Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

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janet
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:13 pm

Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby janet » Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:47 pm

I will be moving from southern California to Ann Arbor Michigan at the end August and did what I thought was a thoroughly research into moving companies. Thank God for this site - although the moving horror stories made me think maybe I just want to UPS everything, but I had just too much stuff to rely solely on that kind of service.

It's a small move, a studio apartment's worth, so I was turned down by the bigger moving companies like Mayflower for example and a few locally based ones because I did not meet their minumum. I also got a quote from Broadway Express just because they get such glowing reviews here, but friendly rep aside, it was going to be too expensive. $1800 + Labor Ready cost.

I talked to MiniMoves, BoxBros, ShipSmart, and Sterling Vanlines. They specialize in smaller moves like mine. I had two major criterias, besides cost of course. One was I needed help unloading and the other was that I needed my stuff delivered within a tight time frame (sometime between August 30 and September 5th). But they could pick up whenever they needed to meet the delivery time frame. I do realize I may have been naive about the delivery date time frame - but I decided to go with Sterling because my rep said he checked with dispatch and could meet that time frame.

They came to pick up wednesday July 27th. Quick, efficient, and friendly. That was the good part. They were done in half an hour.

Then I get a phone call later that day from my driver, who says he'll meet me in Ann Arbor August 4th. Basically a month earlier than was discussed. I totally freaked out. Long story short, I called Sterling and got in touch with my rep's supervisor. He acknowledged their mistake and let me know industry standard is, they cannot guarantee such a tight delivery time frame - so my stuff will arrive in Ann Arbor sometime between August 30th and September 15th.

This defeated the whole purpose of going with Sterling in the first place.

I called again today July 29th to make sure I am not getting lost in the paper/truck/warehouse shuffle. And the general tone of the conversation I had with the rep's supervisor made me think I am not on anybody list mistakes they need to rectify and while I do believe they're a reputable company, if I get lost in the shuffle, that's the end of that.

I would appreciate any kind of input or advice on how to proceed, what kind of tone to take, or if I should just get my stuff back and find an alternative.

Thank you.

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

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby Nancy » Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:03 pm

Is your stuff already in transit? Can someone else accept delivery on August 4th? I'm thinking you need to pay a month of storage if you can't take delivery for over six weeks.

Guest

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:19 pm

My stuff is not in transit yet. It was going to be loaded, or was loaded to a truck headed east, but it's off and warehoused. I do not know anybody in Ann Arbor, or in Michigan for that matter so this whole moving thing has been slightly more nerve wrecking that it would've been had I known someone I could count at that end.

Sterling has their own warehouse and I got an oral agreement from the rep's supervisor that I would not be charged for storage at their LA facility. I also got a confirmation of my final cost, which is what we'd discussed before this all happened.

(sigh...)

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

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby Nancy » Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:25 pm

Sounds like one person made an error and was going to load the shipment. Since it is off the truck and now in storage, they seem to be upholding their free storage agreement (which is extremely generous in the summertime, peak season).

What dates are on your contract from Sterling?

janet
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:13 pm

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby janet » Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:40 pm

Thank you for your questions and input;

Per contract pick up was to be between July 26 - July 31 (they came July 27) and delivery was to be between August 30 - Sept 2nd.

But delivery is now going to be between August 30 - Sept 15th.
(which does not really work for me :( I may have to fly somone out to Ann Arbor to supervise the move, if it comes down to that)

I do believe they are reputable.
Maybe they do this too often that they kinda rely on auto pilot and did not check the dates. I wasn't expecting this to happen at all (but then who does?). It made me wonder though if they'll somehow not check the date again and I get my stuff around Halloween. And since storage wasn't part of the deal, my stuff may/may not be taken care of properly. I'm now more worried about my stuff arriving in the condition they left in.

I will keep movingscam.com posted on what happens at the end of August though.

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

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby Nancy » Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:44 pm

To be blunt, a 3 day delivery window at the end of the summer is very unrealistic. I don't know how one of their employees could have agreed to it. But guess we'll just have to wait and see at this point!

Guest

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:51 pm

I am very suprised that they agreed to those DL dates without charging you for any type of waiting time or storage.

janet
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:13 pm

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby janet » Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:41 pm

all the small-move moving services wanted to pick up asap. A month wasn't unusual. Is that what you are wondering? I assumed some sort of storage while the van got full with other loads was part of the deal, because they wanted to pick up the stuff so early... or am I not seeing an obvious point everyone else is seeing?

Shannon M

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby Shannon M » Sat Jul 30, 2005 8:43 am

A month or more difference between pick-up and DL is unusual. Especially since your goods never went into storage officially. I completely agree with Nancy. The size of your shipment, the distance its going and the fact that it's during the summertime make a 3-day DL window VERY unrealistic, especially with the month between p/u and delivery. But the company should have never agreed to it.

Did you sign a contract with the agreed pick-up and delivery dates? Do you have anything from your movers in writing?

Guest

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby Guest » Sat Jul 30, 2005 4:28 pm

I do have a pick up time frame and delivery time frame in writing. They did mess up on the dates, assuming one thing, when in writing it was some time later. They agreed to hold my stuff until it's time for them to ship it to meet the original agreed on delivery time frame (which got expanded from the original one week window to two week window). I do not feel comfortable now because, while they do seem reputable, my stuff is now in administrative limbo.

Guest

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby Guest » Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:45 pm

I will read every detail of the posts on the thread later as I only skimmed it but

DO NOT TAKE STERLING VAN LINES WORD FOR IT THAT THEY WON'T CHARGE YOU FOR STORAGE!!!!!

I had a terrible experience with this company, (and yes, it was the sterling van lines in california) but will refrain from details to tell you- their dispatcher told me the same thing and I wound up being charged not only for storage but for other charges that I was not told about.

I deeply regret doing business with this company.

janet
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:13 pm

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby janet » Mon Aug 01, 2005 11:06 am

Guest,

I would like to know what happened with your story before I get alarmed. Please PM me or reply to this message with the personal details omitted. I assumed this "free storage" was actually part of the over estimation of weight of my stuff. So they're not actually losing money. I don't have anything of real value with Sterling right now ( I wouldn't trust that to movers, especially for a month) that's worth being led thru the nose for. Maybe I should just forget about it and get my stuff back. Edit my content and send it thru UPS.

Did you by any chance have contact with a gentleman named "Doug?"

memcnult
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 4:44 pm

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby memcnult » Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:07 pm

Hi Janet,

I just posted my review of Sterling - I had a pretty bumpy ride with them as well. The best advice I can offer is just keep calling - talk to Tony, he's the guy most likely to be able to give you a realistic timeline (he's the dispatcher, or scheduler or whatever). He's nice, and really does try to figure stuff out for you, but he's not great at returning phone calls, so be willing to call him back, and hold if he's not available immediately.

My stuff was delivered way outside of my contracted range, which was a pain, but at least I was there! Good luck!

janet
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:13 pm

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby janet » Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:27 pm

Thank you for the reply and the review.

Tony, the dispatcher, I've spoken with him, played a bit of phone tag. He was real good about answering my questions though once I got hold of him. And I will be speaking with him more starting from mid-august when they have a better idea of when the next truck is headed out east. Did you have to pay later for storage? It seems like they had your stuff for quite a while.
Last edited by janet on Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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

Re: Bumpy ride with Sterling Van Lines so far - need advice

Postby Diane » Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:33 pm

Just to clarify, the "guest" who posted above, "I deeply regret doing business with this company" is a different person from "memcnult."


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