Please help me decide what mover to use!

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MovingtoMilford
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:10 am
Location: Matamoras, PA

Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby MovingtoMilford » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:31 pm

For our move from MD to Milford, PA, I received four in-home estimates for our 3 BR, 2 ½ bath townhouse. We are packing everything ourselves except furniture, large living room TV, and some larger pictures and mirrors. We will be putting some items/boxes in a storage facility across the street. Here’s the results of the estimates:

Coleman Storage (Allied): Kay spent about an hour doing our estimate, and even went up in the attic. She estimated our weight at 9,000 lbs ($3050.46 transportation charges); packing and crate charges of $982.35 (we have two marble-topped tables) and provided a GNTE estimate of $4,032.81. We have USAA for our homeowners insurance, and will confirm and raise our coverage with them as needed for this trip. Need to confirm damage coverage as well, but I’m pretty sure we have it. I did not ask to include an additional pickup location for some reason. Kay said if we get a lower estimate, to give them the right of first refusal. Does this mean they might go lower?

Von Paris (United): Karl spent a lot of time giving me packing advice, which I appreciated. He said insurance regulations prohibited him for going up in the attic, so I went up and yelled down the description of the items in there. They will provide 25 free boxes. However, I really didn’t care for their estimate format. It calculates a huge bill, then discounts the services at the bottom of the page. He estimated our stuff at 7600 lbs., with transportation charges of $6,041.36. The container packing and unpacking charges were $829.97. He also calculated “Accessorial Charges” of $1,072.15, comprised of $244.72 in “Origin Fees”; $557.03 in destination fees; $120.35 for Extra Stop Charge; and $150 for Destination Mini Storage pickup/delivery. Finally, the “Additional Charges” of $1,279.55 we comprised of a $422.90 fuel surcharge; $241.65 IRR Surcharge; $220 for 2 crates; and $280 total to prep and set up our washer/dryer. The total estimate before “Discount” was $9,223.03! Then they threw in a 62% discount of $5336.97 for a final estimate of $3886.06. However, it does not appear to be a GNTE or even a TPG.

Moyer & Sons: Jason did my estimate. He was the only one who showed up without a computer of any kind, and had to work up and email me my estimate the next afternoon. He was in and out of my house in about a half an hour. He estimated our load at 7,000 lbs. One thing I liked is that he said Moyer would provide us with whatever used boxes we needed free of charge. I did not, however, care for their estimate form. He gave a “fixed, firm cost for relocation of household goods” in the amount of $3,482. Pack service was shown as $560, but then two more line items appeared for crates at $60 each, for a total of $680. There was no bottom-line total. The form was confusing enough that I called and left Jason a message to confirm the total. He left me a message back that the “total” would be $4,162. However, only the “Relocation” cost was fixed; the total could vary due to other things, like shuttle services. Hmm. He and I discussed the type of truck that would be needed, and he said Moyer could provide a schoolbus-sized truck. Unless that couldn’t get down our destination street, why would shuttle services even be an issue? Again, not sure what type of estimate this is, but is does not appear to be a GNTE or TPG.

Matthew Moving Company (Allied): Jim spent over an hour going through the house. He said we had what they called a “short haul move” and estimated our load at 6600 lbs., but said that their minimum as of September 1 is 8,000 lbs. He said during the summer, it’s 10,000 lbs. He went out of his way to assure me that the driver doing the pickup will be the same driver delivering at destination. He also said that the movers all speak English. Yay!! He will give a “gift pack” of 25 boxes also. He estimated our transportation cost to be $3,100.51 (it includes pickup, delivery and fuel surcharges). Total packing service with crates was $428.50. The “Total Guaranteed Price” with a “Guaranteed Price Pledge” was $3,529.01. At the very bottom of the estimate appeared a description of other services: Shuttle $750, Extra Stops, $50.85 each; and other charges related to waiting time and storage if no one is at the destination per agreement. Jim said not all companies disclose those fees, but that he always did. I told Jim that we do NOT want to pay any shuttle charges and asked what we could do to ensure that. He said that he would let his manager know that was a stipulation, and that they would work with it.

I’m leaning toward Matthew, but the shuttle thing has me nervous. We are driving up to Milford on Sunday to check out the rental duplex and coming back the same day. We will also checkout the street to make sure it can accommodate whatever truck gets used. My goodness but the need for a shuttle really drives up the price!

I would love to hear feedback on my estimates from the board “experts.” Thank you!

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

Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby Diane » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:54 pm

Thanks for this detailed post. I'll just give you a few of my reactions, for what they're worth - I am not in the industry but have picked up some info over the past couple of years. I put the quotes in bold to make them easier to pick out.

I note that you're going to need the movers to make an extra stop at a storage unit near your new residence, although you may not have mentioned this to all the companies. You need to get a quote from all of them on this so you're comparing apples to apples.

On another topic, I am not sure that packing/crating charges can be guaranteed by any company in advance, especially the van line agents, although the transportation charges can be. Check with the reps about this.
MovingtoMilford wrote:Coleman Storage (Allied): Kay spent about an hour doing our estimate, and even went up in the attic. She estimated our weight at 9,000 lbs ($3050.46 transportation charges); packing and crate charges of $982.35 (we have two marble-topped tables) and provided a GNTE estimate of $4,032.81. We have USAA for our homeowners insurance, and will confirm and raise our coverage with them as needed for this trip. Need to confirm damage coverage as well, but I’m pretty sure we have it. I did not ask to include an additional pickup location for some reason. Kay said if we get a lower estimate, to give them the right of first refusal. Does this mean they might go lower?

Yes, it does, in my opinion. However, if you are talking about Coleman American Moving Services in Baltimore, the Superlist suggests that their reputation isn't as great as that of your other companies, and since Matthew is also an Allied agent I personally would drop Coleman. You would get more personal service with Matthew if they self-haul the shipment using their own truck and driver. Regarding USAA, please do speak with them and confirm that your insurance would cover breakage, scratches, and dents to items. People have posted this in the past but I find it hard to believe. If you have anything in writing on this, please post it. If Coleman gave you a GNTE, it should say "TPG with GRR" somewhere on your quote.
Von Paris (United): I really didn’t care for their estimate format. It calculates a huge bill, then discounts the services at the bottom of the page. He estimated our stuff at 7600 lbs., with transportation charges of $6,041.36. The container packing and unpacking charges were $829.97. He also calculated “Accessorial Charges” of $1,072.15, comprised of $244.72 in “Origin Fees”; $557.03 in destination fees; $120.35 for Extra Stop Charge; and $150 for Destination Mini Storage pickup/delivery. Finally, the “Additional Charges” of $1,279.55 we comprised of a $422.90 fuel surcharge; $241.65 IRR Surcharge; $220 for 2 crates; and $280 total to prep and set up our washer/dryer. The total estimate before “Discount” was $9,223.03! Then they threw in a 62% discount of $5336.97 for a final estimate of $3886.06. However, it does not appear to be a GNTE or even a TPG.

What you want from United agents is an "Option C" quote which is the equivalent of a GNTE. (TPG is for Allied agents.) This may be an Option C quote already - ask Karl. Giving you a huge estimate and then a 62% discount is standard for moving companies - it is nothing that should be held against them.
Moyer & Sons: Jason did my estimate. He was the only one who showed up without a computer of any kind, and had to work up and email me my estimate the next afternoon. He was in and out of my house in about a half an hour. He estimated our load at 7,000 lbs. One thing I liked is that he said Moyer would provide us with whatever used boxes we needed free of charge. I did not, however, care for their estimate form. He gave a “fixed, firm cost for relocation of household goods” in the amount of $3,482. Pack service was shown as $560, but then two more line items appeared for crates at $60 each, for a total of $680. There was no bottom-line total. The form was confusing enough that I called and left Jason a message to confirm the total. He left me a message back that the “total” would be $4,162. However, only the “Relocation” cost was fixed; the total could vary due to other things, like shuttle services. Hmm. He and I discussed the type of truck that would be needed, and he said Moyer could provide a schoolbus-sized truck. Unless that couldn’t get down our destination street, why would shuttle services even be an issue? Again, not sure what type of estimate this is, but is does not appear to be a GNTE or TPG.

Jason's "fixed, firm cost" appears to be a Binding estimate that can't go up or down with the weight of your shipment. It is common for smaller moving companies to give this type of estimate because they need to charge a certain amount to make the move worthwhile for them to do. There is nothing wrong with it, and I wouldn't hold it against him that he didn't do the estimate using a handheld computer. If Moyer is using a straight truck, and not a tractor-trailer, in my opinion there shouldn't be any need for a shuttle.
Matthew Moving Company (Allied): The “Total Guaranteed Price” with a “Guaranteed Price Pledge” was $3,529.01. At the very bottom of the estimate appeared a description of other services: Shuttle $750, Extra Stops, $50.85 each; and other charges related to waiting time and storage if no one is at the destination per agreement. Jim said not all companies disclose those fees, but that he always did. I told Jim that we do NOT want to pay any shuttle charges and asked what we could do to ensure that. He said that he would let his manager know that was a stipulation, and that they would work with it.

Moving companies are required by the regulations to disclose those extra fees in case those services are needed. However, if Matthew does your move using its own straight truck rather than registering your move with the van line (which would move your things in a big tractor-trailer), a shuttle should NOT be needed. Jim is correct that some less ethical companies don't disclose the possibility of those extra charges or print them in tiny font so they are hard to read. The reason is that customers (like you) get nervous if they see extra charges listed. For a true GNTE that could go down with weight, you do need to get a "TPG with GRR" (Guaranteed Rate Reduction) from Matthew. They may have given you a simple TPG quote, which is the equivalent of a Binding quote. In my opinion it's not a deal-breaker if they give you only a Binding quote (like Moyer), but you should go into it with your eyes open.
Last edited by Diane on Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

ArchieWhite
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby ArchieWhite » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:56 pm

1. Right of first refusal, will they go lower? Probably, all you have to do it tell them to sharpen their pencil.....you could even tell her that 'here is our budget figure, can you do it?' and then sit back, say nothing, and wait on her to say yes.....

2. the VonParis prices shown high, then discounted at the bottom,,,, this is not unusual, and it means nothing, the only thing that means anything is the number at the bottom. Don't worry about the first number, only the last.

3. Meyer and sons, 30 minutes?.....not enough time, he may be fast, but he may not be accurate, I'd toss that one.

ArchieWhite
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Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby ArchieWhite » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:00 pm

Diane; Here's another little tidbit for your ever widening bank of information about the relocation industry.....Allied agents cannot use their own authority (unless thats changed) they are required to give it up, if they ever had it, to become an Allied agent.....thats actually how United got started, a bunch of Allied agents were told they would have to give up their own operating authority to be allied, and they broke off and formed United, who has always allowed an agent to operate with their own authority.

Own authority and self haul are not the same.....Matthews, or any other Allied agent can register the shipment as a self haul, and haul it, but that is not 'on their own authority' its just on Allied authority, with Allieds permission to haul it.

Diane
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Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby Diane » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:06 pm

Thanks, Archie - I didn't know that about Allied. I suppose that Matthew could move people under its own authority if it were an intrastate move within MD (?).

ArchieWhite
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Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby ArchieWhite » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:09 pm

yes, the van lines have no intra state authority except in a few states, Tx, Cal, maybe a couple more.

Diane
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby Diane » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:10 pm

I'm confused now because according to safersys.org, Matthew Moving Co. has its own MC #159515 for moving people interstate.

ArchieWhite
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby ArchieWhite » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:15 pm

I dunno....a lot of my knowledge is too old to be accurate anymore....These young whippersnappers are doing it differently than we did it back in the day....
Maybe Allied has relaxed that requirement, but at one time, you had to put all Interstate shipments on Allied authority.....Maybe a real expert will read this and clear it up, I'm probably wrong.

MusicMom
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Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby MusicMom » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:38 pm

Remember, MD requires all movers to have an FMCSA license even for local moves.

MovingtoMilford
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Location: Matamoras, PA

Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby MovingtoMilford » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:03 pm

MusicMom wrote:Remember, MD requires all movers to have an FMCSA license even for local moves.


Any idea where can I find the FMCSA license for Matthew Moving? What exactly is a FMCSA license?

MusicMom
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Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby MusicMom » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:13 pm

Diane wrote:according to safersys.org, Matthew Moving Co. has its own MC #159515 for moving people interstate.

MusicMom
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Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby MusicMom » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:14 pm

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is a division of the Department of Transportation that deals with interstate transport of anything (people, materials, trash, lumber, etc). Even if the DOT has given you the authority to drive interstate, you need the separate MC# granted by the FMCSA to legally operate crossing state lines.

Diane
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Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby Diane » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:45 pm

OK, trying to clear this up I just spoke with Karen Williford, who is a Vice President at Matthew Moving and has been with the company ever since it was an agent for Republic Van Lines almost 30 years ago (the company is 40 years old). She said that because Matthew is in MD, they can do moves in the MD-DC-Northern VA metropolitan area under their own authority. However, interstate moves outside of this metro area would be done under Allied's authority, so the OP's move would be under Allied.

Also, a move completely within VA (for example) couldn't be done by Matthew, because they don't have authority within VA, and Allied couldn't do it either, because they have intra authority only within certain states like CA and TX, as Archie said.

Regarding self-haul, Karen said that Allied requires them to self-haul everything under 500 miles, so they would be hauling the OP's shipment using their own straight truck and driver. Although I didn't ask her about that specific move, she said that normally a shuttle would not be required unless there was unusually restricted access at destination. The sales rep (Jim) would have been able to tell the OP about access at origin.
Last edited by Diane on Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

MovingtoMilford
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:10 am
Location: Matamoras, PA

Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby MovingtoMilford » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:10 pm

Ok, I guess I'm the "OP" :D

Thanks for making that call and the info, Diane! It sounds like Matthews must self-haul our stuff, so they will be using one of their trucks (which I guess will NOT be a tractor-trailer). We are checking the location out for ourselves this weekend, but don't anticipate any unusual restrictions at destination. If there aren't any, there seems to be no reason why shuttle services would be needed.

Does everyone agree that Matthew looks like a good deal for us? They came in with the lowest estimate and it looks like they will be self-hauling. Anything else I should consider before signing a contract?

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

Re: Please help me decide what mover to use!

Postby Diane » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:43 pm

Yes, sorry - "OP" = Original Poster (since I don't know your name and your screen name is pretty long). :lol:

OK, I was just bumped up to talk to the president of Matthew Moving, Matthew "Nick" Rebro, probably because my incessant nitpicking questions were too much for a mere VP to handle. :lol:

Nick said that yes, they would be self-hauling your shipment, and he gave me a few additional details about his company, which I'm adding to the Superlist. He said that Moyer is just down the road from Matthew.

I think Matthew sounds good, but please clarify with Jim (I think his last name is something like Dunellen) that his TPG quote includes packing and crating as well as the extra stop to put stuff in the storage unit. Usually moving companies charge an extra fee to do that, over and beyond the fee for an extra stop. From what you say, they will be charging you for a minimum 8000 pounds, so disregard what I said above about getting a GRR quote. Even if your weight is less than 6600 pounds, you would still have to pay what they quoted you.

Regarding why Matthew has an MC license, I just read my own Superlist posting where - as I see MusicMom posted above - it says that all movers in MD, even local movers, have to have MC numbers. This is according to what the Maryland Movers' Council told MusicMom. Incidentally, Nick as president of the company didn't know his own MC number - I had to tell him what it was - so it's not surprising that many sales reps don't know such things.

Whatever you decide, please post about the outcome of your move so I can add your review to the Superlist.


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