Colonial Van Lines Relocation-FL BEWARE!

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Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:30 am

Colonial Van Lines Relocation-FL BEWARE!

Postby tiege1 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:37 am

OK, this one's long too, but I've got to share what happened to us. I see others here have had serious problems with Colonial and their contracted moving company Alvarez Movers. Here we go. BEWARE OF THESE GUYS! Let's get this done:

It could not have been worse if I had to move the stuff myself. I just had these guys move me from Jersey to Texas. Where should I start?

a) they did the ole bait and switch by underestimating by 40% the weight even after I walked every room with the estimator and even made sure to be conservative. $4,000 more than the quote/estimate. I know most companies do this to some extent to get you to sign, but this was insane. But, believe it or not it gets much worse:

b) They hired some outfit from LA to do the actual packing/moving. Lovely. The packers could not speak or understand English, so the packing sucked and many things were just all mixed up in the 100 boxes! IT WILL TAKE US MONTHS TO FIND OUR STUFF. Good thing I brought some clothes!

c) They brought about a ton of stuff that I didn't intend to take. My wife was there as I had already gone to Texas. She couldn't communicate with them either and it got ugly. But it gets even worse;

d) Colonial advised that I could only use Visa/MC for the deal which was OK by me. Unfortunately, my wife didn't know this and when they asked for money she pulled AMEX which we use wherever possible. Well, the driver took AMEX. Of course I got the alert from AMEX, but when I checked to see who

it was it was charged to some tax fixer CPA in LA whose website made no mention of them running a moving business too. SO, being that I'm moving and a lot of people got my credit card, I assumed that someone was scamming me and I cancelled the transaction.

So WOW, the owner of the company was pissed and not nice on the phone when he saw it cancelled. He then proceeded to require that I show up with a CASHIERS check even after I explained it all. VERY LUCKY that I had enough cash to do pay it or I wouldn't have my stuff. Dude was insulting on the phone. But it gets even worse if you can believe it!;

d) They failed to bring everything. Left out a part of a bed rendering it useless, Left out a recliner chair with the explanation that the truck was full!. Left out about two wardrobes full of my wife's clothes. I still have almost NO CLUE what else they left out. My realtor says there's still stuff all over the place in my old house. A TON of $$$ it will require to replace everything and to have all the stuff removed from my old house. They say their going back for the stuff in a couple of days, but I've not heard from them and the coordinator knows nothing about it I'm going to be out at least $1,000!!!

d) And the worst part. The packers failed to label over 100 boxes and essentially boxed our things randomly. WE not have over 100 boxes in the master bedroom and garage! We have zero idea what's in them. Oh and much of the heavy furniture is in the wrong rooms as well. Again a function of them not being able to understand me. The driver actually spoke English but he made no effort to help out with the translation. Just sat outside the truck and watched. I should be getting a refund on the packing piece because it is WORTHLESS! I have no idea what they've broken beyond what I've found so far.

I spoke to the dispatcher who basically told me that since the move had been done that we're on our own with the actual movers. Nothing. No response. No nothing. I've contacted my "moving coordinator" and supervisor with all these issues in detail. They haven't responded. I have no expectation they will respond at this point. They have their brokerage money and appear to be moving on to the next VICTIM.

This cannot be an isolated incident. I hope you will heed this warning and go with a trusted name like Mayflower etc. DO NOT RISK THIS HAPPENING TO YOU when moving out of state.

I'm beyond upset with this and NO ONE needs yet another stressful thing when moving their family. There's a mountain of things to take care of when doing it and your mover should NEVER screw up like this.

Good luck if you hire these guys. You've been warned...

Posts: 4697
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Colonial Van Lines Relocation-FL BEWARE!

Postby BigLeeCalif » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:14 am

Sorry to hear that you had such a bad time.
This post should actually have been in the report a scam section because you got scammed.

My red flag would have flapped in the wind when I saw that your move had been what we call in the business "farmed out." Who contacted Alvarez Movers?

Are you saying that a third company located in Louisiana actually PERFORMED the packing and moving?

Let's start at the beginning.. What type of estimate were you given, and was it based on weight or cubic feet? It seems that you had a visual estimate. Did he give you a written estimate? Did that estimate clearly indicate who was the company responsible for the move? It does not matter who they contract, THEIR company name and license number should be prominently displayed. Did they give you this booklet? “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” is a booklet prepared by the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration to explain to consumers what they have a right to expect from the mover they hired and what they should do to help ensure that the move is a smooth one.
If they did not, they are not in compliance with Federal guidelines.

Getting back to the estimate. Did you sign a binding or non-binding estimate? Was the person who did the walkthrough really an estimator, or some guy practicing to be a census taker? Some of these fly-by-night companies hire people in some areas that couldn't estimate the weight in a doghouse.

I have been a contributor to this site for almost 17 years, and you would not believe some of the scams that have come through

But, in your case, all may not be lost, unless you paid them in cash. You said the owner wanted a cashier's check, but you had enough cash to pay... I hope you meant enough cash to get the cashier's check.

Since your move started in New Jersey and terminated in Texas, I would start by filing official complaints with the Attorneys General for both states.
You should also get all the paperwork together, and prepare a lawsuit for the bait and switch. I am not familiar with New Jersey law, but in my state of California, bait and switch is illegal.

If you have their license number off of any paperwork, if you are willing to email it to me, I will be happy to look at it and give you what I think would be your legal avenues to pursue.

p.s. I am not on here on a daily basis, so you can email me at
[email protected] or call me at 951 552-5316
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

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