3 days before move & I need advice re: changing estimate

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Sheryl

3 days before move & I need advice re: changing estimate

Postby Sheryl » Tue Jun 17, 2003 12:54 pm

Here is my issue: A month or so ago I got a quote from United (Rossiter Relocation) based on a partial pack & 10,000 lb weight. Also got quotes from 4 others (all gave higher weight estimates & based estimates on full pack, not partial pack). On the advice of someone on this site, I went back to United, got them to up their weight estimate to 12,000 lbs & give me a full pack quote so I could better compare my estimates -- the estimate went up by about $2400, but I chose them for reasons not really based on price.

All of the estimators said they could revise the quote if I did a partial pack (two of them said it wouldn't make much difference in the estimate though). The United rep knew I wanted to/intended to pack books & clothes & that my husband would be moving a lot of our stuff up ahead of time. He indicated that this would not pose a problem, I should call him a few days before the move so we could reevaluate the situation, see what I got packed & what was left to pack & he would adjust the estimate. Well I called him today to tell him I had packed all the books, linens & clothes, plus about 30 other boxes & that my husband had moved a lot of stuff up in his commute back & forth (a lot of the fragile stuff & art). The rep said that if he changed my estimate now from a flat-rate full pack to a per unit pack estimate that the estimate would probably go up! I find that hard to swallow, plus, that information (if true & why would it be please?) would have been helpful before I ignored my kids for hours on end to pack all those boxes!

After I reminded him of his prior statements, he agreed to come out tomorrow. What can I expect? My understanding all along was that my estimate would be brought down if I took on some of the packing myself & I talked about that possibility with this rep at least twice (since he was here twice) & he told me just to call him if the situation changed & I got more done or less done than I expected. Am I off-base on this? Are my expectations off -- is it really cheaper to do a full pack than to split the packing the way I have? I am looking around my house now & it is more than 1/2 empty (the other stuff is either moved or boxed) compared to when he first was here giving the estimate. What should I do tomorrow if he tells me he won't bring down the estimate?

Any advice would be appreciated. Now I am regretting getting him to up his estimate. But I am afraid that if I accepted his low estimate, he would have had all kinds of wiggle room to up the charge on the move date & I didn't want any surprises. I feel like he is taking advantage of my goodwill -- the contents of my house now are significantly less than when he first gave me a $4800 estimate & now I have a $7200 estimate I appear to be stuck with. The difference in the "pack portion" of the two estimates is about a $1000, the difference in the "weight portion" is about $650. There is a $728 insurance charge in the second estimate too.

Josh
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 pm
Location: USA

Re: 3 days before move & I need advice re: changing esti

Postby Josh » Tue Jun 17, 2003 8:49 pm

Sheryl,

I will try to help you. First of all, depending on what items you have that need packed, the price for a partial pack could exceed that of a full pack. The reason, with a full pack, it is a flat rate of $46.00/100# (then you discount it 62 or 64%, whatever your level is). So if the driver packs 40 dishpacks or 20 dishpacks, you pay the same price. But, if you are being charged for a "partial pack", then you will be charged for 40 dishpacks if he packs 40 and 20 for 20.

The reason we (moving companies) changed to a full pack rate was to eliminate what we call balloon packing. This is when a driver or packer uses a dishpack(most expensive box) when he could have used a 4.5 carton(a lot cheaper).

It looks like the things that you packed are the items that would have been the cheapest for us to pack. Even though the house looks 1/2 empty, remember the glass and breakables take the longest to pack and are the most expensive. But, you should save money by doing it.

When your sales rep comes out tomorrow, and you do not feel comfortable with something, have him call me at agt. 582. I should be able to tell if he is giving you a runaround. I think the best thing you could have done is to have him come back out to re-evaluate your move. Make sure you get a copy of his new "cube sheet" to make sure he has everything you will be moving on it. If there are items not going, also have him note those items to not ship.

Let us know what happens after tomorrow! Good luck!

Jay

Re: 3 days before move & I need advice re: changing esti

Postby Jay » Wed Jun 18, 2003 10:18 am

If you packed all that you stated, the price, in now way should be more expensive.

Even if you only left the breakables to be packed, there is no way that the estimate is going to be higher.

Find out how many dish packs and mirror cartons the estimator figured on his first visit and compare them to his totals on the second visit. If there is a big difference, I would be suspcious.

United is a good company as a whole, but sometimes individual agents can be a little slimey.

The price is going to be based on the actual number of boxes that they pack, so watch and make sure they dont use wayyyy to much paper when packing (blowing the packing).

WHen he quoted you a full pack, it didnt matter how many boxes they packed, because it was based on weight. But now that it is based on how many boxes they actually pack, make sure they dont blow the packing.

Good luck

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

Re: 3 days before move & I need advice re: changing esti

Postby Michael » Wed Jun 18, 2003 12:19 pm

Sheryl,

I agree with Josh. It does depend on how many boxes, and types needed to pack. But in the overall scheme of things, it should be cheaper. You are packing the less expensive boxes, and asking United to pack the more expensive boxes. But given your weight should be less, it should all wash out in the end in regards to charging you less.

Here is an example, and its probably a far cry from your sitiuation, but it may help. I quoted a family with a partial pack. Well that partial pack consisted of 61 dish packs and 101 mirror cartons. It was actually cheaper to do a full pack (by a hundred dollars), then it was to just do a partial pack, based on her wieght.

So look at it this way also. If it comes out being more expensive for a partial pack for some unknown reason, just go with the full pack, and then box count does not matter. It all becomes a weight issue at that point.

Did you get a not to exceed quote from Rossiter?


Keep us posted.
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

Sheryl

Re: 3 days before move & I need advice re: changing esti

Postby Sheryl » Wed Jun 18, 2003 12:51 pm

Thank you Josh & Michael. The rep came back out today & changed my quote from full pack basis to per unit. The estimate came down about $200 off the full pack estimate, but he also added a crate for a piece of glass. Not much difference. He put all my boxes in the garage at 42 lbs each -- most of them are definitely lighter, not sure how that will impact.

He has been responsive, but I question why his first per unit pack estimate came out to $5500 (if I add the insurance coverage in) & this final one is $6900 (with a lot less stuff in the house, esp. art -- my husband has taken many trips back & forth & brought things up each time). I should have held him to the first quote! But based on estimates from other movers, I was worried that he was estimating low & I would have had a hassle on moving day (not sure if that could have happened though with a binding estimate though, could it have?). In the end he is in the ballpark with the other quotes I got, so I feel comfortable, but I am worried with the inconsistencies (hope they are not the same way with their packing & loading) -- will find out tomorrow, Friday & next week if I made the right decision.

This site has been a great help through this process.

Josh
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 pm
Location: USA

Re: 3 days before move & I need advice re: changing esti

Postby Josh » Wed Jun 18, 2003 12:57 pm

Sheryl,

I think all will be fine. He might have second guessed himself after you had him add the 2,000# after the first est. he gave you and might have been over protective when he came back out today.

If you have problems during your move, please notify us immediately!!! I will be on the phone with HQ getting your problems resolved right away!!!

And if you had a binding estimate, you would have been fine with the price unless you were shipping items that were not on his original estimate.

Anyway, I know you have a lot to prepare for, so glad we could help and good luck with your move! (don't forget to donate if you have a few extra bucks when this is all done!)

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

Re: 3 days before move & I need advice re: changing esti

Postby Michael » Wed Jun 18, 2003 12:58 pm

Sheryl,

If your able to email or fax me his quotes, I will be more then happy to look them over for you. go to the member list and email me and if you wish I can call you or you can call me toll free.
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

Guest

Re: 3 days before move & I need advice re: changing esti

Postby Guest » Wed Jun 18, 2003 1:18 pm

Sheryl wrote:I should have held him to the first quote! But based on estimates from other movers, I was worried that he was estimating low & I would have had a hassle on moving day (not sure if that could have happened though with a binding estimate though, could it have?


Sheryl,
The answer is yes. Here's how it could happen:

On the day of loading, the driver will show up and, if he sees that the salesman grossly underestimated the weight (intentionally or not), he will issue a "challenge" to the salesman/booking agent. The salesman will come over to your house, and, unless he gets you to agree to sign an addendum where you agree to pay for the additional weight, he will have to compensate the driver for the extra weight himself. Needless to say, this gives the salesman quite an incentive to get your signature on that addendum. If you don't, and the salesman refuses to compensate the driver out of his own pocket, the driver can refuse to take the shipment. Things can get ugly, but seeing as you're planning to move that day, you will probably wind up signing that addendum.

Even if you didn't add addtional items and it was the salesman's fault for low-balling the weight, this is how you could wind up "agreeing" to paying extra on a binding estimate on the day of loading.

Maybe the salesman will get in trouble back at the office for low-balling, but not as much trouble as you'd be in if the driver refuses your shipment. He won't get fired -- after all, he brought business to the moving company. No one -- not the salesman, the agent, the van line -- will get real punishment for this. That's what it boils down to.

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

Re: 3 days before move & I need advice re: changing esti

Postby Michael » Wed Jun 18, 2003 1:38 pm

Guest,

And that is why I recommended to Sheryl that if she really like Rossiter that she go back to the sales person and ask him to quote her for the higher weight.

The driver does have to have a rhyme or reason to his protest. Like something is mark on the inventory as not going and it goes, or the shipper request something to be moved or done at the last minute that was not originally quoted or requested.

Just saying there is extra weight without having a reason will not cut it with United. As of recent, and Josh can correct me if I am wrong, but if a driver protest and he is wrong, he can be fined. In fact, the hauling agent/van operator may be charged back $100 for challenging a shipment when the actual weight does not exceed the estimated weight by 10% or more. In addition, a challenge can be ruled invalid if the van operator does not follow proper challenge procedures.

This is specific to United Van Lines. Any other carriers and their procedures I am not aware of.
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

a

Re: 3 days before move & I need advice re: changing esti

Postby a » Thu Jun 19, 2003 5:40 pm

I really don’t understand what you are all talking about.
It is very simple, the estimator should lower his price after she had done most of the work her self, the weight will not be that different since you used two 4.5 boxes instead of on dish pack.
She saves time for the movers and by doing that she saved herself money (packing time); if she used her own boxes she should pay les for the packing materials.
Anyway the price needs to be lower and not higher, the estimate should be binding and if the estimator doesn’t know how to estimate it will have to be his or his company problem, not the customer.
It should be like that:
1. Estimator comes to your home and WRITE down the list of items to be moved. And his estimated LB.
2. Price for full pack,
3. Price for partial pack.
4. Price for packing materials (should have a tariff price and not a company price) if the customer is packing but he bought the boxes from the moving company before the move.
On the day of the move the foreman in charge should have an empty weight ticket of same day .check the date and leave the customer a copy, same thing on the end of the job. Go with him and make sure he weigh the truck again and get the copy.
That is all you need to know.
Watch your mover and don’t let him do whatever he feel like doing, you will be paying for that in the end if you want it or not.
Go check the company address, make sure they are really there, while you there see if there is more then one truck or more then one guy.
Do their trucks have company logo?
Be smart and you will find a good company.
Again, there is no reason to charge more if the customer is saving the mover time boxing/packing or even moving stuff by himself, less stuff less money and nobody, no matter how nice he will say it can convince otherwise.

Josh
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 pm
Location: USA

Re: 3 days before move & I need advice re: changing esti

Postby Josh » Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:12 pm

a,

I do think you are lost. She had already selected Rossiter and is moving tomorrow. Your scenario is somewhat accurate of how a move should go, but is not totally correct. I would assume you do not work for a moving company or if you do maybe a local one.

I would like to clarify a few of your points so people are not even more confused after reading your post:

the weight will not be that different since you used two 4.5 boxes instead of on dish pack.


It absolutely could! a dishpack normally weighs 70 pounds, a 4.5 could be a lamp shade and bed linens weighing 20 pounds. Plus the price of 2, 4.5 cartons wouldn't even equal the cost of 1 dispack.

4. Price for packing materials (should have a tariff price and not a company price) if the customer is packing but he bought the boxes from the moving company before the move.


If you had the partial pack quoted, you would have the tariff rates for boxes if you bought them before the move. We normally sell them at local rates because it usually saves the customers hundreds of dollars.

On the day of the move the foreman in charge should have an empty weight ticket of same day .check the date and leave the customer a copy, same thing on the end of the job. Go with him and make sure he weigh the truck again and get the copy.


Most of the time when you get your "Lightweight", the scale will keep the weight ticket until you come back for your heavyweight. An easy solution to this is to have each customer witness the weighing before and after the move!!!

Watch your mover and don’t let him do whatever he feel like doing, you will be paying for that in the end if you want it or not.


Not sure exactly what you mean here, but it is not true. If you have a bound estimate, and the driver packs a mirror carton that is not on the order for service, he will not get paid for it.

You did have some good points, but not that relevant to Sheryl's move. I encourage you to read more posts here and get more familiar with the advice that we give. Thanks for your input!

Anil

HELP! Any United Reps who have pull!!!!

Postby Anil » Mon Jun 23, 2003 1:41 pm

:x :cry: Any united reps out there? We are in relocation hell right now! All the advice you gave my wife (Sheryl) on this message board did not pan out and our move is going off the rails. Please call me at 425-917-4852--we need help, and FAST![/b]

Josh
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 pm
Location: USA

Re: 3 days before move & I need advice re: changing esti

Postby Josh » Mon Jun 23, 2003 2:39 pm

Anil,

I left you a message with my cell and office #. I am also on the phone with Rossiter right now. I will keep you posted, but call me if you like.

Josh
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 pm
Location: USA

Re: 3 days before move & I need advice re: changing esti

Postby Josh » Mon Jun 23, 2003 2:49 pm

Anil,

Can you please look at your estimate and see what dates are on there. The delivery dates I see in the computer your delivery window is 6/24 through 6/30. If you have an estimate with different dates than these, let me know.

Josh
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 pm
Location: USA

Re: 3 days before move & I need advice re: changing esti

Postby Josh » Mon Jun 23, 2003 3:08 pm

Anil,

Rich McClure forwarded your message to Jim Rockwell who is the Manager of your area. I just got off the phone with him and he said he will have an answer shortly.

We are trying to get your shipment delivered by this Thursday which I believe we have until Friday before you go out of town. I will check back later today.

My cell # is on your voice mail at work if you need to get a hold of me.


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