My local move with Flatrate Moving in NYC

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dylane
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 11:18 am
Location: Astoria, NY

My local move with Flatrate Moving in NYC

Postby dylane » Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:17 am

I moved a couple of weeks ago and ended up using Flatrate Moving, mostly because I had trouble finding anyone else available who had mostly positive reviews. I thought I'd post my experience here as most of the other reviews I've seen here have been third party and short.

First a little background for the move, we were moving from Queens to Brooklyn (about a 15 minute drive). We had a three bedroom apartment, but our roommate had one bedroom and had already moved out, so we only had two bedrooms worth of stuff. Very little in the way of big furniture, but a fair amount of small and/or awkward items that don't box well. We have moved frequently (7 moves in 5 years), but this was our first move using movers. After getting quick over the phone "ball park" estimates from a couple people that were $2000 we decided that we would rent a truck and get the more delicate, smaller, awkward pieces ourselves.

I tried contacting both Delancey and Shea as well as a couple of others for the move, but Shea was filled up and Delancey never returned several phone calls. I ended up getting estimates from Big John's and Flatrate. Big John gave an in house estimate (taking into account all of the items we planned on moving ourselves) and came back with an estimate of 7 hours, 4 guys, and $1600.

For Flatrate I filled out a quick online contact card, and had a rep (Jason) contact me a day later. My move was coming up in a week and I needed to make a decision in a hurry, so there was no longer time to do an in house quote. So we did a very detailed phone interview and I was given an estimate of $1300 based on volume. Jason was very nice and was able to work with me a bit, he said that normally the minimum move they would do was $1200, but because we could do a late afternoon move they could waive the minimum if we took more stuff ourselves. So we ended up getting the quote down to around $900.

For the day of the move everything we had was packed and in one bedroom of the house. We were given a window of 1:00 - 3:00pm, but around 2:30 we get a call that they will be a bit late. They ended up getting there by 3:30pm (which wasn't a problem).

We had three movers come by. They were all nice guys, but the one guy rubbed me a bit the wrong way by telling me upfront that standard tipping was 15-20% of the total move cost.

The move itself was a mixed bag, we have very inexpensive furniture, and don't really care if it gets banged up a bit. But they kind of insisted on overwrapping everything. They would use an entire roll of packing tape per item, going around the item at least 20 times. We wouldn't have cared, except that it wasn't actually doing anything to protect our stuff, and seemed to just waste time. Later we noticed that most of our furniture was scratched up anyway. Something that never happened in any of our previous moves even though we never bothered to wrap our furniture.

The move ended up taking just over 3 hours total, which included 40 minutes in rush hour traffic. There was a fair amount of standing around at both ends (1 guy would go down and unload the truck and load the freight elevator while the other two just stood around and waited.

The move cost exactly what they said it would beforehand, so we don't feel scammed, but we do feel that we overpaid. Over $900 for 9 man-hours seems excessive.

This isn't a wholehearted pan of the company. If you have a bigger move, and can plan it out in time to have Flatrate come out and do a proper in-home estimate you might have better results than we did.

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

Re: My local move with Flatrate Moving in NYC

Postby Diane » Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:35 am

Thanks for this review. I agree that $900 for 9 man-hours seems excessive. Looking at Shea's review thread, I figure that they would have charged $490 for this move if there were 3 workers and a truck and it took 3 hours plus 1/2 hour travel time (and if there were no parking tickets to pay). I guess a larger question in my mind is why Big John's quote was so high.

I've been told by the CA office of Delancey that Delancey-NY's phones have been out of order recently. They are also starting their seasonal Christmas-tree business where they stop doing interstate moves and cut down on local ones for a couple of months each year.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

dylane
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 11:18 am
Location: Astoria, NY

Re: My local move with Flatrate Moving in NYC

Postby dylane » Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:29 am

Hi Diane, thanks for adding my review to the superlist.

The Big John's quote was high partly because they didn't know how much we would end up moving ourselves. I told the estimator that we had already reserved a truck and were planning on taking over some of the items ourselves. He said overall that this would probably not cut down the bill by very much, but he did think it would be a good idea to take our plants and art.

In the end we ended up taking at least half of the items ourselves in the truck. Which still only took two of us non-professionals about 3 hours plus travel time, so I think the 6 hours for 4 professionals was a bit high on the estimate.

As for Shea and Delancey. Shea was very nice and got back to me a few minutes after I had called (even though it was after business hours) and left me a message that they did not have any availability fo the days I gave them. The next day they followed up again and got me in person and apologized that they were all booked. They were both very nice. Hopefully I won't have to move again for a couple of years, but when/if I do I'll definitely give Shea a call first thing to see if they can help.

With Delancey I left a message over the weekend, and then called back on Monday and spoke to a receptionist who told me that all the guys were out, but asked if I could call back after 1pm and she would have one of them call me. I tried again the next day after not hearing back, and was again told that no one was available to take my call. I left my number again and asked for a call back, but never heard anything. I read here about the Christmas tree thing, so I figured they probably didn't have the availability to move me either and didn't try back.

ArchieWhite
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: My local move with Flatrate Moving in NYC

Postby ArchieWhite » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:12 pm

The moral of this story is, don't wait until the last minute to book your move, or you may pay more. ( or don't try to move during tree season)


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