Allied Van Lines

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Guaranteed Price???? Mover be educated!!

Feb 21, 2000 (Updated Apr 14, 2001)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Nothing broke, friendly staff, delivered goods on time

Cons:Almost went thousands over budget, wasted time, slow to load truck

The Bottom Line: On time, handled my belongings carefully, wasted time cost us big, overbid for another move and I wouldn't use them again.


Boy was I naive when I did my first cross country move in '96. My husband got a new job and the company was giving us $10,000 to cover the costs - I agreed to the move but said I would not lift a finger to pack or take apart things as I had three kids to keep occupied and a job I was working from home.

We called and got estimates and decided upon Allied, the rep seemed very helpful and informative. I didn't know what questions to ask, but tried my best to ask them all and see what we could do to move things along. Our estimate was a guaranteed price, we could not go over, but could go under. What the rep didn't tell us was there were hidden exceptions to the guaranteed price and unless you know what to ask and what to know, these can really hike up that locked in price and you have to pay to get your stuff.

By all accounts we should have gone under bid. I feel Allied made sure we didn't and almost caused us to go way over!!

Our flight was scheduled two days after the truck was suppose to leave - thank god. The rep made this suggestion to us and two days seemed pretty safe. After all it was suppose to be a two day pack and a one day load. It ended up being a 1 1/2 day pack and two very long day load. Here's how they rooked up - first off the packers wasted boxes and raised that price. One lamp shade in a huge expensive box. Boxes half filled and taped shut. They did a crappy job packing, it took years to find things because stuff from our kids room was in a box with stuff from the basement or garage.

The packers failed to take things apart and pack the pieces like they should have. They left that to the loaders who make a lot more money per hour. It took the loaders almost a whole day to take apart furniture, shelves, toys, etc and pack up the pieces. KACHING!! Nobody told us this stuff had to be taken apart, or my husband and I would have easily done it and saved lots of time and money, they would have just had to pack the pieces.

Part of my price included the breakdown of items - but we have lots of furniture from Ikea and thought it could travel in it's assembled state - Allied took each piece apart. My husband and I could have done that in about an hour tops. They also took apart toys - no one told us they had to be taken apart, the estimator made it sound like they could travel as is. We didn't know, we'd only ever moved locally. Again, we could have done this ourselves weeks before the packers got there it someone had only told us.

Yes, we weren't paying for this move, but every turn of the screwdriver ensured we would make it right on estimate. I feel the intentionally did this and that the packers were instructed not to take things apart.

We got loaded and off went our stuff. It got to California on time, but here's the next almost big KACHING!! We lived up a semi hill, we've seen a lot worse out there. The driver starts saying that he can't get his truck up the hill and that they will have to shuttle our stuff off the truck up the hill. I'm not ruthless, I won't risk his life, truck and my stuff to get the truck up a major hill, but ours is dinky compared to most our there and there wasn't any reason he couldn't drive it up. The shuttle will add at least $2500.00 to our "guaranteed" price, because the price doesn't include shuttle service.

I call the office in California screaming - no one told us this and if they had we would have chosen another company. I think the driver hoped I would have just rolled over and said yes and Allied would have made the extra money -some people may have. A rep came out and drove the truck up our hill and saved us the money.

Nothing broke, our stuff got there on time, but had the packing and breakdown been done correctly we would have come in under bid and saved my husband's company some money.

I rate Allied a 2 - not because they didn't transport my stuff properly and get it there on time, but because the estimator wasn't up front and willing to share all the hidden extras in the guaranteed price. When I contract with a company that is getting a lot of money I expect them to be honest and divulge all info necessary - not keep certain things hidden because it may or may not affect my move. They want the sale, I want the truth. I try to be an educated consumer, but when you go into an area you're unfamiliar with, you need the company to help you out and assist you with things you know nothing about.

In fact when I was planning my move back east this summer I called Allied for an estimate. The estimator came out and gave me a guaranteed price. It only took me one question to disqualify then from the running. I didn't have my east coast house picked out. I was going from ranch to multi level and possibly with steps outside.

All of a sudden that guaranteed price began to jump up. If the steps are inside the house then it won't increase the price. HOWEVER - if the steps are on the outside or in the garage, the price could go up if there are more than 7 steps. In the area I moved to that is a big possibility and I wasn't sinking all that money into my home to have to pick it based on Allied's extra costs. Again it was a guaranteed price with hidden extras.


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