FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

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sunapple7

FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby sunapple7 » Thu Oct 28, 2004 7:13 pm

After receiving quotes from many companies, I decided to call Flat Rate Moving for an estimate. They came out to the house and did a thorough inventory of our belongings. They stressed that the price they give is a guaranteed "flat rate" and will NOT increase...even if unexpected circumstances require the move to be longer. Has anybody used them before? They sounded very competent and gave me several references. Any suggestions would be welcomed :)

carrieh04
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby carrieh04 » Thu Oct 28, 2004 7:35 pm

Their USDOT # 1206503. Their are so many "Flat Rate" moving companies that it's easy to confuse the good with the bad. If anybody has any info on this one at 14650 Southlawn Lane Bay, Rockville, MD.

MusicMom
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby MusicMom » Thu Oct 28, 2004 7:51 pm

They've only had their license since May. We recommend using movers in business at least 5 years. They also advertise on 123movers.com, and vanlines.com, two websites that are 99.9% scammer ads. Their phone number according to the DOT is registered to a home, which is coincidentally the same address used for their office:

Ben-Harosh, Cheryl & D
3036 Dubarry Ln
Brookeville, MD 20833-2644
(301) 260-0267

Was this the name of the estimator that came to your house? This company is most likely one guy with a rental truck working out of his living room. Not great odds in your favor.

You didn't mention where you are moving to and from. If you are moving long distance, do not use a mover that has only one truck and driver (like Flat Rate).

Who else did you get quotes from?

carrieh04
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby carrieh04 » Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:38 pm

The move is local...only 15 miles away. The person who came out to the house to give me the estimate was the owner, Doran, and a new employee (he was training). He says that they are a new office of the NYC-based company that was started in 1991. Is this new DC area office legit?

MusicMom
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby MusicMom » Thu Oct 28, 2004 10:20 pm

I suppose it could be legit, but like you said, there are so many Flat Rates out there, it's hard to know which one they are branching out from. The other clues I mentioned make me nervous. Plus I just noticed the address you listed above is the third one I've seen connected to this company.

What was the flat rate that they quoted you, how many men to move, and about how many hours did they say it would take? How many bedrooms do you have to move?

There are several other local companies that are known to be good. Check out posts by "kgreen", she's quotes some prices from reputable local movers, after doing a lot of homework. You could follow her lead and call some of these guys.

http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2820

MusicMom
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby MusicMom » Thu Oct 28, 2004 10:30 pm

I did some more checking, and you are right. Their ad on vanlines.com uses the NY Flat Rate's DOT number of 488466, and talks about the company in NY.

All the info I can find is for the NY main office. Not a lot about the DC branch.

carrieh04
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby carrieh04 » Fri Oct 29, 2004 6:41 am

They quoted me $1400 using 3 men for our 4 bedroom home. I've decided that I will call them again today and "test" them with questions I already know the answers to.

MusicMom
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby MusicMom » Fri Oct 29, 2004 7:09 pm

You should also be looking for two or three other companies to get quotes from, and then compare all of them.

carrieh04
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby carrieh04 » Sat Oct 30, 2004 9:25 am

I also got quotes from Beltway Movers (estimated $1400-1500) and VIP Transport (estimated $1200). After reading about how Jessup MD is a hotbed for moving scammers, I immediately dropped VIP Transport. Beltway Movers has an excellent reputation and they quoted a similar price as Flat Rate Moving.

MusicMom
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby MusicMom » Sat Oct 30, 2004 10:07 am

(disclaimer- I have no personal knowledge of moving companies in this area)

Good thinking. There is no license for VIP Transport in Jessup, MD. No website, and only one listing on a Maryland Business Locator page. The phone number listed is a Verizon cell phone, and the address appears to be either a rental mailbox place or a strip mall. If you got a quote from them by email, could you forward it on to quotes at movingscam.com, please?

They list themselves as the name VIP Transport East, which makes me wonder if they are related to anotehr company on the West Coast.

Perhaps Dr. Research can check into whether this number (410) 880-6614 gets forwarded to somewhere else.

Of the two companies left, my personal feeling would be to use the one with a proven reputation, if the costs are about the same. What are your thoughts?

carrieh04
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby carrieh04 » Sat Oct 30, 2004 10:30 am

A relocation consultant from VIP Transport come to my house to provide the estimate. The address and phone number they gave me are: 8220-B Bellmore Ct., Jessup, MD 20794. (301) 317-4225. They use Mayflower Transit as their carrier.

The one reason I'm so inclined to use Flat Rate Moving is the fact that the price they gave me is NOT hourly...it is the final price. However, they did say that if there was furniture we did not want to take or if we had fewer boxes than previously thought, the price would go down. I'm extremely hesitant to use an "hourly" company, even one with a good rep like Beltway Movers, because I'm paranoid about the actual price being much higher than the estimate.

MusicMom
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby MusicMom » Sat Oct 30, 2004 10:44 am

All local moves are quote by the hour.

I did not realize that VIP was a Mayflower agent.
VIP TRANSPORT EAST, INC.
8220-B WELLMOOR COURT
JESSUP, MD 20794
Phone: (301) 317-4225
Fax: (301) 317-9773
Toll Free: (800) 261-6088
www.vipmayflower.com
(I don't understand why this listing did not come up in my Google searches)

I take back my suggestion to drop them. It's the independants in Jessup that you ned to watchout for.

Diane
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby Diane » Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:03 am

I've been following this discussion hoping that something would become clear about Flat Rate, pro or con. For what it's worth, this is what I've gleaned.

Flat Rate in NYC (website flatrate.com) is run by Sharone Ben-Harosh and Flat Rate in DC/MD (website flatratemoving.com) is--according to Carrie--run by Doran Ben-Harosh. In addition, there are numerous cross-references between the two websites. So the companies are almost certainly related, even though they have different MC and DOT numbers. The websites are attractive and were created by a company called Egosoft that has done many websites for Israeli firms as well as the website for Hercules Movers, a company that we have considered dubious in the past. The testimonials are linked to scanned-in images that seem real.

On the minus side:

1. Both companies estimate and charge by cubic feet, which we ordinarily regard as a big no-no. The companies, however, argue that this is a big advantage over hourly- or weight-based estimates because the customer doesn't get surprised. The websites don't say whether long-distance moves are also charged by cubic feet. If they are, that would be a SUPER-big no-no in my mind.

2. Although MusicMom says that the DC branch has been licensed only since May 2004, there is a testimonial on its website that predates that:

Washington DC`s Flatrate movers (8/7/2004)
FlatRate Moved me from Washington DC to NJ late 2003 .. no scams, hidden charges, breakages or problems .. they gave a good price and stuck to it. (Even sent me a Christmas Card :) For me they deserve a perfect rating. I`d use them again. `


The best thing would be if we could ask an established and reputable moving company in the area such as United's Security or Hilldrup what they know about this company. Maybe one of the United guys who posts here would be willing to ask around for us. Carrie could also visit their warehouse and offices to see what they look like.

In the absence of good information, I think that Carrie would probably be OK with Flat Rate for a local move like hers. "Patricia in Brooklyn" used the NYC branch for a local move and was pleased. I would NOT use them for a long-distance move, however.

carrieh04
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby carrieh04 » Sat Oct 30, 2004 1:02 pm

Thanks for all the help!

weem
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Re: FLAT RATE MOVING - MD

Postby weem » Sat Oct 30, 2004 2:42 pm

VIP is a legit company that changed van line affiliation from Allied to mayflower---main headquarters in California but have had the maryland company over 20 years.
There are good movers based in Jessup mixed in with some mean critters.


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