Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Our open community forum is for general moving related questions, comments, and useful information about local and interstate moves.
nay

Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby nay » Tue Mar 30, 2004 10:55 pm

I'm so glad to have stumbled upon this site, but I must admit to feeling very overwhelmed. I need to move the equivalent of a small one bedroom apartment--but it's a little tricky. I also need to store my stuff in Sn Francisco for 4 months because I won't be moving into an apartment there until October 1.

At first I searched on Google and then double-checked movers with the BBB, but the BBB seems to give "satisfactory" ratings to almost everyone. Then a friend had me try a website called 123movers, and a number of different movers have been fighting amongst themselves for my business. One in particular, Leeways, offered to move and store all of my stuff for $1700, and guaranteed that quote so long as my stuff did not exceed the itemized list. The $1700 also included moving my stuff to a storage facility and then out of storage and into my new apartment. I would have gone with them if not for this site--they want 70% of the payment up front, and they will not come to my apartment to give me an estimate. Also, they have only been in business for 3 months. Yikes! I guess if it sounds too good to be true, I should trust my misgivings.

So, now I'm looking at United Van Lines and North American Van Lines... Do you have any other suggestions? I checked eopinion and didn't find anything about Myer's moving. Should I still go with a local mover when I need to store so far away from Boston? Does anyone know anything about particular drivers in Boston/San Francisco that I could request?

Unfortunately, even though I'm moving for work, I have to cover all of my moving expenses. I also need to ship my car to Los Angeles (it's a long story). I'm torn between freaking out about spending so much money and the prospect of winding up completely high and dry.

Thank you so much for all the useful advice you've already given me!

User avatar
twalker
Site Admin
Posts: 3493
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 11:46 am

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby twalker » Tue Mar 30, 2004 11:07 pm

Hi Nay,

I'm glad that you stumbled onto this site as well. You have definitely made changes in the right direction. I still recommend using moving companies that are local to where you currently are. The reason is that you can go visit them and check out their business, their staff, their trucks, and their warehouse to make sure that they are a professional operation. Also as you pointed out, never ever use a company that won't come to your home to do an in-home estimate.

If you can tell us which specific companies you're looking at we may be able to give you more detailed research assistance. I think you're going in the right direction.

Tim Walker
MovingScam.com

IMovePeople
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:18 am

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby IMovePeople » Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:42 am

And since you are moving for work - even though you are paying for it yourself - keep all your receipts for your 2004 tax return! I am not a lawyer nor a tax professional - but certain costs associated with moving are deductible. Check with your tax advisor . . . blah blah blah.
Movers are People, Too!

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

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby Tyrone » Wed Mar 31, 2004 1:49 pm

Be sure to AVOID movers based in the Allston/Brighton/Watertown community... that is the hotbed of scam movers in Massachusetts. We are STILL looking for a single, legitimate interstate moving company with its HQ in that community. So far, not a single one has been identified -- for the most part it is all gypsy fly-by-nights and hard core scammers.
Dominus amotioni capitis e clunibus sum.

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4659
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby BigLeeCalif » Wed Mar 31, 2004 2:43 pm

Tyrone said...

Be sure to AVOID movers based in the Allston/Brighton/Watertown community... that is the hotbed of scam movers in Massachusetts


Tyrone, most of us are aware of what you're saying here, but can you clarify it for the one that pm'd me asking if you meant to avoid ALL movers in that area.... I think the word "based" might not have registered.

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

nay

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby nay » Wed Mar 31, 2004 4:28 pm

Thank you so much for your suggestions. I have noticed that the movers in Boston proper can be pretty sleazy--they tend to prey on desperate students. I called my real-estate agent/landlord, and she recommended Gentle Giant movers. They are also highly rated by Boston's Best magazine, etc. Unfortunately, when I called them, they told me that their operation was too small to allow them to do in home estimates. So they're off my list. (You guys have taught me so well!) I now have in home estimate appointments with Isaac's Relocation, United, and Eagle Van Lines. North American told me that they would have to have a subsidiary called Rainbow movers do the move and the in-home estimate. I'm still waiting to set up an appointment with them.

Any advice you may have would be great, thanks!

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

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby Nancy » Wed Mar 31, 2004 4:38 pm

You definitely are making good progress. The major van lines have "agents" all over the country. They are not subsidiaries or branch offices, but locally-owned agents. This is the standard for the whole industry. Rainbow is a long time agent for North American. Did you call North American corporate and get referred to them? If the message doesn't get to them right away, you can always call them direct to schedule an estimate.

I am wondering if Isaac's Relocation and Eagle are agents for van lines?

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4659
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby BigLeeCalif » Wed Mar 31, 2004 4:38 pm

nay

If you want to pm me with your destination address in san fran, I can tell you if you require parking permits/shuttle...

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

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

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby Tyrone » Wed Mar 31, 2004 7:00 pm

Lee,

#1) Thanks for the info. People that are new to this board often are unaware that is not necessary to confirm anything I say by checking with any of the moverguys on this site. This is first and foremost a site by and for consumers.

Consumers have no personal vested interest in any moving company; we are not going to steer you wrong, and the "consumerguys" family on this board is quick to correct itself if we see errors posted by other consumerguys. I have oibserved that the moverguys tend to be slow and reluctant at best to correct misstatements made by their own... although it is getting better!

I don't mean to make it sound like good guys vs. bad guys, because that is NOT the case. The moverguys ARE very helpful and beneficial when it comes to interpreting typical mover doublespeak, and giving us a peek "under the hood" at the mysteries of the national moving industry. My point is that people new to this site should be aware that there IS a difference and when it comes to looking at things from a consumer standpoint, statements by consumerguys "trump" statements from moverguys.

#2) To clarify the question about Massachusetts based moving companies, when I say avoid movers that are BASED in Allston/Brighton/Watertown, I am talking about movers whose HQ is located in that community. Primarily, these consist of fly-by-night gypsy operations and hardcore foreign-owned scammers. (When I say "foreign owned" you will DEFINITELY recognize the specific accent when the movers show up. The sales people tend NOT to speak with that accent.)

I am NOT saying that established, nationwide moving companies should be avoided if they happen to have a branch agent office in Allston/Brighton/Watertown. However, I would be EXTREMELY diligent before hiring even a major van line agent from that community. 'Nuff said and there's no need to ask a moverguy if it is correct or not. :roll:
Dominus amotioni capitis e clunibus sum.

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

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby MusicMom » Wed Mar 31, 2004 8:21 pm

I'm a little confused. I just looked into Gentle Giant (in Somerville, MA) for Ellen (http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1163), and their SAFERweb report shows them as having 10 drivers and 7 trucks. This is too small a business to do an in-home? What exactly does that take?

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

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby Josh » Wed Mar 31, 2004 9:17 pm

Mom,

The only reasons I can think of as to why they will not do an in-home estimate is:

1. Their office is too far from origin
2. They have no outside sales force
3. They operate only via phone and internet

None of these are good signs! If you want, can you call them and find out why they don't do them? If you remind me tomorrow, I can make the call myself if you don't feel comfortable.

Josh

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

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby MusicMom » Wed Mar 31, 2004 10:16 pm

Josh, I think you'd better call. You know what to ask, and I'm pretty swamped tomorrow. Thanks!

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

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby Diane » Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:02 pm

nay wrote:I now have in home estimate appointments with Isaac's Relocation, United, and Eagle Van Lines.

"Nay" and others coming here for advice about a particular company, always be sure to use the search function on this website instead of just relying on the blacklist. Auntie Diane can't be here with you 24 hours a day. :wink:

Isaac’s Relocation Service located in Newton, MA (MC #272369) has a couple of license revocations and one license was reinstated only last month; its legal name is Safe Movers, Inc. If you search on the name, you'll see my long post showing that there are a whole bunch of Isaacs, none particularly savory. An Eagle Van Lines in New Jersey has a bad report on this website and its name is uncomfortably close to American Eagle Van Lines (MC #393386), which is on the blacklist and tried to scam me. And as for United . . . no, just kidding!

If you can get the MC number for the Eagle Van Lines you're talking about, we can research it for you. Meanwhile, for heaven's sake don't sign up with either Isaac's or Eagle!

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

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby Josh » Thu Apr 01, 2004 8:47 am

Nay and Mom,

I did indeed call Gentle Giant this morning and spoke with a lady named Janice. Although she seemed to stumble on my questions, she quickly put me on hold a couple of times to seek the answers.

Here are my feelings and her answers to my questions:

Here is my dialogue with her:
I have a friend in Boston who will be moving to San Francisco, can you guys do an in home estimate for her?
Hold on, let me check.... Yes, we can do an in home estimate for her.
She told me that when she called in someone told her you are too small to do an in home estimate.
Hold on.... We can do it for her, just have her call back and ask for Killian, he is our interstate move coordinator.
Do you perform the moves yourself or do you broker them?
I would say a little of both. But, Killian can give all of the details.

So, in my opinion, if you selct this company, you have a great risk that some other company will show up on moving day to perform your move. I admit, Janice might be new and not familiar with interstate moves and she did refer to a "interstate move coordinator" but it didn't sound too assuring! If it were me, I would eliminate this company and keep looking!

Josh
"A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad."
-Theodore Roosevelt

Ken
Posts: 71
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 11:46 am
Location: Wakefield, MA
Contact:

Re: Moving from Boston to San Francisco...soon

Postby Ken » Thu Apr 01, 2004 11:07 am

Time for the Boston Moverguy to chime in -

Gentle Giant is a legit company... they have been around for quite some time and are very good at what they do. HOWEVER, Gentle Giant is primarily a local mover (they're probable one of the better local movers in the area) and they tend not to do many interstate moves. Within the past 6-8 months, they have become an agent for Wheaton, but we do still get phone calls from consumers telling us that Gentle Giant referred them to us because they could not handle their interstate move. My guess would be that their interstate "department" is limited at this point.


Return to “Open Community”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSN [Bot] and 13 guests