Move Review-NC to PA

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Auspicious1
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:54 pm

Move Review-NC to PA

Postby Auspicious1 » Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:46 pm

For our 1 bedroom move, we decided to go with Excel (Allied) due to the fact that they were a major brand line, easy to get in touch with, and could promise a delivery date one week ahead of the move (as per our sales agent).

We were considering All American as well but they estimated a higher weight so the cost was higher but the cost per pound was lower than all three we received quotes from - Excel, All American and Truckin'. Since we had no idea what our actual weight would be and they were all GNTE quotes, we went with Excel. (Which was higher than Truckin' but we didn't feel comfortable with them - there is only one review of them on here, and they were not as responsive as All American and Excel.)

Anyways, the high rise we were moving into in Philly has pretty strict rules on move-ins. $400 reservation fee for cargo elevator for half a day and no move-ins after 5 or on weekends. And since it's the busiest time for moving, the elevators book quickly. I went back and forth with our Excel sales agent before signing the contract to ensure they would be able to tell us which day within our delivery window we would receive our stuff at least a week in advance. We were originally quoted a 2 day delivery window (6/27-6/28) but it ended up being 3 days, which was fine. She just said to call our moving coordinator a week before the move to get the exact day and then on the day of the load the driver would tell us the time. When I called a week ahead, the moving coordinator had no idea what I was talking about and said she'd call me back after speaking with the sales agent. I didn't hear from her the next day, so I called late afternoon to follow up. She said she checked with their operations department and said delivery would be 6/29, as the truck would be making other deliveries on 6/27 & 6/28. The Philly building's management agreed to pencil us in for the full day for the elevator as long as we informed them the week of the move the exact time.

So our move was scheduled with 6/26 load, 6/29 delivery. On 6/25, I called our moving coordinator to find out when the movers would come. She gave a window of 3-5PM. They (the driver and a helper) came right around 5 and called us before arriving. The driver asked us when we wanted delivery and we told him that our moving coordinator said he would be delivering on Friday. His response, "No way." He asked who told us that and said he couldn't deliver any earlier than Monday as he had to make deliveries in DC and Baltimore first. My husband starts work on Sunday so this would be highly problematic, not to mention being outside of the 3-day window promised.

We went back and forth with our building management, the movers, and the driver. The building was booked for Monday's use of the elevators so they said Tuesday afternoon was the earliest they had available. The driver said he could deliver Saturday but the building's rules nixed that. The driver said Tuesday would be too late for us to receive things so he went out and talked to his office again.

Finally, the driver said he would come Friday since that was what was promised. And said it was unprofessional of them to give a date and not abide by it. We were very impressed with the driver because of this but upset at the coordinator as the driver has/had to do some crazy driving to ensure a 6/29 delivery for us. I made it abundantly clear that delivery restrictions we had yet somehow she did not relay that to the driver.

Come Friday, they arrive around 2PM (they tried to get here at 11AM but got stuck in traffic and got lost and had to call me for directions). Side note: Don't they have GPS??
We paid extra for a straight truck since we knew it'd be hard to have a regular truck in the middle of the city. But apparently even the straight truck was pushing it in terms of size. There were 3 other people using the loading dock for their moves at the time and parking was not allowed there so he had to park illegally half on the curb, half on the street. We soon realized the cargo elevator was the same size as the resident elevators so fitting furniture was a tight fit. Our sofa did not fit so it would have be carried up the stairs (6 flights.) The driver told us they could only carry up to 3 flights and they would either just leave it there or would charge extra. He then suggested we check with our building maintenance as sometimes they will carry up furniture the rest of the way. He said I don't want to charge you anything extra if they can do it for free. They ended up having the same policy (up to 3rd floor for free, charge for the rest) so he called his office to check with them on what to do.
They came back and said don't charge any extra, since we've already paid. Which was a big relief. I can understand the extra charge since it is a long way up.

All in all, the move went well. We weren't very happy with the moving coordinator; I'm not sure what exactly she coordinated since a big piece of information was not relayed. But the driver was EXCELLENT and really saved the day. All of our things came intact - of course we haven't unpacked everything yet but it looks like all the fragiles are in good shape.

Also, we were 400 lbs below the wt. estimate so we should be getting some money back. In hindsight, we would have gotten the best deal money-wise with All American since we would have been 900 lbs underweight.

Hope this helps others!

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

Re: Move Review-NC to PA

Postby Diane » Sat Jun 30, 2007 2:48 pm

Auspicious1 wrote: Our sofa did not fit so it would have be carried up the stairs (6 flights.) The driver told us they could only carry up to 3 flights and they would either just leave it there or would charge extra. . . . he called his office to check with them on what to do.
They came back and said don't charge any extra, since we've already paid.

Thanks so much for this very detailed review, which gives a helpful picture of a basically good move with a few glitches. I think there is often a LOT of information slippage between the driver and the personnel back in the sales office.

Since I'm always very interested in the financial aspect of things, I would like to know from industry people whether the driver in effect had to "eat" the expense of taking the sofa up to the 6th floor. If "his office" (does that mean the people at Excel or the people at Allied Van Lines?) had told him to collect extra for carrying the sofa, he would have gotten that money, wouldn't he?

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Move Review-NC to PA

Postby Michael » Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:51 pm

The office probably told him the would compensate him somehow someway.

But I would also like to point out. In the 400 N Tariff as with the TPG with Allied, even though long carries and flights of stairs are suppose to be included, there is a limit to what is included. As we saw here, 3 flights. Thus if needed they would have to charge more. But didnt. So its not always free and included to an extent.

I am not surprised by the communication problem. Most companies dont know who is picking what up in the summer time until just days before. So I think in this case the driver was given this move days before and Excel may have committed to the dates to get the business.

Some thing we use to do at Security. Get as many answers as you can, run them by operations and get their committment to handle it as needed by the customer. Book it. Then find a way to get it done. And your better companies do find those ways.

Glad to hear all went well.
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

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

Re: Move Review-NC to PA

Postby Diane » Sun Jul 01, 2007 2:08 pm

So "the office" means the van line office - "the building" - and not Excel?

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4665
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: **Move Review-NC to PA

Postby BigLeeCalif » Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:51 pm

When I contact shippers to give them registration information, I always advise them to get the drivers cell phone number when he loads the shipment. Regardless of what the sales coordinators may have told the customer, it is the driver who is on the front lines, and he is the best source of information. Discuss with him the dates, any special delivery promises made by the company at the time he is loading the shipment.

It is better to know what's going on in the beginning, and not at the end when you're trying to schedule elevators, juggle work schedules, etc.

Is the All American you speak of Mayflower?
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

Auspicious1
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:54 pm

Re: **Move Review-NC to PA

Postby Auspicious1 » Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:37 pm

BigLeeCalif wrote:
Is the All American you speak of Mayflower?


Yes - Mayflower. The sales agent was very nice and knowledgeable so it was a tough call. I know I had read on here they were pricier than Excel usually but in this case, their price/lb worked out to less than Excel. However they estimated 3100 lbs whereas Excel estimated 2600.

I'm so glad our driver was on top of things. We tipped both of them during load and delivery and the driver was surprised we tipped again but after carrying our sofa up 6 flights of stairs for no charge, we thought it was well deserved! He asked us several times if we were sure on tipping him again and at first thought the tip we gave him we intended to split between him and his helper probably because we're pretty young and just starting out but we had a separate tip for the other guy. So we thought he was a stand-up guy. He also was giving us advice on how we could do a self-move when we move out of here, which we're hoping to do to save $ next time.

Thanks everyone for all your help. If I hadn't found this website, I'm fairly sure we would have been scammed!

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

Re: **Move Review-NC to PA

Postby Diane » Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:31 pm

Auspicious1 wrote:He also was giving us advice on how we could do a self-move when we move out of here, which we're hoping to do to save $ next time.

Wha?!? This was the ALLIED VAN LINES driver recommending a self-move? I was going to ask you for his name but now I think I better not (to protect him). :wink:

Auspicious1
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:54 pm

Re: **Move Review-NC to PA

Postby Auspicious1 » Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:19 pm

He didn't recommend a self-move; we asked him how difficult it would be if we self-moved on our own within the city when we leave the building. Honestly, we'll most likely use Allied for any other inter-state moves we have to do (my husband's career necessitates moving for a while) because of the great experience we had with this driver.

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: **Move Review-NC to PA

Postby Michael » Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:22 am

The office is meant Excel, the local operations, since this was a self haul.
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

Auspicious1
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:54 pm

Re: **Move Review-NC to PA

Postby Auspicious1 » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:27 am

Definitely want to make clear both Excel & Allied did a great job. We did have weird constraints due to the building we moved into & it is the busiest time of the year for moves (not to mention our relatively tiny shipment) but Excel (the sales agent & coordinator) were easy to get in touch with (SO important) and treated us well the entire time. I would highly recommend them.

ArchieWhite
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: **Move Review-NC to PA

Postby ArchieWhite » Tue Jul 03, 2007 8:27 am

It sounds like you got a good deal, trust me, scheduling small shipments for firm date and time deliveries is not easy, multiple shipments on the truck, one shipper wants is fast, the other wants it slow, what can you do? it's usually a worse problem than you ended up with.
We had a shipment in our warehouse this last Friday that was supposed to be in Boston, and it was still 1,000 miles away on the last day of the agreed delivery date....On the last day of June, bad things can happen.

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

Re: **Move Review-NC to PA

Postby Diane » Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:32 am

Auspicious1,

Until Michael posted, I didn't realize that this was a self-haul - i.e. the truck and driver were from Excel rather than the driver being a long-haul driver from Allied Van Lines. Is that correct?

I'm glad that the move went so well, and I WOULD like to post the name of the Excel driver if you would like to supply it. I just want to give credit where credit is due. Thank you!

Incidentally, your review was the one I needed to push Excel over into :thumbsup: ("very good performer") status on the Superlist.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

chaz4moving
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 10:02 am
Location: Lancaster PA

Re: Move Review-NC to PA

Postby chaz4moving » Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:50 am

Sounds like Excel and the driver did a good job for you. Excel is an excellent agent in the Allied system. I think they were "agent of the year" last year. They've done good work for me. Covering the Philadelphia area myself, moving into some of the high-rise building in Center City can be a challenge. Meeting an exact delivery date and time can be difficult expecially when you are moving at the busiest time of the year. Also, in the moving business, there is always a bit of a battleground between sales and operations. We in sales are trying to please the customer and give them exactly what they want. Operations is trying to get the job done. Sometimes there is a clash between the two. I think it's a thing where sales people look at the glass of water as being half full and operations see it as being half empty. I was previously branch manager of onme of our locations and did both sales and operations. I was fighting with myself constantly. As a result, I'm back to dong just sales and I think I smile a bit more often as a result. However, I have a lot more respect for the operations side of the business as a result. Meanwhile, the driver is the guy who gets hit with everything and it is his job to make it all come together and keep the customer happy. Not necessarily the easiest task. The drivers do a great job for us and don't usually get the recognition and thanks they deserve. I'm glad that in the end, everything seemed to work out OK for you.


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