Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

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kims1135
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 10:49 pm
Location: IL

Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby kims1135 » Thu Jul 08, 2004 12:14 am

I am moving locally in Chicago, IL and need help securing a reputable moving company. I have followed most of the very helpful tips provided on this site in determining how to find a mover but still have some questions.

First, anyone with insights on the following moving companies would be greatly appreciated.

USA Moving & Storage, IL (773)764-8002 (800)626-4474 CC64325 MC-C
7533 Lincoln Ave, Skokie, IL www.usamovingandstorage.com

Five Star Moving & Storage(877)282-6683 ILL#390645 IL-MC # 12751
3542 W Peterson Ave, Chicago IL

In & Out Moving & Storage, Inc (773)248-7950 ICC 306319 ILCC 60179
www.inandoutmoving.com

Secondly, on quotes...
Just to give you an idea to base your answers on the following questions, I am moving out of a 2 bedroom apt + den no dining room, and only pots and pans to bring from the kitchen. Total space probably totalling no more than 1100 sq ft of space. This is a VERY local move, 2 miles.

I have received most quotes based on an hourly rate ranging from $75/hr- $170/hr for 3 men, $85/hr - $215/hr for 4 men. How should I determine how large of a crew I should hire? I understand that in many cases, you get what you pay for, so I'm not really considering the cheapest guys, but the range is so drastic. I just want an accurate, fair and reasonable quote. No one seems to want to commit to any number of hours even though I have provided an inventory of my belongings, and had a couple of in home estimates as well. I get a range anywhere from 2 hours (which I feel is unrealistic) to 8 hours - also unrealistic in my mind. Draws red flags to me if someone is lowballing or highballing. Also, when should I expect the clock to start? When they arrive at my home, and leave my new home, or is it normal for the clock to start when the crew leaves their office, and end when they get back to their office.

I also get a wide range from the moving companies on how many boxes I might have, some say I'll have 20, and some say I'll have 60! Same issue with the lowballing and highballing concern. What's a good rule of thumb to determine how many boxes one might have?

Next issue, Services/supplies included... For example, Shrink wrapping, rolls of tape to wrap furniture, general supplies. Some have estimated an additional $100 in supplies alone (not including boxes). If this is fair, fine, I just don't know -especially when some companies say that they provide it all, and others charge for it all.

Lastly, I have called all of the major ads in the yellow pages (1/2 page ads or larger). I looked up companies on the BBB without much luck on finding ideal track records (i.e. been in business longer than 10 years, number of complaints...etc). I have also read many negative postings of most of these larger companies on this forum. Should I attempt the smaller listings, or would that get myself further into the grey? How much emphasis should I be placing on how long they've been around? Does it matter if they've been around for 20 yrs, but only members of the BBB for 1 year? Is it a flag if there are multiple memberships in the BBB?

Please help, and thank you for taking the time to read this very long posting! :)


-Kim

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

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby Diane » Thu Jul 08, 2004 12:39 am

Kim,

Just a brief reply to a few of the questions you raised. I hope that other, more knowledgeable people will jump in here to comment.

I started out being very dubious about Five Star, but someone posting on this board ("Seth") used them during a move with Broadway Express and was very pleased. Here is the thread, where you can see my original doubts - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1095

Similarly, I have been quite dubious about In & Out; see this thread - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1537 "Monica" posted there that "In & Out Moving has a very low # of complaints (15), but one of their references said they didn't stick to the price given in the binding estimate (so much for the meaning of the binding estimate)." The company is operated by Israeli citizens, which is normally a red flag, and it has a large number of complaints with the BBB.

I know nothing about the third company you mention. In your situation, I would tend to rely on recommendations from doormen of buildings and other such people who have seen what's what.

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby MusicMom » Thu Jul 08, 2004 8:39 am

Of the three companies you mention, I'd say USA is the best looking. It's not great, I'd have to think agin before using them for a cross-country trip, but for hiring guys they might be worth it.

Take Diane's advice and start asking doormen. They know everything.

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

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby Diane » Thu Jul 08, 2004 9:40 am

MOVERGUYS - Please try to answer some of Kim's questions that she has stated so clearly in her post above.

MM and I have done our best, but we don't know about the hours and guys it will take to do her move, when the clock should start ticking, whether the "supplies" estimate she has gotten is reasonable, and whether she should start looking at smaller companies. Please, give Kim some professional advice.

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

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby 23 » Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:34 am

I have received most quotes based on an hourly rate ranging from $75/hr- $170/hr for 3 men, $85/hr - $215/hr for 4 men. How should I determine how large of a crew I should hire?

Normal range would be $80-$95/hr for 2 men and a truck, $120-$135/hr for 3 men and a truck, and $160-$185/hr for 4 men and a truck.

More questions will be answered shortly!

IMP
Posts: 1034
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 4:36 pm

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby IMP » Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:40 am

O.K. - local moving in that area is done on an hourly basis. Each mover is required to file their rates with the IMWHA (I think I got all the letters in there) Illinois Movers & Warehousemen's Association. They also should have filed whether they charge travel time and define that as well. Some companies will charge you dock to dock, others will charge you from the time they arrive at origin to the time they leave destination and then add a travel charge. All very valid questions!

You need to know if the building you are moving FROM or TO is a union building. If so - and if you hire non-union movers, there can be some issues that you just don't want to get involved in. They will rack hours on your time.

Does either building have an elevator? Does the building have restrictions on what time you can use the elevator and are you required to reserve it in advance, if so - do they only allow a certain amount of time per reservation?

As for determining the size of the crew - do any of the companies have minimum time requirements. Some will tell you that they have a 4 hour minimum or something like that (again - this has to be filed with their tariff). Find out if that includes the travel time or not - is it 3 + 1 if they add a travel hour? Is it 4 from dock to dock? My GUESS (and that's all it is!) is that your move will take between 4-6 hours with 3 men. Again - if you are in an elevator building at either location - you don't want the truck left open ANYWHERE without a person standing there with it - and you have to pay for that person, so the 4th person may be worth it. If you can only reserve an elevator for a short period of time - will you have a crew member there to efficiently move the elevator up and down to get everything done in the appropriate time frame?

Great source of referrals is your building management company - they may even have negotiated rates with certain movers in Chicago.

Good luck and let me know if I can help more.

mck3a
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:08 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby mck3a » Thu Jul 08, 2004 12:03 pm

Here's a totally unresearched recommendation for you...

Last year I moved from one 1BR to another here in Chicago and asked around for some recos from friends. A friend of mine had used this small moving company three times and his sister had used them twice. Aside from what they would consider usual "moving damage" (ie, minor scratches), they were very happy with them. So I rolled the dice and called them. (this was before I discovered this site and knew the steps I should take to protect myself).

The company's name is Lytwyn movers (I think that's the spelling) and it was basically a family shop. Mom took my reservation, dad was the driver and son and daughter plus another dude did the moving. And again, aside from what I would consider normal "moving damage", they were great. I'll see if I can dig up my receipt from the move to get you hard rates, but they were cheap, fast and very courteous.

What I finally paid was more than what I was quoted, but that was because of a problem with one of my buildings shutting off access to the elevators for over an hour. Again, I don't remember the exact numbers, but I remember doing some quick math and the rate they quoted me was within spitting distance of what I paid, had things gone smoothly.

So, with that, take it all with a grain of salt. At the time, I had done zero homework and was simply relying on the reco of my friend. It worked out great for me and for him, but who knows. We could have gotten very very lucky and other people could have gotten screwed. So, take it for what it's worth...

LYTWYN MOVERS
2155 W BELMONT AVE
CHICAGO, IL 60618
(773)348-3078

kims1135
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 10:49 pm
Location: IL

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby kims1135 » Thu Jul 08, 2004 6:34 pm

To the creators of this site, thank you so much. This site has been so valuable. The message board has been great, and I’ve been glued to all of the pages on this site, -so interesting! I feel fortunate to have found this in time for my upcoming move. I recently went through a bad experience with “Team USA Moving” which is on your blacklist. Your pages on “the scam” and “the true story” brought back some painful memories.

In response to all who have posted a reply to me, thank you so much. The threads provided were excellent and I am astonished how helpful all of you have been.

I am probably going to rule out “In and Out Movers” based on their complaint history. I’m still on the fence with Five Star. They’ve only been around for 4 years, but for the most part, they are passing the checklist of things to look for as far as the “finding reputable movers guidelines” go. Again, I’ve contacted most of the big companies, and no one has been ideal…In addition to my original post of issues which I would still love to hear more feedback on, here are additional issues I have encountered:

1. Unwilling to provide live references
Their argument is that they don’t want to disturb their customers with time-consuming reference calls, and that I shouldn’t place much emphasis on references anyway bc many companies will give you “BS” references. I have received written references in replacement of phone contacts, seems to contradict the whole “BS” idea, why provide anything then? Also given in place of references are accolades given by the BBB or other institutions I have never heard of.

2. Type of estimates
Generally, I haven’t been able to get any of the 3 types of estimates listed on this site: Binding, true binding not to exceed, or non-binding. Most companies tell me that it’s based strictly on hours, even if they do an inventory and/or on site estimate. I get a general range of hours it “might” take, with no guarantees. They won’t even guarantee an hourly range or % cap.

Reasons I’ve gotten so far from moving companies are (and none that are palatable):
a. “Many times ppl say they will pack their own stuff, yet when the movers come, only 80-90% is packed. Packing is time consuming and will drive up the price of your quote”
b. “You have narrow hallways and it’s hard to estimate how much time it will take to remove your items particularly if you are not well prepared for the movers”
c. “You are on 2 very busy streets as far as pick up and drop off locations go. Can’t predict the parking situation on busy streets of Chicago”
d. “Ultimately it’s up to you, if you are well prepared for the move and follow my instructions, your quote should be accurate, but we will NOT provide you with any guarantees”



3. Wide range of estimates
$550 all the way up to $1600.

4. It's pretty consistently noted throughout this site not to trust companies that base their estimates on cubic feet. What if they take both weight and CF into account?

And lastly, here are a few more companies I am considering, any more feedback would be great.

Hollander International moving & Storage (847)-439-2140
http://www.hollandermoving.com/

USA Moving & Storage (847) 673-6301 ILL.C.C. 64325MC-C MC-297382-0-C
7533 N. Lincoln Ave. Skokie, IL 60076 http://www.usamovingandstorage.com/index.html

Pickens Kane (312)942-0330 ILL C.C. 3148MC.CP ICC #MC-15735
410 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60610 http://www.pickenskane.com/

Alexander’s Movers (773) 955-7800
6535 S. Cottage Grove Ave.Chicago, IL 60637

Thanks again,

Kim

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby MusicMom » Thu Jul 08, 2004 9:29 pm

Hollander looks great on paper, I don't get to say that very often. They do also have a broker's license, so you might want to double check that they will not be selling your contract to another mover.

I looked at USA earlier for you, they look ok, but not as good as Hollander. They did have a 4 month revocation few years ago, and they have a VERY long list on insuracne cancellations (where Hollander has only four policies total since 1988)

Pickens Kane must be an Allied agent, since that is Allied's MC number.

Alexander's Movers might be an agent for someone, their MC number (440126) shows their Common license was not followed through on.
No, I can't find any reference to a major on a Google search. Maybe they only have an intrastate license. However, the lack of information puts them at the bottom of the list. I bet Tim can refer you to the phone number neede to check on Alexander's local licenses.


*TIP* for anyone who needs to look for a mover with an apostrophe or other kind of punctuation in their name, don't try a name search at Safersys.org. Go straight to http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/p ... c_carrlist and search by name and state.

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby MusicMom » Fri Jul 09, 2004 8:46 am

Kim,
A trusted professional mover has just contacted me privately concerning information on two of the movers mentioned here. Can you sign up for membership and send me a PM, and I'll pass among this info? I don't want to post it here and possible give some identifiers away of the person.

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

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby Diane » Fri Jul 09, 2004 9:37 am

MM, I would appreciate it if you could share that information with me also.

buttercup503

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby buttercup503 » Tue Sep 07, 2004 4:57 pm

Was wondering if there were any updates from Kim regarding her choice for a local mover in Chicago? I also need to move locally in Chicago, and thank goodness I checked this message board before reserving anything. I received quotes from:
- E-Z Movers (will definitely stay away from them based on postings I have seen here),
- Golan's (unfavorable postings were based on long distance moves, still looking through the postings for any info on local moves done by them)
- Burrow's (have not seen any negative postings in my searches yet)

Burrow's was the priciest and required a 4-hour minimum. I have a fairly simple move (I only need help moving the large furniture items from a 1 BR apartment), so four hours seemed a bit excessive. I was curious to hear if Kim completed her move and whether or not she was satisfied with her choice!

Thanks!
:D
- Santiney

IMP
Posts: 1034
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 4:36 pm

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby IMP » Tue Sep 07, 2004 6:45 pm

While 4 hours may seem excessive - let me just point out how you will be charged.

The clock usually starts ticking when the crew arrives and opens the truck doors, then they will disassemble (if necessary) the large pieces of furniture, move them to the truck, and load them. They should be blanket wrapped either in the apartment or when they get to the truck - but they should definitely be wrapped to avoid damage. The crew will then drive to your new apartment/home, unload the items, place them in your apartment and reassemble them. Additionally - you will probably be charged for one hour of travel - that is NOT to go from one apartment to the next - that is included in the chargeable time. Travel time is generally charged for the crew to get to apartment # 1 (origin) and to return to their facility from your destination.

Reputable companies file their rates and minimums with the IMWHA - Illinois Movers and Warehousemans Association - and they must charge according to their filings.

I am NOT suggesting that you use the company that was the most pricy - simply pointing out a couple of things that may not be known by the average consumer.

All that said, I've not heard of Burrows, but know that Golan's generally has an o.k. reputation in local moving circles in the Chicago market. Again - that is not an endorsement or a denunciation of any company. I worked in the Chicago market for several years recently for a different mover in that area.

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

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby Diane » Tue Sep 07, 2004 6:52 pm

Out of curiosity, how much did Burrows quote and how did it compare with Golan's, for example? I've been intrigued by Burrows and hope that someone will eventually use them and report back (not you, necessarily!).

Santiney

Re: Help! Local Chicago Move, insights appreciated.

Postby Santiney » Tue Sep 07, 2004 9:15 pm

The quotes were:
Burrows -
$132/hr, for 3 men, minimum 4 hours
Estimated 4-6 hours (based on just knowing that I was moving from a 1 BR apartment)
1 hour travel time
No additional costs for blanket wrapping

Golan's -
$98/hr, for 3 men, minimum 2 hours
$49 flat rate for travel time (both ways included in single flat rate)
Free blanket wrapping, but $2/roll for any tape used for wrapping (or I could provide my own)
$5 for each shrink wrapped item

Probably not the best way to pick a moving company, but the reason I called Burrow's was because I saw their moving truck at an apartment down the street (one of the ritzy apartments on my block, I might add).

By the way, I think you all are providing a great service...! :)

- Santiney


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