DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices.

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Jstrevino

DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices.

Postby Jstrevino » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:20 pm

I'm moving from DC to San Francisco shortly, and I've done my best to follow the guidance offered here. Every potential mover gets asked (via e-mail, so I get responses in writing) the following questions verbatim:

1. Can I get an in-home estimate?
2. Can I get a written Binding Not-to-Exceed estimate?
3. Do you subcontract your shipping?
4. What is your street address?
5. Does Sterling do business under any other names?
6. Can we get moved on or before 29 September?

So far three movers have contacted me (well, four, but "All State Van Lines" is suspiciously like All State Moving & Storage of North Hollywood, CA, which is on the blacklist). They are:

1. JK Moving, of Sterling, VA.
2. Matthew Moving, of Clarksburg, MD. (An Allied subcontractor.)
3. Sterling Movers, of Billerica, MA. (A North American subcontractor.)

I know some folks here have had JK Movers raise red flags -- no worries, I've read those threads here -- but they do come highly recommended from military and family whom I trust, so I am going to let them at least give me a quote. Their answers were satisfactory, with the exception of no.2, to which they answered, "We will cap the estimate at 10% or 20%." Am I being paranoid, or is this a reasonable response in lieu of a binding not-to-exceed contract?

Matthew Moving's answers were fine, with two exceptions: First, while they guaranteed me that an Alli!ed truck would deliver my goods, they did not guarantee that it would be THEIR truck. Second, they said they needed no deposit, but then stated they'd charge my credit card for the not-to-exceed price one week before the move(!). Again, am I being too wary, or is this odd?

Finally, Sterling Movers has yet to respond to my questions, although I note that their website, at callsterling.com, is good; and they sent me a form e-mail recommending that I check out movingscam.com!

Any thoughts on the above would be sincerely appreciated. Kudos to the sitemasters here for an outstanding resource.

arlingtonmove

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby arlingtonmove » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:35 pm

I'm moving from DC to SF as well (in October). Did you learn any additional information in in your search?

Thanks!

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby Nancy » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:37 pm

There is nothing odd in Matthew's Moving replies. It is standard to charge a credit card for the amount of the quote before the move. You should have the option of doing cashiers check at delivery, however if you want the priviledge of paying by credit, ALL van lines require to pay the estimate before the load.

Also standard for them to have an Allied truck service your move. That is the reason why local movers align themselves with van lines, very few of them can service 100% of what they book. Your contract is with Allied Van Lines, and Matthews is your selling agent. Kind of like an insurance agent representing an insurance underwriter.

Jstrevino

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby Jstrevino » Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:38 pm

Thanks, Nancy. I guess that sounds okay then....I feel odd relying on the collective wisdom here, but it's better than relying on my individual ignorance. ;-)

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby Nancy » Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:57 pm

No problem! There is a regular poster here, MusicMom, who has more specific knowledge of DC area movers. I was replying as a general policy statement, but she may have more insight on the specifics of these companies.

arlingtonmove

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby arlingtonmove » Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:36 pm

The agent Allied gave me was Coleman American Moving Services so I will let you know what I hear from them. The other two I have been researching based on their BBB reports & absence from the black list are Quality Services Moving and Able Moving and Storage. Any feedback on either one?

Thanks!

Jstrevino

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby Jstrevino » Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:26 pm

No feedback from either on my end, but I'll definitely keep you posted!

Rick
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:59 pm

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby Rick » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:33 pm

Paxton Van Lines, an agent of Atlas Van Lines, is based in Springfield and has a fairly large pack-and-load hauling fleet that they use to routinely service their accounts on both coasts. Good group of drivers.

Two good United Van Lines agents are Security Storage of Washingon http://www.sscw.com/index2.html and Hilldrup Moving and Storage, based in Stafford http://www.hilldrup.com. Unfortunately, Hilldrup has recently lost several of their experienced drivers because of their pricing policies.

Stevens Van Lines has a good agent in Manassas http://www.manassastransfer.com but their drivers generally don't go west of the Mississippi river. A move to California would be handled by the van line.

Coleman American Moving Services, Inc. is a recent Allied addition in the DC metro area. They are a part of Covan Worldwide Moving, Inc., http://www.covan.com/customerserv/servcenters.html a smaller van line based in Alabama. They joined Allied to partner on their large volume of primarily military traffic.

Sterling is a broker. With so many good full service agents in the market, it isn't necessary to add a third party to your relocation worries.

Good Luck!

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby MusicMom » Tue Sep 20, 2005 9:08 pm

As for JK having worriesome posts, I can say that they have more good reviews here than any of the others mentioned. Between your own searching and the pros' additions, you have several good names to choose from.

Ditto what Rick said about Sterling.

Jstrevino

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby Jstrevino » Tue Sep 20, 2005 9:22 pm

Excellent, excellent feedback. Keep it coming -- I am VERY grateful!

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

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby Diane » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:51 am

I'm confused by what people have said about Sterling being a broker. That company in Billerica, MA with website www.callsterling.com is an agent of North American Van Lines, as far as I know, and people here have even spoken favorably about it. I think it has a branch in MD, which may be how it got into the mix.

arlingtonmove

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby arlingtonmove » Fri Sep 23, 2005 4:03 pm

FYI....I got 3 estimates. all seem pretty similar.

Paxton (atlas): 5700 lbs, $5222
Secutiry Storage (united): 5600 lbs, $5516
JK: 6000 lbs, $5600

Rick
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:59 pm

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby Rick » Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:37 pm

I apologize, Jstrevino.

Your right, Diane. My mistake. I was thinking about Sterling Van Lines http://www.sterlingvanlines.com/ out of L.A. US DOT #: 568254 MC #: 290939

Sterling is indeed a northAmerican agent http://www.navlagent.com/sterling/contact.htm.

Guest

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby Guest » Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:11 pm

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vitonso

Re: DC to San Francisco move -- question on moving practices

Postby vitonso » Sun Sep 25, 2005 9:43 pm

I used JK moving in August of 2004 from DC to CA and had a great experience. We gathered about 5 quotes from the DC area, with JK ending up in the middle pricewise. All of their representatives were pleasant and helpful. The truck showed up on time 10 days later to Pismo Beach, CA. The driver, with family in tow, was a joy. Everything looked exactly the same as we packed it and would definitely suggest them.


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