Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

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brooklyn718
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 6:56 pm

Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby brooklyn718 » Wed May 07, 2008 7:16 pm

We would like to thank the organizers and contributors to the board. We found it very helpful for planning our move.

We wanted to post our experience to aid others reading this board.

We were moving our small three bedroom apartment from Brooklyn, NY to Southern California. We obtained not-to-exceed binding quotes from Mayflower/Dahill, Atlas, and Moovers. Although all of the quotes came out to a similar price range, we decided to go with Mayflower/Dahill based on a fast turn around (10 days), and a good rapport with Chris Blank (Dahill appraiser). Chris visited our home twice and answered our questions over the telephone. We needed to coordinate how to ‘park’ the 90-foot tractor trailer on our congested block and understand all of the other logistics. In the end we planned to have Mayflower to pack our belongings on Saturday and load on Monday (alternate side of the street parking.) In addition, he gave us several useful tips on how to save money. The load was estimated to be about 9,000 lbs.

The day of the pack was almost perfect. Most of the crew showed up on time and a remaining crew member within an hour later. They got quickly to work and followed most of our instructions. They worked most of the day and were finished in the mid-afternoon. So far so good.

Unfortunately, Dahill appeared to have subcontracted the load and transportation to United. We had previously used United to move into this home four years ago and had nothing but problems. We had previously discussed this with Chris during the appraisal and he explained that United must have used a Long Island crew that is not conditioned to work in Brooklyn walkups. So we were quite surprised that they decided to subcontract to United for our move. We were informed about this decision at the last minute on Friday afternoon.

In our conversation with Chris during the appraisal , we explained that if the truck arrived at around 11am, it would be ideal for getting a ‘parking’ space. (Anyone familiar with alternate side of the street parking in Brooklyn would understand the crucial part of the timing.) Unfortunately, the Dahill staff planned to have the truck arrive at 8am. Given that they were more familiar with moving than us, we did not put up too much of a protest.

The day of the load was quite challenging. It was drizzling all day and a bit cold. We headed out (Wife, 10-month-old, and I) into the street at 7AM to block off 200 feet of parking spaces. (I was concerned that some of my neighbors may want to shoot us for these precious parking spaces.) The truck and crew showed up on-time at 8 AM and were able to maneuver into our ‘parking’ spot. Good so far. The driver seemed nice and the crew was friendly. We were initially concerned when the crew started complaining five minutes into the job. There were three guys. The first guy had lots of experience and enjoyed arguing with us when we expressed any concern. The second was 56 years-old, overweight, and had difficulty climbing the stairs. The third middle-aged guy said he had no experience.

Within 30 minutes into the load, I was sent downstairs to examine a box leaking wine. Apparently, a box was dropped several feet onto the pavement and broke a bottle of wine inside wrapped in bubble wrap. This was one of the boxes professionally packed by the Dahill packers. Of course, no one was taking any responsibility for this accident. In passing, the crew said that the wind blew it over and that the wine should have been packed in paper instead. I was left to repack the box on the sidewalk in the rain. I let it go.

The crew never seemed to have a good handle on using straps to carry the boxes. They would generally try to strap too many boxes at one time and thereby either readjust their load after taking a few steps or dropping a few boxes to the ground. I finally intervened when I watched the inexperienced mover crushing light boxes by piling on heavy book boxes to strap on. He actually listened to me and discontinued that practice. We were less influential with the others.

Just a few more highlights. The crew insisted in carrying out our brand new sofa down the stairs and out in the rain into the truck unwrapped. The experienced crew member explained that this was standard practice. I had to forcefully intervene when they insisted that they wanted to do the same with our two Herman Miller Aeron office chairs. I had to explain that the hallway was very narrow and could easily damage the chairs.

Furthermore, at about three hours in to the move, I called Chris on his cell and expressed our displeasure. He explained that there was not much he could do because it was the driver’s responsibility. He did offer to speak to the driver and helped convey our concerns. Afterwards, the driver took a more vocal stance and insisted that the crew used blankets for wrapping the furniture going forward. (They hadn’t brought any blankets to apartment at this point.)

One final tidbit was that I accidentally noticed that my luggage (for the plane flight) was loaded deep into the truck about to be covered by two layers of boxes. It was apparently taken from our one pile of stuff that was not to be touched while we were not looking. Thankfully, it was retrieved.

BTW, the truck never got a parking ticket. Perhaps the 8am arrival time was a good choice.

Our shipment is scheduled to be unloaded tomorrow. We are a bit apprehensive to find out the condition of our stuff. We’ll let you know how it goes. We hope that these observations help out our fellow travelers.

Regards.

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

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby Diane » Wed May 07, 2008 11:36 pm

*groan*
I notice this sentence in the Superlist:
Dahill does not usually self-haul any shipment more than 500 miles. Most shipments going further are hauled by drivers from other Mayflower or United Van Lines agents.

You have run up against one of the most important weaknesses of the van line system. If a shipment goes into the van line system, customers are at the mercy of whatever driver and crew happen to show up. I'm sure that Chris has run into this situation many, many times before. However good a job he does, he can't control the behavior of the van line driver. Your driver seems to have hired a half-baked crew.

This is why we always recommend that people use Moovers Inc. if possible. They self-haul everything so it is all under the control of the owner of the company. In contrast, a van line agent (Dahill in this case) loses almost all control of the move once it goes into the van line system.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

Fred0844

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby Fred0844 » Thu May 08, 2008 12:08 am

Diane, How many trucks does Moovers have?

Rick
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:59 pm

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby Rick » Thu May 08, 2008 5:54 am

Appears they're able to consistently overcome the "weaknesses" of the entire van line system with about a dozen trucks. http://tinyurl.com/623aro

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

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby ArchieWhite » Thu May 08, 2008 7:19 am

:roll:

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

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby Diane » Thu May 08, 2008 9:33 am

Rick wrote:Appears they're able to consistently overcome the "weaknesses" of the entire van line system with about a dozen trucks. http://tinyurl.com/623aro

That's what happens when you have integrity, hard work, and Diane on your side. :lol:

Seriously, of course they are going to have a problem move from time to time. Every time I talk with Matt (owner of Moovers), he cautions me that "Not everyone loves us." But by and large, they have been able to fend off disasters so far.

Also, I should have noted that I know that Dahill does send its own trucks and drivers to Florida, i.e. it does go farther than 500 miles on occasion.

rydog444
Posts: 1022
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:44 pm

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby rydog444 » Thu May 08, 2008 9:47 am

The problem is, is that if they're really better than all of their competition, it is only a matter of time before your referalls won't be necessary. I have no doubt that they are a great company, but they are no better than any other great moving company, like they are built up on here to be. I have already seen several times when people come on here and moovers were all booked up, after you suggested them. Then the shipper feels like they are in big trouble, because this country only provides one great mover, nobody else matches their perfection. It's really rather silly to build someone up to be so much better than anyone else.
My job is to give the best domestic and international moving services to my corporate clients by using the best movers in the world, regardless of vanline affiliation.

Rick
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:59 pm

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby Rick » Thu May 08, 2008 10:24 am

Rydog, you're not inferring that they won't be able to self haul all of the moves for the estimated 4.1 million consumers who are planning an interstate relocation this summer with their 12 trucks are you?

Diane, Dahill has operated a Florida "zip" run since the early '80s when the DiBattista family operated several moving companies along the east coast.

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

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby ArchieWhite » Thu May 08, 2008 10:28 am

Snowbirds moving from the NE to Fla have kept many movers busy for many years.

shawn'snana
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 3:09 pm

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby shawn'snana » Thu May 08, 2008 4:13 pm

Hi brooklyn, just wondering if this company was in the Canarsie area, possibly on Rockaway Pkwy? I used a Dahill that was located in a residential home (very odd), and the same situation occurred, although many years ago. Just wondering if this could be the same company that was in Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn?

shawn'snana
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 3:09 pm

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby shawn'snana » Thu May 08, 2008 5:29 pm

:idea: Rick
You tawkin' ta me? This is probably the family I was asking about earlier today re Dahill and their early 80's Florida runs. I recall there were six families being moved by one truck that moved my five room apartment at one time. And how important that packing list was when I actually arrived!!

brooklyn718
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 6:56 pm

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby brooklyn718 » Wed May 21, 2008 2:15 am

shawn'snana wrote:Hi brooklyn, just wondering if this company was in the Canarsie area, possibly on Rockaway Pkwy? I used a Dahill that was located in a residential home (very odd), and the same situation occurred, although many years ago. Just wondering if this could be the same company that was in Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn?

We understood that Dahill Moving & Storage was one of the most reputable movers in the NYC area. They have been a long-term agent for Mayflower Transit.

Regards.

brooklyn718
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 6:56 pm

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby brooklyn718 » Wed May 21, 2008 2:33 am

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update...

We appreciate all of the comments in response to our thread. I certainly didn't expect to be posting about our experience on this forum when we selected the moving agent. Stuff just happens.

The unloading of the truck in Southern California went much smoother. The driver had secured one very experienced gentlemen to help. They had no problem completing the job in a fast and efficient manner. My only dissatisfaction was that they insisted on starting at 8am which meant that we had to be on the road to meet them by 5:30am. Given that we have a 10-month-old who has been not been in his own crib for several days, we did not get much sleep that night.

We did have one mishap when a box exploded all of the floor. It appears that the important contents of a flat file (my wife is a professional artist) were haphazardly piled into a large box when we were looking the other way back in Brooklyn. Most of the contents were damaged. It is a shame that this was one of only five items that we asked for special handling.

So I guess that our next step is to deal with insurance paperwork (full replacement with $250 deductible). We are going to assume that there are going to be a whole bunch of fine print gotchas that are going to prevent us from receiving compensation. Have folks written about their experience of filling out the insurance forms? We would like to avoid the mine fields.

Regards.
Last edited by brooklyn718 on Wed May 21, 2008 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thezees
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 3:10 pm

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby thezees » Wed May 21, 2008 11:33 am

We are going through a similar process - similiar weight, SF to VA. Thnking about mayflower - what was the total estimate?

brooklyn718
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 6:56 pm

Re: **Mayflower/Dahill – NY to CA - Mixed Results

Postby brooklyn718 » Wed May 21, 2008 12:44 pm

thezees wrote:We are going through a similar process - similiar weight, SF to VA. Thnking about mayflower - what was the total estimate?

It was about $9.5k which included professional packing/supplies and 3 story walk-up on the load. Please PM me if you would like any additional details.

Good luck.


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