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American Pacific Moving Services (affiliate of North American Van Lines)

Submitted this review about North American Van Lines
Review made Live: 2/6/2013 10:10:00 AM
I worked with this company for a personal move to Europe. Absolutely horrible experience. I would avoid them despite their A+ Better Business Bureau rating. To give more context: XXX I got quotes from a variety of movers. AmericanPacific's was the most competitive XXX I had packed our items very well and considered shipping them via USPS as I had with some other items. If you've ever done that, it looks daunting because of all of the custom forms which require that you itemize everything in the box and weigh each item (or similar items). XXXI was told by the Sales Rep (Heino Preissler) that the customs aspect is horrible and that was one of the key services they would provide. Both doing all of the work to pack everything well, itemizing it for customs, and then itemizing it so that you could insure it. XXXwe decided to go with them and scheduled a date XXXmy 5 month pregnant wife was there for this very simple move. Everything that I had packed well, she unpacked so that they could itemize it and repack it. A crew of rude, unprofessional, and inexperienced guys showed up and started cramming everything back into the boxes. They then told her that the faster they went and the more space they took up in boxes, the better because that's how they make money. That's an obvious point, and clearly that is how they worked. They did the job in a mere 45 minutes. It would have been even faster had my wife not been frantically pleading with them to slow down. Seeing your personal belongings which you care for treated poorly and feeling like you are being equally treated poorly is a horrible experience. But it gets worse XXX this detailed inventory that was one of the services and selling points, never happened. Instead, we got a list that had each box number and a several word description of what was in the box. And wouldn't you know it, that list was not detailed enough to allow us to fill out the company's own insurance forms. We didn't end up getting insurance because I was convinced that they'd never pay out anyway since they would say that we didn't fill out their forms with enough detail (hard to do, huh?). But it gets worse XXXI complained about this to no avail. I then also complained that the shipment was 25% heavier according to their records than it was when I weighed it. When I asked to get my boxes back since I had completely lost faith in them, I was told I'd have to pay $500 for the packing services they done (seriously?) and I'd have to pay at least another $500 (or more if I recall) to get the boxes back from the port where they were being held. Not only that, if I didn't pay them that or pay the amount owed in full ($3500), then they would hold them at the port and I'd accrue something like another $100-150/day. Seems like blackmail. A completely inadequate service is rendered and instead of just letting me pick up my boxes and calling it a day, they pull that. Seriously? And it gets better yet XXXthe items arrive in Europe. Sure enough, I weigh the boxes in front of the movers and the weight is exactly as I recall which is 25% less than what they quoted. After much complaining on my part about all of the things above and the added weight (which was explained later, but never disclosed in advance!), they recalculated and offered me a $100 refund. Seriously? On a $3500 shipment, a 25% increase in weight is somehow only $100? I can tell you that wasn't the case in the original quotes. That much weight difference made a big difference in price. I flatly refused their $100 on principal alone. In the end, I felt like the movers on the US were just horribly unprofessional and inexperienced. I fault the sales management more though for misleading me as to the services that would be provided, for failing to disclose additional costs, for refusing to release my boxes initially until they received $1000 (sure felt like extortion/fraud), and for failing to address any of the complaints in a timely and professional manner. I will be filing a complaint with the BBB and likely with the Washington State consumer protection agency. I fully realize that mistakes and misunderstandings happen, but it doesn't take much to realize the difference between honest mistakes and companies who try to whatever they can to make a sale even if it means lying to or misleading customers (fraud). Maybe it's not a company wide issue, but based on my experience and absence of proper resolution of this, I fear it is. Avoid this company and their affiliate North American Van Lines. There are better options out there.