Services, Moving - United Van Lines / Merit Moving Systems poor moving experience

Posted on Friday, June 23rd, 2000 at 11:25am CDT by 54f4b62a

Company: Services, Moving - United Van Lines / Merit Moving Systems poor moving experience

Category: Other

United Van Lines is the worst!

United Van Lines (originally posted in the "Moving Services, Other" conference)


Date: Thursday, June 22, 2000 11:25 AM

Sent To: COMPLAINTS.COM_FORM_MAIL_66929#, COMPLAINTS.COM_FORM_MAIL_66930# 6/22/00 11:25:07 AM


My husband and I relocated to California. I accepted a position with a company that provided relocation assistance. My company's vendor is United Van Lines. I was not thrilled about this due to a previous bad experience that ended up in court. United Van Lines' agent, Merit Moving Systems, promised that we would have excellent customer service and that there would be no problems. The following lists all of the problems with this disastrous move: 1. Barrett Moving Systems in Eden Prairie, MN was to pack and transport our household belongings. Their agent showed up for a walk through at 7:00 a.m. and was rude; in fact, noting in her paperwork that "customer sued United Van Lines five years ago." There was no indication that our experience would be better than the last. 2. Barrett Moving Systems packed on March 3. We were supposedly to get their best packer but, at the last minute, the person did not show. We were told that our household belongings would be shipped individually and that truck space would not be shared with another household; this was not the case. 4. Barrett Moving Systems took four mounted fish from our house to be crated at a separate location. Barrett knew of all of our high value inventory items as we completed this list at Barrett Moving Systems/Merit Moving Systems, the two agents for the move, request. 5. The truck left our Minnesota home on March 24, 2000. We were very explicit with both Barrett and Merit that delivery could NOT occur until April 1 as we did not have occupancy of our property until that date. Accordingly, Merit scheduled the packing and transport services for March 23 and March 24. On March 27, I received a telephone call from Shelly from Merit, wanting to deliver our household belongings on March 29 and also to set up an unpacking date of two weeks after March 29. We previously agreed that unpacking would be the date of delivery. She was very insistent as she stated the truck was already in California. The intent of scheduling the move the way we did was to avoid having anything come off the truck and potentially be damaged. I was furious with Barrett/Merit and let them know that there was no way delivery could occur until April 1. Shelly was very rude. We knew, then, that our belongings had been taken from the truck and placed in temporary storage, contrary to what had been agreed. 6. Through a comedy of errors with the selling and buying real estate agent and escrow issues, we were not able to have occupancy on April 1. I immediately let Merit know and delivery was scheduled for April 4. On April 4, we again had a problem that we had not anticipated; the seller had not yet moved out of our house. Unfortunately, we did not know this until arrival at the property and Merit had arrived, too. Merit waited a few hours and then took our household belongings back to Merit in Buena Park, CA. Delivery was set for April 9. Merit argued with us regarding that delivery date as it was a Sunday; however, there was no other date available due to our business travel schedules. Merit tried to bully us into having our real estate agent accept delivery for us so that they would not have to deliver on a weekend. Their alternate suggestion was to deliver a month later when my husband and I had less demanding travel schedules. Furthermore, Merit wanted to unpack everything a month later despite the earlier agreed date of delivery. Again, we were furious. 7. On April 9, the delivery and unpacking crew arrived. They were not neat in appearance and belittled the damage we found, stating "that is just a little nick in her fac" in reference to a damaged antique doll, stating "I would not be so materialistic" and further stating that "this is not so bad" in reference to damaged doll boxes. We observed them carelessly handling an antique violin. We checked in the labeled boxes as the crew brought them in; however, there were many missing or duplicate numbers and my husband and I noted these on the paperwork. I started a handwritten list of damages. On advice of legal counsel, we refused to sign United Van Lines' paperwork, instead noting on the handwritten sheet that damages and missing items had not been fully evaluated and that our rights were not being waived. If you read the small print on the inventory sheet, it states that, by signing, you are stating that all damages and missing items are noted. There is no way that we could fully examine our household belongings in the few hours that the Merit crew was at our home. Furthermore, in the brochure provided by the moving company, it states that a customer has nine months to file a damage/missing claim. We noted significant damage to furniture, dolls and collectibles. My husband photographed all of the high value items prior to the move. The mounted fish crated by United Van Lines were damaged. A Chippendale table that should have been crated was carelessly wrapped in one blanket. Barbie doll boxes were smashed and carelessly packed in boxes. There was significant other damage and, oddly enough, many missing items, including bathroom towels, a wine glass and everyday silverware. 8. We filed a damage and missing items claim approximately a week later. Rick Horist of Merit Moving Systems assured us that "we would be taken care of" and, after seeing the claim, stated that he would refer it to United's insurance company. Bryce Emory called two weeks later from the insurance company to inform me a damage inspector would call me. The damage inspector called. He was very rude and apparently only qualified to evaluate furniture. He hung up on me after calling twice. The claim was then assigned to Bridget Jones, an equally rude claims adjustor. She sent Ty Drake to evaluate the damage. Mr. Drake provided references and it was very clear from his lack of credentials that he was unqualified to evaluate antiques, dolls and collectibles. He provided references. I spoke with two of those references and neither reference was very good. He was pleasant enough when he came to inspect the damage. We were told that my company's contract with United Van Lines was for claims adjudication in 30 days. We were then told that this was only true for claims under $500. We were then told that a settlement check had been sent on June 2, 2000, after multiple telephone calls and email to United, Merit and my company. 9. The settlement offer was ridiculous. It ignored the fact that we noted damages and missing items at delivery. The facts surrounding delivery were incorrect. The facts surrounding the damage inspection were also incorrect, particularly the fact that we offered the photos taken premove to the damage inspector as well as copies of pages from accepted doll and antique reference books and that the damage inspector was not interested in seeing them. 10. Damages and missing items total approximately $7,000. We are willing to discuss an acceptable settlement but United and Merit have given us the runaround. Accordingly, we plan to sue for the amount due and have reported the problems with both companies to the Better Business Bureau in California, Minnesota and Missouri, the state attorney general's office in those states, the Department of Transportation and now, are posting what happened on the Internet. We would really like to avoid a lawsuit but this does not seem possible due to the pattern of noncooperation.


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92b5dc61, 2008-09-30, 11:28AM CDT

I am so sorry to hear of the difficulty you have had with United. However, I am thankful you have posted it online as I have had a near identical experience with United, also with no resolution. I am sure we will have to sue also. Reading your blog has shown me some options I have in addition to a lawsuit. Good luck and I wish you the best!

a46b53b7, 2010-06-14, 12:51PM CDT

I agree, they are the worst! We paid over $15,000 to move across the country and even paid for the extra Straight Talk Insurance. Was assured that if anything was damaged we would get a replacement. Our new plasma tv was damaged and they refused to replace it. Said they would only try to repair it and that only came after we had to get two professionals both of which they recommended to agree that it was damaged. Then they tried to tell me that it was probably the cable line. I can not believe that you spend $15,000 and then you get the run around on a tv. I will never use them again!

1fc401d2, 2011-09-08, 09:09AM CDT

I to had problems with this company , this company was based in florida and the owner Anthony called me after i left many, many voicemails to his employees about my dis satisfaction. He was rude and offered no compensation what so ever. i had to leave furniture behind because they sent the wrong size truck, and this was all after they missed the deadline for them to pick up. They blamed me because i kept changing my dates. Helloooo like i know when my home will sell. I had to pay rent to the new buyers because i was not out of the house when i was suppose to be. Worst Customer service i have ever dealt with.

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