Interstate Moves - Based only on weight? No binding estimate?

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JULY
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:25 am

Interstate Moves - Based only on weight? No binding estimate?

Postby JULY » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:46 pm

I was told by Big Foot movers in MA that for interstate moves, they have to charge by the weight of the items. They say they are going to weigh our stuff and give us the documentation and base the charges off that. A very nice man (Jim Cronin) came to my home and estimated we have 5k of stuff for a 1BR apartment (lots of books, big screen TV).

It makes me nervous they don't do a binding estimate - should I be?
Moving from Boston to DC : July 2008

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

Re: Interstate Moves - Based only on weight? No binding estimate?

Postby Diane » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:10 pm

Moving companies can choose what type of estimate to give on an interstate move. Some do give Binding estimates, and sometimes those Binding estimates are not based on weight but on some other thing like space used and/or distance traveled. That is legal as long as the company describes the basis for its estimates in its tariff (price list) on file with the authorities.

More important than the type of estimate, in my opinion, is the character of the owner of the moving company. If you pick a company run by someone trustworthy you'll be OK. I know the owner of Big Foot and I can assure you that you won't be scammed or cheated by that company.

If you want a Binding Not to Exceed estimate, call around to some of the other companies in the Boston area that have good reviews on the Superlist. You may find some that will give you a Binding Not to Exceed.

JULY
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:25 am

Re: Interstate Moves - Based only on weight? No binding estimate?

Postby JULY » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:26 pm

Diane wrote:Moving companies can choose what type of estimate to give on an interstate move. Some do give Binding estimates, and sometimes those Binding estimates are not based on weight but on some other thing like space used and/or distance traveled. That is legal as long as the company describes the basis for its estimates in its tariff (price list) on file with the authorities.

More important than the type of estimate, in my opinion, is the character of the owner of the moving company. If you pick a company run by someone trustworthy you'll be OK. I know the owner of Big Foot and I can assure you that you won't be scammed or cheated by that company.

If you want a Binding Not to Exceed estimate, call around to some of the other companies in the Boston area that have good reviews on the Superlist. You may find some that will give you a Binding Not to Exceed.


Thank you. I do trust Big Foot but I am nervous about not getting any type of binding quote and relying 100% on weight...
Moving from Boston to DC : July 2008

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

Re: Interstate Moves - Based only on weight? No binding estimate?

Postby Diane » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:38 pm

Actually it's safer to have a quote based on weight than on any other entity because weight can (and in your case will) be verified at a weigh station whereas space used, etc. cannot be easily verified.

As I said, call some of the well-reviewed companies on the Superlist to see whether any of them will give you a Binding or Binding Not to Exceed estimate. But be warned that many scam and dubious companies give people Binding estimates that they have no intention of honoring, and there are quite a few such companies in the Boston area. In the past they have tended to be in the Somerville/Watertown area.

JULY
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:25 am

Re: Interstate Moves - Based only on weight? No binding estimate?

Postby JULY » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:01 pm

Diane wrote:Actually it's safer to have a quote based on weight than on any other entity because weight can (and in your case will) be verified at a weigh station whereas space used, etc. cannot be easily verified.

As I said, call some of the well-reviewed companies on the Superlist to see whether any of them will give you a Binding or Binding Not to Exceed estimate. But be warned that many scam and dubious companies give people Binding estimates that they have no intention of honoring, and there are quite a few such companies in the Boston area. In the past they have tended to be in the Somerville/Watertown area.


I'm going to get estimates from Olympia and Humboldt to see if they are comparable. The guy who stopped by from Big Foot estimated 5k on his on-site inspection but said he would e-mail me today.
Moving from Boston to DC : July 2008

hollywoodpc
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:45 pm

Re: Interstate Moves - Based only on weight? No binding estimate?

Postby hollywoodpc » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:11 pm

As much frowning as goes on in here about many companies , I am surprised that a weight move is a good bet when not binding . I do not know all the ins and outs but , I trust NOONE with weight . Weigh before pickup and then after . Certified ? Who cares . Seems to me that weight can be added if the company sees fit . Unless I follow them to get weighed firsat and follow them to get weighed again right after loading , that is cool . I have no faith . Many that come here have little faith in movers anyway . To me , unless it is binding , I am not going . Most companies worth a crap , have software that overestimates anyway , and they should have no problem binding the agreement . If that have a problem doing it , then they do not trust themselves to start with . The reputable companies I dealt with ALL offered binding quotes without hesitation . Even had one company's move coordenator change my estimate to a binding quote NOT TO EXCEED WITHOUT even talking to the estimator first . She felt it was no problem and being off by 200 pounds or so would not matter anyway . They both felt confident in the software . The estimator guessed at 4,000 pounds and his software calculated it at 3,943 pounds . Wrote it up at 3,900 because of some haggling with a fellow agent of theirs that put a bad taste in my mouth . The point is simple . ONLY my opinion but , if a company has faith in doing things right , they will have no problem with binding it . If they have no idea what they are doing , they will not bind . They are either afraid of screwing themselves or keeping themselves open to screwing you . That is my philosophy after reading and researching and talking to so many people . It has served me well . Companies recommended in here have told me what I just wrote here . Not in those exact words but , laughing at why a company will not bind a quote when asked . Interesting for sure .

I am curious . I have seen it said a few times in here that binding quotes mean nothing . And you cannot fight it . How do you get that ? I studied criminal law and Federal in most instances , and I cannot understand how you can say binding estimates mean nothing depending on who it is . Read the contract . If the contract is read thoroughly and all is right and you do NOT change the articles going on the truck , please explain to me how this binding estimate is worthless ? I cannot find anywhere that your case holds any water . Unless the people who gave the quote are not the actual moving company . I think it might be useful for others to explain how the law does not apply to crooks ? I am really curious . When I find things illogical , I try to figure them out . Bad habit from business . Lol . Thanks

Rick
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:59 pm

Re: Interstate Moves - Based only on weight? No binding estimate?

Postby Rick » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:28 pm

Last week a man walked into the local Toyota dealership and said he was willing to invest in a new hybrid Camry as long as they could get it in Red Metallic, have it delivered in two weeks, and didn’t cost him more than $2000 over the what he was willing to accept for the trade-in of his 2006 Chevy Tahoe. The salesman took his number and said he’d call him has soon as he found one that met his criteria. The note was in the trash before the prospective “buyer” got to his car.

Like most businesses, movers make hay when they can. It’s called supply and demand. During the peak moving season, some moving companies don’t feel it’s necessary to be price competitive with binding estimates simply because the more professional, better performing drivers prefer to be paid for the services they actually provide. Occasionally this pressure on capacity drives competitors in the market to temporarily change their policy to actual weight and services also.

During the summer it’s probably advisable to still arrange a survey with reputable companies even if they admit they don’t offer binding estimates. As capacity tightens and service deteriorates, you might find that actual weight estimates are all that’s being moved.

BillAdams
Posts: 776
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:12 am
Location: Cos Cob, CT / Oxford, CT

Re: Interstate Moves - Based only on weight? No binding estimate?

Postby BillAdams » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:24 am

Actual charges for actual services provided is a win - win, and most customers who care about the success of their moves will agree. Reputable movers work this way and they have happy customers and drivers, which turns into repeat and referred business.

Don't trust your mover? Get a binding or not to exceed contract, but if you don't trust your mover then why would you book with them in the first place?

100% of my customers change their minds on what they want packed/moved from estimate day to load day, so the non-binding contract works best because it allows flexibility to the customer. If a customer wants a NTE or Binding from me? Not a problem, but I will ask them to make final decisions on all services to be performed and provided first.

Getting in-home estimates is not just harvesting prices and negotiating the best deal. It's your opportunity to interview the rep and his/her company to see if they're the right one for you. I believe there is a mover for everyone. Remember good, better, best?
"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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