• Allied Apps: Apps for Pet Owners

    by Jackie Heath | Apr 16, 2014

    apps for your petsIt might not seem like owning a dog and a smartphone have anything in common, but it’s becoming increasingly more common for pet services, pet perks, and pet retailers to pop up on screens everywhere.

    • Tagg: One of the most important apps for pet parents to have (especially if you’re moving to a new area) is a pet tracker. This GPS location tracker allows you to tap into your pet’s collar so that you can always find him or her in the event of an emergency or loss.
    • Pet First Aid: It’s always a good idea to have some knowledge of pet first aid if you’re an animal lover. This app highlights what you need to know for emergency situations so that you can stave off death or further injury while you wait for professional veterinary assistance.
    • Map My Fitness: This running app might be designed for human exercise, but there’s no reason why you can’t adapt the route mapper for your favorite pooch. Know where you’re headed before you put the leash on and get the perfect amount of activity for you both.    
    • iCam: Hesitant to leave your pet home alone? Curious how your dog manages to escape the fence every time? Set up this virtual camera and watch the live stream from your phone.
    • Pet Phone: If your animal is getting up in years or has special needs that require constant vigilance (or if you just tend to forget important things like nail clipping appointments and vaccinations), this app helps you track your pet care itinerary.
    • Dog Whistler: Want to have fun with your dog? Planning on putting a course of dog training into action? Skip the dog whistle with this app that simulates the sound only audible to your canine’s ears.
    • Games for Cats: The internet loves a good cat-playing-with-the-iPad video, and it’s now easier than before with Friskies’ series of cat-friendly swipe games.
    • Dog Park Finder Plus: Looking for dog parks and dog-friendly areas in your city? This app makes it easy to pinpoint locations where both you and your canine will be welcome to enjoy the great outdoors.

    Many of these pet app options are free or come in at under a few dollars, making them a smart choice for pet owners who want to get the most out of their technology. While nothing can beat a good, old-fashioned game of fetch in your backyard, there’s still plenty of fun and information available on your smartphone.

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  • Navigating Pet Services in Your New Hometown

    by Jackie Heath | Apr 14, 2014

    moving with petsOnce you’ve made the successful move with your pets, it’s time to start settling into your new city. Getting used to a new community and a new way of life is challenging enough, but when you need to find pet services you can trust, it only adds to the stress. 

    Although the best way to get any information on pet services is to rely on word of mouth or get a recommendation from someone you trust, you can also go online to find vets, kennels, pet sitters, and more in your new residence.

    Online Pet Service Finders 

    Depending on where you live and what services you need, you can find many listings for pet services online. A few of the more popular options include:

    • PSI: Pet Sitters International provides information on dog sitters in multiple locations, and focuses on those with the proper licensing and insurance. 
    • Care.com: This website doesn’t just find pet sitters and dog walkers—it can also be used to search for child and elder care. Users search by zip code.
    • Dog Walker: Dogwalker.com is one of the more well-known websites for finding dog walkers in your area. Larger, more urban cities tend to offer the most range of choices. 
    • My Veterinarian: Vet services tend to be the easiest to find, since these professionals advertise more widely than pet sitters. My Veterinarian is part of the American Veterinary Medical Association, so it’s a great place to start looking.
    • American Animal Hospital Association: If you have a pet emergency, it’s a good idea to look first to the AAHA website. You can quickly and easily find accredited animal hospitals in your area. 
    • Craigslist: One of the most popular places to find local anything is to search the Craigslist for your area. These tend to be people rather than businesses posting, though, so always be wary of giving out your private information.
    • Kennel Finder: Kennel Finder has over 7,000 listings for animal boarding services nationwide. 
    • Pet Boarding Finder: This website offers another place for you to search for pet boarding options, and also includes listings for grooming, pet sitting, and dog walking.
    • DogFriendly: If you’re in search of an off-leash dog park, you may want to stop by this website for a state-by-state breakdown of options. 
    • Nylabone: This chew toy company provides an online service to match dog owners with parks where their pets can get the exercise and socialization you both need.

    The Pitfalls of Finding Pet Services Online 

    While the internet provides a great starting place for finding pet services in your new city, it’s always a good idea to be wary of information you get online. Don’t give out personal information to any company you haven’t already confirmed has the proper business license, and ask for references from any individual who will have the care of your pet.

    It’s also a good idea to meet someone in person before you make arrangements for pet walking or pet sitting. Your furry friend deserves to be put in the care of someone you trust to treat them well, so even though the extra step might make finding the right pet service provider more time-intensive, it will be worth it in the end—freeing you up to make the most of all the restaurants, shops, activities and more in your new town.           
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  • Allied’s Annual PSA Conference Awards

    by Jackie Heath | Apr 10, 2014

    Allied celebrating 85 yearsEach year the Allied Van Line agents get together for the annual PSA conference. In March the agents gathered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois for the annual conference. The event brings Allied movers together for training, collaboration and opportunities to improve the Allied experience for all customers.

    As part of the event we also award the top performing Allied agents of the previous year, to recognize them for their hard work and dedication to Allied and our customers.

    We are proud to recognize this year’s winners:

    Consumer Awards:

    Salesperson of the Year – Tim Granata of Reebie Storage and Moving Company, inc.

    Greatest Individual Annual Sales Growth – George VandeLaar of Reliable Van & Storage Co., Inc.

    Rookie of the Year – Patrick Ouellette of Rogovin Moving & Storage Co., Inc

    Most Express Shipments – Tim Granata of Reebie Storage and Moving Company, Inc.

    Top Valuation Salesperson – Steven Aitken of General Warehouse Co., Inc.

    International Salesperson – Matt Buckley of Pickens-Kane Moving & Storage

    Corporate Awards:

    Top Producer of the Year: Brad Koch of Rose Moving & Storage

    Salesperson of the Year: Scott Buksa of Coleman American Moving Services, Inc.

    Rookie of the Year: Michelle Norton of Coleman American Moving Services, Inc.

    Government Salesperson of the Year: James Pippin of Simonik Transportation & Warehousing Group, LLC


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  • Ask Allied: What Questions to Ask During In-Home Estimates

    by Jackie Heath | Apr 08, 2014

    Questions for in home estimatesThere are as many types of moving companies out there as there are types of homes. From large, nationally recognized chains like Allied to a team of college students in need of some extra cash, you can hire a wide range of movers to get your home’s contents from point A to point B.

    Before you sign on with the cheapest moving option, it’s a good idea to sit down with your potential movers during an in-house estimate and ask these ten questions.

    1. How long have they been in business? A good reputation carries a lot of weight in the moving industry—it means the movers have experience, are trustworthy, can stick to cross-country schedules, and haven’t encountered any major business difficulties. More experience also means they’ll be better equipped for special circumstances like elevators, homeowner’s association rules, etc.

    2. What kind of licenses and insurance do they have? Any moving company that crosses state lines should have a U.S. Department of Transportation number, which you can verify online. They should likewise be certified by the AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association). Insurance is also an important factor—probably the most important one there is for movers. Not only do their vehicles and business need to be insured, but there should be additional options for your personal possessions.

    3. Where can I read reviews/hear personal feedback? Although you can ask the movers how good they are, it’s better to find some third-party feedback. Ask for recommendations from happy customers, find out where you can read online reviews, or look for any awards the company has won in the past.

    4. How are their estimates based? Is it per-room, by the pound, based on the quantity of furniture, determined by the number of miles traveled? Are the estimates binding, or can they change? There are many different ways to calculate moving costs, and it’s best if you know exactly how they’ll be determining yours.

    5. Are there any hidden costs? Does the estimate include fuel charges? Does the day of the week or time of year you move play role in cost? Are there additional taxes or fees you’ll need to consider? What about the additional cost of insurance? Ask to see a sample invoice, if possible, as it will give you a better idea of all the costs that go into the final billing process.

    6. Is packing and wrapping included? Full service movers will come supplied with boxes and bubble wrap and prepare to do the work for you. You might also opt for doing most of the work yourself to save money. Know how much you can expect to pay and for what services—including things like appliance preparation.

     7. What is their cancellation policy? Weather and jobs and changes of schedule can impact the timeline you had planned. If you need to cancel or postpone your move for whatever reason, what does the moving company charge, if anything? How much of a window do you have for changing your mind or cancelling without being charged?

     8. What does moving day look like? This question includes quite a few facets, so have your pen and paper ready. It’s a good idea to know:

    • How many movers will be present the day of the move
    • How long it will take them to wrap and pack up your belongings
    • What they expect you to provide/do to assist
    • How much preparation you need to do ahead of time
    • When the departure and arrival are estimated to take place
    • Whether or not you’ll be charged if the job goes over the anticipated time
    9. What happens on the road? Once the moving van pulls away, you’ll want to know what happens as the moving van begins its journey. You don’t need a full detailed itinerary, but you may be comforted to know where they plan on stopping and how long the trip will take—as well as what you can expect if there are delays.

    10. What do they want to know from you? A good moving company won’t just answer your questions—they’ll have some of their own. It takes time and a personalized in-home visit to make an accurate estimate, and any moving company that provides you an option over the phone or without asking questions about your preferences/needs is probably one you should avoid.

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  • Ask Allied: How to handle Corporate Relocations

    by Jackie Heath | Apr 02, 2014
    Corporate RelocationA move taken because you’re ready to experience a new city and a move taken at the request of an employer tend to be two different experiences. In a corporate move, the details and handling of your move is more out of your hands and in the hands of your employer. There may be a strict timeline in place, a certain amount of money provided for the move, and in some cases, the home shopping and moving company may already be worked out for you.

    Although every company handles employee moves differently, most corporate relocations follow a similar format. Here are a few tips for navigating your company’s relocation services.

    Know What’s Included: If possible, determine the whats, whens, and wheres of relocation before you accept the job. At some point before the contract is signed, talk to human resources or the corporate relocation services department to learn what is covered and expected.

    10 questions to ask employers about your corporate relocation:

    1. How much financial compensation is offered?
    2. Do you require me to use your moving company, or am I free to hire my own?
    3. Will you cover the costs for temporary housing and storage? For how long?
    4. What if I have to pay to break the lease in my current residence?
    5. Can I be reimbursed for hotel and travel costs while house hunting?
    6. What kind of time commitment is required in exchange for this relocation package?
    7. What real estate support do you provide in selling and buying a home?
    8. Do you offer to cover car shipping costs? Moving pets? Other unique moving costs?
    9. Are the relocation costs going to be taxed?
    10. Are spousal/family considerations taken into account?

    Negotiate, if Necessary:
    You might not feel like you’re in a position to negotiate, but now is a good time to assert your family’s needs. Most corporate policies have wiggle room to assist families in transition, so if you need additional money, time, storage, or housing allowances, be sure to ask—and ask for it up front as opposed to in the form of reimbursement.

    Shop Around: If you’re offered a lump sum to cover expenses or are allowed to select your own mover, it’s a good idea to shop around for a moving company that’s a good fit. You want a company that can work on your schedule so that you don’t miss any more work than you have to—as well as one that offers a full range of packing and storage options. Because corporate moves tend to be more time-sensitive, it’s nice to know that your belongings will be taken care of. Companies that specialize in corporate relocation are especially helpful.

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Allied Van Lines, Inc.
MC 15735 U.S. DOT No.076235
Texas intrastate moves are hauled under the authority of Allied Van Lines, Inc., DMV No 7143; Texas DMV Phone No. 1-888-368-4689

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Just the service and the personality of everyone that we worked with. What could have been an unpleasant moving experience was a very positive movingexperience.
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