ED Magedson – Founder
United States Van Lines401 E Las Olas Blvd. Suite 130-345 Fort Lauderdale, Florida United States of America
I recently relocated from Nashville to Santa Barbara. I initially asked for a quote from Allied Van Lines, and found it beyond my financial means. Looking for other options, I applied for a moving quote online. Once I put in a request for a quote, I was inundated with literally dozens of phone calls and emails begging me for my business. (Once I put down my deposit, it was hard to get in touch with anyone, but that's for later.)
When I first spoke to my moving consultant, Steven Vandal, he gave me a long and well-rehearsed spiel on what a great and reliable company it was, on what great customer service it had, and told me that he would be in touch with me throughout the process. Unfortunately it appears that his idea of good customer serviceand the mission of the entire companyis to avoid phone calls, leave voicemails unreturned, and give no useful information whatsoever. Not knowing this in advance, I fell for it and put down a deposit. (Five minutes of Internet research on USVL, which is overwhelmingly negative, would have saved me the trouble. Hopefully other customers will be smarter than I was.)
Once my two-day moving window had come and gone, I got a call from Alexander, telling me they had "no information available" on when or if a carrier would be available for me. He left his extension, in case I had any questions. I did have questions (duh!), so I called back. I spent 45 minutes on hold, until their phone lines simply cut off. This takes avoidance to a new heightit's a tactic I should try using on my exes. (I now pretty much have it memorized: "Thank you for holding. Your call and your business are very important to us." Ha! If only.)
Two days after the end of the window, when I spoke to another customer service representative, she said absolutely nothing. She merely repeated, over and over and over, "I have no information. I cannot give you any information. I cannot give you any information. There is no information." From start to finish, all I got from the customer service representatives was meaningless, empty blather like "we do not have any information at this time." There was one guy, Alvin, who seemed relatively competent and sympathetic, but other than that none of them seemed the least bit informed.
Here's a tip: if you can't track down information, don't run a moving company.
After grappling one or two more times with the "dispatch representatives" and cancellation department, I proceeded to head to the nearest Budget Van Lines and move the stuff myself. I got the job done more smoothly, more cheaply, and (judging from what I've read) probably more professionally than USVL's "carriers" would have done.
They say they're refunding my deposit within a week or so. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt (probably dumb of me) and assume they're telling me the truth. If this changes, of course I'll be back here with updates.
For the moment, it appears that paying my deposit and getting my deposit back were the only parts of the process USVL was equipped to handle.
Relocation is a fact of life for my line of work, and I would gladly have been a loyal customer--I would also have recommended them to my colleagues. They've probably just cost themselves tens of thousands of dollars.
Professionalism and competence aren't just for show; they're how money gets
made. It seems USVL has earned its rightfully lousy reputation.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/19/2010 10:42 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/United-States-Van-Lines/-Fort-Lauderdale-Florida-33301/United-States-Van-Lines-Nationwide-Movers-United-States-Relocation-Services-Will-Not-Show-624740. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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