Bunch of beginner questions .

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shmuly
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 8:51 pm

Bunch of beginner questions .

Postby shmuly » Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:26 pm

Hello , first of all great site you have here , and great support and input from the members .

I am a first time mover , and am not understanding some basics .

FIrstly what does Van Lines mean ? Is it just a moving company or are they all somehow associated ?

Is it a beginners mistake to use a company that in turn uses someone else (a van lines i contacted seemed to do this ?

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

Re: Bunch of beginner questions .

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:39 pm

Hi - the meaning of the phrase "van lines" depends on what type of company you are talking about.

There are several long-established van lines in the U.S. They have names like United, Allied, North American, Atlas, Wheaton, and Mayflower Van Lines. These van lines are similar to associations of companies (called agents) that represent them in various parts of the country. The van lines do not book moves directly - the agents do that. EXAMPLE: Mayflower Van Lines has an agent called Dahill in New York City.

There are also many scam companies that just call themselves "van lines" to try to delude customers into thinking that they're big and reputable. Often these scam companies have only 1 truck and 1 driver listed with the U.S. Department of Transportation. They typically farm the moves out to some other company after taking their cut as a deposit up front.

If a "van line" tells you that it is going to use another company to perform the move, make sure that you check the "van line" name out with us to make sure it is reputable and not just acting as a broker and preparing to scam you.

Guest

Re: Bunch of beginner questions .

Postby Guest » Mon Jul 24, 2006 4:08 pm

there is no Mayflower van Lines. There is a company called Mayflower Transit Company. They have many agents. :shock:

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

Re: Bunch of beginner questions .

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 24, 2006 4:26 pm

OK, you got me, Mr. Mayflower . . . :lol:

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4669
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Bunch of beginner questions .

Postby BigLeeCalif » Mon Jul 24, 2006 5:26 pm

Well it just goes to show that Mayflower still has the most recognizable name in moving as per consumer surveys.

Don't be surprised if Mayflower and United somehow end up being more closely associated in the future... When Unigroup purchased Mayflower we were laying odds that someday the name would be Uniflower.... lol

To the original poster, don't let the word van line mislead you. There are companies out there with one truck and one driver but call themselves a van line.

And remember to only deal with movers who do NOT broker your shipment out to someone you have never heard of. A major van line, such as those Diane mentioned, will have one of the agents in the hauling fleet service the account. North American won't send anyone to haul your shipment but a North American truck. Mayflower and United are the exceptions, since they are commonly owned, but you would received advance notification and have a chance to approve or deny being transported by the other carrier.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

Eric
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:10 pm
Location: Morrisville, NC

Re: Bunch of beginner questions .

Postby Eric » Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:53 pm

BigLeeCalif wrote:Don't be surprised if Mayflower and United somehow end up being more closely associated in the future...


Speaking of which... when we moved out of Detroit with Corrigan (United Van Lines) last month our driver told me that Corrigan just bought Premier Relocations, a Mayflower agent in Novi, MI. He also said Corrigan is trying to get some of their more experienced drivers repaint thier trucks and start pulling Mayflower trailers.
"Never use the words 'only' and 'killed' in the same sentence." --Prof. Robert Harmon, Hillsdale College

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

Re: Bunch of beginner questions .

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:00 pm

Eric, I checked this out with someone in the know and he told me that Corrigan has owned Premier for quite some time. He said that Corrigan changed it from a United to a Mayflower agent in 2002.

The United agents seem more "down" on their Mayflower step-sisters than the customers are. I saw one customer post approvingly on another website that Mayflower owned all of the moving companies in the United States!

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4669
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Bunch of beginner questions .

Postby BigLeeCalif » Mon Jul 24, 2006 9:05 pm

United looks down on Mayflower because Mayflower didn't have the type of quality and customer service that United had.

It may also have had something to do with the jealousy factor, since most of the people I spoke with at Unigroup headquarters dealt with United and Mayflower. Different phone numbers, but same people ..

The one thing that didn't happen though is the drivers being qualified for both van lines. When the two became one, drivers were given a choice to stay Mayflower, or United, or leave without penalty, but not drive for both.

Didn't really matter, though, because under the alliance program, Mayflower drivers haul United orders, and United drivers haul Mayflower orders.

I know the United people at Chipman didn't readily accept the Mayflower staff from Caton, since Caton had been the agent of the month for the first couple of months the program was introduced, and had the #1 and #2 sales people in the entire Unigroup system.

Once they figured out that it was a team effort everyone meshed and things went smoothly.

United agencies are buying Mayflower agencies more and more, because with the Chipman experiment, it was proven that dual agencies for both van lines could not only succeed, but flourish on their own.

Mayflower trucks are still the most widely recognized trucks on the highway. That is changing, however. Mayflower has begun to change their trailer color scheme. Instead of the old trailer, now the trailer is white with the Mayflower Logo, and the yellow stripes of United on the bottom trim. Doesn't look bad.

I'm curious to the poster who said Corrigan bought Premier. I'm still showing Premier in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and the one in Novi, still on the Mayflower agency roster. So it looks like Corrigan bought the company, but kept them Mayflower. I'm also seeing that Corrigan is located on the same streets as the Premier agencies, but the addresses are a bldg or so away.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

Eric
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:10 pm
Location: Morrisville, NC

Re: Bunch of beginner questions .

Postby Eric » Tue Jul 25, 2006 7:39 pm

Our Corrigan driver said the buyout of Premier just happened, but he didn't say exactly when. Maybe he meant they had just approached him about driving a Mayflower truck (he said he owns his truck and would have to repaint it).

And to Lee,
The driver made it sound like Premier and Corrigan were still going to be operated as sepearate companies, I don't know anything about them merging together as one.

The Novi Corrigan location is on a major road that I used to drive down all the time. If I remember correctly, there is a sign out front that said "document storage" or something similar and, now that you mention it, I do seem to remember a Mayflower logo on the sign or a Mayflower sign in very close proximity. Corrigan's main facility is located in an industrial park in Farmington Hills, actually not more than five miles from the Novi site. The Farmington warehouse is located right next door to a large facility used by University Moving & Storage, a North American agent.

It's funny because, from the outside, the University facility looks much nicer and has lots of mirrored panels and windows--both facilities are highly visible from a major interstate highway--but in the six months I took doing research for our move, I don't think I ever considered University and I've never seen them discussed on this site. I guess Corrigan's good reputation and plain building go a lot farther than a bunch of shiny windows!
"Never use the words 'only' and 'killed' in the same sentence." --Prof. Robert Harmon, Hillsdale College


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