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Thread: Change in white glove shippers, effective today

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
    Posts
    14,074

    Default Change in white glove shippers, effective today

    I am changing the default white glove delivery service I use from Sun Delivery to:

    A&O Home Delivery
    530 Pendleton St
    High Point, NC 27260
    336-882-5500
    www.alphaomegahomedelivery.com

    I have been seeing too much damage from Sun Delivery in the past months and a reluctance on their part to address the situation to my satisfaction. A&O will be slightly different than Sun but the service is similar. They will partner with West Express on areas west of Texas. They do not deliver into WY, ID, MT, SD, ND and NE, so if you are from those areas we will find an alternate carrier. Differences from Sun:

    * All furniture will remain in the boxes they ship in to your driveway. This is the primary reason I choose them. Sun takes everything out of the box and that's when the damages begin.
    * Service times will be longer to the midwest and west coast. Expect 4 weeks to CA and WA state. 3 weeks East Coast.
    * You can pay with cash or AM EX (3 % surcharge applies) as well as Money Order/Bank Check (No personal checks/no MC/Visa/Discover or debit cards, sorry).
    * Overall prices will be a little less, though minimum freight charge is 200 lb.

    You can ALWAYS choose your carrier or service, and are not bound to use my default choice. I spent all day on the phone interviewing white glove services today as well as seeing which carriers return the most damages for repairs to my suppliers and A&O seems to come out on top. I am always open to suggestions as well - if there is a white glove service you like and want to recommend, let me know! Damage control is Job 1, even if it takes a little longer in the service lanes....
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  2. #2
    Ci2Eye Guest

    Default Re: Change in white glove shippers, effective today

    Where does the term "White Glove" come from?

    I've had three experiences with Sun Delivery and four with Alpha and Omega. The first such experience I was expecting someone that actually wore white gloves and would be very professional but with both companies their staff and treatment is nothing special. They've all been okay but are not the clean-cut and tidy people in matching uniforms that they show on their websites and their arrival times tend to be wildly different from what they tell you.

    Alpha and Omega showed up at nearly midnight twice when they were scheduled to arrive between 4 and 8 PM. Another time they called to say the truck had quit and they'd be a few hours late - it was two days later before they arrived. Sun Delivery called and scheduled a Saturday delivery then called and insisted at the last minute they needed to change it to Friday morning and when I said I had to be at work they agreed to deliver after 6:00 PM. When I got home that Friday they called to say it would need to be tomorrow morning (Saturday) after all because they were now "running behind" then they called back two hours later to say they where on their way and would be here in an hour.

    All that is okay I guess; I understand furniture delivery is an unpredictable business and it's impossible to look tidy doing it but why the term "White Glove" that implies a very different experience than the customer actually receives.
    Last edited by Ci2Eye; 10-02-2013 at 08:56 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
    Posts
    14,074

    Default Re: Change in white glove shippers, effective today

    "White Glove" denotes a service, defined as being an in-home delivery. Supposedly the movers wore 'white gloves' to keep the dirt and grime off your new furniture but I've never seen those gloves...

    There is no perfect carrier out there, but I wish there was. Its a demanding business, keeping expensive and costly to run trucks on the road, trying to make time stops over many miles between many states, and let's fast it - no one grows up saying 'When I get older I want to delivery heavy furniture into people's homes as a career". Having done well into the thousands of home deliveries myself out of my store, I know what its like. I can remember delivery I made into Lowell MA many years ago, about 9 hours from my store. I went through Wash DC rush hour, Baltimore, Wilmington, NYC, all of CT and then Providence RI and skirting Boston in a diesel truck on the heaviest traffic corridor in the USA and got there 15 minutes past my estimated arrival time and my customer said matter-of-factly 'you're late'. HA! It's an imprecise business....

    My main criteria is damage-free coupled with reasonable pricing for a given service. When pieces arrived marked or damaged, I get the phone calls and the customer is unhappy - simple as that. I have been getting too many of those calls with Sun Delivery the past 4 months and had to make a change. Will A&O be better? I hope so, but who knows? I reply on my customers for feedback to find out. There is also the cost issue - I know carriers that handle fine antiques that can delivery damage free on every order but their prices are 3x that of the main white glove delivery services. Not many folks want to pay that rate so again - I try to balance damage and cost charged.

    The smaller the company uses, the longer it will take to arrive. Larger companies have faster ship times, but also handle more freight and have more employees - and that means more chances of damages. At the end of the day we are looking for that as the main priority, and then courteous workers making the delivery and finally timeliness at a reasonable price point.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  4. #4
    MRSSQRDAWAY Guest

    Default Re: Change in white glove shippers, effective today

    SUN DELIVERY expanded their company beyond their abilty to train and keep good people and provide their best service. The delivery team that carried my H & M ENVELOP leather sofa, 118 inches long and 46 inches deep,could have not been more polite, more professional and expert at their job. They did not wear "WHITE GLOVES" but they did wear disposal footies over their shoes, carried the sofa up 8 steps onto my porch, thru double front doors,across foyer, thu the single door I had forgot to measure, placed the sofa exactly where I ask in the living room, all with out one single mark on any wall or door frame. The team had me to inspect every inch of that sofa before I signed. I am sorry the owners have opted for growth with out quality of service.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Change in white glove shippers, effective today

    You are scaring me! I am waiting for my sofa this Thursday, I will take pics (if needed) and let you guys know how it goes.

  6. #6
    Ci2Eye Guest

    Default Re: Change in white glove shippers, effective today

    My experience with the two companies was that A&O delivered items still in the box from the manufacturer. The items were unsealed and opened on my driveway and there was no damage. With Sun, the items had been unboxed at their warehouse, wrapped in blankets and there was apparently friction damage that occurred during shipment.

    While neither really wears white gloves and both may deviate from their scheduled arrival times, I think A&O's method is better. I understand it takes up more truck space but it makes no sense for a company like Hancock and Moore to go to the trouble and expense to carefully box up their products in a manner so as to ensure no shipment damage will occur and then the delivery company removes all that, wraps a flimsy blanket around it and heads across the country with it.

  7. #7
    MRSSQRDAWAY Guest

    Default Re: Change in white glove shippers, effective today

    I had read the only reason to repack was to be able to pack more items in a truck. I had also read for some deliveries there is no space to do the un crating, city ordance against blocking sidewalks, plus reloading and hauling back the crates

  8. #8
    James Guest

    Default Re: Change in white glove shippers, effective today

    I took delivery from West Express and A&O. West Express delivered one recliner which appeared to be mostly unpacked. It was not in a closed box(don't know if that is normal). It came in a heavy cardboard base and wrap in heavy plastic. The plastic was factory stapled to the cardboard base and had no damage. The driver carried the piece unassisted. I thought his helper was a slacker but the delivery went well and was on time. A&O delivered three pieces which were all unpacked. One footrest had excessive leather damage which I returned to H&M for repair. The rest of the set had some bruises on the bottom of the chairs but not bad enough to return. The delivery was not timely but it went OK. My one complaint would be their web site. I was unable to get a status and calling them was a waste of time. The call goes to their answering machine and was never returned.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
    Posts
    14,074

    Default Re: Change in white glove shippers, effective today

    Probably the best delivery service that I know of is Plycon Van Lines out of Torrence CA. They do 1st class work and I have never had a damage with them. However, they are 3x the price of the standard in-home delivery companies. If you don't mind paying $ 600 for delivery on the East Coast and $ 1,000 on the West Coast for a single sofa, you can definitely request them at time of delivery. As I mentioned, I try to find a good balance between cost of the work and clean deliveries. A&O claims a damage rate of 1 %. Industry standard (and projected for budget reasons) is 3%. I've been seeing closer to 30 % damages from Sun in the past 4 months, including broken frames. That's an unacceptable level of damage and they see no need to change their methods and would simply prefer I not ship with them ( I do complain loudly with every damage). This was a mutual business relationship termination. I can still ship orders via Sun by request at time of order, but they will no longer be my default shipper.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Dayton, OH
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: Change in white glove shippers, effective today

    I unfortunately had not read this thread until today (Feb 11, 2014) and coincidentally received my Delivery Scheduling Automated Call from Sun Delivery this morning. At the time of the call, I didn't know to be concerned about anything. Sun received my H&M Sofa on Feb. 6th and the call indicated it would arrive at my home in Ohio on Feb. 22, a Saturday. Apparently Sun requires a Cashier's Check or Money Order only. Also they stated that I would receive a call the day before delivery that would ID the specific 4-Hr. window for the next-day delivery. The Automated System led me through a few-minute questionnaire which included a question about access to my home and what floor of the house the delivery item would be placed on. I was informed that there should be no obstructions (or other furniture) within 3 inches of where the item would have to travel once in my home to its final position. Otherwise, I would have to sign a waver about possible damage. I will post more information as this delivery occurs. I an certainly counting on no serious delivery issues or item damage. I have not figured out as yet what I will do to get rid of the Sofa that we are replacing.

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