**Houston, TX to Asheville, NC

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Hstn to Asheville
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:59 am

**Houston, TX to Asheville, NC

Postby Hstn to Asheville » Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:00 pm

My husband and I recently moved from Houston, TX to Asheville, NC. We are both retired and this was a private move. I contacted four relocation companies in Houston to get estimates. All estimates were within a few hundred pounds and costs were within a few thousand. My husband and I planned to pack all our unbreakables and have the carrier pack the breakables (kitchen items, china, electronics, and mirrors/pictures). We did not ship an auto. We got estimates in early April 2008. The carrier packed on May 5, loaded on May 6, and moved on May 7, 2008. We arrived at the destination on May 9 and unloaded on May 10 and 11. Here are my impressions of the companies that we contacted, why we chose the one that we did, and our experience. We went with Atlantic Relocation in Houston (Atlas). In short, our overall experience was VERY GOOD.

In Houston, I contacted Darryl Flood (Allied, at the time), Atlantic Relocation (Atlas), Graebel, and Armstrong Relocation (United). All the estimators were very professional and, as I said, were in close agreement on the total weight, packing charges, and cost of the move. Total weight estimates were about 25,000 lbs. Costs of packing was about $2,500. Total costs were about $12,500.

We decided against Darryl Flood because they were in the process of changing from their affiliation with Allied van lines to Mayflower in the first week of May, the exact time that we wanted to move. Since we both had worked for large corporations for our entire careers, we knew what a mess a large-scale corporate transition can be, despite best intentions by all concerned. We were wary that our move could be caught in the change-over and decided not to go with Darryl, Flood for that reason alone.

We decided against Graebel because they offered a discounted rate if we moved before the first week of May. That was too soon for us to be ready. (The Graebel estimator was very thorough and reminded me of a drill sergeant. He clearly knew his business and gave us a lot of helpful hints and warnings about the move that helped us a lot. “No liquids allowed!” “Have the appliances professionally serviced!”)

The estimator for Armstrong was the only one that did not impress me favorably. I asked the same list of detailed questions about the move that I asked all of the estimators, e.g., how/where do you get your labor (packers and loaders), will my goods remain on the same van throughout the move, what type of estimate will you provide, can you furnish references, etc. The Armstrong estimator sidestepped almost all of the questions by telling us about their incentive plans to encourage better employee performance.

We went with Atlantic Relocation based on their estimator’s professionalism, the cost estimate, and ability to meet our desired move dates. I drove across town to pick up some used boxes (free from all the companies we talked to). I was SO impressed by the staff in the Atlantic office. Everyone was polite, upbeat, and smiling to each other! Our customer service rep called several times before and during the packing to check up. I was very impressed with the driver, packing and loading crew, and everyone associated with Atlantic and Atlas that we met. They packed on May 5, loaded on May 6, and got on the road May 7th. We drove our cars and arrived in the late afternoon, Friday, May 9th.

Things went a little sour at the destination. Our new house was set back from the road on about a 300 yard gravel driveway. It is in a hilly, but not extremely mountainous, area. The local streets are state roads; but are narrow, winding, and have load-limited bridges in a lot of places. I explained all this to the estimator and sales rep. I asked that they get someone from the destination agent to check out the area to be sure that we would not need a shuttle to offload the van and deliver the goods to the house. The customer service rep assured me that they had checked the area, and a shuttle would not be needed.

He was wrong.

On May 9, the van driver contacted me on my cell phone. I met him at a nearby truck stop and we drove to the house. After checking out all approaches to the house, he said he would have to get a shuttle, but didn’t know where to rent a truck and wasn’t having any luck hiring labor to help him and his co-driver unload. I urged him to get in touch with the destination agent for help. It may have been because it was Mother’s Day weekend, but he was only able to get two men to help unload on Saturday and no one on Sunday. Tempers got a little frayed. I think that Atlantic and the destination agent (whoever that was – I never found out) really let the driver down. It took four trips with the U-haul (26 footer?) to transfer all our goods to the house.

Despite the transfer, and stairs up to the house’s main level, only 1 piece of furniture fell off a hand truck and was slightly damaged. I have unpacked all the breakables and almost all of the boxes that my husband and I packed. I have found only 1 broken glass so far. I do not plan to file a claim since the damage is so minor it isn’t worth the hassle.
Everything has been accounted for.

All in all, it was a very good moving experience. I did have to pay the cost for the shuttle, but insisted that Atlas bill me for it after the goods were unloaded.

I would go with Atlantic Relocation and Atlas again. I would also get rid of more junk before we move again.
:lol:

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

Re: **Houston, TX to Asheville, NC

Postby rydog444 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:20 pm

It is great to hear of your overall satisfaction of the move. Some would not be so tolerant of an estimator telling you that a shuttle would not be needed, despite the fact that it was. One question, did the salesman give you a price for what the shuttle would cost, if indeed, one was needed? I like to call it "the no suprises sheet", but my company provides shippers with all unforseen possible destination charges. That way they know what they're getting into if they need any of the additional services not covered in the estimate.

Aside from doing a great job in handling your household, how was your driver? Personable? Caring? Polite? Accomodating?

Congrats on doing such a thorough job finding a mover, and a wonderful job reporting your experiences.
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.

Hstn to Asheville
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:59 am

Re: **Houston, TX to Asheville, NC

Postby Hstn to Asheville » Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:42 pm

Yes - the salesman for Atlantic did include the cost of a shuttle if one were needed. We discussed the geography at the destination with all the sales reps that we called to get estimates for the move. Frankly, I wasn't surprised that a shuttle was necessary.

When the driver tried to get payment for the shuttle charges on delivery and I declined to do so, he called the Atlantic office in Houston and I spoke to a VP. I told her that I agreed to pay the shuttle charges, but wanted to be billed for them. I got the bill last week. It was for slightly less than the estimate.

The driver was personable, polite, and very professional. He did a lot of the packing for the china and glassware and everything was superb in that respect. When I said that "tempers got a little frayed" on the last day of unloading, I meant that the driver got a little impatient and reluctant to move two pieces of furniture that I had told him to put in the wrong room (it was my mistake).

The driver went to find my husband and told my husband rather sternly that they would charge us extra if we started telling them to rearrange the furniture at will. I guess the driver wasn't comfortable confronting me. This annoyed my husband, understandably, and things were icy for awhile. We were all dog tired by then and I can't really fault the driver. After that, I decided that my husband and I would do any rearranging.

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

Re: **Houston, TX to Asheville, NC

Postby rydog444 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:06 pm

If you were simply asking him to move one or two pieces and that was it, then he should have just done it, and maybe he did. But sometimes, that can lead to a shipper thinking that they can debate all day long and try the same armoire in 5 different places, the desk in 3 different places, and on and on. That is when the driver has to put his foot down. Glad all of your furniture got there in good shape.

Ultimately, a shuttle is the decision of the driver. He is taking full responibility for the truck itself and anything that it may damage. Salesman should never assure a shipper that there is no need for a destination shuttle if they can't see it. I do believe that it is great that you were provided with the cost of the shuttle, if it were needed, initially.
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.

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

Re: **Houston, TX to Asheville, NC

Postby Diane » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:09 pm

Technically I think the drivers are required to place the furniture only once, or in only one room, although (like you) I've asked them to reposition individual pieces.

Since you liked the driver overall, would you like to post his name so I can give him credit on the Superlist posting? And I agree - you did a wonderful job on your review. Thanks so much for all the detail.

Hstn to Asheville
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:59 am

Re: **Houston, TX to Asheville, NC

Postby Hstn to Asheville » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:54 pm

I'll PM you with the driver's name and those of the crew and sales rep. Despite the confusion at the destination, this move still greatly exceeded my expectations.

dfaa
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:19 pm

Re: Houston, TX to Asheville, NC

Postby dfaa » Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:35 pm

Accoring to the positive posts about Atlantic Relocation Systems/Houston here, I would like to select it as my mover, too. I did some further homework. I found that there are 11 locations on http://www.atlanticrelocation.com/, including Houston. Following the last step of "How to Find a Reputable Moving Company", to check Atlantic Relocation Systems in Better Business Bureau, I can not see Houston. In stead I found "Atlantic Relocation Services" by the phone #, which unfortunately is not a BBB Accredited Business. This makes me confused.

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

Re: Houston, TX to Asheville, NC

Postby Rick » Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:17 pm

Removed
Last edited by Rick on Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

dfaa
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:19 pm

Re: Houston, TX to Asheville, NC

Postby dfaa » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:57 am

I am back to report my moving. Like many of you who happened to find this website, I learnt a lot and our moving from Houston to Michigan is very satisfied. I would like to give Atlantic Relocation Systems 5 stars.

To make it short, I contacted Atlantic Relocation Systems, Daryl Flood and Graebel to come to estimate. Daryl Flood cannot match my moving date and I added North American Van Lines (A-1 Freeman). Each of them gave a nice quote, $4000 +/- $300 for the 3/2 single house moving. The difference was between the “replacement value coverage” and I knew that Diane mentioned before that you can get free full replacement value coverage with Atlas agents if you have more than 5000 pounds and you're a member of AAA. I asked Atlantic and the answer is yes and the quote is GNTE, too.

My family must move on 08/16/2008. I asked Atlantic to do the moving on 08/15/2008. Agreed. We packed all most everything (into boxes) except the furniture. Two Atlantic drivers came in the morning on 08/15/2008, made everything labeled and recorded carefully, until late afternoon. A nice and professional job.

On 08/16/2008, we started our two-day driving from Houston and planned to arrive at Ann Arbor on 08/18/2008. In the afternoon, 08/17/2008, when we were driving in Indiana, we got a call from the Atlantic drivers that they were in Indiana too and would arrive in Ann Arbor on the next day. What a fast moving? Were you going to beat us? :D No, you must wait until we were available. Anyway, we talked and agreed to meet in the next afternoon.

We had to temporarily put our stuff in a commercial storage facility. About 2:00pm on 8/18/2008, the moving truck arrived on site. One little problem was that the 10*15ft room that I rented was not perfect, I mean kind of not enough, so that you can imagine it was a hard work. I would say that two gentle drivers were good organizers. Finally, everything was in the room. Oh, by the way, just like as the uploading, downloading of the stuff from the truck was also a time-consuming careful work. Everything left from Houston arrived in Ann Arbor.

Last but not least, on 08/14/2008, immediately before the drivers picked up, I was charged $3944 by credit card. On 09/16/2008, I got $802 refund back to my credit card. Is this the GNTE? I think so.

Thanks to Atlantic Relocation Systems. Thanks to movingscam.com.

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

Re: **Houston, TX to Asheville, NC

Postby MusicMom » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:55 pm

And thank YOU for coming back to report on your move. I for one am really glad to hear your experience went well.

And now, as residents of A2, I can say to you, Go Blue!.


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