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Stockton CA move to Hollywood CA

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Stockton CA move to Hollywood CA

Postby Wanda » Thu Dec 23, 2004 6:35 pm

Wondering if anyone knows anything about these companies...

Am considering Casey Moving Systems, local United agent based in Ceres, CA (also DBA Dawson Van and Storage/Mayflower for Interstate moves). The agent said they have been in business over 30 years, he has been with them 5 years, seemed VERY decent. Mentioned they pay benefits and therefore have a stable, reliable workforce. They quoted approx. $2000 (2 bdrm apartment) which includes the $300 (see question 3 below) and with me doing the packing. I have a lot of books and am thinking of some alternative ways of getting those to LA (in daughter's trunk on her way back to college) which will save a little.

Question 1:
There is one resolved BBB complaint against them according to the automated phone message but no additional info was given. If I call BBB on Monday when the offices reopen after Xmas, will they give me details? Is it worth waiting... if I book by tomorrow they can pack me on Jan 3, which is optimum for me.

Question 2:
The only ("MC") license number they have nationally is United's generic #, so there is no way to get any info on the local office in particular. (They also have a California PUC #.) Is that an issue? They are listed as a member of the Calif Moving and Storage Assn, if that means anything.

Question 3:
It's $300 for the minimum amount of "insurance" which is replacement value to $25,000 with zero deductible. Is that a typical rate?

Also going to be getting an estimate tomorrow from All My Sons of West Sacramento.

Question:
BBB seems to have no record of them. What does that mean? I verified with PUC that they are an active company --- and, they have a good record according to the safersys site.

Any comments, advice would be welcome. I want to move first week of January and am having to hustle at the last minute.

p.s. This site is GREAT - my compliments.

Thanks,
Wanda
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Re: Stockton CA move to Hollywood CA

Postby Diane » Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:15 pm

Wanda,

I don't know anything about Casey Moving Systems, but I don't think you should worry about one resolved BBB complaint--a lot depends on the number of moves they do each year. Also, it's normal for them to be operating under United's authority and using United's license numbers. I don't think the BBB will tell you much if you call them. By the way, when I looked Casey up online on www.bbb.org, there were NO complaints listed - http://www.stockton.bbb.org/nis/newsear ... 0035000936

Various branches of All My Sons have been spoken of negatively here. I don't know why there is no listing for the West Sacramento branch, but the All My Sons branch in Hayward, CA, has an "unsatisfactory" rating with the BBB, which is the kiss of death. I think that the United agent would be a much safer choice.

If you see this in time, you might try calling the California Moving & Storage Association to get an opinion on both Casey and All My Sons. In the past they have been very frank with people.

I'm no expert, but from what I've read on this board, $300 is a typical amount for $25,000 full value replacement coverage with zero deductible.

Another CA mover that has been well spoken of here for within-CA moves is Sterling Van Lines in Los Angeles, but I don't know whether you could get an estimate from them in time.

Hope this helps.
Last edited by Diane on Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stockton CA move to Hollywood CA

Postby Wanda » Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:27 pm

Thanks, Diane. I didn't see All My Sons listed as one of the ones to avoid, so what you have said is helpful. I'll go ahead with the estimate tomorrow morning and see what they say.

CMSA is closed until Monday. The Casey Moving rep informed me of them and encouraged me to call them so I am guessing there are no problems to be found there. Casey Moving requires a 7-day period before a pack date, so if I want to book for Jan 3rd, I need to let them know tomorrow (holiday is extending the 7 days). It did not seem to be a pressure situation, he was just advising of the normal scheduling period. Do you think I should wait and call CMSA Monday - or just go forward based on my instincts (felt very good about the guy - professional and not used-car salesman-ish - and also the people I dealt with on the phone were nice and professional).

I'll see if I can contact Sterling, thanks for the info.
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Re: Stockton CA move to Hollywood CA

Postby Diane » Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:39 pm

Hi - I just found some (bad) info about the All My Sons in Hayward that I added to my post above. Possibly the All My Sons in Sacramento is listing itself as in Hayward. Also, I saw that the company sometimes goes under the name A.M.S. Just sounds a little shady to me, all in all. When the rep shows up tomorrow, ask him why the Sacramento branch isn't listed with the BBB.

Only the very worst companies are on the blacklist. Many, many others are dubious and should be avoided.

To answer your question, I think you would be safe in going forward with Casey. The price seems good--make sure that it's a GNTE estimate. If you call Sterling, they may be able to quote you a price based on the weight that Casey estimated. Even if it's slightly lower, that may not be your best choice. I think there's something to be said for going with a local company that you feel good about. Just as a matter of legality (not advising you to do this), I believe that you can always cancel up to and including the day of the move without penalty.
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Re: Stockton CA move to Hollywood CA

Postby Wanda » Thu Dec 23, 2004 8:19 pm

Thanks again. So glad I found this site/board... it is reassuring to discuss this with someone knowledgeable. Left a message with Sterling but they are not calling back; perhaps closed. I think I will go ahead with AMS tomorrow just to see how much weight, etc., they estimate.

FYI, I liked the way the rep from Casey did the estimate. Ended up giving me a printout with each item identified (like "dresser" or "box of misc"), room by room. So no misunderstanding about what is or is not included. But maybe they all do that... will see what AMS comes up with tomorrow.

($2,000 for 4851 lbs, everything PBO at my request since not too much is fragile and I think I can get dishes and artwork down there another way so less worry for me that way.... includes the F/V liability and also allows for "two long carries" up an elevator, etc.)

One more question, can you explain GNTE? I am guessing you mean that it's guaranteed the cost will be no more than that... or can be adjusted lower if I end up packing less boxes (that is what he told me, anyway)...

Wanda
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Re: Stockton CA move to Hollywood CA

Postby Diane » Thu Dec 23, 2004 8:37 pm

Yes, you're correct in your interpretation of GNTE. If your weight is less your cost goes down but it won't go up if your weight is more.

Wanda, I'm a little out of my depth here since I'm not a mover, but I have a couple of thoughts. These are not things that would affect your booking with Casey--they could be fine-tuned later when you get an expert to advise you. "Nancy" who posts here, for example, works for a van line in CA.

1. My understanding is that if you pack the things yourself (which is what PBO means), the valuation coverage is null and void. So you might as well not buy it. Your homeowner's or renter's insurance should cover you for catastrophic loss of the entire shipment by fire, flood, act of war, etc. and I believe that the moving company is also required to carry such coverage on cargo. My personal opinion, in addition, is that it's so difficult to collect for "breakage and scratches"-type damage that it's hardly worth buying coverage. All of your furniture should be wrapped in moving blankets and as long as the people who load and unload don't rush too much, I think you should be OK.

2. I don't think that United is supposed to be charging for "long carries" under the 400N tariff that they use. A couple of van lines that use another tariff do charge for that, but not United as far as I know. It could be, however, that a different tariff is used for within-state moves.

Just a side note that you may be using the words "pack" and "load" differently from the way the moving companies use them. (It's your last sentence that makes me think this.) To them, "pack" means putting things in boxes and "load" means putting things on the truck.

I may not be looking at this board much for the next day or so but will hang around for a while to see whether you have further thoughts or questions.
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Re: Stockton CA move to Hollywood CA

Postby Wanda » Thu Dec 23, 2004 8:58 pm

Those are good points and I will ask the questions tomorrow. I thought I would PBO most of the boxed stuff, since not too much is breakable. It saves about $300 to do that, although my objective was not to save the money. It just seems easier to do (sort) it that way, since I am not taking the entire contents of my home.

I have a few things I thought might be worth getting the insurance for... things that will not be PBO... an antique sideboard, a very large Sony flatscreen, a computer and printers, etc. Stuff like that, that would be costly if it arrived damaged. He said I would only be reimbursed at 60 cents per pound if I did not purchase the additional "insurance" which seemed to jive with what I read elsewhere on this site. I can ask my homeowners' insurance agent re coverage.

Re-read the estimate and it is a "binding estimate." It goes on to say it "...covers only the services and quantities shown on estimate. If items are added to the shipment resulting in more weight or additional services are required, additional cost may result. This document may be amended prior to loading by agreement with an addendum." It is sort of a GNTE but not exactly... something for me to ask further about.

You are sweet to take the time to advise me at this busy time of year. Happy holidays to you and don't give it another thought, please! :D

Wanda
Last edited by Wanda on Thu Dec 23, 2004 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stockton CA move to Hollywood CA

Postby Diane » Thu Dec 23, 2004 9:09 pm

If you have valuable electronics and antiques, then I think that you SHOULD buy the valuation coverage to protect against breakage and scratches. Your homeowner's or renter's insurance wouldn't cover that type of thing, and you are correct that otherwise the coverage will be only at the rate of 60 cents a pound.

Just make sure that the moving company takes responsibility for the electronics, because I've heard of cases where they mark items down as "MCU" or something meaning "Mechanical Condition Unknown," and then when people try to collect if the item doesn't work after the move, they can't. (I hope I don't get pilloried by the moving company people who post here for saying this, but this is what I remember.) Anyway, all these are details that you can work out later.

:arrow: I think that thing that you just described about additional charges for additional weight or services is standard for United and I don't think it's anything to worry about.

Glad I could help a little, and happy holidays to you, too. I'll be interested to see what the AMS rep says about why there's no BBB listing for his office, and whether he admits that the Hayward office has an "unsatisfactory" rating. (You could pretend that you don't know.) :wink:
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Re: Stockton CA move to Hollywood CA

Postby Guest » Sat Dec 25, 2004 11:06 pm

I asked about the AMS Hayward BBB rating without indicating any knowledge of it. The AMS rep said that there might be a few unresolved complaints, but he was not really familiar with it. His "assumption" was that the disputes were due to customers trying to add merchandise to the load at the last minute without wanting to pay the additional charges. :lol: The AMS bid was $800 higher. Interestingly, AMS does not offer any additional liability beyond the 60 cents. They also do not weigh the truck.

I called the Casey rep re the estimate being only "binding" and not GNTE. He emphatically stated that the cost WILL be lowered if I drop items or the weight turns out to be less (or if they get to the destination and determine that it is NOT two long carries in distance from curb to door) - and also that he estimates high and that the cost will undoubtably be lower than the estimate unless I add things. The wording does not say that exactly (I quoted it above)... wonder if I should push the issue.

The AMS rep talked to me about mattress bags (additional charge, although not much). I asked the Casey rep about that and he said they don't use bags but instead use boxes, which protect the springs from being crushed as well as from dirt. Sounded plausible... more professional?
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Re: Stockton CA move to Hollywood CA

Postby Diane » Sun Dec 26, 2004 5:47 pm

Wanda wrote:I asked about the AMS Hayward BBB rating without indicating any knowledge of it. The AMS rep said that there might be a few unresolved complaints, but he was not really familiar with it. His "assumption" was that the disputes were due to customers trying to add merchandise to the load at the last minute without wanting to pay the additional charges. :lol:

Interesting. This is what the scam companies in NYC say when they try to defend themselves from accusations of overcharging.
The AMS bid was $800 higher. Interestingly, AMS does not offer any additional liability beyond the 60 cents. They also do not weigh the truck.

Even more remarkable! How did you get involved with AMS, anyway? Did you contact them or did they contact you? I thought moving companies were required to offer valuation coverage beyond the 60 cents.

I called the Casey rep re the estimate being only "binding" and not GNTE. He emphatically stated that the cost WILL be lowered if I drop items or the weight turns out to be less (or if they get to the destination and determine that it is NOT two long carries in distance from curb to door) - and also that he estimates high and that the cost will undoubtably be lower than the estimate unless I add things. The wording does not say that exactly (I quoted it above)... wonder if I should push the issue.

The moving companies use all kinds of language for GNTE, Binding, and Non-binding estimates that makes it very confusing. For example, I think United uses Options A, B, and C and then there is TPG (Allied) and TAPP (Atlas) and North American uses something else. I think you should ask Casey to put in writing what you just wrote above. I continue to think that United should not be charging for long carries any more, unless the tariff they use within CA is different from the 400N. I don't think any of this is a deal-breaker but why do they have to make it so confusing for people?

They are trying to protect themselves with that clause about charging you more if you add things. Unless you add a lot of things I don't think you have to be concerned.
The AMS rep talked to me about mattress bags (additional charge, although not much). I asked the Casey rep about that and he said they don't use bags but instead use boxes, which protect the springs from being crushed as well as from dirt. Sounded plausible... more professional?

I've heard of companies using both. From using the bags myself, I can tell you that they do tear if you're not careful in moving the mattress and box spring. Boxes would be better. Are they throwing them in or do you have to pay for them? Do you get to keep them? If you'll be keeping them, the bags would be easier to store.
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Postby Wanda » Sun Dec 26, 2004 6:40 pm

I contacted AMS from a large, friendly ad in the phone book. Bill themselves as family owned and operated, yadda yadda. Their safety record looked okay and I could not find them on BBB originally, so figured I would give them a hearing. Besides Casey Moving/United, the only other one (phone book) that seemed possibly decent was Pacific Storage/Bekins but their phone put me on hold forever and then closer to Xmas said they were not open, so to heck with them.

AMS did give me a booklet re purchasing insurance from another company, so I guess that fulfilled some obligation, if there is one. But what a hassle for consumers.

I am not planning to add things, but my concern is that if I have less boxes than estimated, then I'd like the cost reduced as he promised. I will ask him if I can make that statement on the contract; was planning to do that. (The contract says Option B on it, by the way.) When I discussed it with him, he seemed to feel it was a GNTE type contract and the one "most in the consumer's favor." I don't think he was trying to scam me when he said that; I think he's in tune more to how they do business than the language of the actual contract. I could be naive/wrong, of course, but that is the impression I got.)

Re mattress bags/boxes, I don't plan to keep any of it. Using boxes is default for Casey Moving, so I assume the cost is built in and a non-issue. I just thought it was interesting how they deviated from each other.

Again, thanks for the advice, Diane. As things progress, I will stop by and fill you in, the better for you to advise future visitors to this great site.

Happy holidays,
Wanda
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Postby Diane » Sun Dec 26, 2004 6:53 pm

I don't like it that your quote says "Option B." As far as I know, the GNTE for United is Option C. If you want professional advice about this you could send a private message to "23" who is a person who knows about those contracts. With a Binding contract (if that's what you have), the companies sometimes don't even weigh the trucks, so you would have no chance of getting a lower price if your weight is less than the estimate.

Again, I don't think this is going to be a deal-breaker but I think you should try to get it cleared up. If Casey can't resolve it to your satisfaction, you might want to talk with Sterling Van Lines as I originally suggested to see whether they can give you a GNTE. Also, another United agent in your general area that has a good reputation is Chipman in Sacramento.

The AMS booklet was probably for Baker International insurance. We've noticed that many of the dubious companies invite customers to purchase insurance through them. It's strange because Baker is a very reputable company and I don't know how they stay in business with all the claims that must be coming in from the scammers.

Some of the Bekins agents in CA belong to a group called Bekins Moving LLC that has a very bad reputation. I have no idea whether Pacific Storage is in that group but it could be, so I think you're well out of it.
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Postby Nancy » Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:25 am

The Intra California tariff is the Max 4 and is regulated by the California PUC. There are long carries, stair carries and elevator carries STILL in this tariff. It is completely different from the 400N. It is actually illegal to use the 400N on an Intra Cal move, you must go off the Max 4.

Casey's has a solid reputation and does lots of business in Stockton and in California. This move would go under the jurisdiction of their PUC "Cal T" number, and NOT United's MC or DOT numbers. I suggest you contact the PUC and/or the CMSA for a reference on them, but they are family owned and everything else looks good to me.
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Re: Stockton CA move to Hollywood CA

Postby Wanda » Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:39 am

Hi, just a quick note to say, again, thanks to all for your help. It greatly raised my comfort level, not to mention helped me make a decision, etc. I am moving next week and right now I am packing madly. :shock: I called CMSA and they said the Option B binding contract DOES obligate Casey to lower the price if I delete items or the truck weighs less (although I contend that the wording of the contract does not actually say that). Well, we'll see how that all goes... have a happy new year's!
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Re: Stockton CA move to Hollywood CA

Postby Wanda » Mon Jan 17, 2005 2:22 pm

Hello! I am sorry it took so long to get back online, but it's been a little hectic getting organized at home and at work.

I just wanted to say that the move with Casey Moving Systems went quite well, I think. Nothing was broken. They moved me in during a torrential rainstorm and nothing got wet, either. All of the people were nice, friendly.

The only two glitches were (1) My comforter seems to be missing. It's possible it got left behind at my house... I am still checking. And I was definitely planning to buy a new one for the new place, anyway. So, not a big deal. (2) The original estimate was for 5300 lbs. After they weighed the truck, they told me that the weight was less but that their minimum charge for in-California moves is for 5000 lbs. I don't recall being told that up front. So my bill is a little less than I was quoted... I guess I can't complain. Yet, it would have been nice to know upfront the minimum I was going to have to pay, even though I was not expecting a significant drop.

Thanks again to those of you who offered advice, and thanks to those who started this website. I have already recommended it to others who are planning to move this year.
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