**Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

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PGS
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:52 pm

**Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby PGS » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:52 am

I am moving from a Boston suburb to Chicago proper (I had posted in a different thread). 2bdr apt, though we use the second bedroom as storage.
Moving in early June.

I have 3 in home estimates from Big Foot, Marathon Movers/Stevens Worldwide Van Lines, and Rainbow Movers/NAVL. I have 1 online estimate from Moovers Inc.

I have Edwards Movers and Humboldt coming to do in-home estimates in the next several days.

Here's my experience so far:

1) Rainbow: VERY professional. Estimated 4480 lbs. Transportation costs $2620.10. TVP $274. For just packing the kitchen $252, totaling a GNTE of around $3146 for kitchen pack and move everything. With a full pack and move, GNTE quote of around $3600. Shuttle service in Chicago is Included. Was told by the office that they use Beltmann in Chicago, though Chicagoland Mover is also listed as a NAVL Agent. I was very comfortable with the rep. Very informative - printed out quotes for me before he left. Gave me the Rights and Responsibilities booklet along with a packet of info. Pick up on 6/1-6/2 and delivery window of 6/7-6/10.

2) Big Foot: Also very professional. I was given a binding/fixed price for full pack with TVP. He did preface that they will not be as competitive as some other movers, as they will use a smaller truck. We would most likely be the only shipment on the truck. It's a 26 ft straight truck, so my understanding is that this could navigate the city and no shuttle would be needed, but I did ask the rep about the necessity of a shuttle. He wasn't sure, didn't think there would be a problem, but would check. No weight was given on their estimate sheet. Break down was $8144 for transportation cost, $199.74 fuel charge, $264 TVP, packing boxes/material $490.61. TOTAL=$9098.35. They wouldn't weight the truck since it is a flat rate. Guaranteed pick up on 6/4, delivery on 6/7. Did not give me the Rights and Responsibilities packet when he came for an in-home estimate, but did e-mail it in a pdf with our quote the following day.

3) Marathon Movers/Steven's Van Lines. Again - very professional. I had some initial communication issues with them, as I had requested an in home estimate (online from them), received a call and spoke with someone and set up the appointment. I received 2 other calls from them later in the day from 2 other people, as they did not know I had already set something up. Computer issues per the subsequent people. On the day my appointment no one showed. I called the company - no record of me at all. They were quick to take down the info and reschedule an in home estimate the following day. A little irritating, but nothing major. I received 6 quotes total. I wanted quotes for just moving, packing the kitchen/fragile things with moving, and full pack and move. They gave me 2 sets of estimates - one for using Marathon + Stevens Agents in Chicago (Del's Movers, and Midwest Moving & Storage), and one for Marathon alone. Given everything else that's going on, we will either be using full pack or kitchen/Fragile pack and moving of course. Weight estimate was 4500 lbs. All of these quotes are GNTE. For Marathon alone total is $4961.74 (including 141.90 TVP) for kitchen pack. Full pack is $5284. I have no idea if a shuttle would be used, but there is no specific shuttle charge noted. Using Stevens - Kitchen pack/move is $3305 and full pack is $3800. Shuttle charge (if needed) is noted on both of the Stevens quotes. From what it looks like, pick up dates on 5/19-5/20 with delivery from 5/24-6/7. I will need to clarify this because I won't be there until 6/7. The rep gave me the Rights and Responsibilities booklet with a packet if info.

4) Moovers: based on 7964 lbs (I was "guestimating" # boxes for them and clearly over-estimated - but I had talked to them before any in-home estimates). GNTE $5973, but they did not include TVP - which will be $413 more. They were very nice, and did tell me that since I am getting in-home estimates, I could fax them other estimates of weights (blocking out price) and specifically the inventory list and they would give me a more accurate quote, or I could call them with the weight. I'm a bit uncomfortable faxing other companies' paperwork to them. I don't want to undermine the work of the people who took the time to do an in-home estimate - so any advice here would be great.

Still to come: Edwards Movers and Humboldt.

We have shown them everything, and if anything will be taking a few more things on our own, so I gave them the worst case scenario.

So far - bottom Line: Most comfortable with Rainbow and they have the best price but Marathon/Stevens is a close second. Weight estimates for these two are very close. Just using Marathon, or Big Foot is a bit too pricey; Big Foot is WAY out of the other price ranges - and no weight estimate. I'm guessing we're paying for 8000 to 10000 lbs (essentially our own truck). Moovers weight estimate is probably off, but unless they beat Rainbow or Marathon/Stevens with a better GNTE quote, I'd be reluctant to go with them.

Questions for the forum:

Does anyone have any feedback or info on Edwards movers? Are they reputable?

From what I gather, Humboldt is a smaller company, so I'm guessing their prices will be more in line with the Marathon only quotes or maybe even Big Foot. Are they associated with any large Van lines?

Do any of you have recent experience/feedback on the NAVL and Stevens Agents in Chicago (Beltmann, Chicagoland Movers, Del's, Midwest Moving and Storage)? While a shuttle does increase the chances of something happening to our stuff as it will be handled more, TVP should hopefully protect us - so long as the agents on the Chicago side are reputable and honest. If they are - we will likely go with either Rainbow or Marathon/Stevens.

Any thoughts on how to handle getting a better quote with Moovers Inc.?

I will repost the last 2 estimates once I have them.

Thanks in advance for any advice!!!

BillAdams
Posts: 775
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Location: Cos Cob, CT / Oxford, CT

Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby BillAdams » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:00 pm

You've done a good amount of homework, and you should have enough information and experience to select the right mover for you.
Exclusive use and guaranteed dates are attractive, and there's no better service, but if price won't allow it, plan on being flexible with dates, and expect a shuttle at destination.
There doesn't seem to be any red flags as you've selected good movers to interview.
Regarding NAVL: I believe the booking agents select the destination agents, and they would certainly choose the ones they've had the best experiences with in the past.
Is this correct van line guys/gals?
"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

Movinghelper
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Contact:

Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby Movinghelper » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:12 pm

You are correct! However if a customer has a preference and it would not run into a cost difference we would accomodate the customer. The agents could be far apart so picking the nearby one would be the preference, unless of course their service rating is bad in the system. No one wants complaints or shoddy work.
For more information on moving or to file a complaint go to http://www.protectyourmove.gov

1..NEVER PAY A MOVER A DEPOSIT FOR INTERSTATE MOVING! IT COULD BE THE START OF THE BIG SCAM
2. GO WITH IN HOME ESTIMATES ONLY.
3. DO NOT USE A BROKER.

PGS
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby PGS » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:16 pm

Edwards is an agent of Worldwide National Van Lines. I've been looking on the superlist for reviews of National and their agents in the Chicago area and can't find anything listed. Am I missing something? Does anyone have any links to reviews in the Chicago area?

Thanks!

ChicagoMover
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Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:31 am
Location: Chicago Land

Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby ChicagoMover » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:51 am

Humboldt is a United Van Lines agent and has been outstanding to work with! We use them for all shipments in bound to the Boston area

PGS
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby PGS » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:46 pm

Just to be complete - here are the quotes from Edwards/National and Humboldt/United.

Edwards wt estimate was 4361 lbs. With a full pack - $3992 (including shuttle @ $1226 and TVP @ $277 - discounted). This was a GNTE quote based on an in-home estimate. The sales rep was professional and courteous.

Humboldt/United - Sales rep was very thorough and professional. Very informative (even more thorough when he found out I was getting information from this website). He did look like he was 18 yrs old, but very professional nontheless. One thing I liked when we did a walkthrough - he would lift the edge of some boxes/crates and such to get an idea of how heavy they were so that he could give me as accurate an estimate as possible. Est Wt - 4625. GNTE quote with kitchen pack $3303 and full pack is $3781. Pick up on 6/4, delivery on 6/7-6/10 guarenteed delivery by 6/16. One other thing I liked about this rep is he was very clear about who would be doing the packing. If full pack - separate professional packers (Humboldt). If kitchen pack only - it would be done by the loading crew. He was also one of the few to pull out a company flyer showing railing pads and rug runners and to talk about a walkthrough after everything is moved out of the old place and into the new place. He told me not to sign anything until I had gone through the inventory and made sure there was no damage - spend that time to document everything. He also discussed background checks of their workers (I think he meant Humboldt, and not United as a whole as there are some good and some bad agents) and was willing to work with me if there were United Agents in Chicago that I was not comfortable with. Very impressive.

So now I have the quotes. I frankly liked all of the sales reps - no "bad chemistry" to speak of. Since Moovers can't do an in-home estimate and these other companies are quite good, we've essentially eliminated them.

Breaking this down into two categories: the larger van lines, and smaller companies...
The smaller companies would be Big Foot and Marathon alone - Big Foot is too pricey. If I am reassured that the agents on the Chicago end are ok, and the driver will most likely be good, then I'd probably go with a bigger van line as the prices are more reasonable.

I started looking around at other sites to get some reviews and such on the national carriers and some of their agents. On the BBB website, Del's and Beltmann are not Accredited BBB businesses.

Beltmann (North American) has B+ rating with 3 complaints in last 36 mo, one unresolved in the "billing" area. I can't find Beltmann on the FMCSA website.

Hollander (United) has a B- rating on BBB, is not accredited and 1 complaint in 36 mo.

Del's (Stevens) has an A rating but 5 complaints in the last 36 mo and I can't find them on the FMCSA website either.

Should I be worried about these?

I also checked out e-opinions on all the national Van lines (no reviews for Steven's - but some horrible reviews on the others). I sifted through many reviews and of course it's very difficult to know how to interpret reviews that have no moving locations or Agents listed, but some did. And some Agents were agents reviewed highly here (ie. Rainbow in MA and Chicago Agents such as Armstrong, Planes - though this was a 3rd hand review, Barrett, Beltmann - in Chicago and Florida). I know people complain on these sites, but there were positive reviews too. While large van lines have many agents, some good and some bad, I was hoping that by identifying the quality agents in Chicago (as recommended on this website), I could minimize the chance of something horrible happening.

Frankly, this scared me.

Do these van lines look at these other sites too? I would have felt better if someone from the specific companies named would have responded to these complaints when they were named.

Am I just being paranoid? Any thoughts?

BigLeeCalif
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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby BigLeeCalif » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:12 pm

You unlikely will find van line agents listed on the FMCSA site, since they will be operating under the authority of their respective van line. The exception would be if they hold their own authority for interstate hauling, and then would be required to have their own licensing and DOT authority.

And the Humboldt agent did mean that the van line requires background checks. Any agent in the Unigroup system is prohibited from using any personnel (not just packers and loaders) that enter and interact with a shipper at their residence to be background and drug and alcohol tested.

I meant to say that they prohibit agents from using anyone NOT background checked.
Last edited by BigLeeCalif on Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

PGS
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby PGS » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:22 pm

That's actually very reassuring. Thank you!

How about the BBB? How does an agent get accredited? What, if anything, does it say about a company that is not? I'm just a bit surprised, since this would have been the first place I would think to look as a layperson (before I found this site). Many people are influenced by the BBB ratings/accreditation as it is so well known, so I would think that most Agents would want to look as good as possible on this site for that reason alone.

PGS
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby PGS » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:08 pm

One more positive thing about Humboldt - they are the only carrier that scheduled a follow-up call to answer any questions I had.

At this point, I think we are deciding between Humboldt/United, Rainbow/North America, and Marathon/Stevens.

I'm still researching the Chicago agents. Anyone have other websites you think would be helpful to check out?

Thanks again for all of your help!

PGS
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby PGS » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:33 pm

BigLeeCalif wrote:You unlikely will find van line agents listed on the FMCSA site, since they will be operating under the authority of their respective van line. The exception would be if they hold their own authority for interstate hauling, and then would be required to have their own licensing and DOT authority.

And the Humboldt agent did mean that the van line requires background checks. Any agent in the Unigroup system is prohibited from using any personnel (not just packers and loaders) that enter and interact with a shipper at their residence to be background and drug and alcohol tested.


BigLeeCalif,

So anyone with a positive background check would not be allowed to interact with the shipper, correct? Just out of curiosity, does that involve the shipper's belongings too? Is it possible that someone with a positive background check/drug screen might be working in (for example) a warehouse/storage unit where they won't have any interaction with the shipper, but still would have access to a shipper's belongings?

It just seems so surprising then that with all of this due diligence, there are agents of big van lines that have poor reputations (we are cautioned against using on this site) that have been reported to be involved in things such as theft, hostage situations, etc.
Or am I missing something?
Sorry, it's just that this all gets to be a bit confusing and overwhelming.

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

Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby Rick » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:44 pm

Removed
Last edited by Rick on Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigLeeCalif
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Location: Escondido, California

Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby BigLeeCalif » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:01 pm

warehouse personnel are checked as well, since they do interact with customers coming to access/remove storage from the warehouse.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

PGS
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby PGS » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:07 am

Just wanted to give an update:

We have chosen to go with Humboldt/United. While we felt very comfortable with all of the companies that gave in-home estimates, there were subtle differences here and there that made the difference for us.

Moovers could not do an in-home estimate, so we decided against them.
I have felt most comfortable with Humboldt/United, Rainbow/North American, and Marathon/Stevens. Humboldt and Rainbow were slightly lower in cost. Rainbow was a bit cheaper, but we were most impressed with Humboldt.

Communication was a huge deciding factor for us. As posted above, Humboldt did a few things that others did not: making sure we knew that they use rug runners and door pads, specifically mentioning the walkthroughs, any many other small details (see above). They spent time discussing the moving process and echoed many wise and cautionary tid-bits mentioned on this site. They scheduled a follow-up call to answer any questions that might have come up in the meantime. They responded within 24 hrs of us leaving a voicemail (left on the office phone, instead of the cellphone). On a different occasion, I had a specific question that our rep needed to check on. I called around 1 pm, he told me to expect an e-mail around 5 or 6pm that day with an answer. I received it around 5:45 pm. While Rainbow has been responsive, they have been slower to respond to questions. I have seen a few other posts about communication being occasionally difficult with Rainbow, which can be frustrating during a stressful move. Also Humboldt can actually pick up our stuff closer to the time we are leaving and deliver in the same window as Rainbow (so we won't be bedless before we actually leave).

Humboldt has thus far treated us like our business really matters to them. Hopefully, all will go well. After the move, we will be sure to post a review so that others can benefit from our experience.

Thank you all so much for your help and advice!

FYI: Humboldt knows that we are using this site (among others) to make our decision. While it appears that they provide excellent service regardless, I'm sure it can't hurt. :D

PGS
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby PGS » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:37 am

I have been reading through more of this site and the advice and help offered to the many visitors who are planning a move or have been scammed. I just want say a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you that run, moderate, and contribute regularly to this site. You go above and beyond to help those in need.

I was so close to being scammed and was SAVED by this site. It is also so refreshing to hear from people in the industry who take pride in their work and operate legitimately and honestly.

Whatever happens, I can honestly say that have done my utmost to research and prepare for my move with a reputable mover - and I owe that to movingscam.com.

:D :D

MusicMom
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Re: Boston to Chicago - what to do with these estimates?

Postby MusicMom » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:59 am

:D


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