Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

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anu

Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby anu » Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:53 pm

I am currently considering to move within Falls Church, VA:

Flat Rate Movers
Helping Hands Relocation
Covan Worldwide Moving (on recommendation from a friend)

any advice?

Thanks!!

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

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby Diane » Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:28 pm

Hi - "carrieh04" used Flat Rate in MD recently and posted a report on her experience saying that she was generally satisfied, but she thought she had overpaid plus they tacked on an unexplained $115 extra charge - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2839

I don't know anything about the other two companies you mention.
Last edited by Diane on Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

MusicMom
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Location: DC Metro

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby MusicMom » Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:25 am

I just recently looked into Helping Hands. This is what I said then:

Helping Hands has a legal name of Sapor Holding Corp, which makes me nervous, as does hiring a mover with "Suite #" in their address. Not to mention movers that only got their license 2 months ago. Their address is in a gated apartment community, not an industrial park. They seem to be geared towards senior citizens as a client base.


(then Michael chastized me for spearing addresses with "suite #" in them)

Here is their DOT snapshot

I think there are much better movers in your area. JK Moving has had good reviews, Beltway has not been reviewed, but as a lifelong Alexandrian, I have heard nothing but good things of them by word of mouth, and there are several agent of major van lines that do local moves. If your friend has used and recommended Covan, then they are definitly worth a shot. What's the Covan agent's name in VA?

Guest

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby Guest » Thu Dec 16, 2004 1:15 pm

i THINK covan is an allied mover. I had told my friend to use Allied (I used them for an interstate) and she said that was their local office. I'll probably end up using Allied because she had a really good experience and they didnt take any of her stuff. :) http://www.123movers.com/company.asp?c= ... al&z=20001
Coleman American Moving Services, Inc.
15333 Farm Creek Dr.
Woodbridge, VA 22191
Agent Details (Distance: 20 miles)

I'm not sure if covan = coleman.

Unless you guys have any other recommendations, which I will totally look into. I have until the end of january, so I have time for research.

Thanks!!

Anu

MusicMom
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Location: DC Metro

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby MusicMom » Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:31 pm

Covan is the name of one of the smaller "major van lines", under United, Allied, Atlas, Wheaton, etc... Coleman would be the "agent".

karen5141
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Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 3:24 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby karen5141 » Fri Dec 17, 2004 3:37 pm

I would go with a major agen. Allied, United, and Von Paris all have agents in your area. Get estimates from all three.

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

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby Michael » Fri Dec 17, 2004 3:54 pm

Covan is not a Allied Agent. They primarily do military moves. From what I have seen of them in NC, they are not to great. Not the rip off type, but bad service.

And chastised???? come on, lol. I simply stated that not every company with a suite number is a scammer and you have to make that point.

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

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

MusicMom
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Location: DC Metro

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby MusicMom » Sat Dec 18, 2004 1:47 am

And chastised????
Just teasing! :wink:

amolecule
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Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:08 pm

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby amolecule » Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:48 am

We are using Flat rate movers next week for a local move within silver spring.. will let you know how it goes. This is a DC branch (based in Rockville) of an established NY company, that is not associated with a company of similar name out of Brentwood. MD. ( After reading a lot of stuff on this site, I had a long conversation with the estimator who is also the owner of this branch, and brother of the owner of the NY firm). THey quoted less than the other movers we got estimates from and their price is binding, and Carrie ( on a different thread) informed me that the $115 surcharge, was not actually additional to her binding price, but there was some misunderstanding as to how this price was arrived at.
Otherwise have friends who have used Beltway and Town and Country and have been very happy with them. Both of them provided lower estimates to us than Thomas AAA movers.. but without going through the move with them, unclear how close their estimates were to reality.
Hope this helps.

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

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby Diane » Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:57 am

Thanks for the clarification about Flat Rate. Carrie did refer to the $115 as a "surcharge," so I'm still a little confused about that. Please do get back to us to tell us how your move goes.

Also, since you seem to have been in contact with Thomas AAA, do you know whether it's true that they merged with JK Moving as one person reported to us?

amolecule
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Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:08 pm

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby amolecule » Wed Dec 29, 2004 1:49 pm

Reporting back on our move last weekend. But first, to answer Diane's questions, Thomas AAA did merge with JK moving as reported by their estimator. He explained it as the owners have been life long friends, and they were covering separate areas (VA and MD) and often crossing over unnecessarily. So now, if you are in VA you are likely to get JK moving and in MD Thomas AAA, but its the same company and the same rates etc.
We survived our move ( local within Silver Spring, MD), but have come to the conclusion that you get what you pay for. We used Flat rate movers out of Rockville. MD. First, the positive. They did a home inspection.. moving a 4 bdrm house, and gave us a binding estimate of $2673. This included all packing materials necessary and packing everything except fragile stuff (china and glass and pictures and mirrors and lamps) which we did ourselves and moved ahead of time . They faxed us an inventory of the house.. which missed off a few things.. and so we called them back and got them to add the extra things ( that they had seen, not just written on the inventory) for no extra cost. In the end they didn't refer to the inventory at all, we were just worried ahead of time if our possessions and their list didn't match. They took a deposit of $250, and a certified cheque for the remainder at the end of the two day move. So the binding estimate was kept to, and they are honest, and polite, and turned up on time both days, and worked hard. And it was nice not to be watching the clock and worrying how much this was going to end up costing.
However, the level of competence of the crews varied substantially, and this was most evident in the packing ability. The move took 6 guys and 2 trucks for about 8 hours on Sunday, and 3 guys, 1 truck and about 6 hours on Monday. Given the amount of time they took.. ( and they were working hard), I think the other estimates based on time (plus one hour travel each day additional) would have been about $500-$1000 more. They wrapped most of the furniture ( and we could have been insistent on wrapping the couple of pieces they missed), and it survived OK. The guy who wrapped the kitchen was excellent and everything there was fine. THe rest of the packing was spotty, and there were some very stupid things done, which luckily don't seem to have had a negative impact that we can tell so far. The second day's crew was a lot worse and they didn't pack to any kind of acceptable level. Luckily, because of the way the job was divided, there was not such breakable stuff that day. Not everything was labelled and we still can't find some stuff.
So my overall conclusion, is that for local moves if you have packed yourselves, these guys are OK, particularly if you want a binding estimate and to save some money. But I would watch them carefully and insist on wrapping all furniture. However, if you care about your possessions I would not get them to pack for you as the variability in their competence was too great, and some serious damage could have been done. Overall I don't think we would use them again. Hope this helps.

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

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby Diane » Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:09 pm

It DOES help. Thanks so much for this very detailed report. Just a couple of questions: when you say that the second day's crew didn't pack to any kind of acceptable level, can you give some examples? Also, did the workers appear to be foreign-born and did they all speak English, or just some of them?

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

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby Michael » Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:44 am

Diane,

I dont see the significance in your question in regards to this company and the shippers move in regards to foreign born, speak english and such. We have a few Mexican guys that work for our company, that dont speak english, but work very hard, dotn complain and are trained to our specifications. And I know we are not the only company out there with foreign born workers, non english speaking.

I just dont see the revelance in the question. This is were I can see were people come in here spewing that we are racist and such when such questions like that are asked. Particularly of a company that did a "good" job, stuck to their quote and finished as planned (I assume).

You cant pin incompetence on whether they were foreign born, or english speaking. You pin that on the companies training methods. There is no correlation here in regards to the typical scammer and this move.

Just my thoughts,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

amolecule
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Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:08 pm

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby amolecule » Thu Dec 30, 2004 11:24 am

To answer your question Diane ( though I tend to agree with Michaels remarks), all the movers seemed to be American, and spoke English fine. They were black, white and hispanic, and they all worked hard.
As far as details of incompetent packing:
They put a whole load of papers and books from our office in a dish carton ( big and deep), then put a fax machine unwrapped on top, sealed the box, and then turned it upside down, so the fax machine had the whole weight of the papers on top of it. Have not yet tested it to see if it still works.
We had 3 boxes of vacuum packed china in the basement, that were still in their original packing from when we received them as wedding gifts. They just had to seal the boxes and move them. They chose to put some loose metal brackets on top of the clearly visible china to use up the space! As far as we can see, the china looks OK but it is so well wrapped, that we are not breaking the seal, in case we need to move again before we need it.
They transported desks, dressers and filing cabinets full of stuff, that we asked them to empty (as they were meant to be packing). Some of the furniture is junky ikea stuff and doesn't travel well full.
They packed several boxes of books in very large boxes.. so that my husband hurt his back just trying to move the boxes around the room where they were put. (we had a whole load of extra book boxes we showed them they were welcome to use, if they ran out of their own boxes).
They used a wardrobe box to pack all the bathroom stuff in.. so we have this whole deep pile of toiletries, drugs, band aids etc that is very difficult to unpack.
We are still missing a comforter and good clock radio, so not sure that they unloaded everything off the truck.
They put a container, full of little drawers with nails, screws, anchors etc from the work area, into a box, without wrapping it or sealing it in any way so that everything could come out. Generally didn't seal up a lot of full containers.
OK.. Hopefully have given you enough details and vented enough. Next time I would like to pack myself, but we had to move at short notice, and I'm expecting in 3 weeks time, so we thought this would be less hassle. .

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

Re: Washington DC Metro Area Recommendations

Postby Diane » Thu Dec 30, 2004 11:57 am

Thanks--this gives a good picture of the problem areas. It sounds as if the guys were well-meaning but just inexperienced.

With regard to the container of screws and nails not being secured, I was reminded of this post from last March by the owner of an Allied agency in GA:
John wrote:I am the process agent for my van lines and I do appear in court from time to time. The Carmack amendment came up in two cases. 1 We had tilted a carton that was full of glass containers full of screws and nuts and such releasing the contents of all. We were being sued for the amount of time that the customer took to put it all back together, at his rate of pay and he said he was highly paid. Result, we had to pay based on the estimated hours but at our rate of pay for labor due to the judge ruling that that [to pay the customer at his rate of pay] would be punitive damages. [Carmack makes it impossible for customers to recover punitive damages in an interstate move.]


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