Note: As of 2017, Graebel Van Lines has ceased all operations and is no longer in business.
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- You need a full-service mover that will do it all.
- You’re moving a company or an office.
- You’re looking for a full-service mover that owns and manages all of its locations, instead of employing agents.
- You’re not within service range, since Graebel isn’t available in all fifty states.
- You are on a very tight budget.
The Long Version
Graebel Van Lines has been around for over sixty years, and although it doesn’t have the same brand recognition as other van line brands, Graebel still offer its customers a name-brand experience.
Unlike most traditional van lines, every Graebel location is privately owned. This means Graebel does not make agents out of already established local movers in the same way van lines like Allied or United do. Agents are independent local movers who form affiliate relationships with brand name van lines (they agree to follow certain guidelines in exchange for business).
However, agents aren’t owned by their van line and they can lose or end their affiliate status at any time. Since Graebel doesn’t operate under an agent model, it owns and manages every location with its name from beginning to end. Therefore, company standards, hiring processes, and quality of service are uniform across the board at all Graebel locations.
There are pros and cons to operating like this, and the most glaring disadvantage is the smaller reach. Graebel is only available in 24 states within the United States. The upside? Since Graebel owns and manages every single one of its locations, the quality of service reflects on the company as a whole, not just on a single location (or agent). This means Graebel locations have a bigger motivation to take extra care of your belongings, because the entire company’s reputation is on the line.
Fortunately, Graebel’s moving services aren’t limited by coverage. Your local Graebel mover can help you with the following types of moves:
- Residential (this includes local and long-distance moves)
- Commercial moves (businesses and offices)
- Corporate moves (government and military)
- International moves
Side note: If you’re doing a commercial move, we highly recommend choosing Graebel. They’re one of the few moving companies certified by the International Office Moving Institute (an independent training program for movers). And if that’s not convincing enough, Graebel was the preferred mover of the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 and in 2016 they helped the NFL Rams move from Saint Louis to Los Angeles.
What you need to know before committing to Graebel:
Not all locations are created equally
While Graebel may own and manage all of its locations, it doesn’t mean every location will have the same reputation. A Graebel in Denver may have a better record when it comes to customer satisfaction than a Graebel in Nashville, or vice versa. Because of this, we highly recommend searching through Yelp, Facebook, or Google for location-specific feedback from actual customers.
Your coordinator can be your best friend or your worst enemy
This may sound a little dramatic, but it’s true. When you book your move through Graebel you’ll be assigned a single point of contact, which Graebel calls a coordinator. As far as logistics go, we love this.
Often, the most frustrating thing about working with a moving company that relies on independent agents is the lack of communication when organizing your move. Graebel assigns coordinators for customers so there is no confusion on who customers should contact for information on shipments, questions about their bill of lading (an itemized statement), or updates on pick-up and delivery times.
Sadly, the most common issue among people who had a less-than-positive experience with Graebel was that their coordinator didn’t do their part. Make sure that you feel comfortable and confident with your coordinator’s communication abilities before hiring Graebel. Again, this is a good time to search for location-specific feedback from previous customers to find out if coordinator issues may arise.
Graebel’s Better Business Bureau complaint log is one of the best
In the last three years, the Better Business Bureau reported two closed complaints for Graebel Van Lines. That’s less than one BBB complaint per year. To give you an idea of how this compares, consider this: Allied Van Lines had 99 complaints filed and resolved in the last three years.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Graebel is perfect or that it never damages people’s belongings; it simply means Graebel’s customer complaints don’t often escalate to BBB status.
The Bottom Line
Overall, you may be the perfect Graebel customer if you need a moving service that doesn’t use independent agents and has a good track record. Additionally, if your move requires special services like storage, car transportation, or complex logistics (i.e. you’re moving an office), then Graebel Van Lines is an excellent choice.
At the end of the day, we recommend getting a quote from Graebel before making a commitment. An in-home estimate will not only give you the opportunity to interact with your coordinator, but also provide you with a better idea on cost. Check out Graebel’s full list of locations and find out if there’s a facility near you.