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Ruined my life

Submitted this review about American Van Lines
Review made Live: 6/15/2015 1:07:00 PM
I hired American Van Lines to pack and move my apartment from Texas to New England. They in turn, farmed it out to “Old Baymeadows Movers, Inc”. This review stands for both companies. - Words cannot express how utterly horrible my experience was with this company. It’s been a traumatic experience from the very beginning. I feel like I’ve been raped. Strong words, yes, but read on and you’ll see what I mean. - I am so far beyond upset with this company, that nothing will ever dissuade me from removing this review online. I will repost this in as many places as possible, for as long as possible. - I was moving from Texas to New England. I needed a company that would pack me up and deliver my stuff to a storage facility. I asked online for some suggestions as to an affordable moving company. A couple people mentioned American Van Lines. I went with them. - When you look at their website, you see people in uniforms. You see trucks with the company logo on them. It all looks legit and professional. When I called to book my move, they were more than happy to take my money. I had to provide a specific date, and so I chose a weekend, thinking that would give them ample time to show up and pack me up. - I’m still so upset, I don’t even know where to begin. - First, you should know you are not dealing with a professional company. Their website shows uniformed professionals and trucks with a company logo on them. What you get is near-criminals and an unlabeled truck. More on that later. - Second, the communication with this company is utterly dismal. At no time have they ever called me back. I constantly had to call them to follow up on my situation. From trying to find out when the movers would show up, to when my stuff would be delivered, to the compensation they would provide for being so incompetent, I always had to call *them*. - Third, they were late. And not just a little late, but stupid late. I was booked for a weekend, hopefully Saturday. I received a call from the driver, “Tony”, who said he’d be there Sunday. Then I receive another call from “Tony” that it will be late Sunday. Then Monday. Then late Monday. Then early morning Tuesday. No word on Tuesday, until I call and learn he’d be there that afternoon. Good thing I got up early for nothing! - Before I continue, I cannot express how utterly horrible it was for me to have to keep pushing this back. It completely ruined my travel plans, not to mention the myriad of things I had to line up on my end in order to make this move happen. I hired the company to pack me up and ship me out over a weekend. I booked this a month and a half in advance, in order to give them ample time to schedule this on their end. I don’t care why they were late. I don’t care why they can’t make it. Their job is to make it happen. My job is to pay them. That’s it. Their incompetence in this area just cannot be adequately expressed. - Fourth, my stuff arrived in a crumpled heap. Open boxes, broken furniture, an utter disaster. - Let’s talk details. - So “Tony”, the driver/mover who keeps calling to tell me how late he’ll be, and when he’ll arrive, sounds like a schmuck. He’s not clear, barely makes sense, but keeps trying to talk to me like he’s my buddy. And I have no choice but to play along. What can I do? They are the movers. I have to play nice or else my stuff will get ruined or stolen! (This proved to be futile worry, as my stuff was indeed ruined.) - So 2:00 PM Tuesday finally rolls around – 3 days later than I needed them. Like I said earlier, you don’t get professionals. I got a plain white truck and two guys who just drove in all the way from Florida. TWO GUYS! For a two-bedroom pack and move that I need done in a day, they send two bums who are near-criminals with an unmarked truck??? And “Tony” who is obviously tired, acts all surprised at the amount of stuff I need packed. He had no idea it was up 2 floors. He had no idea he had to pack me up. What kind of communication is going on with this company?!? I was VERY DETAILED when I originally called them. And instead two guys show up surprised that they have to move me!?!?! I was livid. “Tony” walked around my apartment, commented on everything, acted surprised, then took the next hour throwing empty boxes out of his truck with his partner “Mike”. And yes, I don’t think these are their real names, hence the quotes. - I’m dying at this point. There’s no way these two slow “moving men” are going to have me out of there by the end of the day. I call up the company, explain the situation. “Do you need to be out of there by today?” they ask. Are you ^*%$ing kidding me?!!? I needed to be out of there LAST SATURDAY which is why I booked it in ADVANCE!!! So the lady puts me on hold, comes back and says they’ll send more people. “Tony” tells me he was “just kidding” earlier and that he’s calling more people in to help with the move. This is B.S. When you call this company, they call dispatch, who in turn calls the driver. “Tony” comments to me that he doesn’t know the guys that are showing up but wants to be there when they do (where else would he be!?!??) because “I don’t know these guys and they might steal somethin’”. That’s a confidence builder!! If I wasn’t scared before about my stuff being stolen, I am now!!! - “Tony” and “Mike” take their time packing me up. It’s slow going. I would like to state that when I originally moved to Texas, I used Graebel. During that move, I had 3 guys who worked like lightning and had me packed up and their truck loaded within ½ a day. They rocked. Compared to them, this was an utter nightmare. They tell me they’ll be done by 9:00 PM at the latest. This was an outright lie. I wasn’t out of there until midnight. - It gets to be close to dinner time, and so I offer to go get them dinner. They ask for chicken, so that’s what I go get them. Before I leave, “Tony” pipes up that “we’re making good progress” – as in “now you know the deal, bring us food and we’ll do a good job”. It was like a total joke. “Mike” was smirking as “Tony” says this, like he knew the deal too. I bring them dinner, which only slows things down even more. 2 more near-criminals show up, “Mike” and “Orlando”. I’m pretty sure one of them just sat in the truck for the whole time. So now it’s 6:00 PM and I have 4 guys. - Around 8:00 PM “Tony” tells me that he’ll need to come back the next day to finish the job. I smile and say “Oh no, you’ll finish tonight”. I’m not playing around anymore. I don’t care how tired he is, I don’t care about anything. I hired this company to get me out days earlier. No more excuses. GET IT DONE. A few minutes later, “Tony” tells me he was just kidding. This is his M.O. He will say one thing, and if it upsets you, he’ll tell you he was just kidding. We’re all buddies, right??? - 10:00 PM rolls around and “Mike” and “Orlando” leave. I’m still not packed up and there’s still a ways to go. But no matter to them – they just leave. I am beyond livid at this point. My travel plans having been completely busted out at this point. It’s late. They’re slow. Am I ever getting out of here??????? - I look around my apartment, and there’s all kinds of crap lying around. They didn’t touch my pantry. There’s all kinds of random stuff left in shelves and in drawers. I was so angry. When the movers were downstairs at one point, I grabbed a box, taped it up, and packed all the random stuff in it. I ran around and grabbed other things and stuffed them into other boxes. They were so incompetent I actually had to help out. What am I paying these people for??? - Midnight. 12:00 midnight finally rolls around. There are still some things lying around, a piece of artwork I really like, some other things. They jam them into one box and are finally done. I tipped them – yes I actually tipped them – and they finally left. - I’m leaving out all kinds of things. I’m leaving out how they drank my beer. I’m leaving out how they arrived completely unprepared. I’m leaving out how instead of organized boxes, I had whatever he threw out onto the pavement. Oh- and the argument they got into with someone in my parking lot because the truck blocked their parking spot – priceless. I’m leaving out how utterly horrible it was to have to watch them ALL DAY LONG do something I could have done myself with the 4 days earlier spent waiting. If I had known they were going to arrive Tuesday, I could have packed up my own boxes, no problem! The whole thing was treated like I was an inconvenience to them. Who hired who??? - When I originally ordered their service, I was told my items would arrive at their destination in a week. When the movers “Mike” and “Tony” were packing me up (in their sweet time), they tell me it will be a week and a half. Tell me, dear reader, when do you think it arrived? Take a guess. Do you think it was on time? Do you even think they ever called me to provide me with an update? - I had to keep calling THEM to find out when I’d be receiving my stuff. 2 weeks. 2 weeks and a day, to be precise. And, I didn’t even know about this until the DAY BEFORE my stuff arrived!!!! I found out in less than 24 hours that my boxes would be arriving!!! Can you believe it? So now I have to take a day off work, and get to the bank in time in order to get a cashier’s check cut for the remaining balance. - Oh that’s another thing – you pay up front like 1/3 the cost of the move. Then you pay the remainder with a cashier’s check (or money order – who uses those???) when your stuff is delivered. So you have to get to a bank and get your money together beforehand. Do you think I received a call telling me the balance? Take a wild guess. Take a guess as to who called whom to get this important piece of knowledge before I could get my stuff. - I received a call (finally someone called ME) the day before the move to “confirm” the time the movers would arrive. I also was told my “compensation” for the 2 days delay in packing me up. It was so pathetic I hardly want to tell you. $30 a day. $60 whole dollars. Pathetic. I was told that it was “industry standard”. What do I care what the “industry standard” is?? Is it “industry standard” to tell people last-minute that their pickup will be delayed, only to do it again and again? Is it “industry standard” to have only 2 near-criminals show up, and then have to call and complain to get more near-criminals show up and “help”??? Is it “industry standard” to not wrap it up until midnight, and only then after being told by the movers that they want to finish the next day??? - The day finally arrives when my stuff will be delivered. And now my troubles began. - “Tony”, my good buddy, calls me less than 24 hours before he is going to arrive. He grumbles that he’s in New Hampshire and that he can be there the next day. I ask him what time, he tells me whenever I like. I say 8 AM, knowing full well they won’t make it. He says no problem at all, and that’s that. - You know where this is going. 8 AM rolls around, he calls to tell me they’re in traffic and it will be more like 9. Also a lie. I wait. I get a text at 9:30, still in traffic. I get a text at 10 AM that they have arrived at the storage facility. This is when I leave my home, get the cashier’s check, and meet them. They spend the next half-hour or so trying to fit the truck through a gate which is obviously at a bad angle. It would have been comical to watch, if this whole thing hadn’t been such a tragedy. - Finally, they use the other gate (which was the obvious choice, if you ask me or the manager of the facility) and start unpacking. 11:00 AM, boxes finally off the truck. - It pains me to even recall this next part. I am still so dumbstruck and pained by the memory of this day, that it will haunt me forever. - I’ll try to sum this up; Most boxes are crushed. Many of them are open. Items were dumped inside them, not packed. Not a single piece of bubble wrap was used. Many pieces were broken. I had a desk that had a piece torn off. I had a side table that was caved in. I had my beautiful antique table – the one thing out of all that should have been wrapped – broken. Lamps crushed. Everything scratched up. Furtive glances over their shoulders at me as they unload the truck, hoping I won’t notice them stuffing papers into an exploded box. - If I wasn’t livid before, I was now. - It was a nightmare. As they brought stuff to the storage unit, I was supposed to cross off the box from my list. Each box and each item should have a sticker/number on it, which I then check off as it arrives. Even then, the descriptions of each box didn’t match what was inside. For instance, the item # on my list labeled as “ironing board” was a box, and vice versa. 18 boxes had no numbers, so there was no way to tell if all of my stuff arrived. I kept a note in my head of the important things to look out for – bed, couch, chairs, tvs, etc. It was such a joke having me stand there and cross off things. What’s the point if so many boxes don’t have numbers on them? - It should also be noted that I was making notes on their paperwork about the missing numbers, etc. “Tony” tells me to write down anything that’s missing on another sheet of paper. I picked up that anything I write on the main sheet will be seen by his manager, so I tell him I think I’m good doing it my way, and he continues to abuse my items. - After they finished, around 1 PM, I checked their truck to see if anything was missed. One giant box of my stuff was sitting there, along with what used to be a piece of framed art (no telling where the frame and glass went.) These final items were thrown into my storage unit, which I locked up. I turned to “Tony”, who reviewed the paper work. “Tony” says that “aw if he sees this he’ll think it was missin’” to which I say “That’s really not my problem. I don’t care what they see. My stuff is crumpled, much of it is broken, I think I’ve spent enough time with you.” I took my copies of the paperwork, said “Thanks!”, jumped in my car and floored it. - I’m filing claims against both American Van Lines and “Bay Meadows Movers”. These are utterly horrible companies, and should not be used by anyone, ever. They are your worst nightmare. Movers who destroy your stuff, and act indignant at having to move you in the first place. I am 100% sure that criminals went through my stuff, judging from all the open boxes, and I expect I’ll need to cancel my credit cards soon. - A copy of this review will be sent to everyone I can find at American Van Lines and “Bay Meadows Movers”. There is simply nothing they can say or do that can atone for what they have done. This review will remain online indefinitely. If American Van Lines or “Bay Meadows Movers” wish to address this situation, I will add it to this review, but the above will not change. - If you value your sanity, your life, and your things, DO NOT USE AMERICAN VAN LINES OR “OLD BAY MEADOWS MOVERS”!!!!!