Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fun and Games with René Perez

  In anticipation of my move from Panamá, I sent a request to
and received the names of 5 international movers on 6 December 2009. One was Panama International Packers. I was very displeased with their handling of my move from Puerto Rico and dismissed them, although I would later learn that those experiences would pale in comparison to what I would later endure.

The only company that I heard from was Panama International Movers (also DBA as Eurovan Movers, S.A., although they are not part of Eurovan, which is based in Germany).

I received an e-mail from Rene Perez on 8 December, requesting a list of items, which I provided to him the same day. I planned to move all my household goods, including a side by side refrigerator, an apartment sized washer/dryer, a microwave, and my Jeep Wrangler.

He first gave me a verbal quote for $8,000, and followed up with an Excel spreadsheet with a total price of 7,990 on the 10th. It included the phrase “INSURANCE AVAILABLE at 3% OF THE INSURED VALUE”.

At first I thought that I would only insure the Jeep for the value at the destination. Perez told me that was not possible and I had to insure the entire shipment. I decided to take the insurance for $20,000, and of course the 3% = 600 bucks.

The final price had increased to 8,320 (he claimed the transport cost increased) + 600 for the insurance.

I had considered selling the Jeep and the appliances, but when I asked him how much I could save, he said “Nothing because you will occupy an entire container”. That was a quote for 5,000 pounds + vehicle. That ended up being a lie because Atlantic Relocation told me that there was another vehicle in my container, jammed with personal stuff, and maybe more. They delivered a large mirror that did not belong to me, but somehow was mixed in with my stuff.

Nothing more was mentioned about the insurance until a couple hours before my international flight out of Panamá on 28 April, according to Perez. He claims that he verbally told me that he needed a values list of all my possessions, at my hotel after his band of thieves had already packed all my stuff. 226 days had elapsed from the time of his first quote to the date of my departure, and this was the 1st I had heard this, and never read it. The only mention of the insurance was “INSURANCE FOR $US20,000 600.00” on the quote. I never received a policy and have no clue who was supposedly underwriting the insurance. My guess was nobody.

The next I heard of it was 12 April when I received an e-mail saying, “Shipment already arrived to entry port in Miami, I never got the detailed listfrom you. Insurance companyu only insured for total loss”.

He claimed later that he was not receiving my e-mail, and he hung up on me on 3 international calls. Once the line simply went dead while I was talking, and twice he said “Just a moment”, and never came back.

When the container arrived in Sarasota, I had to ride a bus for 45 minutes, and pay $25 for a taxi to collect my Jeep as Atlantic Relocation (aka Atlas Van Lines) refused to deliver it.

In addition to many missing items, there were substantial damages.

My HHGs were delivered but the check off sheet showed that out of 73 packages, 7 were missing. There was also a large mirror which did not belong to me AND, the driver refused to unpack, which I had paid for. There was packaging was all over the house. It took 8 packers almost an entire day to pack, and unpacking took easily 60 man hours. Nobody was concerned with all the missing items, not Perez, nor Unipack (who arranged the voyage) or Atlantic Relocation (they did the local delivery). It is also unfortunate that maybe half the boxes had no Panama International identification, but only a number. It would be impossible to ever retrieve any unidentified packages.

Although I discover other items, almost daily, that I had in Panamá that are not with me now, I made a rough calculation that I have lost nearly $3,000, at depreciated values. Plus, with the all missing treasured mementos, I feel that they have stolen parts of my life (they found, and I am sure stole, some of my late wife’s jewelry that I had stupidly left in my nightstand). It arrived, still packaged, but empty. They even stole our wedding rings.

In his most recent e-mail, Perez wrote “I have spoken to my local broker and I can get 50% of the prime back”.  That remains to be seen.

Missing artist's craft pieces from Colombia

Turbo oven (turbo no longer works) and broken lamp.

Crushed steel desck and companion file.

Broken stereo and broken bed.

Flimsy box (mine).  Treasures were dumped in here with no packing.

Some of the contents.

Broken rocker

And chest of drawers.

I am not the first, and most likely not the last, to have problems with this guy. you must be a group member, but ther  the  the contents are:

“Re: shipping cars & furniture

-Well, I can certainly tell you who NOT to use: Panama International

Movers, and René Perez, specifically, no matter where he works. They

are part of Eurovan. I had a horrific experience with them including

police being called and boxes of stereo equipment missing, and

changing prices while they held our stuff ¨hostage¨ in Colon. If you

want any further details contact me off board and I will send them to


Tamara Pace”