Snail's Pace: Feeling a little gouged

"On June 2," Mary Walter's email began, "Pace's Transfer picked up our belongings from our house in Charlottesville and delivered them to Arlington on June 3. They were extremely careless, at least until I called their office during the day on June 2. In the process, they gouged a hole in the front door and in three places in the woodwork on the main floor."

Walter claims that when she complained about the damage, "someone" from Pace's came to take a look and "promised it would be repaired.

"In fact," she continued, "I was told someone would come on June 16. No one came or called. I have called them any number of times, and they seem to be stonewalling."

I went to the house on Morris Road, and Walter's daughter showed me the four spots in question: gouges in the front door and the woodwork next to the stairs, and nicked paint in two places in the kitchen. Walter says that the interior walls were repainted several months ago, "and the holes in the woodwork do not enhance the value of the house," which will be rented until Walter and her husband return to Charlottesville in two years.

I called Pace's Transfer three times on July 2, but the man who apparently was in charge, Mr. Trail, declined to return my calls. On my third try I spoke to Mildred, who refused to tell me her last name, Mr. Trail's first name, or his title. When I asked what her position is with the company, she said, "I answer the telephone."

I then called Walter in Arlington, who said that Bob Davis of HasBrouck Real Estate, which is managing the property, had called earlier to say that he'd heard from Trail. The agreement now is that when the new tenants move in on July 10, someone from Pace will arrange to get into the house and do the repairs.

If Pace doesn't follow through, I'll revisit the situation.


Starr Hill redux

 Last week I reported on Lynn Ramsson's attempts to get a $24 ticket refund that Starr Hill Music Hall had promised, in mid-February, to send her ["Double-dip: Concert-goers, bring your email," July 3]. Ramsson had purchased the tickets online, but accidentally entered her first and middle names instead of first and last– so that when she and her fiancĂ© arrived at Starr Hill, venue manager Nikki Vinci was unable to find Ramsson's name on her list.

Vinci allowed Ramsson to buy two more tickets and said that if she offered proof of the online purchase, Starr Hill would issue a refund. The next day, February 15, Ramsson forwarded the ticket-seller's confirmatory email to Vinci, along with her address and phone number. Vinci emailed back on the February 16, saying, "I'll be happy to send a check for the tickets." However, the check never materialized, and finally, four months after Vinci's email, Ramsson contacted me.

I spoke with both Vinci and Starr Hill's then-general manager, John Spagnolo, who said they were "doing [Ramsson] a favor" by agreeing to refund her money; he also said they'd sent a check "two months ago." I said that apparently it hadn't arrived, and needed to be resent. Vinci, who has since become Starr Hill's general manager, promised to call Ramsson, get her new address, and send another check. As we went to press, however, nothing had happened– or, at least, I didn't think so.

Turns out Vinci emailed me the day after we spoke, but I never got it (because I gave her the wrong address). Vinci claims that she called Ramsson after talking to me and left a message, but hadn't yet heard back; Ramsson disputes that.

In any case, the check finally arrived on July 7.

Do you have a consumer problem or question? Email the Fearless Consumer, write her at 100 Second Street NW, 22902, or call 295-8700 ext. 406.