Allied Wants You To Buy Their Insurance, But Will Not Honor It Later
Posted by Richard on 2008-09-25
MICCO, FLORIDA -- Solicited quotes from several major moving Companies to move all of my belongings from Concord Ohio to Micco Florida. Based on the presentation and guarantees, I decided to contract Berger Transfer/Allied Van Lines for all packaging and moving.
Although I didn’t give much thought to it at the time, the Berger representative really pushed the sale of the additional insurance coverage. Laurel Howes, the “Relocation Consultant” stressed how I would only be covered for 60 cents per pound per article in basic coverage during my move. She noted that since I had a significant amount of home entertainment equipment and home computing equipment, I should definitely procure the full value coverage at $379.00 for $35,000 of replacement value coverage.
The packagers showed-up at the last minute of their time window. They seemed knowledgeable and although they took longer than expected, they were able to pack just about everything that I intended. I was told by the Relocation Consultant that I would receive all packaging materials that I paid for whether they were used or not. This was not so. The packers removed all residual packaging materials when they left.
Next, The Movers: The movers also showed-up at the last second, but still within their window. I thought it odd that one of the movers asked to bum a pack of smokes from me, but complied. During the presentation by the Relocation Consultant, I was shown all of the precautions that Allied takes to protect your belongings. These measures included covering your carpeting with runners, covering banisters and hand rails on steps, boxing mattresses and plastic wrapping your furniture. Well the carpet was never covered and the banister was only protected after I specifically requested so. My mattresses were placed directly on the front lawn without any protection. Even worse, a solid oak entertainment system was found lying on its side in my concrete driveway without anything to protect the wood surfaces from damage. This was also identified to the driver. I called and e-mailed the Relocation Consultant regarding these and additional issues. An e-mail response was received, merely stating that she was sorry that I was having a bad experience.
When the movers arrived in Florida, it was the same driver but different laborers. As they were unpacking, I began to notice quite a bit of damage to my belongings that I had not anticipated. Large smoked glass shelves from my Plasma TV center were severely scratched. Very expensive Snell loudspeakers were scratched and nicked. A computer chair was broken at the base and unusable. Lamp shades were crushed. A hutch was significantly marred. My Trek Hybrid bicycle was completely disassembled including harnessing. Even a month bucket was utterly destroyed. I began identifying these issues to the driver, who was less than interested about my concerns. I then called Berger Allied notifying them of some of the items that were damaged. I also ensured to photograph all damaged items which was forwarded to the Relocation Consultant.
A week later, I received a claim form in the mail. Of course, the instructions with the claim tell you not to discard any damaged item until a Berger representative has a chance to evaluate the items. Too Late!! Don’t you think this little bit of information is a touch important? Had this information been provided to me when I agreed to pay for the additional insurance coverage, I would have retained many of the destroyed items. However, new items were procured out of necessity. As with any insurance claim, photographs had already been provided. Well now Berger Allied is denying my claim!!! They sure were quick to take my money for the coverage, but try to make a claim after the move!
The entire ordeal sure contradicts what they tell you when you are considering using Berger Allied for a move! Quoting their website:
“With Allied at your side, you can feel safe that your possessions have the best protection in the industry. Our Extra Care Protection covers the cost of any household item that is damaged in your move. We also offer basic liability coverage standard with any and all moves. It's your move - you chose your level of coverage.”
To further quote their website, it states:
“We can help you prepare an inventory with our Allied High Value Inventory Form for your belongings valued over $100 per pound. Present it to us prior to packing, and Allied will provide you ECP protection for the full value of the item. This, of course, is subject to the declared value of the entire shipment. “
What Berger Allied fails to mention is that they want your money for the extra coverage, but they will never approve any claim you submit. To further discourage you, we will make the red tape associated with any claim so boggling that soon you will give up all hope for a satisfactory resolution!
The bottom line is simple. Berger Allied paints a nice picture, but they do not deliver! Consider yourself warned!!!
Company Response 10/21/2008: In response to Mr. Richard Hart’s complaints about our company, Berger Allied, and me personally, Laurel Howes, Relocation Consultant for Berger Allied, Solon, OH.
First of all, let me state that it was very unusual that Mr. Hart had the damage that he claims he experienced. His move did not exemplify Berger Allied’s high standards of home and household belonging protection. His driver did not follow company policy, and that was most unfortunate. While I’m not trying to make excuses for that portion of his complaint, unfortunately, I believe Mr. Hart is using the Internet to spread false and misleading statements regarding me personally, and I must respond to these statements. Please consider the following:
Mr. Hart claims that I “pushed” full valuation coverage…in fact, I did not push full valuation coverage, but I did explain the difference between basic and full valuation as I do with every appointment and customer. And, most customers appreciate this complete and detailed explanation, as it allows them to make an informed decision.
Mr. Hart states that I told him “ he would receive all packaging materials”…I am afraid I don’t know what Mr. Hart is referring to. He had a complete carrier pack, which means that our experienced and professional packers pack everything. His charges were determined by the weight of the shipment for this pack, not by the box. The packers will always bring more boxes than are needed, just in case, but they would have no reason to leave these additional boxes with the customer, as the customer had nothing left in his home to pack. Unfortunately, Mr. Hart never mentioned this to me or to the packers, as we would have been happy to explain this to him.
When Mr. Hart emailed me regarding his frustration with how the driver was loading and protecting his belongings and home, I did respond with an apology, as this is not standard practice for our drivers or helpers. I also immediately spoke with my Operations Manager about this and he communicated with the driver’s manager to prevent this situation from being repeated at destination.
I am not sure to whom Mr. Hart sent additional emails. I personally did not receive anything else from him until his claim was settled at which point he sent me a copy of the claims email with attached copies of the negative reviews he had posted via the Internet. He may have sent pictures and emails to our Claims Department or to our Inside Move Coordinator … but he sent nothing else to me and nothing was forwarded to me by others in my company.
Our Claims Department reviewed his claim and actually paid repair costs of $475.00…but as Mr. Hart mentioned, he disposed of most of the damaged items before he filed the claim. As I tried to explain to him during our phone conversation after his claim was settled, a moving company must be able to actually inspect the items to determine the cause of the damage. A photo does not necessarily show what needs to be seen. As a simple analogy, I don’t believe Mr. Hart would have had an auto accident, taken a photo of the damaged car, had his car fully repaired, and then filed the claim. If he had handled an auto claim in that way, it would most assuredly be denied. This is basically what he did with Berger Allied, and we did pay $475.00 in an attempt to make things right with an unsatisfied customer.
After reading the negative internet messages sent by Mr. Hart, and his attacks on me personally and professionally, I find it most curious that when this same Mr. Hart was contacted by our 3rd party quality assurance company, Mr. Hart gave me, the sales person, a 4 out of a possible perfect score of 5.
I have consistently received many positive comments, cards, emails and phone calls from very satisfied customers over the years I have been in the transportation industry. I never tried to purposefully mislead or misrepresent my firm or our services in any way to Mr. Hart or to any other customer for that matter. While I am very sorry that Mr. Hart had a negative experience, I stand by my reputation of being a truthful, honest and respected Relocation Consultant with Berger Allied.
ILLINOIS -- We needed to do a big cross-state move, so I checked out moving.org. I had read about it in some magazine, so I figured it was a good starting point.
From there I was able to request free estimates from a number of local movers in their directory. Once my application was submitted online, I got calls from the moving shops I picked within a few days.
I ended up going with Allied Vanlines since they seemed like a big outfit, and big seemed better to me in regards to accountability.
Allied also gave me a no hassle price, meaning their estimate was the actual price, not an estimate. So if they estimated wrong either way, I still paid the same price. This was the main reason why I chose them. Other companies we had come by would give us estimates but there was always a clause that stated the price could change if the actual weight was different than the estimation. Allied said they did not care about the actual weight, everything was based on their estimate. Sounded good to me, so I signed up.
The whole process was pretty smooth. They had a guy come over the day before we were set to go and preview our stuff. He gave us additional boxes (for free - we were packing ourselves), and he made suggestions on what to do with stuff we were not sure about. He even told us to just leave a bunch of the strange sized items and that his movers would take care of it.
Moving day they came on time and set up the house with floor padding and cardboard to avoid damaging anything. I was a stickler on chipping the walls, so they were very careful not to nick anything while moving out. The foreman also took care of breaking down anything that needed to be taken apart (like bed frames, tables, etc). And he would re-assemble them on the other end of the move.
The whole move out process lasted about 5 hours and they were gone, along with 15 years of our possessions... =)
For the move-in date, which was 4 days later, they kept us in the loop with phone calls and updates to make sure everything was going according to plans. They arrived on time and had us moved in in under 4 hours, again with no problems or damage to the new house.
It has been a week since we moved, and we have been slowly unpacking and have only found ONE broken item, a glass bowl, that was broke due to our own poor packing of it. Everything else has been in perfect working order so far.
After signing up with Allied I learned that they are mostly made up of smaller independent shops that carry the Allied brand name. So I can't speak for all the locations, but we used the "Von Sydow's" branch in Palatine, IL for our move. They were very friendly and helped make our move as easy as it could be.