Getting jerked around? Sinclair (Mayflower) in NJ

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Jeff Gelman
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 8:53 pm
Location: Media, PA

Getting jerked around? Sinclair (Mayflower) in NJ

Postby Jeff Gelman » Thu Feb 24, 2005 4:44 pm

So, as I've mentioned before, I've hired Sinclair Moving and Storage in New Jersey (an agent for Mayflower) because they seem highly competent, their info checks out and they got a good review on this message board.
We agreed they'd move my Grandmother's belongings from Florida to PA either March 3 or 4. So I booked a flight for my cousin Mark, who is going to supervise the move, so that he'll be there until the morning of March 5.
Now Sinclair calls me today and asks if I can postpone the move until March 5--with no OT charged because it's a Saturday--because they have other pickups around that time. I said no because my cousin will be gone.

Sinclair is going to see if they can do it Friday night, otherwise they said they'll give the job to another Mayflower agent down in Florida, which angers me because the reason I went with Mayflower was for this Sinclair movers, not some other agent I know nothing about, and I told them that, so they're trying to work it out. They said I can have a preference that Sinclair does the move, but that they have the final say.

Anyone have any advice?
Thanks,
Jeff

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cnoblit
Posts: 546
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 2:23 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: Getting jerked around?

Postby cnoblit » Thu Feb 24, 2005 5:24 pm

Jeff Gelman wrote:...So I booked a flight for my cousin Mark, who is going to supervise the move, so that he'll be there until the morning of March 5. Now Sinclair calls me today and asks if I can postpone the move until March 5--with no OT charged because it's a Saturday--because they have other pickups around that time. I said no because my cousin will be gone. Sinclair is going to see if they can do it Friday night, otherwise they said they'll give the job to another Mayflower agent down in Florida, which angers me because the reason I went with Mayflower was for this Sinclair movers, not some other agent I know nothing about, and I told them that, so they're trying to work it out. They said I can have a preference that Sinclair does the move, but that they have the final say...


Well, I have an opinion about everything Jeff...including this. This situation sounds like it speaks to the "van line world" issue of what is a "hauling agent" and what is a "booking agent."

From your post it sounds like Sinclair wants to haul you order and this would be a good thing. When you book an order with a van line agent it is preferable for that agent to load your shipment on their truck and haul it to destination under "on the van line's paper." If you have done good research (as you state that you have) this insures that you are dealing with a reputable company that will be responsible for service from initial loading at origin to final unloading and delivery at destination. Everything is performed by the single company that you have checked out.

The alternative is for a van line agent to simply book your order and then hand it off to the van line. When this happens you "roll the dice" so to speak as the van line will send in any one of their X,000 trucks to haul your shipment and you get the luck of the draw because of those X,000 drivers you will find the good drivers, the bad drivers and the ugly drivers. And the quality of your move is controlled by the quality of driver.

It is not unusual for haulers to ask customers to make adjustments to their schedule to accommodate changes that often occur. The ball is really in Sinclair's court because they are within their rights to pass the order on to their van line if they are not able to haul your order.

That's my opinion anyway Jeff.

Guest

Re: Getting jerked around?

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 24, 2005 6:04 pm

I certainly appreciate it. Will let you know what happens...
Jeff

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

Re: Getting jerked around?

Postby Diane » Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:09 am

I agree completely with what Chris said and parenthetically I am thrilled to see him posting on this board. Much of what I know about the moving industry (little as it is) I learned from reading all of the posts on the old avatar-moving.com messageboard that he started. I mean ALL of them, from the late 90s on. That board showed so clearly what happened to the industry over the years, with movers asking each other around 1998, "What happened to the ICC?" and then the first scammers being reported shortly afterward, and then scamming becoming an epidemic in 2000-2001 with many victims posting.

I'm not sure whether that board still exists, but I remember particularly that whenever anyone asked a question or made a comment deemed inappropriate, a black and white photo of some strict-looking guy would be posted and it would say something like "The Enforcer declines to answer your question" or something. I never quite understood who the guy was, but anyway, I learned a lot from Chris' board.

Sorry for the digression.

I was so pleased to see Chris saying what I have been arguing for many months--if a company is good, it's almost always preferable to have it self-haul your shipment using its own trucks and drivers rather than throwing it into the van line system. From what I've seen on this board, most cases of damage have occurred when a van line driver got involved (and also when goods were transferred into and out of storage, into and out of various size trucks, etc.). This is Chris' statement that I think is so true and so important:

cnoblit wrote:When you book an order with a van line agent it is preferable for that agent to load your shipment on their truck and haul it to destination "on the van line's paper" [i.e. using the van line's authority--although it can also use its own authority if it has authority to move goods interstate]. If you have done good research (as you state that you have) this insures that you are dealing with a reputable company that will be responsible for service from initial loading at origin to final unloading and delivery at destination. Everything is performed by the single company that you have checked out.


Now, going back to Jeff's situation, it looks as if what happened here is that Sinclair originally thought it could pick up the goods on March 3 or 4 but then found it would be difficult because of other shipments that were scheduled for the same truck, perhaps at some distance from Jeff's grandmother's residence. My feeling is that if at all possible, Jeff should try to have Sinclair pick up the shipment in its own truck even if his cousin's flight has to be rescheduled. If he's scheduled to fly out on the morning of March 5 anyway, many airlines will allow rebooking on a later flight that same day without penalty.

I guess an alternative--though not a good one--would be to cancel the move with Sinclair and try to schedule with another good company that makes a couple of runs to FL each month such as University Van Lines (Atlas) in Rahway, NJ.

Jeff Gelman
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 8:53 pm
Location: Media, PA

Re: Getting jerked around?

Postby Jeff Gelman » Fri Feb 25, 2005 3:59 pm

Sinclair has agreed to move my grandmother's belongings Friday afternoon. Let's hope everything goes as planned.
Jeff

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

Re: Getting jerked around?

Postby Michael » Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:12 am

Diane,

Of course it would be ideal if all agents could haul their own moves. But that just inst plausable and thus why they belong to a network, like an Atlas, United or NAVL or whomever. Even the Suddaths, McCollisters, Beltmanns and Alexanders of the worlds cant haul everything they book.

I think where the difference of quality comes into play that Chris mentioned is if its a COD versues a National Account. COD will always get the lesser. Not because its a COD, but because the better drivers are taking care of the van lines bread and butter.

And I agree, its great to have Chris aboard.
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

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

Re: Getting jerked around?

Postby Diane » Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:13 am

Jeff Gelman has just given me permission to post the following report on Sinclair (Mayflower) in West Berlin, NJ, which he sent to me in a private message. He was moving some of his grandmother's things from FL to PA.

Jeff Gelman wrote:Hi Diane,
Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. Things have been pretty crazy around here.

Anyway, overall, the move with Sinclair went really well. The two movers were on time--both picking up and dropping off--and were friendly, courteous and patient. They did a good job and nothing was broken. And the price was quite reasonable. The total weight came in just under the minimum, so we didn't have to pay anything extra for that--which shows they were honest about the weight, as well.

My only complaint is about moving the upright piano. The two guys had no problem moving it out of my grandmother's apartment using the elevator. But they had to go up five steep stairs in my house to get it into the living room because the walkway to the front door wasn't stable enough for such a heavy object. There was absolutely no way they could have done it without my help, and even so, we barely got it up the steps. I should have told them to come back the next day with a third guy, but I just wanted to get it done. Good thing I didn't throw out my back.

Regards,
Jeff

I think Sinclair is a company that would be worth getting a quote from if someone lives in that area of NJ, and I'm going to add its name to my Epinions article referenced in the link below.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.


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