^Wade Odell Wade Problems with NJ to NM Move

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CelticKate
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 7:10 pm
Location: Santa Fe, NM

^Wade Odell Wade Problems with NJ to NM Move

Postby CelticKate » Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:26 am

I interviewed four moving companies based upon the information from this site. We chose WOW because their estimate was the easiest to understand and we really liked Dick Cooper, our estimator. When we first spoke with our move coordinator, Elizabeth, she seemed on top of everything and we were impressed that she returned our call after her normal business hours.

The day before the move we called because we had no idea of what time the movers were coming. Someone at the office told us that a Mayflower van would be there the next morning and the driver would call us the night before. WOW is United and this was the first time anyone mentioned Mayflower in connection with the move. The driver didn't call until the following morning and then arrived later than he said he would. His crew was very good and the process of packing the van went well. The driver, John, said we would get our delivery by 7/23. Dick Cooper has told us that with a pack date of 7/12 they could be there by 7/18, causing us to move up our NM close date just in case. Dick said if they couldn't deliver on 7/18 there was a good chance that we wouldn't see our stuff until 7/23. Since we were travelling with two cats, we already had our reservations for the trip made way in advance so we could get pet friendly accomodations. We tipped the driver well and he said he would try to get to NM by 7/21.

On 7/17 I called Elizabeth who confirmed our delivery was scheduled for 7/21. On 7/20 our driver called to say he was in the Bronx with mechanical problems and wouldn't get to NM until 7/27. I called Elizabeth who said she had just received an email with that information. Now, John certainly new way before 7/20 that he would be late. Our concern was the ability to get a hotel room on such short notice in a busy vacation area, Santa Fe. We were told to call United's main office and talk to someone about their delay policies. Laura at the main office said that United had until 5:00 PM on 7/23 to deliver and after that they would pay for our hotel room and 50% of our meals.

We resigned ourselves to just being on vacation in Santa Fe (what's so bad about that?) and extended our hotel to 7/31, just in case there were further delays.

We heard nothing from Elizabeth again. We called WOW and spoke with Mia this week who called the driver and his dispatcher. She called and said delivery was on for 7/27. Yesterday I called Mia again because we had not heard from the driver and he did not return our calls. She said he must be out of range with his phone and that he wouldn't call us until the evening. Well, no call came and we only got voice mail for the driver.

Today is 7/27. We called the driver - no answer. We called Elizabeth and guess what - she received an email that delivery will be 7/28.

This is the worst communication ever. I feel like our belongings are with some rogue driver who doesn't bother to tell anyone what is going on. At this point, he is late and that reflects badly on him, but no one seems to be able to tell us for sure where this guy is and when we will get our belongings. We're very concerned about our stuff.

Is there anything else we can do to complain about this to United or some higher authority? On the other hand, we shipped one car with DAS and they got the car to NM before we got there.

Help and be warned about dealing with WOW.
Kate

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

Re: Wade Odell Wade Problems with NJ to NM Move

Postby Diane » Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:46 am

The failure to notify you of changes seems to be primarily the fault of the van line driver. You can certainly give him a poor evaluation in the area of communications and that will be made known to the van line, but I don't really think there is much else you can do. With regard to the delayed delivery, at the height of the moving season there are delays because there aren't enough drivers available for the shipments that have been booked. Whether this is the fault of the agents like WOW who may have knowingly booked too many moves or the fault of the van lines for not having enough drivers has been a source of endless debate on this messageboard. Probably it's a little of both.

This kind of thing is why I personally recommend that people use a good independent company like Delancey or Moovers, Inc. if they possibly can. If they can't, then a company that is going to self-haul the shipment using its own truck and driver is the next best choice. When a shipment goes into the van line system, the agent - like WOW - loses almost all control of what happens to it. WOW is actually doing more to help you than many agents would do. I'm sure that your shipment is not lost although I greatly sympathize with what you're going through.

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: Wade Odell Wade Problems with NJ to NM Move

Postby Nancy » Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:57 am

Mechanical break downs happen with everyone, I'm sure Delancey and Moovers have them too.

It's unfortunate that the communication hasn't been great, but it sounds like they stepped up and are paying for hotel and 50% of food costs. They are standing behind the move sold to you, and trying their best.

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

Re: Wade Odell Wade Problems with NJ to NM Move

Postby Diane » Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:48 pm

Kate,

I waited a while to respond to your post to see what industry people might say about it. I finally responded because I didn't want people reading this later to see only your last sentence and think that WOW alone was responsible for what happened to you. That just isn't true. What percentage is WOW's fault and what percentage is the van line's fault is impossible to know without seeing all the internal memopad notes on the move. The only thing that we do know is that the Mayflower driver communicated poorly, but he himself may be under a lot of pressure from his dispatcher. Maybe he is being told to drive all over the place to pick up extra shipments and so on.

You questioned why a Mayflower driver was assigned to the move in the first place. Mayflower and United are both owned by UniGroup and under their alliance program, shipments booked by an agent from one van line can be put on a truck belonging to the other van line. This is completely legitimate although you should have been told about the possibility and asked for permission to have this happen if necessary.

I agree with everything that Nancy said, and another thing that should be added is that at most times of year the van line-agent system usually works just fine. The agent - like WOW - books the move and then the van line driver picks up the shipment either at the residence or a short distance away after it has been shuttled there on a small truck. It's primarily during the summer peak season that problems with the system occur. Unfortunately, that's when most people have to move.

CelticKate
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 7:10 pm
Location: Santa Fe, NM

Re: Wade Odell Wade Problems with NJ to NM Move

Postby CelticKate » Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:15 pm

Well, Elizabeth of WOW called today at 5:30 PM just as she promised to say she had spoken with the dispatcher and our driver is scheduled to be here tomorrow at noon. I asked where he was, but she didn't know. She promised to call again early tomorrow morning after she speaks with either the driver or the dispatcher to make sure he van in actually arriving today. We don't want to check out of our hotel unless we know we have our bed to sleep in. This weekend is a big Spanish Arts festival in Santa Fe and rooms are hard to come by.

I can appreciate WOW's position in this and agree that the driver's lack of communication is the biggest problem here. The customer service person at United was very nice and all we need to do is send them our receipts along with our case number and they will handle everything. No forms or other administrative hassels.

Thanks to all who responded. I'm just very frustrated at this point, tired of eating out (even though the food is fabulous) and anxious about the condition of my belongings. If in fact the van arrives at noon tomorrow, it will be a long day.
Kate

Fred0844

Re: Wade Odell Wade Problems with NJ to NM Move

Postby Fred0844 » Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:59 am

Truck repairs are not necessarily a simple matter and sometimes the parts are not readily available. I recently had the injectors (spark plugs for a diesel) replaced on one of my Internationals (a major truck mfg. in North America). There were none in S. Ontario and they had to come from Chicago. Just bad timing. At the end of June I was down one of my large straight trucks.

Fred0844

Re: Wade Odell Wade Problems with NJ to NM Move

Postby Fred0844 » Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:56 am

Diane and self haul:

The centralized dispatch system of a Van Line allows maximum utilization of all available resources to better serve the shipper.
With Delancy or Moovers, your move has to fit their schedule .

The "self-haul" model that Diane seems to love, has many flaws especially in long distance interstate moves.

Let's take this move for example. You want to load on the 5th of the month and WOW has a truck empty on the 30th. 2 things will have to occur........lost revenue for this truck to sit empty and such cost would be passed on to consumers and other consumers could not be serviced by that truck because they are not WOW customers and that truck is being held for you.

So on the 5th the WOW truck loads your goods but now has to sit and wait for other WOW customers to fill the trailer. Your shipment takes longer to arrive than it should. He could also leave with just your shipment on board but that is not cost effective. The additional costs, as in any business, are passed on to the consumer.

With the van line system, shipments from various members in the same geographical area are grouped to gether to by date and destination to load on an appropriate truck.

Again I will use the example of one of my trucks emptying out in Florida. With Diane's idea that truck would travel 1300 miles empty. What are the odds of me haveing a customer wanting to load from Fl to Toronto on the day that truck unloads, very slim.

Instead of coming home empty, he loads a shipment for Cook Mvg in Tampa for Toronto, a shipment for Suddath in Jacksonville for Ottawa and of course the shipmen AC White has in Atlanta for Montreal.

We now have a returning truck coming home full, travelling the miles he would have to travel anyway. The other 3 companies are not sending their trucks in the same direction partially loaded and freeing them to service other customers.

A company like Moovers will only move about 200 families a year, United will load that many in one day at the end of June.

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

Re: Wade Odell Wade Problems with NJ to NM Move

Postby Diane » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:53 am

All very true. There is a (large) place for the van line system and there is a (tiny) place for Delancey and Moovers. That doesn't mean that customers should be discouraged from seeking quotes to see whether their shipments fit the Delancey and Moovers schedules. Those two companies have succeeded with the self-haul model primarily because their workers are totally committed to performing good moves. They have a "band of brothers" mentality because they know how much would be at stake for them personally if the companies stumbled. With felony convictions it is very difficult to be hired anywhere. Ordinary workers would not have the same motivation, in my opinion.

CelticKate
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 7:10 pm
Location: Santa Fe, NM

Re: Wade Odell Wade Problems with NJ to NM Move

Postby CelticKate » Sat Aug 18, 2007 9:56 pm

I just wanted to let everyone know how my WOW move finally ended up. I apololgize for the delay, but it took awhile to get out internet connection up and running.

The van finally showed up on Saturday, July 28th, 16 days after the van loaded our belongings in NJ. We received quite a few calls from folks at WOW as well as a United dispatcher on Friday. The van arrived late on Friday and would deliver on Saturday. Someone from United also called on Saturday to see if the driver arrived and if everything was going well. The team that unloaded everything was wonderful. We did end up paying for a van to ferry things from the van to the house, but that wasn't anyone's fault.

One note, the driver asked if I wanted to bother with the "bingo sheet" to check off all the items. He seemed a bit perturbed when I said yes. I had to drive him back to his van to retrieve the sheet from his cab. I'm glad I did because they did have to go back to the van for a few "missing items".

I know that the driver was the cause of the poor communication, but find it hard to believe that the Elizabeth and Mia at WOW could possibly believe that the driver could be in an area with no cell phone access for as many days as this guy would have had to be. We drove out most of the same route and had cell access 95% of the time. They even had cell access at our NJ home, which we didn't. This guy just wouldn't call anyone to let them know where he was. That's just crazy!

Anyway, everything arrived safely and we're 99% unpacked. And again, We shipped on car using DAS and it was just fine. For $750, we declined insurance, we dropped the car off at their depot in Linden, NJ and then drive to Albuquerque to pick it up. No problems with this at all and this was the least expensive quote we had received.

Thanks again to all who participate on this site. The information here is invaluable! Also, we really liked the link to "Gentle Giant" movers with their great videos on packing. My husband packed 95% of our things based upon their instructions and not one item as broken or damaged.
Kate

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

Re: **Wade Odell Wade Problems with NJ to NM Move

Postby Diane » Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:15 am

Thanks for this final report, Kate. Your good humor throughout this saga has been inspiring.

You posted that your shipment was delivered on 7/28, which I gather was 5 days after the end of your delivery spread on 7/23. As you indicated, you should be eligible for compensation from the van line for the 5-day delay. I understand that communication by the Mayflower driver was poor, but to their credit WOW (move coordinator Elizabeth and Mia) tried to stay in touch with you and help as much as they could. Many van line agents would not have done that.

Regarding the driver, some drivers are prima donnas and don't make it a priority to stay in touch with customers and some turn their phones off much of the time to avoid being distracted while driving or disturbed while sleeping. It was very smart of you to insist on checking off the bingo sheet because otherwise you might have lost the items that had been left on the truck. It can be difficult to oppose these drivers who want to get back on the road quickly, but your experience shows that it's essential. As Fred has pointed out, you are paying for the move, not for the driver's time.

I'll add your good review of DAS to our Auto Transporters thread.

For those interested in seeing the Gentle Giant packing videos, they are on the GG website at http://www.gentlegiant.com/packlikepros.htm and this is the Gentle Giant located in Massachusetts.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

CelticKate
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 7:10 pm
Location: Santa Fe, NM

Re: ^Wade Odell Wade Problems with NJ to NM Move

Postby CelticKate » Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:26 pm

Final update. I finally got around to sending our hotel and meal receipts to United Van Lines on August 31. A check arrived today, September 20, 2007. The amount for meals reimbursement was a tad higher than we expected and that could be just the difficulty they had in deciphering the receipts and taxes. (They do not allow reimbursement for alcohol, which we really needed to get through all of this. :wink: ) The check was accompanied by a very nice letter from Lorelei Holloway, a Customer Service Specialist. The whole process of filing our claim was as simple as could be - no forms, just send them receipts. Good service deserves to be recognized!
Kate


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