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We had a terrible experience using them for our recent move. Despite scheduling our move months in advance, they did not have the second truck or crew which we had contracted scheduled, and the driver and crew of the first/main truck had to spend until after midnight loading our home. On the delivery side they also had inadequate help to unload the trucks (only had 3 males and one small female to unload a full semi truck), with one person only having a couple days of experience. As a result, we sustained a HUGE amount of damage to our furniture and home. We purchased full replacement value insurance, for which we submitted our claims.
The United Van Lines (Unigroup) office (Claims Group 2) is refusing to have our furniture repaired, or replace items at replacement value - claiming that things had 'pre-existing damage' and a host of other excuses. Many of these items are things that the packers and movers documented that they damaged, and they never once asked to see the photographs that were taken of our furniture prior to the move or any other information to support our claims. I have no doubt that the employees in this office are paid to deny claims, regardless of proof - betting that most people will not pursue litigation. I have moved a lot for my job, and this is the worst move and company I have ever experienced. The damage to our furniture is severe - not just large scratches and dings - but an entire baseboard was ripped off our dining room buffet.
We want to share our experience so no one else must go through the same ordeal. My husband and I moved from Washington to California and this was our experience: 1. We went online to research for a moving company and we picked United Van Line/Mayflower due to the size of the company and past reputation. (Note: we neglected to read reviews on Yelp and ConsumerAffirs.com first before making decision.) 2. Through United Van Line website, we were sent to Morgan Transfer Moving & Storage at Lacey, Washington. The Move Consultant Jim was nice and professional. We were promised to be in good hands.
3. Due to my husband’s daily cancer treatment on weekdays, we scheduled to move on Saturday 7/13/19. After several communication to confirm the date and 8-10am pick up timeframe, we scheduled a quick trip to Washington on Friday 7/12 so to supervise the move on Saturday and return home on Sunday 7/14. On the morning of the moving day 7/13 we received a call to cancel the move due to driver’s injury. 4. After several frantic phone calls to our Move Consultant Jim, a box truck finally arrived at 5:30pm. Nothing was properly packed when loaded to the truck. The movers were nice and friendly. They told us they were instructed to just get our stuff out of the house so we can fly back to California next day. They will pack and load our stuff into the crates in their Lacey warehouse and pictures will be sent to us after loading is completely. (Note: Pictures never arrived.)
5. Regardless we were told the credit card will not be charged until the crates are loaded and weighted, our credit card was charged immediately on Monday 7/15 morning. We left a voicemail with Dawn at Morgan Transfer but didn’t receive any call back. We asked our Move Consultant Jim to help and even he was frustrated about the communication breakdown in his own company. (Note: 17 days later when we called Morgan Transfer again, we spoke with Dawn and she apologized for not returning the call because she was “overburdened at work”.)
6. 17 days after the movers “removed” stuff from our house, a Mayflower truck pulled up in front of our house in California. (Note: United and Mayflower belong to the same company UniGroup.) The movers told us one of the 3 crates was badly damaged during the move. United Van Line contracted a third party mover Estes Express Lines to transport the 3 moving crates. A hand-written receiving note attached to the broken crate reads: “....1 crate destroyed-top missing, bottom & side broken; box held together by rope.” (See attached photo.) 7. We found all our furniture was damaged one way or the other. Our Italian dining table arrived with four legs still attached. The legs were destroyed and broken beyond repair. The movers didn’t follow standard procedure to disassemble the table legs before crating.
8. We filed claims with United Van Line. We would like to know (1) why the moving company didn’t follow the standard procedure? (2) How the crate was completely dropped and broken during shipping by a 3rd party carrier? 9. Without any investigation on moving company’s negligence, United Claim Team 2 informed us because we didn’t purchase the full replacement level of protection plan, we will receive 60 cents per pound compensation based on the military scale United uses. We left a voicemail with the Claims Regional Manager but never received a return call.
10. We received Customer Satisfaction Survey from United Van Line few days later. We filled out and submitted our complaint. No one contacted us. 11. Although we didn’t purchase the full protection plan, we believe we are entitled to know why the standard practice was not followed and what the hauling company did to the crate. Our Move Consultant Jim handed us over to Kira, the Claims & Quality Assurance at Morgan Transfer, and she communicated with us almost daily. She investigated and acknowledged the negligence of not removing dining table legs; owned up to and apologized for the mishandling in the warehouse. She also helped us to connect with the UniGroup Customer Care Specialist at United Van Line.
12. Mr. Customer Care Specialist asked us to send all the pictures we took of the broken crate and destroyed furniture. We waited for few days and contacted him again. His reply: ”I did receive all of the pictures you had sent, thank you. The Cargo Claim department did respond to my query about your claim. I’m sorry but the cause of damage to your items does not affect how settlements are evaluated. They are based on the valuation chosen by the customer. If you have any other questions about your claim, please feel free to contact Claims Team 2 at 800-537-7567.” (In other words, Customer Care does not apply to us because we didn’t purchase their full protection coverage, so they are not responsible for the negligence of their movers and carrier company???)
13. We replied to Mr. Customer Care Specialist: “settlement aside, what is the cause of damage to our items?” This time his reply is simply: “I do not know the cause of the damage and again recommend you contact Claims Team 2 at 800-537-7567 with any questions you have about the damages or the claim.” 14. So, we did contact Claim Team 2 for one last time. The answer from them: ”Since there was no inspector assigned due to the claim settlement amount was less than the departmental requirement to have an inspection, the team would not be in a position to determine the specific causation of the damage. Your claim was processed based on the valuation selected by the customer.”
So, United Claim Team determined their settlement of 60 cents per pound and United Claim Team determined the settlement amount was too small to investigate. Too small for whom? Those are the stuff we spent our hard-earned money to purchase and use in our daily life. They are big and valuable to us. No acknowledgement of their negligence and no apology from United. We feel so helpless against this big moving company. 15. We started to read about all the reviews we should have read before we chose United Van Line. We realized we are not one of the few but one of the many unhappy customers. Ironically this helped us to write this review and move on with our life.Lessons learned:
1. Bigger is not better. We thought United Van Line is a reputable company. We were wrong.
2. You are entirely at their mercy. They decided how much to settle with you and they decide if your damage is big enough for them to even care and investigate.
3. They don’t care. They don’t own up to their negligence and they don’t apologize for your loss.
4. Read reviews. Yelp and Consumeraffairs.com. Reviews told the similar stories about United Van Line. These reviews could have helped us before we made final decision to go with United Van Line.
5. There are still some good people out there. Although experience was bumpy, Jim and Kira at Morgan Transfer earned our respect. Many thanks to them for helping us advocating with United. They owned up to their part of mishandling and they do care about their customer.
Will never recommend to a friend. Unprofessional. The packers went out to smoke every 30 minutes while packing. Completely destroyed my desk. Did not know how to put back furniture. Never offered trash removal service even though it was included in the contract.
Got estimates from all the major van lines for a cross country move. Settled on United because I liked the agent who did the estimate. He mentioned using 'cartons' (United's version of Pods) as an economical option, as my one-bedroom move was considered small. On moving day, 3 people showed up. A man, a 14-year-old boy and a young woman. I was in shock at the motley crew and wondered how they were going to physically do the work. When I asked the teen how old he was, the man said he was the owner's son, like they had no choice but to bring him.
They seemed to get the loading done, mostly due to the fact that the man was quite strong and carried/lifted most of the furniture himself. But not without incident. Beside not listening to me when I said, "Please don't pack these things, I'm taking them with me", when I offered to pick up lunch the man asked me for a beer. I politely declined. Suffice to say, you think you're hiring United Van Lines but you get Sanford and Son. My shipment was 3 days late and the transit coordinator 'couldn't get in touch with the driver.' In 2019? Doesn't everyone have a cell phone?
When it finally did arrive and the young men from the destination moving company started unwrapping my furniture there was so much damage I was in shock. I'd estimate at least 75% of my furniture is damaged - all due to the origination team having only one adult male to shove things into the compartments without finesse. I filed a claim but it's been weeks since I've heard back from them. They offered to settle for 50% of my claim but I refused. There is serious damage to some of my furniture, specifically a piano which will cost $100s to repair. So far, there has been no response since I turned down their lowball offer. Shocked at this national brand company that has been in operation for decades. How do they stay in business?
Moved from SC to NY and needed a company as we have three small children and a current battle with cancer. I was wary of paying such an extremely high amount, but they promised a weight credit if the estimated weight was over the actual weight. This would have been great had the driver weighed the truck.... So no weight credit to us.
They did not protect the floors at either location as promised and did not pack and protect the mattresses as promised and paid for. Furniture was not handled with care as they dropped a dresser down the stairs. Causing damage to the dresser, stairs and wall. We had damage to multiple items. I filed a claim with the department and it’s been a battle to get them to take ownership of the issues. Our “settlement” for damages will not cover repairs or replacement of the items the movers broke. I am so disappointed in this company. The customer service representative assured me before the move that everything would be wonderful. It was far from it. AWFUL AWFUL EXPERIENCE! Take pictures of the moving truck while they load and unload. I wish I had.
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OK- Update on my move with United Van Lines. Moving from Pennsylvania to Little Rock, Arkansas, I schedule with United at a higher rate than the other moving companies as I thought they would be efficient and timely-- wrong! Aside from the shipment showing up outside the contracted window many items in the move are now MIA. One in particular is my son's team photo from Vassar which was in a cylinder to protect it, my Italian dining room table which has had the screws stripped out of it during disassemble for packing, my long ladder, and hardware missing from the beds.
I would not have gotten my furniture when I had, had I not started to complain because I was tired of sleeping on a floor! Reading the other glowing reviews only makes me wonder as a single, senior citizen, female, do I not matter? My money was good enough but evidently my possessions, my son's college memories, and overall customer service was not.
We moved from Texas to Tennessee. They came to our house packed it all up. Even when I forgot to confirm the move they made it out to pack it up. The movers in Texas were efficient and kind. The movers in Tennessee unloaded everything and were also kind and efficient. The people working for this company are kind, understanding, and work hard to please their customers. I would definitely recommend this company to others.
I can honestly say I have had some pretty horrific things occur to me in my life, but having to deal with an UNETHICAL and FRAUDULENT moving company as United/Aaction Movers of Fargo has moved to the top of the list!! Having to deal with the most dishonest human being I have ever met, the regional moving coordinator, Shannon **, makes even the most unscrupulous used car salesmen look like Mother Theresa!!
Where to begin the nightmare that won't seem to end. I scheduled to have my furniture picked up in Fargo on 4/17 to be delivered by United Van Lines in Clovis NM a week and a half later per Ms. **. I gave them my credit card number (HUGE mistake) and had planned to put the cost of the move $3654 for a one-bedroom apartment which I had completely packed, disassembled, boxed, bubble-wrapped, blanketed and shrink wrapped before the movers arrived. The guys who did the actual work were nice and loaded my items in a timely manner.
From there, the move went straight to HELL!! I was in touch with Shannon daily to ensure my items were crated and picked up so that I didn't have to sleep on an air mattress any longer than absolutely necessary. I have severe back issues, so sleeping on an air mattress for an extended period causes major muscle spasms. Ms. ** was fully aware of the urgency of getting my items to me as expeditiously as possible. Each of the following days I was assured my belongings had been carefully crated and were awaiting a pick up by United from their Fargo warehouse. Per Ms. ** I should have my belongings as of today, April 26th at the latest.
Fast forward to this past Tuesday, April 23rd and Estes moving has been contacted to move my things. I was not made aware that anyone other than United would be moving my things since that is the reason I went with Aaction in the first place. I was furious!! I sent her an email telling her that she could place a hold on my credit card for the full amount, but that I would be paying by certified check ONCE I finally receive my items. She charged my credit card anyway against my direct request to change my method of payment.
Now, I place a review on Yelp and get a response from their CSR at United in MO. She informs me she will help me get this resolved, yet refuses to call me back with updates on what is occurring with my belongings. I have some unknown freight carrier with a reputation far worse than United, hauling my belongings without my consent, AND they have my $3600, so I may never see my belongings again. I have a full inventory of everything that was picked up in Fargo, but am very concerned about the sticky-fingered felons that work for Aaction during the week my belongings were sitting unmatched while Ms. ** lied to my face!!
I will update if and when I ever do get my things, but for now please be aware of this company and its fraudulent and unethical business practices. I told several friends I was having some very bad vibes about using this company and now I know why!! Trust your gut and all of the bad reviews so you don't have to live through this nightmare!! Yes, I have contacted the FTC, BBB and anyone that can help ensure these crooks don't do this to anyone else!! You trust your belongings and livelihood to crooks and this is what happens!! Please don't get yourself in the same horrific situation with a disreputable company like Aaction who will take your money and leave you wondering if you will ever see your belongings again.... Please save yourself the nightmare, sleep deprivation, and stress of dealing with these crooks!!
United/Planes subcontracted to a local company to prepare our grandfather clock for shipping. Subcontractor broke the clock while doing so. They lied to us and to the BBB saying it was broken before they touched it. United's movers plastic wrapped two of our four couches; not sure why they didn't plastic wrap all of them. One of the non-wrapped couches was white. It arrived covered in black streaks on the bottom 8 inches as if it was dragged through dirt. They also lied about that claiming it was dirty before they touched it. They also broke the door to our dryer, 3 picture frames, and a few smaller items, and refused to take responsibility for any of those items either. They just kept lying until we filed a BBB complaint and then refused to respond at all. Stay FAR away from this awful company.
Movers placed "fragile" boxes on the bottom! 24" boxes now 6" - crushed! Smashed mirrors to shards! Couch not covered and fabric worn into holes. Put a fireplace with casters under so much weight it flattened casters and broke the frame! Coffee and end tables scratched and broken! All items literally tossed into their truck. Movers insisted there was no damage. When filing claim they insist a typed signature (as an e signature) was all they had and could not provide any actual signature. Frustratingly bad service, attitude and claims process!
United Van Lines expert review by Janine Sarna-Jones
United Van Lines is a trusted mover that has over 340 agent locations in the United States and also offers international moving services. The company was founded in Cleveland, OH, in 1928.
Quotes: The company starts by offering you a detailed quote so you are aware of how much your move will cost.
Unpacking: United Van Lines offers many levels of packing and unpacking that include furniture assembly, disassembly and setting up new offices.
Pricing: It has fair prices and a number of optional services to keep moves affordable, such as having customers pack the material themselves and extending the delivery dates so that they can bulk your move in with other customers.
Protection plans: The company offers many protection plans in order to ensure that your belongings arrive safe and are insured against damage.
Auto transport: Car transport is provided on United Van fleets so you don't have to drive your car yourself or add extra miles to it.
Best for: Individuals, households and military families.
United Van Lines Company Information
- Company Name:
- United Van Lines