Any advice on S & M Moving Systems/ United Van Lines

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skywayy2001

Any advice on S & M Moving Systems/ United Van Lines

Postby skywayy2001 » Thu May 20, 2004 7:10 pm

Hi, I will be moving in 6 weeks, and am about to sign a binding, not to exceed contract with United Van Lines and their agent in Phoenix, AZ, S & M Moving Systems. Does anyone have any experience or information with this company that would be helpful before I sign on the dotted line. Thanks for any information!

23
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Re: Any advice on S & M Moving Systems/ United Van Lines

Postby 23 » Thu May 20, 2004 7:51 pm

Where would you be moving too?

I personally deal with S&M everyday with many accounts I have. They have many agents on the west coast and have been around for wuite some time.

I really can't tell you to sign with them because there is too much information we have not been provided.

If you can answer the following questions, we will better be able to serve you.

:arrow: Did you get at least two other in home estimates to compare?
:arrow: Were the weights similar?
:arrow: What kind of services does the estimate include such as packing, shuttles, unpacking, and valuation?
:arrow: Did they provide you with a new Rights and Responsibilities booklet if the estimate was done on or after May 5th?

This will help us make sure the appropriate things were done. When are you planning on moving?

Hope we can help you!

skywayy2001

Re: Any advice on S & M Moving Systems/ United Van Lines

Postby skywayy2001 » Thu May 20, 2004 8:24 pm

Well:

1) I've had 2 other quotes..all pretty similar..around $2,500.
2) We will be packing ourselves...except for the 2 beds; we aren't moving much...around 50-60 boxes, 2 beds, 3 end tables, 1 coffee table, 5 lamps, 2 outdoor chairs...etc. All important things..i.e. computer, tv, electronics will go in the cars with us.

3) So far, s & m moving systems and their agent was out here once for about an hour, computer and all, and gave a binding not to excede to my wife. He was very honest, said that the North American Van Lines agent had included money for stairs, which was illegal, etc. In addition, he even added $300 for the shuttle, which he didn't think they would use. However, I like that in there, just so I have $300 to play with in case.

4) I called the agent to get more information, and he wanted to setup another meeting with me personally to discuss everything again...a week from today. He wants to make sure he had the weight approximated correctly, and I want to see the itemized list, formalized contract, etc. Then, I'm going to forward it to an attorney..so I have my bases covered.

5) The only thing I have so far is their packet...and a sheet with the binding not to exceed amount. It also includes fmv replacement of $15,000, which is good in my opinion.

Any recommendations on questions I should ask, things I should know before meeting him again next Thursday would be appreciated. ONce I meet him personally, I post again on here with the final tally..and before I sign.

In addition, their website is www.smmoving.com.

Thanks!
matt

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Re: Any advice on S & M Moving Systems/ United Van Lines

Postby 23 » Thu May 20, 2004 8:54 pm

Matt,

When are you going to be moving?

This summer is booking up fast and you should give yourself at least a month in advance to book with someone.

Everything seems in line with this. Let us know how the follow up goes! Instead of sending your estimate to an attorney that probably has no clue about the lawless state of the moving industry, you should send it to quotes@movingscam.com

Experts here will be able critique it to make sure you are getting what you think you are!

Diane
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: Any advice on S & M Moving Systems/ United Van Lines

Postby Diane » Thu May 20, 2004 8:58 pm

I just did a search on this website on S & M Moving Systems and although your particular agent isn't mentioned, people have actually referred to the overall company many times. At least two of the moving professionals on this board have substantial experience with it on an ongoing basis. I felt better after reading this and want to reassure you that although no customer has ever used any agent of the company for a move and reported back to us, no one--customer or mover--has ever said anything bad about it on this website.

skywayy2001

Re: Any advice on S & M Moving Systems/ United Van Lines

Postby skywayy2001 » Thu May 27, 2004 6:34 pm

Here is an update for everyone...once again I think I'll just pack myself and use Penske to move from AZ to NC.

The agent from S & M Moving Systems, agent for United Van Lines here in Phoenix AZ, insisted on meeting with me personally to make sure his estimate was correct the first time he met with my wife (which I liked). I met with him and reviewed everything, and had some questions.

Specifically, he had 51 boxes down and 2800 Lbs. of weight. I am positive our things are not over 2800 pounds (we're only moving 2 beds, 7 lamps, 6 paintings, and about 70 boxes give or take). I told him that I realized he had put 51 boxes, split into different caterogies of weight ( 19 at 1 and 1/2 cubic feet, 15 at 3 cubic feet and 12 at 4 /12 cubic fee) and understood the final cost would be based on weight. My question for him was that we have about 44 boxes of just wedding presents that we haven't unpacked because they are packed so well. Most of these boxes are very tiny. He informed that the movers (which are employees of S & M) would understand that 2-3 of those small boxes would equal 1 box of 1 and 1/2 cubic feet. I told my concerns that the movers would see 75 boxes and not 51 and try to charge me more. He insisted this wouldn't be a problem.

Keep in mind that he did give me a bound estimate of $2,536, and we would pack everything ourselves except the beds. Unless a box is damaged from the outside, they would not be responsible for replacement. If it was damaged, we had $15,000 full replacement value.

My real issue was that I told I wanted to fax this to my attorney, and we would probably sign everything and mail it to him tomorrow so he wouldn't have to come back out. He became very aggressive at this point stating the price may not be the same tomorrow and seemed very agitated about my attorney comment (which I threw in there just to see his reaction). He left in a huge fuss and was somewhat of an asshole, stating "I don't have this many questions with a $20,000 move).

He left the contract behind and a non-bound charges notice to sign and date as well (stating that any services not in the binding agreement could be charged to us).

They might be legit, but I didn't like this guys' attitude when I wouldn't sign and pay immediately.

Are there any moving agents that are legit these days?? Any advice? If not, I'm reserving my Penske truck tonight!

Thanks

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twalker
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Re: Any advice on S & M Moving Systems/ United Van Lines

Postby twalker » Thu May 27, 2004 6:43 pm

Hi Matt,

That is definitely not someone that I would want to use either. Anyone signing a $20,000 contract should be very comfortable consulting their attorney!

As far as the non-bound charges go, that must be the same list that the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration said does not seem to follow the letter or spirit of the new rules. The FMCSA has asked Unigroup to change that document, and the revised version is being reviewed now by the FMCSA's attorneys.

The problem with the sheet is the little paragraph that says:

Important Notice to Shipper: The following potential costs for additional services may be incurred while en route or at destination. The estimated charges would be collected at the time of delivery if these services are performed at your request or are required to accomplish delivery of your shipment.

We have reviewed with you (the customer) those services that may be requested by you or required to services your mover while en route or at destination. While you indicate to the best of your knowledge no such services are required at this time in order to provide you with an estimate of what the cost may be of certain services, listed below are potential services and charges should they be required to accomplish delivery or be requested by you.

These services and their cost are based upon the tariff issued in accordance with the regulations of the Surface Transportation Board of the Department of Transportation.


That paragraph is in blatant contradiction to the 100%/110% rules in the Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet as well as in Title 49. I would advise against signing that sheet unless every single dollar amount on that sheet is also included in the original estimated amount otherwise you may be giving up one of the most important consumer rights you have.

Tim Walker
MovingScam.com

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Re: Any advice on S & M Moving Systems/ United Van Lines

Postby Tyrone » Thu May 27, 2004 6:45 pm

Smart man! Make the call to Penske!
Dominus amotioni capitis e clunibus sum.

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

Re: Any advice on S & M Moving Systems/ United Van Lines

Postby Diane » Thu May 27, 2004 7:51 pm

skyway,

Tim is 100% correct about the illegitimate "nonbound charges" list, and Ty is also correct that Penske is the safest way to go. As for the rep's reaction when you mentioned showing his estimate to an attorney, on the Avatar Moving discussion board at www.avatar-moving.com, the moverguys were saying that they would not knowingly move anybody who was an attorney unless it was a relative . . . they were too afraid of being sued.


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