ABF Update - Seattle to Florida

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Jake
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:25 pm

ABF Update - Seattle to Florida

Postby Jake » Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:29 pm


After seeing the positive feedback at epinoins.com, we felt ABF (U-PACK MOVING) would be the best choice for us. ABF was NOT the least expensive mover we contacted and we liked the idea of packing our own things and locking the bulkhead that would separate our load from the other commercial loads we would be traveling with along the way. We also liked the idea of someone else driving. Things mentioned above are the positives of moving with ABF. Now for the rest of the story :::

ABF quoted us a price of $3,400. - $3,700. (up to 16L feet)

Final cost to us: $4,094.00 (15L feet) We were unable to be there when they picked up the trailer as they were running behind. We did not complain as they agreed to deliver the trailer to our front door instead of us having to do a transfer at the Tampa terminal.

ABF assured us a delivery time of 6-8 business days (not including weekends).

Trailer arrived 19 days later (running behind again).

Other problems:

* TRAILER - Trailer was not clean upon arrival (before packing). Driver told us to sweep it out.

* BULKHEAD - Could not remove the bulkhead and after one hour of frustration, we called the Tampa terminal and asked them to please send someone out to help us. The dispatcher told us this is a common issue and they had no one to come and help us. He said we could SAW it off or BREAK IT off (these are 4" thick metal bars?) The movers we hired finally were able to knock it down after another 40 minutes of trying.

* WATER - some of our boxes were pretty soggy and we could not figure out why. We realized that the top of the trailer is not solid at all, although upon first glance, it appears to be. Nothing was damaged beyond repair from the water, just very soggy.

* SPIDERS!!! - We are not sure of which states our trailer went through. Upon unloading, the movers asked where we were from and said there were spiders on the bottom of the dressers. Upon further investigation, we found there was a hole in the truck floor right under one dresser. We are still unpacking and finding more spiders. We decided not to bring anything into the house until we check it over thoroughly. We had the movers put everything in the garage.

In closing, I suppose I would have to say that YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! Would we use ABF again? My husband says yes, I say 'MAYBE'. I suppose no moving experience is perfect. If not for the spiders, I would say we would absolutly use them in the future.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: ABF Update - Seattle to Florida

Postby Diane » Sat Jul 24, 2004 12:37 am

Hi, Julia,

I can't say that I'm overjoyed to read some of this, but just to put it in perspective, you did say that a full-service mover would have cost you at least $5,000, right? And $400 of the extra money that ABF charged you over the quoted price was for home delivery of the trailer in an area of Florida where people normally have to pick their things up at a terminal.

To me, the most serious problem you mention is not the spiders (although they were obviously annoying) but the apparently leaky roof or at least heavy condensation. How could the boxes be soggy and still you had no damage to your things? Did the roof actually have holes in it?

The ABF spokeswoman that I am in contact with told me that delays have been bad this summer, and especially in Florida. She said that one reason, aside from the usual summer crunch, is that not many people leave Florida. They retire there, for example, and never leave. There's a lot of cargo moving in and not much moving out. When you say it took 19 days for the trailer to arrive, that includes weekends, right?

I had trouble removing my bulkhead as well. Supposedly the newer ones are easier to remove. Did you have the newer side-by-side type or the older top-and-bottom type, which is what I had? ABF needs to convert them all to the newer type.

Also, another lesson I take from your experience is that it's probably a good idea to be prepared with a tarp for the trailer floor if necessary. My floor was clean and had no holes, but some of the trailers may be older.

All in all, a mixed bag. I remember that Kara, also, made the remark that "You get what you pay for." People going into an ABF move should realize that it is bare-bones moving and they are accepting a certain amount of risk in return for saving some money. Why do you think your husband was a little more positive about the experience than you were? Was it the guy thing--not minding the spiders so much and relishing the adventure aspect more?

Jake
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:25 pm

Re: ABF Update - Seattle to Florida

Postby Jake » Sat Jul 24, 2004 5:09 am

Diane wrote:
$400 of the extra money that ABF charged you over the quoted price was for home delivery of the trailer in an area of Florida where people normally have to pick their things up at a terminal. NO. The $400.00 was included the second quote via phonecall to Tampa. It was the space we used, which was actually less than we had the quote for.[/color]

To me, the most serious problem you mention is not the spiders (although they were obviously annoying) but the apparently leaky roof or at least heavy condensation. How could the boxes be soggy and still you had no damage to your things? Did the roof actually have holes in it? [color=indigo] Actually the spiders are more than just annoying. We had to unload EVERYTHING into the garage not knowing if they are poison or not is another added worry. There were no visible holes in the roof, but obviously there was a leak somewhere. The soggy boxes were mainly linens and kitchen items, with the exception of our DVD box and I had wrapped the actual DVD in bubble wrap which saved it.

When you say it took 19 days for the trailer to arrive, that includes weekends, right? Yes, that includes weekends. I just felt that 19 days was a bit much since we were quoted 6-8 business days.

I had trouble removing my bulkhead as well. Supposedly the newer ones are easier to remove. Did you have the newer side-by-side type or the older top-and-bottom type, which is what I had? ABF needs to convert them all to the newer type. I agree 100%. They need to come up with a bulkhead that is much easier to install and remove. We had the one that sits on top of the other.
Also, another lesson I take from your experience is that it's probably a good idea to be prepared with a tarp for the trailer floor if necessary. My floor was clean and had no holes, but some of the trailers may be older.

All in all, a mixed bag. I remember that Kara, also, made the remark that "You get what you pay for." People going into an ABF move should realize that it is bare-bones moving and they are accepting a certain amount of risk in return for saving some money. EXACTLY! I'm not so sure we really saved that much money in the long run. We had to buy air matresses, chairs to sit on, towells, TV, phone and everything else we needed that was on the truck. Ok, so we didn't NEED the TV, but we got one anyway. With the $$$ we spent on extras, we could have paid for a full mover.

IMP
Posts: 1034
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 4:36 pm

Re: ABF Update - Seattle to Florida

Postby IMP » Sat Jul 24, 2004 7:08 am

Jake, Diane, or anyone who can answer:

If ABF is a full week late (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that there are 4 days of weekends in an 8 business day spread) do they have nothing in their agreement about delays and compensation? I'm not saying hotel stays at the Ritz with room service for 3 squares a day, but something for air mattresses, towels, telephone, maybe mac 'n cheese - just lifes necessities.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: ABF Update - Seattle to Florida

Postby Diane » Sat Jul 24, 2004 10:29 am

I just want to be sure what happened before going to the ABF lady with this. Julia, in your original post (see the sticky at the top of the messageboard), you said the following based on ABF's quote:

Jake wrote:ABF U-Pack Moving Quote price is based on 16 linear feet for $3,544.00. Minimum charge is $3,019.00 if we use less space. Additional space over 16 is $175.00 per l/ft. Ramp rental is $75.00 and does not go to the final destination. They will drop off the 29 ft. trailer 2 days prior to departure and guarantee final delivery 7-9 working days (Mon-Fri + Holidays) to terminal.


Then you posted that ABF was going to make an exception and turn the truck around to bring it to your house for an extra $400. So, $3,544 plus $400 would have been $3,944, but you paid $4,094, a difference of $150 which would be accounted for by the two ramps if you used the ramps.

Did ABF in fact increase the price over its original quote as stated above? If so, that would be very serious so I just want to be clear on this.

Did you use less than 16 linear feet? If so, based on its original quote the company should have subtracted $175 for each linear foot that you didn't use.

I agree with IMP that the company should do something to compensate you for the delayed delivery and the expenses you incurred as a result, as well as the apparently leaky roof. You said in your original post (above) that they guaranteed final delivery 7-9 working days door to terminal. Although the trailer was delivered to your home rather than to the terminal, the delivery spread shouldn't have been 19 days (actually 13 working days if we subtract weekends).

That is 4 working days more than what ABF guaranteed (13 minus 9)--or 3 working days more, depending on how you figure it--anyway, it was too long a delay. From reviewing your earlier posts, I see that the trailer was picked up on Thursday July 1st, so I'm thinking that it was delivered on Monday July 19th, i.e. last Monday. Is that right?

Once you look at this and verify that what I have said is correct, I will bring this to ABF's attention on Monday. I'm really sorry that you didn't have a better experience. I have posted everything you said (all your posts) in our ABF thread so that people can see what you went through.

Jake
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:25 pm

Re: ABF Update - Seattle to Florida

Postby Jake » Sun Jul 25, 2004 4:18 pm

Diane wrote:


Did you use less than 16 linear feet? If so, based on its original quote the company should have subtracted $175 for each linear foot that you didn't use.
This is the problem (as I stated in my first update post) ... We DID NOT USE THE ENTIRE 16L ft, and since we were unable to be there when they picked up the trailer and took the final measurment, we did not see how it was measured. We measured out 16 feet and put tape lines at the 16ft mark on the walls to make sure they did not pack anything beyond that point. When they were done packing the trailer, I measured from the tape to the first box and it was just under 2 feet. In my estimation, we used 14ft and maybe 2 inches, but there is no way we used the entire 16ft. How can I prove this now? I can't.

I agree with IMP that the company should do something to compensate you for the delayed delivery and the expenses you incurred as a result, as well as the apparently leaky roof. You said in your original post (above) that they guaranteed final delivery 7-9 working days door to terminal. Although the trailer was delivered to your home rather than to the terminal, the delivery spread shouldn't have been 19 days (actually 13 working days if we subtract weekends).
I was told over the phone that it was 6-8 working days.
That is 4 working days more than what ABF guaranteed (13 minus 9)--or 3 working days more, depending on how you figure it--anyway, it was too long a delay. From reviewing your earlier posts, I see that the trailer was picked up on Thursday July 1st, so I'm thinking that it was delivered on Monday July 19th, i.e. last Monday. Is that right?
YES. Also, the driver made the comment that they were ONE WEEK LATE. HE said, "Oh, I see this was supposed to be here last Monday?"

Once you look at this and verify that what I have said is correct, I will bring this to ABF's attention on Monday. I'm really sorry that you didn't have a better experience. I have posted everything you said (all your posts) in our ABF thread so that people can see what you went through.


I DO NOT SEE ABF AS BEING SCAMMERS OR CROOKS AT ALL! The people of ABF were ALL very friendly and helpful. The drivers were real nice, the dispatcher was trying to be as helpful as possible about the bulkhead problem. I am not complaining about ABF ... only telling of our experience. I suppose I should have said right up front when they were getting ready to charge our cc that we did not use the entire 16ft, but since there was no way to prove it, I didn't say anything. The biggest annoyance FOR ME was the spiders and having to go out and buy things to be able to stay in our new house. Also, one important fact I left out and cannot stress enough is to COVER YOUR FURNITURE with PLASTIC!!! Our furniture is ruined because we did not take the time to cover it well. Do not just put blankets/tarps down. Wrap it and then tape the wrap so it is totally secure.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: ABF Update - Seattle to Florida

Postby Diane » Sun Jul 25, 2004 5:19 pm

Julia, thanks for the clarification. I'm going to try to help out. Please don't get mad at me, because I am on your side, OK?

I gather that you agree that ABF held to its quote on the cost of the move except that they should have charged you less because you used one less linear foot of space. They didn't do this, and since you weren't there when they picked up the trailer, you couldn't point out to them that you used less footage. I don't know what, if anything, ABF can do about that at this point. I'm not saying they can't do anything, but it might be difficult because they would be opening the floodgates to a whole lot of people who are less honest than you and who might claim something that isn't true. I guess the lesson is that people should try their best to be present when the trailer is picked up. In my case the driver jumped up into the trailer and verified that we had used 5 linear feet and then he marked it on the Bill of Lading.

I understand that the estimated time of arrival of your trailer was (on the official paperwork that you quoted in your first post) 7-9 business days after pickup and (unofficially, according to what was said to you on the phone) 6-8 business days after pickup. You also say that the driver who delivered the trailer told you that it was supposed to have been delivered on Monday, July 12, rather than a week later. ABF does try to protect itself by giving only estimated times of arrival on the Bill of Lading (at least, this is what my own Bill of Lading says). However, I agree with you that you experienced a significant delay for which you should be compensated and I hope that the company will see it that way too, especially since you were inconvenienced by having to buy air mattresses, chairs, towels, and so on.

With regard to the water damage, in your first post on this thread you mentioned soggy boxes and when I asked why there wasn't more damage, you said:
The soggy boxes were mainly linens and kitchen items, with the exception of our DVD box and I had wrapped the actual DVD in bubble wrap which saved it.

But in your last post you say, "Our furniture is ruined because we did not take the time to cover it well." Ruined furniture is different from soggy boxes of linens and kitchen items, and much more serious. You might want to make a list of the furniture items that had water damage and photograph the damage, if possible. I don't know what ABF does in a case like this, but they may be able to do something.

With regard to covering furniture, I am wondering whether shrink wrap would protect it adequately against this kind of thing or whether it would make things worse by trapping any moisture underneath. Maybe somebody will jump in to advise me.

Did you have to pay extra to the unloading people for the time they wasted trying to remove the bulkhead?

Thanks for saying that the drivers and dispatcher were nice and that you aren't complaining about ABF. As I said, I am going to bring this to the attention of the ABF woman that I am touch with and hopefully she will be able to do something to compensate you, at least for the delivery delay. Again, I am very sorry that you had these problems.

Jake
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:25 pm

Re: ABF Update - Seattle to Florida

Postby Jake » Sun Jul 25, 2004 9:11 pm

Diane wrote:Julia, thanks for the clarification. I'm going to try to help out. Please don't get mad at me, because I am on your side, OK?
Diane ~ I did not mean to give the impression that I was upset at you about anything .... I appreciate all your responses, though I'm not sure what anyone would be able to do in this matter.

I gather that you agree that ABF held to its quote on the cost of the move except that they should have charged you less because you used one less linear foot of space. <snip> I guess the lesson is that people should try their best to be present when the trailer is picked up.
YES, I agree that the quote was accurate with the exception of 22 inches of unused space. If there had been anyway possible to be present when they picked up the trailer, we would have been there. Once we had everything packed up and ready to roll, we needed to leave as we had our 2 cats waiting in the car plus a hotel reservation 200 miles away and it was getting late. I do agree that if possible, the person should be there when they pick up the trailer.


I understand that the estimated time of arrival of your trailer was (on the official paperwork that you quoted in your first post) 7-9 business days after pickup and (unofficially, according to what was said to you on the phone) 6-8 business days after pickup. You also say that the driver who delivered the trailer told you that it was supposed to have been delivered on Monday, July 12, rather than a week later. <snip> CORRECT

However, I agree with you that you experienced a significant delay for which you should be compensated and I hope that the company will see it that way too, especially since you were inconvenienced by having to buy air mattresses, chairs, towels, and so on.

With regard to the water damage, in your first post on this thread you mentioned soggy boxes and when I asked why there wasn't more damage, you said:
The soggy boxes were mainly linens and kitchen items, with the exception of our DVD box and I had wrapped the actual DVD in bubble wrap which saved it.

But in your last post you say, "Our furniture is ruined because we did not take the time to cover it well." Ruined furniture is different from soggy boxes of linens and kitchen items, and much more serious. <snip>

NOT THE FAULT OF ABF. The furniture became BLACK from the floor and walls. The couches should have been fully wrapped and taped to insure complete protection.

Did you have to pay extra to the unloading people for the time they wasted trying to remove the bulkhead? NO. The movers had a minimum charge and it only took them 2 hours to unload so it was within the time frame. We also helped them unload as it was raining and we wanted to get it done as fast as possible.

Thanks for saying that the drivers and dispatcher were nice and that you aren't complaining about ABF. As I said, I am going to bring this to the attention of the ABF woman that I am in touch with and hopefully she will be able to do something to compensate you, at least for the delivery delay. Again, I am very sorry that you had these problems.


Thanks Diane ... We certainly appreciate the help! 8)


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