The international moving scam business (and a little review of Anglo Pacific)

You might be searching for a cheap way to move your stuff from one country to another one, across the oceans, like from the UK to the US or to Australia or New Zealand. I know that you're trying to get the best price and you have probably spent hours and hours to compare them. You are confused, tired and stressed with your partner, kids, employer, visa and don't know how to get the moving arranged in 4 weeks. Typically, you have to finish up projects at your current employer.
You have stumbled over and are surprised that they actually accept money themselves from their "endorsed moving companies". You are horrified by stories by people that waited for months for their stuff and only had problems. You start to think about the possbility that moving companies are very well aware that their reputation is created on the internet, that their employees might add positive reviews to these websites themselves.
I have one simple suggestion for you: Avoid the whole industry.
I recently moved with AngloPacific to the USA from the UK. My "move" consisted of three (sic!) boxes. I had the following problems with Anglo Pacific (and I believe these problems are symptomatic for the whole international moving industry and rather the norm than an exception:
  1. They didn't tell me that I had to book the pickup appointment (the guy on the phone was friendly but not very competent). I had to bring in my good myself by car, as they were completely and fully booked for weeks.
  2. My "personal" customer contact was on holidays when I needed him. They delivered late, I had to be at home all the time and it was always difficult to reach him.
  3. Their agent in the US then asked me to pay ~200$ for "customs inspection fees" (occurs for almost *ALL* shared containers!), which are not he same as "customs fees" (paid already). This is perfectly legal, because in the small print they tell you that they won't pay "inspection fees" in the target country, but I had already sent in reimbursement to my employer, and was of course not expecting any additional fees as the company tells you all the time:

 At Anglo Pacific we believe in total transparency. Our door to door service includes Customs clearance and delivery to residence. Others may exclude destination charges and demand up to $200 on arrival, so be sure to read the small print and compare like for like

Note that "customs clearance" does not mean "custom inspection fees". They know of course that we don't know this. AngloPacific is not the only company that handles this issue in this way, I have heard of many other companies. The trick is always the same: Make you pay once you arrived and they can hold your goods hostage. With international moving, the price you pay is NOT the final price. In addition, if you look around on the internet, you will see that shipments RARELY arrive on time. The shippers will tell you anything (short time + low price), once they have your goods, they will make you wait.
I have moved only once and do not know a better company. I have the impression that, given what I paid in total, I could have also reduced my stuff to 2-3 smaller boxes and ship everything by air and as normal parcels. Now my stuff is so late that I don't need it anymore, I basically had to buy most of it again. The story was exactly identical for my colleague in the cube next to me.
I think you should avoid AngloPacific, but also most other moving companies. Just Google the topic and see yourself.
Instead: Reduce your stuff to the minimum possible, call UPS, TNT and Fedex, explain what is it that you're shipping, pick the lowest price and have everything immediately available and for the same price. Buy stuff from Ebay otherwise. Avoid the whole international moving business, it's a lot less stressful and in the end not more expensive via normal mail.
International movers require to take 2 days off work for their stupid delivery people, require you to fill out endless forms, take 2 months to ship overseas, are a real hassle to deal with and cost you tons of time. It takes you 4 weeks to get set up in a new country, maybe 8 weeks. Given how slow ships travel and how slow customs are, your goods will arrive at the end of this time, when everything else is already set up. They won't be there when you need them.
In addition, moving scam employees are likely to post positive reviews in forums everywhere which confuse you even more and take even more time. Relax, store your household in your home country and restart from scratch in the new one. It's not that expensive, you will never need most stuff anyways.

Here some more info on AngloPacific:

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