**Opinion on two price quotes please

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adkterp
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Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:31 pm

**Opinion on two price quotes please

Postby adkterp » Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:40 pm

I'm moving from Boston to Maryland in a month. I've been trying to get companies to come out and give quotes, but it's been surprisingly hard. We have a basically two bedroom apartment for two people, minimal personal items beyond clothes. So far I've had two companies come look at what we have and give estimates. I'm wondering if anyone can comment on whether these seem to be reasonable estimates (I'm a first time mover).

The first one was a small, 3 person company. The owner came out, I asked him all the right questions, he had the right answers. Didn't take a written inventory, but said he had about 4400 lbs of stuff. The quote was $3700. No packing, minimal insurance.

The second was a larger, regional company. A guy came out and took a written inventory, looked in cabinets, estimated number of boxes. The written estimate said it was 5500 lbs. His quote was $5500, including a $1000 fuel surcharge and $315 for extra insurance. Again, no packing.

This is the first time I've had movers, and because I'm young and maybe even a woman, I'm afraid of being taken advantage of. I'm mostly concerned because of the 1000 lb difference in estimates. My aunt moved from NJ to NC a few years ago and said it was $2400. I can't imagine prices have doubled in the past 5 years (though I accept the fuel surcharge). We are considering a uHaul, but since we're both working up to and right after the move, we'd like a low stress move. We also don't have a place in Maryland yet, so we don't know if a POD or uPack will work for us at delivery.

Rick
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Re: Opinion on two price quotes please

Postby Rick » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:36 pm

The lack of interest may be due to the fact that you're planning your departure for the week that traditionally marks the beginning of the summer moving season along the Eastern seaboard. Not only do prices increase during this high demand period, but some carriers may already be saturated.
You'll find a list of Massachusetts movers here so that you can hopefully obtain other in-home visual surveys.
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 7647#57647

The higher cost of the second salesperson is likely the result of more weight estimated, seasonal pricing and the rapidly escalating fuel surcharge. Not sure if the first guy's estimate is the result of professional confidence or a SWAG, but he's not bound by it without a written estimate. Suggest you drop them from consideration.

Marathon, the Stevens' agent in Randolph, specializes in shorter distance moves. If they can't help, contact Deb Defosse at the Stevens' agency in Spencer, or Oded Carmi, the GM at DR Van Lines, an independant mover based in Framingham. Both also go to DC quite often.

Don't forget to report back when you're done.

BigLeeCalif
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Re: Opinion on two price quotes please

Postby BigLeeCalif » Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:43 pm

You might want to contact your local Arpin agent as well. Their headquarters is right down the road in Warwick, RI.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

smatwilly
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Re: Opinion on two price quotes please

Postby smatwilly » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:16 am

I think I would stay away from the sales person that didnt write anything down---that would make me a little nervous--sure most sales people if they have done this long enough can walk through a home & tell you a pretty good idea of what your weight is - but-- to be more accurate your really need to have an inventory & cube it out to get the weight.

I would also get an estimate from Rainbow Movers - they are a NorthAmerican agent--very good company & they would self haul your goods - which means it would be their guys from start to finish--plus they would more than likely give you a guaranteed not to exceed price - although technically we dont call them that anymore---with that small amount of weight there really shouldnt be a 1000 lbs difference.

Good luck!!

Troyb22
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Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Opinion on two price quotes please

Postby Troyb22 » Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:13 pm

Without a written inventory (cube sheet) of what is to be moved, any "Guaranteed" prices are meaningless.

The mover can show up on moving day and claim you have added more to be moved. And then he'll insist that you sign for potential additional weight and charges before they start the job. They also know that, most likely, you won't have any alternative but to sign as securing another mover usually takes at least a week and you have to move now.

With a written inventory (cube sheet), you have written proof of what is included to be moved in the guaranteed price. But verifying the inventory's accuracy is also important to avoid this same problem on moving day.

Diane
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Re: Opinion on two price quotes please

Postby Diane » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:01 pm

I agree with the advice to consider Marathon and Rainbow for this move and to insist on a written estimate. If cost is a concern, consider using two ABF ReloCubes or Broadway Express, two companies endorsed by this website.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

hula 2 Pahoa
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Location: Pahoa

Re: Opinion on two price quotes please

Postby hula 2 Pahoa » Fri May 02, 2008 4:24 am

You know-I thought I had a small move. I said about 160 boxes, 1 king size bed, mattress, box spring, 2 night stands, and other miscellaneous items. I tried to give the best information I could. I even sent pictures via e-mail and got about 6000 pounds and was told it "looked" in the right range of pounds. So imagine when the truck gets to CA to get weighed and I get told my poundage is OVER 1500 pounds! GAAKKK! Doesn't matter yet, as that person hasn't been paid and he has my goods hostage! I still think the guy who looked in drawers, cupboards, etc. may know more, but that is just my opinion. I know when I sent my photos, all of my boxes were packed and my items wrapped.
Good Luck!
I am a SlickDealer but still got ripped off (by eNationwide Van Lines)!

smatwilly
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Re: Opinion on two price quotes please

Postby smatwilly » Fri May 02, 2008 1:28 pm

Yikes----those prices are outrageous! For 5500 lbs you should be paying about $3600 -- the fuel is includes & is less than $250-- Your valuation (insurance is about right for full coverage with 0 deductible.

Unless you have a shuttle in Boston - and I dont know where in MD but based on Bethesda you are being quote WAY high------of course on the other hand I could say the moving company is smart for not skimping on the discount...........the fuel is a joke though---yes, its insanely high but what they are quoting for fuel is outrageous!!!!!!! Get another estimate from Allied, NorthAmerican, United or someone else.

adkterp
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Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:31 pm

Thanks for all the advice!

Postby adkterp » Mon May 05, 2008 6:37 pm

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I finally got a big national mover (Wheaton--White House branch in Stoneham, MA) to come out and look. The guy was awesome, really went over everything about moving, including how to cut costs. It took him a few days to come back with a quote, but came in at $2300. The rate per pound he is charging is HALF what the other guys wanted, and was for 4300 pounds. He didn't include an inventory list with the quote, so I'm going to ask for a copy of that, but even if we add stuff, it will still be a reasonable price!

Thanks again for the suggestions and opinions on the price. I will report back in a month after the move to say how things went.

Diane
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: Opinion on two price quotes please

Postby Diane » Mon May 05, 2008 8:03 pm

It's still best to get a Binding Not to Exceed quote, not a Nonbinding. Your mentioning a rate per pound suggests to me that you have a Nonbinding quote.

Please do keep us posted so we can build up our database, and include the name of the sales rep if you want.

These are the terms used by Wheaton for various types of quotes:

8. 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.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

adkterp
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Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:31 pm

Re: Opinion on two price quotes please

Postby adkterp » Tue May 06, 2008 9:49 pm

Thanks for the info on the types of estimates. I'm going to ask for a binding not to exceed, but have been playing phone tag all day.

I do have a nonbinding estimate, but when I said rate per pound, I was just looking at the amount of weight estimated and the cost to move it. The other places were about $1 a pound, vs. half that now.

I'm curious about how a binding estimate will work. This guy quoted 4300 pounds, but i've had estimates of 5500 as well. How do they arrive at the number for the binding price? If I don't like the weight estimated in that quote and go with the option to weigh the shipment, how would they then calculate that? I'm worried that it's $2200 for 4300 lbs., but the rate for say, over 4500 lbs is significantly more and will inflate the price a lot. Do they need to have a set rate per pound? I hope this makes sense. Thanks again for the help!

BillAdams
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Re: Opinion on two price quotes please

Postby BillAdams » Wed May 07, 2008 4:47 pm

Tthe best way to eliminate the price confusion is to call all movers who came to your house, and have them prepare an estimate @ 5500 lbs and the exact same packing count as a reference. That way, you CAN compare apples to apples.

If you decide on a binding price, it is a commitment from your mover to charge you for moving only the items shown on the inventory list prepared on estimate day, therefore it is important that you get a signed inventory, before agreeing to the terms.

The advantage of a binding price is you know the cost, but you must commit to what you are having the movers pack and ship for you. The advantage of non-binding is that you don't lose flexibility to change your mind on the things you'd like packed/shipped. Most would agree that it's fair to pay a reputable mover for the exact weight and packing.

View your mover as your partner in the success of the project. It's nice for each of you to pay for/get paid for precisely what has been done. If you distrust your mover, you shouldn't be doing business with them. Find one that you like, and that checks out here and with the BBB and AMSA sites. Also, consider taking advantage of your right to witness the weighing of the truck before and after your load goes on.

I would guess that the $1000 fuel surcharge was shown as a line item BEFORE a discount. It can be confusing.

Good luck.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover."
-Mark Twain

adkterp
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Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:31 pm

Post-move follow up

Postby adkterp » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:44 am

Now that I have finally completed my move, I want to post my experiences here for others. I am very thankful my move went very smoothly and mostly stress-free. I hope the information I am providing is helpful and relevant.

Moving from Woburn, MA to Annapolis, MD. Pick up window 5/27-2/58; Delivery 6/2-6/4. 3700 lbs., $2200.

Although I seemed certain I would go with Wheaton (via White House in MA), McLaughin Mayflower out of Nashua, NH ended up coming out the day I was going to call Wheaton to sign an estimate. The guy who came out was very professional and took an inventory on a palm pilot, taking note of some furniture that was lighter than normal (our kitchen table is very light wood). He was then able to print out an estimate on the spot. He ended up being the same price, but I felt much more comfortable with his knowledge and professionalism than I did with the Wheaton guy.

I didn't have a lot of time, so since the price was good, I signed the non-binding estimate that day (a Wednesday). It was for a weigh of 3700, the lowest of all my estimates (5600 being the highest) so I confirmed that more weight would be billed at the same rate of about 50 cents per pound. He ended up being about 200 lbs low, but we also kept two pieces of furniture that he excluded at my request. Having read about McLaughin from another poster on this site, I specifically asked when I would hear from them again. The estimator assured me I would want to change my phone number they would call me so often. That wasn't the case at all.

I signed the estimate on Wednesday, three weeks before my move, and didn't hear anything for a week. Finally I got a call from Jamie Smith, but she was never in the office when I returned her call, and she never returned mine. On Friday (9 days later), I finally got in touch with her and she asked, "Did I sign the contract?" Apparently she had e-mailed the contract and I never received it (I don't actually remember giving them my e-mail, but I guess I must have). We had some computer issues and eventually I got the contract, she guided me through what to write down and sign, and I emailed it back to her. She didn't provide any information about my move status, and when i asked, she said I would hear on the 27th, whether my pick up date was the 28th or 29th. I said that was fine, but I would need to know on the 27th so I could take off work.

The Friday before my move, I got a call from Martha (Jamie was unavailable) asking how my packing was going. I asked her to put down that I would need a Wardrobe Box, but she apparently never did since the moving guys had no idea I needed one and luckily had one on the truck.

May 27th rolls around and I'm waiting all day to find out about moving day. At 4:00 I realize I should call, but no one answers and I leave a message. At 4:30 I call them back--Elliott answers the phone, and Jamie isn't in. I ask him to check when the movers are coming, and he says he'll leave a message for Jamie. I had to explain that I had to know whether to stay home from work and that I needed to know. He says he will find out and call me back. He calls back promptly and says movers will be there between 8-9 the next morning. They are very lucky I knew not to trust them to call otherwise I would have gone to work and would not have been able to be reached until I got home at 3:30.

Moving Day, Wed. 5/28: Driver David Gagon was excellent. He showed up around 8:45. He wrapped everything in blankets and was careful in taking apart furniture. His helper, Walter A., was also very good and hardworking. It took them about 6 1/2 hours to pack and load all my stuff (a two bedroom apartment, 4th floor, elevator). David estimated he would be to my destination in Maryland on Tuesday, 6/3.

On Friday morning I called McLaughin to get the weight of my shipment so I had an idea what to expect for cost. Jamie wasn't in, and I think it was Martha said she would send the request to some department and call me back. I never heard back.

First thing Monday I called and Jamie still wasn't in. By this point I'm pretty annoyed that no one is there, no one has information, and no one calls me back. I explain that I need to know when to be home, that I was never called about pick up, and that if I'm not home when the truck gets here, I won't accept liability for time lost. I was promised a call back with the weight and the date/time. Never got that call. David called Monday evening to make sure I would be ready for delivery around 8:30-9 on Tuesday.

David ended up arriving shortly after 8am. Parking the truck was more difficult, but he was patient and made moving such a big truck look easy. His helper seemed a little less experienced than the first guy, but was very hard working and appreciative of the cold drinks and snacks I had for them. They had two flights of stairs to go up, and twice I heard boxes fall down the stairs, followed by "It's just books, don't worry!". The second box was one I had packed but the lid wasn't sealed very well, so the contents (teaching supplies--crayons, pencils, etc.) spilled down the stairs. Not a big deal for me since nothing was broken, but it could have been far worse. I was checking off the bingo sheet, and found some 3 or 4 items were not stickered correctly or the sticker had fallen off, but was able to ensure everything was delivered.

The guys worked very hard running up and down the stairs to get to my apartment and never took a break (took about 3 hours). I made sure I sent them on their way with fresh cold drinks. I also think they appreciated that I was eager to make their lives easier, having them drop the boxes inside the door, then I moved them further inside.

So far I haven't heard from Mayflower about changing the amount charged to my credit card. They charged 110%, but the amount should be less based on weight, but I also bought two wardrobe boxes.

Overall I am very pleased because the important thing was that they showed up and nothing was broken. Just like a previous poster had said, it'd be great if they called me once in a while. Maybe a move coordinator who was in the office more often would provide different results. Despite this, I would still recommend the company.

Again, I hope I have provided information that will be helpful to others considering this company. Thanks for all the advice on this thread and on the many others I consulted!

ArchieWhite
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: Opinion on two price quotes please

Postby ArchieWhite » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:10 am

credit card 'credits' usually come within a couple weeks, the driver has to send the paper in to be processed at his office etc, it shouldn't take too long. I think somebody connected to McLaughlin ( or knows them) follows this website, maybe they will send some feedback that they need to sharpen their communication skills a little. You should also receive a customer survey in the mail soon, assuming that your delivery address is on the paperwork, and you can mention it there also. These do get read, and they do get peoples attention.....

BillAdams
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:12 am
Location: Cos Cob, CT / Oxford, CT

Re: **Opinion on two price quotes please

Postby BillAdams » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:36 pm

Did you ever find out what the actual weight was?
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover."
-Mark Twain


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