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Reputable Mover NY to CA

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Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby SteveF » Thu Jan 13, 2005 12:48 pm

Can anyone here report favorable experiences with a full-service moving company to use for a move from Dobbs Ferry (Westchester County), NY, to Santa Rosa, CA (50 mi. north of San Fransisco)? My wife and I are moving from a 2 bedroom apartment (with lots of files and office equipment for 2 home-based businesses) to a 3 bedroom Victorian cottage. A self-move is out of the question.

There appear to be a lot of bad guys in this industry. I would appreciate references to some good ones. Thanks for any help!
Sincerely, SteveF
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby twalker » Thu Jan 13, 2005 12:54 pm

Hi SteveF,

MovingScam.com doesn't recommend specific moving companies, however, we can help you research moving companies and narrow down a list that you're considering. You might find the following links useful when looking for a mover:

Frequently asked questions:
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=486

How to Find a Reputable Mover:
http://www.movingscam.com/news/findmover.shtml

That should get you going in the right direction and we can help you better from there.

Tim Walker
MovingScam.com
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby HLDM » Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:54 pm

Hi - I am in virtually the same situation. We are moving from Manhattan to San Diego, CA. I have been using this site for judging my estimators. Thus far this week, I have received 5 estimates with varying prices for partial pack shipments. I am hoping to get some feedback.

We have a two bedroom apartment with some valuable furniture but not priceless. Also, we have an elliptical trainer and a weight set (450lbs). I believe we will dump the exercise equipment (will be marked when dropped from estimate).

Here's the info:

Meyer's Moving & Storage
Agent for Mayflower
Estimate = $4495.10 at 4000 lbs.

Mercury Movers
Agent for National Van Lines
Estimate = $4594.05 at 4690 lbs (110% of Est. = $5053.46)

Moving Man
Agent for Wheaton
Estimate (binding) = $6357.05 @ 5400 lbs includes shipper packing

Big John's Moving
Estimate = $6642.00 @ 5505 lbs
Big John's did say that they would try to match price if possible. I think they are a small shipper and wanted to combine shipments at the end of the month.


Fixed Price Moving Systems
Estimate = $2948 @ 655 cu. ft.
The estimate is binding... I am worried on several scores with this one, but the rep was very concerned that I understand my rights and that the contract was binding. It is so much lower than the other estimates that I am obviously suspicious.

Broadway Express
Estimate = $3291.00 @ 16 linear feet

ABF U-Pack
Estimate = $3357 @ 20 linear feet (I was really trying to over estimate)

Tomorrow I meet with Liffey/Allied and Victory/United. Victory was highly recommended by a friend in Armani human resources that has used them for several corporate moves.

Any advice? This move is out of pocket.
Thanks.
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby SteveF » Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:47 pm

Good luck. I am still doing research, have a few quotes (including Meyers). Every mover says that the others are crooks, and I fear that they may all be right. Important to search complaints with the BBB, FMSCA, and state agency where the mover is located. So far, I have not been able to find FMSCA or NY DOT records of complaints against movers online; neigher agency is easy to communicate with. FMSCA does have movers' license and insurance info online (many movers have had their insurance cancelled, which is not a good sign), and this shows the number of trucks and drivers. I will come back and let you know what I find.

By the way, I grew up in San Diego, college at UCLA, and law school at Berkeley. I just spent a week in San Diego at a close friend's extended 60th birthday celebration. So I'm going home, sort of.
Sincerely, SteveF
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby Diane » Fri Jan 21, 2005 5:35 pm

For SteveF,

A couple of companies that you might want to consider.

Gold Service Movers (a Wheaton agent in White Plains) has some good comments on this website - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2873 - and I've also heard good things about the founder, Sanford "Sandy" Gold. Supposedly his motto is, or was, "Service 'em until they cry." I think his sons now run the business, as is the case with so many New York City moving companies. One Epinions review said that the Wheaton over-the-road driver who picked up from Gold Service was bad, however.

Also, University Van Lines (an Atlas agent in Rahway, NJ) has 7 good reviews on this thread - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3063 - more than any other moving company on this website except for ABF, BE, and Delancey Street Movers.

Of course, moving isn't an exact science and there can be glitches with any move. A lot depends on the character of the owner of the company and whether he has enough of a service ethic to do the right thing by customers if there are glitches. Obviously I am not a professional and all I know is what I've seen in the reviews here over the past two years.

Hope this helps.
Last edited by Diane on Sun Jan 23, 2005 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby Z1 » Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:41 pm

Why dont you get a few more estimates???!!!!! Maybe it will confuse you even more!!!!
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby MusicMom » Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:05 pm

Way to go, Z. Why don't you go waste someone else's time.
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby HLDM » Sat Jan 22, 2005 11:35 pm

Z1 wrote:Why dont you get a few more estimates???!!!!! Maybe it will confuse you even more!!!!


Z - Your sagacious commentary has enlightened us all. You're right... I shall join you in sticking my head in the sand.

Actually, we are going with Big John's. They are very customer service oriented and were willing to meet a lower bid from Liffey. We will see how things turn out this coming Tuesday.

One a related note, I have used JC Motors to transport my motorcycle in the past. I recently contracted them again. They have really been efficient, and their drivers have great respect for the bikes. Hopefully, I'll feel the same way upon delivery in CA.
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby Z1 » Sun Jan 23, 2005 5:37 pm

I posted because most people get 3-4 estimates from reputable movers and then make their choice. you are moving and that is not something you do everyday. Tell me that you can decipher all the info on the paperwork given to you by all these companies that gave you estimates.
Getting so many estimates only confuses the average customer even more. By the way, big johns does have a great reputation here in ny but i am not sure about the long gistance part. Ask them for a letter that states that they do all long distance on their own and dont subcontract to another mover. also have them state in the letter taht the price is binding if indded they did give you a binding. If they didnt, ask for one. DO NOT MOVE LOCAL OR LONG DITANCE WITHOUT A BINDING ESTIMATE!!!!!!
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby Diane » Sun Jan 23, 2005 8:21 pm

Just for the record, the owner of another moving company in NYC (a competitor) told me that Big John's does do its own hauling to CA and the owner does hold to his estimates. Nevertheless, the previous poster's advice to get it in writing is good. No one should use Big John's or any other company for a cross-country move unless he/she has (in writing) a GNTE estimate, or at least a Binding estimate.

HLDM, please do get back to us about your move with Big John's because nobody has yet used them and posted a review. Oddly, someone else posted that "Lisa" at Big John's said they would quote only by cubic feet on an interstate move - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3305. I have a feeling that there was some kind of misunderstanding.

The NYC to CA "lane" (as professionals call it) is a HUGE market so I'm anxious to identify companies that people can trust, as opposed to the very dubious and definitely to be avoided scammy company California-New York Express.
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby Diane » Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:02 pm

I just spoke with Mike at Big John's and, as I thought, the company doesn't quote by cubic feet. As in most if not all moving companies, its estimators walk around the residence inputting items on a PDA to figure the total number of cubic feet to be shipped but then the total is converted to weight by multiplying by 7. (The industry standard is 7 pounds per cubic foot.) Estimates that are given to customers are based on weight. The company does have to consider volume when (for example) it is building a load going to CA or FL because the loads have to fit on the tractor-trailer, but this is not something that the customer has to be concerned with.
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby Diane » Mon Apr 04, 2005 1:03 pm

OK, "HLDM" has just authorized me to post a report on his move from Manhattan to San Diego with Big John's. When I sent him a Private Message to ask about it, he told me about the move in a series of Private Messages that I will post below. This is the first report we have had on Big John's for a long-distance move so I think it's important.

HLDM wrote:Wow! I really must apologize for my late response on our move with Big John's. Overall, I was very pleased with the experience.

Big John's is not the cheapest, but nothing ever is in NYC. Big John's did meet another quote from a competing firm (Liffey, I believe). As I stated, it was still a lot out of pocket, but all my things arrived in a very timely and unbroken manner.

The only strange piece regarding the drop-off experience was that the driver was the only member of the unloading crew. Somehow, I was led to believe that there would be one to two other movers to help. Fortunately, I was able to help unload without much difficulty (the driver had plenty of dollies and hand trucks). The driver also helped me move furniture upstairs and into place.

I would recommend Big John's to anyone moving interstate. They are very courteous and professional. They are not cheap, but in this case, you are buying peace of mind.

. . . I need to pull my receipt, but the final cost was approx. $5400. Weight... I'd need to check as well. I did tip the driver about $40 - I guess I was happy that he helped me get furniture upstairs.

The driver could have handled most of the move on his own. It would have been a little tough moving the couch, but two dollies would have made this possible.

Hope this helps. Like I said, not cheap, but our things did make it fine condition.

. . . the drop off driver was different than the pick up driver.

If it is helpful, please reprint my response.


I have put some things that I consider significant in bold and I would be interested in people's thoughts about this move.

Diane
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby Michael » Mon Apr 04, 2005 1:38 pm

Diane,

Being that its an independent, unless the driver has someone that drives with him at all times, thats the risk you take. And sense at time of sell, the sales person has no clue as to who will be assigned to the shipment, again, they could make it sound better then it is, because thats what the customer wants to hear.

And not having an agent on the other coast in which to pool labor from, he is on his own to do what he can. That means doing it himself, or hiring people off the street. And of course the lesser of the two evils is doing it himself. Do it himself and hope the shipper helps, or hire labor off the street. In both regards, it wasnt what the shipper was told would happen.

Thus why the agency systems is nice. Now that doesnt guarantee those drivers hire from the assigned destination agent, but in more cases then not, (ALOT MORE) they do. And it gives them a source in which to get help.

I think one of the big selling points these type of companies make is the same driver, same crew from beginning to end. But I guess you have to ask yourself, if their shipping their crews out with their drivers, who is there to do the local work?
Michael
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby greybeat » Mon Apr 04, 2005 5:28 pm

I used Moishes (inadvertantly, through another agent) to move from L.A. to Connecticut last year, and had a good experience with them. I had heard of them before and they came recommended, but I was trying to find something cheaper. Funny I ended up getting to use them anyway, and the price came to around $1300 -- under what they are currently quoting me for my upcoming move ($1800 minimum for 1500 pds). If you can afford a couple hundred dollars more for them, I'd use them again.

I move back and forth all the time (hopefully this will be my last move!) and I've also had a good experience with Box Bros. I've also used CA to NY Movers and they were okay (late, but it got there in one piece).
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Re: Reputable Mover NY to CA

Postby Diane » Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:56 pm

Getting back to Big John's, I am just really surprised at how calmly the customer accepted the situation, even tipping the driver when he himself had to do the work that the driver should have arranged for. He said that he tipped the driver because he was happy to have help moving his furniture upstairs, almost as if he had expected to have to unload his own things. After all, this was a relatively expensive 5000-pound full-service move. What on earth would have happened if the customer had been some frail elderly person?
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