First let me say I take some fault in this situation I am about to describe. The reason I take some fault is I did not do my usual due diligence because if I did I would have not gone with Colonial Van Lines/Allstate/ Colonial Van Lines Relocation.
My situation summary:
Closing for my house was moved up and I needed to get out quick June 23, 2017. Both me and my wife start new jobs the 26th in Florida. So, I needed to find a moving company for my move from Maryland to Florida. I have 5300sq ft. home full of furniture, clothes, etc. It took 14 of my friends and entire day to help us move in (you will understand later why I added this). So, June 16th in the afternoon I contacted Colonial Van Lines/Allstate/ Colonial Van Lines Relocation.
Spoke to a rep Anne and she was very helpful and seemed to be very knowledgeable. She pulled up my house on Zillow and we went through the 3D tour of my house to figure out the items I was bringing. After we completed that she gave me an estimate with all the fees $7534 (57 cents pp) and I felt that was a good price. She explained the price was based on per pound and the estimated pounds were 13,058lbs. One thing I had an issue was they charged $768.80 for a shuttle charge and $158 charge to deliver to a storage facility. She explained that they had to charge that because an 18-wheeler would not make it down my street so they need to get a smaller truck to pick up some of my stuff then take it back to the 18-wheeler then come back and get the rest of my stuff. She then explained on pickup that they will come help pack, pickup, load, disassemble, and log everything so that we have an inventory list. On delivery they would unload, reassemble, and place items as needed. After that I told her I would call back after discussing with my wife. So later I called back and she was gone but her manager helped me finish the transaction and he also went over the same things Anne did. I discussed timelines with both Anne and her manager. They both told me that pickup would be Wednesday 21st or Thursday 22nd and delivery would be Sunday 25th. He took the deposit of $3099 and that was it. Smooth process!
Scheduling/ Inventory Call:
Received a call Saturday 17 from Paul and we went through the list again to make sure I thought of everything. We also spoke about timeline and the process. Smooth!
Here where things start to go to hell:
My wife received a call Tuesday 20th from the driver and he told her he can be there late afternoon Wednesday or Thursday Morning. So, I call him and ask him what time is “late afternoon Wednesday” and he said I’m not sure but I will call before I come. So “late afternoon Wednesday” comes and no one shows, so I called to find that he wasn’t coming but will come Thursday 22nd between 8am-10am. Thursday 9:45am no one is here so I call and was told they are stuck in traffic and won’t be here till 1pm. They show up at 2:40pm! So, 2 guys show up and we go through my home looking at stuff that still need to be packed and just how much stuff I have. Once we finish he says we are going to wrap all your furniture, televisions, any mirrors, and china cabinet. 11:30pm these two guys have wrapped everything except ALL the furniture and TV’s in the basement. Let’s note that me and my wife have wrapped/boxed 90% of our stuff so they were only really wrapping couches and some tv’s. To their defense like I said earlier we have a lot of stuff. So, the moving of our stuff is now moved to Friday 23rd morning at 6am. 7:45am no one is here so, I call to find that they are sleep somewhere and he says to me, “why didn’t you call me earlier”. So, the same 2 guys arrive at 9:40 am and begin loading the truck. 10:30pm and the two guys come in and tell me that they have loaded the truck to compacity and they can’t take any more stuff. So, I explain I paid an additional $768.80 for transport service and he told me he was unaware of that. Being that it was now 11pm at night there was no one to call and get this straight (I’ll come back to the remaining items later).
Monday 26th I call discuss the delivery of the items they picked up. Since Friday no one has heard from the driver and they are awaiting his information so that they can excess the weight and come up with the final numbers. So, paperwork comes in Tuesday and my stuff will be delivered Friday the 30th. I receive my final bill $7126.77 and the weight was 11240 lbs. So, I email and called billing to ask why the bill wasn’t lowered by 57 cents per pound and why the transport cost wasn’t taken off. It was explained that if you come in under the estimated weight they use a sliding scale range to determine pricing. I asked to see where that is listed in the contract but was told it’s just something the computer does (shady). They did remove the transport charge of $699.05 (note that this charge is less because the weight is less). So, I ended up having a final bill of $6427.71 (57 cents pp).
Friday 30th my stuff finally arrives 9am and again its two guys. So, one of the guys goes and picks up some random guys from Home Depot. These guys are complete strangers to myself and the movers, however they were allowed to see and handle our personal belongings. They come back and there are now 6 guys including the driver. When the Home Depot guys see how much stuff I have they say no and they ask to leave. When they leave the driver ask me if I can help and me not being a jerk I help (95 degrees). So, an hour later the other guy comes back with more guys and things start to really move. I’m hoping we got everything because we didn’t go through the inventory list and the way things were packed on the truck I hope things are not broken. I have no idea where the screws and parts are for the disassemble stuff is. Also, nothing was reassembled (note I was told after they delivered that nothing is reassembled because my stuff was delivered to a storage). 5pm we finally finish and the driver gives me a lecture about why I should tip the guys and makes a display of it. Last thing I had to make final payment to the moving agent which was strange.
Now back to the rest of my stuff:
Saturday 24th I call Colonial at 9 am when they are supposed to open but no one picks up till 10:30am and I speak to my moving coordinator Roxanne. I explain the situation and Roxanne apologizes and tells me I am correct. She says she will call them and straighten it out right away. Hour later she calls me and says that I need to find a transport for my remaining items. She tells me that they picked up everything that was on the item list that was on the estimate. After some back and forth she said she is going to speak to manager and give me a call right back. 2 hours later I call and speak to a manager about the situation. She tries to right the wrong so she says I will work this out and call you right back (they close at 5pm). 2 hours later (4:40) I call again and reach the manager and she says they will come out Monday or Tuesday to pick up the remainder items (note I said earlier I needed to be in Florida Monday 26th).
Monday 26th Of course, they didn’t come Monday and a no show on Tuesday. So, I call and speak to Roxanne she explains that she didn’t know why her manager told me Monday or Tuesday (note my original conversation with Anne this was supposed to be a Sunday deliver). She tells me that she will contact dispatch and get this taken care of. 2 hours later she calls me and tells me that a company called Zip will be there Thursday between 8-10am (at this point my closing has been moved to Thursday because of the constant changes). She assured me multiple times and then reconfirmed with dispatch. She explains that this is a very reliable company and I have nothing to worry about. Thursday comes no one shows and I call and was told they will come Friday 30th between 8-10 (no show), then I received a call from the driver from Zip saying that they will be there between 1-4pm. I email Roxanne about the time change but received no response from her. 3:40pm comes I call back the driver and had to remind him of the pickup so he says let me call my manager and call you back. 5:30pm no one calls so I call Roxanne to cancel because at this point I have had an enough. She basically says ok and that she will contact Zip (no apologies no nothing). 6:45pm I get a call from the Zip driver and he says we are outside.
Colonial has zero regard for your time, they do not honor the times and schedule they come up with, they do not honor the guarantees they make, they tell you what you want to hear, they don’t disclose vital information until after the fact, and because they are just a broker (broker which wasn’t disclosed to me) they have zero control once your stuff is picked up. Because of all of this we had to move our closing date twice, I had to change my flight twice, buy new clothes for my wife for her first week at work, I pushed back my start date a week, we must find a moving company to move the rest of our stuff, and we had to buy a new crib for my son because they left that with the other stuff. After all this they tried to mislead me into signing a non-disclosure agreement that I did not sign!
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