Update by user Sep 26, 2017
Beverly Hills Moving and Storage since contacted me to offer a generous partial refund, which I consider very fair. I'd like to thank Tripp for reaching out and making this situation right.
Original review posted by user Sep 23, 2017
I contacted Allied Vans for an estimate for my wife’s move from LA to Lincoln, Nebraska on Aug. 10.
Aaron Anderson of Beverly Hills Transfer & Storage Co. came on Aug. 14 and provided us an Do Not Exceed estimate for $4,195.04. I should add at this point, we already had a reservation with UPack for Aug.
17 for a much lower price ($1,875 for 7 feet of Trailer Space +/- $86 each extra/less foot; plus movers to pack and unpack on both ends of the trip, roughly another $1,000). We decided to go with Allied because we wanted as stress-free a move as humanly possible—obviously moving is always stressful but we didn’t want to have to coordinate three sets of parties or worry about price changes, etc.. We made this choice even though it also meant we had to rebook my wife’s flight and incur a fee for that. We signed the contract on Aug.
14. At the time Aaron ran the survey, he noted in the estimate and order for service that we needed to obtain a permit from the City—but he didn’t explain what that meant. As it turns out, we could not get one. I think the confusion here was that our mailing address is Pasadena but technically we are in Altadena, which is unincorporated.
LA County does not require permits for trucks to park. We told this to Aaron and he explained that he meant temporary “no park” signs—but LA County doesn’t provide these either. Aaron then said that if the truck could not park, they would have to get a shuttle instead and that would be an extra charge of nearly $500. This was frustrating because we thought the cost was fixed and Aaron did not explain this upfront.
But we thought we could put out some “please don’t park here” signs of our own. Aaron explained that as long as there was space for the driver there was no issue—the driver would come out in the truck to see if he couldn’t park. Only if he couldn’t would he get the shuttle. Then the driver called the day before to tell us he wasn’t going to come if it wasn’t 100% certain that there was parking—in other words, now we had to pay this fee that we hadn’t expected and then, thought we could avoid.
If we had known all of this upfront, we would have kept our original mover—but then we were in a bit of bind by the time we learned otherwise. Aaron’s original email to us with the DNE Estimate said "Please know that the Allied process of moving considers all factors in providing direction and costs for your move. You may rest assured that given your requirements and specifications, there will be no surprises.” I don’t think this was actually the case. If this was the only problem here, I probably wouldn’t be writing.
The other issues involved delays and bad communication. First, on Aug. 18, Brittaney Gordon, our “move coordinator” at Beverly Hills Transfer and Storage, wrote an email to tell us the driver was “a day behind schedule.” I should add, she did not send the email to ME (I’ve been the person organizing and paying for this) but my wife—and it went into her junk mail folder. It was lucky that she caught it and forwarded it to me.
Really, Brittaney or somebody else from the office should have called us with this important information. Now, I understand that delays happen and I’m willing to be flexible—but the email was lacking in some crucial ways. There was no attempt to say, “we know this is inconvenient and here are the steps we are going to take to minimize the inconvenience.” My wife had a flight booked for the next day and would have to reschedule it, for example. Beverly Hills Transfer did eventually agree to cover this—but I think it would have been appropriate to offer this upfront.
Moreover, I have a strong suspicion that if WE had been the ones asking for a date change, we would incur a fee for that. Probably a sizable one. The moving day itself was a nightmare. * The driver was supposed to show up during a two hour window in the early morning (between 8 and 10am).
He did not show up. It was only when my wife called Brittaney at around 11am, asking her to provide information on when the driver would arrive, did anyone at Beverly Hills/Allied apparently even realize anything was amiss. This initiated a day long process of trying to clarify what the problem was, where our driver was and what was going to happen. Brittaney failed to call back after my wife's first call at 11am.
It was only the actions of Aaron, who proved extremely helpful in this regard (especially so given that is not his job to coordinate moves), that my wife was able to get any information at all. After Aaron’s repeated attempts to find out what was going on, it was revealed that the driver had received instructions to pick up our goods at a storage warehouse. This makes no sense as it was clearly agreed between my wife, Aaron, and the driver who had called the previous day, insisting that he bring a shuttle at extra cost to our residence. * I don’t know why at this point (around 12.30pm) the driver didn’t leave for the apartment but he didn’t.
Meanwhile, it still seemed like the driver and the office were still not communicating with each other. Brittaney was slow to call us back throughout the day. I had to leave work early to go home and spend the rest of the day on the phone. Not a productive use of my time.
* Now I don’t know who was specifically responsible for this initial miscommunication—whether the driver, Brittaney, or a mix of both of them—but that misses the point. Clearly something failed at the organizational level. And it seems to me that both of them could have been more proactive throughout the process. Why hadn’t one of them phoned the other to ensure that they were on the same page?
We hired Allied to coordinate the move but it seemed at that point, we were the ones doing all of the coordinating. This continued to drag on. It seems that at a certain point the driver was refusing to leave. Brittaney and her manager Tripp Pettigrew-Rolapp eventually were able to change that—but probably it helped that I refused to change the date.
I was about ready to fly to LA myself and rent a UHaul rather than continue to deal with any more delays, miscommunication, or unprofessionalism. * We finally got word that the driver was indeed coming by about 4pm. The driver eventually showed up at 6pm and finished packing at 10pm. There was yet more confusion as the driver had been told that a crew of packers had come to the apartment already and left the bill of lading there.
Needless to say this was not the case - nobody showed up until 6pm. * That went as well as it could; the driver and his assistant worked hard to complete the loading process but my wife was absolutely exhausted and stressed by the end of this. She had to get to a hotel near the airport and had a few other errands to take care of, so it was a late night for her with an early flight the next morning. Meanwhile, after witnessing all of the bungling, I had reassessed the necessity of upping the insurance valuation—as I was not (and frankly am still not) confident that such an unprofessional organization could get our stuff to us undamaged.
I asked Aaron in an email (and cc’d Brittaney on it) at 2pm PT during normal business hours (and this was hours before the movers actually showed up) to up the coverage. He had said during our initial phone conversation that it would be absolutely possible to quickly revise this. But four and a half hours transpired before either of them responded, only to say that at the point the movers were there and this couldn’t be changed. I was not exactly happy about this, contacted Tripp who was able to resolve the issue.
According to his email, "At this point what matters is what you signed on the bill of lading.” Nobody had signed a bill of lading at this point as he told my wife that somebody had told him we had the bill of lading. We didn’t. 100% emblematic of the unprofessionalism and miscommunication throughout the rest of this experience. What I again want to emphasize is that we chose Allied precisely because we did not want the headache of coordinating a move.
We wanted to minimize whatever kind of uncertainty we could. And we wanted to deal with a professional, proactive organization that responded promptly. We could have certainly contracted a company that charged much less. I had quotes in the ballpark of $1,000-2,000 but from companies we were not confident could deliver on those things I just outlined.
So we decided to pay a premium—but I don’t think we got the service we paid for. We tried to be as understanding as possible; agreeing to change our move date from the 22nd to the 23rd without complaint, and by agreeing to pay for a shuttle despite the fact that obtaining a permit/no parking signs for a 70 foot vehicle in Altadena was not even possible for us. Moving is incredibly stressful. Delays are stressful.
Having to spend an extra day in a packed up apartment is stressful. Having to wait in the apartment on move day because it was absolutely unclear if or when the driver was stressful. Ultimately I don’t think what was promised at the start of this process was delivered. When we tried to complain, we didn't get an apology, let alone any kind of compensation.
In fact, Allied and Beverly Hills Storage passed the buck to one another, each claiming that "only the other" could possibly offer a concrete gesture of apology such as a price reduction. Don't ever use either of these companies.
Product or Service Mentioned: Allied Van Lines Moving Service.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Price reduction.