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HIGHLY RECOMMEND AVATAR / ATLAS (based upon a recent move from NY to CA)

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HIGHLY RECOMMEND AVATAR / ATLAS (based upon a recent move from NY to CA)

Postby All Pau » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:00 pm

Hi all,

Over the past few days I've been reading this superb online resource. To all who invest time, energy and money to maintain this site, many thanks.

I am currently organizing my move from New York to San Diego. I have done my research and have solicited estimates from at least a dozen movers. Not surprisingly, few (even the supposed 'reputable') moving companies have agreed to issue a "Not to Exceed" quote. The sole issuer of a "Not to Exceed" quote is a broker, American Moving Services. I've heard mixed reviews of AMS, but they have given me a good price and their documentation of the "Not to Exceed" quote is thorough. They have provided an actual "Not to Exceed" contract so I feel adequately protected. My question is... should I be reluctant to contract my move through a broker? I've heard mixed opinions about this.

Can anybody recommend a good mover from NY to San Diego? Would anybody advise renting a truck and driving the almost 3,000 miles cross-country?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

-Paul
Last edited by All Pau on Thu Aug 30, 2007 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New York to San Diego

Postby Diane » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:21 pm

Hi - I would be interested in knowing which reputable moving companies you have approached and which have refused to give you a GNTE. You should be able to get a GNTE from several of them if they have seen your things and you don't require storage.

Do not use American Moving Services. I know nothing about them, but what you say gives me the chills. Do not use a broker. If a company is disreputable, you can't believe a word that its representatives say and anything written is unenforceable.

You seem to be posting from Long Island, but I'm not sure. Check into Dahill (Mayflower) and Hall-Lane (United), as well as Moovers Inc. at www.mooversinc.com and Delancey Street Movers in Brewster, NY. Reviews of all these are in the Superlist linked to below my name. I know the people running Moovers and Delancey Street and they will not cheat you and you will have a good move. Also consider the freight company Broadway Express at www.broadwayexpress.net if you have at least 5000 pounds (10 linear feet in a truck) and cost is a concern.

Don't drive a rental truck west - that is an extreme (although understandable) solution and it will be very costly in terms of gas and hassle.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.
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Re: New York to San Diego

Postby All Pau » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:46 pm

Diane - Thanks for the thoughtful response. I am, indeed, moving from Long Island. Your advice is sound. Another shady thing - American Moving Service requires both the deposit and final payment to be made in cash! I never cease to be amazed.
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Re: New York to San Diego

Postby eddie.vuddagiri@yahoo.com » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:14 am

Take from my sad experience.

Do you use Premium Relocation Services or any company owned by Desmund Campbell. Only suggestion I have is to pick a company that is residing in New York or San Diego.

Good Luck on the move.
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Re: New York to San Diego

Postby All Pau » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:48 pm

So after days of securing estimates and deliberating options, I've decided to hire Avatar Moving Systems / Atlas Van Lines for the move. Their estimate was in the midpoint of the range, but they seem to be the most reputable of the group. Unlike many of the scammers in the industry, there are no upfront costs and 100% of the balance is due at the destination. I did not get a written "Not to Exceed" estimate, but I was informed that by law, if the actual weight of my goods greatly exceeds the estimate, I won't be responsible for paying more than 110% of the estimate at the destination. So no risk of gross overcharges at a later date. Only risk is that Atlas fabricates the weigh-in, which based upon their reputation, shouldn't be an issue. So much of this process involves trust, which is why I've chosen Avatar / Atlas based upon reputation and positive feedback. Hopefully everything will go well and I won't have a horror story to report!
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Re: New York to San Diego

Postby farrah7031 » Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:08 pm

Wonderful! please come back and tell us how it went.
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Re: New York to San Diego

Postby Diane » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:00 pm

All Pau wrote:I did not get a written "Not to Exceed" estimate, but I was informed that by law, if the actual weight of my goods greatly exceeds the estimate, I won't be responsible for paying more than 110% of the estimate at the destination. So no risk of gross overcharges at a later date.

Avatar is a good company, but one small correction:- If the weight of your goods exceeds the estimated weight, it's true that you have to pay only 110% of the estimated cost on delivery day. However, you can be billed for any cost above that amount 30 days after delivery. You are still legally responsible for paying it. It's always best to get a GNTE estimate rather than a Nonbinding estimate if you can.
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Re: *New York to San Diego

Postby All Pau » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:17 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Diane. I certainly hope that there won't be any surprises with Avatar...
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Re: *New York to San Diego

Postby Diane » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:28 pm

We tread a fine line here between warning customers appropriately and alarming them unnecessarily, but I thought you should know the true legal situation.

However - that said - more than one moving company owner has posted here that so many customers fail to pay the excess amount over 110% of the estimate that some companies don't even bother billing them, at least after the first bill. It isn't worth their time and trouble to go after them because they aren't set up to chase down deadbeats. Ethical customers might be troubled by this, though, which is why I posted what I did.
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Re: HIGHLY RECOMMEND AVATAR / ATLAS (based upon a recent move from NY to CA

Postby All Pau » Thu Aug 30, 2007 3:36 pm

So, I finally received my belongings a week ago. Thankfully, no horror story to report. In fact, quite the opposite!

I was very impressed by every affiliate of Avatar/Atlas at every stage of the process, from Steve Kirschbaum (estimator), to Cinthya Sanchez, to the guys who moved the stuff in / out of my home to Steve Colvin, the driver of the truck.

I was given an honest estimate of 2,000 lbs by Steve Kirschenbaum and after weighing my goods, I was informed that I had about 1,900 lbs. Avatar proactively reduced the price of the move to reflect this adjustment! I didn't have to ask them, they called me!

My shipment arrived in the middle of the agreed-upon arrival window. Steve Colvin arrived at my home in San Diego with the shipment. A few minor things were damaged and Steve Colvin went out of his way to ensure that I was compensated. He offered cash to compensate me and I politely refused (I was just happy to have received the offer). Steve wouldn't take no for an answer and insisted on reimbursing me on the spot. I really appreciate that gesture, it shows a level of consideration that I didn't expect.

All in all, I had an extremely pleasant experience using Avatar/Atlas. They are highly professional and considerate. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND them for any move out of the New York / Long Island area.

Contact Steve Kirschbaum at 631-244-8686 to schedule an estimate, or call the office at 800-439-4900.
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Re: HIGHLY RECOMMEND AVATAR / ATLAS (based upon a recent move from NY to CA

Postby BigLeeCalif » Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:58 pm

Diane is this the same Avatar that Chris Noblitt of ReloRow runs?
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain
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Re: HIGHLY RECOMMEND AVATAR / ATLAS (based upon a recent move from NY to CA

Postby Diane » Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:02 am

Yes, but he doesn't run it - he works there.

Thanks, All Pau, for your great review, which I'm adding to the Superlist linked to under my name.
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Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.
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