Report: #1070279

Complaint Review: Coleman American Moving

  • Submitted: Fri, July 26, 2013
  • Updated: Fri, July 26, 2013
  • Reported By: ConsumerWatch — Windermere Florida
  • Coleman American Moving
    9143 Boggy Creek Road
    Orlando, Florida

Coleman American Moving Coleman AlliedAllied Van Lines Dishonest, Horrific Service, Improper Quotations, Negligent, Unwilling to accept responsibility for damaged goods, Orlando Florida

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I am here to do my best to ensure that nobody else gets taken by what I consider to be one of the most all-around negligent companies with whom I have ever had the displeasure of dealing. We were involved in an intrastate move that required professional help. We interviewed and received quotes from many different companies. After conducting much research on the potential service providers, we opted to go wtih Allied due to their national presence, which we mistakenly believed would translate into superior service. 

Rather than go into a 1-sided and emotional tirade, I will do my best to present both sides of the argument so that other consumers can decide for themselves if they trust the organization given the parameters of the situation.

First, we opted to pack our house, ourselves. We did let them package things like flat screen TVs, etc. That being said, we took great care to individually wrap each piece in moving paper, stuff boxes with styrofoam peanuts and other batting material. Our boxes were taped and clearly labeled of their contents with special stickers and large text denoting boxes with "FRAGILE" items. We used moving boxes specifically designed for things like plates, mirrors, pictures, etc. We let the movers, themselves, worry about the large items such as poster beds, armoires, and other bulkier pieces of furniture. The movers who picked up these items either bubble wrapped them or secured them with moving blankets. We believe that if a group of professional movers were to move these items in this state, then there would be little to worry about.

The Allied movers packed up the large items along with our boxes and proceeded to load everything into their enormous 18 wheeler, which was about 50% full when they were done. I say this because there was ample room in this vehicle to store everything securely and neatly.

Our destination in a new state was an indoor, air-conditioned storage unit with a major company. We needed to stay there until the new house was completed. The movers began to unload the items, and we watched them for the first hour or so. They seemed to be securing everything quite well and stacking the items in an orderly fashion. At this point, we left them to go about their business.

When we returned later that day, the men were showing signs of exhaustion. The "head" mover began to tell me about his problems concerning a foreclosure that was affecting him. He asked if I knew of any legal recourse he could take. I am not a lawyer and could not give any meaningful advice. However, it became quite apparent that his mind was in another place (he kept telling me that they had to get done fast because he had to get his family moved out of his house in 2 days). The men had more work to do, so we left them once again.

We returned later, and when we met this time the men demande that they be "taken care of before we move the rest of your stuff." I asked them what they meant, to which they made it abundantly clear that they needed to be paid hundreds of dollars in cash before they would finish the job because 'its hot out here and we been working all day.' I am pretty sure that somewhere in the job description when they applied for their positions with Allied that it stated that they might be required to all day in the heat. Anyway, in the end we decided it best to pay them what we categorized as extortion, because we dare not run the risk that they stop taking due care when handling our goods. And, perhaps part of us felt bad for the guy who was enduring the foreclosure. The men seemed grateful, and we parted ways.

When it came time to move from the storage unit into the new house, we once again obtained quotes from many companies. In the end, we decided to go with Allied because the lady who gave us our estimate said that they knew EXACTLY what was in the storage unit since they had the bill of lading from the original move. We figured that their estimate would be dead on since they knew exactly what had to be moved. Furthermore, if any problems did arise, then we would be protected because we had the same company handling everyting from start to finish. 

The lady said that we would need 3 men and 1 truck for X number of hours. I asked if she was sure about that, to which she responded that they knew EXACTLY how much stuff we had and they did this everyday. What more should I have done? Question their expertise? I agreed.

The crew showed up and consisted of what were 3 "kids" who couldnt have been more than 21 years old or so. 2 did not speak english, and at least 2 did not seem in the physical condition necessary to haul furniture all day long. But, I gave them the benefit of the doubt. They loaded the truck and brought it to the house. The kids exclaimed at what a horrible job the previous movers had done at packing the items. They asked who did it, and I told them Allied. 

They began to move items and boxes at a feverish pace. I was doing my best to direct traffic, but there were 3 of them and 1 of me. The markings on the boxes should have been instruction enough (GUEST BEDROOM, KITCHEN, MASTER BATH, etc) ... if they had been able to read. As it was, we ended up with garden tools (muddy rakes, shovels, etc) in my master bathroom. I kid you not. They dropped boxes, they damaged the walls, they cracked the tile, they scraped the paint on the walls, etc. As an athlete, I know that mistakes like this are made when fatigue sets in. The crew was not properly dispatched in my opinion. 

They were supposed to be done on Day 1. Needless to say, they were not.

They showed up on Day 2 with 4 reinforcements who, sadly enough, were not much more use than the original crew. They worked for a few hours, and by mid-afternoon the entire crew was about to pass out. My neighbors were laughing as they walked around the block, 'these guys are moving at a snail's pace! We watch them carry 1 tiny box and it takes them 3 minutes to go down the driveway and they just put it in the garage. We hope you are not paying them to do this!" Alas, I was. Additionally, I had to carry the entire free weight system for my home gym because the movers were too tired to lift them.

They began to stack everything we owned in the garage. They could not find the "bed box" that should have had all of the hardware to reassemble all of the beds that the first Allied crew took apart and packaged up. So, we did not have beds to sleep on until a week after when we were able to procure all of the parts and hire someone to come put everything together. We then started to notice the damage to our beds, armoires, nightstands, antique side tables, pictures, coffee tables, etc. There were chunks of wood taken out of some things, handles ripped off others, entire glass table tops smashed into a thousand pieces, rugs ripped, pictures punctured and a grave amount of broken plates, dishes, serving trays, etc. 

The movers were still here on Day 2 (mind you the estimate from the professional who knew EXACTLY what was to be moved said 1 day with 3 people) at 10PM at night. I had to buy them food, which they spent a good hour eating while they rested.

They finally finished at almost midnight on day 2. 

My wife and I later carried our garden tools from our master closet to the shed out back, we carried all of the boxes from the garage to where they should have gone from the get go ...

As we unpacked stuff we found and more of our goods that had been utterly destroyed. In the end, we guesstimated approximately $7000 worth of damage. We also had about $1000 worth of drywall repair, tile work, paint, etc that had to be repaired (mind you this was a brand new home when they entered. Nobody had yet been in it).

When we didnt think it could get much worse, Allied sent us a moving bill that was over 150% of their estimated price because they had to send more men and it took more time than they thought! Well, you can imagine my outrage. They told me that they knew EXACTLY what had to be moved and they 'did this for a living.' How could they be so off? Why should I pay for a crew that is unskilled, unprepared, and whose communication barrier led to all kinds of inefficiencies throughout the operation? I was expected to pay for the time that they ate my dinner and rested on my furniture, too.

Allied sent an adjuster out ... this is the nail in the coffin.

They gave me a couple hundred bucks for the damage to the new home. So, we were out of pocket about $750 there.

They denied almost all of the claims for the damage due to 'subsection b on page 8 of paragraph ii in my contract.' They offered us $300 and change for all of the damage that they, and nobody else, caused. If you want an exact example of a long list of items:

"Coffee table glass top = $3.00"

That is correct. They admitted to breaking the glass top. And, they estimated their liability to be THREE DOLLARS.

Of course, they denied having anything to do with most of the damage. They said that it resulted from improper packaging. (How do we improperly package a bed that they wrapped? How do we improperly package a rug that is rolled up and secured? How do we improperly rip the door off an antique armoire?)

Now that I have presented the facts, I will say that it is my opinion that someone would have to go out of his way to destroy stuff in the manner in which our stuff was destroyed. These were supposed to be professional estimators and professioanl movers. The professional estimators were nowhere close. The movers were underpowered, greedy, inept, and negligent. Worst of all is management, because they seem unwilling to accept any real responsibility for anything. But, I guess that is the American way now. Maybe that is why they are called Coleman American. All they needed to do was to have said, "we are sorry. This is obviously at least partially our fault. We were grossly negligent in our estimates. We are prepared to reduce your cost by X %." We could have been done in a few minutes, parted way, and everyone happy. As it stands, this fight has been going on for 3 months, and the end result is basically: 



Well, we can let the rest of the world know. Maybe one day down the road a new company comes in that has a little conscience, some moral obligation, a backabone, and maybe even some real business ethics. If they do, then hopefully the free market works and they drive people like Coleman Allied out of business. Wishful thinking, I suppose. But, that is how the system should work, right?


Good luck to all the other consumers out there. 



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