Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

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Mel44
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:42 am
Location: California

Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Mel44 » Sat Apr 02, 2005 11:25 am

We just received the total charges for our Brooklyn to San Francisco move with Wheaton. We received a binding not to exceed estimate for $3800.77 based on 3500 pounds. Our final weigh in was 3020 and we incurred only $80 in additional charges. I'm wondering why our final bill is coming in at $3779.16 when there was almost 500 pounds less weight than estimated.

Upon inspecting the final calculations further, I noticed that the transportation charges on our original estimate were $6169.30 for 3500 pounds and 2914 miles (400N tariff; origin zip=11217; destination zip=94110). On the final bill, the transportation charges based on 3020 pounds and 2914 miles is $6170.24. This is actually more than the estimate for less weight. I think this must be a mistake, but before I discuss this with the agent, I'm wondering if someone who has access to the 400N tariff would be kind enough to look up the correct transportation costs based on my final weight and distance.

Also, are there any other standard charges that would be affected by having less weight than estimated? There is a "Direct Pick-up" charge of $600, which was described as the shuttle charge. The same $600 charge is listed on the final bill. Does anyone know if this kind of charge is based on weight and if we should seek a re-calculation based on the lower actual weight?

Thanks in advance for your help. Your assistance is appreciated!

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

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Michael » Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:21 pm

Mel,

I havent looked at anything on the tariff, but just from the sounds of it, the didnt apply the same discount. Ask them to double check that the discount given and signed for was the one applied at the end for actual charges. Could be an honest mistake.
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

Tyrone
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2003 5:18 pm

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Tyrone » Sat Apr 02, 2005 4:53 pm

[skepticism]"Could be an honest mistake"[/skepticism]
Dominus amotioni capitis e clunibus sum.

Guest

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Guest » Sat Apr 02, 2005 5:16 pm

Was there a fuel surcharge on your bill? I understand that can be 11% of the transportation charges. Maybe that $400 or so cancelled out the weight savings.

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

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Michael » Sat Apr 02, 2005 9:54 pm

Guest makes a good point too. If the fuel surcharge was (5 at the time of signing, and you recently relocated when the fuel surcharge changed to 11%, then you would get charged for the 11%, not the 9%. The fuel surcharge on a not to exceed is not guaranteed. Actual % applies at time of load.
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

Mel44
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:42 am
Location: California

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Mel44 » Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:58 pm

Thanks for the replies! I think it may be an honest mistake since the guys at Flatbush, the moving agent, seem pretty decent overall. Part of me is a little paranoid though I wanted to check it out with you guys.

Here's a line by line breakdown:

"Transportation: Section 3" - $6170.24
"Fuel Surcharge: Trans. Section 3" - $678.73 (this is 11%)
"Insurance Surcharge: Trans. Section 3" - $246.81 (this is 4%)
"Origin Service" - $531.52 (rate of 17.60)
"Destination Service" - $293.85 (rate of $9.73)
-------------------------------
Total of Above - $4831.91
Less 61% discount = $3089.24
Plus $61.92 for packing (61% discount included)
Plus "Advance Charges" - $628.00 (inlcudes some boxes and the $600 "direct pick-up"/shuttle.)
------------------------------
-----------------------------
Grand Total = $3779.16

Since the fuel surcharge is inlcuded and the other weight-variable charges were less than on the estimate, it seems like this $350-$400 discrepancy is coming from the transportation charges. This charge and the shuttle charge seem to be the only items that did not adjust down due to the lower actual weight. Any other ideas about why this might be? Is there a way to check the tariff rate online? I tried to search for it but couldn't find it.

Thanks

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

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Diane » Sat Apr 02, 2005 11:03 pm

Mel,

I suggest that you simply call the owner of Flatbush, John Liantonio, and ask him to figure out what accounts for the apparent overcharge. You can refer him to your post, since he is familiar with MovingScam.com. His family has run the business for three generations, and I would be very surprised if this were an intentional mistake, but please report back to us what he says.

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

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Michael » Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:03 am

Mel,

The numbers arent exact, but here is what I have figured out. First, I ran the quote with your estimated weight with a 61% discount. With shuttle at origin, but no packing, since its seems it only came to $28, as you stated. I came up with a price of $3816.17. If they charged you $600 for the shuttle, it doesnt look like they discounted that 61% for you. My discounted shuttle came to $350.22.
Transportation
$ 2,736.96
Fuel Surcharge
$ 301.06
Insurance Surcharge
$ 109.48
Orig/Dest Fee
$ 318.45
Valuation
$ 0.00
Pack/Unpack Services
$ 0.00
Other Additional Services/Shuttle
$ 350.22
SIT Services
$ 0.00

Total:$ 3,816.17


When I run the same quote at the actual weight, 3020, with the same items as above I come up with a total cost of $3358.81. The shuttle cost after discount came to $316.68.
Transportation
$ 2,406.39
Fuel Surcharge
$ 264.70
Insurance Surcharge
$ 96.26
Orig/Dest Fee
$ 274.78
Valuation
$ 0.00
Pack/Unpack Services
$ 0.00
Other Additional Services/Shuttle
$ 316.68
SIT Services
$ 0.00

Total: $ 3,358.81

So whatever they are doing isnt computing right. Take Dianes advice and call them first thing Monday morning to compute the charges with you over the phone.

One other note, if I didnt discount your shuttle at all the tariff rate for 3500 pounds was $898.00. And for 3020 pounds the non discounted tariff charge for a shuttle is $812.00.

So maybe they did discount your shuttle, but not at the 61% like everything else.

Hope that helps a little. So yes your total cost should have gone down.

There is no reason your cost should be more.
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

Mel44
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:42 am
Location: California

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Mel44 » Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:29 pm

Michael,

Thanks for looking into this in such a detailed manner. Would you mind answering these questions when you have a moment?

1. Can you please explain how you arrived at the Transportation charge in your calcualtion? The estimate I was provided (based on 3500 lbs.) shows a transportation fee of $6169.30 before the 61% discount. With the discount, I'm calculating $2406.03 for transportation, but your 3500 lb. calculation shows $2736.96. Why are we getting different numbers?

2. I don't think I will be able to get the discount on the shuttle since they didn't provide a discount for me on the estimate. Is it unusual for the mover not to discount their shuttles? When I received the estimate, this $600 charge was actually not called a shuttle. It was called a "direct pick up" and we were told that it is cheaper than a shuttle. Do you know what the difference is between a shuttle and a direct pick-up? Maybe this difference would explain why the $600 was not discounted?

Thanks!

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

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Michael » Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:10 pm

Mel,

The 400 N tariff is a few years old. They could be using the 400 N tariff but not the current 400 N tariff if that makes sense. Every year the tariff increases 1-5%, generally in Jan. A company has the right to waive out of that increase if it wishes. In this case Wheaton may have. So they could be using an older rated tariff with lesser rates.

My non discounted tariff charge for transportation before discount is $7020.00. That is the flat charge to ship 3500-3599 pounds. the base rate to ship 3000-3499pounds is $6851.00. So thats my best guess as to why there is a price difference.

No its not unuasal for a company not to discount the shuttle, especially if they know they are the ones doing it, and not the driver, thus they get to keep some of the pie.

The difference between a direct pick up and a shuttle. A direct pick up means the local crew comes to your home and brings it back to their storage facility and holds it until it can be picked up. Again, if they know a shuttle is necessary, this may be a way for them to make a little extra cash and not lose it to the driverand charge their local rates or charge whatever they feel they can get away with.

A shuttle means the driver is responsible for securing a second vehicle and labor (usually from the local agent if possible) and that second vehicle is used to move your goods from your home directly to the drivers truck. In some cases this could be the agencies warehouse anyway.

Some van lines require shipments weighing less then a specified weight be picked up by the local agent and brought to their warehouse so the driver can load them from the warehouse. generally you shouldnt be charged for this. We call it a APU. other companies call it a G-11. But in any case we dont charge for that. We are required to pick up anything locally under 2100 pounds and bring back to our warehouse for the driver to load. We do not charge for this.

The only time I charge for a shuttle is when I know a truck cannot access or get within a safe walking distance (150ft and more) of the house that is being loaded.

Of course I am guessing as to why another company does what it does, since I do not have experience with Wheaton.

Hope that answers your questions.
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

Mel44
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:42 am
Location: California

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Mel44 » Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:27 pm

I have a bit more information about why there is a discrepancy between the estimate and the final bill: a mistake was made.

Flatbush explained to me that while 3500 lbs. was listed on the estimate, the estimator based the Transportation Charge only 3000 lbs. This resulted in their estimate being less than it should have been.

Wheaton and Flatbush do not seem to think that this is a big deal because the actual weight was very close to 3000 lbs. anyway. This explanation ignores the fact that I had chosen Wheaton over other movers, largely based on the estimate they provided me. When evaluating movers, I calculated each mover's cost per pound so that I could easily compare the estimates apples to apples. If Wheaton's quote was done correctly, their cost per pound would have come in higher than my other top choices (one by almost 50%).

I am thinking of asking Wheaton to honor the price per pound quoted to me in the estimate. Any suggestions on how to approach this? The truck is supposed to deliver our belongings this Saturday so I really need to reach an agreement with them before then.

Thanks,
Melissa

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

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Diane » Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:35 pm

Disappointing. In effect, they raised the price per pound after having already quoted on the move. Have you spoken with both Wheaton HQ and Flatbush already, or just with Flatbush?

How much money is involved here? About $500, right? That doesn't seem to me like too much of an adjustment for them to make on a $6,000 move. Or if it is, maybe you could agree to split the difference.

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

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Michael » Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:27 am

First I do not think Flatbush quoted you a rate per pound. You yourself said you calculated that price.

You should have signed an order for service? If you did, did you notice the price in which you were being quoted or did you just sign the paperwork?

And the tariff rate for transportation should have still dropped from 3500 pounds to the 3020. And there shouldnt be a $500 difference from what he supposedly quoted you of 3000 and your actual weight being 3020.

Somethings still wrong.

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

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

Fred0844

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Fred0844 » Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:55 am

Without, actually seeing the estimate from Wheaton and the actual Bill of Lading, it is hard to account for the discrepancy unless there was a change in the tariff from the time the estimate was done to the load date. I believe an estimate is only good for 60 days, however they should have notified you of a change. You only, by law, have to pay estimate plus 10% plus any additional services eg. packing material to have your shipment delivered. Since most estimates are computer generated, some are right off the head office mainframe, I don't know how he could input 3500lbs and come up with a rate for 3000lbs. It doesn't work that way.

Mel44
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:42 am
Location: California

Re: Final Trans. Charge Higher Than Estimate For Less Weight

Postby Mel44 » Thu Apr 07, 2005 11:35 am

I know, it is disappointing. We really liked the guys that came to pick our things and thought they did a great job. The driver, in particular, was very helpful.

We did sign the Order for Service, which was the document that was drawn up by the estimator providing the binding not to exceed estimate of $3800.77. On this document, the weight was written in at 3500 pounds, but we're being told that all of the charges itemized on that document were actually based on 3000 pounds. So it makes sense that the tariff rate for Transportation is basically the same on the Order for Service as it is on the final bill.

Michael, you are right that there was no price per pound quoted. This was something that I calculated by dividing the estimate price by the estimated weight. I did this for each of the estimates received so I could get a sense of how expensive each mover was. Wheaton's price per pound basd on the Order for Service was $1.09/lb ($3800.77 divided by 3500 pounds). If the estimate was done correctly, their price per pound would have shown as $1.27 ($3800.77 divided by 3000 lbs.). Essentially their prices are 17% higher after they got my business. I in no way want to imply that this was done intentionally, but at the same time, it did impact my decision to go with them. Because of this and since it wasn't my mistake, I feel Wheaton should adjust the bill.

I would like to reach an agreement with them to calculate the bill by multiplying $1.09 x3020 pounds plus the additional packing materials/services we used (which I think was approximately $50). This would yield a final bill of $3.341.80 ($3291.80 + $50). Does this seem reasonable to everyone?

Thanks to you all for your input. It's a big help!


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