*Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC?

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fatkidd33
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*Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC?

Postby fatkidd33 » Wed May 23, 2007 1:56 am

With my upcoming move from Denver to Raleigh, NC, I have received several inhouse estimates from various well-known companies, such as North American, Allied, Wheaton, and Mayflower. Mayflower's agent, All American Moving Services of Aurora, CO, gave a guaranteed not to exceed estimate that came in $2500 cheaper than the others, which raised a red flag for me. The quote seems to include the same services I requested from the other companies, though it does underestimate my weight by at least 800 lbs when compared to the other companies. All American checks out on BBB and the FMCSA, but I was wondering if anyone had any experience with these guys or if there is a good reason why a major name carrier would be so significantly cheaper.

Ideas?

Thanks!!

MusicMom
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Re: Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC?

Postby MusicMom » Wed May 23, 2007 7:12 am

Here's the worst that could happen: If the driver from All American shows up to do the move, and thinks that there is indeed a huge discrepancy in the size fo your load, he could protest your shipment, which will require time lost while the movers re-do your estimate, and it could end up back where they others say it is.

I'd like to hear what the other volunteers have to say, namely the pros, but you could ask if All American changes their estimate to reflect that others' estimated weight just to be safe (since you'll most likely be under their weights and pay less than the estimate). Or, you could take All American and hope that the driver doesn't protest, because then you have a much lower capped price than the others.

Big Dog
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Re: Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC?

Postby Big Dog » Wed May 23, 2007 7:19 am

First off, check the cube sheet to make sure Mayflower has listed all the items the other carriers have listed on their cube sheet. If that checks out, I'd go with the lower $$. Even if the driver protests the weight, that protest is between the estimating agent & the driver. The driver has to "prove" you are shipping more items than estimated, and the driver has to have you sign a Change Order BEFORE loading indicating that you agree to a new price. If in fact you are shipping items that aren't on the Mayflower cube sheet, you'll either have to pay for a new price or leave tham behind. That's why the cube sheet is such an important document. You know, compare "apples to apples". 8)

farrah7031
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Re: Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC?

Postby farrah7031 » Wed May 23, 2007 7:55 am

Why does an 800 pound difference cost $2500? That doesn't seem right...

ArchieWhite
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Re: Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC?

Postby ArchieWhite » Wed May 23, 2007 8:23 am

Mom, you may be slightly misinformed....if the driver protests the weight, the origin agent can try to get an addendum for anything that might have been added ( if anybody can prove things were added) but the protest is against the booking agent, not the shipper, so if the shipper has no interest in paying more ( duh) then if the driver is successful in his protest, the booking agent pays the driver out of their booking commission, not the shipper paying more.....This is the Unigroup version, can't speak for the others.

MusicMom
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Re: Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC?

Postby MusicMom » Wed May 23, 2007 8:29 am

That's why I wanted the pro's opinion! Thanks, guys.

ArchieWhite
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Re: Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC?

Postby ArchieWhite » Wed May 23, 2007 8:37 am

However, after that internal dollar explanation, it might still be good to pass on a price that low, as it might just cause problems down the road. If the shipper gets a price too good, that means the service person ( driver) has a price that is too bad, and he may lose money, and do a lot of work for free, and thats not right. The sales person sets the price ( makes the deal) and the driver has to provide the service, at a profit or a loss. If he has too many with losses, he will give it up and turn into a dock bumper in some other line of trucking, and the HHG industry cannot afford that. So all shippers should begin paying a little more, and encouraging young men with energy and passion to enter the field of household goods moving driver. The good ones can net over 100K, but they have to work nights and weekends. The bad ones continue to haul underquoted jobs and lose money, and the real bad ones work for scammers.

PMueller
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Re: Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC?

Postby PMueller » Wed May 23, 2007 9:46 pm

An 800 lb difference in weight is not going to cost $2500.00. There has to be some charges overlooked or not done properly. I strongly recommend that you compare line item by line item:

Transportation
Packing
Origin Service Charges
Destination Service Charges
Third Party needs
Accessorials
Valuation

I've reviewed estimates with customers in the past that had an extremely low estimate from a major competitor and found the sales rep had input the wrong destination zip code, thus not estimating the accurate mileage and all related charges.

All the information you need to compare should be located on your estimate.

You should contact the office or rep and ask them to confirm all the information in your quote. I do not think it is correct for you to have to check behind a professional, and I'm not telling you to alert him to the huge difference. I'm a firm believer in always trying to do the "right" thing.

Is there any storage involved in your shipment either at origin or destination?
"Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong."

BigLeeCalif
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Re: Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC?

Postby BigLeeCalif » Wed May 23, 2007 11:00 pm

Since All American has a large hauling fleet, you might ask if they plan to do the hauling.

You might also check the cubic wgt factor amongst estimates. If an estimator sees a lot of boxes packed, and doesn't know the contents, he might increase the cubic factor to compensate for a possible increase in the weight of the estimate.

Summer is very competitive among sales people, but I'm sure Archie will agree that estimators consistently over 10% off on their estimated vs actual weights don't last very long.

The other factor may be that one sales person may have waived the peak summer charge, and another may not have. Those are things that would affect cost, as well as discount percentages.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

PMueller
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Re: Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC?

Postby PMueller » Thu May 24, 2007 6:11 am

BigLeeCalif wrote:Since All American has a large hauling fleet, you might ask if they plan to do the hauling.

Even if they are self hauling a shipment the discount level would not be that different causing such a huge difference in cost.

BigLeeCalif wrote:Summer is very competitive among sales people, but I'm sure Archie will agree that estimators consistently over 10% off on their estimated vs actual weights don't last very long.

Exactly right. Since it is so competitive it is hard to believe that another agent of a major carrier could have a $2500 edge.

BigLeeCalif wrote:The other factor may be that one sales person may have waived the peak summer charge, and another may not have. Those are things that would affect cost, as well as discount percentages.

Again, waiving peak season is not going to net $2500.00 either.
"Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong."

fatkidd33
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Re: Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC?

Postby fatkidd33 » Thu May 24, 2007 10:15 am

Thanks for all the input. After line-by-line analysis, the estimates fall within $1500, with the edge going to Mayflower/All American based on the fact that they applied their discount to the full-packing charge, in addition to the cost of the haul. The other companies did not do this, and this dropped the Mayflower estimate by over $1000. If you ignore this discount the companies were fairly similar, with a slight edge going to Mayflower. The 800 lb discrepancy that I mentioned was the only difference I could find when I had fewer estimates. The company that overestimated by 800 lbs turns out to be all alone, as the others came in +/- 200-300 lbs of Mayflower. Mayflower/All American claims they do so much volume that they have more flexibility and can offer the discount to the full-packing charge, whereas many other companies cannot. Is that reasonable?

Thanks.

PMueller
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Re: Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC?

Postby PMueller » Thu May 24, 2007 3:54 pm

Its not unheard of to not allow a discount on the packing, but as you can see it puts those offices at a disadvantage. I can not imagine that offices are so busy in Denver that they are not offering a packing discount.

Our office allows the same discount on packing, so you should be fine. I did receive your message and will be inputting your info to make sure everything is correct.

I'm glad you identified the difference, it's make all the difference in the world when you try to compare apples to apples in the line items to reach the bottom line number and can find the differences!
"Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong."

Diane
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Re: *Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC

Postby Diane » Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:12 am

fatkidd,

Please keep us updated. I would be interested to know whether the other companies simply forgot to apply the discount to the packing services.
Diane
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Michael
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Re: *Lower estimate from known carrier--red flags in move from Denver to NC

Postby Michael » Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:01 pm

Personally I have never, ever, not seen a discount on packing. I have never heard of a sompany telling their sales reps, go sell sell sell but we are going to tie your hands and you cant discount packing.

800 pounds, $1500 dollar difference, something is missing.

I would want to know the discounts of everyone, weights of everyone and the valuation that is included or "not included" in the quote.

Another difference could be an itemized packing estimate vs. a full pack estimate.
Michael
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