Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

A forum for questions and helpful information and advice about international moves and moving companies.
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twalker
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby twalker » Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:10 pm

Angelique wrote:I just wanted to let you know that I used Southern Wind International to move from NYC to Manchester, UK based on your site, and they were fantastic!

Not only was the crew really nice, but so were the 'office' people in California, responding to email within the hour.

My belongings were picked up, and delivered without a hitch and everything arrived in the condition they left the US.

All in all, I really recommend them for all of your moving need. They also have the most competitive prices of the market (I've looked!).


[review sent via email]

Diane
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby Diane » Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:36 am

Re-posting a favorable preliminary report on Robinsons International Removers Ltd. in the UK by "decro" (this company was also recommended by "wwrsea"):
decro wrote: 4/27/07 - Robinsons International Removers Ltd comes highly recommended by me. They just did a 2 day packup and load for my household goods from Birmingham UK to Denver. They were very professional and efficient.

I have been very happy with everyone within that company beginning with the initial online request I made for an estimate, to the initial visit from their surveyor to the final box being placed into the container. They also worked with me to allow my favored company in the US to be the ones to take my furniture from port of entry to final landing place.

I will have another report once it all gets to the US and see how well it all makes it there. We ended up with a sole container even though we only had just over 1/2 filled. It ended up being cheaper than sharing a container once I had quotes from other companies and Robinsons reconsidered. So it doesn't hurt to ask for a sole container even if you don't have enough to fill it. This keeps all of your things in one container from start to finish and less likely having things lost as with a shared container. Also less chance of having to pay for searches and such on the other end since you know what is in your container.

I have names of other companies for international moves to and from the UK if you are interested. - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 6877#86877

Re-posting a rave review as a followup to the above post on the same thread:
decro wrote: 6/24/07 - This is a follow up to our move with Robinsons from Birmingham UK to Denver Colorado. Everything went like clockwork as Robinsons said it would. They finished up packing our container on Thursday, April 26 around 1pm. The truck driver took it to the train station and dropped it off to be transported to the port at South Hampton and on Saturday, April 28, it was loaded on the boat and heading off to Houston. We were given the name of the boat by Robinsons and could actually track it's movement across the ocean at www.sailwx.info

The boat made it to Houston on the actual date we were expecting it (May 20). The only very minor glitch was the holdup of the container being off-loaded at the port of Houston, but we had been warned that it could happen. After the container was off-loaded from the port, it was placed on a train and brought to Denver. Once there, customs did their inspection - no surprises - no extra charges.

Then we were contacted by Graebel (company that took over once it arrived in the US). They set up a delivery date. We had to change the location that we were having it delivered since we had settled down in Colorado Springs - so they only charged us an extra $137 to bring it down and place it in our own storage unit since we didn't have a house yet to have it delivered to. They would have stored it at our expense at around $140 a month, plus a one-time set up fee of around $300. But we found it cheaper to do our own storage since we are in the process of purchasing a house, but it wasn't ready yet.
We decided not to purchase the extra insurance for the shipping since our US renters insurance policy would cover total loss and we felt that was adequate.

The delivery was made on June 7 by Graebel. Their crew was very professional and efficient. It took them around 1 1/2 hours to unload our shipment into the storage unit. They took all the excess wrapping with them and would have unpacked everything, but we did not want things unwrapped since they will be protected while in storage as well as when we move them into our new home.

I would HIGHLY recommend Robinsons as well as Graebel for your moving needs to or from the UK.

Note, however, that on the same thread, "Jaybo" in Guildford, UK posted a bad report on Robinson's:
Jaybo wrote:10/3/07 - Unfortunately I recently experienced a very negative move with Robinsons. My wife met with three companies before settling on Robinsons, in part based on the glowing report of their services. She told the Robinsons representative about her favorite couch needing dismantling to get it down a narrow stairwell. The rep said if the frame was made of wood, their crew could handle it.

When the day of the move arrived, the crew took a look at the couch and said that since it was upholstered, they could not touch it for the potential liability that may arise. We immediately contacted Robinsons, who said that the couch was our responsibility, not theirs. We were shocked by the response and had to scramble to find an upholsterer on an emergency basis to help us. Luckily we found someone who had little experience with this type of furniture but sufficient to get it down the stairs.

Robinsons attitude, in my opinion, was universally defensive about our situation and was near impossible to get by phone. The company representative who made the initial assurances conveniently could not be reached and “spoke” through management, denying that she uttered anything on the subject to my wife. Robinsons management maintained that the contract did not require them to dismantle the couch although my read of it differs.

More importantly, Robinsons did not help us deal with emergency. Moves are stressful at their best and you hire a removal company to shift this stress to professionals. Robinsons made a tough situation even worse. Even if we simply misunderstood what Robinsons asserted they can do in respect of the couch, their abandonment of us during this crisis is unforgivable. Had they just supplied us with the names of upholsterers in our region that would be useful and positive. All we got was stonewalling and silence.

Furthermore, in their materials, Robinsons boasts that they provide a “dedicated international move manager” although we never heard a word from ours. It would have also been nice if we didn’t have to chase Robinsons for the updated arrival date since the ship didn’t show on time. It came nearly two weeks late.

There were other problems but the bottom line is Robinsons failed to meet not just our most minimal expectations but even the promises made in their paper and online promotional materials. I can not recommend Robinsons and caution anyone who considers retaining them to get in writing all their promises.
Last edited by Diane on Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

Diane
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby Diane » Fri May 04, 2007 9:32 am

Re-posting recent comments on Crown Worldwide Moving & Storage with website www.crownworldwide.com posted by two customers moving things to NZ and the UK - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13461:
Patthekiwi wrote:4/30/07 - Hi - I used Crown to move from the states to NZ last year. I have a mixed review...
Evidently Crown sub-contracts a lot of its work. I moved in July '06. I shipped my stuff and Crown charged by the weigh of the shipment. My shipment was broken into between Ohio and Chicago. Although the break-in was reported to Crown, my shipment inventory wasn't checked and I was not notified until the shipment arrived in NZ about 6 weeks later - way too late to file any kind of meaningful police report. Over 1/3 of my shipment was stolen.

Where I feel Crown fell down on this job: 1) When Crown chose to charge me by the weight and then did not ship that weight and did not give me a discount or refund on my shipping, 2) When Crown knew that my container was broken into, knew that the contents had at least been rumaged through, and yet chose not to investgate, 3) When Crown chose not to tell me untill the shipment was received in New Zealand six weeks later, making it far to late for any police report of exact contents to make any sense at all, and 4) When Crown took until March to settle my claim, not offering to even pay interest (I contacted them bi-weekly from the beginning of December and literally got no replies most of the time).

I under-insured my shipment - my fault entirely. I strongly recommend that you make sure you have a complete - COMPLETE - inventory with values for each item and WHERE they are packed - I had packed some of my things and the packers re-packed them and although I had labelled each new box, I didn't keep a strict record of what was in them, just an overview. End result - I could not claim many things in the boxes as they weren't detailed on the packing sheets.

Now, I know this was an unusaly case - most of the time shipments are not broken into and things stolen - but how Crown handled it was disapointing to say the least. I told them I thought it was an ethical issue in that they charged me for a weight they did not ship, but they obviously saw it differently.

Good luck to all of you shipping - I would not ever want to do it again and would seriously consider selling all except the most precious of my things rather than shipping them again (not to worry - most of my precious things were in the stolen items anyway)! . . .

5/4/07 - I did get reimbursed, but it took over 6 months. It took 3 months to go through the negotiation with N.Z. Crown on what was taken and the value of these items and then after I had signed the settlement agreement and returned it, it took another 3 months - I called and emailed repeatedly, didn't get responses to my emails and was told after each phone call it would be a couple of days.

I had also asked U.S. Crown for a refund of 1/3 of my shipping costs because I was billed by weight and a third of my things were stolen. They knew they were stolen, had the opportunity to check the weight and revise my shipping fee and didn't. They said no. Again, their responses to my emails were incredibly slow.

At the same time, a co-worker used Crown to move from the UK to NZ and had such a bad experience that we are recommending to our company that Crown be dropped as our recommended mover.

roshan1 wrote:5/1/07 - Crown came and did a survey for me immediately - the guy John Falconi seemed very efficient - however inspite of them knowing I needed the quote by the end of last week so I could make my decision they still haven't quoted me so am dropping them entirely. John thought I could use my current packed boxes as they are leaving them open for inspection in case they needed to re-pack and listing of items. However the contact at Crown - Janet wanted to re-pack everything from scratch as they do not make money by using customer materials - having said all this still no quote. I followed up three times and was told they were really busy this time of the year.

Diane
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby Diane » Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:15 pm

Re-posting a rave review of Schumacher Cargo Logistics for moving a car from San Francisco to Moscow by AIR:
webstop wrote:6/6/07 - For the benefit of anyone interested I hereby report on positive experience with Schumacher Cargo Logistics.

I was moving a car from San Francisco to Moscow, Russia, by air. Schumacher Cargo Logistics did a very good job. The move was organized and performed within a very reasonable time and the car arrived without any problems or surprises.

Warren Barnes at their LA office was fast, responsive and always right to the point. I will gladly deal with him again. . . .

All together it took 8 days. The car was picked up from the point of sale in SF and moved to the customs on May 25th. 3 days for clearance. The flight from SF to Luxemburg took off on May 31 and on June 2 the car arrived to Moscow.

Flights from SF to Luxemburg to Frankfurt were performed by Cargolux, final leg to Moscow - by some other carrier. Actually, there was a little bit lucky situation of cargo space availablilty, as a result of which the car departed and arrived one day earlier, then initially scheduled. The only downside of that was that the car arrived earlier then the documents. . . .

The car I shipped was not a US car, it was a $350,000 worth Porsche Carrera GT. Russian buyer wanted it asap and asked to airship. . . . It is not easy to find a car like that with the required age, mileage, color etc. - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13908

Diane
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby Diane » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:09 pm

"joyful17" chose Andy's Transfer in Glendale, CA (a North American Van Lines agent) for her move from Los Angeles to Montreal, praising the estimator Kent Delaney for his thoroughness and patience. In 6/07, posting as "joyful18" (real name Joy), she gave a final report on her move. She said that although one Canadian customs inspector was difficult, Andy's was excellent as the origin agent for her 20,000-pound shipment and the driver, Gengiz Avci of Westmount Movers in Montreal, was also great. "This is to help anyone who wonders which moving companies give satisfaction in an International move.....since my experience was really good!":
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13419
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14111 (origin agent for move to Canada)

SevenSeasRippedMeOff
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby SevenSeasRippedMeOff » Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:17 pm

While I'm on my posting rant about getting screwed by Seven Seas Worldwide, I'll post here in the stickied thread for good measure:

Run from Seven Seas like the plague. I shipped my belongings from London back to the US. It took me a year and a half to get my stuff after they lost my paperwork. They never once called or mailed a letter the entire time! I received three email responses only over this time, with PDFs of the paperwork I was somehow supposed to fill out and email back. I had already mailed physical copies to London. Nothing. Nine months later I faxed my paperwork to the "American rep", secured proof and emailed it to them in London demanding acknowledgement of the receipt of my paperwork. Several months later I was informed they had received my paperwork, but I now had to pay SEVERAL HUNDRED ADDITIONAL POUNDS for the "storage" of my belongings over this time. Again, not a single call ever returned, ever. Not a single letter. Only three emails with PDFs that most people can't edit digitally. Over a year and a half. And then my belongings held hostage over additional payment, them knowing I can do nothing from another country except pay. How is this company still in business?

Diane
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby Diane » Sun Jul 29, 2007 8:06 am

Re-posting an excellent review of Wickman Worldwide for a completed move from IL to Germany:
mollyworldwide wrote: 7/25/07 - Hello, I am just getting around to leaving this review - 2 months since our household goods were sent from Champaign, IL to Hamburg, Germany and 3 weeks since our belongings were delivered.

I contracted our move with Wickman Worldwide and dealt almost entirely with Christy Wickman. Our origin was Champaign, IL and that local part of the move was through CHB Moving and Storage.

Christy worked with us so that we could pack our own belongings since it was a small shipment (800 lbs and just at 200 cubic feet when it was weighed and measured at CHB). We shipped only boxes with few fragile items and so we felt relatively comfortable packing ourselves. We were only able to insure the shipment for total loss, though. I understand this is standard for packed-by-owner shipments.

Throughout the process, Christy was responsive and, as it turns out, very straightforward and honest. We delivered our shipment to the warehouse in Champaign on the 24th of May. The guys were nice and they even wrapped a lone chair for us so that it would be protected.

We paid the invoice ($2210 for warehouse to door in Hamburg) and left two weeks later for Hamburg.

I was next contacted on the 18th of June by Rosebrock & Co in Bremen, Germany requesting a residency certificate (this is a special form you get in Germany certifying that you live at a particular address), a statement from someone official saying that we had lived outside of Germany for more than a year and a letter from us stating that we weren't shipping anything illegal. The statement about living outside of Germany for 1 year I assume is to prevent German nationals from importing loads of cheap what-have-you from abroad.

Our household goods cleared customs on the 26th and they were delivered on the 29th. Our apartment is on the 3rd floor by U.S. standards (2nd by German standards) and we paid no extra for delivery.

Absolutely everything came just as we packed it and even a few small pieces of china I sent came intact. After all of the awful stories I read on this sight, I was extremely relieved. 5 weeks warehouse to door for the quoted price and nothing broken - whew.

I would absolutely recommend all three movers and when we eventually leave Germany in a few years, I would contract with these folks again.

Thanks for all the information I got from this website and kudos to the website designers and maintainers - this has been a great resource.

Best,
mollyolaf (happily settled in Hamburg)

Movers we dealt with and contacts:

I don't remember the contact at CHB Moving & Storage
Christy Wickman at Wickman Worldwide Services
Frauke Tessmer at Wilhelm Rosebrock in Bremen -
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14416

Other positive comments on Wickman Worldwide (freight forwarder) are posted here - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 9106#79106

jatvb
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby jatvb » Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:27 pm

I might be moving back to South Africa from the US and want some advise on things I must be on the alert for from moving companies. Also if somebody recently moved back to South Africa I would like to compare the quotes I get with what you can provide me.

Thank you,

jat

vanreis
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby vanreis » Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:28 am

Just moved from Vancouver,BC to Bay Area California with excellent results.

Used Atlas Vanlines, with Highland-Summit Moving out of Langley BC for the Vancouver packing, and ACE relocation for the California end.

http://www99.epinions.com/content_406634466948

Diane
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby Diane » Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:50 pm

There is a negative review by "lotus99v8" alleging overcharging by University Van Lines for a large shipment from NJ to Hawaii in 8/07 - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14954
The poster was happy with Wickman Worldwide as the forwarder. I am not re-posting the whole exchange because of its length but people considering using University for international shipments might want to look at that thread and make their own judgment about what happened. Ed Wickman posted in defense of University.

farrah7031
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby farrah7031 » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:55 pm

Reposting an excellent review for A & A Transfer and Storage/Unigroup Worldwide for a completed move from Ft. Walton Beach, FL to Sydney, Australia:
terri888 wrote:Hi everyone, I thought it would be helpful for all of you still going through the awful process of international moving to hear my story from start to finish.

My family moved from Florida in July 07 to Sydney Australia. I found this forum after trying to find a decent quote on the internet - not very successful - but I was successful in finding out who not to use via this forum. I was advised to start with well known trucking companies in my local yellow pages. That is what I did, I called several and had at least 5-6 inhouse quotes done before we compared quotes and services and chose a moving company.

We settled on Unigroup Worldwide - they are the parent company for both United Van Lines and Mayflower. I dealt directly with Steve Wojtowicz
Internet Sales
Registered International Mover
ISO 2001 Certified
Unigroup Worldwide/UTS
Ph: 636-405-1328
800-283-9920
Fax: 636-405-1862
E-mail: steve_wojtowicz@unigroupworldwide.com

whom I was very impressed with, he answered all emails promptly and was happy to answer as many "stupid" questions as I threw at him. He quoted on a 20ft container with door to door delivery. His quote was $9068 USD, I added insurance to that and included elec malfunction also. The end amount that I paid including insurance was $10,053.40 so I was more than happy with the finished amount.

My shipment was loaded professionally on July 20 and left the following Saturday by sea. It did not arrive in Sydney until October 25th - a very long slow boat I believe.

I was contacted by the shipping agent in Sydney and told of its arrival, Australian Quarantine had to inspect the shipment - that cost me $440 AUD (extra) and they seized some Christmas decorations that apparently had pine cones in them (who knew??) and I paid $74 for them to destroy them. Australian Customs then cleared my shipment for release (without inspection - apparently a great majority of shipments are released in this fashion based on the inventory supplied by the shipping company) - I received delivery Nov 12th and am now happy in our new home.

I am happy I took out the extra electrical malfunction insurance as one of my computers is not working and also a transformer that I brought to work some US appliances. I am in the process of submitting a claim with the insurance company on that one. Apart from that I had only minor breakages of stuff we packed ourselves (coffee cups, one picture frame etc).

I was able to track my shipment via Steve in the US and email, which was great, it is a very unsettling feeling knowing that all your "stuff" is out there sailing around somewhere and hoping you have made all the right choices. All in all it has been a long, long process but Unigroup certainly delivered what they promised and kept me clearly informed.

If anyone has questions regarding the process I would be happy to let you know of my experiences, not that I am an expert, but I can let you know what our experience has been in this particular move.

Thanks to all the helpful people on the forum and I am happy to recommend Unigroup Worldwide as a prospective international mover.

terri888 wrote:Mayflower Agent was A & A Transfer & Storage Inc from Ft Walton Beach FL 32547 850 244 7661 - turned up on time, packed everything so well I thought they actually overdid it! The agent in Sydney was Chess Moving/Hanley's Removals 02 9671 8400 - kept me informed of every delay and how things were progressing.

http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15194
Last edited by farrah7031 on Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ArchieWhite
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby ArchieWhite » Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:24 pm

Once again, the word 'Allied' is used when a person actually means to say, 'United'. I don't know how many times I have noticed that in the past, once even at a 'United' convention, the highly paid guest speaker made that same gaffe.

Anyway, just clearing it up, Unigroup is the parent of United and Mayflower, not Allied and Mayflower.....

farrah7031
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby farrah7031 » Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:25 pm

Sorry Archie. I did clarify that in the original post. I'll edit this post to reflect the correction.

heyfrito
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby heyfrito » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:53 am

I can actually give information on a few companies:

The Good:
- Rainier Overseas
- ITO (http://www.itomoversinternational.com/)


The Bad AND the Ugly:
- Global Ocean Freight (global-oceanfreight.com)

based on my latest experience. I hope it can add to the info so people can make an informed decision when looking for an international mover.

I recently moved with my wife from Wisconsin (nearest metro area Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN.) to Nuremberg Germany. Initially I had contacted a company called Global Ocean Freight operating out of Florida. We chose them because they quoted us the lowest price. Needless to say this was before we stumbled upon movingscam.com. Our stuff was scheduled to be picked up the weekend before we flew. We attempted to push the pick up date further ahead but our agent, Dana at Global Ocean, assured us it would be no problem to meet our anticipated pick up date and we wouldn't be faced with flying to Germany before our stuff got picked up. The moving date was approaching and some of our calls weren't being returned and our inquiries not addressed. After a number of phone calls for each concerned we would eventually get a 'everything is in order' type of generic response and that's that. When our moving date finally arrived we were informed the truck to pick our stuff up had broken down and after a day filled with telephoning came to the realization that Global Ocean would not pick our stuff up before we our flight to Germany. My wife got 'a feeling' (thank god she did) and we did a search for Global Ocean on the internet which brought us to this website. This naturally caused a sinking feeling in our guts. We were actually fortunate for the breakdown I suppose because we dodged a bullet by finding out about the shady practices of Global Ocean BEFORE they actually had our stuff. I called them and told them not to bother picking our stuff up afterall. I'd found this website and they were listed as an untrustworthy company that was involved in moving scams. The lady was speechless for a minute and then just said okay, we'll issue you a refund shortly. Well, we never did get a refund of our deposit but I guess that's a small price to pay compared to some of the horror stories on this forum.

So... we called all the companies recommended in this forum: Southern Winds, Rainier, Stevens and Sterling as well as Graebel. Our deadline was short. We were leaving in 2 days when I started calling and naturally we were stressed. We moved all of our stuff into a storage unit and had to organize the bulk of the move from overseas.

Everyone was relatively friendly that we called with the exception of Sterling who didn't even bother to return any of our telephone calls or emails. Rainier however quoted us a better price than anyone else (significantly better) after doing an inspection (Graebel and Southern Winds also did an inspection) and was infinitely more concerned with what I wanted and how they could accommodate our wishes.

Rich Haas (richh@rainieros.com) was great and responsive and always kept us up to date on everything even though we were already in Germany. The pick up went flawlessly (though we did need to have relatives available at the storage unit to oversee the pickup, luckily we had an aunt and uncle in the area) the shipment took longer than expected by nearly two weeks but I can't fault Rainier for that (altogether it was about 6 weeks door to door). The company that Rainier hired to deliver on this side (ITO) was also more than fantastic. Not ONE item was damaged or missing, not a single one. The movers were very friendly and punctual to within 5 minutes of their delivery time estimate even though they hauled everything from Bremen to Nuremberg (an overnight drive) during a snow storm to do it.

ITO's moving crew also reassembled the furniture that we asked them too without any complaints and did so very quickly. We had a relatively small move, everything fit into a small apartment, but it went swimmingly considering that it had to be organized from Germany and documents needed to be sent and signed and all that fun stuff (everything was handled through telephone, email and fax).

All in all, we lost our deposit from the first company we contacted (Global Ocean) and paid more than we'd hoped, but in retrospect we paid a very fair price in the end, we'd hoped to get away with paying an unrealistic price at first, but it's true what they say, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware of unrealistically low prices is all I can say after this experience. I can not recommend Rainier and Rich Haas enough. Rich always followed up with me to give me progress reports even if I didn't explicitly ask for one and was willing to do everything we asked of them. We didn't have to repack in Wisconsin before the pickup which was something we expected to have to do and expected to have to pay a good amount more for that service so that was nice as well. The quote that Rainier gave was almost a thousand less than the next lowest bid so cost was also outstanding overall.

I would absolutely go with Rainier again if I ever had to do another overseas move my experience was really top notch.

If anyone out there is considering Rainier and has any questions about them please feel free to contact me I'd be happy to give more information if I have it.

Thanks,
Andy :)

Diane
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby Diane » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:41 am

Thanks, Andy - I re-posted your excellent review in the Rainier review post. For those interested, this is your earlier post - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14743 Glad it worked out so well and I hope the deposit you lost wasn't too large.


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