NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

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bpgoz
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: Brooklyn

NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby bpgoz » Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:44 pm

Hello-

Moving to SF from NY in mid February. After reading this excellent resource, I've had a number of movers come in to give quotes. The following are the ones I'm thinking about the most, but I'd love any add'l thoughts from others. Thanks for any feedback you can provide!

Nassau/United
Contact: Dan Kilkeary
DOT: 77949
MC: 67234
Weight: 5838 lbs.
Units: 130
Price: $6078 (+10% $6685.89)
Discount: 64%
Non-Binding Estimate
Comment: I liked Dan; he spent a good amount of time looking over everything. I’ve asked him if he’ll consider a GNE estimate am waiting for a response.

University Van Lines/Atlas
Contact: Bill Quigley
DOT: 125550
MC: ?
Weight: 6000
Units: 100+ units
Price: $7800 (this includes two shuttles—NY and SF and a 5% overage to cover possible overweight)
GNE estimate
Discount: 63%
Comment: I feel extremely comfortable with these guys; Bill was the most detailed (followed by Dan at Nassau). I’m concerned about the price as it’s so high, but I also know that the weight will be a lot less than quoted so I feel very confident that the price will be less. I also read all the excellent comments from readers on board so know these guys have a good reputation.

American Home/Stephens
Contact: Murray Andron
DOT: ?
MC: 74681
Weight: 4494 lbs.
Units: 99
Price: (including shuttle): $5276.91
Discount: 64%
Non-Binding Estimate but will go to a Binding Not-to-Exceed Estimate if I want.
Comment: I liked Murray and I know that the SF end (Saagan) have received excellent reviews. However, I’m a little worried that he overlooked some items so I will need to discuss before deciding. His unit and pound estimate seems very low to me compared to the others.

Big John’s Moving
Contact: Michael or Lisa
DOT: 10542
MC: 220901
Weight: 4410 lbs.
Units: 105
Price: $6251
Binding Estimate
Pay 50% at pick-up and 50% at drop off.
Comment: Everyone gives these guys a good review, but I must admit, I wasn’t that impressed with them. They have offered to match pricing, but I’m concerned as their reputation tends to be local and not interstate. I also am leery of paying anything upfront.

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

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby Diane » Wed Jan 26, 2005 3:02 pm

Thanks for posting all this detail - this really helps us get a better picture of the various companies in the NYC area.

I didn't know that Big John's required 50% on pickup and it's hard for me to understand why that might be. A deposit, I could understand, to compensate them if they sent a truck and the customer's goods had already left with another company. But requiring 50% on pickup suggests that the company has a cash flow problem or they think that the customer might not be able to pay at the end. I'm going to try to talk with someone at Big John's to clear up some other things and I'll bring this up too. Who actually came to do the estimate, Michael or Lisa?

It's nice to have such a personal report about the Nassau estimator. That company sounds good if you can get a GNTE.

University Van Lines sounds good, as usual.

American Home (Stevens) sounds OK if you can get a GNTE. Moverpros have said that there can be problems in terms of delays with Stevens since it is one of the smaller major van lines and it may take a while for the over-the-road driver to swing by, but this shouldn't be so much of an issue in the slow season.

You really have to have GNTEs from all of them to be comparing apples to apples, especially since shuttles are involved.

bpgoz
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby bpgoz » Wed Jan 26, 2005 3:17 pm

Thanks, Diane. I'm actually waiting to hear back from Dan with Nassau. I'm leaning towards them or University, although I'm still concerned about the higher quote with University. I'm not sure how much bargaining power I have since I'm asking for a GNTE.

As for Big John's, on the phone they told me by cubic feet and that was reiterated again when Michael came out (which I know is different from what others have posted). That being said, I do know that is translated into weight so not sure where the discrepancy lies. As for the deposit, I might have written that down incorrectly, and it might be any deposit and not necessarily 50%. I do know that they want something upfront, though.

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

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby Diane » Wed Jan 26, 2005 3:32 pm

As you say, sometimes companies say they are quoting by cubic feet but they are actually converting to pounds at the end. I'll try to talk with Big John's to clear it up. There could be some communications problems there. When you say that you weren't that impressed with them, what do you mean--the personality of the estimator or what?

It sounds as if University is estimating more weight per unit (for example if you have a lot of books). Once you get a GNTE from Nassau, if you post all the details about how the charges are broken down, the movingpros here will probably be able to advise you. I do know that Atlas is considered one of the top van lines, along with United.

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

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby Michael » Wed Jan 26, 2005 4:34 pm

I didnt notice you saying anything about United giving you quotes for shuttles?

United does not price any different then Atlas. The weight isnt significantly different, nor is the discount or the box count. So its obvious University is just higher due to the fact they included shuttles. Which the smart mover is going to do, and legally has to do at destination as undetermined cost if it is something they are not sure of.

All looks good for either Nassau or University in my opinion.

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

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

bpgoz
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby bpgoz » Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:14 pm

I've discussed the cost with University and they've agreed to go to a 64% discount, which reduces the cost a few hundred dollars. The cost of the shuttles are $2248 (NY) and $1454 (SF), which seems expensive to me compared to other shuttle prices I've reviewed. Therefore, the total drops to approx. $7600 (I don't have a final figure yet but it'll be around there).

I also spoke with Nassau and they have added the shuttles and agreed to a GNTE estimate. Their shuttles are $783.72 (NY) and $507.24 (SF), which is more inline with other shuttle prices I've received. Their total therefore goes up to $7370.

So, we're talking about a few hundred dollars difference. Again, I'm leaning towards University only b/c of the reviews I've read on this site. If anyone has used Nassau I'd love some feedback as a few hundred dollars saved is still a nice savings. For clarification, this is a full service move.

Thanks for any add'l info. anyone can provide!

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

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby Diane » Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:31 pm

Hi - it seems really strange to me that the shuttle prices are so different between Atlas and United. Maybe one of the moverpros can explain.

Are you purchasing valuation coverage? One of the moverpros ("23") has said that you can get free full value replacement coverage with Atlas if you have AAA, which could save you a couple of hundred dollars.

bpgoz
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby bpgoz » Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:57 pm

I will need to purchase insurance--I'm not including that in the price. I don't have AAA (being in NY, I don't have a car), but I am investigating with my renter's insurance to see if that will cover the move. I'm not ignoring the insurance as I know I'll need it but I'm trying to keep that separate right now from the estimate.

Regardless, I really appreciate everyone's comments. It's helping a lot!

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

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby Diane » Thu Jan 27, 2005 4:54 pm

I don't think your renter's insurance will cover the things that are most likely to happen, such as scratches and breakage, just as it wouldn't cover such events if they happened in your own home. At least, we have never found any company that covered such things.

Re AAA, you can join without having a car, and it gets you discounts on hotels and amusement parks and other stuff. If your parents have it you can be added as a supplemental member. Some people have joined for around $50 and have saved $300 or so on FVR coverage. This would cancel out the difference between the Atlas and United price. Just a thought. I believe that you SHOULD figure valuation coverage into the total picture if you know you're going to buy it.

Part of me wants you to try out Nassau because we don't have any reports on it and part of me feels that University is more of a known quantity. Decisions, decisions!

bpgoz
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby bpgoz » Thu Jan 27, 2005 4:57 pm

OK, now I'm completely confused...I just heard back from Nassau and they discussed the shuttle situation with their agent in SF (not sure who that is) and the agent is pretty confident that I will not need a shuttle (they know the area I'll be moving to). Therefore, their price now drops to $6861.80. I know that's not a guarantee but it still means they're lower.

I read one posting about Nassau on the board and it gave them a ok rating. I'm now leaning towards them unless others feel there is a reason why I should not. Again, this is based on them agreeing to a GNTE estimate.

Sorry for all the messages. At the end of the day it's probably just a gut feeling but I had such a bad experience moving to NY (with North American) that I really want to avoid that as much as possible.

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

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby Diane » Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:11 pm

Oh, I see that there IS already one report on Nassau (by "Judy"). I agree that it was only "OK." And she said they had 10 BBB complaints.

And University Van Lines got something called a World Class Commitment Award from Atlas last year. To me that suggests quality.

You seem to be deciding on the basis of price, but you're not figuring in the cost of valuation coverage and you haven't given University a chance to respond to what Atlas said about not needing a shuttle. I would tell University what Atlas said and maybe they'll say the same thing.

But don't make yourself sick thinking about it. I'm sure that you'll be OK with either company. What happened to you with North American? What agent was it?
Last edited by Diane on Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bpgoz
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby bpgoz » Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:13 pm

Thanks, Diane. You've been a help this whole time. I have a call into University and we'll see what they have to say.

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

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby Diane » Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:29 pm

You could also call the New Jersey Warehousemen & Movers Association to see what they say about the two companies (732-341-3934). I couldn't find where Nassau World Wide Moving had 10 BBB complaints, by the way. Maybe "Judy" found out by actually calling the BBB rather than going to www.bbb.org. I hope I'm not confusing you more. I just seem to have a better feeling about University.

bpgoz
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby bpgoz » Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:32 pm

Thanks, all, for your help. After speaking with Bill at University I've decided to go with them. At the end of the day, I just couldn't ignore all the positive comments from users online. All this being said, I think Dan at Nassau/United was great to work with. He was a straight shooter and was willing to be flexible especially with the GNTE estimate so I don't think Nassau would have been a bad choice. I just had no significant feedback for Nassau so I ended up using user comments as the "tie breaker."

My move isn't until mid February with a drop off towards the end of the month. I'll make sure to follow up then to let all know how it goes.

Thanks, again, for all the help. I really appreciate it.

mtaylor
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 4:02 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: NY to SF: Thoughts on these estimates/movers?

Postby mtaylor » Fri Jan 28, 2005 3:38 pm

Just for the record. The high shuttle costs of University may be that the 64% discount was not applied to yet.

$2200 X .64 = 1408
$2200 - $1408 = $792

The final price between University and Nassau were too close.


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