Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

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austinbound

Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby austinbound » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:41 am

Thanks for all of the helpful guidelines provided on the site. As a result, I secured seven estimates, five of which seemed valid (one was absurdly low, another absurdly high).

The estimates are for a move from NYC to Austin, TX. I'm posting them here in hopes of getting some guidance from all of the experienced users on this board as to which company is the most reliable and best value for the job.

Molloy Brothers Moving & Storage (Mayflower)
195 Sweet Hollow Rd., Old Bethpage, NY
DOT: 125563
MC: 2934
Estimated Weight: 2,800 lbs
Price: $2,549.67
Notes: Gave the most detailed estimate and asked me to sign the estimate, which I did reluctantly while adding a note beside my signature that I DON'T AGREE TO ANYTHING. Am still trying to track down my estimator to see if this is or can be made into a binding price.

A-1 First Class Viking (Atlas)
201 64th Street, Brooklyn, NY
DOT: 444788
MC: 231448
Estimated Weight: 3759 lbs. (claimed he padded it for Total Assured Price Protection)
Price: $2961.60 T.A.P.P., which he claims means I get an adjustment if it turns out to weigh less.

White Glove Transportation Services (Bekins)
49-29 Metropolitan Avenue, Ridegewood, NY
DOT: 572367
MC: 278681
Estimated Weight: 2,800 lbs.
Price: $3,334 Claimed that since they don't give GNTE quotes and since this is the guranteed price so won't weigh the truck. Claimed I could go with a non-binding estimate at which point I could only be charged an additional 10%.
Notes: In Safersys.org it said that their Safey Rating on 9/16/95 was "Conditional" But all of the other stuff checks out well. Also, they told me that I don't pay ANYTHING on the pick-up, only the full amount as a certified check on the drop-off. Does this sound strange to anyone else?

Morgan Manhattan (United)
2100 Hunters Point Avenue, Long Island City, NY
DOT/MC: Using United's Numbers
Estimated Weight: 3,000 lbs. - Guaranteed Price
Price: $3415.68
Notes: Payment either by charge card prior to pick up or in full in certified check upon delivery.

Liffey Van Lines (Allied)
229 E. 120th Street, NY, NY
DOT: 663326
MC: couldn't find one for them so may be under Allied
Estimated Weight: 2,800 lbs.
Estimate: $4,009 Total Guaranteed Price
Price: Didn't really give a detailed breakdown and said that if the weight comes out to be lower that I won't pay less since they don't typically weigh the van. That seemed strange. Also, their Safesys.org listing said "Applying F" under Operation Classification.

Please let me know if you need any additional info. in order to register an opinion. Again, appreciate all of your help!

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

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby Diane » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:57 am

Someone is currently having bad problems with A-1 Atlas so you might want to rule them out - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2425

I have no solid information about any of the other companies. In view of the confusion about the various types of quotes, I would make sure that the words "Binding Not to Exceed" / "Guaranteed Not to Exceed" quote (those two are the same) or "Binding" quote appear in whatever contract you sign. The companies seem to be throwing around phrases of their own invention that they define in various ways. The above three phrases--Binding Not to Exceed, Guaranteed Not to Exceed, and Binding--are standard in the industry and I believe legally enforceable.

Have you considered getting a quote from University Van Lines in Rahway, NJ? They have had good reviews from three people posting on this website.

austinbound

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby austinbound » Tue Aug 24, 2004 8:53 am

Hi Diane - The movers I selected all seemed to check out in the BBB and FMCSA Hotline. I could call University Van Lines but figured since they are in NJ that it would add cost to the local shuttle.

Any other comments on my estimates?

austinbound

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby austinbound » Tue Aug 24, 2004 8:57 am

I just read about the horrible experience that the other poster had with A-1 Viking (thanks for pointing it out, I must've missed it on my search). That being the case, maybe I should rule out Atlas altogether.

I had a good feeling about Morgan Manhattan, which represents United Van Lines. The agent seemed the most professional of the lot, however, their price was considerably higher. Should I try to see if they'll come down?

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

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby Diane » Tue Aug 24, 2004 9:11 am

I would rule A-1 Viking out, personally. The reason you didn't see the negative experience before is that he just posted it.

This is just my opinion, but from reading things here for a long time I feel better when I read enthusiastic comments such as the ones that have been posted about University Van Lines in Rahway. One person commented that the owner of the company was involved hands-on to make the moves go well. That's what I like to hear (that's what I like about Broadway Express, for example). I think it would be worth it to get a quote from them just as a check on whether some of your other quotes might be a bit lowball.

I note your positive feeling about the United quote as well. I would send a PM to "23" to ask him to check on the reputation of this agent.

In general, Mayflower, Bekins, and Allied have lower reputations as overall van lines than United does, although there are some excellent agents of those three van lines. With regard to Liffey, I recall that someone who worked for the company posted here once that its workers were good and were "full of the blarney." I thought that was a little tacky.

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby Michael » Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:29 am

Diane,

I dont think its fair of you to say that A-1 should be disregarded just because of one bad move on a previous post.

I am sure all the companies listed have had bad moves, they just didnt happen to get posted here. And if that was the case, one bad move or expeirence, every company out there would be moving nobody. And that goes for any company, not just A-1.

In looking over your quotes, Allied is definitley pricing themselves out of the ball park. From the looks of it, Molly and A-1 are giving you the best deal in regards to discounts probably. If you liked Morgan, I would definitely ask them to do better on their discount.

Best of luck,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

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

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby Diane » Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:55 pm

Michael wrote:Diane, I dont think its fair of you to say that A-1 should be disregarded just because of one bad move on a previous post.
I am sure all the companies listed have had bad moves, they just didnt happen to get posted here. And if that was the case, one bad move or expeirence, every company out there would be moving nobo
dy.

Michael, I wouldn't rule out a company just for a bad move involving a service failure. In this case, however, the company violated the regulations governing the moving industry, as I understand them. The customer said he was forced to pay extra money to A-1 after the goods were loaded, despite the fact that he had a Binding or GNTE estimate (we're not sure which it was). As far as I know, this was illegal behavior on the part of A-1. He now has to try to get his money back from the van line:
We did end up w/ a binding contract from A-1 First Class. Once our shipment arrived in CA, they tried to charge us and extra $1,500 claiming that we had more "items" than the in-home estimator had estimated. I thought the point of a binding agreement is that that quoted amount is your final price??? I also felt that the amount of "items" could vary greatly depending on the size of boxes you use during packing. It took many calls and some threatening words from them - and I settled on a price that was $400 above the contracted agreement. I did this in order to get my items rather than face a ransom-type situation.

http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2425

austinbound
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 9:44 am
Location: New York City

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby austinbound » Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:55 am

I have a rep from University Van Lines coming to give me an estimate, but shouldn't I steer clear of Atlas in light of the recent events? If United has a better reputation overall, shouldn't I focus on them for such a long-distance move?

And if so, how do I get the United agent to shave a few hundred off the estimate in light of the competitive bids?

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

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby Diane » Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:24 am

Just the fact that Atlas has recently been written about as performing badly probably shouldn't make you rule out all Atlas agencies. One day it might be Atlas and the next day North American (which in fact has happened). All of the van lines are having problems this summer.

Also, in my opinion the attitude of the manager of a particular agency is more important than the overall reputation of the van line that agency is affiliated with. If the president of University Van Lines is (as reported) a hands-on manager who cares about his customers, that carries a lot of weight in my mind. However, I seem to remember people saying that its quote was a bit high, so you might eventually rule it out for that reason.

As for getting the United agency to lower its price, I suggest that you send a PM to "23" to see whether he has any ideas about how to do that.

In looking for something else, I just noticed that Molloy Mayflower has a bad report here - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1980 Possibly you can find some information about Liffey Allied and White Glove Bekins as well if you do a search on this website.

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby Michael » Thu Aug 26, 2004 6:30 am

Austin and Diane,

I know I posted on getting a lower quote by another united agent, but cant seem to remember which post. But in any case, its not a matter of taking $200 bucks off a quote. Quotes are based on weight and discount. Thus for the cost to be less he/she has to lower the discount or lower the weight.

If there are thrid party services involved perhaps he/she could negoiate on behalf of the shipper (austin) for lower rates for appliance servicing or crating.

But to say, hey take $200 bucks off my quote, it isnt a product, its a service.

Best of luck,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

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

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby Diane » Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:21 pm

You said (above) to see whether he could get a better discount, Michael.

Also, note the following positive report on University Van Lines (Atlas) that just came in - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=19913

Carol

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby Carol » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:26 pm

Do NOT use Bekins if you can avoid it. They moved us from NM to AZ. We had a good deal of damage, played by their rules in filing a claim and we were denied. The Furniture-Medic rep said that if they had known that they were coming out on a Bekins move they wouldn't have come. Bekins has one of the worst reps in the industry in regards to paying claims. They did give us a flat rate move and we didn't pay any more than what was quoted but it still wasn't good. If I ever have to move again, I will be doing it myself and renting trucks from someone.

Panda

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby Panda » Sat Aug 28, 2004 11:00 am

Hi Austinbound,

We are in the same boat. We just got a couple of estimates for our move from NY to Austin, one from A-1 and the other from Liffey. The one from Liffey was really high, so we are rejecting it just on that basis. We are planning to get estimates from the other agents that you did and University, so perhaps we can compare. Have you made any decisions yet?

Panda

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby Michael » Sat Aug 28, 2004 10:09 pm

Panda,

Out of curiousity, cause I hear this alot from customers, why do you think they were high? What was HIGH, and compared to what? Why are they HIGH and the others NOT LOW?????

I personally have an accuracy rating of 94-96% on all my estimates. So for the most part, I am damn close ALL the time. So when someone tells me I am high, I always try to find out how they think I am high? I give them a detailed inventory. I ask what they are looking for in moving services. And I give not to exceeds.

Why is this the only industry where people frown on the high bid, and automatically accept the low bid???? People are warned over and over, for anything where a service is offerred, be leary of the low bid!! But not in this industry. People shame the high bid and think the low bidders are doing them some sort of favor.

I am not saying this is you, just speaking my mind on what I see out there.

So before you think someone is high, ask why someone is so low. What does or is the high estimator estimating that the LOW is not. Everything is never apple to apple once you dig into it more.

Best of luck,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

austinbound
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 9:44 am
Location: New York City

Re: Need Advice on Estimates for my Move

Postby austinbound » Mon Aug 30, 2004 9:30 am

Hi Panda,

I'm still going through my estimates to make sure that each agent was quoting apples to apples. For example, some include insurance while others do not. I agree with Michael that the idea isn't to find the company that can do it the cheapest but who, all things considered, comes out the best value. I hope to lock up an agent in the next week and will let you know whom I go with and why. When is your move?


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