- User Rating: Excellent
Customer Service Experience:
Pros:in-expensive, fast, flexible, courteous
Cons:Small pods, no climate controlled storage, e-track
The Bottom Line: I would definatley use u-pack again for its flexibility and price
In the last 7 years we have moved from Detroit Michigan to Fort Lauderdale Florida using Graebel, from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta using a Pack-Rat, and finally from Atlanta back to Detroit using ABF U-Pack. All and all they each had thier advanatages and disadvanatages, but by and large we experience the least headaches from ABF U-Pack. With Graebel our home goods were intermingled with other families in the back of a semi trailer and the fact that there was a family emergency at one of the earlier delivery locations meant that we couldn't get our stuff until the other families was unloaded, which meant we had to run out and buy air matresses and folding chairs and live with those for a week while we waited on a truck. With U-Packs Relo-Cubes you never have to worry about that becuase home goods are never intermingled since you pack them in your cubes.
When we moved from Florida to Atlanta we used Pack-Rat. In general it was a good expierence especailly since we needed our stuff to be held in storage for 2 weeks until the hosue we were moving into became available. The problem with Pack-Rat is the transition from storage to relocation is slow taking over a week and the sizes of the storage pods are not as granular. We ordered a 16 foot pod and it wasn't quite large enough and we ended up having to leave some things behind we would have prefferred to bring with us. With U-Pack that isn't an issue because you can over-order empty pods and then they will only charge you for what you use.
Finally with our move back to Michigan we looked at Pack-Rat again as well as PODS and Mayflowers/United storage units (formally SAMS) as well as U-Pack. U-Pack was by the far the cheapest by over $1000 of the cheapest quotes we could get. On top of that we were worried how much space we would need. We knew from our last move we needed more than 16ft but how much more. U-Packs flexibility is what won us over. They delivered 4 of thier relo-cubes and we packed up everything and only needed 3. They picked them up and we only got charged for the 3 we used. That was amazing flexibility because we didn't have to over order and we didn't have to worry is we had enough space because it was there if we needed. On top of that ABF is FAST! The PODS were in Michigan before my card was even charged it took them 3 days from pick-up Monday morning to drop off at the Michigan terminal. On top of that if you pay for storage, which we needed because we were moving without living arrangements prearranged, the storage is at the destination not at the origin unlike PODS or Pack-Rat. That meant when we found a place we had the Relo-Cubes in the drive way the next morning. With Pack-Rat they need a week turn around time so if you find a place you are going to wait a week at the earliest until that pod is in your driveway.
On top of the flexibility The people were great. In each case the drivers made sure to position the cubes for my maximum convenience and these guys are pros with the fork lift manuvering in tight spaces and exact placement of these steel cubes.
Of coures not everything is 100% perfect with ABF and there are some issues to keep in mind, some of which can be avoided with proper planning. First the Relo-Cubes are smaller than the containers from PODS or Pack-Rat and as such you have to pack differently. For instance in the pack-rat we had our funiture sitting long ways while in the Relo-Cub we had to put it up on its end. Another issue is that the storage is not in a climate controlled warehouse but rather at the various ABF Terminals around the country secured but outside. U-Pack is about moving not about storage so if you need extended storage keep that in mind. Also the Relo-Cubes utlize a tie-down system found in commercial trailers called e-track. The number of e-track tie down locations in the pods is huge and flexible but it also means there is no place to use standard hook ended straps as the hooks won't fit in the tracks. Luckilly a local Harbor Freight tools had cheap e-track end straps on sale so I picked some up but it was obvious that previous users of the pods had improvised using rope tied through the e-track slots to give them locations to hook traditional straps. Finally in the pods up by the front door there is an area of the floor that is slighly lower than the rest of the floor. In our pods we placed matresses here and then closed the doors against the matresses acting like a wall at the door compressed against all of our belongings. This was a bad idea and the compression of the matress against the doors and the heavy rains for the 2 weeks of outside sotrage lead to our matresses getting wet against the floor. We were able to use our furniture steam cleaner and clean up the matresses and no perment damage but it was obvious that the only pods that leaked were the ones were we placed items against the doors in the zone of the floor that was lower than the rest of the floor. Everything else in the pods stayed dry so lesson learned don't fill the relo cube all the way to the doors and you should be fine so I don't know if I can consider that a con of the cubes.
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Punctuality: Showed up on time
Ease of Filing Claim: N/A
Lost Goods: No
Amount Paid (US$): 2500