Report on Boston->Seattle move

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ENugent
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Norwood, MA

Report on Boston->Seattle move

Postby ENugent » Fri Feb 04, 2005 6:24 pm

We ended up going with Humboldt Storage and Moving (United agent) for our HHG and Auto Driveaway for our car (both of Canton, MA).

Packing was extremely smooth, although we're still looking for a few things - some of the box labeling was a little idiosyncratic. Still the packers ("the Beech family") did a great job, packing our 12000 lb of goods in 4 hours (with five packers). We have not found anything broken yet that they packed, and we're through at least 2/3 of the boxes.

Loading took longer than packing - there were two laborers plus the driver, and it took around 6-7 hours. They were very good-natured about our estimated 3000 lb of books (many of which were in the attic).

Our estimates had mostly been right around 12000 lb (with one super lowball that we dropped from consideration), and the truck turned out to weigh 11400. Unfortunately, we had a two-way binding quote, so we didn't save anything by this. (There was a miscommunication on the quote - we had thought we were getting a non-binding quote, but we ended up with this one. I saw "Option C" on the paperwork and thought that meant GNTE, which was acceptable to us, so I went ahead and signed it. We found out that it was actually binding when we called to get the exact amount that we owed so we could get a cashier's check cut. Since it was after the weigh, I didn't think I could reasonably make a big stink about it - it would look like we were just trying to weasel out of our choice when it turned out not to have been the most advantageous one.)

Our goods made it 90% of the way to our new home in 5 days, then got held up due to heavy snow in Snoqualmie Pass for a couple of days. Still, I can't complain about the speed of delivery. Besides, we all got stomach flu immediately upon arriving in Seattle, so I'm not sure we would have been up to overseeing unloading anyway.

Unloading was again 2 guys plus the driver. They needed a shuttle, as our new place has a long gravel drive that the truck could not negotiate. It took about six hours, I think. Again, the unloaders were good-natured about the very heavy boxes of books and the process went smoothly.

We had no damage to any of the boxed items. There is a black stain on a white easy chair that we will probably make a claim for (if we can't manage to get it out by washing the cushion cover in the washing machine), and some small but essential parts of the baby gates were lost, so we need to replace those.

The only person at Humboldt/United that was not extremely professional was the move coordinator. The estimator, the packers, the driver, and the unpackers were all great. The move coordinator lost our paperwork, was incapable of keeping straight which of our phone numbers were which (e.g., calling me at work after I'd told her to use my cell, because I was leaving the job, and giving the driver an incorrect cell phone number for me), and generally seemed like a real flake. Still, I would definitely use Humboldt again - I'd just keep a better eye on the contract, so I knew what I was signing. But I take full responsibility for that particular screwup.

Auto Driveaway was very nice and very professional. I dropped off the car at the terminal (since it was only a mile from my house), the day before the cross-country truck was supposed to leave. Our car was delivered in 13 days, which was faster than they told me it would be.

One word of warning - we arranged the pickup of the car in the Southcenter Mall parking lot, because we were doing shopping there that day anyway. It turns out that the mall had a policy preventing this. Security said that they charge a $350 fine to both the driver and the owner, but that they would "be nice" and let us off with a warning. I question whether they could legally charge that high a fine, but since they didn't actually try to collect it, I didn't worry about it too much. Still, it's better to do the pickup in an area that's not owned by a private third party.

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

Re: Report on Boston->Seattle move

Postby Diane » Fri Feb 04, 2005 7:10 pm

Thanks so much for getting back to us.

I saw "Option C" on the paperwork and thought that meant GNTE

As far as I know, "Option C" DOES mean GNTE. It's "Option B" that's a Binding estimate. Maybe some of the moverpros will comment on this. Not that you would have saved much money with a GNTE, but it's disconcerting to have this kind of thing happen.

So you used an auto driveaway service where they actually drove your car from Boston to Seattle? How much did they charge? What was the actual name of the company? I've always heard that those aren't a good idea because of the wear and tear on the car.

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

Re: Report on Boston->Seattle move

Postby Michael » Fri Feb 04, 2005 7:53 pm

Diane, Your correct, option C is not to exceed. Option B is binding and Option A non binding.

Nugent, you will be getting a survey from United. You will be asked to rate your coordinator on a scale of one to ten. I think they will ask 5-10 questions on her/his performance. This will be your chance to rate her as you described. You will also have the opportunity to rate everyone else involved in the move.

Glad to hear everything went fine.

Best of luck in Seatlle, its a great city.
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: Report on Boston->Seattle move

Postby Diane » Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:06 pm

"Enugent" - if you can prove that you had an Option C quote but were charged as if it were Binding, then I would also mention that on the evaluation form (and call United to try to get a price adjustment downward for the 600 pound discrepancy).

On this messageboard there are three cases like this reported for A-1 First Class Viking (Atlas) in NYC, where the company charged the person more than they should have because they misunderstood or misinterpreted the type of estimate the person had. In each case the mistake was in the moving company's favor. I just think that even though the price difference was small in your case, it's not right to simply let it go. These "mistakes" may be more common than we know.

ENugent
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Norwood, MA

Re: Report on Boston->Seattle move

Postby ENugent » Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:51 am

Diane, the name of the company is Auto Driveaway, but they do both carrier transport and driving your car themselves. Our car was transported by carrier (they brokered it to Coast to Coast). Cost was $1250, including insurance.

Interesting on the "Option C" issue - I will look into this further.


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