CA to East Coast Move: Comparisons

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RobA
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:37 pm
Location: L.A., CA

CA to East Coast Move: Comparisons

Postby RobA » Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:48 pm

I'm moving from the SF Bay Area to Western Mass in August and I'm having four estimators coming in the next two weeks: Cor-o-Van (north american van lines), Tri - Valley Worldwide (Bekins), Sausalito Moving & Storage (allied), and (hopefully, as I missed them today) California Movers Express (stevens).

My main problem is that when getting details on when my things will arrive, I get huge ranges -- from 5 to 18 days!

Is there a standard on this or is it totally contigent on when the move is and other circumstances? Does anyone have any recent experience with a cross country move/ these movers?

Thanks a lot,
Rob
Last edited by RobA on Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Re: West to East Move Delivery Times?

Postby Diane » Fri Jun 25, 2004 11:18 pm

The moving professionals who post here will advise you whether those spreads are to be expected at this time of year, but they often don't post on weekends. A lot depends on the size of the load.

The only company I've heard of among the ones you're considering is California Movers Express, which had good reviews here from two people posting as "Chuck" and as "ToniCA" (Toni was also considering Cor-o-Van). You might want to read Toni's report on this thread - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... &highlight - because she discusses why she chose California Movers Express. Both Chuck and Toni raved about an agent named Robyn Visser at (510) 785-2440 so you might want to request her.

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: West to East Move Delivery Times?

Postby Michael » Sat Jun 26, 2004 8:11 am

Actually truck size has nothing to do with it as much as your weight and distance and WHEN YOUR MOVING.

The less you have, the further you go the longer it takes. Keep in mind, with majors (as you have mentioned), with moves this distance, they use what we call a continental fleet. These are drivers specifically licensed to drive long distances (and trained). Majors are not UPS or FedEx. It isnt cost effective to ship 1000-2000 pounds cross country in a 75 ft truck and not load anything else on it. So majors have to utilize their space available to the maximum. That doesnt mean they pick you up and just wait for another shipment to load. But it gives them 5-18 days to be picking up or dropping off other shipments along the way.

So depending on your weight and of course you going cross country, yes its normal.

Best of luck,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: West to East Move Delivery Times?

Postby Nancy » Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:31 am

Our normal transit time that distance is 6 to 20 days. It will depend on the weight of your shipment, and how many other loads that driver will pick up besides yours. Once you choose a mover, they will give you an Order for Service. This form will show your "delivery spread." Which means the dates that they plan to deliver. They are not guaranteed, just "agreed upon" dates.

RobA
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:37 pm
Location: L.A., CA

Re: West to East Move Delivery Times?

Postby RobA » Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:58 am

Diane wrote:The only company I've heard of among the ones you're considering is California Movers Express, which had good reviews here from two people posting as "Chuck" and as "ToniCA" (Toni was also considering Cor-o-Van).


I was just reading Chuck's detailed breakdown of his move from the Bay Area and he also called Cor-o-Van, but was worried by their "lowballing" the weight of his move. If he has a binding not-to-exceed estimate, why would this be a concern?

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: West to East Move Delivery Times?

Postby Michael » Mon Jun 28, 2004 11:12 am

Rob A,

Even though a binding not to exceed is preferred, it doesnt mean the actual charges will not exceed what was quoted.

Today, van lines are required by the FMSCA to supply each person moving with a Destination Price List. This price is not included in your quote at time of the survey, but is on a seperate sheet that prices for long and stair carries, shuttles, storage and unpacking. If at time of delivery any of these are requested, the van line has up to 30 days before they can collect or invoice you for those charges.

But keep in mind, drivers still have the right of refusal on any shipment they accept. And even though you have a binding not to exceed, he can protest your move at time of load, before anything is loaded into his truck, and ask that you sign an addendum agreeing to pay for the excess weight, should the truck weigh more when your shipment is weighed. Thus your paying for actual weight.

You have two choices, sign the addendum or dont. The driver has two choices, accept your goods or leave.

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, in my 14 years in the industry, I have only seen one driver (a competitor at the time) leave a move because the shipper refused to sign the addendum for the extra 9,000 pounds the sales person low balled their quote by. I have seen drivers protest because there were more boxes then estimated and because shippers tried to send things that were originally marked as not going. I have seen drivers protest for shuttles at origin and destination.

So a not to exceed is only as good as the sales person doing the survey, inventory and quote, and as good as the driver is honest and legit.

So that why it still mattered.

Best of luck,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

RobA
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:37 pm
Location: L.A., CA

Re: West to East Move

Postby RobA » Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:44 pm

What does GNTE stand for? I thought guaranteed not to exceed, but I wasn't sure. And what's PBO stand for next to each of the boxes on the inventory?

23
Posts: 1102
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 2:47 pm

Re: West to East Move

Postby 23 » Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:53 pm

GNTE "Guaranteed Not to Exceed"
PBO "Packed by Owner"
CP "Carrier Packed"
DBO "Disassembled by Owner"
MCU "Mechanical Condition Unknown"
FUBAR "Welp, we all know that one!"

Moving Tip #23!

RobA
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:37 pm
Location: L.A., CA

Re: West to East Move

Postby RobA » Wed Jun 30, 2004 7:41 pm

I've gotten three estimates and my last one (from the much-praised Robyn) comes tomorrow. So far, I think I'm following in Chuck's footsteps. I have to say that of the three estimates so far, I think Chipmans (United) had the best overall vibe. But Bill also made me nervous about Cor-o-van's potential lowball estimate.

When Chuck finished his move, it turned out that Dan's "lowballing" was only off by 400 lbs.
Chuck wrote:Cor-O-Van/NorthAmerican sent out Danny Shane, a retired police officer with a tough-looking goatee and shaved head (the rest of the estimators were all drivers previously, and therefore in the industry). He was nice enough and professional, but I think he lowballed the weight significantly -- he has our apt coming in at about 6800 lbs. However, despite the lower weight, he has 20 more cartons than the average estimate!
Chuck wrote:The weigh-in proved our load to be around 7200 lbs.
Ultimately such a difference is not make such a big deal, I would think. Am I wrong? Also, Dan no longer has a shaved head and I didn't find the goatee so "tough-looking."

In any case I'll post all the NTE amounts after Robyn comes tomorrow.

--Rob

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: West to East Move

Postby Michael » Wed Jun 30, 2004 7:45 pm

Just let that show that those in the industry and those that know what they are doing know how to do it. Most agents like their sales reps to be within 10% of the weight they quote. Generally if drivers protest, they will do it because they feel the weight to be more then 10% higher then what was quoted. And of course if there is a major issue with the inventory.

Customers always say, "I cant have that much weight", well if you dont you wont get charged for it, but if you do, would you rather get caught with the low ball estimate????

Best of luck,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

RobA
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:37 pm
Location: L.A., CA

CA to East Coast Move: Comparisons

Postby RobA » Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:43 pm

All right, I got my four estimates and now I'm trying to make my decision. At this point, I don't know how to make these figures really useful. I'm almost ready to just go by the less scientific vibe I got from each estimator. This may not be completely off base, because I really felt like the Allied agent specifically went against my request for a Not-to-exceed estimate and only after I had to call her again after being sent a non-binding estimate, did I get the one I had asked for. I have to say I'm leaning toward Chipman. But here are the figures, maybe someone can help me make sense of them. It was hard to figure how to compare the Stevens numbers because the form I got was totally different than the format of the others.

These are for a 2 bedroom apartment about 870 sq. ft. with a hefty amount of books.

1. UNITED chipmans: 809.5 cu. ft./ 161 items/ 5667 lbs
+ insurance ($300) + cartons ($176), packing ($190), unpacking ($12)
total transportation ($4261) non-peak
Total NTE Cost: $4940

2. NORTH AMERICAN cor-o-van: 623.5 cu. ft/ 126 items/ 4365 lbs
+ insurance ($250) + cartons(?), packing ($237), unpacking ($10)
transportation ($3358) non-peak
Total NTE Cost: $3856

3. ALLIED sausalito: 844 cu. ft/ 122 items/ 5200 lbs
+ insurance ($300) + cartons ($287), packing ($414), unpacking ($13)
total transportation ($3852) non-peak
Total NTE Cost: $5605
(after a strange adjustment because she sent me a "non binding [$5458] even though I had asked for the binding NTE)

4. STEVENS calif. movers express: 5208 lbs
+ Property & casualty adj ($197) + CRATES, PACKING & UNPACKING ($100)
+ Orig Item 135 Factor ($81) + Dest Item 135 Factor ($109) +
Transportation ($4,915) + Fuel ($344)
TOTAL NTE Cost: $5746

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

Re: CA to East Coast Move: Comparisons

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 05, 2004 11:39 pm

PLEASE, MOVERGUYS - Comment on RobA's choices, because I have no clue.

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: CA to East Coast Move: Comparisons

Postby Nancy » Tue Jul 06, 2004 10:43 am

Ultimately, this does come down to a "vibe" on how you feel about each company and salesperson. In terms of "scammers", each company you have estimates from are licensed and reputable, no major red flags with them. Stevens Van Lines is a smaller company than the others you have. I know some posters here had good experiences with them, they just have a smaller fleet than the others. If there are delays, it could be pretty long waiting for a Stevens truck to come through. It is really a "gut" decision though.

23
Posts: 1102
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 2:47 pm

Re: CA to East Coast Move: Comparisons

Postby 23 » Tue Jul 06, 2004 10:47 am

One thing to remember also about Stevens is that they still use the 400M version of the tariff. This means if the driver has to walk more than 75 feet at origin or destination, there is a charge per additional 50 feet he has to walk. This is called a long carry. They can also charge you for stairs.

As Nancy stated, this will be a decision about who you feel more confortable with.

Guest

Re: CA to East Coast Move: Comparisons

Postby Guest » Tue Jul 06, 2004 11:21 am

Is it just me, or has anyone noticed a number of postings lately of NAVL agents giving very low weights?

RobA, did all of your estimators give you a cube sheet or some other kind of inventory list? I suggest you compare them and see how many actual items each estimator put down. The NAVL quote looks very attractive because it's the lowest and it's NTE to boot, but here is the way you can end up being forced to pay more. On loading day, the driver will look at your cube sheet and say that the estimator left off two boxes or whatever. He will say that voids the original NTE contract and he will make you sign an addendum -- basically a new contract stating that you are now agreeing to a higher, non-binding estimate price. If you don't sign and agree to pay more, then the driver won't move your goods. That's a really tough spot for you to be in.

Let's say the cube/inventory sheet lists everything that is going. The other way that you may be forced to pay more is if the driver does a weight protest on loading day. The driver thinks that the estimator lowballed the weight, and so he calls the agent to send the estimator over. The purpose of this is so that the estimator can get you to sign an addendum or else the additional money that will be owed to the driver for the overweight will come out of the estimator's pocket. Obviously, the estimator has an incentive to get you to sign that addendum. However, if you can show the driver that the cube/inventory sheets list exactly everything that is going, then you have a better chance of convincing the driver that he will win the weight protest, once the van line distributes the money for the job. You have a better chance of convincing the driver that he will eventually get compensated for the overweight by the van line, who will take it out of the estimator's pocket. In theory, this protest practice is supposed to discourage estimators from lowballing, but the only way this practice can even come close to protecting the consumer is if the consumer is knowledgeable and goes through the effort of making sure every single article in his shipment is described in his estimate.

Even if you do everything right, though, the driver and estimator may still do a tag-team on you and, if you absolutely need to get your stuff loaded that day, you will have no choice but to sign the addendum. Then you are going to need to have more money ready at destination to pay the movers. Judging by the estimates given by the other companies, that extra amount may be almost $2000. The movers aren't supposed to demand more than 100% of the binding estimate at destination -- so, legally, the movers are required to unload when you pay the original NTE amount, and they're supposed to bill you for the rest. But $2000 is a lot of money, and there has already been a recent report here of a NAVL driver and agent trying to intimidate a customer into paying the full amount at delivery. That customer had a non-binding estimate. Moving companies have been known to have about a 50% success rate in collecting on these bills for non-binding estimates. The success rate for collecting on bills when the estimate is binding is lower.


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