Moving LA-NJ

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SharonW

Moving LA-NJ

Postby SharonW » Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:35 pm

We are moving from Los Angeles to New Jersey (Jersey City - no specific address yet) in April. I've been doing a lot of searches on this site to try to avoid asking questions that are already answered - so hopefully this post isn't redundant.

First, the details: We have a 2 bedroom apartment, no kids. I know the general weight for 2 bedrooms is 4-6K, but we have an upright piano, more than the average number of books I'm sure, a heavy fire safe, and a few pieces of heavy furniture.

I am currently seeking movers.. oh joy.. and have 3 identified so far:

-- NorthStar Moving (Chatsworth, CA - ICC MC: 237817, Cal T 182466)
-- Paramount Relocations (Reseda, CA - DOT 1538880, ICC MC: 572636)
-- Moovers (SF)

Paramount did an estimate based on a item list I filled out, which estimated our weight at 9300lbs, total moving fee of $5800, not including packing or supplies. But based on the fact that Paramount will not come to do an in-home estimate (even though they are in Reseda which is only 10 miles from me) and from the poor reports I've found here, they are no longer being considered.

NorthStar came today to do an in-home estimate, and estimated our apartment to be approx. 9500 lbs, with a total fee (full packing & supplies included) to be $9400. Without packing its $7400. This is a binding estimate, which they said they can't go over. They will also charge by actual weight if I choose to go that route. Other than some questions about a few details on the estimate (I'm having trouble getting some of the numbers to tie), I am happy with them so far.

Moovers, whom you all seem to know and love, can't come do an in-home estimate since I am in Los Angeles. But they sent me an inventory to fill out which they will do the estimate from. I haven't done that yet.

My questions:
1) It seems that everyone likes Moovers, but in my case they can't come do an in-home estimate so doesn't that violate one of the site "rules"? I am worried that I will make mistakes filling out the inventory since the items we have don't map nicely to the items on the list. Should I be worried?

2) We must move out of here the weekend of Apr 21st, which NorthStar has said is fine. Does anyone know if Moovers can handle a hard window like that? I haven't asked them yet.. but I will.

3) NorthStar says this is a binding estimate..no other charges..but I've read on this site about "surcharges" being an issue. What should I look out for here?

I am still searching for other movers to come do an in-home estimate, so at least I have a few to compare. I would love to use Moovers, but am just nervous about them not being local, and not being able to do an in-home estimate. Although, I guess it ultimately doesn't matter if the charge is based on actual weight.

Any answers/advice greatly appreciated.

Sharon

26 Miler
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:10 am
Location: Virginia

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby 26 Miler » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:35 pm

Sharon,
Welcome to Moving Scam...I hope that I can help you shead some light on your situation. First and foremost...it has always been my advice to all families relocating to always have a free inhome survey. Now, I can not speak about Moovers, Inc...I hear that they are great but they should be able to get someone out to do the survey...again I do not know too much about them. I can however speak about the other 2 estimates.

The Northstar estimate is not a...well not a great deal. The estimate based on the weight on items that you listed in your blog the cost should be around $5,500.

The Paramout Relocation- RUN, RUN, RUN. Youa re doing the right thing by counting them out.

You might want to get some estimates from other companies like Allied, Mayflower, North American, and United. If you have any additional questions please just let this website or myself know. Moving Scam is here to help you through the process. Take Care!!! Shannon.
Shannon Price
Director of Corporate Sales

26 Miler
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:10 am
Location: Virginia

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby 26 Miler » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:37 pm

Sorry about the words not spelled correctly...I forgot to hit spell check. Shannon.
Shannon Price
Director of Corporate Sales

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

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby Diane » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:58 pm

26 Miler wrote:The Northstar estimate is not a...well not a great deal. The estimate based on the weight on items that you listed in your blog the cost should be around $5,500.

Not sure I understand this . . . WHAT blog?

I must disagree with Shannon here. I think the items listed could easily weigh 9000 pounds or more. Also--probably more important--dubious companies like NorthStar are not known for overestimating the weight. Far more commonly, they underestimate the weight and then try to charge more later on.

Paramount should be thrown out, as you surmised. NorthStar is more of a gray area. If you do a search on the name here you'll see that its performance on long-distance moves has been spotty. Its quotes have shown a lack of attention to detail--I recall one case where it had the destination wrong, for example--and in the past its paperwork has listed various add-ons that may increase the price. I actually think its quote is too low for a full-pack of 9500 pounds crosscountry. The rule of thumb is $1 per pound moved. Now NorthStar is going to also do a full pack and still charge LESS than $1 a pound? I don't think so!

Moovers is an exception to the general rule that you should have an in-residence estimate. We know and trust the company, having observed their behavior with customers over many months. They will give you an estimate range where the price can't go BELOW a certain amount for a certain weight (to protect them) and also can't go ABOVE a certain amount for a certain weight (to protect you).

They may or may not be able to fit you into their schedule for April, but they will tell you this honestly. Since they have only 4 trucks, it is sometimes difficult for them because the shipments have to fit together just so.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

26 Miler
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:10 am
Location: Virginia

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby 26 Miler » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:07 pm

I was not commenting on the weight I was commenting on the cost of the relocation for that weight at that distance based off the 400N tariff. I have heard wonderful things about Moovers, Inc. Shannon.
Shannon Price
Director of Corporate Sales

SharonW

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby SharonW » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:30 pm

Diane,

Thank you for your comments.. very helpful. I do have one question though. Since NorthStar gave me a "binding" estimate today, what are the ways in which they can go over that? I have read over their estimate fully and found two statements:

"Only the items listed are included in the Total Cost. Any items or additional services added may result in additional cost".
"This binding estimate represents the charges for only those services listed hereon. Charges for additional services will be added to the binding estimate price."

So - I'm assuming this is their "out" for adding on fees for additional supplies but I can't imagine what additional services or items could be (we are not buying anything new before the move - and we are not moving anywhere where shuttle services would be required)?

I also see that the guy who did the estimate today did not sign the estimate in the "Binding Estimate" pink box. I thought I was just being paranoid after he left when I noticed this... but maybe not.

Thanks again,
Sharon

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

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby Diane » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:32 pm

What these companies usually do is try to get extra money for packing material, stairs, long carries, and so on.

I disagree with Shannon. I think their quote is too low for the weight they estimated. (I think the weight is probably about right.) If you search on NorthStar here, remember that NorthStar Moving Corp. in CA is different from NorthStar Van Lines in FL, which is on our Blacklist. NorthStar Moving is more or less the West Coast branch of Moishe's in NYC.

Here is one informative thread - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4921 Please look at the "add-ons" that the person lists and also at the thread embedded in that thread, where I comment on the quote that "katari" got from NorthStar - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4842

I don't think NorthStar is horrible but I do think that service quality is likely to be marginal and the company will certainly try to stick on some additional charges. The language in the contract sounds ominous and the lack of a signature in the right place may not be an accident, as you point out.

I believe that in the end, Moovers' price is likely to be as low as or lower than NorthStar's, and the quality of the move will be MUCH better.

farrah7031
Posts: 4619
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:08 am
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby farrah7031 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:44 am

You also could contact Delancey Street if Moovers isn't able to take your job. They're located in LA (right Diane?).

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

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby Diane » Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:03 am

Yes, that's right, Farrah - thanks for reminding me. They could do an in-home estimate, Sharon.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

SharonW

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby SharonW » Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:58 am

Are Delancey Street and Moovers affiliated? I thought I read that somewhere.

Thank you.. I will give them a call.

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

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby MusicMom » Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:01 pm

Sort of, but not professionally. The owner of Moovers is a graduate of the Delancey program.

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

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby Diane » Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:13 pm

Sharon, the phone number is 323-890-2300 - ask for one of the supervisors: Aaron Koustic (KOOS-tik) or Dan Jarvis. Just like Moovers, Delancey has dozens of excellent reviews here.

7Whitney
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:56 pm

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby 7Whitney » Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:48 pm

Sharon, I am highly amused! For just myself in a 2 bedroom apartment (but use the 2nd as a study), Paramount quoted me an estimate of $5800 for 5,000 lbs. of belongings. That's the same amount the quoted you for over 9,000 lbs. of belongings! They emailed me a packing list and no one offered to come to the house. When I adressed this with them after they came and moved my boxes and quoted me $1800 more than that, I asked why no one came to the house to evaluate how much I had. They said I didn't request anyone to.
I am in the process of a move with Paramount from Irvine, Ca to Maryland, and I wish I'd found this webiste before reserving with Paramount. Their company has hired incomopetent, unhelpful people who cannot speak clear English, do not know how to add or subtract, cannot spell, and do not help their customers in any way. I have had immense amounts of stress because of them, and after what I've read on this webiste, I am praying my belongings arrive in one piece, safely and on time.

aford6
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:18 pm

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby aford6 » Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:31 pm

7Whitney - did your things ever arrive? We need to get them on the blacklist! I'm currently in the middle of a move with them.

7Whitney
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:56 pm

Re: Moving LA-NJ

Postby 7Whitney » Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:25 pm

Ouch! Sorry to hear Paramount got you too, aford6. They are heartless criminals, and when someone from movingscam described them to me that way, I thought it was overkill, but that is horrifically true. My belongings came, thanks to Joseph, the driver from the secondary moving company (N B A), who I called every day for a week, checking in on where he was. Make sure you have the driver of the truck's CELL phone number and name, and if you don't have it, demand it until it's given to you. Find out EXACTLY where he is, meaning CITY AND STATE, not just "he's on his way" (I finally got "Dallas, TX, for example). Then STOP communicating with Paramount and just deal with the driver, and be as kind, nice, and strong as you have in you. Have on hand prior to delivery the local phone numbers (where you have moved to) for the local police and if possible the FBI, and CALL those numbers if the driver of the truck sticks you with 1 cent more than you think you should pay.
Good luck, but I think I won this one against Paramount by being smarter than they were, and one step ahead of their little games the whole way. DO YOUR RESEARCH, so you know who and what you're dealing with!! Read all of these frightening series of stories on movingscam. GOOD LUCK, and thank you for thinking of me!! 8)


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