and then claim you were tricked into signing it. Stop whatever your doing and read the form BEFORE you sign it.

  3. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I always read what I sign. People will always try to say “it just says …” but that doesn’t matter. Again, read before signing, even if it’s a scan.

  4. deathbecomesme says:

    Depends on the condition/age of the time. Most of my particle board furniture never seemed to last me more than 3 years. It always seemed to flake apart and swell up with moisture

    • deathbecomesme says:

      condition/age of the item*

    • november84 says:

      I can see that happening but I have Ikea furniture throughout my place. I bought it 2nd hand from a friend who wanted a revamp. He had it for 2 years and I’ve had it for about 2 years. I would say that it all looks pretty damn good. I will say I had to wood glue a portion of the bed(my own mistake btw), but aside from that I think it will last a few more years. It really depends on how you treat it.

      I also want to note, the furniture has been through 2 moves and looking to move again in 4/5 months.

    • rugman11 says:

      Really? I’m still using a $30 Wal-Mart bookcase that I bought 6 years ago. At this point if it broke I’d just cut my losses and getting another one.

  5. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I thought the whole idea behind IKEA is to be able to disassemble items to move them? I don’t have these items, but I know people who do, and they take them apart, save the screws, etc. in a little ziploc bag, and put the item together again in the new place.

    I think the OP should have disassembled the bookcase for transit. It would have taken up less space, and it perhaps it wouldn’t have been damaged so easily.

    • Darrone says:

      No, it’s that they are cheap with clean and modern styling. They are almost impossible to assemble or disassembled (assuming you are trying NOT to break it).

      • Coleoptera Girl says:

        It depends on the item, honestly. I suspect that the bookcase was a big no-go on disassembly but the bed I mention above was made out of real wood. The only particle board was to be placed underneath the mattresses, on top of wood crossbeams in the case of that bed. It was a wonderful thing!

      • Bunnies Attack! says:

        Sorry, that’s completely untrue. They’re actually fairly easy to disassemble or at least break apart into smaller pieces (like desk + backboard and shelving). Its particle board, but 90% of the time you’re screwing through the particle board to a steel nut. The most damage you could do is usually from overtightening. I’ve only had 1 piece of Ikea furniture that had to be glued at one joint.

        • wrjohnston91283 says:

          Most of it is actually MDF, which is far better than particleboard. Also far heavier, which can be good or bad, depending on what the item is.

          • AustinTXProgrammer says:

            The pieces are too light to be MDF in my experience.

            • SmokeyBacon says:

              It depends on the piece – I have pieces that are light and obviously particle board, some that are way too heavy to be particle board (like heavier then you think they should be) so are probably MDF, and some – from IKEA – that are solid wood (my kitchen table for example – can’t find it on the site anymore but it is big and solid wood). It really depends on the item.

      • SmokeyBacon says:

        I don’t get this one – they are some of the easiest furniture to assemble that I have ever seen – same goes for disassembling it. I have put together many different Ikea items through the years (most of which are still being used and in good contition – the ones that aren’t in good condition are not due to the product quality they are due to the cats doing nasty things to them). The only thing we have had any trouble with assembly on is a faucet from there and that is because the previous homeowners were nuts and did things to the sink they shouldn’t have – otherwise it has all been very easy.

        Of course to be fair the quality of their new products is not anything close to what it used to be – so maybe you tried some of the newer stuff and had problems – maybe they made the directions crappy to go with the crappy quality. But the older lines still have the old quality and seem to be fine for both assembly and durability.

        • MrEvil says:

          No kidding, I bought a Jerker desk off Craigslist. The seller didn’t have the instructions, but he had all the bolts and the hex-wrench to go along with the desk. I got the desk home and The assembly was so freaking easy. Even easier considering I have a Snap-On power screwdriver with a full set of Metric and SAE hex bits :p

        • katieintheburg says:

          Some of the dressers are not easy to take apart. Nor is anything with a back nailed in.

          I sold an Ikea bed frame on Craigslist to a woman. It was disassembled enough to present her with headboard, foot board, and side rails but many of the detail accents were still attached. We gave her the instruction book and highlighted the steps she could skip because they were done. A few hours later (at about 10pm) she calls me and asked me to drive across town to look at the bed because it was “very wobbly.” She was concerned we had not given her all the pieces. My husband and I showed up to look at it and turns out she had not read the directions at all, so she didn’t know you had to turn all those round socket things so they grab on to the screws. My husband did it in 2 minutes and suddenly the bed was sturdy. Amazing!

        • Darrone says:

          Ever had a bookcase with the nail-on foldable back pieces, like the on in the story? They are damn near impossible to take apart.

          • venuspersephone says:

            The bookcase in the story does not have a folding back piece that is nailed on. It is identical front and back, and can be stood on end to use as a room divider. In addition, I have the bigger version of the one in the story, and it has been moved a total of 7 times, 3 by professional movers, and doesn’t have a scratch on it.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      Agreed here. However, many movers will take items apart and put the back together… and don’t bother to ask if there’s a manual. This happened to my mom when one of our moved items was a children’s bunk bed from Ikea. The movers couldn’t figure out where four screws went and the bed was wobbly at this point because it wasn’t put together completely. We managed to secure it, though. Lesson here? Keep the manuals and insist that the movers use the manuals when assembling said furniture at the end location.

    • SabreDC says:

      I agree to an extent. Most furniture that has locking cams can easily be disassembled without degrading the quality (versus actually unscrewing screws). But as an owner of this particular bookcase, I can attest that it has more wood glue and dowels than cams.

    • katieintheburg says:

      I have moved the Expedit bookcase multiple times using the cheapest movers possible and never had a problem… BUT, I disassembled them, wrapped the large pieces in moving blankets and the industrial saran wrap and I grouped the small shelf pieces and wrapped them in the saran wrap. I put ALL of the pieces in a labeled zipploc and put it in my toolbox (even the little round pieces you insert into the holes – they can fall out when jostled). Adds more time, but takes up a lot less space and you don’t have people who don’t understand the delicate nature of Ikea handling the items.

      That being said, I had movers move a Malm dresser which can’t be easily taken apart and they broke one of the pieces of wood that keeps the sides from bowing but also creates a nice facing between the drawers b/c he used his hip to push against that 2″ piece of wood to push the dresser into a corner. I didn’t buy extra coverage, but I played hardball and worked with the claims guy with Two Men and a Truck to negotiate $25 for the dresser instead of $20 ($0.20/pound) because that’s what I expected to get when I sold the unbroken dresser 6 months later when I moved. I still ended up getting $15 for it even though it was broken which isn’t bad considering I got it out of the trash on move-out day in college.

      I’ve since upgraded to the Hemnes long dresser so when I move I am going to make sure to stress to the movers not to carry it by the lid (top) b/c I’ve noticed the lid can’t support the weight of the dresser even without the drawers.

  6. Darrone says:

    We all know who’s at fault here. Those crafty Swedes…

  7. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I’d like to see what the form looks like. She should have read it, but if the basis for the denial is that she signed it prior to the move and she didn’t and that matters under the terms of the form, you can cut your losses, appeal the denial (if there is such a process), or file a small claim.

  8. Coleoptera Girl says:

    It was a true douchebag move for the mover to misrepresent the paperwork like that and then for the company to claim that it was signed prior to the moving when it’s clearly dated.

    This, in the end, is a good “read before you sign” lesson, although I don’t see this as making the mover any less liable. I hope the OP gets the money he deserves.

    • Sneeje says:

      You know, I’m not even sure the mover misrepresented it–never attribute to competence or deliberate act what is often simple incompetence or ignorance.

      It seems very convenient, though.

    • Jawaka says:

      Assuming that’s really happened. The other possibility is that with all the stress, commotion and others things to worry about while moving the customer just wasn’t paying attention and signed whatever she was handed.

  9. Karney says:

    Should have read it before signing it. But hey, its IKEA, so at least it was a cheap lesson to learn!

    • Derigiberble says:

      Exactly. It could have been a flat screen TV or the like. It was a $100 bookcase which survived multiple moves so they got their money’s worth from it. Pretty much every move I make I expect one or two of my particle-board furnishings to bite the dust and use it as an excuse to upgrade to real wood furniture.

      That said, if you add wood glue to the assembly process some IKEA furniture can be astonishingly durable.

  10. Cat says:

    The poll needs one more choice: Read what you sign.

    If you didn’t sign that paper, you would have a valid claim. Failure to read before signing, not “my wife being conned into signing a waiver?!”

    • Hoss says:

      “requested my wife sign it in my absence” That’s code for they gave it to the little lady cause she’s a dumb broad. He’s the man.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      There shouldn’t be an issue anyway. It wasn’t signed before the moving commenced and it sounds as if the proper (after moving) date is on the paper. The claim should not have been denied.

      But yes. Every person should know to read anything and everything before signing. That was one of the first things my mom told me when I went to open my first bank account.

  11. Hi_Hello says:

    dont bother dealing with the moving company. Take them to court. Let the judge decide.

    • sirwired says:

      The judge is going to take one look at that signed damage waiver form and dismiss the case.

      • Coleoptera Girl says:

        Even though the waiver was signed after all the moving was done? From what OP says, his wife put the correct (after moving) date on the paper.

        • hansolo247 says:

          Then she absolved them of liabiltiy.

          Open. Shut.

          • exconsumer says:

            Not so. A contract must contain consideration from both sides. If she really did sign it after the moving company already performed their part of the bargain (or if the contract does not stipulate consideration on the part of the moving company) then it is not binding, as consideration already given does not count as consideration.

            So, proving when she signed the contract might be difficult, but its a question of fact and not of law; requiring the judge to conduct a trial.

      • JiminyChristmas says:

        No, not necessarily. Regardless of what you sign, nothing absolves the other party of actual negligent behavior. Some rights don’t go away no matter what you sign.

        That said, for an IKEA bookcase I don’t see how a small claims filing is worth it.

  12. flyingember says:

    No one covers everything these days. Assuming otherwise proves one didn’t read the paperwork.

    And it sucks they broke your furniture but one should never forget the old adage “you get what you pay for.

  13. Bunnies Attack! says:

    I have a couple Expedit bookcases and a bunch of Ikea furniture in general… while I believe its the movers job to move things carefully such that they don’t break, its also the owner’s duty to mitigate his own risk as much as possible.

    In this case, the expedit can be fairly easily completely disassembled and only has like 5 different parts (IE you don’t need to label which part goes where, most are interchangeable) and the whole unit is unbraced and large so I would expect that damage would occur if trying to move it like that.

    To put it another way, if you have a platform bed with wood slats, you take the platform apart so it can be moved, right? You don’t expect to move the whole platform as-is and expect nothing to happen.

  14. curiositykt says:

    The fact that most moving companies don’t cover particle board furniture (and 90% of my furniture is) was a major part of my decision to go with the company I went with. One company even refused to move particle board furniture!

  15. Rachacha says:

    The expedition bookcases are pretty heavy, but especially the tall ones can get a bit hairy to move as it wants to wrack out of square. I moved mine this summer myself with no issues but I did have to retighten the bolts before and after I moved it to make sure it would not break.

    My wife and I moved ourselves and the only thing we damaged was a cheap storage cabinet in the basement and nicking a couple walls. We hired a professional moving company to move our piano and they scratched the $hit out of out hardwood floors because they were in a hurry.

  16. dobi says:

    Conned into signing a waiver? You should have read the paperwork before signing it!

  17. Jacquilynne says:

    Conning her into signing the waiver afterward was wrong, and they should pay because they didn’t make it clear to her upfront.

    But when I moved, they had me sign one first — and I think that’s legitimate, frankly. A lot of particle board furniture — especially the stuff that isn’t from IKEA — is a bunch of shitty crap, and it can’t be moved without damage, because it’s not designed or built well enough to hold up to the stresses of being in any position other than flat on its feet/bottom.

  18. Guppy06 says:

    If they say you signed the form “prior to the move” and the form is clearly dated the day of delivery, it’s time to lawyer up (or the small-claims equivalent).

  19. JakeChance says:

    I voted yes because they should show extra care with everything and not just expect furniture to be able to hold up to abuse. However, the same exact thing happened to me with my Ikea dresser when I last moved. I had already read all the agreements before I signed and knew I was SOL but it still pissed me off that they weren’t more careful just because their ass was covered.

  20. ArizonaGeek says:

    Expedits are great, they are the perfect size for records I have three of them. But, unlike most Ikea furniture these are built pretty solid. I’ve moved mine a couple of times with no problems at all.

  21. Dallas_shopper says:

    There’s a saying around here…3 moves = 1 fire. Basically the damage done to your property in 3 full house moves is akin to the damage done by a house fire. While the movers should not have damaged their furniture and should have paid to replace it, they’re lucky that’s ALL that was broken. My movers destroyed a couple of pieces of furniture, dropped a few boxes down a flight of stairs, stained my couch with their disgusting sweat, etc.

    So…could be worse.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      As a book collector, I have to say that any fire would do a hell of a lot more damage to my valuables than four moves have done. Then again we did move ourselves every time so I guess we could be bothered to do it right.

    • Martha Gail says:

      That’s a nutty thing to say. I move often- about once every two years, sometimes even less than that. I’ve never had anything ruined apart from one lamp, which I did not properly pack.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        Didn’t say it was entirely true. It’s just what people around here say.

        The general gist of it is that things will be lost/damaged in a move. It’s practically a guarantee. :-(

  22. hansolo247 says:

    Rule of Acquisition #8: Small print leads to large risk.

    So, I blame the OP.

  23. ancientone567 says:

    IKEA is poor quality and will break if you breathe on it wrong. Stop buying cheap throw away crap.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      Everyone has all the money they need to buy ‘real’ furniture whenever they want, right?

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        No, but it’s well known that IKEA furniture cannot take a move. Once you put it together and set it where it’s going to live in your house, that’s it.

        • Browsing says:

          No IkEA furniture can not take a move if you have no idea what you’re doing, living in Sweden most homes are at least partially furnished by IKEA, people move multiple times and the only problem is usually the user. I used to complain about IKEA quality until my husband rebuilt all my IKEA furniture and it was much sturdier.

        • Rachacha says:

          some of the furniture is cheaply made, others are a good value for the money and other furniture is excellent quality. I have a double desk in my office that is huge and has survived 3 moves and still looks brand new. I have a friend who was from Sweeden and had 5 Billy bookcases loaded with books in his home in Sweeden. He shipped them to the US when he moved here and he has moved 5 times since he came to the US including a cross country move. The shelves are still in pretty good shape.

        • justhypatia says:

          Shhhhh. Don’t let my ikea furniture know because we’ve moved them several times and we haven’t had a problem.

    • SmokeyBacon says:

      Wow, I didn’t realize that my solid hardwood kitchen table was considered throw away crap – it is one of the sturdiest tables I have ever seen (we have stood on it to do stuff on the ceiling many times – and believe me my boyfriend is big – like 300+ pounds big) and would take 3 people to move it. If that is cheap crap I am SUPER curious what you consider to be good quality. Believe me the stuff I have purchased at IKEA has lasted a lot longer then some stuff I have purchased at high end furniture stores.

  24. exconsumer says:

    I’d say take it to court. Why would you have signed a form waiving your rights on the day of the move? Only if you’d been misled. And would signing the form after the damage still cover them? Depends on the contract, maybe not. Even if the judge decides the contract is completely legal, it may only exempt the moving company from damages in the future, not retroactively. Do you have a copy?

    • neverecho says:

      It’s not worth taking to court – that’s like $100 bookcase. Just buy a new one.

      • exconsumer says:

        Well, I’ll leave questions of whether or not its worth their time to the OP, but they should know that they have a legal basis for compensation. The moving company probably knows the same and might settle without the need for a trial.

      • msbask says:

        $100? I paid $59 three weeks ago.

  25. neilb says:

    I did not sign a “particle board” waiver. When two men and a truck broke the computer desk that had been successfully moved 8 months prior (and that I paid over $300 for a year prior to that) they paid out at a certain number of cents per lb under a general liability clause. I got around $200 back for it, but I had to raise a stink. I took it to the BBB and had them lie to the arbitrator. It was not worth the time or frustration. They wasted hundreds of dollars of labor to fight a $100 difference in item price.
    Next time, I will buy the movers donuts and coffee and ask that they take care with the particle board.
    That is cheaper than a furniture break and a lot less mental effort. If they still break something, I am much more inclined to let it go at reporting it to their head office after the “X cents per lb” is paid out.

  26. Admiral_John says:

    “Someone gave Mrs. Derek what she assumed was a claim form to sign, but ended up being a ‘Particle Board Furniture form’ absolving the movers of any responsibility for cheap furnishings.”

    This is where I lost any sympathy for the OP… this is exactly why you never sign something without reading it first.

  27. neverecho says:

    It’s simple really, always read everything you sign.

  28. Cosmo_Kramer says:

    I’m curious about the size of the shelf that was broken. The 2×4 shelf pictured could be moved easily without breaking it, but if it’s a 4×4 or 5×5 you’d be crazy to expect someone to move it without breaking it.

  29. Kaleey says:

    Read what you sign. However, also speak with as many higherups at the particular moving company. Their employee DELIBERATELY misrepresented a company form, probably specifically to prevent a claim being paid. He’s operating as a representative of the company, so his company should know that he is making them look bad.

    Can’t blame the OP 100% (or his wife, for that matter). That means the movers aren’t to blame for lying to a customer to get off a hook. 50% OP blame at best – if you are giving someone a form to sign, you shouldn’t be lying about it what it is.

  30. anime_runs_my_life says:

    And your wife didn’t read the form because? Oh yes, because you assumed that it was for a claim. Something to consider when hiring movers, even if you’ve moved a million times: READ THE PAPER BEFORE YOU SIGN!

    I cannot stress this enough. I refused to sign papers with the moving company because they’ve snuck in waivers of this or that in just regular paperwork.

    As for the bookshelf, how old is it? We’ve moved at least 3 times with the Walmart particle board bookshelves and they’ve stood up well. They’re also at least 10 years old if not older. Maybe this is why I don’t buy from IKEA.

  31. rpm773 says:

    I can’t believe no one has suggested that the OP read what he/she is about to sign before doing so.

  32. exconsumer says:

    And another thing . . . was there ‘consideration’ in the contract? Meaning, what did the contract stipulate that you gained in exchange for your right to collect compensation for particle board? If it’s nothing or, if you can prove that you signed the contract after you had received the consideration, you’ve got a shot in court. In short, contracts work under the principle of I give you X and you give me Y and we’re even. If you have a contract where it just says I give you X and there is no ‘consideration’ from the other party it’s not a valid contract. If all that contract does is indemnify the company, it may not hold up in court. . . Or if you could prove that you signed it after the move already took place, then they had already executed their portion of the contract, thus, no consideration on their part.

    IANAL . . . can anybody back me up here?

    • ARP says:

      It’s a pretty good argument, she waived her rights in exchange for nothing, since it was after the fact. However, many courts will stretch themselves to find some form of consideration, even in this scenario.

      IAALBINYL (I am a lawyer, but I’m not your lawyer)

      • exconsumer says:

        Wow, what could they say was her compensation (provided they did find that she had signed the waiver after the movers were finished)?

  33. rlmiller007 says:

    If this was moved “several” times the problem was probably started before. You can’t blame the movers.

  34. BettyCrocker says:

    She bought the additional insurance and deserves compensation.

    She shouldn’t have signed the additional form – particularly without reading it first. Therefor she is out of luck even though she bought the insurance.

    • exconsumer says:

      Not so, I think. The idea that a signature can bind you to anything is a fiction created by companies who use boilerplate contracts to bilk people. There are requirements for a contract to hold up in court beyond your signature.

      This particular situation, I believe, lacks what’s called consideration. For a contract to be valid, both parties must exchange something of value. The OP gave up his right to collect compensation for damaged furniture, but what did the Moving Company give up? If the contract does not stipulate anything, then it is not binding and the OP could collect. Or, if it does stipulate something, it is probably the service of moving itself . . . but the move had already taken place. Consideration already given is not consideration at all. So the OP may have a hard time proving when they signed, but that’s a question of fact, and not of law, and they have a case if they wanted to take it to court.

  35. cspschofield says:

    OK, points off for the moving company for not being up-front, BUT;

    It is basically not possible to move particle-board furniture without breaking it, unless the joins do not involve any stress on the particle-board. Particle-board is the furniture equivalent of kleenex. Cheap, and not so much disposable as non-reusable. Hell, most particle-board bookshelves cannot withstand actually being loaded with books (they warp alarmingly). It is my sincere hope that the swine who invented the stuff was buried in a particle-board coffin.

  36. hmburgers says:

    I’ve moved 3 times with different professional movers… each time they’ve said the same thing about my Ikea armoire: “This might not make it, or might be weak when it gets there”. It survived the first two moves acceptably, but did become unstable on the last.

    The simple fact is that most particle board / flat pack furniture is designed to be assembled and left in place. If you wanted to move it w/o damage you should disassemble it.

    If they scammed your wife into signing a release by making her think it was a claim form, then that sucks and they should have some liability–but then again so does your wife for not reading form.

  37. wildbill says:

    When I had this happen, it was because the moving company hired some inexperienced unloaders (they hire these people off the street typically). They dropped a particle board cabinet down the stairs also damaging the wall. (our home was new and the builder covered that). When I filed the claim I noted that the damage was due to the movers dropping it down the stairs. I also showed the claims adjuster where it hit the wall.

    In our case, the bigger problem was that the mover left some things behind in the parking lot they loaded our van (they couldn’t get it up our driveway). We were looking for one of the more expensive items right away, but missed a few others. Since we didn’t note those on the claim form, they wouldn’t pay for them.

    Also pro tip (I’ve moved many times now). Use Broadway Express and load and unload yourself or with friends. This is the only cross country move we have had where nothing was damaged. We moved everything out of the house and into the van and moved everything off into the new house.

  38. toodarnloud says:

    You do realize that this furniture piece is made out of cardboard, right? That’s why it is so cheap.

    It is not a reasonable to be able to move any Ikea furniture like this and expect it to make it through the move.

    Also, it’s like $80. Just go buy another one.

    • exconsumer says:

      My Expedit has made 3 moves so far and is still kicking. Sure, its particleboard, but it doesn’t disintegrate as soon as you touch it. Its a structure with a given tolerance for pressure and stress that can be moved if you respect that given tolerance, just like every other object anyone has ever moved.

  39. dogmaticman says:

    On a side note, I’m not surprised the furniture broke. A lot of IKEA furniture is made of cardboard. My friend wanted to shorten his desk, so he cut the legs and found that underneath the particle board, the furniture was hollow and packed with cardboard to give it strength…kind of strange as I used to think IKEA furniture was 100% particle board, but that’s not even true.

  40. konakonachanchan says:

    Where is the vote option for read things before you sign them?

  41. ldillon says:

    A lot of modern “furniture” can barely handle it’s own weight. Assembling it with glue or Liquid Nails can make it much more solid but you’ll never be able to disassemble it to move it.

  42. Martha Gail says:

    Yes, they should be responsible for safely moving the OP’s items, but the OP’s should have read what she was signing.

    Recently my mover broke at lamp I got at Target on clearance for $15. I felt like I should have taken the bowl off and packed it, but I didn’t. He felt so terrible and went to get his forms. I said not to worry about it because I didn’t want him to get in trouble over a crappy lamp. Had it been a nicer piece of furniture, I would have pursued it, but not for something so cheap that I didn’t take care of myself.

  43. dush says:

    Whatever for they had you sign it was clearly after the move, not prior to the move like the Vanlines stated. So they are liars.

  44. Gizmosmonster says:

    We recently moved cross country, and our wonderful moving company made sure that we understood that insurance would NOT cover particle board furniture. Think about how that stuff is made. I do remember having to sign something saying that I understood.

    They offered suggestions for reinforcing it ourselves or taking it apart, but also suggested rethinking bringing it on the move. We ended up goodwilling the few pieces we still had.

    This stuff is cheap, and easily replaceable at your new location. You can get a few bucks for it on craigslist if you don’t want to give it away

  45. NC106PH says:

    No matter what they have you sign…it does not absolve them from negligence. Do they also have you sign a Faberge egg exemption?…no…all just smoke to make you think there is no recourse.

  46. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Was it a Partikborje or a Brakit?

  47. Marike says:

    I’ve never had an issue with getting insurance claims for our broken particle board items. But then again, I’ve also never been asked to sign a “Particle Board Furniture” form for any of our moves that were packed and delivered by professional moving companies.

    When we moved from Illinois to Hawai’i, my small IKEA dresser (just 3 drawers) was crushed underneath some gym weights (it was poorly placed in the shipping container). To get reimbursed, I had to get an estimate to fix it and/or replace it. Unfortunately, they didn’t care that there was nothing comparable to replace it on the island, even at Wal-mart or K-mart, so the $125 they sent me didn’t go far. I sucked it up and bought my first real bedroom set. No big deal in the end.

    When we moved from Hawai’i to Florida, the movers dropped and broke my husband’s corner desk. It was a cheap desk made from particle board (similar to ones you see at your local Office Depot or similar store). At first, the insurance agent wanted us to take the desk to someone in Orlando to get a quote for repair. I took a picture of the broken desk pile, e-mailed it to him and asked if he’d reconsider making us do the 90 minute drive as it was fairly clear that it’d be cheaper to buy a new one. He agreed and asked that I find a similar desk locally. I sent the insurance guy a link to a desk that I could pick up at Office Depot for $299.99 that was almost identical, and that’s exactly how much they sent us. Ended up going to IKEA, bought a corner desk that was 100 times more sturdy, definitely more attractive and $75 cheaper.

  48. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    Ikea furniture is my nemesis. I love the design, quality, and beauty of mid century furniture from the 1930s from 1970s, and that is what I have in my home. I only buy pieces that are solid wood. I have gotten beautiful furniture in great condition from thrift stores, mom and pop used furniture stores, yard sales, etc. for 1/4 the price of Ikea pressed boards in a box. I can easily put my 220 pounds on almost every piece of furniture I own and it would take a train collision to break most of it.

  49. quieterhue says:

    I have had movers safely transfer Ikea furniture before. Most Ikea furniture is not that fragile once assembled, and it should be treated with the same care as any other piece of furniture. That is, movers should not treat it with LESS care just because it’s cheap.

    On the other hand, if the only thing that gets broken during your move is a $100 bookcase, consider yourself lucky.

  50. MacUser1986 says:

    “No. Quit whining and get some real furniture.”

    I love how society thinks everyone has money to spend.

    • Major Tom Coming Home says:

      It’s also a matter of preference. Some people who don’t have a ton of money only want new furniture, so they buy Ikea. It’s new, it’s pretty, but it usually won’t last. On the other hand, people willing to purchase second hand furniture can get high quality / well made items at Ikea prices if they are patient. Wanting a new couch or mattress I certainly understand. Something like a coffee table or desk, I prefer to buy used. To each their own.

  51. spazztastic says:

    I had to sign that waiver BEFORE they movers would touch it. And they did just fine.

  52. NotEd says:

    I remember when my wife and I moves from our first apartment together to a rental townhouse with a similar experience. The move was handled by movers our new landlords provided as part of our signing the lease.
    Moving our furniture out of the apartmend they damaged 2 corner desks that I was able to combine into one good one at the new place. Cracked a cheap bookcase and gouged deeps scratches in a matching cherry dining room table and buffet that we had bought the previous year.
    The rental office for the townhouse never would accept responsibility and apparently the movers must not have been bonded. We ending up selling the dining room set to pay for out move away the next year.

  53. tiki187 says:

    In my youth, I was a mover. I assure you, a reputable moving company with a reputable crew leader, the one who has you review and sign paperwork, is to take the time to go over the documents with you. The particle board waiver forms should be gone over thoroughly BEFORE ANYTHING IS MOVED.

    Historically, particle board furniture is a pain into butt to move, it is flimsy and falls apart very easily and is generally not designed to last long. Also, when on the truck, a properly loaded truck, particle board can compromise the integrity of the load. PB frequently breaks and with the lenghty and labor intensive claims process, became very expensive for the agent to deal with. So, the waiver was born.

    From a helper’s POV, the person actually moving the furniture, any well trained mover will use the utmost care when moving objects. Even particle board items. There are inherent challenges present when wotking with PB. It cannot be takrn apart because chances are, it cannot be put back togethet again, it is usually very awkward to carry and you can seriously get injured moving it. IKEA ptoducts are very well built and very sturdy, much more so than conventional PB. But, most of it is still consideref PB. So, with the waiver in place, some movers will mistreat PB furniture. Plus, most movers these days are day laborers without proper training, so unfortunately things are more likely to get broken.
    If you want to ensure the survivability of your PB furniture
    1) keep the instructions and disassemble it prior to the move.
    2)Make sure the instructions and hardware is in a container, or Ziploc bag and is easily accessible. This makes reassembly easier.
    3) With the flattened parts, have the movers wrap them in moving pads to minimize scratches and damage.

  54. tiki187 says:

    In my youth, I was a mover. I assure you, a reputable moving company with a reputable crew leader, the one who has you review and sign paperwork, is to take the time to go over the documents with you. The particle board waiver forms should be gone over thoroughly BEFORE ANYTHING IS MOVED.

    Historically, particle board furniture is a pain into butt to move, it is flimsy and falls apart very easily and is generally not designed to last long. Also, when on the truck, a properly loaded truck, particle board can compromise the integrity of the load. PB frequently breaks and with the lenghty and labor intensive claims process, became very expensive for the agent to deal with. So, the waiver was born.

    From a helper’s POV, the person actually moving the furniture, any well trained mover will use the utmost care when moving objects. Even particle board items. There are inherent challenges present when wotking with PB. It cannot be takrn apart because chances are, it cannot be put back togethet again, it is usually very awkward to carry and you can seriously get injured moving it. IKEA ptoducts are very well built and very sturdy, much more so than conventional PB. But, most of it is still consideref PB. So, with the waiver in place, some movers will mistreat PB furniture. Plus, most movers these days are day laborers without proper training, so unfortunately things are more likely to get broken.
    If you want to ensure the survivability of your PB furniture
    1) keep the instructions and disassemble it prior to the move.
    2)Make sure the instructions and hardware is in a container, or Ziploc bag and is easily accessible. This makes reassembly easier.
    3) With the flattened parts, have the movers wrap them in moving pads to minimize scratches and damage.

  55. tiki187 says:

    In my youth, I was a mover. I assure you, a reputable moving company with a reputable crew leader, the one who has you review and sign paperwork, is to take the time to go over the documents with you. The particle board waiver forms should be gone over thoroughly BEFORE ANYTHING IS MOVED.

    Historically, particle board furniture is a pain into butt to move, it is flimsy and falls apart very easily and is generally not designed to last long. Also, when on the truck, a properly loaded truck, particle board can compromise the integrity of the load. PB frequently breaks and with the lenghty and labor intensive claims process, became very expensive for the agent to deal with. So, the waiver was born.

    From a helper’s POV, the person actually moving the furniture, any well trained mover will use the utmost care when moving objects. Even particle board items. There are inherent challenges present when wotking with PB. It cannot be takrn apart because chances are, it cannot be put back togethet again, it is usually very awkward to carry and you can seriously get injured moving it. IKEA ptoducts are very well built and very sturdy, much more so than conventional PB. But, most of it is still consideref PB. So, with the waiver in place, some movers will mistreat PB furniture. Plus, most movers these days are day laborers without proper training, so unfortunately things are more likely to get broken.
    If you want to ensure the survivability of your PB furniture
    1) keep the instructions and disassemble it prior to the move.
    2)Make sure the instructions and hardware is in a container, or Ziploc bag and is easily accessible. This makes reassembly easier.
    3) With the flattened parts, have the movers wrap them in moving pads to minimize scratches and damage.

  56. tiki187 says:

    In my youth, I was a mover. I assure you, a reputable moving company with a reputable crew leader, the one who has you review and sign paperwork, is to take the time to go over the documents with you. The particle board waiver forms should be gone over thoroughly BEFORE ANYTHING IS MOVED.

    Historically, particle board furniture is a pain into butt to move, it is flimsy and falls apart very easily and is generally not designed to last long. Also, when on the truck, a properly loaded truck, particle board can compromise the integrity of the load. PB frequently breaks and with the lenghty and labor intensive claims process, became very expensive for the agent to deal with. So, the waiver was born.

    From a helper’s POV, the person actually moving the furniture, any well trained mover will use the utmost care when moving objects. Even particle board items. There are inherent challenges present when wotking with PB. It cannot be takrn apart because chances are, it cannot be put back togethet again, it is usually very awkward to carry and you can seriously get injured moving it. IKEA ptoducts are very well built and very sturdy, much more so than conventional PB. But, most of it is still consideref PB. So, with the waiver in place, some movers will mistreat PB furniture. Plus, most movers these days are day laborers without proper training, so unfortunately things are more likely to get broken.
    If you want to ensure the survivability of your PB furniture
    1) keep the instructions and disassemble it prior to the move.
    2)Make sure the instructions and hardware is in a container, or Ziploc bag and is easily accessible. This makes reassembly easier.
    3) With the flattened parts, have the movers wrap them in moving pads to minimize scratches and damage.

  57. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    I really have to admire Ikea’s operation. They’re easily getting at least a 40% markup on their furniture and probably more like 100%+. They have made the idea of buying furniture made from particle board that you assemble yourself mainstream. Their showrooms are fantastic. I like visiting for the cheap food in the cafeteria and browsing through the displays, but I have yet to buy any of their furniture. Actually, the only items they carry that I am ever likely to buy is their “Swedish” food items and maybe a pillow to two.

  58. Yorick says:

    that’s what you get for buying cheap furniture from a fictional store!

    (seriously, I have never seen one of these supposed Ikea stores that people keep buying this supposed furniture from. you all have to stop making up items from this made up place!)

  59. Weakly says:

    My movers had the same clause; they don’t want to take the risk because Ikea is cheap shit. Figures, since they broke some of my Ikea furniture in the move. It’s either don’t use movers or don’t buy Ikea’s disposable furniture.

  60. TRRosen says:

    RTA furniture can not be moved reliably deal with it!

  61. Mrs. w/1 child says:

    I have several versions of these exact ikea bookcases and I have no idea what you would have to do to them to BREAK one. They hold over 50 lbs a shelf and are pretty heavy. Mine have lasted for years and have been moved (gruffly) by amateurs (me and my friends) and are still going strong.

    The being lied to about the form is just typical movers, unethical. We used “movers” once. We have less damage and better moves just doing it ourselves. Oh and we save a whole bunch of money.