I recently hired an insured moving company in California to load my belongings into a portable storage container. I gave specific instructions to the laborers to wrap all of my furniture in moving blankets. They agreed and from what I saw at the time, they did. In fact, the owner was there at the beginning and heard my instructions. After they left, I opened the container to see that they DID NOT put ANY protective wrapping on my white desktop. It was left out in the open and there was damage on it in the form of a large black mark. It was in the center of the container so I could not get to it to cover it (although the damage was already done). I took pictures of it which clearly show the damage as well as the negligence.
I notified the owner and sent him my pictures for which it took a few follow up calls to get him to respond and send me a claim form. I see that they are only insured for .60 cents per pound which only gives me $25 for the year old $200 piece of furniture.
My question is this: I would like to ask for payment in full from the moving company as this was no accident: it was obvious and documented negligence with very clear pictures. I believe the owner is aware that they were in the wrong, whether or not he would like to admit it. Do I have the option of suing in small claims court? Could I contact the BBB to make a complaint and hopes that they will pay for the damage out of their pocket? The business is a member of the BBB. Should I write him a letter asking for the full amount? What should the next step be? If I go to small claims, does it have to be filed in the same city? I have moved from that city. Thank you for your assistance.