Moving from New York City (Manhattan) to Chicago...

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Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:41 pm

Re: Moving from New York City (Manhattan) to Chicago...

Postby ToolNila » Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:15 pm

I finally received four estimates, after having cancelled and rescheduled a few estimators. It takes about 1 week for an estimator to come to my apartment here in NYC, since it's prime moving season I guess.

Flatbush Moving Van Co., Inc. (Wheaton)
Estimator: Dominic Liantonio
Weight: 3,400 lbs.
Volume: 474 cu. ft.
Distance: 796 mi.
Shuttle truck: No
Rights/Responsibilities: yes
Tariff: 400N, Section 3
Discount: 60%
Price: $2,343.13 (non-binding only)

Nice guy, talked too much about non-moving related stuff (movies, jokes, boxing matches, etc.). Non-binding only. I asked about GTNE and he said no and that he's have to "go through everything with a fine-toothed comb." Annoyingly persistent with phone calls to see if I was interested. Said I'd only need wardrobe boxes and packing for glass table. Explained a lot of things thoroughly, which was nice, but digressed grossly to other dumb topics, and at times, my questions were left unanswered. Didn't mention anything for queen bed/box frame. Explained that discounst depend on day of moving (better discount after July 15, 2005 and before July 25, 2005). Low-ball quote.

Liffey Van Lines, Inc. (Allied)
Estimator: James Clogston
Weight: 4,900 lbs.
Volume: 700 cu. ft. (it didn't say, I divided by 7 lbs./sq. ft.)
Distance: ~800 mi.
Shuttle truck: Yes, $1,150
Rights/Responsibilities: yes
Tariff: Didn't say
Discount: No. Didn't "want to insult my intelligence by inflating prices and then discounting them."
Price: $4,523 "Guaranteed."

Nice guy, older, doesn't talk much. I had to pry questions out of him. Wrote the least on the estimate. What's "guaranteed," is that a binding estimate? Refused a GNTE. Can't say much about him, he didn't talk much about ANYTHING at all.

University Van Lines (Atlas)
Estimator: Michael Carolan (NOT Bill Quigley, who they said would come, whom I heard is great)
Weight: 3,900 lbs.
Volume: 557 cu. ft. (it didn't say, I divided by 7)
Distance: Didn't say
Shuttle truck: Yes, $627.48
Rights/Responsibilities: yes
Tariff: 400N, Section 3
Discount: Didn't mention.
Price: $4,102.77 (non-binding)

Two guys came in, the one that did all the talking was Michael. Professional. The other guy was there to learn the computer program for estimates. I mentioned GNTE, he said possibly, but they'd have to add 10% to the estimated weight and change all of the figures accordingly. I think that's what he meant, I'd have to call again. Already included $20K valuation (non-deductible). I asked detailed questions, which led them to believe (correctly) that I frequent Said he knows Diane. Michael, if you're reading this message...HELLO. :D

Nassau World Wide Movers, Inc. (United)
Estimator: Michael Godwin
Weight: 4,800 lbs.
Volume: 686 cu. ft.
Distance: Didn't say
Shuttle truck: Yes, $875.75 (that's after the discount)
Rights/Responsibilities: no
Tariff: 400N, Section 3
Discount: 52%
Price: $5,178.75 (waiting for a phone call back to see what kind of estimate it is)

Michael is a 72-year-old gentleman. Extremely nice, courteous, etc. Hand-wrote everything (couldn't see the grids for the itemized inventory sheet). Included price for a host of packing material if I were to get the from United, but recommended a local place for boxes (I have to look for the name of the vendor). Explained everything very thoroughly, but told me to ask a Michelle for answers to questions he didn't know.

I had the estimate e-mailed to me 2 days later in a .jpg format of a scanned estimate. My name was misspelled, the wrong zip code was entered (I Mapquested the two zip codes, they're about 25 miles apart), and had the estimate e-mailed to the wrong address until I called Michelle and had the address corrected and e-mailed to me again, which she did immediately after the phone conversation.

He explained that discounts originated from a time when the major van lines discounted prices for commercial moves, back when major van lines only did commercial moves, and that the discount was transferred to private moves. Something along those lines. Also explained the theory behind needing shuttle trucks: to avoid fines and such for 18-wheelers parked roadside. My street is a major one (34th Street and 2nd Avnue for those of you that are from NYC), but whatever. Again, 3 out of 4 estimators said I needed a shuttle truck.

Very nice man, but old, dare I say, to do such a job.

There you have it folks. I’m confused as %#&@. Any ideas?


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Re: Moving from New York City (Manhattan) to Chicago...

Postby Diane » Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:52 pm

Hi - thanks so much for taking the time to post all this.

I have a few reactions. First, I can see why you don't think a shuttle is needed. Actually it's just that the long-haul drivers don't like to go into Manhattan, especially below 60th Street, because of the hassle and possibly getting tickets that they would have to pay for. But it would be nice to avoid having to pay for a shuttle.

If Flatbush didn't think a shuttle was needed, then maybe Moving Man, Inc. (also Wheaton) wouldn't either. And maybe Moving Man would give you a GNTE. You have enough time, so maybe you would want to get Moving Man to come look at your stuff and give you a quote. You could ask them first whether they would give you a GNTE or not, to save them and you the trouble of an in-home estimate if they wouldn't. I would get a quote from them only if they said you didn't need a shuttle and only if they would give you a GNTE.

Of the quotes you have, I tend to think the one from University is the best. They have performed well for people. Personally I would ask Mike Carolan to convert it to a GNTE even if the cost goes up, just for your own peace of mind. Actually he doesn't know me, except maybe through my posts.

Yes, your Allied Liffey quote is a Binding (Total Price Guarantee) quote. It won't go either up or down, unless the words GRR (Guaranteed Rate Reduction) appear somewhere on your estimate, in which case it is a GNTE. With a plain TPG quote Allied usually doesn't even weigh the truck. Liffey is run by Danny Moloney, obviously an Irishman. Someone from the company wrote in to recommend its workers (anonymously) as being "full of the blarney," which I always thought was a bit odd as a recommendation for a mover. I'm not too enthusiastic about Liffey based on things I've heard from moverpros.

Michael Godwin (Nassau) sounds like a very nice man but I agree that the lack of attention to detail is a bit disturbing. Probably he was just filling in as an estimator because of the summer crush. I would love to talk with him sometime about the history of the moving industry in the city (when things slow down in the fall).

I also think it would be well worth it to call All Star Moving in Brooklyn (718-643-4705) to ask whether they would like to move you to Chicago. I am guessing that they would charge in the neighborhood of $4000, like the others, but you would be in the same truck all the way (no shuttle), a big plus. I wouldn't ask them to do an in-home estimate right away but just tell them what your ballpark weight is (if it's around 4000-5000 pounds, you must have a pretty full 1BR) and ask whether they would go to Chicago with that weight. In other words, ask whether the load is big enough to make it worth their while. If you could be flexible with your dates they might be able to combine your load with someone else's.

What made me think of this is that All Star just moved someone with a 2BR to Florida and she was really happy about it - They did a full pack and the distance was much greater than yours, so her price was a lot higher than I think yours would be.

I hesitate to suggest getting still more estimates (All Star and maybe Moving Man) but am just giving you my thoughts. Of the quotes you have, I tend to favor University Van Lines because of its past performance, but I would ask for a GNTE.

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