No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

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Magpie

No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby Magpie » Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:06 pm

I'm moving in July from Berkeley CA to Columbus OH, and I'm having trouble finding a reasonable mover.

A fellow from Norcal (Allied) gave me an onsite estimate, and though he estimated the total weight at about what other companies have estimated (c. 3000 lbs), he quoted a price near $3900 - !

The guy inspired confidence, unlike a lot of companies I've talked to over the phone, but this seems high. Other estimates - for the same weight - have been around $2100-$2500.

I'm getting another estimate from an ostensibly reputable outfit on Monday - (Chipman Relocations - United Van Lines) - so we'll see what they say, but I'm blown away by the price discrepancy.

Any recommendations for No. Cal interstate movers with good secure storage?

BigLeeCalif
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Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby BigLeeCalif » Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:29 pm

well I worked for Chipman till 2004 when I semi-retired.

Chipman has offices in Concord, Alameda, and Benicia.

Alameda handles Oakland and west of the Caldecott Tunnel. Concord handles Contra Costa County, and Benicia handles Western Contra Costa, and Solano counties.

Norcal isn't that big on residential moves as some of the other companies. Their bread and butter is O&I (office and industrial moves).. They do have hauling units committed to the Allied fleet.

Chipman has a large continental hauling fleet, so you can possibly have the entire shipment services by them if your load spread coincides with units in the Bay Area heading that way.

The only Van Line that I might shy away from is Tri Valley Bekins. I have had some serious complaints from former customers about their lack of response to claims issues, and not only from the agent, but all the way to the Van Line Hq.

Crown Worldwide in San Leandro is a very good company, and has connections nationwide, and also worldwide.

Excell (Mayflower) in Hayward has had some management and personnel changes in the last few years that really caused some problems for them, so hopefully it has stabilized.

I'm not so sure about Cor-O-Van... Before I relocated down here from Oakland, their fleet of vans didn't impress me as being top of the line.

If you do get a quote from Chipman Alameda, and if the sales person they send out is Bill LaVigne, make sure to ask your questions. Bill sometimes gets busy and doesn't follow through immediately, so make sure he gives you a way to contact him at a moments' notice.

As for storage, the movers I mentioned have large warehouses at all locations. One note * Someone mentioned on this site recently that Crown as merging with Wheaton, so you might ask if that is on the horizon. I have experienced problems when two companies merged and one absorbed the storage of another. Invariably the rates will go up in most cases.

Lee
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

Magpie

Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby Magpie » Sat Jun 24, 2006 3:32 pm

Lee, thanks a lot for that information. I'm still awed by the price, but contracting with someone trustworthy counts for a lot.

Diane
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Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby Diane » Sat Jun 24, 2006 4:25 pm

Usually it costs about $1 to move 1 pound of household goods crosscountry, but you're not going all the way across. Therefore NorCal's estimate does sound a little high to me. Click on the link below my signature, read the first post, and scroll down to "California (Northern)" to see what has been said here about companies in your area. You are in an area serviced by both Delancey Street and Moovers, Inc., and they may well come in lower than NorCal. See their contact information and review threads at the bottom of the list.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

berkeleyan

Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby berkeleyan » Sat Jun 24, 2006 5:14 pm

I'm also trying to plan my move from Berkeley in July. I called a bunch of movers on Diane's list, without tons of success. Two or three companies (Norcal included) never bothered calling me back for an estimate. I also had a mover look at my stuff, promise to email me a quote, and then never contact me again. I have a small 1 bedroom, and a less than cross country move, so I guess that's why.

I ended up getting quotes from Chipman's in Alameda and Moovers. Chipman's was less by about 10% (they gave a bigger discount), but Chipman's estimate was binding and Moovers gave a GNTE, so I'm not sure who will end up being cheaper.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend getting quotes from both companies. They both seemed professional and courteous, which was somewhat reassuring after being ignored by others who thought I wasn't even worth giving a quote to.

Diane
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Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby Diane » Sat Jun 24, 2006 5:43 pm

Thanks for this report. Whoever you choose, please come back to tell us how it goes.

BigLeeCalif
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Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby BigLeeCalif » Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:09 pm

Having worked for Chipman, the estimate you should have been given should be basically a not-to-exceed estimate.

There is not much difference between a GNTE and a Not-to-exceed. More or less terminology.

It isn't surprising that Norcal didn't call you back. They are not much on household goods moves.. Their bread and butter is office moving. Them, along with Petrini's, are the largest office movers in SF Metro Bay Area.

If you can pm me with the sales person, I can call him/her on Monday and confirm that.

Chipman usually only gave fully binding estimates on moves that were booked for "exclusive use".

Lee
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

berkeleyan
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Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby berkeleyan » Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:13 am

It's funny you say that, because I thought the estimator explained it as a not to exceed type estimate, but then when I looked at the paperwork a little more closely, I saw the words "Binding Estimate" across the top and the contract states that it is option B. Am I mistaken?

I had decided to go with United until I saw that the quote was binding. They still might be cheaper, though, since my estimated weight didn't come in at much more than either company's minimum.

I should probably just call her myself for an explanation on Monday, but I will definitely PM you if her answer doesn't make sense to me.

BigLeeCalif
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Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby BigLeeCalif » Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:30 am

I can't get through to my friend at United till Monday, but does your estimate list all three options, or only the one your estimate is for?

I hope the following exerpts from the estimate types most movers use will assist.

Most movers offer two types of estimates – non-binding and binding.
Non-binding estimates are not bids or contracts. Instead, a non-binding estimate is an approximation of the cost based on the mover’s survey of the items to be moved, with the final cost determined after the shipment is weighed. Since a non-binding estimate is based on the actual weight of your shipment (rather than the estimated weight), the price will usually be lower than a binding estimate. However, when you receive a non-binding estimate there is no guarantee that the final cost will not be more than the estimate.

Under a non-binding estimate, the mover cannot require you to pay more than the amount of the estimate, plus 10 percent, (or 110% of the estimate amount) at the time of delivery. You are then obligated to pay any remaining charges for any additional services that you requested or that were required to accomplish your move that are over this 110% amount 30 days after your shipment is delivered, if the services or quantities were not included in your estimate.


Many movers also provide binding estimates. A binding estimate means that you are obligated to pay the price set forth in the binding estimate even if the shipment weighs more than or less than the estimated amount.


All binding estimates cover only the goods and services listed on the estimate. If you add items or request additional services, the mover may revise the original estimate before your shipment is loaded or, if you request additional services after your shipment is in transit, your mover will bill you for these added services 30 days after your shipment is delivered, if they were not included in your estimate. In addition, all movers reserve the right to charge for services necessary to accomplish delivery, even if those services are not requested by the shipper. For example, additional charges will apply if you are not prepared to accept delivery and the shipment is placed in storage, or if a smaller (shuttle) truck must be used to accomplish delivery because your new home is located on a narrow street. Again, your mover will bill you for these services 30 days after your shipment is delivered, if they were not included in your estimate.

Another type of estimate used by many movers is the Not-To-Exceed Estimate. This type of estimate is called various things by various movers, such as Guaranteed Price or Price Protection, but the end result is the same --- an estimate based on a binding estimate or on actual cost, whichever is lower. Like a binding estimate, a not-to-exceed estimate must be provided to you in writing and is binding on the carrier.

Not-to-Exceed estimates differ though in that the binding estimate amount becomes the maximum amount that you will be obligated to pay for the services listed on the estimate. This maximum amount alternates with the tariff charges applicable based on the actual weight of the shipment, with the customer paying the lesser of the two amounts. When you accept a not-to-exceed estimate, the move is performed at actual weight based on the tariff rate levels, with the binding estimate representing the maximum charge that you will have to pay.

Lee
Last edited by BigLeeCalif on Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:41 am, edited 3 times in total.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

berkeleyan
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Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby berkeleyan » Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:39 am

I'm not sure what you mean by listing all three options. I only have one price for moving on here and it's under the line that says "This shipment is a bound estimate (option B)" . The only other prices are for valuation and for a box to pack my mattress in.

BigLeeCalif
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Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby BigLeeCalif » Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:44 am

Ok it's been 2 yrs since I saw an estimate form, so forgive me if I want to make sure I give you the right info.

I think Option B is Not-To-Exceed, but I don't want to say that's my final answer.

But I will have that answer for you on Monday morning.

Lee
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

berkeleyan
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Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:58 pm

Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby berkeleyan » Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:51 am

Thanks a lot for the correction. Sometimes it's nice to be wrong.

And sorry for hijacking the thread!

Magpie

Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby Magpie » Sun Jun 25, 2006 1:07 am

Not a hijack at all! This is all good information.

Diane
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Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby Diane » Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:09 am

Excuse me for butting in here - this whole estimate terminology thing was getting so confusing that a while back I did a post outlining the terms that different van lines use: http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 5876#45876

You'll see there that Option B is in fact the UniGroup term for a Binding estimate that can't go either up or down regardless of the weight. The most likely reason that the poster has a Binding estimate is that her shipment is so close to the minimum that the Chipman rep wanted to bind it so they would be assured of having it be worth their while to move her.

I don't want to influence things unduly, but I actually think that she would be better off going with Moovers for this reason: during the height of the moving season (now), small shipments may be more likely to experience delays. With Moovers the truck that picks her things up would be the truck that delivers them. With Chipman there's a possibility of having her things held in a warehouse for a while.

However, Chipman is a good company and there is actually no "bad" decision in this case.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

BigLeeCalif
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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: No. California to Midwest - Norcal? Chipman? Advice!

Postby BigLeeCalif » Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:37 am

I agree with you to a point Diane, but remember that Chipman has its own hauling fleet as well, so the liklihood of self haul is great with them as well.

And, with the satellite tracking system of most movers, one can generally know where the shipment is once loaded.

Lee
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain


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