**Small move from Boston, MA to Portland, OR: Rainbow, Marathon, Humboldt

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Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:27 pm

**Small move from Boston, MA to Portland, OR: Rainbow, Marathon, Humboldt

Postby nchica » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:30 pm

I'm pretty sure who I'm going to go with at this point, but hopefully someone else will find this info useful in their move. (I'll still welcome feedback if someone thinks I can improve on my plan!)

About my move: 1-2 rooms from Boston, MA to Portland, OR. Limited furniture - large desk, love seat and a few bookcases. Moving date is TBA, but will be sometime in March. Doing my own packing. Moving cross country for a new job, which is offsetting my moving expenses, so my goal is not minimizing cost, but rather minimizing stress (i.e. I don't want to do it myself!). Got started by contacting three companies that have good reviews on this site. Here are my experiences thus far, in order of worst to best.

Company 1: Rainbow (North Am. Van Lines)
When I requested an estimate, the representative said that they would usually send someone out for an in-home estimate for moving 3-4 rooms, but since I didn't seem to have much, she would do it over the phone. I listed for her all the furniture I have, plus a fairly wild guess as to how many boxes I would have (15 small/15 medium/10 large). Was quoted at $2200. She said she would send me an email later with the details, but it hasn't appeared. I would follow up and try to get something more concrete (and accurate!), but I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with someone else.

Company 2: Marathon Moving Company (Stevens Van Lines)
In-home home estimator went through the appartment and when we sat down to discuss the details, he asked if any of the other movers had suggested that I not bother with movers. His suggestion was that perhaps I should just ship all my stuff using UPS/FedEx (this doesn't sound appealing to me, especially since I DO want the little furniture I have). I need to give 5 days notice to schedule the pick up, and it will take 7-21 days to arrive (almost certainly 21 days with such a small load in a slower season). A shuttle is needed at the departure point, and will be included in quote, but if a shuttle is needed at the unload, I'll be charged extra then. He was in and out pretty quickly and said he would email me a quote later that day.

Email arrived with a quote for 2000 lbs at $3330 ("Either/Or (Not to Exceed"). It's itemized with a bunch of stuff I don't understand (but am willing to send a follow up to clarify), including a $100 fee for getting a local parking permit, which I can get myself for $35. Said he would include the R&R booklet with email, but didn't. Overall, got the impression that they are not really interested in my business. Ah, the trials of a small move :o)

Company 3: Humboldt (United Van Lines)
Was VERY impressed with the representive that came out for the in-home estimate. Presented me with a large packet of info, including the R&R booklet. He spent at least 30 minutes sitting with me discussing the details of a move, including that I should be sure to check out movingscam.com. He also calculated and printed out his quote on-site. Recommended that I take care of getting the local parking permit myself, since it would be cheaper. Quote calculated with cost of shuttle on departure end. If a shuttle is needed at unloading, I will *not* be charged extra. Need to give 7-10 days notice to move, stuff will take 7-15 days to arrive. Gave lots of advice on my possible decision to put stuff in storage temporarily (such as what size 3rd party storage unit I would need).

Quoted 2300 lbs at $2500 ("Binding estimate wtih a weight allowance credit") or $3500 if I do a month of storage with them. Followed up the next day with an email with the inventory the quote is based on.

At this point, I see no reason not to go with Humboldt. Not only am I comfortable with their price, but they took my small move seriously, were EXTREMELY informative (I cannot emphasize this enough!) and professional, and have had a positive response on this site.

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Location: Cos Cob, CT / Oxford, CT

Re: Small move from Boston, MA to Portland, OR

Postby BillAdams » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:03 pm

Nicely done!

Your experience with the estimating/interview process is a fine example that everyone planning a move should follow.

The in-home estimates are free, and without obligation. You can learn so much about the movers in your area by the way they talk to you on the phone, and how sincere they are about earning your business.

All we want, as consumers of service businesses, is to feel comfortable with the people we will be trusting to keep their promises. That and good pricing!

Let's hope the Humboldt/United people come through for you.
"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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