United, Graebel or Allied? Need help deciding.

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United, Graebel or Allied? Need help deciding.

Postby Sheryl » Wed May 21, 2003 11:18 pm

I have three binding estimates (not to exceed or guaranteed price) that I am considering for our move from the Bay Area to Seattle. Here are the facts & pros & cons:

United (Rossiter Relocation): Estimated that we have 10,200 lbs. Gave me a price of $4,778 based on a partial pack (me to pack books, clothing & linens only). I had to call the estimator & tell him that I forgot to show him about 20 boxes of stuff in my attic -- he said that would not be a problem with the estimate he gave me (not sure whether to believe that). Also estimate does not include any amount for insurance/valuation yet.

Allied (Nor-Cal Moving Services): Estimated (by hand -- no computer!) that we have 15,000 lbs. Gave me a price of $7,300 based on a full pack, price to be reduced accordingly if I pack books and clothes. The price includes full value coverage of $75,000 (which I will probably need to increase), with a $250 deductible.

Graebel/Erickson Movers: Estimated that we have 12,470 lbs. Gave me a price of $7,068 based on a full pack. The price includes full value coverage of $100,000 ($250 deductible).

I liked all of the estimators -- I eliminated 1 other company because I did not like the estimator (his estimate was 15,000 lbs, $7200) & eliminated another because the office staff was rude to me (theri estimate was 10,500 lbs and $5330)). The Allied rep was the most thorough, asked the most questions, the Graebel was a close second in that respect. The Allied references were great for the rep, but it sounded like their driver & loaders & unloaders needed "babysitting" & that worries me. The Graebel rep was unable to give me a reference for an interstate move (I have no idea why), but a friend used them & was satisfied. The United references checked out fine. I like United's system of doing an inventory of high value items (>$100 per lb) -- the other 2 companies don't do this. Also United's info package was really helpful.

Any insights on how I should choose now would be welcome. I am less concerned with price & more concerned with the process going smoothly & care being taken with both of our homes & our possessions. Of course all the reps tell me their packers/loaders/drivers are the best. I am confident that I am not involved with any scammers, but would still appreciate opinions from this board on how to choose.

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Re: United, Graebel or Allied? Need help deciding.

Postby Michael » Thu May 22, 2003 4:29 pm


If you liked United, ask them to quote you based on your highest estimated weight, with full coverage and a full pack.

It seems you got three different estimates, and didnt inform all three of the same things.

You are not dealing with scam movers, so therefore, all three would charge you for the lesser amounts, if you did not receive just "binding" estimates.

As far as the valuation is concerned, unless you specifically asked for $100,000 from Graebel, I dont know how their weight equvilates to that 10$100,000. It doesnt work out to the $5.00/lb that most companies use in determing your value.

Also I would not recommend going hog wild on Valuation. Chances of you losing everything is a 1 in a million shot, based on safety records. Also, take a look at the $250 deductible cost, and the $0 cost. If the cost of the 250 and your first 250 is more than the zero dollar, I would advise yous tick with a $0.00.

(Example: $250 deduct, cost 300.00. Lets say you have a simple scratch on a table, and lets say a broken piece of glass, and your claim is $250. Well that first $250, plus what you paid for it (300), is now $550, and full coverage cost $500.)

Hope you understand that.

But try to keep everyone apple to apple.

Good luck,

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget


Re: United, Graebel or Allied? Need help deciding.

Postby Sheryl » Thu May 22, 2003 5:14 pm

Thank you Michael. I know I got into an apples to oranges situation & wasn't sure what to do about it. The United rep was the first one I talked to & I was feeling more ambitious about what I thought I would pack & he did not discourage me from packing at all. By the time I got to the last estimate (Graebel), I was thinking that full pack might be the way to go (I have 3 small kids!) & the reps were encouraging me to do that since the cost savings would not be substantial if I just packed books and clothes.

I had asked for the high valuation -- still not sure what to place for value (with my luck, our shipment will be the one where the truck catches fire). The advice regarding the deductible was helpful.

I am leaning toward United, but will give them a call to get a full pack estimate with the insurance.

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Re: United, Graebel or Allied? Need help deciding.

Postby Josh » Fri May 23, 2003 9:08 am


The only concern I see is the fact that United's estimate is almost 5000# less than Allied's and 2200# less than Graebel's.

If i were to guess, I would lean towards you having between 12,000 and 13,000#.

If you select United, you might also want him to bind the shipment at a little higher weight than 10,200. If the driver shows up and believes the actual weight is more than 10% of the bound price, he can protest the order.

Protesting the order simply means he disagrees with the estimator, and if the driver is right, the booking agent or your sales rep will forfeit the majority of their commission to make up the difference for the driver. Your sales rep also has the choice of getting you to sign an addendum stating there is more there than when he estimated, therefore increasing your charges.

Don't want to scare you, but most estimates should be within 10% of each other. If you have 10,200, The United guy is excellent and I want his name. I will use him if I need services in the Bay Area! (I also work for United, and have accounts in CA)

The insurance issue, based on all of these weights, the value of your shipment is probably around $75,000. Michael was right about Graebel quoting $100,000, that is too high unless you have a lot of expensive items.

Let me know if you have more questions!


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