• Report:  #984651

Complaint Review: American Van Lines - San Francisco California

Reported By:
Patrick - Westminster, Maryland, United States of America

American Van Lines
731 Market Street, San Francisco, 94103 California, United States of America
Tell us has your experience with this business or person been good? What's this?
I had taken bids for my household goods to be moved from Colorado to Maryland in mid- September. I ended up choosing Colonial Van Lines of Indianapolis because they had good reviews. The name at that company was Craig Camp. This part is taken from a email correspondence with Craig

Job ID: 54613713-CO
25,-26. Do you want something different?

Thank you,

Craig Camp

1-800-456-0882 Ext: 735


 I asked him if he was a broker and he said No. I told him that my driveway was 175 feet long and I did NOT want to be charged for a shuttle charge. He said that he would NOT. He told me that American Van Lines would be doing the processing of the payment and would require a deposit. I had read previously that customers should avoid brokers but he sure was convincing. Needless to say I put down a deposit when American Van Lines called me. That was a mistake. They agreed to come out and
pick up our household goods on September 26, 2012, a Wednesday. They wanted a deposit of approximately $2598.49 so I put it on my American Express.

Monday, September 24th I received a phone call saying they would be at my home. Tuesday, September 25th, I received another phone call saying they were going to be at my home the next day. Wednesday, September 26th morning comes around, no one shows at 8am, 9am rolls around and no one shows, 10 rolls around and no one shows. At 11am I receive a phone call from the driver. He says that he is NOT going to be able to make it.

I was furious because I had taken a week off without pay to pack my house. I started making calls to American Van Lines and Colonial complaining that they have to show up because I have to be back at work on Monday. I must have made at least 5 phone calls to try to solve the problem. At 11:43am American Van Lines calls and says they are going to make it after all but they wanted to charge me more money ($875) because all of a sudden they needed a shuttle because my driveway was too long! I told them NO because Craig Camp assured me that they would not charge me for a shuttle. The original American Van Lines driver was not going to charge me either. Apparently they must have called around Denver and found some drivers and packers willing to come out and they went to google maps and said they would need a shuttle. I was so mad that they lied to me on the day of the move and then tried to jack the price up that I told them that was unacceptable. I told them also that they had broken the contract for non-performance and lying.  I contacted another carrier who had previously sent me an email stating that if your mover fails to arrive that I could count on them.

That was Northwest Relocation of Portland, Oregon. They came the next day and did NOT charge me for shuttle and moved me.
I had called American Express on the moving day and told them what was going on. They told me that they would handle it and I didnt need to worry. Of course it ended up being lip service because they sided with American Van Lines the first time after they assured me that they would help me.  I produced my phone bills which provided a timeline of exactly what happened. I had also purchased aftermarket insurance through Baker International in case of damage beyond the low coverage they provide. I had to call that company (Baker) back and tell them the name of the new carrier.
American Express rejected my claim even though I uploaded all the documents to prove what happened and put forth a timeline that shows the events in a chronological order. Then American Van Lines calls last week and wants to settle with me. They want to give me back $500 and keep $2100 for doing nothing! They did NOTHING but lie. First by saying they were not going to show
up and second by trying to escalate the price. Why did they stop at $875, why not say $2000 or $4000. If I would have rejected it then would American Express still side with them even though they lied about the cost to move knowing that it would be too late for me to change?

American Express early this morning has now rejected my second claim.
Im so mad that there are so many corrupt people around and businesses like American Express enable them.

What I dont understand is how they could have sided with them.

1.     I produced the timeline (from cell phone records) to explain exactly what happened.

a.     American Van Lines said they were NOT going to show and tried to convince me to move the date back to Saturday, I said no, they said Friday, I said NO. I had to be back at work on Monday and it took 3 days to drive. (two cars)

2.     Then they call back later (~43 minutes) and say they can come now but they need to charge me more money for a shuttle. I say NO and I will find a new carrier to get my household goods moved.

American Van Lines is saying that I broke the contract when in fact they broke the contract, not once but twice. By calling me and telling me they were not going to make it (they said they had until Thursday but offered me Saturday and then Friday, before that it was the following week). All of the calling was on my cell phone records.

What I suspect they did was call a local carrier to pack it
up and put it in a warehouse until their driver could make it but they wanted a
shuttle at my expense!

I want someone at American Express to sit down and analyze this and ask these questions

1.     Why would a customer cancel their move when they dont know American Van Lines from United Van Lines, Allied Van Lines or any other on the very day they are supposed to move? Why would a customer create all the anxiety and stress, take out extra insurance with naming the carrier as American Van Lines and then cancel on the day of the move after planning for over 3 weeks?

ANSWER: American Van Lines canceled the time. They tried to rationalize by saying they had until Thursday. But they had told me previously that it would be Saturday, then Friday and then Wednesday, the day of the original planned move. But now they wanted more money! Broken contract twice!

2.     Why didnt American Express call me to ask any questions about what happened?

Attached is an email I sent them when I couldnt get through by telephone:

Re: Moving Estimate 29425323-30

Name taken off <[email protected]>

to customer.service.

Your customer service is terrible!
I'm on hold for 20 minutes. I want an answer. Where is the moving van? Call me now at 303xxx-xxxx

Sent from my iPhone

On Sep 25, 2012, at 7:35 PM, <[email protected]>

Click here if you no longer want to receive e-mails from us.

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you again for choosing American Vanlines Relocation Division for your move. We look forward to assisting you throughout your move. If you have any questions regarding your pick up, delivery, or other Customer Service related issues, please contact our Customer Service department at 1-800-338-9361 and a representative will be happy to assist you. Hours of operation are Mon. - Fri. 9 A.M. - 7 P.M. and Sat. 10 A.M. - 3 P.M. EST.

We anticipate your move will go as smooth as possible. In the event you have any questions, want to file a complaint/claim, or want to request a call back and the office is closed, please click the below link for assistance.

American Vanlines
Relocation Division Customer Care

Happy moving!

Quality Review Department

American Vanlines Relocation Division

I have so much documentation from emails and phone records that it is hard to fathom why American Express keeps rejecting my claim.

4 Updates & Rebuttals


United States of America
American Van Lines Contacted Me

#2Author of original report

Fri, February 22, 2013

Linda R., a representative from American Van Lines contacted me and we have settled the dispute amicably and I am satisfied with the results. Once they contacted me things moved quickly with the settlement.
Thank you.


United States of America
They tried to raise the price!

#3Author of original report

Sat, February 09, 2013

I've written the Better Business Bureau and filed complaints with agencies that regulate the industry. The moving industry needs to be better regulated with amounts of the deposits and timeliness. They should not be allowed to call the same day or within a few days of pickup that they need more money as in my case because they wanted to rent a smaller truck to go down my driveway. They tried to add another $875 to the contract and I said no. There is nothing stopping them from jacking the price up even more.


United States of America
American Van Lines is lying!

#4Author of original report

Thu, January 03, 2013

American Van Lines is flat out lying! Like I said before my phone records indicate what happened. Your driver called me and told me he wasn't going to make it. I frantically called all the numbers that I had for American Van Lines. Finally American Van Lines must have found someone else to pick it up my household goods and those people decided to charge me for a shuttle. American Van Lines wanted to charge me another $875-$900. I didn't agree to that! Why stop there? Why not add another $10,000 for the shuttle. I have a right to deny services when they are above what I was quoted, especially since your broker assured me that was not going to happen.(Craig Camp)

For those that don't believe me I am willing to take a polygraph since I have for the work I perform for my job to attest to the accuracies of what happened.

I want to know why would I cancel the very day that American Van Lines was supposed to show up? Why would I after getting the extra insurance policy and having everything ready to go would I suddenly change my mind on the last day? Why? As a matter of fact I'm going to write my members in Congress to complain about the moving industry. They need more regulations to stop the ripping off of the consumers for doing nothing!

Customer Relationship Manager

United States of America
Dear customer

#5UPDATE Employee

Wed, January 02, 2013

 We have located and reviewed your account and we noticed unfortunately we werent able to execute your relocation. We do appreciate your business and we regret that we were unable to render services within your requested moving dates and to hear of your displeasure between you and our company.

Your account indicates that you dismissed our services and your reserved move with us was canceled on 9/26/2012. The cancellation department made attempts to advise you that you were not eligible for a refund due to the terms of the contract which states your deposit is only refundable if your order is canceled, changed, or placed on hold at least five days prior to the scheduled load date. This can be located in clause # 8 in the terms and conditions which you were provided for review before signing in agreement. Based on our knowledge, you insisted on canceling after you were informed of this. Our services were refused due to the fact that you would have incurred shuttle charges. Please be advised that during your booking process you were provided with documentation informing you that you would be charged for any extra services, which includes the use of a shuttle, etc. Such documentation was presented to you for review and your signature was indication that you understood and acknowledged the terms of services.

In the efforts of customer service, your account was reviewed by management and you were presented with a courtesy compensation amount which you verbally declined. Our office sent you a copy of this agreement to both your email and physical address for you to review. Please be advised that our offer in resolution is still available in regards to your dispute. A representative from our office will be contacting you in order to come to a mutual resolution to this matter.

We appreciate your business and your shared feedback as it will definitely assist us in our current efforts of improvement to our company in entirety. We will remain hopeful that American Van Lines Relocation Division will be among your considerations if relocation ever presents itself in your future endeavors and allow us to the opportunity to render the exceptional services we know we are capable of to redeem your faith in our company. You are more than welcome to contact our office at 1-800-338-9361 regarding this response at your earliest convenience. Once again, we extend our sincerest apologies for any inconveniences caused during your interaction with our company.


American Van Lines Relocation Division.

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