DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Our open community forum is for general moving related questions, comments, and useful information about local and interstate moves.
onerworld
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2003 7:18 pm

DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby onerworld » Fri Aug 15, 2003 7:25 pm

I just found out I have to move to Portland OR and be there by September 2nd, one of the busiest move times. Does anyone have any personal recommendations for moving companies in the Seattle area? They will be packing and moving me and since it's a short haul, will probably use their own trucks and staff so I shouldn't have to deal with the nightmare corporate offices like Bekins, Mayflower etc.

Thanks much:
Molly

Josh
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 pm
Location: USA

Re: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby Josh » Fri Aug 15, 2003 9:04 pm

Molly,

There are several reputable movers in your area. Follow the advice on this site http://www.movingscam.com/news/findmover.shtml

Monday morning I would be on the phone with at least three reputable movers and trying to get your estimates in as soon as possible. You will need to make a decision by the end of the week!

Time is running out, so research the best you can this weekend, then hit the phones Monday!

Josh

stradman
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 11:22 am

Re: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby stradman » Wed Aug 20, 2003 11:32 pm

Chipman relocations in Kent did a great job on my move from Seattle to Phoenix. Everything showed up in the same condition it was in when it was packed, and I had a not to exceed price quote that was reasonable.

Whatever you do

stay away from All My Sons!!!!!

BigLeeCalif

Re: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby BigLeeCalif » Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:34 pm

stradman wrote:Chipman relocations in Kent did a great job on my move from Seattle to Phoenix. Everything showed up in the same condition it was in when it was packed, and I had a not to exceed price quote that was reasonable.

Whatever you do

stay away from All My Sons!!!!!



Thank you kind sir for the commendation for my company.. I work for Chipman in the Concord, CA office.... We have served the Western US for over 65 years, with hands on customer service.... We hope you will use us again should the need arise.

BigLeeCalif

Josh
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 pm
Location: USA

Re: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby Josh » Sun Aug 24, 2003 6:44 am

Biglee,

For all it's worth, I have used just about all of your agencies up and down the west coast. Chipman is actually my first pick when I need help out there.

You do work for a good company, and I hope this site will continue to shed light on how many people are getting ripped off every day. It makes me sick to know that these cheeseballs are out there underselling us movers and tarnishing the industry we work so hard to make right.

Keep up the good work, and I will keep in touch with you.

Tyrone
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2003 5:18 pm

Re: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby Tyrone » Sun Aug 24, 2003 10:14 am

Consumers reading this thread should also be aware that there have been complaints filed on this site against Chipman. Again, the primary reason for not recommending a specific moving company is because until HR1070 passes, any mover has the ability to scam you on any given day depending solely on their mood that day. As currently written, the laws provide no consequences for a mover that scams you. And where there are no consequences, there is no deterrent.

I agree with a comment that BigLee made earlier: that most movers are honest. The problem is that when you schedule a move with a moving company you never know whether or not you got a "bad apple" until AFTER all your stuff is locked in their truck. It's Russian Roulette which is a loser's game any way you look at it. In Russian Roulette, most of the chambers in the gun are empty. In the moving industry, most of the movers are honest. Again, you never know which one you got until you have pointed the gun at your head and pulled the trigger.

This is not to characterize Chipman as a scam company; rather it is to avoid the appearance of characterizing it as a "safe" company. Russian Roulette is never "safe".

Diane

Re: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby Diane » Sun Aug 24, 2003 11:21 am

Tyrone makes an excellent point, as usual.

However, you can see from this website - and from the title of this thread - how desperate people are to know which agencies provide quality service.

As of today I can find only two negative comments about Chipman on this site or on epinions.com, although Tyrone may know of more. In fact, wasn't there once a topic here called "Beware of Chipman"? How could a whole topic disappear from this website, or is the search engine just not finding it for some reason?

Anyway, one person here was complaining that he couldn't collect on his insurance, and another person on epinions.com said that Chipman Alameda charged for a ferry to Victoria B.C. that was not on the original binding estimate. (An excellent illustration of the need for H.R. 1070, by the way.)

Since the Chipman agencies arrange moves over a wide geographical area, I think it would be valuable for consumers to be able to read about people's experiences with those agencies. Therefore I would encourage BigLee to ask some of his customers to take just a few minutes to write a review for epinions, which has a category for Chipman as well as for United.

People who have had good as well as bad experiences with a particular agent need to get that information out there in the public domain in order to help people who can't "move themselves" make better decisions. Obviously MovingScam.com is not the appropriate place for this, but epinions.com is.

Chuck
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2003 5:01 am

Re: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby Chuck » Sat Nov 22, 2003 5:21 pm

BigLee or anyone else,

I have called Chipman Alameda for an estimate. I'm moving to Seattle.

Is the Alameda office different from the Concord and Sacramento offices? Like Diane said, there was a scary epinion report about the Alameda service.

Chuck

Josh
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 pm
Location: USA

Re: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby Josh » Sat Nov 22, 2003 5:28 pm

Chuck,

Here is a list of some of the Chipman agencies:

Agent #339- Alameda
Agent #358- Concord
Agent #462- Benicia
Agent #491- Sacramento

They do have different offices in all cities you asked about.

Josh

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

Re: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby Michael » Sat Nov 22, 2003 5:56 pm

Chuck,

One way to look at it is like this. Your an owner of a few McDonalds in CA. And you have locations in all the cities Josh mentioned. Your own them, and you have the umbrella of the McDonalds Corporate working with you on the "McDonalds Way". You have a Board of Directors made up of fellow owners throughout the USA. This Board sets the standards and guidelines for how all their McDonalds should operate. And you take those standards and guidelines and implement them into all your McDonalds. You tweak them here and there for your own local needs, but still have that backing.

Unlike some Burger Kings (again just an example for another moving company) that is owned by a Corporation that tells its companies what to do and not the people that work and own the locations.

Does that help?
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

Chuck
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2003 5:01 am

Re: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby Chuck » Sat Nov 22, 2003 9:03 pm

Thanks fellas.

But then how much weight should I give to someone's endorsement of McDonald's? From what I have been reading (it's a heck of a lot!), it seems one's move is only going to be as good as the people who show up to pack and drive one's stuff.

Diane could only find 2 negatives on epinions about Chipman, but one of them is about the Alameda office. Also, over the past 36 mos, Chipman has had 13 complaints at the BBB. How much weight should I accord to this? -- especially in comparing Chipman to, say, Corovan/NorthAmerican in San Francisco (they have had 11 complaints at the BBB)?

Chuck

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

Re: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby Michael » Sat Nov 22, 2003 9:33 pm

Chuck,

I think I kind of answered that in another post. In the end, it comes down to who you are comfortable with. Who you feel was thorough in their survey. Who returns your calls in a timely fashion. Who is up front.

Be up front with them. Tell them of the things you know and have found out. Again your dealing with companies that do thousands of moves a year, over 3 years, so your looking at 3-4 complaints a year. Ask them what they were for and how they were settled.

In the end Chuck, I dont think you will be scammed by these companies, it really becomes a service issue and whom your comfortable with.

Good 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: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby Diane » Sun Nov 23, 2003 2:37 am

Chuck,

You've done a tremendous amount of homework trying to figure this whole thing out . . . you say you read ALL the reviews on epinions.com? That is just mind-boggling.

But you can't learn everything from reading and doing research. On the other thread, a real live expert--Michael--has recommended a couple of companies to you: Alexander's (Atlas) first and Chipman (United) second. And Michael works for United, so if he puts Alexander's first you know that he's being honest. He's been working in the industry for a long, long time and believe me, he's not on this website to get business for United in general or for himself in particular. If I were you, I would take his advice and give special consideration to those two companies.

Maybe he and Josh (who also works for United) have some idea about which Chipman agent is best, although they (like me) have to be careful what they say. Remember that although the people who post on this board are trying to respond to people like you who have questions, they also have to keep in mind that others will be reading their answers. For example, if you had posted your inquiry on movingadvocateteam.com, I wouldn't be answering you like this at all, because I would be afraid that the person who runs that website wouldn't like me any more since he doesn't believe in saying good things about ANY moving company.

With regard to comparing numbers of complaints, the difference between 11 complaints and 13 complaints is insignificant. Most of the blatant scammers have far fewer than 11 complaints listed with the BBB, but of course that means absolutely nothing. With regard to reviews on epinions, you're correct that people tend to write in only if they loved the company (or probably--in a few cases--if they're employed by the company) or if they hated the company. But as a general comment, I've noticed that if you consider only companies rated by at least 25 people on epinions, United is ranked highest and Bekins is ranked lowest and the others are somewhere in between.

With regard to individual companies, the "scary" report about Chipman Alameda could have been an isolated bad estimate by a person who didn't know there was water between Victoria, B.C. and the U.S. mainland. I don't think that one incident should make you rule the company out. I don't know anything about Alexander's except that an Alexander's in Ohio was mentioned favorably on this site. I know that a lot of people think Mayflower isn't the greatest. I believe that there are two Cor-O-Vans--one is the good twin and one is the evil twin--but you're negotiating with the good twin, so don't worry. I'm unenthusiastic about Allied because it advertises on a lot of sites where scammers also advertise, but that may just mean that the company is strapped for customers and it has to take whatever it can get.

As Michael said, all of the companies you're dealing will probably be "OK." You're fortunate that you (or your employer) can afford to use a major van line and you don't have to go with a U-Pack option to save money. If I were you, I would take Michael's advice and pick the company that made me feel the most comfortable, but I would keep in mind his opinion that reputation-wise, Alexander's and Chipman are the best choices. I hope this advice from Aunt Diane (not affiliated with any moving company) helps put your mind a little more at ease.

Chuck
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2003 5:01 am

Re: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby Chuck » Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:00 am

Thanks again for the fantastic responses. This is the best source of info I have found on the internet, and I will recommend it to everyone I know is moving. I tend to be a research maniac, since I am a professional researcher (academic).

So far, everyone has responded to me in a timely manner. The differences between the major van lines are very small, so I am trying to narrow things even further. I guess it's impossible to make Russian Roulette better -- knowledge in this sort of game can only make the anxiety worse!

Alexander's, even though many people have recommended it, seems to have no relationship with the BBB. On the BBB site, it says it hasn't been in touch with Alexander's. The address seems to be different from the local offices around me, but then again, the local offices don't have any presence on the BBB.

Chipman is coming on Monday for a walkthru, so I will give you a report. I guess I will ask for a full-move estimate, but will also ask about the cost if I pack almost everything. Seems like self-pack is the way to go.

My institution -- a university (I'm a professor) -- will only pay up to $5000. Whalens/Allied knew this, and appear to ding me bad. They estimated 10,800 lbs in a 2 bdrm apt, when that is the average for a 3 bdrm house. I have quite a few books, but trust me, there is not 5+ tons of stuff in this apt!!! Other walkthru estimates confirm my suspicion.

More advice is always appreciated and desired, so if you have it, give it! I'm a quick study, but there are always loopholes of knowledge to fill ...

Thanks to all of you for great responses,

Chuck

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

Re: DESPERATE!!! Moving to Portland from Seattle ASAP

Postby Diane » Sun Nov 23, 2003 11:27 am

Chuck,

I'm also puzzled by the dearth of information about Alexander's. There are a lot of individual agencies across the U.S. using that name, but I was unable to find a general website, and you say that the individual agencies aren't listed with the BBB. Maybe Michael can tell us why.

With regard to Whalen/Allied jacking up the price because it knew your employer's spending limit, I recall reading an account of a company trying to charge a customer who worked for a hospital what it thought the hospital would pay. It turned out that the hospital's limit was lower than that, and the company went after the customer for the difference. However, Michael seemed to be saying that in your case the final cost would depend only on weight. Again, maybe he or someone else will jump in to comment.


Return to “Open Community”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSN [Bot] and 8 guests