Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Our open community forum is for general moving related questions, comments, and useful information about local and interstate moves.
Carson
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:12 pm
Location: NYC

Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby Carson » Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:49 pm

First, let me say that your site has been a great help to me as I research companies. I am moving across the country from New York City to San Rafael, CA. I have four on-site estimates scheduled for tomorrow with:

A-1 Moving and Storage
Brooklyn MC#390213 and DOT897503

Flat-Rate Moving in New York
MC254356 DOT 488466

Meyer's Moving & Storage (agent of Mayflower Transit)
MC2934 DOT125563

and Shleppers (agent of LBB Van Lines)
ok..now this one is a little odd, they gave me USDOT912531), but I can't find an MC# to go with them. When I search Safersys.org by name I get and MC221016, but a different DOT# (428286).

I have a few questions:
Flat-Rate estimates based on volume, and gives a guarenteed price (promising no changes). Is is possible that they don't charge on exact weight? I am a little concerned that they won't stick to the guarantee if not all of my boxes are packed yet and they can't see the total volume.

Shleppers actually did a local move for me a little more than a year ago, and we had no problems and a great experience (actually took them LESS time than they thought!), but I am a little concerned by the above issue with their licence and insurance... (esp. after reading a few posts on the subject here)

And, how likely is it to set a definite delivery date? (or at least within two days?)

any help would be appreciated!

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

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby Diane » Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:23 pm

Hi -

All of these companies have been discussed here at length, as you'll see if you do a search on the names. Here is a recent thread on which they all come up - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1862

A-One (A-1), Meyer's, Flat Rate, and Shleppers may be OK for local moves within the NYC area, but I strongly advise you not to use any of them for a cross-country move. Shleppers has licensing issues, and in my opinion all are likely to farm out your move to (as one insider put it) "some guy going west with a semi."

Warning: do not use any moving company that quotes by volume (cubic feet). I suggest that you look beyond the four companies you mention. If cost is a concern, please consider using a U-Pack, We-Drive company like Broadway Express at www.broadwayexpress.net or ABF at www.upack.com (reviews of both are on stickies at the top of the messageboard).

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

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby MusicMom » Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:07 pm

Ditto Diane.

friend

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby friend » Mon Nov 15, 2004 9:19 pm

LBB van line are the initials of the companys owner louisa benjamin boum. The long distance is under this name so that in the event of a complaint it will not go under the name shleppers. check with the bbb, they already ahve 9 or so complaints. flatrate does long distance by volume and i back up diane by saying stay away from companies that charge by cubic feet. meyers is a agent for mayflower and have a o.k. record. just make sure they give you a binding estimate

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

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby Diane » Mon Nov 15, 2004 9:42 pm

Good information--thank you. I sort of turned against Meyer's Moving when one of its employees wrote in posing as a satisfied customer of the company, a bad sign - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1567

Carson
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:12 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby Carson » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:57 pm

ok,
I got a range of prices, but very similar weight and cubic foot figures from my estimates so far. My experience with the estimators caused me to reject out of hand three of the four companies (very shady, but I won't name names).

I was estimated by at having btw 3900-4400# (the estimator used a higher lb/cubic ft conversion than usual because I have lots of books) So, it looks like I have btw 500-550 cubic feet to move, weighing btw 3900 and 4500 lbs. Now, based on an estimates for $4485 and $4511 from Meyers and Graebel, respectively, I am leaning towards using a u-pack, we drive service. Mostly because it looks like almost $2300 less than the estimates, and because at some level I like that the driver is owed nothing on delivery, making a hostage situation unlikely.

I also, incidently, have decided to part with some cheap furniture and other items to lighten my load, so the estimates are likely a little high.

I was just concerned about paying the total move up-front at the time of pickup... :roll:

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

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby Diane » Fri Nov 19, 2004 2:29 pm

ABF will charge your credit card while your goods are in transit. BE does charge you at pickup to avoid a possible situation in which the customer doesn't have enough money to cover the cost of the move. (It has happened, even with doctors.) Some people have shared your concern about this policy of requiring payment up front (see reviews), but they have said later that their worries were groundless. In my opinion, based on what I have seen over the past year or so, the management at BE is 100% trustworthy and would NEVER cheat a customer.

On another subject, could you please send me a PM with your impressions of A-1, FlatRate, and Shleppers? I'm doing a comparison of NYC movers and would like to know more about those three companies. I will keep what you say confidential - i.e. not attribute it to you in any way.

BTW, the person posting as "friend" is correct in the above post - Meyer's would send loads with a Mayflower long-haul driver rather than with "some guy" as the other companies would probably do.

Carson
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:12 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby Carson » Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:17 pm

After much deliberation, I elected to go with a upack/we drive service. Unfortunately, my indecision cost me my first choice. Broadway Express was too booked and couldn't accept my move, so I have reserved with ABF.

I just want people to be aware of several things (all of which ARE covered in the FAQ about BE and ABF on this board):

One, the added cost and inconvenience of arranging for loading and unloading help is significant. I do not have much furniture to move, so really only need help moving about four pieces. Labor ready requires a four-hour minimum, while ABF has to do a 2-hour live load in NYC. These two issue combined make it likely that I will have to pay for two people for four hours to insure that I don't incur additional expense from ABF of exceeding my "two-hour live load" (ABF charges as much as $300 per additional hour of loading under these circumstances).

Also, because ABF doesn't provide either pads, or hand-trucks, I have to purchase or rent these items at significant expense. And, after reading some of the reviews of ABF, adequate protection with pads, and probably tarps to prevent water damage seem a good idea.

Considering that ABF is considerably more expensive than BE, and provides less service, any monetary savings I may have expected by avoiding full-service movers is dwindling. Now, I have to say that the sanity-savings still appear worth it to me.

I will log on with updates on the move itself. Best of luck!

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

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby Diane » Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:32 am

Sorry about the scheduling problem. The last I heard (a few months ago), ABF was charging $27 for every 15 minutes the truck has to wait over the two-hour "free" live load period. Although the cost could have gone up a little since then, that would be only $108 an hour rather than $300. I'm going to try to check on this. The cost is actually set by the truck drivers' union, I believe.

I don't think I've ever recommended this before, but I wonder whether it would be worth it for you to call ABF to see whether they would come down on their quote. I think you told me in a PM that their quote came in at $500 more than BE for the same number of linear feet, which seems like too much of a difference to me. Who knows . . . they just might match the BE price. Tell them that you heard about them on MovingScam and are going to post about your move. Also, someone posted on Epinions that you can request an ABF trailer that is especially CLEAN and has places to TIE THINGS DOWN, i.e. hook-like things on the walls (some trailers have them and some don't). You might try mentioning that as well.

Don't spend a fortune on moving pads. Some people have suggested buying old quilts cheaply at thrift stores and then donating them at destination. You can also use your own scrunchable clothes to wrap breakables inside boxes. There are local movers you can hire that might have a lower minimum than LaborReady and might have dollies. Check out the last post on this thread for a suggestion - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2595 Again, mention MovingScam.

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

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby Diane » Thu Nov 25, 2004 7:45 am

Update: my contact at ABF just emailed me as follows:

Per the updated ABF 111 tariff, the charge for free time on a live load beyond the 2 hours is $28.86 every 15 minutes.

Also, note that "gunbuster" persuaded ABF to reduce his quote from $2000 to $1300 for a move similar to yours (last post on this thread - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2775).

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

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby Michael » Thu Nov 25, 2004 10:06 am

Oh ABF follows a tariff, ohhhhhhh the humanityyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, what a bunch of crock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just kiddingggggggggggggggg. But $28 every 15 minutes. WOW. Is that discounted?
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

User avatar
twalker
Site Admin
Posts: 3491
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 11:46 am

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby twalker » Thu Nov 25, 2004 10:38 am

I haven't seen their tariff, but I would bet that their tariff is written the way one would expect... with real prices that don't require jewelry store discounts. :wink:

Tim

Guest/Michael

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby Guest/Michael » Thu Nov 25, 2004 1:57 pm

LOL :D Give it time Tim give it time.

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

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby Diane » Thu Nov 25, 2004 2:48 pm

ABF explained to me once that the reason the charge is so high is that they lose money if they have to have the driver hanging around for hours while people load. (In contrast to BE drivers, ABF drivers aren't supposed to touch people's goods and don't accept tips.) During those hours over two hours, the driver could have been at an ABF terminal moving trailers around or something. It's the loss of the driver's time, not the trailer detention over two hours, that accounts for the high hourly fee.

Carson
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:12 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Moving from NYC to San Rafael, CA

Postby Carson » Thu Dec 16, 2004 6:28 pm

ok...an update from the other side of the move. ABF didn't seem negotiable on their rate, and I was not in a strong negotiating position (had to move quickly), so...

Anyway, I have to say that my experience with ABF was a positive one. The driver showed up on-time (good thing with alternate side parking rules in Manhattan), so the truck was parked conveniently for me. My help from LaborReady showed up 15 minutes after my call...and the two guys they sent were FANTASTIC. I loaded the truck while they brought stuff down to me. I didn't need to rent the ramp after all. I managed to fit my stuff into 7 linear feet (instead of the eight feet from my quote), so I was close to ABF's minimum charge anyway (6-feet)! The load took a little over the 2-hours, but the driver didn't charge any extra.

One complaint though. The bulkhead that was in the truck had a faulty "piston" that held the wall in place on the bottom. The top one was fine, and the driver left with my load only partially secured. I had visions of the wall shifting out at the bottom, and my stuff collapsing into the empty space behind, but they assured me the bulkhead would be replaced at the origin terminal. When my stuff arrived in CA, the same bulkhead was in place :( No worries though, nothing moved too far. after some acrobatics to stabilize the load while taking down the bulkhead, I was happy to see very little movement.

Near as I can tell, we suffered only a few minor bits of damage to one glass, one plate, and a small trinket of little value. All in all a lesson on good packing, shopping around, and money saved!

One other piece of advice before I sign off: if you are going to use laborReady to load or unload, make arrangements in advance!!!! We had no problem at the origin, but at our destination, only one guy actually showed up (instead of two), so I had to sweat my stuff up two flights of stairs, but it still only took 4.5 hours to unload.

All the best! Good luck with your move(s). I, for one, don't plan on moving anytime soon. :D


Return to “Open Community”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests