*NYC to Austin moving-estimate experiences

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kirker

*NYC to Austin moving-estimate experiences

Postby kirker » Tue Oct 17, 2006 1:25 pm

Hi - since MovingScam.com was VERY helpful in helping me select a good mover (and avoiding a shady one!), I figured I would report back with my experiences obtaining estimates from three of them. (Just FYI, I'm moving from a 650 sq ft open loft, basically the equilvalent of a 1BR apt.)

The first one I received was from Liffey, a United Van Lines affiliate. Apparently much like other MovingScam posters, I received an extremely high TPG estimate of $4150, including a $1000 shuttle charge. I was quite unimpressed with their estimator, who spent all of 10 minutes compiling a not-at-all-detailed estimate with no specifics on number of boxes and everything (though I suppose that info is less necessary with TPG).

Estimate #2 was from Dahill, a Mayflower affiliate. Right off the bat I was extremely impressed with them. Their estimator, Chris, came in with a customized barcode scanner and mini-printer and proceeded to create an extremely detailed estimate of my apartment's contents. He explained the moving process at length and went through everything practically with a fine-toothed comb - including giving me a printout directing me to their reviews on MovingScam! In the end he estimated my weight at 4000 lbs and gave me a GNTE estimate of $3400, including both the shuttle cost and 30 free boxes (which he said, without me even asking, that he'd also deliver for free!), as well as packing a large art piece and disassembling my large office desk. I liked the fact that they offered complete flexibility in terms of moving date and that I could schedule pretty much any day I wanted with only a week's notice, with a 6-10 day delivery window in Texas. Better still, Chris called back the next day and said he'd reconsidered his original weight estimation and gave me a GNTE estimate of $3100.

My only problem with Chris was his comment regarding shuttles. Even though I live on a street where no parking is permitted and both sides are a loading zone 24 hrs a day (St Marks Pl in the E. Village b/t 2nd and 3rd Aves, which has a large number of restaurants and bars where food/drink is constantly delivered), thus making it easy for even a large truck to park out front, Chris said shuttles are "required" because post 9/11 the NYPD is ticketing all full-size trucks that enter Manhattan. Not only did this not jibe with my previous experience -- I moved up to NYC from Austin in late 2003, well after 9/11, and had no problem with the moving guys parking an 18-wheeler out front -- the next moving company told me a shuttle wouldn't be necessary.

Which brings me to Estimate #3, from Flatbush Moving Co., a Wheaton affiliate. Their co-owner Dominic came to do the estimate himself. Much like Chris at Dahill he was very customer-focused (albeit a little brusque, but c'mon: the guy's from Bensonhurst!) and spent a considerable amount of time adding up the various things in my apartment, and then going over his estimate in detail. Unlike Chris, however, he computed all of it via hand instead of a snazzy bar code scanner; he couldn't guarantee a specific moving date and could only promise pick-up within a "three-day window" of when I needed to leave; and it could take as long as ten days for the movers to actually deliver my stuff AFTER it arrives in Texas. He also didn't make any offers in terms of boxes and, in fact, implied it'd be a pain in the a** for them to deliver any since they're located way out in Flatbush; he suggested I pick up a few dozen at my local liquor store instead. He did, however, specifically state that a shuttle wouldn't be necessary given the availability of parking on my block, which refutes what Chris told me about rigs not being allowed into the city. Given the lack of shuttle, Dominic's estimate was by far the lowest, at around $2300.

However, I ended up going with Dahill. Unfortunately Dominic's estimate was non-binding, and (apparently like other posters' experiences) his weight estimation seemed extremely low at 2700 pounds. I did the math and figured out Dahill would cost only slightly more than Flatbush if my weight really did end up being 2700 pounds, so given Dahill's GNTE estimate (and the comments on here that quite a few people ended up paying extensive surcharges once Dominic's weight estimates proved to be way off) as well as their superior insurance (full coverage w/$250 deductible vs. 60 cents per pound) and significantly better flexibility in terms of moving dates, I went with them instead.

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

Re: NYC to Austin moving-estimate experiences

Postby Diane » Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:54 pm

Thanks so much for this EXTREMELY detailed report. It's interesting the way patterns start to emerge when users of this website take the time to post. Your comments jibe with things that many others have posted and that I myself observed when I was in NYC.

You might be interested to know that despite the deficiencies that many have felt with Liffey, its overall quality score with the van line was 4.59 out of 5 as of 9/06, which is the highest I have ever seen for an Allied agent, and I'm sure that Liffey did a lot of moves. There must be some explanation of the discrepancy between this score and the customers' perceptions that have been posted here.

I gather that you haven't moved as yet so you don't know whether Dahill will actually use a shuttle and how it will work out. The reason they don't want to bring the semis into Manhattan is that the long-haul drivers for the van lines don't want the hassle. They could be harassed and/or ticketed, and they have to pay for the tickets. Sometimes the drivers are willing to come in very early in the morning, say around 7 am.

Glad to Help

Re: *NYC to Austin moving-estimate experiences

Postby Glad to Help » Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:03 pm

It really does not make a difference if you use Dahill or Liffey because neither company will likely haul your belongings to Tx. In both cases you will be hauled(moved), more than likely, by a Mayflower or Allied agent of unknown quality.

Is Dahill going to self haul your shipment?

^ This is what you need to find out!

If Dahill is just shuttling your shipment to the warehouse(more than likely) and holding it there to be picked up by another agent (of unknown quality) there is no advantage to using them.

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

Re: *NYC to Austin moving-estimate experiences

Postby Diane » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:41 am

I agree with Glad, EXCEPT that I think a Mayflower/United driver is likely to be better than an Allied driver. Also, the customer just feels more comfortable with Chris Blank than with the Liffey sales rep, and Chris' attention to detail bodes better for the move than the other guy's unconcern, in my opinion. And the $1000 shuttle charge with Liffey seems high to me.

Anyway, hopefully Dahill may be planning to self-haul the load.


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