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American Van Lines Complaint - Worst Movers - American Van Lines - Broke things, charged more than quoted, horrible customer service

Review by sungalforever on 2010-09-18
I have to say that I am extremely disappointed with the way our move was handled. I've waited a couple weeks to write this to allow myself to calm down from the anger and disappointment that I felt after our moving experience. You see, it wasn't as if only one thing went wrong - everything went wrong. Honestly if the situation hadn't been happening to me, I might have found it comical just how horrible it went. I've used professional movers twice previously (both times United Van Lines, who you can be sure I will return to for future moves) and have never experienced such poor service, unprofessional behavior, and extreme lack of coutesy as I did with American Van Lines. I've outlined my concerns and the problems I experienced below as I sincerely hope that you take action to prevent this type of experience from happening to any of your customers in the future.

Pick-Up
Movers arrived early morning on day 2 (they called the previous day to say that the packing and loading of the truck would only take 1 day) and movers remained at the house until nearly midnight
Movers arrived without packing materials (no paper of any sort), so they used magazines, napkins, papertowels, etc that they found around my house (when my husband asked if he could go buy them some brown packing paper, they told him it wasn't necessary)
Only 2 movers were on site including the driver, who wore sandals and did not do any loading of the truck except for some heavy furniture
Movers were not careful with any of our belongings or the house - they dropped a mattress outside and broke a large potted plant vase
Mattresses were not wrapped or packed in anything so arrived at the new house covered in dirt
No protective flooring material or banister protectors were used - despite what your website claims
A large statue was thrown in the back of the truck with no box or protection - big surprise that it arrived broken at the new house (driver did pay for this out of his pocket)
When looking in the back of the truck, it looked like a bunch of college kids were moving as so many items were not packed in boxes or protected in any way and were haphazardly thrown in the truck.
The movers took at least 2 smoke breaks every hour – may have been why it took them so long.
The truck they were using was leaking so much oil that they used boxes to line the road under the truck.
They left obvious stuff in the house like the vacuum cleaner – they had taken everything else out of the closet except that.
In Transit
Our belongings were to be stored until our new home was ready for move-in on August 20, but on August 5, we found out that we could move in on August 13, so we attempted to contact the movers (PS Movers) to change our move-in date. We called them immediately and on that date, we were told that their scheduler would get back to us shortly if they could accommodate the earlier move-in date. When we got no call back we began calling daily and leaving messages but were unable to get a hold of them again until August 11. On that date, we were told that their scheduler would get back to us shortly if they could accommodate the earlier move-in date. Later that day, we received a call that said they would be able to do the earlier move-in date and that they would call back to confirm but they never did. Late on August 12, we received a call that they would not be there on August 13 but would be there first thing in the morning on August 14. We received a call at 2 pm on August 14 saying that the driver was on his way and would be there by 4:30 pm. As my husband had to work that evening, we made arrangements for the move to occur at 7 am on August 15 instead.
On the morning of August 14, while we waited at the new home, we received a call from one of the representatives from American Van Lines with our total amount due statement, which turned out to be 50% higher than the original estimate. My husband questioned the new amount as your website promises that the final amount due would not exceed the quote, but the representative said you have no such policy and that the estimate is purely an estimate.
During the time from August 3 – August 11 when we were trying to reach PS Movers, we called our original sales representative to see if he could help us get in touch with PS Movers, but we were told that he no longer had our file and that we would need to talk to PS Movers directly. Glad to see that he was serving as our single point of contact for our move as your website promises.
Move-In Day
No floor protection was used so our new carpets and hardwood floors were covered with black dirt, footprints, and dark dolley lines after the move was complete. I have pictures if you would like to see.
3 movers showed up this time including the driver – although again the driver did little else than supervise the other movers.
The boxes did not have clear markings on them to designate where they came from so it was difficult to direct movers as to where to put boxes. Those that did have markings had MK (apparently master closet), GB (although we had 2 rooms packed into boxes with this label), or M (for master). Our kitchen and living room did not apparently have labels.
All boxes, even fragile ones, were loaded onto a dolley that was yanked up several concrete stairs to get to the house – I am truly amazed at how little broke, but I think it was more luck than purposeful.
The glass top of a desk (that had not been wrapped at all) was completely shattered in the truck.
At least 1 handle is now missing from every set of drawers we have and the movers were unable to locate them in the truck.
The mover lost the screws to the bed so had to go to Home Depot to buy more.
The driver gave us $300 out of pocket and promised to send a check (that we have yet to receive) for the remainder of the items his crew broke.
I’m sure I’m forgetting some of the atrocities that we experienced during this move, but you should get the picture from the above. Overall, it was very disheartening to have our move handled by PS Movers – as your website claims “Unlike out of state moving companies that may contract individuals to relocate you, all of our long distance movers are full-time American Van Lines employees.” If this was really the case, why did PS Movers not have an American Van Lines truck? And why did the American Van Lines customer service representative say that he no longer had our file?
Comments:2 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-09-19
Posted by leet60 on 2010-09-18:
I used to be an OTR long haul driver for a well known moving company. I can tell you that in most cases the "movers/packers" are often hired on a "per job" basis or are day labor. This is not generally a full time job and there is little to no professionalism. On most moves, upon arrival I would find the local unit had no "movers" and was forced to hire my own day laborers.

If you are looking for "professional" movers you will find it is a rare thing. Other than the driver, most these people do not work for the company.
Posted by werelucky on 2010-09-19:
Moving us stressful enough without having to put up with the nonsense from this outfit. If you have the time, take them to small claims court for all the damage they caused..

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