Review of Hampden Moving and Storage, Inc. of Abingdon, Maryland

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mkabase1
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:38 am
Location: Baltimore

Review of Hampden Moving and Storage, Inc. of Abingdon, Maryland

Postby mkabase1 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:42 am

I tried to send this information in a message to the administrators, but it didn't work. Sorry if I am posting in the wrong place.

Based on recommendations from users of this site, I used Hampden Moving and Storage, Inc. of Abingdon, Maryland for my move from Baltimore to Tennessee. This is a local affiliate of Mayflower. I had a very good experience on the Maryland end. Mark McMahon, who gave me my binding estimate of $2,544.41 (for a large one-bedroom with thousands of heavy books, which seemed reasonable), was very professional. Jackie Newby, who orchestrated the move, was also professional and kept in touch with me throughout the move -- for example, she called me on the day of pickup and the day of delivery.

The movers arrived on time and they seemed to be very nice. They certainly worked hard. I had packed everything myself. The driver who came to Baltimore, Rich, was the same person who drove my stuff to Tennessee, which was nice. They told me that my things would be delivered in Tennessee three days after they were packed in the van. This turned out to be accurate. Rich called me promptly when he discovered that he was going to be a couple of hours late, so it was nice to have this frequent communication.

I did have some problems, however. While my beautiful antique hutch made the trip intact, my seven bookcases were damaged (large chunks taken out of the veneer, the backing removed from one of them). Granted, they are not the fanciest bookcases in the world, but they weren't cheap either. Rich, the driver, gave the explanation that IKEA bookcases are not intended to be moved from one location to another so it's not surprising that they all were damaged. If this is the case, I feel that they should have told me this ahead of time. If I knew that I should expect for every single bookcase to be damaged, I wouldn't have paid to have them moved.

More grievously, I witnessed one of the movers on the Tennessee end THROWING my boxes from where he stood atop a tall ladder inside the truck to the floor of the van. Obviously, writing "This side up" on all of my boxes, as I had done, meant nothing to these people. I was like, "What are you doing?!" and ran out to save my stuff. He said, "Oh, your boxes didn't say 'fragile' on them." I'm like, "So, you decided to throw them?!" This was so upsetting. I have been afraid to open most of my boxes because I just don't think I can deal with the pain of seeing all of my things damaged.

Overall, it could have been worse. At least my stuff arrived. I am missing one box, but it's possible that it's here somewhere and I am just overlooking it.

Diane
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: Review of Hampden Moving and Storage, Inc. of Abingdon, Maryland

Postby Diane » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:47 am

Basically your move seems to have gone OK, but I'm sorry about the problems on the destination end. It's so distressing when everyone on the origin end performs beautifully, and the van line driver also does basically OK, and then the worker or workers screw it up at delivery.

The driver was correct in telling you that particleboard furniture is not designed to be moved and can easily sustain damage. Often moving companies have a sheet that they hand out to customers beforehand explaining this, and some even have customers sign a damage waiver to that effect. However, I understand that the latter is illegal so most companies have stopped doing it.

I myself moved particleboard bookcases in an ABF truck with no damage but I wrapped them in blankets and held the blankets on with shrinkwrap. Maybe this wasn't done in your case. At least I guess the bookcases are still serviceable, i.e. not torn apart, although they're not in the condition they were in before. Sometimes damage to the finish can be masked with touchup markers.

As for the worker throwing your boxes to the floor, that is totally unacceptable but you may be surprised to find that there is no damage to the contents if they were well packed. In particular, books will probably be unharmed. If there is visible damage to the exterior of the cartons, the moving company is responsible for any damage to the contents, so be sure to photograph any boxes where the exterior has dents or tears.

The weak link here was the laborer that the driver hired to help him deliver. Responsible sales reps at moving companies have told me that they make it a point to talk to the van line drivers who pick up a shipment they have booked and they urge them to be careful with that shipment and who they hire at destination to help them. It's heartbreaking for the rep and move coordinator to do their jobs perfectly and then have it go bad at the end when it's out of their control.

If a company can self-haul a shipment using its own trucks and drivers, it has control over the shipment from start to finish, but if it registers a shipment with the van line, as here, that is not the case. Logistically, sometimes shipments have to be registered with the van line rather than being self-hauled. It depends on many factors such as the size and timing of the shipment and the availability of a company driver.

One important thing that I would like for people to take away from this review is that Hampden was not at fault. Hampden had no control over what happened at destination because (as far as I can see) it did not haul the shipment itself. If I am wrong, please post that.
Diane
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ArchieWhite
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: Review of Hampden Moving and Storage, Inc. of Abingdon, Maryland

Postby ArchieWhite » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:47 am

removed
Last edited by ArchieWhite on Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mkabase1
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:38 am
Location: Baltimore

Re: Review of Hampden Moving and Storage, Inc. of Abingdon, Maryland

Postby mkabase1 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:08 am

Diane, thank you so much for your detailed and knowledgeable reply. That's good to know about the bookcases, for future reference. It is encouraging to hear that you think that the contents of the boxes might be intact. I did a very careful job with the packing, so I am feeling more hopeful (but I still don't have the nerve to open them all up yet). With the driver, I examined the contents of those boxes that had been partially broken open, and everything in them seemed okay for the most part -- but these were not breakable items.

Archie, I'm not sure what benefit would be derived from embellishing my story on this website. I tried to give a balanced description of my experience, both the good and the bad. I witnessed the worker throwing my boxes from the ladder to the floor and he admitted doing so. The driver also told the worker not to do it anymore.

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

Re: Review of Hampden Moving and Storage, Inc. of Abingdon, Maryland

Postby Diane » Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:48 am

I agree; I love Archie but I don't think his response was helpful or courteous in this case.

Please let us know whether you end up with any broken items that were in cartons. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.

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

Re: Review of Hampden Moving and Storage, Inc. of Abingdon, Maryland

Postby ArchieWhite » Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:40 pm

I'll withdraw the comment. And I want to get some of those boxes that will withstand being dropped from 8-10 feet with 40-50 lbs inside and not explode.

mkabase1
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:38 am
Location: Baltimore

Re: Review of Hampden Moving and Storage, Inc. of Abingdon, Maryland

Postby mkabase1 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:55 pm

Archie, the boxes are "Hospira" boxes. They are exceptionally thick, used by hospitals to transport fluids such as Lactated Ringers and heparin. I also reinforced every box corner of every box with double layers of duct tape. Nonetheless, I do not think that it was right of the movers to throw my boxes.

MusicMom
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Review of Hampden Moving and Storage, Inc. of Abingdon, Maryland

Postby MusicMom » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:27 pm

You're right, they should not have thrown your boxes.

But clearly you need to write an article on how to pack your household for maximum survival! :D

Movinghelper
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Re: Review of Hampden Moving and Storage, Inc. of Abingdon, Maryland

Postby Movinghelper » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:34 am

I have been able to get some of those from the local hospital and dialysis center here in town. They ship the fluids for treatment in them. They are very, very, very, heavy duty. They are great for security but they really add the weight also to a load.
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