Overall Opinion of Dedicated Van Lines: The company primarily functions as a broker, meaning that the labor and/or shipping is completed by third-parties. This translates to the possibility of delivering inconsistent quality service that is dependent on the performance of others. Despite having a somewhat limited volume of online customer feedback, what exists is extremely positive. However, upon further inspection, some of their reviewers didn’t seem to be real customers.
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Dedicated Van Lines is a Virginia-based freight broker established in 1992 that offers services nationwide. Moves are completed using either straight-trucks that measure up to 32 feet or tractor-trailer models for larger moves.
They don’t promote “ala-carte” options, such as for customers who intend to load their belongings themselves or those who are only seeking labor to load their own rental truck, etc.
- Local Moving: Local and intrastate moves are based on the amount of time needed and the labor necessary to complete the project. Travel time is typically about $100 per hour, which includes fuel, tolls, and surcharges. Belongings are moved on a dedicated truck that does not contain items from other customers.
- Long-Distance Moving: Unlike local and intrastate moves, cross country and other long-distance moves are quoted based on the inventory of items being moved. All long-distance moves are coordinated by a professional staff member.
- Vehicle Transport: Vehicle moving services are available nationwide and the options are presented to the customer by a shipping coordinator. Some vehicles such as motorcycles, golf carts, and ATVs are secured using brace bars. Service options include door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal service. Door-to-door service is sometimes not permitted by the local laws of the destination, such as those that restrict large car-carrier type transport vehicles on residential streets.
- Full Professional Packing: This service involves a team of moving professionals coming to the home or business and dissembling and packing all of the items to be shipped. Specialty packaging is used to protect property such as mattress covers, shrink wrapping, wardrobe containers, etc. This service typically includes unloading of all items at the destination and may include removal of all items from the packaging.
- Commercial (Business) Moving: Both small and large organizations that are moving or relocating are encouraged to consider their services. This includes office furniture disassembly and optional storage.
- Storage: The company boasts of offering personal and commercial customers with storage units that are rented on a month-to-month basis. They use wooden vaults for storage that are accessible only to company personnel with a security system installed. Climate-controlled storage is an option for storing belongings that are sensitive to extreme heat, cold, or humidity levels. The company’s site isn’t specific regarding the physical location(s) of storage facilities or pricing.
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The Good: Committed to Customer Satisfaction
The management team is focused on maintaining a good reputation. For example, they don’t provide “ballpark” estimates and instead require potential customers to interact with a representative who will gather sufficient information first. While many consumers may view this as a hassle, particularly in today’s spontaneous culture, the online feedback from prior customers suggests it is successful.
The Bad: Outsourced Labor and Shipping
When a customer relies on a broker for packing, loading, and transporting they are depending on a third-party for a successful outcome. This can increase the likelihood of errors in communication, inconsistent quality workers, and other uncertainties.
- Assigns a Personal Move Liaison to each project that coordinates logistics and handles customer service
- Has a “Dedicated Price Promise” that involves competitive rates and transparency
- Offers a “Flat Rate” pricing program that applies to certain services that will never exceed the quoted hourly rate
- They are available for “last minute” moves on short notice
- Offers live support via phone or online chat from their website
- Isn’t currently offering international moving or auto transport services
- The quick quote tool on the website does not provide immediate pricing and requires an email or phone call reply from a company representative
- Although listed as being available, it doesn’t appear that the company handles many commercial moves or much of any storage services
- Some of the positive reviews are questionable.
Binding Not to Exceed Estimates
Dedicated Van Lines attempts to differentiate themselves by offering estimates that are guaranteed not to exceed the quoted price. The Department of Transportation requires prices to be calculated based on either weight or volume.
The moving representative takes extra time to properly inventory all larger furniture or other items that are not boxed to increase the accuracy of the estimate. Their move coordinators also strive for “worst-case scenario” estimates that are very unlikely to exceed the quoted amount unless additional items are added (by the customer) that were not factored into the inventory. Dedicated Van Lines doesn’t provide general online quotes like some of its competitors do but does promote their commitment to competitive pricing.
Full Value Protection vs Standard Released Valuation
Items are briefly inspected before loading to detect any existing damage. Should damage to property occur during the process, the standard required coverage offered is 60 cents per pound, which is included at no charge. For example, a 100-pound item that is damaged is eligible for $60 in reimbursement. Full Value Protection is purchased by the customer and is based on $6.00 per pound; therefore, the same 100-pound item would have $600 in maximum reimbursement. The company requires that all covered (insured) items be loaded by their staff.
Although the company has been in business for 27 years, all of their Google reviews are from the past year. Taking a closer look, a lot of the reviewers had left many reviews all over the country in the past year, given the current pandemic, it seems unlikely that so many of their reviewers have been traveling to multiple spots around the country.
Since we have looked at many reviews for many different companies over the years, it seems that their reviews are VERY high. Higher than any of the best moving companies in the industry and the nature of the reviews are not consistent with what you see in most companies.
That being said, here is the breakdown of the reviews that we found for the company:
The headquarters location in Virginia Beach has a rating of 4.9 of 5 on Google based on more than 270 customer reviews. The majority of posts showed a high level of customer satisfaction, particularly with the quality of the moving staff who often moved items to second and third-floor walk-up units. Some customers complained that the truck and movers arrived several hours later than the originally scheduled time.
The Bynam, Mississippi location had an overall rating of 5 out of 5 on Google based on more than 150 posts. Customers repeatedly praised the staff for being professional and friendly. Feedback suggests that the movers are very careful not to damage fragile items.
The organization is currently accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an overall rating of A+. A few complaints are posted that involved delays on long-distance shipments and some that suggest the organization was rude and unprofessional. In each case, a company representative followed up trying to resolve the concerns.
It’s hard to say with the nature of the reviews whether or not Dedicated Van Lines is the best option for your move. Van lines are companies that have large fleets of moving trucks and handle the move in its entirety. In this case, although the name suggests that they’re a van line, they’re in fact an online broker.
We would suggest taking a look at the best interstate moving companies in the country instead.