My Experience with McLaughlin (Boston)

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Jag
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 7:49 pm

My Experience with McLaughlin (Boston)

Postby Jag » Mon Jul 12, 2004 4:15 pm

Here is my experience with McLaughlin (Mayflower agent) for move from Boston to Atlanta. Those who would like to know background, can check threads "From MA to GA" and 'Q about Order for Service (and couple more things)"

I had great help from people in movingscam.com. So Tim, as I promised, check is in the mail. Y’all keep up the good work. :)

I Want to mention that please do not consider this as a Mayflower experience. My move was handled all the way by McLaughlin including all their drivers.


Good part of experience:

1. OFS related errors were fixed right away after calls.

2. Everybody nice and professional on the phone.

3. Both drivers were nice people. Took good care of all stuff. Loading driver (and her crew) was especially good. Very gentle with items, very courteous to talk. Although not sure if she messed up or the dispatcher was responsible for shipment problems (My shipment got shipped to McLaughlin warehouse and had to wait for a driver going south)

4. Despite all the problems, shipment did arrive atleast on the last day of promised date range. (So with in the date range promised) Driver said that he came to GA to deliver mine and is driving north again to deliver in SC or NC. So he did make trip just so that it gets delivered within the shipment window.

5. Very few things were broken even with multiple load-unload. Although I had FVP, I didn't file claim it since they are not expensive items and such things will happen during an interstate move. No point in penalizing the driver (Who seemed like a nice person). May be I am very tired of any more phone calls and all. :roll:


Bad part of experience:

1. Was promised “load to one truck and deliver from that same truck” experience. Got into "ship to warehouse, wait till they get a driver, call them everyday to ask when it will arrive" experience. Driver blames dispatcher and dispatcher blames driver. Don't know who is responsible. It is a long story.

2. Truck did not load on the day promised. I stayed up all night packing for a early morning load and it got loaded the next day. Every time I call, I was told, truck would be there in 2-3 hours. Imagine if I had airline tickets for loading night or next morning. Luckily I had anticipated such things and kept one extra day for this. What if I haven't?

3. Nobody I mean nobody from McLaughlin ever called me on their own. Not coordinator, not dispatcher, not rep, not driver. Every time I spoke, I had to call them. They were very professional on the phone and rep did return calls promptly but no call from dispatcher/driver to inform that truck is running late for loading or shipment is in warehouse or when will it be delivered? Not sure if it is due to the busy season or just my luck to get people who waited for me to call.

Summary:

Now that it is all over, overall I am happy with the McLaughlin but wish it could have gone smoother. Wish they had kept me in the loop with what is happening. The drivers were very good and they did deliver on the promised end date in a busy summer season.


Lesson learned:

1. Always check what order for service says. There is a difference between Option B and Option C (Fixed Vs GNTE). Thanks to Moving scam for helping me with that.

2. Make sure that space reservation column that you sign has realistic no in it. Else rep may overestimate the and will put a 90% of his estimate in that column (as per my rep) and you will end up paying more since you signed on that much space reservation. My OFS had minimum 700 cu-ft (4900lb) reserved, which I managed to change to 600 cu-ft. (4200 lb)

3. Call, call and call dispatcher/driver/rep/coordinator. Sometimes they don't call and you end up staying up all night packing, for the truck to be loaded next day. That lack of sleep caused few problems for me when I drove from Boston to Atlanta.

4. Read as may posts from Movingscam as possible, before hiring movers. :) Atleast you will know what to ask and what to expect.

5. Don't ever move ;) I hope I can follow it. I have moved 4 times in last 7 years, all long interstate moves. So one might think I am used to this all. Nope!! It is still stressful each time.


Thanks again to you all for help. :D

Jag

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: My Experience with McLaughlin (Boston)

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 12, 2004 4:52 pm

Jag,

I just reviewed the earlier threads and I have a couple of questions.

1. You said that you had a guaranteed pickup date, and you were picked up a day late. Did you receive any compensation for that?

2. You had a GNTE and you said you expected your weight to be lower than the estimate. Was it in fact lower, and did your cost go down as a result?

Also, I've been struck by the fact that in the accounts of these moves (not just yours) it isn't usually the things that people worry about in advance that happen, but OTHER things. Mainly it's logistics-related things such as the company not having a driver or unloading help available--supply and demand issues.

If only people could space out their moves throughout the calendar year . . . but of course they can't. The moving industry has to be right up there with tax preparation as one of the most calendar-imbalanced, crazy-making businesses around.

If it's any consolation, I never got any calls from the ABF people either. I always had to call them to check on when the trailer was coming or when it would be picked up, or whatever. It just seems to be part of the drill that this happens. BE seems to be much better in this respect, from what I can gather--the driver DOES call to say that he's going to be late (or early). I guess that's a function of having one person responsible for the load and staying with it all the way from start to finish.

Anyway, I'm happy that the move went reasonably well for you and I'm glad that we could help . . . although in this case it wasn't I who helped you but many unselfish others.

Jag
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 7:49 pm

Re: My Experience with McLaughlin (Boston)

Postby Jag » Mon Jul 12, 2004 5:23 pm

Diane:
1. You said that you had a guaranteed pickup date, and you were picked up a day late. Did you receive any compensation for that?


Well, driver had finally reached from her previous load to their warehouse by 9pm (My load was that morning) and was ready to start loading my truck at 9.30/10PM. She gave me the option to load the next morning or that night.

I had to take the next morning since I had packed all the lamps and I didn't want to load it all in the dark till 12/1AM. My apt management also would not have liked it. Also I was very tired with no sleep earlier night so I took the next day offer.

I did not ask them for any compensation since they can claim that they would have loaded it before midnight and still kept their promise. May be I should now, but I am leaving for a long vacation now and won't be able to follow through with it properly. Guess after all the mess, I am just glad that it is all here and not in bad shape.

Diane:
2. You had a GNTE and you said you expected your weight to be lower than the estimate. Was it in fact lower, and did your cost go down as a result?


Yes, actual wt was lower. Estimate was 5600 actual wt was 4800. (All other reps other than Mayflower had estimated about 5000) I have been told that Mayflower will issue the refund to my CC after it is filed with them. :) As per acct dept at McLaughlin, it may take 1-2 billing cycle to see the credit but usually Mayflower applies it within a week after they get it. Will see how fast it gets done. If it doesn't get done right you all will definitely get to know. ;)


Diane:
I guess that's a function of having one person responsible for the load and staying with it all the way from start to finish.


That's what I was promised by rep that it will be loaded to a truck by a driver who will drive it to the destination. Unfortunaly it did not happen that way for me.


I agree that this is one of the most seasonal business. Last 2 moves I did were in winter and experience (and cost) was much different. That is one of the reason I am not extremely upset with McLaughlin. This is not an easy business to manage from logistics point of view.

What I was told that driver took an shipment which went way over estimate and she didn't have any space in her truck. Dispatcher says she should not have taken the other shipment, driver says, he gave it to her. No idea who is right.


Diane:
Anyway, I'm happy that the move went reasonably well for you and I'm glad that we could help . . . although in this case it wasn't I who helped you but many unselfish others.


Now don't say that !!. You may not have helped directly but I learned a whole lot from reading your replies to other posts. Due to that, I didn't have to ask those questions. So you did help me without knowing it. :)

Needless to say I am very thankful to all the unselfish people on this board (specially people from moving industry. Please stay on this board and keep up the good work :)

Jag

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: My Experience with McLaughlin (Boston)

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 12, 2004 5:32 pm

Jag, thanks for your kind words and for explaining. I think I understand everything now except this:

Jag wrote:2. Make sure that space reservation column that you sign has realistic no in it. Else rep may overestimate the and will put a 90% of his estimate in that column (as per my rep) and you will end up paying more since you signed on that much space reservation. My OFS had minimum 700 cu-ft (4900lb) reserved, which I managed to change to 600 cu-ft. (4200 lb)


Are you saying that they asked you to sign for a certain minimum amount of reserved space/pounds and you would have had to pay for that (4900 pounds in your case) even though your shipment came in lower at 4800 pounds? This sounds very much like what BE and ABF do with linear feet. Even ABF has a minimum that you have to guarantee that you'll pay for.

I wasn't aware that full-service movers did this and I would like to hear comments on it by the moving pros if they would be so kind. Is this a universal practice in the industry?

23
Posts: 1102
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 2:47 pm

Re: My Experience with McLaughlin (Boston)

Postby 23 » Mon Jul 12, 2004 8:21 pm

Diane,

Some reasons why a mover might have a minimum of like 4900#:

(And this usually only happens when a shipment is close to that weight)

Jag might have had a 6 day delivery window with a 4900# shipment and an 8 day delivery window with a 4800# shipment. This way if his weight slipped under the 4900#, it wouldn't affect his delivery window. If the sales rep sells the move at a 4900# minimum, then the customer is guaranteed the dates because he is basically paying for them if his weight goes down.

The discount level could be another reason. With a 4900# shipment, he might be entitled to a 65% discount, but any shipment less than that might only be allowed a 60% discount. Again, having a minimum of 4900# locks in the discount level.

I know, I will hear from Natasha and Ty on the screwed up tariff thingy, but at least I understand it!

Glad to hear all is well Jag! Not sure if I helped at all, but I am glad you had success!

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: My Experience with McLaughlin (Boston)

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:20 pm

23, thanks for explaining this. I went back to look at the earlier posts again and you and Jag were discussing this as part of a "space reservation column" question. You said that you had never heard of such a thing but speculated that it might have to do with guaranteeing a certain delivery spread. I don't think the move coordinator ever confirmed this, but they didn't make a big deal about it. Anyway, I'm glad to know about it. Also, thanks for explaining about the various kinds of trucks and trailers. I have actually heard the term "bobtail truck" used to mean the bobtail truck plus the trailer sitting on it--don't know whether that is correct or not.

23
Posts: 1102
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 2:47 pm

Re: My Experience with McLaughlin (Boston)

Postby 23 » Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:01 am

I am pretty sure a "bobtail truck" is referring to a local day cab tractor that's primary goal in life is to move trailers around all day like in an ABF yard.

Who knows, I gave up driving 6 years ago!

Jag
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 7:49 pm

Re: My Experience with McLaughlin (Boston)

Postby Jag » Tue Jul 13, 2004 9:18 am

Diane:
Are you saying that they asked you to sign for a certain minimum amount of reserved space/pounds and you would have had to pay for that (4900 pounds in your case) even though your shipment came in lower at 4800 pounds?


He personally didn't say anything like this but OFS had a column that was filled in with that number. Funny thing is, I was not told about this during estimate. I saw this on the OFS for the first time. Rep did not say anything about min space for guaranteed delivery during his visit.

Like 23 said, may be it has to do with guaranteed delivery or discount, I am not sure. May be he was confident that my shipment will weigh atleast 4900lb and so he could give me certain discount and delivery spread. Ofcourse if that were the case, it would have been nice if he had told me that at the time of estimate since that may have caused me to change my decision.

Moving coordinator did not push me too much though. She agreed to bring it down to a level comfortable for me. What she said was, sometimes shippers don't move all the stuff that they show to rep and then expect a big refund. To protect them, they use min sq ft. I told her that I am not planning on anything like that.

23:
Glad to hear all is well Jag! Not sure if I helped at all, but I am glad you had success!


You (and Michael) did help with the important matter of difference between Option B and C on OFS. Thanks for that!!! :)
My OFS had option B (though it was a GNTE) and after posting it here, I realized that it should be option C (Wish they just put GNTE word on OFS instead of option ABCD) Nowhere could I find what option B/C means.


23:
Who knows, I gave up driving 6 years ago!


My destination driver was saying that this was the last housegood shipment he wants to handle. Lot of work, drive to areas where truck does not reach and shippers get upset (for use of shuttle), people complaining about small things broken (His last shipper was complaining a lot for 8 missing screws) He was relieved when I told him I am not filing claim for a table whose leg was broken (Not an expensive table and something a trip to Home Depot would fix) To be honest, after hearing all that and seeing how much work they have to do, I felt bad. Well, that is life in that field I guess.

Jag

blue
Posts: 274
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:51 pm
Location: USA

Re: My Experience with McLaughlin (Boston)

Postby blue » Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:52 am

Jag, your compassion for the driver is appreciated. Granted these guys (and 'ladies') are paid to do a job they've agreed upon (and needless to say, should do it with a professional, customer-oriented attitude). But let's face it, as you witnessed, it's tough work.

Obviously there's no rocket science involved; I suppose if it wasn't such physically challenging and time consuming work, everyone would simply move themselves.

23, just curious, did you drive local or interstate?

23
Posts: 1102
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 2:47 pm

Re: My Experience with McLaughlin (Boston)

Postby 23 » Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:58 am

23, just curious, did you drive local or interstate?


Did a lot of local work, but drove east of the Mississippi!

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

Re: My Experience with McLaughlin (Boston)

Postby adkterp » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:49 am

I know this thread has been quiet for a few years, but it was helpful to me during my May 2008 move. I also used McLaughlin, and had a good experience overall (on time, no damage, best price), but had the same problem of no one ever calling. I had to call the night before and demand that someone find out if the truck was coming so I could take off work that day. Everytime I called my "move coordinator" was not in the office. My driver was the one who eventually called to say when he would be delivering my things.

Overall I had a good experience and would recommend it, but you have to know going in that you'll never get a phone call (despite what they say about their 72-48-24 hour phone call guarantees).

ArchieWhite
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: My Experience with McLaughlin (Boston)

Postby ArchieWhite » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:05 am

McLaughlin's main forte' is trade shows, electronics, special commodities, so having their residential COD household goods act down to a science might be a bit lacking. They are a good company, but they just concentrate on other areas probably a little more.


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