Phaeton wrote:Lakelife. Curious about ... how your packing and move went? Which company did you finally select?
As mentioned earlier we selected Fry-Wagner, Lenexa, KS, a United agent, however its headquarter is in Missouri and since we moved from Kansas City, MO, Missouri laws would apply. We had also received a bid from Select Van & Storage, Kansas City, and from Movers, Inc., and all bids were on a "not-to-exceed" basis
The first two estimates were very close. The Fry-Wagner sales man had a higher estimate on packing costs and a lower weight estimate, whereas the weight estimate by the other salesman was higher (and as it turned out right on the nose at 19,000 pounds) and his packing costs were lower. Our house was about 210 feet from the road which did not bother the estimator from Select Van & Storage but Fry-Wagner was considering a shuttle but then waived the costs.
Overall the Fry-Wagner quote was about $900 less - but that didn't sway our decision. There was also a difference in the timeline. Initially Fry-Wagner wanted to pack on Th & Fr, load on Monday (because Sa & Su work would cost overtime), leave on Tu and unload the following Mo in San Diego, again because of Sa & Su overtime. In contrast, Select Van proposed to pack on Fr & Sa, load on Mo and unload on Sa. In the end, Fry-Wagner agreed to also unload on Saturday (since we did not want to spend the weekend in an empty house twiddling thumbs) without an extra overtime charge.
More importantly, however, was the (late) decision by Fry-Wagner to also move our 40-old car in the same van at a cost that was only 8% higher than the lowest bid that I had received from a car carrier (using closed vehicles), DeMoise Trucking. DeMoise could only guarantee a pick up date or a delivery date, but not both.
Packing was done by Jimmy S. and 2 helpers and took 2 days as estimated. They did an excellent job and I am happy to report that after unpacking about 90% of the boxes nothing is broken or nicked that they packed. I also learned that packers - at least in the KC area - are independent contractors, and Jimmy was happy that the estimate by salesman was correct and he didn't have to "eat" a negative difference.
The driver, Ken A. - another independent contractor as it turned out - called during the packing and asked whether he could come by on Saturday already to start putting stickers on the furniture and other items that he would pack and load on Monday to be more accurate and save time. We agreed of course and were happy to have some time with him for Q&A and plan for communication while on the road and after arrival if necessary. He arrived on Monday with 3 helpers - none of them Fry-Wagner employees but independent contractors again - and a shuttle truck with driver provided by Fry-Wagner. Loading went smoothly and by about 3 pm they were done. He drove to the company location to load the car (which I had delivered on Saturday morning) since he could drive it on directly from a ramp. He had another small load to deliver to Las Vegas and so we arrived together in San Diego on Friday. After discussing which roads to take he arrived with 3 helpers on Saturday morning and by mid afternoon everything was in the house.
His helpers here were not quite as careful as those in KC - the walls received a few scratches, and some cabinet shelf pins and other small items that got dislodged in the wrapping ended up on the driveway, but all very minor. All the art pieces and the furniture arrived intact, and only 2 pieces got scratched up a bit, but nothing serious enough to file a report. Kind of what one can expect from a major move.
So overall we are very happy with the service provided by the contractors that Fry-Wagner selected for our move and can recommend them very highly. I also believe that it helped a lot that we moved during the off-season and everybody had more time to pay attention.