They sent three national companies to give us quotes. All the quotes seemed reasonable and similar. the companies were:
1. Bekins (local agent is new Dorp Moving, Staten Island, NY)
2.Paul Arpin (local agent: Transtar Moving Systems, Moorestown, NJ)
3.Wheaton (local agent: Universal Relocation Systems, Fairfield, NJ)
any advice over who may be best or worst?
Paul Arpin and Wheaton are smaller van lines. Why don't you post your quotes from those two including the weights and whether they are GNTEs and we will try to assist you further.
Consumers Relocation Services has been discussed here many times. If you search on the phrase in quotation marks you can see the discussion. Here is one such thread - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10142 It is basically a broker and you can usually do just as well negotiating directly with the moving companies. I am somewhat dismayed to see that they didn't send reps from any major van lines but only from these relatively minor players.
Arpin (local agent: Transtar) quoted me $10,850 total, including some special packing for china and crystal, for estimated 13,500 lbs. He said he would try to match any better offer I may have. I did not yet ask him about "not to exceed" (GNTE) limit for weight, but I think the weight will be less anyway.
Wheaton (local agent: Universal) quoted me $9724 for estimated 11,000 lbs. Again, I did not yet discuss the "not to exceed" type of contract. Should I do this?
It seems that where the costs may rise is concerning special packing that I did not forsee. Is this correct, in your opinion?
Through this whole moving mess I have gotten 9 estimates, half from disreputable companies, but most seem to estimate my stuff at 12,000 lbs.
Packing of fragile items does add cost but in my opinion it is worth it to have the moving company do it because otherwise you won't be covered for damage.
I am including the one for UniGroup because I would strongly advise you to also get a quote from Wade Odell Wade (United), which has excellent reviews here. Its website is www.wowmoving.com and its phone number is 201-493-9300. I will ask someone who works for Arpin to comment on the agent you are considering, but unfortunately I don't know anyone who can comment on the Wheaton agent. In general, our industry volunteers posting here recommend using a larger van line for a cross-country move like yours.
I would also strongly suggest that you contact Moovers, Inc. at www.mooversinc.com to see whether they might have a truck in your area at the time you want to move. They can often give people good prices if they are moving East to West and they are the only full-service moving company that we at MovingScam.com officially endorse. There are dozens of mostly rave reviews on their review thread at http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4655 They won't be able to do an in-home inventory but they will give you a Not to Exceed price based on what you tell them you have. If you're interested, don't delay in calling them because they are almost booked up for July.
5. Paul Arpin –
Nonbinding - Nonbinding
Binding - Binding
Binding Not to Exceed - Accu-Quote
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 2267#52267
6. Unigroup (United and Mayflower) –
Nonbinding - Option A
Binding - Option B
Binding Not to Exceed - Option C. I have also seen this called a “Comparison” estimate, i.e. the actual weight is compared with the estimated weight and the customer pays the amount for the lower weight. One person reported that her Mayflower agent called it a "Binding or Less" estimate - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6590 Another person said that her United paperwork called it a "Bound Estimate -- Option C Comparison" - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7114
7. Wheaton -
Nonbinding - Total Non-Binding [Cost]. I have also seen the term "Estimated Cost of Service" used. Note that it is somewhat of a misnomer to call it a "Total Non-Binding [Cost]" because the final total cost can't possibly be known on a Nonbinding estimate.
Binding - Total Firm Binding [Cost]
Binding Not to Exceed - Total Option Binding [Cost]
See http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5886 and http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6439 for a discussion of these terms. Wheaton asks customers to actually write in the cost for the type of estimate they were given on the contract so there is no possibility of a misunderstanding, and I think this is a good idea.
Transtar is a very good agent of ours, that have their own trucks and drivers, so this shipper would probably have their shipment hauled directly by them. I notice we keep getting referred to as a " smaller van line " but actually we were finally recognized as one of the larger van lines earlier this year by AMSA. David Arpin, our president, has been named secretary of AMSA, which other van lines had a bit of a problem with, because they too thought we were too small. We have over 500 agents throughout the U.S.
You should ask the sales rep whether the driver who picks up your shipment will be the same driver who delivers it in Oregon. If so, this is a big plus. Ask the Wheaton rep the same thing, and also the WOW rep if you contact them.
Also, here is a post from 2004 where someone said the Transtar rep told him that another Arpin agent might do the move - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1187 Nothing wrong with that as long as the shipment isn't moved into a warehouse first. More handling increases the possibility of damage and delay.
yes, I asked each company if my stuff stays on the same truck (and not put in storage first) the whole way to Oregon. I asked the Arpin agent if they could put that in writing and he said yes.
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