NY to Los Angeles choice of movers: Dahill / Flatrate

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jslide
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Queens, NY

NY to Los Angeles choice of movers: Dahill / Flatrate

Postby jslide » Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:45 pm

I've read through a number of recent postings on long-distance moves out of NY, and I'd love to ask about more specific thoughts about our move.

We're heading from Queens out to Los Angeles around August 22-24, with a real need to make sure our stuff arrives by the end of Labor Day weekend. It's a fairly big move, with about 9500 lbs.

We've looked into a number of companies, and keep coming back to either:

- Dahill / Mayflower (NYS DOT# T-7123, Mayflower interstate DOT # 125563, ICC MC# 87165), with move-in by Blue Chip Moving & Storage (same DOT# 125563, Cal PUCT 126284)

- or FlatRate Moving (DOT #488466, NYS DOT T-32557, ICC MC# 254356) ... from what I've seen in the posts, this is the more reliable FlatRate.

Both agents have been very responsive, but then again, our stuff isn't on the truck yet.

A few questions:
- I've seen a recent trend of Dahill/Mayflower posts about serious lags getting out of NYC. Do folks with more experience think that this is a signal of a bigger problem, or likely to be cleared up by the end of August?

- I've also seen warnings about using FlatRate for long distance moves. They've said that they would use one of their own trucks for this one -- not, for example, a subcontract through Schleppers (which I'd seen warnings about before). Is there still reason to be wary?

- One company says that they won't need a shuttle for Queens, so they're planning to bring in the big rig, and drive out to LA without the need for storage. The other plans to move from shuttle to rig to storage in LA to us. Should the multiple moves alone be a dealbreaker?

- Has anyone heard of an extra labor charge to sit with the truck to keep it from getting a ticket?

- We've been promised that it won't be a problem to have delivery on Sunday of Labor Day Weekend. Is this purely fiction? I know that smaller moves may have fewer options, but for a move of our size, is there a recourse if (when) it's late?

- We're getting wildly different insurance quotes: one offers replacement value of no less than $60,000 of coverage, the other company offers replacement value of about $20,000. Our stuff is probably not worth much more than $20,000 (for complete loss) -- but does the difference in the available coverage strike anyone as odd?

Thanks in advance for the help -- this site has been extraordinarily useful.

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

Re: NY to Los Angeles choice of movers: Dahill / Flatrate

Postby Diane » Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:36 pm

jslide wrote:The other plans to move from shuttle to rig to storage in LA to us. Should the multiple moves alone be a dealbreaker?

This sounds very odd to me. As it is, your preferred lag time between pickup about August 24 and delivery by September 3 is quite short. Why would you need storage in LA?

Have you tried Moovers and Delancey to see whether they have availability? If you really need your things to arrive by September 3, a company like those where the driver and truck that pick up your things are the same driver and truck that deliver them is the ideal. You are taking a chance on delay with a van line agent anytime during the summer season unless the move is a self-haul by the agent using its own truck and driver (which Dahill does not do). You are taking a chance on delay with Flat Rate any time of year, in my opinion.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

jslide
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Queens, NY

Re: NY to Los Angeles choice of movers: Dahill / Flatrate

Postby jslide » Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:44 pm

I think they're only recommending storage for 2 days or so, because it's slightly too much time for the cross-country truck (and we won't be able to be there before September 1). But we're also definitely looking into Moovers and Delancey as well. Thanks...

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

Re: NY to Los Angeles choice of movers: Dahill / Flatrate

Postby Diane » Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:53 pm

My opinion:- if you want a safe move with timely delivery, go with one of those two companies if you can. The cost should be comparable to Dahill's since they use the same tariff (price list).

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

Re: NY to Los Angeles choice of movers: Dahill / Flatrate

Postby Nancy » Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:46 pm

I don't know which agent quoted the need for storage, but I don't think you need it. You should be able to negotiate a delivery spread beginning on the 3rd.

Are you requesting a one day delivery of Sunday? In that case, that would be what is necessitating storage at destination. If you were to be more flexible and give them 3 to 5 days for delivery, you can save a lot of money and avoid storage at destination.

I have a shipment going from CA to NY, 8900 Lbs. It's loading on the 20th and delivering the 31st to the 5th. So again, I'm not seeing the need for storage in your case.

I'm not a fan of FlatRate in general or for interstate moves. Did you get quotes from any other major van lines, besides Mayflower?

jslide
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Queens, NY

Re: NY to Los Angeles choice of movers: Dahill / Flatrate

Postby jslide » Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:27 am

I just wanted to post an update on my NY to LA move, which we've now finished.

We actually ended up going with FlatRate, in part because it was most important to us to try to peg a date-certain delivery date (and they seemed most willing to do so), in part because I understand they don't subcontract for NY-LA moves and it was important for us to have one point of accountability, and in part because they had the best estimate.

Overall, the actual move was ideal, and I'd enthusiastically recommend FlatRate to friends, acquaintances, others, etc.

It's unfortunate that the most unnerving aspect of the experience was the interaction with our salesman, who was our primary point of contact before the move. He was courteous, and delivered a timely estimate, but then the communications process completely broke down. I'll acknowledge that we were moving around the busiest time of the year, but I don't think we were unduly demanding in asking to clarify a few details given the ample size of our cross-country move.

For example, FlatRate has a very bare-bones estimate sheet, and though we repeatedly asked for a copy of a full contract to take a look at the terms and conditions, we never received one until moving day, after everything was packed away. FlatRate also guarantees their rate only for the inventory listed on the estimate sheet ... but when we repeatedly tried to clarify misstatements on the inventory, we had little success. Finally, given that the date-certain delivery date was most important to us, we had a few conversations with the sales team (the dispatch team was always spot-on) that gave us heartburn. Right up until the day our stuff arrived, the interaction with our salesman made me deeply skeptical that everything would go smoothly.

In contrast, the actual move was delightful. The crews were extremely careful, extremely courteous, extremely punctual, extremely well prepared, and consummately professional. Everything was meticulously accounted for, packed with care, and arrived in fine condition, including some truly difficult pieces. Move-in and move-out were both as smooth as can be.

I'd wholeheartedly recommend FlatRate based on our moving experience, but given the excellent service, it seems odd that we were given so much cause for worry before Moving Day. The salesmen need a little more time to spend on customer service ... and then the experience would have been impeccable.

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

Re: NY to Los Angeles choice of movers: Dahill / Flatrate

Postby MusicMom » Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:59 am

Thanks for this review, it verifies what others have said that you get good results with Flat Rate, if you don't mind not getting direct and informative customer service.

If you don't mind me asking, can you remind me what you paid for the move, how far you went, and how much (volume of) stuff you moved? It'll help us compare prices with a full-service mover that bills by weight. That's the one thing I've never quite tied down with Flat Rate.

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

Re: **NY to Los Angeles choice of movers: Dahill / Flatrate

Postby Diane » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:41 am

Yes, what did Flat Rate cost as opposed to Dahill's quote?

Thanks so much for this review, which I've added to the Superlist.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

jslide
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Queens, NY

Re: NY to Los Angeles choice of movers: Dahill / Flatrate

Postby jslide » Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:28 am

The estimate was for about 1250 cubic feet, and by the moving crew's calculations, we ended up taking about 1100 cubic feet -- across the country, from Queens, NY to Los Angeles, CA.

FlatRate's quote was $8,500. If I remember correctly, the quotes from Dahill (and a few others) were also around $8,500 as a baseline, but ended up closer to $9,500 or $10,000 by the time you factored in the various extras -- insurance, stairs, shuttle vans for delivery, extra crew, etc. Also, though the FlatRate contract talks about a delivery range, because it was important to us to peg a particular date, we were able to schedule the precise move-in date with the dispatchers, and everything came in exactly on time.

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

Re: NY to Los Angeles choice of movers: Dahill / Flatrate

Postby farrah7031 » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:25 pm

So that's about 8700 pounds.


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