• Report: #414984

Complaint Review: United Van Lines

  • Submitted: Thu, January 22, 2009
  • Updated: Sat, February 06, 2010

  • Reported By:The Villages Florida
United Van Lines
One United Drive Fenton, Missouri U.S.A.

United Van Lines Damages, destroys, looses items and denies responsibilty Fenton Missouri

*Consumer Comment: Victim of United Moving in Las Cruces as well!

*Consumer Comment: Sorry about your move.

*Consumer Comment: Bad Move? Maybe Just a Bad Crew!

*Author of original report: American Moving and Storage, Las Cruces, NM United's affiliate

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On September 12, 2008, two United Van Lines trucks arrived at our house about 10AM, There were 4 people on the trucks, all dressed with United Van Lines logo shirts. One of the people was responsible for putting identification stickers on each carton and item that was put on the truck. He, in addition, was responsible for packing various paintings and a glass table top.

During the course of the morning that day, two of the persons started to move a cabinet that contained our collection of music CDs and some DVD videos. The found that the cabinet was full and said we needed to pack the CDs and DVDs separately. We had discussed this with the gentleman who came to our home to estimate the cost of the move. He said the cabinet could be wrapped with a plastic wrap to keep it from coming open during storage and transportation. I told him that in fact I had moved that cabinet myself to New Mexico from Dallas Texas, fully loaded, and did not experience any problem.

The workers at our home then proceeded to wrap the cabinet, many times around to secure it from coming apart. I then observed them putting a padding blanket around it and take it to the truck. The cabinet was secure at that time and there was no reason to believe it would not arrive in Florida in the same condition it left our home.

However, on arrival in Florida, we discovered that the cabinet had been opened and the contents completely jumbled. The CDs were not in the order they were when the left New Mexico. Indeed, they were placed in a purely random manner with many cases being put on the shelves in a fashion that the name of the CD could not be observed without completely removing it from the shelf it was on. In view of the fact that the method of securing the cabinet was secure and it is clear the cabinet was opened, I can only conclude the cabinet was deliberately opened after if left our home or it was so grossly mishandled that the plastic wrap was broken. In any event, this represents totally disrespectful or negligent handling of this cabinet either during transportation or during storage.

Around 4:30PM on September 12, the furniture, boxes and loose items from our home were completely loaded on the two trucks. At that time and as previously arranged with the person who came to estimate the cost of the move, I drove with the trucks to the other side of town to a storage facility where we had many totes, boxes and loose items that were to be shipped to Florida.

When the workers had loaded only a few totes onto the truck, the person who was putting inventory stickers on the items told me that he had run out of stickers. I asked him how he was going to keep track of the items. He said that once the truck reached the storage facility in Las Cruces, the load would be re-inventoried and the items without stickers would be tagged. That seemed like a reasonable way to handle the situation so I permitted the loading to continue. At that time, I saw a 33 gallon size plastic tote with all my wife's fall and winter clothing loaded on the truck without any inventory tag on it. There were approximately 25 totes and furniture items that were loaded on the truck without tags.

The trucks left Silver City, NM around 5:30PM on Sept. 12. Subsequently, our items were taken by the United Van Lines trucks to a storage facility in Las Cruces and were stored there until about November 14 when it was reloaded for delivery to us in Florida. Despite the representations of the persons on the United Van Lines trucks that picked up our goods, there never was a subsequent re-inventory of our goods.

On arrival on November 21, the driver in a United Van Lines truck and wearing United Van Lines logo shirt informed us that he would have two helpers to unload the truck and he fraudulently represented that he had picked up every item that we had sent to storage. He had no separate inventory of what he had loaded on the truck to verify his representations and he certainly had no way to verify the un-inventoried items were there as well. He also did not get two persons to help him unload though one person eventually showed up and he did hire my son to help unload.

The driver, we realize now, had no way to prove that he picked up everything and was simply fraudulently misleading us into believing all our goods were on the truck. He also represented that none of our goods had been mistakenly dropped off at someone else's home because he had not confused our goods with those of someone else. That false representation was made deliberately to mislead us into not checking too closely as to what actually was being delivered. Indeed, we discovered just a few days ago that an attachment for someone else's vacuum cleaner had found its way into a bucket in which our vacuum cleaner attachments were delivered. Hence, it is perfectly possible some of our goods could have been left by him at some other location.

As the end of the day came on November 21, the driver again fraudulently mislead my wife into signing a document that all the goods had been delivered. As we subsequently discovered, there is close to $1000 worth of items and $1500 worth of clothing in the un-inventoried tote that have gone missing. The United Van Lines people now seek to avoid responsibility for these losses because the driver fraudulently mislead my wife into signing a paper as the driver sought to leave.

In addition to the above mentioned approximate losses, we have filed a claim with United Van Lines for damages to furniture in an amount estimated by a furniture repair person to be about $1200, $1150 for un-repairable damage to our porch furniture and damage of several hundred dollars to totes used by my wife to store fabric.

It is outrageous that United Van Lines seeks to avoid responsibility for its inept, unprofessional, irresponsible handling during the moving and storage of our goods and relying on a signature fraudulently obtained to support non-liability for at least some of our loss.

We paid handsomely for storage fees and insurance. One would hardly expect that one had to spend more to get insurance from the damages caused by irresponsible and fraudulent behavior on the part of United Van Lines personnel.

The Villages, Florida

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/22/2009 03:24 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/United-Van-Lines/Fenton-Missouri-63026/United-Van-Lines-Damages-destroys-looses-items-and-denies-responsibilty-Fenton-Missouri-414984. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Victim of United Moving in Las Cruces as well!

AUTHOR: ABJ - (United States of America)

I am also a victim of American Moving & Storage, United Van Lines local agent in Las Cruces!  I had a NIGHTMARE experience!  When I call United Van Lines they defended their local agent rather than take care of the problem.  Do not use United Van Lines  in Las Cruces!  This company also has offices in Roswell and Alamogordo under the same management, so I would use those companies either. 
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#2 Consumer Comment

Sorry about your move.

AUTHOR: Leann - (U.S.A.)

I used to work for a moving company and have seen first hand what happens once a shipment comes into storage.  Dave is completly right about what should happen when a shipment comes into storage.  However, no method is foolproof.  I would suspect your missing items are still sitting in the warehouse.  You might try calling (if you haven't already) the warehouse where your items were stored and see if they have anything.  Our warehouse used to have a lost and found so perhaps this warehouse does too.  I didn't work for United or Unigroup so I don't know if their policy is to have a lost and found.  I know that with our agent, we always had someone in the warehouse when the driver is loading to make sure he gets everything.  I sure hope United gives you a settlement you are happy with.  Good luck to you.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Bad Move? Maybe Just a Bad Crew!

AUTHOR: Dsteenson - (U.S.A.)


I'm a contractor for UniGroup the parent compmany of United Van Lines. I'm sorry that you have had a tough time with reaching the proper people to resolve your claim. If you had been my customer, I would have taken the nessary steps to point you into the right direction so that your claims would have been handle quickly at the upmost speed. Here are a few things that you can do. First thing is, on the top of your Bill of Landing is a contact number for United Van Lines. Once they answer the call, ask for Household Goods Cargo Claims Department. Most of the time in the United system agents for you United will try to resolve the claims themselves, most of the time it works out very well, in rare moments the Van Lines will step in to resolve the matter.

By the way you describe your move, it had three stages, Loading for storage, interstate travel to a new state and back into storage, and then after some time past to your home. If this incorrect i'm sorry, just trying to follow your story. If this was the case then this is how the move was handle or should have been handle; The local Agent sent their crew out to do the inventory and loading at Origin and took it back to their Warehouse (A this point the local agents warehouseman would being his task of checking items off as they enter his warehouse)where items are check off as they come in the doors of the building. Any items not tag would be writen up on what we call is a acception sheet, listing each item and what it is an its condition. Now, if your items where being place in storage for a short amount of time, they might be placed in a secure section of the warehouse, or placed into a vault. Most case no matter how much time items stay in storage they will go into a vault. Moving on... The next step in what sound to be your type of move is, a United Driver would be assigned to your move.

At this point the United Driver, will pick up your items on a date, your items will be removed from a vault an that drive will check off each item to make sure it is all accounted for before placing onto his trailor. Like the warehouseman from the local agent, the drive will do an acceptance sheet on those items without tags and one the condition of the items if items appear to have added damage to it's condition. Then the driver will load your belongings once everything is accounted for and or noted as missing on the acceptance sheet.

So at this point in your move, your items have been cataloged three different times, by three different people. (remember this!) moving on..

Now acording to your story if i've gotten so far, your items went back into a different warehouse in another state. Thus being the case, the next warehouseman checks off the inventory as each item arrives into his building. Any untagged items will again be noted on the acceptance sheet along with any changes in the items condition. Now we have four different people that has view your items.

Now it's time for your household good to be delivered out of storage and on to your new home. Before items are place onto the delivery out truck, a check off of each items is done again, in most case, the condition of the items will not be noted as the destination agent will just deliver them to you home with noting any problems before they arrive. **Note** This is now the fifth person to account for your items, The Delivery Driver. When the driver arrives, you greet, you give him a tour of your home pointing out some of the items will placed in this or that area, and then to the inventory check off sheet (or what many would call a bingo sheet).

First off, I would like to say sorry the weather wasn't the warmest to stand outside possibly for your move. In most cases the driver will have a clipboard for you with a bingo sheet an will call the numbers off the items he or she is carrying. It is very much the responsibility of the customer to check each item off as it enters the home. Always making sure everything is accounted for, because at this of your story you are the sixth person that is check off items and noting or making mental notes of the condition as items enter the home.

Depending on whom the delivery driver worked for or contracts with and the time one or the other took control of your items, can make a differance as to whom the final responsible party is going to be. First thing you can rest asured on is your items where checked and rechecked each and every time they exchange control. If this is how your move took place, then there is a paper trial of where your untagged items area. **Note** if this is not the case on how your move went, then only one party becomes responsible for your household goods.

Either case, if you are having problems, calling our corporate office would be your first step. Our claims department would send out a claim form, start a tracer on those missing items, contact the OA (Origin Agent), the Booker (whom you contracted with), the Interstate Driver (United Van lines Operator), and the DA (Distination Agent). Many people would be contacted, many forms would be filled out, and actions taken to resolve you claim.

Now if your items came out of storage, that agent would bare the burden of proof as what remarks they made when your items came into their control on their acceptance sheet. If no notes where taken then they bare the responsiblity of lost or damage goods. In some cases all parties may be responsible .. but in any case if you moved using United as your Interstate (crossing state lines)mover then United Van Lines will make sure your taken care of. But if it was a intrastate or local move, then the Agent in your area is responsible for their actions. Again if your not or feel your not getting the service you paid for, Please contact our corporate office.

Once again sir, I'm sorry you are having a rough way to go. Depending on how your move was conducted will make a differance on who settles the claim.

I drive for Mayflower which is owned by UniGroup. I've been a driver for 30 years doing household goods, most of my time with UniGroup (United Van Lines), and the last several years on the Mayflower Transit side. I've had the plesure of driving for 4 of the top 5 Van lines over my career, I can tell you that UniGroup is far the best Group of people I have ever contracted with. In my all my years with United and Mayflower I've never heard of these companies turning a deaf ear on our customers. Every now and then we have a Agent that might make a mistake or a driver / crew that might make a mistake, but rest assured it does get corrected.

Being you moved with a Agent that represents United Van Lines, make you my customer too, granted I wasn't apart of your move first hand, but it does make me concern when I read a post such as yours. United is not your run of a mill company, never has been, and never will be. Certainly things can get broken, misplace or even lost at times. I know, it can be a little crazy getting a move to click right along in the right direction, get with the right people in the right department an they will move right on it.

Once again sir, if you had a local or Intrastate move, then the Local agent you contracted with is whom your dealing with. Interstate will in fact be United Van Lines. Remember five people accounted for your items before you took control of them again, an if the First person did what they where suppose to do, then all item would be accounted for. When the third person, (the interstate driver) showed, if those items where not accounted for before he showed, he may have never knowen about them to begin with.

Please contact the claims department so the can issuse a tracer on those missing items, as well work with United to solve this problem directly if you feel your not getting anywhere with your local agent.

Thank you for your time sir to read this. I hope that it may help you, I hope that it wasn't to long winded :-).

Dave Steenson

Relocation Specialist Owner Operator
Mayflower Transit M-14211
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#4 Author of original report

American Moving and Storage, Las Cruces, NM United's affiliate

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

I suspect the root of the problems have had is probably the local people out of Las Cruces, NM. They were the ones who picked up our goods. They were the ones who ran out of inventory tags. They were the ones who picked up untagged items and took them to storage and said they would add them to the inventory. They lied because the new inventory was never made or sent to us. Based on the items broken, at least some of them had to have been broken prior to its being loaded on the interstate portion of our move. Also, some of the breakage could have been avoided if the items were packed properly and loaded on the truck in a manner to prevent damage. We had many boxes that were gouged through the sides due to negligent handling.

Never use American Moving and Storage or United Van Lines for anything. They find it acceptable to use lies, deceit, and out and out fraud and then deny liability.
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