Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

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Chisme
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:41 pm

Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby Chisme » Wed May 07, 2008 5:15 pm

We just moved from Chicagoland to Clearwater area, Florida. We got 4 estimates:
We got 4 estimates:

Graebel: 8000 lbs for $4723.54 (includes $413 insurance)

Berger: Allied agent out of Addison
6580 lbs for $4040.47 (includes $379)
insurance

Ft. Dearborn Relocation Mayflower agent
5000 lbs for $3012.09 (includes $328 insurance)

Federal Whalen: Allied agent
6097 lbs for $3801.62 ($365 insurance)



We decided to go with Ft. Dearborn, and what a BIG mistake:

We have a non-folding treadmill (2 yrs old purchased for $800). My husband loosened the screws to the handrails and folded the treadmill and corded it up for transport.

The loaders uncorded the treamill
against my husband's wishes and detached the electric board on the bottom. My husband insisted that they not do it, but they refused. They said they had once broken a treadmill and didn't want to take the chance.
They promised that the people who would unload us in Florida would know how to reattach it.

Well, they didn't, and the treadmill doesn't work. It took two weeks for an adjuster to come look. She was very reluctant to come and kept telling my husband to fix the machine himself. He refused because he doesn't know how to fix treadmills. She finally came, and complained about her job the entire time and how she wanted to retire. She said the treadmill wasn't fixable.

My husband and I were not worried because we bought full replacement value insurance. Well, guess what....Mayflower/Dearborn refuses to pay. They have a nice little clause in the insurance contract that you have to prove for electrical items that they were damaged in transit. They have denied our claim. Of course they say we can get a treadmill repairman in at our own cost and write a letter that the treadmill was in his opinion damaged in transit, and then there is a slight chance they may reconsider our claim.

I guess we either should have taken a picture of the guy taking our treadmill apart or taken a hacksaw to it to show overt damage. What a scam this company is. When I used Atlas a few years ago and had damage they were great.

I will never use United/Mayflower again. They really take advantage of people. I should have gone with one of the other companies...I just earned an $800 (plus whatever it's going to cost to have a junk place come get the thing out) lesson.

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

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby Diane » Fri May 09, 2008 12:39 pm

I would be interested in people's thoughts about this, since I don't know anything about how treadmills should be moved.
Diane
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rydog444
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:44 pm

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby rydog444 » Fri May 09, 2008 12:52 pm

Treadmills are all different. Most of them do fold up but some of them don't.

The main thing I personally would tell people is that I am held personally responsible for damage claims. I have moved many treadmills in my 12 years of moving. If people wanted me to do something a certain way that was not the best way from my personal experience, I would try to pursuade them to let me do it my way. If they refused, I would make them sign a waiver, stating that I was not permitted to move a piece the way I felt was proper to ensure safe handling and transport, and therefore my company and I were not liable if any damages did occur. Most people just let me do it my way and I never had a problem with going against their original wishes.

But without seeing the treadmill in question, it's hard to really comment on it.
My job is to give the best domestic and international moving services to my corporate clients by using the best movers in the world, regardless of vanline affiliation.

Troyb22
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:28 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby Troyb22 » Fri May 09, 2008 8:36 pm

I'm sorry to inform you that most, if not all Van Lines would deny this particular claim. In order to protect themselves, movers have clauses, like the one you mention here, that protect them from the mechanical or electrical working condition of an item unless negligence in handling/moving the item can be proven. The reason for this is that people could pack and have movers move items that are already broken or in disrepair. And then blame it on the movers when it doesn't work properly, or at all after receiving it at delivery.

I do think that what you say here about this issue has a lot of merit. The movers never should have disconnected the electric board themselves. They should have called for a 3rd party company or service to come out and do it. Of course, this is a service that you would be charged for. And the reassembly you would also be charged for too. Most movers I know would never get into disassembling something they weren't comfortable with so that they would not be responsible for a claim later.

In this instance. it's really your word against what the movers will tell the claims department. If you did have a picture of them disassembling it, that definitely would have bolstered your case I think.

Please don't take this the wrong way...but I did notice you chose the cheapest price. And sometimes you get what you pay for....

bigmove
Posts: 438
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Location: California

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby bigmove » Fri May 09, 2008 9:20 pm

The price was substantially cheaper. Your driver probably hauled 7500 pounds, for the price of 5000 pounds, and now a questionable claim is being filed.

I have moved over 1000 people and more than a handful of husbands had a better way to move stuff than me. Unless the driver was brand new, which is usually not the case, he probably knew the best way to move the treadmill. It is very rare that a husband will know more about moving than a Van Line Owner Operator.

I would get a repair man to fix the treadmill and send the bill to the company. I bet it is a wiring issue which will only cost a couple hundred dollars to fix. If the cost is low, the company will likely reimburse you.

Chisme
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:41 pm

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby Chisme » Sat May 10, 2008 1:20 pm

I have moved over 1000 people and more than a handful of husbands had a better way to move stuff than me. Unless the driver was brand new, which is usually not the case, he probably knew the best way to move the treadmill. It is very rare that a husband will know more about moving than a Van Line Owner Operator.

Actually my husband was not telling anyone how to move anything. He was speaking conventional wisdom about disconnecting electronics.

(1)We actually spoke to the sales agent about how to pack it up, and he never mentioned anything about disconnecting the board. If he had stated that, we would have had a professional do it at our own cost. (or we would have sold it and bought a new one here)I believe he stated he's been in the business around 20years.

(2) The driver was not at the load-up. He sent two loaders, one of which stated he does all the driver's load-ups. The loader stated that the unloaders would definitely know how to reconnect the board properly.

(3) The driver and his unloaders had absolutely no idea how to reconnect the board. When my husband told him that the loaders said that the unloaders would know how to reconnect the board, the driver said he had no idea what he was talking about. So obviously disconnecting a treadmill board is not so common.

(4) We purchased insurance-full value insurance-to cover for incidents like this. The claim person on the phone stated that the insurance doesn't cover anything that can't be proven to have been damaged in transit including any electronics. Basically, if you have a scratch on your television and it doesn't work you can claim it. If the movers accidentally spill water on your tv (and you don't see), and your television doesn't work, you get nothing.

I would get a repair man to fix the treadmill and send the bill to the company. I bet it is a wiring issue which will only cost a couple hundred dollars to fix. If the cost is low, the company will likely reimburse you.

The moving company sent an inspector who said the machine was un-reparable. She said no one in our area fixes these particular machines. We called the treadmill manufacturer who is located in Chicago and asked them for recommendations for people to fix these machines. Within a 50 mile vicinity there were two. One was out of business and the other doesn't fix residential machines, only commercial.

At this point Mayflower/United has agreed to send another inspector at the cost of the local agent we used. The claims adjuster at United was originally unyielding and almost obnoxious hiding behind "federal laws". I wound up calling the local agent we used to explain what happened. The agent themselves seem like decent human beings, but it's the corporation that isn't being ethical. If we hadn't had this mishap, I would have recommended this local agent. But unfortunately, most people can't afford to take a chance that their electronics may be damaged and the parent company which handles the claims will try to wheedle out of any obligation they have. It's just unethical.

Chisme
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:41 pm

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby Chisme » Sat May 10, 2008 1:34 pm

Please don't take this the wrong way...but I did notice you chose the cheapest price. And sometimes you get what you pay for....

You are exactly right! The reason we took this bid is because we moved from FL to Chicago two years ago and the load weighed in at 5004lbs, Since we hadn't added anything substantial but the treadmill (and at the same time gotten rid of a sleeper sofa and some other smaller furniture) we figured the estimate was about right. The load this did weighed in at about 6000lbs which we are still trying to figure out because like I said we didn't add anything but the treadmill and got rid of things.

If I could do it again, I would go with Federal Whalen or Allied.

But the issue is that we paid for full coverage insurance. Isn't that why we buy insurance?
Someone mentioned that the claim is "questionable," but this is a two year old, well-made, high quality treadmill. The manufacturer is located in our home city. It was working before the board was taken off.If it hadn't been working I would have taken advantage of the fact that the manufacturer was in our city and had it fixed. I love that treadmill, and would prefer it repaired and not have to get a new one.
The board was taken off, and now the treadmill isn't working. If the agent had told us that it was common practice to take the board off I would have called the manufacturer to ask them whether to do it or not, or would have had them come do it. I wasn't given the chance.
How can that claim be questionable.

Rick
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:59 pm

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby Rick » Sat May 10, 2008 2:36 pm

Your claim isn’t questionable. You have the right to file a claim for any item transported under the carrier’s bill of lading that your want.

Unfortunately, no claim specialist at any van line anywhere can determine the preexisting working condition of any electronic item before it was loaded. That’s why the moving industry has the disclaimer for electronics. If a carrier was required by law to be liable for each piece of electronics in every customer’s home, the cost of moving would not be affordable. Their position on electronics doesn’t make Mayflower unethical since that's the industry standard.

Think about all of the electronic items the average family uses everyday – alarm clock, toothbrush, toaster, microwave, VDR, DVD, stove, refrigerator, CD and DVD Player, dishwater, washer, dryer, computer, printer etc…etc…etc. If a driver had to perform a system test using every feature of every electronic item in every home he moved, the inventory exception sheet and relocation process would be twice as long.

You didn’t “buy insurance”. You paid for Full Replacement Valuation – one of the two liability options that interstate movers must offer under Federal law. Under FVP coverage, your mover is liable for the replacement value of lost or damaged goods in your entire shipment. This is explained in the Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet that you should have received. A more detailed explanation is included at FMCSA’s Protect Your Move website at http://www.protectyourmove.gov/consumer ... urance.htm

Chisme
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:41 pm

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby Chisme » Sat May 10, 2008 5:33 pm

Their position on electronics doesn’t make Mayflower unethical since that's the industry standard.

I completely agree with you on that point.

What makes Mayflower unethical is that their employee insisted on removing an electric board from a treadmill with the understanding that the employee on the other side would be able to put it back on. The employee on the other side (who works closely with employee #1) had no idea why employee #1 would say something like that because he had no idea how to do it. This was after we asked the agent if it was ok to pack the treadmill the way we did. In this case, they screwed up.

BillAdams
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Location: Cos Cob, CT / Oxford, CT

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby BillAdams » Mon May 12, 2008 11:00 am

What makes Mayflower unethical is that their employee insisted on removing an electric board from a treadmill with the understanding that the employee on the other side would be able to put it back on

That still doesn't make the entire Mayflower company unethical.

While your situation is definately unfortunate, I'm sure everyone involved with the preperation of the loading (your husband included) had good intentions.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but for the cost of a move with a higher priced carrier, you get a brand new treadmill. The glass is always half full :wink:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover."
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Chisme
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:41 pm

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby Chisme » Tue May 13, 2008 6:59 am

Please don't take this the wrong way, but for the cost of a move with a higher priced carrier, you get a brand new treadmill. The glass is always half full

Yes, I realize this. You make a very good point. I just wanted to let other potential customers know that this company doesn't stand behind the actions/decisions of their loaders/employees. If it wasn't for the treadmill incident the move went pretty well. They did drop and slightly damage a desk(which we aren't claiming because the desk is worth such a minimal value) , but that is par for the course in an interstate move. We have moved 6 times in the past 7 years (this is our 3rd interstate move) mostly for job reasons, and this is the first time where I've ever had an electronic item disconnected or a claim denied.

If it wasn't for this treadmill incident, I would probably recommend this company. But I'm afraid that if I were to use them again, the loader may decide to try something "unconventional" with an another electrical item like my washer/dryer and that will be damaged and not covered. I'd rather take my chances with another company.

I just want to let people know of my experience in case they are considering using the company I used. Forewarned is forearmed.

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

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby ArchieWhite » Tue May 13, 2008 7:52 am

What would you say if you were told that this company has approx 175 employees, and this is the only one who has made this mistake ( taking apart the treadmill) would you still say they are a bad company?

If Ford had one employee on the line that left off a part to your car, would you say that the entire Ford Motor Company is bad, all 55,000 employees?

murphy
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:20 am

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby murphy » Tue May 13, 2008 9:11 am

One employee making a bad decision or mistake doesn't make a company bad. How the company handles it does. I tell my guys "If you screw up -tell me and we'll fix it-just don't kill anybody-we can't fix that"

Chisme
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:41 pm

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby Chisme » Wed May 14, 2008 6:56 pm

The issue isn't so much that one person makes the company a bad company. The issue is like Murphy pointed out, how they are dealing with it.

When I brought the issue up to the claims person at the company she was happy to send out an adjuster. When the adjuster determined that the treadmill was unable to be repaired my claims contact at the company basically told us "oh well too bad for you. It doesn't matter what we did, we have federal law with us. Case closed. Don't bother me again."

It wasn't until I called the moving coordinator who had proved very helpful during our move to report what happened that the claims person became cooperative. All of a sudden they are giving us someone to provide a second opinion and have told us about arbitration that was available to us.

If I hadn't dealt with other movers in the past who were much more cooperative, I would have thought this par for the course. However, I know better, and I am trying to avoid it happening to other people. Other than this mishap, everything else went pretty well.

But consumers need to know that at least one loader tends to do some unconventional things, and in the case this does happen and something breaks, the claims department will do everything in its power to avoid responsibility.

rydog444
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:44 pm

Re: Horrible experience with move from Chicago to Florida

Postby rydog444 » Wed May 14, 2008 7:48 pm

and this is different from other moving companies in what way??? Are other moving companies begging you to pay claims? If the same exact situation happened with another moving company, what makes you so confident that you wouldn't have the same exact situation? I'm willing to bet it would go down almost the exact same way. Troyb22, your inference that Mayflower provides a lower quality move is simply laughable.
My job is to give the best domestic and international moving services to my corporate clients by using the best movers in the world, regardless of vanline affiliation.


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