My specific experience with Ally Vanlines are that they are a scam. I was quoted $1,700 for a move and asked to place $488 deposit to hold the dates of the move with their freight driver. My room mate paid the deposit using a credit card.
We never got an invoice or any paperwork at all and when we tried to call the company all we'd ever get is voicemail, no matter who we tried, or what time of day it was. Scared that we were being scammed, my room mate requested a chargeback on his credit card for the deposit and we moved on to just rent our own moving van.
Two weeks after we'd given up on ever talking to anyone at Ally Vanlines again, they called to schedule the movers. I told them we charged back the deposit and wouldn't be using their services. I told them we couldn't get a living person on the phone and they acted like that was crazy talk. The person I spoke to was named Tony Gousgounis and he assured me it had all been a misunderstanding and he was sorry we wouldn't be using their moving company, but that he'd need my help to cancel the freight driver they'd contracted on my behalf.
Then they proceeded to send me documents for the price quote, saying that in their system, they had to have a signed estimate on the books to do anything with the job, including cancel it. I didn't believe that I should have to sign anything to cancel the job and I argued with out signing for the majority of the day and through several calls. Tony Gousgounis spent 6 hours begging and calling and convincing me to sign, so they could cancel the subcontracted freight driver they'd scheduled so that the driver didn't show up to move us, expecting the remainder balance.
I did not want to sign, but he wore me down, and eventually I signed to get the ever more panicked Tony off my phone. When he took my paperwork, he said he'd be canceling the job with it, apologized for the misunderstanding, and then told me he'd give me a great deal in the future if I ever needed to move and was willing to give them another shot. I figured signing was harmless because my room mate ad already requested the credit back for the deposit through his bank. I thought they couldn't use my signature with my room mate's credit card, because I'm not an authorized signer on his card, so I figured signing the price quote would not be damaging.
I was wrong. They used my signature to fight the chargeback at the bank level and have it overturned, keeping the deposit. They did this knowing we were not going to use the service, knowing we'd given them plenty of time to cancel the work, knowing my signature wasn't authorized for the card they were charging.
This company knew exactly what it was doing to scam that deposit, did it willfully, and should NEVER be used.
Assist me in spreading the word however you can so others don't get scammed. A moving company should never require a deposit. Legitimate moving companies do an on-site free estimate of what it will cost to move you. The *real* moving company, Allied Van Lines, did just that and required no deposit. Ally Vanlines is a scam.