Wednesday, March 7

Archives: Nationwide Moving & Storage

In August of 2003, my husband and I moved from Burbank, CA to Baltimore, MD. We collected moving quotes from various companies and went with Nationwide Moving & Storage, headquartered in Las Vegas.

On the day of the move, they arrived six hours late. Inasmuch as we were supposed to be starting our drive across the country once our belongings were loaded on the truck, this was more than a little inconvenient. We did our best and set out late.

Our things were supposed to arrive in Baltimore in "10-14 days." We took a leisurely drive (due mostly to the fact that I was 12 weeks pregnant and throwing up in every gas station and truck stop in the contiguous U.S., and that we were traveling with an elderly kitty who needed frequent breaks.) We stopped to spend a few days with my husband's grandparents in the midwest, and arrived in Baltimore after about 9 days.

Then Nationwide began to stonewall us. Our belongings had not been delivered after 14 days; when I called, I was told their delivery windows are "14-21 business days." I almost cried. We went to Target and bought an air mattress. Day after day I called, awaiting our furniture.

Finally, about a month after Nationwide took possession of our possessions, I got a call saying they would be arriving the following morning. And, oh yeah-- our belongings took up more room than they had estimated it would, so we were responsible for double the estimate. Payment in full was due before they would unload the truck.

This time I did cry. We had just left jobs and my husband was still waiting to start his new job in Baltimore. We did not have thousands of extra dollars lying around for movers. I called my parents, who wired us $2000. That was a wild goose chase in and of itself, trying to find a Western Union location that would deal with sums over $500. We ended up splitting the amount and collecting it from two different locations just before closing time.

The next day, the movers arrived . . . not in the morning, but in the evening. They unloaded our boxes and were long gone by the time we discovered many broken items (including wedding china) and missing items (curiously enough, several DVD's packed securely in the middle of a box were gone, as was a crystal jewelry box.)

When we filed for insurance reimbursement, we were told that we could collect only on items packed by Nationwide movers-- not on objects we had boxed ourselves. We estimated the replacement value of our broken/missing items was about $700. Our reimbursement? Fifty-some dollars.

I have always been angry about this particular company. And yesterday I ran across a website,, that has a blacklist of moving companies.

Yup. Here it is. Nationwide is known for "operating without the required licenses and insurance to perform household goods moving services. Complaints include low-ball bids to attract customers followed by extremely higher rates once belongings are loaded on the truck... Other complaints include extensive damage and missing items at delivery."

This experience was definitely one of my worse Customer Disservice experiences, since they were not merely incompetent, but purposely deceptive.


At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way around this is that if you have a camera and a video camera and you not only take snapshots of the movers and the truck as well as video of them moving things and then inform them that they are now well photographed and videotaped that they will be less likely to pull the crap that they do with their scamming. The reason for this is because if they don't get the move done and you sue they are incriminated with the company because you've got them doing the move and being present on site. and whatever you do as soon as they state that they'll do the move for cubic feet.... HANG UP!!!!! It is illegal as of August of 2005 for interstate moves to be done by cubic feet. They have to do it on weight if they don't contact the FCMSA. Hope this helps.

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Angel said...

I love your sites and I love your blog, and I am a frequent reader - First time commenter. I refer to all the time for multiple things...That aside - My husband and I just recently moved from CT to OR and all of our stuff is currently in storage in CT. Thanks for posting that info about the movers, because we haven't moved our "stuff" yet. Did you happen to check out an ABF truck? Those are ones you buy square footage of space on a truck, pack it yourself, use a sliding door to lock it up and when they arrive, you unpack it. I can't decide if I want to hire movers or go this route...Anyhoo...Keep up the good work on your sites!

At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Angel said...

OMG I am so dumb...I meant, not LOL...I use BOTH all the time! Sorry! :-)

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Lori said...

Wow, that is just awful! We moved last year from Monrovia, CA to Federal Way, WA. We used a company called Andy's Transfer & Storage - their national affiliation was with North American Van Lines.

The estimator was really professional and told us that his estimates were nearly always within 10% of the final price. I can't remember if they had a guarantee, but I'm pretty sure there was some sort of guarantee on the amount you would pay vs. the estimate, and I'm thinking it was the 10% at most.

They also offered insurance on your entire load, regardless of who packed it, which we took. It was pretty reasonably priced, and we certainly didn't want to risk losing everything and not having the insurance for just a few hundred dollars.

Anyway, their movers arrived promptly, loaded efficiently and were very courteous. They arrived on schedule in WA, unloaded quickly and carefully and were just really nice guys, too. The estimate was within a percent or two of the final, I believe.

We had taken our china in the car with us but had other breakable things in the truck. I don't recall anything breaking. There were a couple of slightly squashed boxes from being put in sideways to fit their truck better, but I don't think anything was damaged from that.

We were just really happy with them. If you ever need to move a large distance again and plan to use movers, I would highly recommend them.

I'm sorry about your horrible experience with Nationwide. I hate that companies like that are able to stay in business.

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