My wife and I were relocating from Phoenix to the D.C. area and were searching for an affordable, yet reliable moving company. Let the NIGHTMARE begin. Universal Van Lines came knocking on our door with a handful of literature exlpaining how professional and "on-time" their service has become known for in the national moving market. A small one bedroom, full service move including transporting one of our vehicles came to an acceptable $3000. Details of the move included assurance our car would be transported on an enclosed carrier and would arrive in 5-14 business days. 98.5% on time says the literature.
The day of the move came with Universal Van Lines being 2 hours late. 3 men showed up in a Ryder truck. Yes, a rental. My wife and I had already started packing some of the items. These men proceed to pack the remainder of our items with my wife supervising. Pictures wrapped in blankets. Miscellaneous items in miscellaneous boxes, etc, etc. Things seemed to be going smoothly when my wife had to leave to catch a plane and asked the men to finish the packing and lock up when finished. The landlord was on the premises.
14 business days later, no word from the company. The literature stated we would receive three phone calls regarding our move. 1 when the van wasleaving Phoenix, 1 when the van was in our area, and 1 to finalize direction to our new location. We called Universal. The van had not left yet but we were assured the move would be completed in three days. The van was leaving the next day. Two days later, we called again. The word was that the van had "a problem" in OK City. The van wouild now be late a few days. We called the next day. Now the van was in Chicago and is delayed because of a delivery that was unable to be completed. Again, this would cause the van to be late. Two days later, still no phone call from the company, so we called again. The company now is having problems locating the driver, but there was some problem with "lifting mounts" on the truck. Of course, this will cause the truck to be late, but again, our stuff will be there soon says the representative on the phone. Finally, after requesting the cell phone number of the driver, and leaving multiple voice messages, a phone call is returned. At 9pm, one month after picking up our stuff in Phoenix, the driver calls from the road. He asks for directions and says he will be at our place first thing in the morning. This would be a good time to note that my wife and I had been living in an empty apartment, sleeping on the floor with nothing but our clothes. The best part, SHE IS PREGNANT!!!!
Anyway, back to our true nightmare. I woke up the next day to go to work at 5:30am. I noticed a Ryder truck in our driveway with a car cart on the back. I thought nothing of it at the time, but I should have been more attentive. This was OUR stuff. Universal Van Lines?Ryder truck rental? This time, 2 men proceed to move our stuff in. My wife is taking inventory the best she can. Upon further inspection, we were missing two boxes, and it seemed all of the boxes were opened and retaped. When asked why, we were told not about the problems with the truck but the cops in OHIO pulled the truck over and searched all of our boxes because it smelled funny. I wonder why? No evidence yet provided that this actually happened. One containing miscellaneous kitchen appliances and the other some electronics. No real big deal. Right? Wrong!!! That's not all. One large picture valued at around $100, missing. One mountain bike valued at around $1000, missing. Home theatre components, missing. Further inspection of the car revealed smoking paraphenalia (we are nonsmokers), stains, scuff marks, and best of all, an additional 350 miles on the odometer!!!!!! It turns out that our car was being used as a moving van for a couple weeks. We found somebody else's merchandise in the trunk!!!!! No excuse was given by the driver. No speaka no English. How convenient?!?
When asked about the Ryder truck, we were told that they ran out of full size trucks and this was standard procedure. When asked about the missing items, we were told to speak to the office rep in Phoenix. We called the rep in Phoenix and explained our concerns. "We have the bike" she says. "We didn't know who it belonged to because its not on the inventory list, but we'll send it to you overnight", she says. "We'll look for the other missing items and get back to you", she says. Well, its been a over a week and still no bike, no communication from the company regarding the other missing items despite our daily phone calls. We are at loss. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY. YOU WILL BE RIPPED OFF!!!!!!!! Details to come if any resolution comes about. BEWARE!!!!!!