Chicago to San Diego, studioish

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endofwinter
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 12:40 pm
Location: Chicago

Chicago to San Diego, studioish

Postby endofwinter » Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:15 pm

I'm moving from Chicago to San Diego in early- to mid- August. (My things need to arrive by August 25, so I'll be living out of a suitcase in an empty apartment in Chicago for a while.) I live in a one-bedroom apartment, but will be getting rid of a lot of my furniture because I'm moving into the extra bedroom in a friend's fully-furnished house. In the end, it's a small move, but not tiny.

This is my first long-distance move where I've actually taken things with me. Any tips or opinions would be greatly appreciated!


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Full-service Movers
Some difficulty finding companies, as my move is sometimes way below summer weight minimums. This will be the least hassle for me, but is the most expensive option. Contacted companies directly and also used AAA's partnered Consumer Relocation Services. (Order in which they were received.)

Planes Moving and Storage (United): $2267.02 + tips
o Tariff 400N, 67% discount
o Binding NTE estimate
o Estimated 1351 lbs, but 2100 lbs minimum
o Shuttle service (load in alley behind building)
o Packing for mattress
o Extra insurance ($15,000 valuation, 0 deductible)
o Pick up on Aug 11 (rep said it'd be a slightly higher charge, something around $80, though I don't see it on the estimate)
o Good reviews on this site (reason I called)
o Rep was very warm and explained a lot. I also suspect he upped my discount after learning that I'm a poor grad student, which was nice.

Advantage Moving and Storage (Wheaton): $2475.82 + tips
o No tariff name, assume 400N, no discount listed
o Binding NTE estimate
o Estimated around 1500 lbs, but 2100 lbs minimum
o No shuttle service (thinks street is big enough to back truck into alley)
o Packing for mattress
o Extra insurance covered by AAA ($5/pound)
o Pick up between Aug 8 and 13
o Found through AAA
o Very little in reviews on this site
o Rep seemed more like a mover who has changed roles than a sales person. (Nice but not polished, gave me a lot of advice on what to take and what is cheaper to rebuy, plus some on how to pack.) Somewhat outdated estimation approach - the inventory list was sent to corporate office and the estimate was emailed to me. However, this estimate is way too high compared to the others...will have to see what the AAA guy says about their promised m4d discountz.

Graebel: $2260.45 + tips
o Tariff 400N, 60% discount
o Non-binding estimate
o Estimated 2163 lbs, 1000 lbs minimum
o Can do parking permit for the street instead of a shuttle
o Packing for mattress
o Extra insurance ($15,000 valuation, 0 deductible)
o Pick up on Aug 4, 6, or 7 (48 hours notice)
o Recommended by friends who moved from Seattle to New York City (though they'd have dealt with different people on both ends)
o No reviews on this site for Chicagoland location, generally decent reviews for other locations (all owned by the same person instead of franchises)
o Rep was very nice and thorough. Tempted to go with this one because of the lower weight minimum (since everyone else thinks I have way less stuff) and because they went the extra mile and double-checked on shuttle service. However, worried about the non-binding estimate and actual weight.

Boyer-Rosene (Bekins): $1491.20 + tips
o Tariff 400N, some sort of discount, but not listed
o Binding NTE estimate
o Estimated 1267 lbs, 1000 lbs minimum
o Shuttle sevice
o Packing for mattress
o Extra insurance covered by AAA ($10,000 valuation, 0 deductible)
o Pick up Aug 4
o Found through AAA
o Bad reviews on this site (was hoping they were the other Bekins when AAA person called)
o Nice rep and the lowest estimate, but bad reviews make them a no. (Plus, the estimate doesn't have much information on it, like a breakdown of the costs beyond weight and "origin services," which is apparently the shuttle-0 seems like an opportunity for trouble.)

Meyers (Arpin)
o Coming on Monday...thinking I might cancel with four estimates already
o Good review on this site, but risky for interstate moves, so will check on whether it'd be the same truck

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Pod/Cube
I looked at a few (ABF, Door-to-Door, and PODS). ABF is the cheapest ($2092ish with U-Haul and beer for helpers) and seems to get better reviews on this site. I can't do door-to-door delivery because I don't have a parking spot (no car), but can do terminal-to-door. They'll only leave the pod at the destination for three days, so I'd have to be super careful about the timing to be sure that my roommate doesn't have to unload all of my stuff himself.

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I also looked into you-load movers, freight, and small movers. Those have been ruled out for different reasons.

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Chicago to San Diego, studioish

Postby MusicMom » Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:30 pm

What about an ABF RelocCube? Similar to PODS, but a smaller box and better service.

endofwinter
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 12:40 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Chicago to San Diego, studioish

Postby endofwinter » Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:16 pm

Thanks for the suggestion. I noticed that this tends to work with a number of smaller moves. I checked them out (see above, under "Pod/Cube" - sorry that wasn't clear!) and they were actually my main plan for a while until I saw that movers' prices are comparable. Because of that, I'm not sure the cube is worth the extra hassle of dealing with U-Haul (I'd use them only because they have a center half a mile from my house), bribing friends, and driving out to the 'burbs.

(Actually, the more research I do, the more I wonder if *any* of this is worth the hassle... Do I really need things? :wink: )
Last edited by endofwinter on Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Chicago to San Diego, studioish

Postby Diane » Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:47 pm

Thanks for this very detailed list of your various quotes. It's hard to know what might go wrong if you choose Boyer-Rosene, but I have a feeling something would. Graebel seems to think that you're not going to get rid of any of your furniture (protecting itself).

It's interesting that the Planes quote was so close to the ReloCube quote. Nancy has been saying for a long time that for small moves, full-service can be as economical as a self-move, and I guess this is one example. I know that it's a hassle for ABF to operate in and near downtown Chicago, and I guess they figure the hassle factor into their pricing. In any case, if I were you I would go with Planes and wouldn't bother having Meyers come out.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

endofwinter
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 12:40 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Chicago to San Diego, studioish

Postby endofwinter » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:03 pm

Thanks! It's really between Planes and Graebel at the moment. I'm not very impressed with the companies sent by AAA (started a different thread about that before I called them, need to go update it) and the ReloCube will just be more hassle for the same cost. (I'm fine with hassle for less cost, but not same!)

I think my plan of action right now is to ask a few more questions. I'll query the Graebel rep regarding the weight difference. I did the "this is coming, this is going" thing, but maybe she really thought I'm taking everything? Or maybe someone should come out and look again?

I'll also ask the Planes rep about temporary parking signs, since Graebel (who originally quoted me a shuttle) checked and said I can obtain them from the city. (I have a friend who did this a couple years ago for her rented truck, but had forgotten about it until Graebel mentioned the signs.)

Auri
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:08 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Chicago to San Diego, studioish

Postby Auri » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:47 am

Parking signs from the city can be obtained by calling your local Alderman's office. They handle all traffic issues in the neighborhood.
Industry Professional in Chicago

Jim
Posts: 711
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:42 pm
Location: Sunny Southern California

Re: Chicago to San Diego, studioish

Postby Jim » Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:46 am

eow, you're definitely on the right track here. You have 2 good choices and I think cancelling Arpin is the right move. Your research should begin right now - ask your questions to them and if they anything questionable to you either (1) press them for additional clarity, or (2) come here and we can help.
It's Sunny Somewhere In The World

endofwinter
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 12:40 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Chicago to San Diego, studioish

Postby endofwinter » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:34 am

Just a bit of an update...I did cancel Arpin (and will call the AAA people on Monday and tell them to go away). Now I'm working to choose between Planes and Graebel. The Planes rep hasn't gotten back to me about the temporary parking signs (which surprised me, since he's been really responsive in the past) and the Graebel rep said to look over her inventory vs. the others to see where the differences lie. I'm planning to work on that now that it's the weekend and then report back.

I'll be sure to come back with any questions and will post a review once the move is done. (Well, actually, once I get back from my vacation and am able to unpack...so mid-September.) Thanks again - this site has been so incredibly helpful and has probably saved me from some sort of bad mover doom! :)

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

Re: Chicago to San Diego, studioish

Postby Diane » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:42 am

Good - I have a question about what you posted about the Wheaton agent:
...will have to see what the AAA guy says about their promised m4d discountz

What did you mean by "m4d discount"?

endofwinter
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 12:40 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Chicago to San Diego, studioish

Postby endofwinter » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:57 am

Didn't realize that was still in there, ha! It was actually a note to myself that was added right after I received that quote - I wrote the original post as I collected estimates so that I wouldn't forget anything.

The comment was referring to the Consumer Relocation Service people's promise of "up to a 65% discount." The Wheaton estimate came in with no discount from the tariff rate, though the directly-contacted companies all had some sort of percent off. I thought that, perhaps, the typical strategy for CRS was to have the original quote given with no discount, and then they would step in on white stallions, negotiate, and come back with a discount. Since I haven't called them back yet, I don't know if that's actually how they work, but it would be a good business strategy.

endofwinter
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 12:40 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Chicago to San Diego, studioish

Postby endofwinter » Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:48 pm

My move with Graebel went fairly smoothly. The driver actually showed up a couple days early (he called beforehand and I said that was fine). Because they came early, he and the loader showed up after I got home from work so that I wouldn't have to take time off. The driver also ate the cost of the shuttle, since I wouldn't have been able to get a parking permit in time. (This offer worried me but I got quick reassurance of it legitimacy from others on this board, thank you!) Both were very nice and professional and the loading was pretty quick since I didn't have much stuff.

I wasn't here when the load arrived, but am under the impression that it went fairly well. I had made a list of my (numbered) boxes and their contents, which my roommate checked off as they came in. One "box" (actually a ladder) was missing and the driver promised to look for it. He brought it by the next day - apparently it had slipped into the next house's area on the truck. Other than that, nothing was lost or damaged.

The only negative of the experience was the weight overestimate mentioned in my first post. It turns out that they were about 800 pounds over: 2100 instead of the actual 1300 (which was near the other companies' estimates). This meant that I had to front extra money and then wait for it to be returned, which isn't a pleasant thought for someone on a budget. Luckily, this didn't turn out to be a problem, since the extra was returned on my next month's credit card bill. However, I think I would have appreciated the offer of another walk-through in response to my email about the estimation differences, especially since a comparison showed a consistent overestimate of 100 or so pounds in each room.

Overall, I was satisfied with Graebel and would recommend them. There were a couple of snafus, but they were taken care of promptly. Plus, they did double-check parking and shuttles on both ends of my move, which no one else did.

(Sorry this took me a while to post! Completely slipped my mind in the midst of starting my new life.)

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

Re: Chicago to San Diego, studioish

Postby Diane » Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:49 am

Thanks for this wrap-up. It sounds as if the estimator was a bit inexperienced but your move went pretty darn well. I'll add your review to the Superlist linked to below my name.

For those interested, this is the thread where you raised the question about the driver not charging for the shuttle - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14448
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.


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