Review of Rainbow Movers (Massachusetts)

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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:04 am
Location: Portland, OR

Review of Rainbow Movers (Massachusetts)

Postby mm78 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:39 am

This post is geared mostly toward those interested in SMALL MOVES, LONG-DISTANCE moves, and movers in the BOSTON AREA.

I recently used Rainbow Movers / North American Van Lines (based in Franklin, MA) to move from Cambridge, MA to Portland, OR. As I found this site incredibly helpful in choosing a mover, I wanted to post about my experiences for the benefit of others who might be considering using this mover...I couldn't find an appropriate thread to put this on, so I'm starting a new one.

The combination of the long distance, the time of year (late June), and the small size of my load made it really difficult for me to find an affordable mover. I considered one of the "you-pack" services, but I found that they would actually be quite expensive, given that I did not have enough stuff to make their minimum. The primary reason that I went with Rainbow is that they had a minimum of 1000 pounds, which was significantly less than other Boston-area movers I consulted.

On balance, I had a good experience with Rainbow Movers. The man who came to do the in-home estimate (John McEnaney?) was helpful and professional. The 2 men who loaded my stuff arrived a little late (I was told they would come between 8 and 10 a.m., and they got there at 10:45). However, I've heard of people waiting for the movers all day long, so this didn't seem bad at such a busy time of year. Once they started loading, they were very efficient, professional, and courteous. After a couple weeks of planning and packing, I was relieved to see my stuff go!

The big challenge with moving small loads long distances is that the window you're given for a delivery date is quite large. I was told that it would take between 8 and 18 days to move my stuff from Cambridge to Portland (this excludes Sundays and my case the 4th of July fell in the middle of this period, so it was more like a 2-week window). I flew to Portland on Sunday (the beginning of the window) and my things arrived three days later, so in all it was about 10 days in transport.

The moving company that Rainbow / North American contracted in Oregon was great. (Unfortunately, I don't have their name on the paperwork.) I got a call from the agent two days in advance that my things would arrive on Thursday between 8 and 10 a.m. The driver and two movers showed up at 9:00 a.m. and were finished by 9:45.

Did my stuff cross the country intact? Well, I'm proud to say that nothing I packed myself broke in transit. The glass in one large picture that the movers had wrapped cracked--as I hadn't arranged ahead of time to have this wrapped, this seemed partly my own fault. The lever on an adjustable desk chair broke in half, though it is still possible to raise and lower the chair. One of my file cabinets got dented, though it is also still functional. I am not sure I would recommend moving partially-full file cabinets. All in all, these small bits of damage seem pretty minimal given the complexity of this move. Nothing got lost.

In terms of cost: this move cost me about $2000 for 1400 pounds. It's worth noting that $375 of that was for the shuttle truck in Cambridge, necessitated by the location of my old apartment. I moved mostly boxes and very few pieces of furniture. It's possible that I could have saved a lot of money by shipping through the postal service...but that would have required considerably more effort on my part, made more difficult by my lack of a car. So I am generally satisfied.

One thing I would have changed: at the outset I said I wanted to pay by credit card. Rainbow Movers charged my card for the maximum allowable amount (110% of the estimate they had given me previously) two days before pick-up. I didn't know this was going to happen (or at least, I didn't remember if I had been told earlier). As it turned out, my load was smaller than the estimate, so they owed me several hundred dollars. I didn't get the refund until about three weeks after the delivery. In the meantime I inadvertently maxed out my credit card due to the unexpected charge. I'm not sure if this is common practice, but I probably wouldn't try to pay by credit card if I were to do this again.

(Unfortunately I don't at the moment have access to the other quotes I got...but I will note I was really surprised that Gentle Giant, a mover that lots of people in the Boston area recommended to me, didn't offer in-home estimates, at least for a move of this size. In fact, during the several phone calls I made to them in an effort to get a quote, I found their customer service sub-par--long waits on hold followed by getting disconnected, emails that went unanswered, etc.)

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Re: **Review of Rainbow Movers (Massachusetts)

Postby farrah7031 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:36 pm

Thanks for this detailed review.

Would the agent in OR be either Lile NorthAmerican or Air Van Moving Group?

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Re: Review of Rainbow Movers (Massachusetts)

Postby Diane » Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:10 am

Probably it was Lile.

Thanks for this review, especially for the advice about not moving even half-full filing cabinets and not using a credit card for a Nonbinding estimate. With Nonbinding estimates, most van lines now seem to be charging 110% of the estimate amount to the card before delivery. This is legal, but the problem is that (a) the customer may not realize that 110% has been charged and (b) if a refund is due, the customer has to wait a long time for it to show up on the card. So if money is tight, customers with Nonbinding estimates might want to pay on delivery.

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