How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

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3Labs2ResQ
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Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby 3Labs2ResQ » Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:14 pm

Hi all.

I'm new to the board. I just found your site over the weekend and have found a ton of useful information. This is a great board. Thanks for having it available!

Like most people, my family doesn't move often. We moved once from Cleveland to Orlando 6 years ago, and that about sums up our experience with movers.

Now we will be relocating from Orlando, Florida to Edmond (near Oklahoma City) in June 2007. We have contacted several movers and it seems things have really changed a lot in the moving business over the past 6 years.

Moving to Orlando, we were able to book our move 5 months in advance. All of the moving companies we have spoke with so far won't book until 30 days prior to the move. Is this common practice now? We are worried that we won't be able to get a mover on such short notice.

Also, everyone we have talked to claims they "guarentee their price". On our move to Orlando we used Allied, which had an actual guarenteed price. What was on the bill prior to the move was all that we paid. Since we had a bad experience with them, we don't want to use Allied again. However, I like the idea of guarenteed pricing. 6 years ago, almost nobody had guarenteed pricing. Is this becoming more common or are the other movers probably not telling the whole truth?

My final question is this: All of the companies we have spoken to want to give quotes over the phone. How could they possibly know how much to charge? We can't seem to get anyone to come out to our house to give us an actual quote. Does anyone know why that is? Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Thanks for any information you can give me. Since we don't do this every day, we are really confused and we are just trying to get this move started. Thanks!

Kellie

MusicMom
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Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby MusicMom » Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:21 pm

I'm not sure you're talking to the right people, if they're offering Binding Prices from over-the-phone estimates.

MusicMom
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Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby MusicMom » Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:25 pm

Sorry, hit "Submit" too soon.

If you are talking to Orlando moving companies, there should be no troubles in them coming to your hosue to view everything. This is the ONLY way to get an accurate estimate. I'm wondering if you've found some brokers and movers int he Miami/ Ft. Lauderdale area, which is a hotbed of scammer activity. PUSH them for on-site estiamts, if thy still refuse, thank them and move on. If you look carefully at some of these movers' websites, you'll see in their Terms and Conditions that Binding Prices are only valid if an on-site survery was done, so they are setting themselves up with a loophole for changing the price later.

Most estimates re only good for 30-60 days, but I'm not sure that would restrict you from BOOKING the mover so far in advance. You just may have to check with them at a later date for a more accurate estimate to add to your file, but they can still be saving the date for you.

Check out the Superlist, the Moving Companies by State listing, which is a Sticky in this forum.

And, dare I ask, who were the companies you have talked to so far? I'm cringing...

farrah7031
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Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby farrah7031 » Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:35 pm

MM, I'm wondering if maybe they just wont come out to give her an onsite estimate now BECAUSE it's so far our and they only guarantee their estimates for what, 60 days?

MusicMom
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Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby MusicMom » Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:39 pm

That's what I first thought, but she said they're "guaranteeing their prices" as of this phone call.

I guess more information is needed by all. But I hope you're right, Farrah.

3Labs2ResQ
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Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby 3Labs2ResQ » Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:43 pm

Wow! Thanks for the quick replies! I should clarify something, though, as I probably worded it wrong and caused some confusion. We have spoken to several movers (United, National Van Lines, and Budget Movers, and Guaranteed Price Moving) so far.

The person we talked to from United said that they work for United and Mayflower, but that they were not a broker. She said United and Mayflower are owned by the same people and that we could end up with either United or Mayflower written on our truck. That didn't sound right. She wanted to go over a list of belongings (how many dressers, how many chairs, etc.) but once we heard that she worked for 2 companies, we immediately thought "broker" and said no thanks. She did say that they offer guarenteed pricing, but we never went over the list to get an actual cost from her.

Next we talked to National Van Lines. They gave us a phone quote of $15,000 for packing and hauling, loading and unloading. Our house is 4000 square feet, so that was right in the ballpark of what we were thinking of paying. They said they would send someone out to give an onsite estimate, but not until our move was 30 days away. It worries me that if we wait that long, we won't be able to find a mover at all. They might be all booked up.

Budget Movers has only given us an online quote so far. I wanted to check out their background before I actually got them on the phone.

Guaranteed Price Moving is all done online apparently. We don't like that idea. We want to meet with someone and have them look at our stuff in person to give us a quote.

Globus vanlines said they could offer a binding contract after I filled out the online form. Apparently they don't send anyone out to the house either.

Several other companies have contacted us via email with quotes without us ever having even filled out the form of items to be shipped. Those are scammers, I know, so they just got deleted.

It's so frustrating trying to judge who's a scammer and who's legit. I may end up just calling Allied again. Our last move was horrible with them, but all of our stuff did eventually arrive. Nothing was stolen, and they did offer a binding contract.

I hope that clears up the confusion. I must not have worded my post correctly. Thanks!

Kellie

MusicMom
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Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby MusicMom » Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:57 pm

Of the movers you menationed, only the first two should be considered. The last three are not of the same quality, or are known to have complaints, and Globus is just downright BAD.

United and Mayflower are indeed owned by the same company, Unigroup, so sometimes movers are agents of both. It's not a huge difference.

For the United/Mayflower agent and the National Van Lines agent, do you remember the name of the specific company you talked to?

What happened with your last Allied move? If we had some details, maybe the pros could tell you if it was just a series of unfortunate events, or a serious blunder to be avoided agin.

Diane
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Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby Diane » Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:05 pm

Kellie,

Thanks for the clarification. Do you have any idea how many pounds you have, from your prior move with Allied? If you have at least 10,000 pounds, I don't think you'll have any problem finding someone to move you next June and move you well. A trailer holds about 25,000 pounds so a company could build a shipment around your load. What people have said is true - you are starting to look too early and nobody is going to give you a quote this far in advance.

Don't be mistrustful of United Van Lines just because the person said that you might have a Mayflower driver. They do that all the time and Mayflower drivers are good just like United drivers. It has nothing to do with brokers. United and Mayflower are owned by the same company and one van line being able to draw on the resources (drivers) of the other van line is actually helpful to consumers.

Click on the link below my name and scroll down to "Florida" to see what has been said here about moving companies in your area. There are some very good ones in and around Orlando. I recommend starting with Armstrong (United). Instead of talking with just anybody, ask for Pam Mueller, who is one of the volunteers on this messageboard and a very knowledgeable person. Even though it's far in advance, I'm sure that she would talk with you about the general issues and she might even come to your home to look at your things.

Also, I agree with MusicMom - could you please post your experience with Allied? Tell us the name of the company and what went wrong.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

3Labs2ResQ
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby 3Labs2ResQ » Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:22 pm

Thank you very much, Diane. I will do as you suggested and contact Pam at United. That will be a good place to start.

I'll take your word for it....I am looking to soon. So many people move in and out of Central Florida that I just don't want to be left without a mover. I thought booking early was a good thing, but I guess it's not possible.

I didn't know that United and Mayflower were owned by the same company. I just assumed that they were fibbing and that they were brokers. Reading this board has me scared to death of brokers. LOL! It's probably mentioned somewhere on the board that the companies are related, but I've only begun to scratch the surface of this board. It is just a wealth of information!

As for my move from Ohio to Florida 6 years ago....it was a nightmare. I'll dig around in my files and see if I can come up with the mover's names and all the info I'd need to identify them. All I remember off the top of my head is that they were Allied. I'll look for that info and I'd be glad to write a review for you. Give me a day or so to find it and I'll post the whole terrible story.

Thanks again!
Kellie

Diane
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Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby Diane » Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:31 pm

You can also send Pam a Private Message by clicking on the "pm" button under one of her posts. She posts under the name "pmueller" and if you explain to her that you're nervous and point her to this thread, I'm sure she will reassure you that you WILL find a good moving company and will NOT have a bad experience. As I said, the size of your shipment is going to make it very attractive to people. The name of the company that owns United and Mayflower is Unigroup.

3Labs2ResQ
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Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:52 pm
Location: Orlando, FL

Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby 3Labs2ResQ » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:24 pm

Last time, Allied promised us a whole truck because we had 20,000 pounds or so to move. The agent promised to crate our grandfather clock and a large curio (7 ft tall by 4 ft wide). They also had to disassemble a very large exercise machine and were to reassemble it once they moved it to Florida. The agent gave us a guarented price in writing. He said he'd be at our house all day to supervise the move. All sounded great.

The morning of the move, the movers were supposed to be there at 8 am. At 9 am, we tried to call the agent. No answer. They finally showed up 2 hours late with half of the truck loaded with other people's stuff. We were promised a full truck because we had so much to move. Again, we tried to call the agent. No answer. The movers assured us that they could pack it in tight and it would all fit. Yeah, right. My husband and I rolled our eyes at each other and tried to call the agent again. No answer.

The driver of the truck pulled into the cul-de-sac at an akward angle and ran over our neighbor's mailbox. Luckily the neighbor was nice about it. However the driver refused to move the truck to better angle it and get it closer to the house. He said that we were 3 feet past what's considered a long carry and that we'd have to pay an additional $600. If he would have repositioned the truck, he could have gotten 20 feet closer. We reminded him that we had a guarenteed price and told him we would not pay him more. He got huffy and spent the next 2 hours on his cell phone. Not sure who he was trying to call, but he stopped helping load right then and there.

They began loading my grandfather clock, which they wrapped in blankets. I stopped them and reminded them that it was supposed to be crated. They said that since we wouldn't pay for the long carry, there wouldn't be enough money left to crate our things. I showed him the contract which clearly stated "crating" of clock and curio, and he finally agreed to crate it. Of course, he had to spend another hour on the phone first.

About 4 pm, they realized that there was no possible way to get all of our stuff packed onto that half of a truck. They called someone for a second truck. The second small truck arrived a couple of hours later. That driver asked why the first truck was parked so far away. We explained that he was trying to charge us for a long carry and he just shook his head. I believe the term he used was "stupid".

So both trucks finally get loaded and driver #1 stopped asking us for more money. Both trucks were supposed to meet us in Florida at the new house 3 days later.

On the day we were supposed to take delivery of both trucks, only the large #1 truck arrived. They began unloading our stuff and they handed me a clipboard and had me check off box numbers as they came thru the door. I was happy to help.

It began raining and all of the movers ran under our porch to stay dry. That's all well and good, but they left my husband's brand new copier setting out in the rain in the front yard while they huddled under the awning and took a cigarette break.

When the guys tried to put my exercise machine back togeter, they realized that whoever took it apart and packed it up in Ohio didn't lable the parts or pulleys. They just threw them in a box and all of the pulleys got tangled. Allied had to send someone else out 2 weeks later to put it back together. It took them 10 hours to get it back together and it still wasn't right. It never worked right again. That was a 5000 dollar machine that was rendered totally useless because of the mover's laziness.

The second truck never did arrive that day. We called Allied, who said that the truck had GPS on it and it was somewhere in Cincinatti, Ohio. They said they couldn't reach the driver because he didn't have a cell phone. They said they had no idea when we'd get our stuff.

All of our pots and pans were on truck #2. Also, the vacuum, silverware, dishes, coffee pot.....pretty much everything we really needed. Allied told us to buy new ones and they would cut us a check in a few weeks to cover all of the receipts we submitted. So we did.

About 10 days later the second truck finally arrived. The driver was one small guy (like 5"2" tall), his wife, and a 3 month old baby. There were some big pieces of furniture still to be moved. Our dining room table, china cabinet, and some large shelving units were on his truck. So was that large curio that was to be crated. (They never did crate it, by the way. They told me they did after it was already loaded, so I couldn't tell. They lied, though. It was not crated. It was just wrapped in blankets). How was this wee little fellow going to haul all of that in by himself? My husband and I ended up having to move the furniture in ourselves. The driver's wife kept lingering around by the truck holding the baby and getting in the way. We kept telling her to go inside and get the baby out of the sun, but she refused. I felt bad for the baby. The driver finally screamed at her and she took the baby inside.

So anyway, we asked him why he was so late and he said his truck was impounded for him having logged too many miles in too short of a time. We asked why he never called Allied to let them know where our stuff was and he never did answer that question.

So my husband and I got most of our stuff off the truck, but they packed our ladder way in the back and we couldn't get it. The driver said he was going to Tampa and that he'd drop our ladder off in a week or so on his way back to Ohio. He actually did return with it about 10 days later.

So this is my moving horror story. See why I'm reluctant to go with Allied again? By the way, they did actually send us a check for the vacuum, pans, etc. I think it was a total of 300 dollars or so. At least they made good on one promise.

Oh and one other thing....that salesman who said he'd be there the whole day of the move....he never did answer his phone that day. We had to deal with the corporate office from that day forward because we never heard from him again.

Kellie

BigLeeCalif
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Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby BigLeeCalif » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:30 pm

I agree with Diane that you should contact PMueller, who is in Florida.

The reason a lot of movers do not want to give in home estimates that far out is by nature things are discarded, and sometimes new items replace them before the move takes place, so by the time the move is nigh, the weight may have substantially changed.

If you have a specific month that you are trying to move, the mover should be able to tell you at what point in the season you have selected, and whether it is during a peak time. Unless you're moving in mid summer, you should be able to comfortably schedule your month 60 days out from when you actually need it.

There's always shipments moving from Florida, so it's not the same as trying to move from the middle of nowhere to the middle of nowhere.

To clarify the point that you might get a United or Mayflower truck, that is what is known as Alliancing an order within the Unigroup system. What it does it double your hauling fleet, from not just the van line you book with, but the sister van line as well. It isn't something they do a switch on you without your knowledge. The sales person should explain the alliance program to you, and give you the right to say yea or nay to alliance. A lot of larger agents are now what is known as dual agents, which means they represent both van lines. One thing to note, however, is that they are still in competition, and maintain separate staffs within the same agency.

What you might want to do at this point is to identify everything in your home that you absolutely without doubt will be taking on your move, and list each item on your personal inventory list. Then look at other things and categorize by "I could do without, but it has sentimental or heirloom value". Then make a list of things "cheaper to replace at destination than to ship". When you complete the last list, decide how you will dispose of.... yard sale, craigslist, or donation.

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

MusicMom
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Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby MusicMom » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:56 pm

Wow, that does sound like about everything that CAN go wrong on a move, and poor handling (at least hearing your side) of all the snafus. Do you have any idea the name of the agent involved, where the salesman was from?

[Something else that jumped out at me, as a mom, where did the baby ride? Trucks only have two seats, right? Where's the carseat getting buckled in?]

Diane
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby Diane » Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:07 pm

Kellie,

That is TERRIBLE! We have heard a lot, but yours is one of the worst stories I have ever heard about a supposedly legitimate moving company. OK, here are the Allied agents near Cleveland:

Lincoln Moving & Storage Co.
8686 Brookpark Road
Brooklyn, OH 44129
Agent Details (Distance: 6 miles)

Berger Transfer & Storage
5370 Naiman Parkway
Solon, OH 44139
Agent Details (Distance: 11 miles)

Mills Van Lines, Inc.
14675 Foltz Industrial Parkway
Strongsville, OH 44136
Agent Details (Distance: 17 miles)

Do you recognize any of these as the company that booked the move? The awful driver seems to have been from Allied Van Lines, but the booking agent also bears a lot of the blame for being suddenly incommunicado.

I am amazed that you haven't turned against all moving companies forever, after this horror story.

Move Up
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Location: Virginia

Re: How far in advance can you book a mover out of Orlando?

Postby Move Up » Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:29 am

Good Morning Everyone,
I am a National Relocation Consultant for Mayflower Transit. Let me start by letting everyone know that I am not here to solicite business in anyway. I am just here to help and answer any questions that I can.

Kellie,
You had 3 major questions on your main blog. I will answer them below.

1. Q. Booking Early?
A. I wish I had more customers that thought like you did. I get more last minute "moving accross the country this weekend...can you help?" phone calls during the summer months than ever. I think it is great that you are looking to book in advance but I think 5 months in advance is alittle to much. So many things change from the beginning of the year going into the summer season (discount levels, fuel surcharges, etc.). I would have a free walk through done about 2 months in advance and and book no later that a month in advance. You can book your relocation at anytime just know that something may change as you get closer to summer.

2. Q. Guarenteed Price?
A. This is totally your call. Remember that this is your move and not the moving companies move. What you are looking for is some sort of Binding Estimate (Straight Binding or Guarenteed not to Exceed). What you need to gaurd against here is making sure that when the walk through happens you point out EVERYTHING that you are sure is going and any items that you think may go. The reason for this is because if the driver comes out to load and the driver thinks the weight on the estimate is under he can contest your weight. What I would do is to have the free in-home survey done with everything that you know is going and as time goes on if you eliminate anything or add anything call your sales rep at the moving companies and tell them that this items were added/eliminated and get a new estimate after every contact. A good moving company is going to welcome the contact and assisting you in anyway.

3. Q. Phone Quotes?
A. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS...GET THE IN-HOME SURVEY. PHONE ESTIMATES ARE VERY HARD TO DO AND WILL NOT HOLD UP IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A BINDING PRICE. IF A COMPANY DOES NOT COMEOUT TO DO THE SURVEY THEN THIS SHOULD THROW UP A RED FLAG. YOU NEED TO DEMAND A FREE IN-HOME SURVEY FOR ALL OF YOUR ESTIMATES. I DO NOT CARE IF YOU ARE MOVING AROUND THE CORNER OR AROUND THE WORLD ALWAYS HAVE A IN-HOME SURVEY.

If you have any additional questions please post them on the blog or send me a message.

Take Care!!! Shannon.
Shannon Price
Director of Corporate Sales


Knowledge is Power.


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