Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAmeric

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Guest

Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAmeric

Postby Guest » Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:15 pm

After having several companies recommended to me on this site and going with Andy's Tranfer & Storage in Glendale, CA, I was asked to post my experience here after my move from Pasadena, CA to Atlanta, GA. Thankfully, I don't have any sort of disaster story like a lot of those on this site and other sites. But as is probably the case with most people who do an out-of-state move, my experience was not pleasant. My main piece of advice to folks contemplating a move would be to wrap and protect your stuff expecting that it will be turned upside down and thrown around like it was luggage on a plane. Buy a ton of bubble wrap.

Originally, I got a large quote of $5,300 from Town & Country in Azusa. It included a private truck and supposedly a guaranteed 7 day delivery. The next quote I got was from Andy's Transfer & Storage, recommended on this site by several past customers. They work with NorthAmerican, who do the actual moving. The guy who gave the estimate, Kent Delaney, had been in the business forever and was very professional. His estimate was $4200 for 7-9 days. Kent, among numerous suggestions, said I should pack fragile things and have NorthAmerican ship them instead of taking them in my car. I'm glad I didn't take that suggestion. He said that NorthAmerican does a very good, professional job, but I doubt he had seen the movers who delivered our stuff in action. When I called his office to agree to the estimate, his assistant informed me that it would be 9-12 days for the above price, not 7-9. I called another company Gemini, but they told me over the phone that the price and amount of days would be about the same. I had a hard time getting in touch with Beverly Hills Moving Company, as their guy seemed very busy. These were the only comapnies I had heard good things about after thorough research. So, my wife and I decided we could sleep in sleeping bags for a few days.

The team of three who picked up our stuff were very professional and careful with everything. I was very impressed by them. When we arrived in Atlanta, I called and found out that it would take the maximum amount of days, 12, for our stuff to arrive. I guess I should have expected that, but I'm a little too optimistic sometimes. But the guys that delivered our stuff were not professional at all. The fellow who was in charge was like a big kid. The other two spoke barely any English. So, when we told them to be careful because our walls were newly painted, I guess they didn't understand us because they immediately scuffed up our walls moving boxes through the hallway. They also didn't seem to understand the word "fragile," which was written in red very clearly on a number of our boxes. One guy would put boxes on a dolly, often with my record collection or some other box marked fragile on the bottom. I repeatedly pointed this out and the big kid would it explain it to them in Spanish and they would move it. But the other two guys never seemed to be able to figure out the concept of "fragile." I don't think one needs to speak English fluently to be a mover, but the concept of "fragile" should be explained during some sort of training. When they brought in our antique, dinner table, our nicest piece of furniture, it was broken and splintered in one corner. After moving all of our stuff in, they asked us to go on the truck and see if there was anything left of ours on there. There we saw somebody else's stuff packed up in the back of the truck straight to the roof. This may have been all of somebody's possesions packed haphazardly on top of each other 11 feet high. It made us wonder what our stuff had been through. Fuck NorthAmerican. You shouldn't pack peoples' stuff that way. It was a sobering sight. We had really packed our stuff well with tons of cardboard and bubble wrap, so nothing else major was broken. But I would give credit to us, not the mover. I think we were very lucky that they didn't break more of our stuff.

I filed a claim with NorthAmerican, who only owed us 60 cents per pound. I hadn't gotten more insurance with them because my renter's insurance policy said they would cover us for up to $4600 when moving. NorthAmerican got back to us pretty quick and said they would give us $66 for the table, but nothing for the walls because I hadn't included this damage on the form when the movers left. I hadn't noticed the bit about property damage on the form and had thought the form was just about inventory that was damaged. I called them about this and they said that if it's not on the form when the movers leave, they can't cover it. If your boxes are filled with stuff that they broke after they leave, I imagine they wouldn't cover that. Again, fuck NorthAmerican. Don't trust your stuff with them. I haven't received their check yet, though it hasn't been that long. Because my insurance policy includes a deductible, we'll likely end up paying for the table ourselves.

I thoroughly researched moving companies before I left and Andy's had a very good reputation. But who knows what movers will show up, the very professional guys or the guys who don't understand "fragile."

If there's anyway you can move your own stuff and hire some guys to help you move it, that might be a way to avoid having your stuff destroyed. Otherwise, it's likely you'll have a bad experience.

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

Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby Diane » Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:51 pm

Adam,

I'm very, very sorry that this happened. "Fragile" is spelled almost the same ("fragil") in Spanish, so I would assume that the helpers not only couldn't speak English but also couldn't read. Drivers have said that it's hard to find good workers for loading and unloading in Atlanta, and in the summer I'm sure the supply dwindles even more. (Not an excuse, just a comment.)

It's very important to understand that Andy's Transfer is not in any way at fault for what happened to your shipment. As I've said many times, the booking agent loses almost all control of the move once the shipment goes onto a van line truck. That's why I incessantly advise people to seek a company that will self-haul the shipment using its own truck and driver. Most of the time, the van line drivers do a pretty good job. But there are exceptions like this, especially at the height of the summer season when resources are stretched to the limit.

Van line agent sales reps and owners have expressed a lot of frustration to me about their inability to control the outcome of a move regardless of how good a job they have done on the origin end. Example:
It makes you sick to your stomach when a move goes sour. Invariably it happens on those bookings you don't self haul......driver and crew have no physical ties to the agency, and in some/many cases don't care what impression they give/leave, or what kind of service they provide or don't provide. No doubt about it, very, very tough industry.

Again, sorry . . . but I urge people not to blame Andy's for the inadequacy of the van line driver and helpers. It could have happened to almost any company, and with any van line. The Andy's part of the move was the "very professional" sales rep (Kent) and the three people who picked up the shipment, who you described as "very professional and careful with everything. I was very impressed by them." People should not rule out Andy's because of this move.

Guest

Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby Guest » Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:04 am

Hi Diane,
Really, you have nothing to be sorry about. Thanks for all the info you provide on this site. Our move didn't go so badly, especially compared to many other stories I've read.

However, I'm not sure that I would say Andy's is completely not at fault. They work exclusively with NorthAmerican, so it seems to me that someone doing an out-of-state move could end up with the same inexperienced guys scuffing up their walls and such. I assume it's NorthAmerican's policy to pile people's belongings 11 feet high in their trucks. I don't believe these movers were picked up in Atlanta. They called us a couple of days before arriving and the three seemed to be pals. I read a bunch of awful reviews of NorthAmerican on the RateItAll site.

So even if the people from Andy's handle everything professionally (I don't know who it is that packs the truck), once the folks from NorthAmerican take over, it's a crapshoot as to how your stuff will arrive. Once you get to the claim form, Andy's isn't involved anymore. I wouldn't trust my belongings with them again. I agree that it is better to have a company with good references who handles the whole thing themselves.

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

Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby Diane » Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:25 am

I agree. You said it better than I could have.

Sometimes agencies are more-or-less locked into affiliations with certain van lines. I may be wrong, but I believe that it is extremely expensive to change van line affiliations. Some van lines that used to be top-notch may not be so top-notch any more. Even the strongest van line (which I consider to be United) has had some bad moves recorded here.

All this is why this website recommends that people move themselves if they possibly can. Next best (in my opinion) is choosing a company that will self-haul using its own truck and driver. Delancey and Moovers, for example, send two drivers on every truck so there is at least SOME labor available for unloading on long-distance moves.

For those interested in the runup to this move, here is Adam's prior thread:
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9039

Ruges
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Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby Ruges » Thu Sep 14, 2006 4:22 pm

What was your weight, line hual, and discount lvl?

Also this sounds like a CRT move. which means the orgin agent loads your belongings onto a frieght type trailer. A frieght company then huals it across the country and then the destination agent unloads it.

Atlanta also has horrible help (notice which agents are there) Sure they have some good workers. But they are only average and think they are the best.
Ruges

BigLeeCalif
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Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby BigLeeCalif » Thu Sep 14, 2006 6:06 pm

One thing I don't hear mentioned.

Property damage is not the same as cargo damage, and is a separate claim.

If you were moving from a residence, your claim should be directly with the van line, because PL/PD damage is charged directly to the van operator's policy. I don't know if the NAVL drivers use vanliner or not.

Don't let them tell you that the damage to the walls had to be on the inventories, because those are for cargo claims only.

Question is did you point out the damage to the driver?

The other thing is you can look in the yellow pages and find a damage appraiser and have him come out and make a determination on how the damage occured, and take pictures. Mind you, this is a service you wil have to pay for, but add the cost of the appraisal to your claim. If you have the drivers name and van number on your paperwork, include it.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

Guest

Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby Guest » Thu Sep 14, 2006 8:42 pm

I don't think we pointed out the damage to the driver at the time. I was hoping we could clean up the walls and they would be fine, which wasn't the case. There was a thing on a form I signed about property damage, but I didn't see it until the claim person pointed it out over the phone. She didn't mention anything about a seperate claim form. They basically just said they wouldn't pay for it. I don't think I will get anything out of them, unless somebody who checks out this site knows somebody in their claims department. And probably even then, they couldn't do anything about it because this company is crooked and doesn't want to pay for the damage they cause.

Guest

Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:06 pm

I just wanted to add that our insurance company, AAA (The Automobile Club) ripped us off worse than NorthAmerican. Since, I had moved several times this year, I had called AAA on three occasions to make sure we were covered and each time they told me that we were covered. In the last call, I was told that when we moved all of our stuff, we were covered up to $4000 or so. So, I didn't take out other insurance. When I made my claim, they told me, all of a sudden, that I was not covered for moving related damage and the agent listed all of things I was covered for, which included volcanos. AAA has said they won't cover anything, despite having had 3 agents previously tell me we were covered. Avoid them.

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

Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby Diane » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:04 pm

This underlines something that I can't stress too much. We have never found a homeowner's or renter's policy that covers breakage, scratches, dents, and rubs - the things that are most likely to happen to your items when you move. Such policies cover catastrophes such as fire, flood, and theft of the whole trailer, but the moving company ALSO is required to carry insurance that covers such perils, so there is duplicate coverage for such things if people also have homeowner's or renter's policies.

Do not believe anybody who tells you that your homeowner's or renter's policy will protect against breakage, scratches, dents, and rubs unless you see it on the Declarations page of the policy. The only possible exception we have ever heard about (and even then, we haven't seen the policy) is that a couple of people have posted that USAA insurance covers such events, but USAA is available only to military people.

Jim
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Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby Jim » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:26 pm

When I read your initial post indicating that your renter's insurance would cover your moving costs, I knew immediately someone gave you really bad advice. Many on the site would have been able to tell you there is not a real insurance policy available for the average consumer that covers your belongings in a move. As you already stated, the moving company will cover your items in case of a catastrophic loss, and when I did work for a mover, we had trailers catch fire - destroying the trailer and all the contents. In those cases, the mover will cover you for at least the undepreciated value of the items lost as a result of the catastrophe.

This topic is a sore point for consumers because they often mistake valuation for insurance and think that by getting full valuation on your items from the carrier - you would be duplicating coverage you may already have. It isn't duplicative. Paying the extra valuation is money well spent toward protecting your goods.

farrah7031
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Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby farrah7031 » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:37 pm

I just wanted to note that in my case, my insurance company would have paid out up to $27000 (my Allstate renters insurance policy maximum) had I not found my goods and got them back. That's a lot different than them paying for damages, but I wanted to mention this scenario also.

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

Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby Diane » Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:18 pm

Good point, Farrah - that would be similar to theft of the whole trailer.

Jim, the scammers have (duplicitously or not) fostered this myth by telling people to "check with your homeowner's or renter's insurance" to see whether they need to buy "additional" coverage from the likes of www.MovingInsurance.com. Most if not all of the scammers do not sell valuation coverage - they cover people's belongings (if at all) for only 60 cents a pound for interstate moves. Since many such companies are just brokers that don't move goods in the first place, they probably couldn't qualify to sell valuation coverage or insurance anyway and that's why they simply refer people to MovingInsurance.com.

A good way for people to think about whether they would be covered by homeowner's or renter's insurance if something happened to their belongings during a move is to ask themselves, "Would I be covered for such and such an event (fire, breakage, etc.) if it happened when the items were in my own home?" If the answer is "no," then people should strongly consider buying true valuation coverage from the moving company.

MusicMom
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Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby MusicMom » Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:52 pm

Also notice that some movers put different amounts for the valuation on their Bill Of Lading. The standard is 60 cents per pounds, but some say they offer 10 cents per pound, and once the customer signs the BOL (not knowing any better), they have contractually agreed to that miniscule coverage.

Jim
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Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:42 pm
Location: Sunny Southern California

Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby Jim » Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:11 am

MM, my impression was that $0.10 valuation is commonly associated with commercial freight carriers; that what I was offered as I was negotiating a new tariff with our current freight shipper and the rep told me that was pretty standard fare for the freight industry.

Diane, I think a great lesson here is if your mover won't offer a full replacement value (for an additional fee) on your move for goods damaged in transport, then find someone else. $0.60/lb. valuation is not a palatable option for anyone.

Guest

Re: Can't Recommend Andy's Transfer & Storage or NorthAm

Postby Guest » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:52 pm

Hmm. Yeah, I wish I knew all of that ahead of time. I was offered other insurance by the mover, but I thought the idea of buying insurance with them seemed questionable. However, if AAA hadn't told me I was covered, I would have made an arrangement with the mover or some other insurance. This seems like the sort of thing that almost nobody would know before moving and having their stuff damaged.


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