A-1 Van Lines Complaint - Unrealiable Company
CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE -- This is a formal complaint against A-1 Van Lines (DOT #1460785/MC #551869). The address of record is 4295 Cromwell Road, Suite 406, Chattanooga, TN 37421; but, I was later provided an additional address of 130 Dogwood Hills Road, Wildwood, GA 30757.
My nightmare began when I was ready accept delivery. My belongings were stored in a storage facility for several months, of which I was led to believe was owned by A-1 Van Lines. After 3 ½ weeks of phone tag and a barrage of emails, I was finally able to schedule my delivery only after I was informed that they had a delivery scheduled for Columbia, OH and would deliver my belongings to Maryland on the return trip. Furthermore, I was told that the drivers should arrive around noon on Sunday, Feb. 24th; contingent upon how much time it would take them to unload the OH delivery. The drivers did not arrive until 1:30 am Monday, Feb. 25th.
As they unloaded the truck, I noticed that some of my furniture was missing. The driver, which coincidentally had been the same person who initially picked up my belongings, stated that A-1 Van Lines had transferred their storage facility from Chattanooga to Atlanta encountered a significant amount of theft during the transfer. He stated that “Carmen” was aware that I was missing some items because he helped load the truck and noticed some items were missing. I contacted “Carmen” and was instructed to send her an email listing all of the items I was missing and to give her a “couple of days to try to locate them”. I immediately sent my initial email listing all of the items that I readily noticed were missing and that I would send an additional email with any other items that I discovered as I began to unpack, along with pictures of the damage that had been afflicted upon my bedroom furniture. Over the course of a week, I discovered in addition to my two month old Broyhill sofa and loveseat, two Yamaha tower speakers that were missing, I was missing my HP computer that was packed in a U-Haul microwave/computer box, computer desk chair, and approximately 200 books. My entire book inventory is on the hard drive of my missing computer, which also contains other personal information (e.g., tax returns, school research, etc.) that cannot be replaced.
I have sent numerous emails to Carmen and have called the office to no avail; because every time I call, she’s never in. I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, Department of Transportation‘s Federal Motor Carriers and Safety Administration, and several online sites to voice my complaint. Upon filing a complaint with DOT, I learned that I was supposed to have been given a pamphlet that detailed my rights and responsibilities, what to do in the event of a dispute, etc., which I did not receive, nor should I have been forced to sign anything until all of my belongings had been unloaded. The driver would not unload the truck until I had signed all of the forms; thus, I didn’t have an opportunity to identify any missing items. This company purposely and very cleverly avoid following federal guidelines and regulations.
I finally received an email on April 2, 2008, from Carmen stating that they were still investigating and would have an offer ready by the end of the week. Instead of receiving a settlement offer, I received a request for more pictures to confirm the all of the damage sustained to my furniture. After two weeks of continuously sending more pictures, I was contacted by Carmen stating that they had completed their investigation, and could not find where I was missing any items. Of course, the driver purposely would not unload the truck until all forms had been signed. However, they would make an offer regarding the damages sustained to my furniture. The offer was based upon weight and not depreciated value which is literally nothing. Therefore, I have $6000 worth of furniture that is virtually worthless. Not to mention the other $4500 in living room furniture that is sitting in someone’s house, my computer with my personal information on it (fortunately I have fraud alerts on my credit reports) and other irreplaceable personal effects that I have lost. To date, I have not received this proposed settlement offer. I would not be surprised that if and when I do receive a check that it would not be worth the paper it is printed on.
I would not recommend this company to my worst enemy. Had I known then about the barrage of complaints that have been filed against this company, I would have never hired them. I would encourage anyone needing to hire an interstate moving company to do thorough research before signing a contract.