Review: Merit Moving, United, Cook Moving, Golden Key Express (CA to NY)

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carolemove
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:27 am

Review: Merit Moving, United, Cook Moving, Golden Key Express (CA to NY)

Postby carolemove » Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:37 am

Thanks to everyone on this forum! All the messages were very useful in planning our move across country. Added fun in our move included not knowing where our apt would be when we first booked the companies (~3 wks before the move) and then needing to change to another apt last minute (AFTER our stuff was in transit).


We had very little "moving" experience-- this was our first major move that required hiring actual companies! Overall, our move was a success and we were pleased with the services provided by these companies.


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MERIT MOVING SYSTEMS. Buena Park, CA
UNITED VAN LINES
COOK MOVING ?, NY

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We requested a quote from the United website and got in contact with John Horist at Merit. Overall, he was very helpful and professional. He came over to do an in-house binding estimate for our 2 bdrm apt. He estimated 3406 lb at approximately $2844 transport + $885 packing labor/materials for our move during late March/early April 2007. John was very helpful and patient in answering all my questions-- he's great over email and phone. He was able to quickly schedule pack/move dates for us once we decided to go with them. Sandy helped me with my credit card payment.

On the day of the move, 3 packers came ready with boxes and paper. Sandy(?) called and made sure that everything was going smoothly-- which it was. The packers were fast and efficient. Finished in ~4 hrs. They were also very careful. When they left, there was a pile of cleaners, paints, aerosol cans that would have been hazardous to move. When I unpacked, only 1 bowl had been broken during the move out of my countless items in >130 boxes.

That night I set out the parking reservation placards that I got from the city of Pasadena. Bob, the driver, called and let us know when he'd arrive.

The next morning (3/28) Bob arrived with the truck, which was larger than I'd ever imagined! Two packers from Merit also came over. I wish I remembered their names because they were funny, hard-working, and extremely professional as well. I asked them to watch stairs per my landlord's request, and they were careful going up/down them with very little banging. I checked out our stuff on the truck, and it was amazing how they'd arranged everything so that it was packed from floor to ceiling. I'd marked some boxes as being extra fragile, and they assured me that they were near the top and not being crushed. Nothing broke in those, so yay! Loading also took ~4 hrs. Sandy called again, and made sure everything was running smoothly.

Bob gave me a quote of April 7th as a good drop-off date (window 4/4-4/11). On April 5th(?), I realized that we had not contacted Merit to change our delivery address to our new apt about 5 miles away. I tracked our truck using their website, and was relieved to find that it was still a bit away. I called Merit and got the address changed right there.

Bob arrived a couple days later just as promised. He coordinated the unloading with my husband. Our street is very narrow, so he parked at the end of it, on US1, and we rented a small UHaul as recommended by the 2 movers from Cook Moving, in NY were also very very good. I forget how long it took to unload but it was probably just a few hours as well. All the boxes were put in the rooms I requested and nothing was missing.


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GOLDEN KEY EXPRESS, BLUELINE CARRIERS

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I worked with Misty at Golden Key Express. I went with them because they'd gotten pretty good reviews on this website, and were comparable with the other quotes I got from companies recommended by Merit.

On 2/27 I booked them for Pasadena to Old Greenwich, CT (we were really not sure where we'd end up). Pickup window was 3/29-4/4 and delivery was 4/8-4/18. I emailed Misty on 3/28 to ask about bottles of motor oil and transmission fluid in the car. Misty asked for the latest possible date for pickup, but I had a flight on 4/5 so I couldn't push it. On 4/2, I learned that their new truck was running late, and this pushed everything back. Misty called and arranged for Blueline Carriers to pick up my car. On 4/3 (?) Misty assured me that this would not change the delivery window.

Hector (of Blueline) left me a voicemail the evening of 4/3 but I couldn't get in touch with them until 8 am on 4/4. I arranged to meet them in Pasadena and I called again when I got there. Mike, the driver at Blueline Carriers, was pretty good.

Fast forward to 4/12, when I emailed Misty about a potential delivery date. They were running late due to difficulty scheduling other pickups/dropoffs, and gave me a new window of 4/22-4/23 and offered $25 off (0.25% of $1075) as we didn't need a rental during this extra time. Greg, the driver, called on 4/20 to arrange a location. Another woman was picking up in Greenwich so he wanted to know if I could meet at a place off the 95. Problem was, "where" was still up in the air. Plus, we didn't have a car. On 4/21, my husband called Greg and suggested New Rochelle as a possible place. On 4/23, Misty called me and wanted to know why we wanted a new delivery place and explained that just because the moving van was able to stop on US1, it didn't mean that their truck could, too, due to code & potential of causing scratches to the cars-- which I understand. I told her I could go anywhere that the commuter train stopped at and we left it at that. The driver called the next morning 4/24 and arranged for me to get picked up by the other car owner. We met him at a rest stop off the 95, and I got my car.

I felt that the pickup arrangements could have been smoother. Since I'd already moved out of my apartment and was staying on the other side of LA, it was stressful to finally get in touch with Blueline at 8 am the morning of pickup. In retrospect, I should have asked for their number instead of just waiting with just a day left to make arrangements.

As for delivery, I was more bothered by not being notified that they were running late until I contacted Misty on 4/12 than by the actual lateness. The delivery date was 1 day later than planned. The car was picked up on 4/4 and delivered on 4/24. The other driver's car was picked up much later, so I hope my case is unusual.

I am pleased that they did get my car across country in great condition. They also did check to see if we'd need a rental in the interim.


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Tipping and etc.

I provided drinks and snacks to the packers & movers (in Pasadena) but they didn't take any breaks. I did manage to send some off with them. i had no idea about what to tip. I tipped the packers $20 ea, movers $40 ea, and the driver $80. I tipped the car driver from Blueline $15 and Golden Key Express $50. They were awesome.

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

Re: **Review: Merit Moving, United, Cook Moving, Golden Key Express (CA to

Postby Diane » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:23 am

Thanks for this very detailed report.

Regarding Golden Key, hopefully, as you say, your experience was unusual and just reflects startup problems with their new truck. Actually the whole thing didn't turn out badly. Although it's too bad delivery was delayed a day, we have seen much worse delays reported here with other companies . . . like WEEKS.

If you see this, who is Cook Moving? Is that a small moving company that you found on eMove or something? I just want to give them credit.

EastCoastMover
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:48 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: **Review: Merit Moving, United, Cook Moving, Golden Key Express (CA to

Postby EastCoastMover » Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:38 pm

D, cook is an agent for united.....

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

Re: **Review: Merit Moving, United, Cook Moving, Golden Key Express (CA to

Postby Diane » Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:42 pm

I'm just confused because the United agent Cook Moving is located in Buffalo and Rochester, not in the NYC area. Maybe they were the hauling agent (?). But then, why would they be telling the customer to rent a U-Haul? Not sure how it all fits together.

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

Re: Review: Merit Moving, United, Cook Moving, Golden Key Express (CA to NY

Postby Michael » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:23 am

Cook was probably the destination agent that serviced that area. And the reason a UHAul was utilized was for the shuttle. Sometimes if drivers cant get the destination agent to utilize one of their trucks for a shuttle or its on a weekend, the driver will recommend the shipper get a uhaul, and just charge for labor instead of a complete shuttle.
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

carolemove
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:27 am

Re: Review: Merit Moving, United, Cook Moving, Golden Key Express (CA to NY

Postby carolemove » Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:03 pm

Right, Cook is a United Agent. The UHaul was to shuttle our stuff about 1 block down our narrow street. It was easier, cheaper, and more convenient for us to get one rather than for the movers to call and get one of their shuttles.

Also, I want to stress that we are satisfied, overall, with Golden Key Express.

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

Re: Review: Merit Moving, United, Cook Moving, Golden Key Express (CA to NY

Postby Diane » Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:07 pm

What city did you actually move to, Carole? I'm confused. Does Cook have an office near New York City?

Was the interstate truck (and Bob) from Merit or from United Van Lines?

Thanks for the clarification about Golden Key. It was nice of them to offer some compensation for the delay, at least. Your transit time was quite a bit longer than their usual time.

carolemove
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:27 am

Re: Review: Merit Moving, United, Cook Moving, Golden Key Express (CA to NY

Postby carolemove » Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:09 pm

Hi Diane

We moved to New Rochelle, NY. Bob was a United driver. Merit was for packing & moving things onto the truck, and Cook moved things off the truck and into our apt.

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

Re: Review: Merit Moving, United, Cook Moving, Golden Key Express (CA to NY

Postby Diane » Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:18 pm

Thanks - if somebody knows whether Cook has a satellite office near NYC, please tell me.

EastCoastMover
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:48 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Review: Merit Moving, United, Cook Moving, Golden Key Express (CA to NY

Postby EastCoastMover » Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:39 pm

im thinking it was a cook driver that hauled it......

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

Re: Review: Merit Moving, United, Cook Moving, Golden Key Express (CA to NY

Postby Diane » Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:19 pm

Oh, yes, that could be. He could have picked up a couple of workers near New Rochelle.


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