San Francisco to New York

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GoldenBear
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 8:08 pm
Location: San Francisco

San Francisco to New York

Postby GoldenBear » Thu Feb 26, 2004 2:27 am

At this point, I'm trying to decide between United Van Lines (through Rossiter Relocation), Atlas (through Peeter Transportation), Allied (TBD - someone's coming out tomorrow) and Broadway Express. Thanks to the participants here, I didn't go down the path too far with California New York Express or Flat Rate Moving.

So here are some questions I have:
1. Should I be worried that my quotes from the majors differ by 400 lbs (2400 to 2800)? Am I going to find myself in a situation where the driver contests the binding, not-to-exceed estimate? What happens if the driver does do so?

2. Since my street in San Francisco is not wide enough for tractor-trailers, the majors are charging a shuttle fee. Can somebody explain to me who will do the initial pickup and how long do they usually hold my stuff until it gets transferred to the truck that will be going cross country?

3. Regarding Broadway Express, am I going to have to get my own van/shuttle to move my stuff to their truck? Also, can somebody verify that their large trucks can actually enter New York City? I talked to Don over the phone; he indicates that they can but doesn't really know why they can but others can't.

Thanks so much!!!

Will

BigLeeCalif
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Location: Escondido, California

Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby BigLeeCalif » Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:35 am

Hello....

Unfortunately, if you will be moving into NYC, there will be what is called a Metro Shuttle fee, if you go with United. This is due to the traffic congestion, and the fact that many places just can't safely accomodate a tractor trailer.

Where in SF are you.. Out in the avenues shuttles generally are not needed.

The way shuttles work is dependant on what the booking agent sets up. Sometimes they will shuttle the shipment back to their warehouse and let the over the road driver transfer it from truck to truck. Sometimes the driver will want the shuttle revenue, so he will rent his own shuttle vehicle, and transfer it himself.

The same thing could apply at destination, wherein the driver will rent a shuttle vehicle, and transfer the goods to it, and then deliver to you. If his schedule is tight, he may notify an agent close to you in advance of his arrival, and transfer the shipment to one of their vehicles, and the agent would do the final delivery and any unpacking/uncrating at dest.

400 lb variance between estimates is not uncommon. No one sees everything exactly the same.. It is when the variance approaches or exceeds 1000 lbs or more I would start being inquisitive. With United, we have a 2100 lb minimum.

When a driver protests a shipment, (he feels it will exceed the estimated weight by more than 10%), he calls the agent. The agent will come out, and look at what is moving as opposed to what was listed on the binding estimate. If there are things not on the estimate that are moving, he might ask you to sign a change order, authorizing the additional weight.
If only the things you originally listed are moving, and there are no changes in the original listing, you do not have to sign the change order, and if the weight ultimately exceeds 10%, the protest is handled internally by the van line, without additional cost to you.

In reference to Broadway Express, I am not certain of their capabilities, since I don't have direct experience with them, but they have been mentioned frequently here. I am sure some of those with more experience can pipe in their knowledge.

Happy moving...

Lee

Diane
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby Diane » Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:45 am

Yep, Lee, here's someone else piping up and piping in. Thanks so much for the good information you've given to Will.
GoldenBear wrote:Thanks to the participants here, I didn't go down the path too far with California New York Express or Flat Rate Moving.

Thank God . . . those are two of the worst, and very active in California. It looks to me as if you have several good choices.
GoldenBear wrote:Regarding Broadway Express, am I going to have to get my own van/shuttle to move my stuff to their truck? Also, can somebody verify that their large trucks can actually enter New York City?

Will, just call Don again and ask him the first question. On the second, others have moved successfully FROM New York City with BE, so I would assume that their trucks can also go INTO the city, especially since they have to double-park only a couple of hours to unload. But they wouldn't be allowed to block traffic. If you don't want any uncertainty, in my opinion it would probably be better to just pay the shuttle fee and go with a major van line.
GoldenBear wrote:I talked to Don over the phone; he indicates that they can but doesn't really know why they can but others can't.

That's a very interesting question that I would love to know the answer to. I asked one person who posts here and he said that it was because BE's trucks are all the same size (hello?); another person said that the majors just routinely charge a shuttle fee in NYC to cover themselves for all the different circumstances that can arise such as snowdrifts and street construction, which sounds more like it to me.

Just as a matter of curiosity, what were the estimates from the different companies?

BigLeeCalif
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Location: Escondido, California

Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby BigLeeCalif » Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:10 am

Diane, part of BE owning their own fleet is consistency in size. If they lined up all their vehicles side by side, they'd appear uniform.

However, since the drivers for van lines own their own tractors, and some even own their trailers, there is more diversity.

For instance, the standard trailer size now is 53'. Some van lines might still use 48', or 51' trailers. And I have even seen some that still have doubles.

In addition, tractors are not like the old smokey and the bandit tractors, that have simple sleeper attached to a conventional or cabover configeration.

Tractors now, in some cases, are so elaborate and complete that the chassis can be up to 25 - 36 ft. Attach that to a 53' trailer and you can guess why some of them can't access places that a 50' tractor trailer combination can.

Next time on the freeway, check the different truck sizes and it will give you a better idea of my numbers.

Lee

GoldenBear
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Location: San Francisco

Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby GoldenBear » Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:11 am

One more question - do the majors require a deposit upfront to secure the time/date for the move? Thanks.

BigLeeCalif
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Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby BigLeeCalif » Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:20 am

Will I can only speak for Chipman, and not the others.

Obviously payment method is discussed at the time of the estimate, and it is probably 50-50 between credit cards and cashier's check.

We do not require a deposit up front if you elect to pay by cashier's check.
However, if you elect by credit card, that is normally processed before the shipment loads. If you have a binding not-to-exceed estimate, that is the amount charged. If you have a non binding estimate, 110% of the estimated charges are collected.

At the completion of the move, and the audit is complete (15 - 30 days after delivery) any credit is automatically credited back to your card, or if payment by cashiers check, a check is mailed to your delivery address.

Some people do not want their card charged until the shipment loads. While this can be done, we get in trouble with the van line if the credit card is declined, and the goods are already in transit.

But, to answer your primary question.... Most van lines won't require a deposit up front.

Lee

Diane
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby Diane » Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:30 am

In fact, any company requiring a deposit up front--except for international moves and sometimes for local moves by small companies--should be regarded as a scammer until proven otherwise. As you indicated, Will, the scammers often attempt to justify it by claimng that the deposit assures you of a specific date and time for pickup.

BigLeeCalif
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Location: Escondido, California

Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby BigLeeCalif » Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:35 am

Diane is right Will.

Your signed agreement for service guarantees your date.

Most reputable movers do not even charge a cancellation fee, up to, and some cases including load day.

It is the nature of the business, and we understand that last minute changes occur...

We have had to deal with failed closing dates, deaths, and illness. And, of course, there are those who book with several carriers, and at the last minute cancel all except the one they want to go with... Sort of reverse overbooking... to see who will be there on their specified dates.

Lee

Josh
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Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby Josh » Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:37 am

On an interstae move you should not pay any deposit.

If you are paying by credit card, you might be required to pay 110% of your move 48 hours prior.

Josh

GoldenBear
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 8:08 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby GoldenBear » Fri Feb 27, 2004 1:46 am

Lee, you mentioned the idea of double booking. How often does that happen? I'm guessing the industry frowns upon that but that seems to give the consumer a little extra protection in case the first company that shows up tries to gouge him/her.

GoldenBear
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 8:08 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby GoldenBear » Fri Feb 27, 2004 1:49 am

Has anybody heard of Amodio, an agent for Mayflower, based in CT? It was recommended by a friend's parents. They don't have a local agent in the Bay Area but the person I'm talking to is willing to provide a binding, not-to-exceed estimate if I can give him the inventory list prepared by one of the other majors.

Any thoughts?

BigLeeCalif
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Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby BigLeeCalif » Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:26 am

Hello Will..

Yes I am familiar with Amodio out of Connecticut.

I know they might have been recommended to you, but you're in SF, and it is better to go with a company in your area.

The reason is twofold..
#1 The local mover can physically come out and give you the in house estimate. In the event of problems on load day, obviously they won't be able to send someone out to resolve or mediate any problems.
#2 If you are going to select a particular van line out of the area, all they will do is arrange for the mover you would have had in the first place be the origin agent, so that any packing or physical services would be done by them anyway. Why not eliminate the middleman.

There is only one Mayflower agent in San Francisco, "Vector", who has only been Mayflower agents since 2000. We occasionally haul one of their shipments.

The double booking isn't for load day problems Will.

Usually a customer has to move on a particular day, and they might arrange a couple of movers... and have the same preferred date. Now movers are supposed to let you know 24 hrs in advance of the pickup day.
So in some cases the first one who calls with the right date gets the move, and the other is cancelled. It would be embarrassing to do it on move day if both movers show up.. However, we have had that too.. A truck will show up, only to find another van line already loading the shipment... The customer will say dont you check your night messages... I called last night and cancelled.

It's times like that you wish you DID have a cancellation fee. Because the driver is the one out of pocket. He would already have picked up his helpers, and he has to pay them a 4 hr min (each) if the job cancels.

Lee

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

Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby Diane » Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:35 am

Will, it's somewhat risky to generalize about a whole van line, but in my eight months of following messages on this board, I've noticed that many people both in and out of the industry aren't at all enthusiastic about Mayflower.

In contrast, United is the highest-rated van line on www.epinions.com. (Bekins is the lowest-rated, and the others are somewhere in between.)

Lee has given you some excellent advice, and in my opinion we are fortunate to have him helping us on this messageboard. You seem to have a couple of good alternatives among the majors, and if cost is a concern, you can always go with Broadway Express.

GoldenBear
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 8:08 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby GoldenBear » Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:10 pm

Alright - latest development. Allied came and did an estimate yesterday, coming in at 4000lbs! So now we're talking about a 1600 lbs difference between the min and max.

United: 2400
Atlas: 2800
Allied: 4000

I looked at the inventory list of all three. Allied (through VIP Transport) is assuming a lot of boxes. Atlas and United are relatively similar in terms of item count and the difference between them may simply be the weight assigned to each item.

I'm leaning towards United since all three are binding, not to exceed, and will be calling the references the United agent provided.

Is there something I should be watching out for considering the wide variance in estimate?

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

Re: San Francisco to New York

Postby Diane » Sat Feb 28, 2004 7:08 am

Sounds like you are on the right track.

I did a search on Peeters and found that in a prior thread, Consumer Advocate noted that the one on Shaw Road in South San Francisco had no license to perform moves, which is still the case. I don't know whether this is because Peeters is using Atlas' authority, but thought I would mention it.

Just as another aside, a university professor named Chuck posted in detail on this website about his move in November and December of last year. He was moving from Oakland to Seattle. He got a quote from an Allied agency (Nor-Cal in his case) as well as from another United agency (Chipman Alameda) and others, and that Allied agency also came in way higher than everyone else because of estimating more boxes. They estimated 10,800 pounds when the actual weight of the shipment was only 7,200 pounds!

You might want to check some of the posts by Chuck since you are moving from the same area and may have some of the same issues. For example, by calling around he was able to get parking permits for around $110 that allowed him to eliminate a potential $800 shuttle charge in Oakland. You can find that discussion by searching on "Oakland Police" (in quotation marks); it's on the last page of the 6-page thread. You could also private message him to get more details about his move.

To find all the posts by Chuck, go to the Memberlist, sort it alphabetically (i.e. by username), and click on his name.


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