*4 estimates in same range. How to choose?

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Beth from FL to SC
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:19 pm

*4 estimates in same range. How to choose?

Postby Beth from FL to SC » Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:44 pm

I have 2 estimates from SC companies and 2 estimates from FL companies. All within a few hundred dollars of each other. Because I incurred damage with a national line on my move to FL a few years ago that involved storage in transit, I have specified that I want load and go service to minimize the human contact with my goods. Because of the housing industry malaise two companies (in each in FL and SC) have agreed to my requirements, i.e., that the same crew and truck would be on the job at both ends of the trip and they are prepared to work around my timetable. One SC company said they'd send a truck from Columbia to FL and complete the move in 3 days. They have no track record on this web site, however. The other FL mover that will work my way is Superior Moving out of Pompano. I've reach msgs here about them but no one blacklisted them.

Of note is the fact that my goods are now in storage since I sold the house before I had a job to relocate for. Superior's estimate is the only one from a company who has seen my goods. They did an inventory to quote the short haul from my house to local storage. They were competitive for the short haul but I gave the job to someone else. I have shared this inventory with the others and have received flat rate quotes from all that are within a few hundred dolllars of each other.

I have looked at the FMCSA data, BBB data and called FL DCA for complaint status on the FL folks. I haven't yet called references, but I will. My main question at this point is whether the fact that the SC movers will not see my goods in storage as part of their estimate should be a red flag for me. Based on this board I did contact Smith Dray Line (United) and to their credit they said they'd want the local United agent to go to the storage and do a visual estimate. They would not actually do the move, however, my contract would be with them. To go to my storage location would require a 6-hour drive, and I don't know whether it is really necessary. What do you think?

The estimates I have now are: A-1 Transfer & Storage (Atlas), Columbia, SC; Nilson Van & Storage (Mayflower), Columbia, SC; Superior Moving & Storage (Independent), Pompano, FL and Regions Van Lines (Independent), Miami, FL. I will eliminate Regions b/c they quoted on cf.

Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks , Beth

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

Re: 4 estimates in same range. How to choose?

Postby farrah7031 » Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:38 pm

It is necessary for a moving company to see all goods they will be moving and in order to get an appropriate estimate, they must see what's in storage.

ArchieWhite
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Re: 4 estimates in same range. How to choose?

Postby ArchieWhite » Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Can't you mail the key to the storage room to somebody? It's a delimma, they can't honestly give you a binding quote if they are not allowed to see the stuff, it's not fair. I guess if they are that hard up for work, they may take a chance, but I've seen many bad things happen when the mover cannot see what they are expected to quote a price on. Is the stuff in a mini storage, or at a mover storage? If its at a mover storage, they may already have a weight, or at least can tell you or another mover how many vaults it occupies. Why don't you let the mover who is holding it quote? Not to muddy the water, but if you have two different movers involved ( the storage mover, and the delivery move being different) you have 2 different sets of liability, they are both going to point at each other if things are lost and damaged.

smatwilly
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Re: 4 estimates in same range. How to choose?

Postby smatwilly » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:01 am

Are your goods in a self storage facility? Make sure that all of the quotes have an additional cost to pick up from self storage-all major van lines have this accessorial charge---I agree with Archie--IF you have them stored with one van lines but choose to move with another regardless of how well they take exceptions (if they were inventoried prior to delivery to stg) you will most likely end up playing the finger pointing name. Some van lines will actually go so far as releasing themselves from any liability on shipments coming out of a self storage unit---watch for that--
I also agree that everyone quoting should SEE the items in storage. It isnt easy for us (in sales) to do a good visual estimate since most storage items are stacked & hard to see but based on what we see & what size the unit is we should get a pretty good idea---

Are all your movers based on the same tariff? What are their discounts?

Beth from FL to SC
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:19 pm

Re: 4 estimates in same range. How to choose?

Postby Beth from FL to SC » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:49 am

Thanks for the replies. I know my move is complicated by my circumstances. I guess if I had it to do all over again I would have hired Superior to do the short haul to Public Storage and the long haul to SC. But that opportunity is lost. I did my own packing and I am confident that my contents will arrive intact. It's really my furniture that I'm concerned about. I had damage last time due to need to shuttle out of storage to large tractor/trailer that could not fit in my storage location. I don't have that problem this time. Based on replies, my main issues are binding estimate and professional handling. I've checked the references of the two companies I'm now considering and it's a toss up. Thanks for your input. Regards, Beth

Michael
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: 4 estimates in same range. How to choose?

Postby Michael » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:50 am

smat,

Not all movers (majors) use the same tariff. Some use the 400N, some use a TPG, some use a 412. And come 2008, all will use what they want. Atlas and Mayflower I know use the 400N.
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

smatwilly
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:23 am
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Michael

Postby smatwilly » Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:21 pm

You are right! I should rephrase that & say all the major van lines that I deal with use 400 N -- :)

Diane
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: 4 estimates in same range. How to choose?

Postby Diane » Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:10 am

Beth,

Superior Moving in Pompano Beach, FL has 44 BBB complaints over the past 36 months, far too many, and only a "C+" BBB rating - http://www.bbbsoutheastflorida.org/BBBW ... ID=4003963 I strongly advise you not to use them for your interstate move. The company also has some bad comments here on MovingScam.com - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3237 Just the fact that they aren't on our Blacklist here doesn't mean that they are reputable. They were blacklisted on www.movingadvocateteam.com.

Can't you find a reputable company in FL to give you an estimate? What about Suddath? I have a feeling that they might be cheaper than the estimates you already have, because they could get backhaul from SC.

There are really two issues, as I see it: whether the movers have to see the goods to do the estimate and whether you have to be there when they actually load the goods. I gather that the Atlas and Mayflower agents in Columbia, SC (A-1 and Nilson, respectively) are working off your prior inventory list and have given you a flat rate (Binding) quote. I think that is OK and you can trust them to do a good job. Which one is better, I have no idea, but just off the top of my head I would say that Nilson is impressive given that they have supposedly been in business since 1938 and have only 1 BBB complaint over the past 36 months. I couldn't find A-1's BBB report. If you drive to the two facilities you will probably be able to tell immediately which company you want to entrust your goods to.

As for the actual loading, I don't know whether you are planning to go to FL, but you could explore the idea of having someone at Public Storage or a friend of yours in FL let the movers into the unit. If you use Broadway Express I think they might be able to pick up the goods without your being there, and I don't think they would have to see the goods in advance.

ArchieWhite
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: 4 estimates in same range. How to choose?

Postby ArchieWhite » Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:11 pm

Nilson is a good company, I knew the owners grand daddy.

Beth from FL to SC
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:19 pm

Re: 4 estimates in same range. How to choose?

Postby Beth from FL to SC » Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:35 am

Thanks all for responding. In the end, I eliminated Superior. I called their references who reported satisfaction, but I was put off by the C+ BBB rating and a similar complaint history at FL DCA. Even tho' they have little published history, I selected A-1 because, if I have a problem with damage, I want to be able to go to their office to negotiate a claim. A-1's references checked out and I got a very competitive binding quote even tho' they won't see the stuff beforehand. Originally, they were going to dispatch from SC a 27' truck and labor just for my move, and I was a little concerned that wouldn't be big enough. Now, however, they told me they are sending a tractor trailer b/c they've been able to put together add'l small loads. So there is no issue with our volume of goods. They are loading on Oct 12 and will deliver on Oct 15. My experience with their contract administrator, Aggie Stroman, is excellent. She answered all my questions and satisfied all of my "what if" scenarios. Very professional and respectful of my concerns. I will post after the move to add to board members' database of consumer experience with this mover. Thank you for your assistance. Regards, Beth


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