Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

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MeditativeRose2003

Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby MeditativeRose2003 » Wed Apr 14, 2004 2:51 pm

Today all three, Wheaton, NorthAmerican, and United came to do in-house estimates for me. I'd like to know if anyone has any experience with these companies- complaints/compliments/stories- in DES MOINES, IOWA.

Also, any thoughts about these estimates? All are "Guaranteed Not to Exceed."

Wheaton (Smoldt):
DOT: 70719
MC: 87113
Cube: 1162
Weight: 8100
With pack and move, including packing services (does this include the boxes?!) and one extra stop: $3,355.16

NorthAmerican (Beltmann):
DOT: 080751
MC: 107012
Cube: 1280
Weight: 8200
With pack and move, including packing services and materials, one extra stop, and $50,000 maximum value protection: $4117.86

I'm still waiting on the DOT and MC License numbers and the estimate from United (Lint), but should have them later this afternoon and will post them.

Thoughts, advice?

Thanks,
MR

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4668
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby BigLeeCalif » Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:05 pm

Mr.

I notice the weight on the two estimates you have now is only 100 lbs different. But I notice one estimate shows valuation and other did not...
Is that the difference in cost?

If yours is an Interstate move, Lint will be using the United MC number and DOT numbers, which are:

MC #67234 DOT #077949

Moving intra within Iowa, they would require their own operating authority, but not on interstate moves.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

MeditativeRose2003

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby MeditativeRose2003 » Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:16 pm

It is an interstate move.

The difference in cost is in a few places-
The cost of packing/shipping with materials from Northamerican is $1578.14, plus about $30 to unpack the wardrobe boxes and mattress boxes (and remove them), while Wheaton's charges for packing are $793.67. Northamerican is charging us about $48 for the extra stop, while Wheaton is charging us about $35. Wheaton is charging us for going to the third floor- $60, it seems, but there's also a $10 charge (for unloading the mattress?) and an "X-Labor" charge of $50, so I'm not sure what that's for.

Northamerican is about $300 more on the weight charge. Everything else is comparable, I think.

Northamerican is not charging us anything for the valuation coverage- it's part of a contract with a realty company, the guy said. That was something that confused me- he said he has a contract with this real estate company, and it locks in tarriff date at 5/15/2002, plus offers this $50,000 MVP coverage with a $0 deductible. Is that right, or is that okay? I haven't added any more coverage to the Wheaton estimate beyond the standard 60 cents/lb yet.

Any of this make sense to you?

While I was writing this, Lint called back and gave me their DOT and MC numbers, but I'm still waiting on the estimate:
Lint/United:
DOT: 543541
MC: IACC45417

Thanks,
MR

IMovePeople
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:18 am

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby IMovePeople » Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:43 pm

Meditative Rose - the valuation being free and the rates frozen because you're going through the realty to get to the mover - that's totally legal and legit - it's called and "affinity" program. Many of them also work through airlines where you can get frequent flyer miles for booking your move with them - and the major van lines participate. I am not suggesting that you make any changes - but wanted you to know that they CAN BE legitimate ways to benefit from a move. These affinity programs also deal with realtors - and you can get miles based on the sales price of a home you are buying or selling.

I personally do not belong to an affinity program - so I am not commercializing or editorializing for my own benefit.

GET IT ALL IN WRITING!
Movers are People, Too!

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4668
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby BigLeeCalif » Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:45 pm

I checked safersys, and the numbers given to you were for Lint.

They do have their own interstate authority. Per the insurance section, they are properly covered.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

MeditativeRose2003

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby MeditativeRose2003 » Wed Apr 14, 2004 4:16 pm

Okay, it's about to get more confusing. I just talked to the Lint/United guy, and he estimated us at cube: 1608 or 12,000 lbs, for a total cost of $5,753. Our replacement coverage is $511, the extra stop $39.06, packing is about $1,379 (unless we pack our own books, and he'll bring us free boxes so we can do that, and then we save about $300). Transportation came in at $3,863.58.

I talked to him about the massive difference in weight, and he's sticking to his estimate. He said he tries to be very careful with his estimates, and usually comes in very close, within a hundred pounds, give or take. However, he said that if my weight is actually closer to the other estimates (8100-8200 lbs), he'll ask the company to increase the discount from 63% to 64% and the move will cost me more like $4450 (or $4150 if I pack my own books), which is comparable to the other estimates, pretty much.


Another thing: The info at SaferSys.org for NorthAmerican and Wheaton is for the national companies, not the ones in Des Moines only. The Lint/United info is specific to the people who will be moving me. Which do I look at?! That is, which ratings are important? The Lint/United had no accidents reported, and very few inspections. The NorthAmerican and Wheaton numbers were infinitely higher, since they were for national- but we're talking over a thousand inspections for each.

Thanks for all the help you've already offered....now how do I decide?!

Thanks,
MR

IMovePeople
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:18 am

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby IMovePeople » Wed Apr 14, 2004 4:33 pm

BigLee - correct me on this if I am wrong - - - if Lint is using it's own DOT/MCC #'s - then they have to haul the shipment and not put it into the van line system??????

As for the United person saying he'd ask the company to INCREASE the discount if the weight went DOWN - that seems a little backwards to the way I've always done business which is the higher the weight and the higher the miles and the higher the accessorial services, the higher the discount offered.
Movers are People, Too!

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

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby Nancy » Wed Apr 14, 2004 4:44 pm

As for Wheaton and North American using the DOT number of the carrier, that is totally acceptable. That is why movers are part of van line networks. In essence, we each maintain our in-state moving permits, and the van line maintains the interstate moving permits. In some geographic areas, it makes sense for the local agent to ALSO have interstate authority, but not always.

Ultimately, you decide by going with your gut feeling once all the permits, pricing, etc is researched. I also suggest that people go visit the movers, you have three to target. Go in there just to buy some boxes and see what you think of the people, trucks, warehouse, etc.

By the way, Beltmann is one of the largest NAVL agents in the system. They have been an agent since the 1930's and have multiple locations around the country.

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby Michael » Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:06 pm

Rose,

Unless they are self hauling your move (united) there is no way they will be able to change your discount. Nor would a driver allow the discount to be changed (united or otherwise).

Did you not get copies of your inventories from the three companies? If you did, where is the difference in weight? Did United estimate more boxes to be packed>? If they did, there is your answer. If boxes are apple to apple, then the other two have to be missing something, and a lot of something.

Did you by chance mention your weight to the second guy that the first person quoted you? Sometimes company will use that as a guide in quoting you their weight even though they think you have more, they want to be close.

best of luck
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

MeditativeRose2003

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby MeditativeRose2003 » Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:14 pm

Michael,
The difference is in the books. Wheaton and NorthAmerican had vastly different estimates in the number of boxes. NorthAmerican and United had very similar estimates in the number of boxes.

The United guy came out this morning and gave me the updated estimate. He said they were able to give me the 63% discount (the same discount he told me I had yesterday, not the 64% he mentioned on the phone), and also said that his boss said he could drop our weight down to 11,000 lbs, instead of 12,000. He also gave us a "break" on the price if we pack our own book boxes. So, I'm not sure I really know what to do here, but I'm getting more and more confused.

At this point, all that matters to me is that my belongings arrive in Indianapolis safely and on time, and that the driver doesn't hold my stuff hostage for more money (I've read horror stories). I just can't quite figure out who to trust!!!

Does anyone have any suggestions? I am calling each of the three companies today to ask them to provide me with the names and numbers of the last two people they moved. I hope that will give me some indication of how they do?

Thanks,
MR

IMovePeople
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:18 am

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby IMovePeople » Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:21 pm

Sorry - I'll admit I didn't re-read all the posts again - are these binding estimates? First - all of these companies have at least decent reputations and (DUCK) I don't work for any of them.

For a sales person to say they'll drop their weight, but not increase their discount, that's putting all the risk on you. Why not increase the discount to get the price where you need it to be? (I'm not even going to go to that place of don't let price be your determining factor - you are buying a SERVICE so SERVICE should be primary - really, I'm not going there!) If they did an in-home survey and really think it's 12,000 pounds, and it's not a binding estimate, if they now provide you with an 11,000 pound estimate and it weight 12,000 pounds - and the discount hasn't been increased, the additional charges are still your responsibility.

Did we already ask what tariffs this is on? If it's on 400N and you are being charged for "full packing" then the price shouldn't change regardless of the number of books you have. The packing price is determined by the actual weight of the shipment - not the number of cartons used - so you wouldn't really be saving money by packing the books yourself.

Sure am sorry that this is confusing, but am happy to answer any questions you come up with.
Movers are People, Too!

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby Michael » Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:25 pm

Rose,

Still doesnt make sense why the weight is different. One thing to look at is did United use a 6-7 cube for the books and did NA use a 1.5. Sometimes sales people get lazy and dont differentiate between the two. Although they are the same size box, their weight is drastically different.

The 63-64% discount is a good discount. But make them commit to the weight and discount and get that quote in writing, and as a "binding not to exceed".

Other than that, select who your more comfortable with. Or ask the other two to quote you for 11,000 and see what they come in with, then decide.

best of luck
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4668
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby BigLeeCalif » Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:44 pm

It isn't unusual for an estimator to revise an estimate once it has been given.

Perhaps his company has guidelines, and he might have had to get executive approval before he could raise discount levels. And, sometimes, the decisions have to even be approved by the van line, if out of normal parameters.

The bottom line is that the final estimate that you accept and sign should have any and all agreed upon weights, charges, and discounts clearly identified.

It could be that Lint gave you their individual licensing numbers as a manner of reassurance that they themselves, are properly certified as a carrier, in addition to being under the authority of United....
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

MeditativeRose2003

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby MeditativeRose2003 » Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:04 pm

Great news! I asked all three of the companies to provide references, and here's what has happened so far:

Lint/United called and said he would give me his last two moves- but in the conversation said something like, "Oh, we're lucky- these appear to be pretty good references." I thought, "Hm, lucky, huh?" I don't think he even realized what he said. He's a nice kid and appears to be trying hard to make me happy and get my business, but I don't think I feel too confident about them, even though he agreed to be here on the morning of the move, just to make sure everything went okay.

NorthAmerican hasn't returned my call yet.

Wheaton called me back within the hour. Wheaton's references are glowing- both customers used them twice and loved them. After talking to the references, I feel really confident about the local group here. Their home office is just down the street from where I'm moving, so it would be convenient to file a claim if necessary, though I'm feeling like maybe it will be okay. Plus, the salesguy is actually one of the owners and per my request, he is coming back on Wednesday to do another estimate to make sure he has an accurate box estimate. His estimate was lower than the others. I also like that this company pays by the hour, not the pound. He also agreed to be here the morning of the move to make sure everything goes okay.

So, things are progressing in an interesting fashion. I'm learning so much from all of you- thank you so much for your advice and help!

Guest/Michael

Re: Wheaton, Northamerican, United for a Des Moines move?

Postby Guest/Michael » Tue Apr 20, 2004 8:51 am

Rose,

If both the references have used them twice, it sounds like they moved them locally. Ask for references of people that have moved out of state. Or ask to see some of their quality reports of customers they have moved out of state. I am not sure if Wheaton has quality reports on the National level. But we do know United and North American do.

Best of luck,

Michael


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