*MA to NC / Reviews - Marathon, Wakefield, Rainbow, Humboldt

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amukh03
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:39 pm

*MA to NC / Reviews - Marathon, Wakefield, Rainbow, Humboldt

Postby amukh03 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:57 am

We plan to move from Quincy, MA to Greenville, NC end of July 2010, and shortlisted four companies – Marathon, Wakefield, Rainbow, and Humboldt – to do an in-house estimate. As Rick pointed out on my earlier post, the month of July falls in the busiest season of the year for moving, and we were a bit concerned that it might be difficult to get a good moving company. We began researching companies during the third week of June, and scheduled in-house estimates with the shortlisted companies during the last week of June. It was just about the right time to begin this process. Most companies were completely booked till mid-July but had ample openings for end of July.

We put together a list of questions that we wanted to ask each company, which I posted on movingscam earlier at http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19457 Below are some general information, the estimates, and our impressions for each company:

MARATHON MOVING COMPANY (STEVENS WORLD WIDE AGENTS)
Address: Marathon Moving, 129 York Avenue, Randolph, MA 02368
Phone: 1-888-673-4107 (toll free), 1-781-218-2500 (local), 1-781-963-0322 (local)
Email: info@marathonmoving.com
Website: http://www.marathonmoving.com/
US DOT No: -
Experience: Have been in business for 10 years and do about 1200 interstate moves per year
Estimate: Weight – 5500 lbs / GNTE pricing - $3780 (includes shuttle $569; partial pack for china and crystal; insurance $353)
Moving Time: About 12 hours for packing, inventory, and loading – full day.
Service: Would need shuttle; NOT a self-haul, will be hauled by Stevens
Delivery Window: 2-13 days, will call two days prior to delivery
Payment: Bank or Certified Check upon delivery Or Credit card two days prior to moving date.
Insurance: Basic (60 cents per pound) OR $353 for up to $35,000 with 0 deductible
Claims: Handled through Marathon, call Marathon if any damage within 90 days, there will be a review on when item was purchased, original cost etc, and decision whether to repair or replace
Protection: Would use standard home protection kit to protect floors, doors, etc

The meeting with Marathon was scheduled on Friday morning. The night prior to the meeting, the sales representative called and asked to change the time of the visit. We did not like it, found it unprofessional, but we wanted to get the meeting done, so decided to go along with it. The sales representative showed up on time with a clipboard, paper, and pen to conduct the estimate. He did not give us the final estimate at the of the walk-through session, and said that he would get back to us on Monday. Also, he did not offer us any explanation on any aspect of the move. So it was helpful that we had our questions and could ask him everything that we needed to ask. The rep kept his answers very brief. He sent us his estimate and a pdf file of owner’s rights and responsibilities on Monday. We had asked him for customer references as well as their DOT and MC license numbers, but never heard back about those.


WAKEFIELD MOVING AND STORAGE INC. (ALLIED VAN LINES)
Address: Wakefield Moving and Storage Inc. 388 Newburyport Turnpike, Rowley, MA 01969
Phone: 1-800-225-3688 (toll free)
Email: No email
Website: http://www.wakefieldmoving.com
US DOT No: 076235
Experience: Have been in business for 50+ years and do thousands of interstate moves per year
Estimate: For Binding: Weight – 6076 lbs / GNTE pricing - $4177 (includes shuttle $548; partial pack for china and crystal $198; insurance $379); For Non-binding: Weight – 6076 / pricing $3652 ((includes shuttle $1693; partial pack for china and crystal $454; insurance $379)
Moving Time: About 6 hours for packing, inventory, and loading
Service: Would need shuttle; NOT a self-haul, will be hauled by Allied
Delivery Window: 2-13 days, will call two days prior to delivery
Payment: Bank or Certified Check upon delivery Or Credit card two days prior to moving date.
Insurance: Basic (60 cents per pound) OR $379 for up to $35,000 with 0 deductible
Claims: Handled through Wakefield, save damaged boxes, call Wakefield, a review will be done and claim processed
Protection: Would use standard home protection kit to protect floors, doors, etc

The meeting with Wakefield was scheduled on Friday afternoon. The sales representative showed up 10 minutes before the meeting with a laptop computer to conduct the estimate. After the walk-through he sat down with us and was happy to take any of our questions. He explained a few basic things (with computer images) like how they would pad the furniture with blankets and how they would protect the floors, staircase, and doors during the move with their Home Protection Kit. He mentioned that they were booked completely through mid July and urged us to make a decision quickly. He did not give us an estimate at the end of the session, but said that he would email it to us either Friday night itself or Saturday. We got the estimate and a pdf file of owner’s rights and responsibilities before 10:00am on Saturday morning. We were impressed with the shorter turnaround time compared to Marathon.


RAINBOW MOVERS (NORTH AMERICAN VAN LINES)
Address: Rainbow Movers, 19 National Drive, Franklin, MA 02038
Phone: 1-800-922-1020 (toll free); (508) 528-4111(local)
Email: info@rainbowmovers.com; sales@rainbowmovers.com
Website: www.rainbowmovers.com
US DOT No: 070851
Experience: Have been in business for 135+ years, owned by same family for three generations
Estimate: For Binding: Weight – 5075 lbs / GNTE pricing - $3125 (includes partial pack for china and crystal $447; insurance $379; 10% discount $276 – said that there is not much difference in summer and winter rates anymore because fewer movers and more moving companies, so rates are already low due to intense competition)
Moving Time: About 4-6 hours for packing, inventory, and loading
Service: Would NOT need shuttle, recommended a police detail which could be cheaper, said it is best if shipment is loaded directly into truck, minimizes handling; They try to do self-haul for most of their shipments
Delivery Window: 2-10 days, will call 24 hours prior to delivery
Payment: Bank or Certified Check upon delivery Or Credit card two days prior to moving date.
Insurance: Basic (60 cents per pound) OR $379 for up to $35,000 with 0 deductible
Claims: Handled through Rainbow, call Rainbow within 30 days, save damaged boxes, need to check inventory prior to delivery, truck driver can handle small damage up to $50
Protection: No protection kit, will put cardboard boxes on hardwood floors

The meeting with Rainbow was scheduled on Monday morning. The moving consultant, Rick McKee (the owner of the company – the company has been in his family for three generations) came on time, with a PDA and a portable printer. After the walk through he sat with us on the kitchen table, discussed and finalized the estimate with us, and printed it out right away. We were impressed, especially since Marathon and Wakefield did not give us an on spot estimate. Rich explained us some basic things about the move, was very happy to answer all our questions, and his responses were very frank and expansive. We asked him all the questions on our list. For our question on how they would protect the hardwood floors, whether they use a Home Protection Kit, he was slightly dismissive, saying that they will just put some cardboard boxes on the floors but nothing on the doors, and that none of our furniture would create a problem. He repeatedly urged us to sign up with his company, we did not feel harassed but found it unnecessary. Before leaving Rich gave us a package that included: a owners rights and responsibilities handbook and three references from previous customers, which was great.


HUMBOLDT STORAGE AND MOVING COMPANY (UNITED VAN LINES)
Address: Humboldt, Canton Commerce Center, 100 New Boston Drive, Canton, MA 02021
Phone: 1-800-225-9845 (toll free); 1-781-821-8777 (local)
Email: No Email
Website: www.humboldt.com
US DOT No: 077949
Experience: Have been in business for 110+ years, 9th largest United agent in the country
Estimate: For Binding: Weight – 5329 lbs / GNTE pricing - $2775 (includes partial pack for china and crystal $265; recommended basic insurance - $0; no discounts)
Moving Time: About 4-6 hours for packing, inventory, and loading
Service: Would NOT need shuttle, recommended a police detail which could be cheaper. Will give certified weight tickets, weight before loading and weight after shipment is loaded. Explained that weight tickets is a federal right, customer don’t know but should get it with the packet. Truck will be weighed during the morning of loading day. We would have a moving coordinator assigned from office for the move, who will call the day before move, the day of the move to make sure everything is okay, and on day of delivery. The driver will have a working cell phone number to make sure everything is coordinated. All trucks have GPS, so customer can track the driver on the Humboldt website.
Delivery Window: 2-10 days, will call 24 hours prior to delivery
Payment: Old standard is certified check or bank check, money order, or travelers check upon delivery before off loading. Can also take Credit Card, which will be prepayment, 2 days before move the company will send a form and get credit card information. The card will be charged on the day of moving. Can put whole amount on card or partial. Can be all credit card, all check, or combination of both.
Insurance: Basic (60 cents per pound) OR $428 for up to $40,000 with 0 deductible
Claims: Claims are handled by calling Humboldt. They have a United certified officer in their office, so can settle a claim quickly up to $700. Have about 9 months to claim. Insurance only covers if the box itself is damage - Rip, torn, wet, crushed – for self-packed boxes (not for things inside). For boxes that the company packed, insurance covers the items inside, and also the furniture.
Protection: Have physical door casing and industrial strength mats. Will mat the entire flooring. All padding of furniture will happen inside the house. The sofa furniture will be shrink wrapped in plastic before padding to avoid fingerprints on cushions. The first one hour nothing moves out of the house. They pad everything, begin inventory, blanket wrap everything, and complete partial pack. Then begin moving to the truck.

The moving consultant from Humboldt, Dave McDonald, showed up on time with a clipboard, paper, pen, PDA, and a portable printer. After the walk through he explained some basic things to us about the move, such as liability issues & insurance options, even before we asked. We found him most professional compared to the other three consultants – he answered all our questions calmly and patiently, in detail, with no hint of any pressure or pushiness. He discussed the estimate, printed it out, and gave us the final estimate right away. We contacted him a couple of times with additional questions over email, and received prompt response. Overall, we found Humboldt most impressive.

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

Re: **MA to NC / Reviews - Marathon, Wakefield, Rainbow, Humboldt

Postby Diane » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:55 am

Thanks SO MUCH for taking the time to report all this. It will certainly help others in the future.

It seems as if Humboldt is the only company that is certain to self-haul your shipment. Am I correct that Dave promised that it would be self-hauled? I am wondering whether they are filling a hole in a truck and that's why their quote was so low. Really, I am blown away by how low they quoted.

I am interested in the fact that three of the four companies said that they (rather than the van line) would handle claims. I can understand this in the case of a self-haul, but why would Wakefield (for example) be handling claims if the shipment is to be hauled by a van line driver? Maybe one of the professionals posting here can explain - maybe it has to do with the fact that packing is involved and the agent is providing the packers?

Please do come back to report on your move, which I assume will be with Humboldt. Low price and an excellent sales rep - winning combo.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

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

Re: *MA to NC / Reviews - Marathon, Wakefield, Rainbow, Humboldt

Postby ArchieWhite » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:39 am

Diane, some carriers require the booking agent to handle claims...it helps cut down on the overhead that the carrier has, by pushing the chore off onto the agent.

amukh03
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:39 pm

Re: *MA to NC / Reviews - Marathon, Wakefield, Rainbow, Humboldt

Postby amukh03 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:02 am

Diane,

Dave did not promise that our shipment will be a self-haul. He said that 9 out of 10 times Humboldt does a self-haul, and that we should let our moving co-ordinator know that this is what we prefer. He also mentioned that they move along the Atlantic Coast a lot, from Massachusetts on down to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The East Coast route up and down is one of their busiest lines. So we think that the chances of a self-haul with Humboldt is higher than the other companies.

Regarding the low-quote, if you include extended insurance (which all other companies included) then the Humboldt's quote is $2775+$428 = $3203. This amount is comparable to Rainbow's quote which is $3125.

Humboldt's extended insurance begins at $40,000 Full Value Protection (FVP) with zero deductible ($428) as opposed to other companies that offer extended insurance beginning at $35,000 FVP with zero deductible ($379). So we found Humboldt's extended insurance more expensive than others.

Dave recommended us the basic insurance ($0.60 per pound), and said that we would be okay with basic because our stuff is all normal Americana, no valuable paintings, grandfather clock, etc. He also mentioned that liability can be decided up until the moving day, so if we change our minds later, we can still change our insurance options.

Dave also explained that there used to be an option for partial liability but it is no longer offer because it is very messy. Federal government removed it because it was giving a bad name to the industry. Also, earlier the amount of basic insurance was $1.25 per pound, which was very popular, but the federal government reduced that to $0.60 per pound.

Overall, we found Humboldt's quote comparable to Rainbow's, but the level of service and professionalism that Humboldt seems to offer is higher than other companies.
Last edited by amukh03 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: *MA to NC / Reviews - Marathon, Wakefield, Rainbow, Humboldt

Postby Diane » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:36 am

Thanks for the clarifications - much appreciated. I think it's OK not to purchase extra valuation coverage under some circumstances (likely self-haul, nothing of extraordinary fragility or value). I've been told that the van line agent doesn't benefit from selling such coverage; the revenue goes to the van line.


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