Guaranteed Price Pledge

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JC
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 8:48 pm

Guaranteed Price Pledge

Postby JC » Sun May 08, 2005 10:26 am

I received an estimate from Allegheny Transfer and Storage in Baltimore, MD for a move in the middle of June. The estimated weight is 3000 lb and their "Guaranteed Price" is $1784.

Two things bother me about this. First, I know I am not a moving professional but I have moved before and the 50 boxes they think I need seems very high to me and in my opinion will unreasonable inflate the weight estimate. In my last move I used les than 30 boxes and I don't have a lot more stuff than before. I'm also making 2 trips in my SUV mainly to move things that I don't want to get lost or damaged and I will also add things like books, dishes and other items as long as there is room in my SUV.

The other thing is that I asked them what would happen if I had less than 3000 lb and they said that the price was fixed at $1784 even if the weight was less. Then, they said that as long as I didn't add anything to my move the price was $1784 so I asked what that meant and they said that if I added stuff my price would go up. The "Guaranteed Price" was just a "guarantee" if I had what they expected me to have or less.

Since I honestly think I will have less, I'm a bit hesitant to go with this company even though I have heard great things about them. They would give me free boxes and guarantee delivery within 4 days at my new house. They even supplied me with lots of info on moving, what sizes of boxes to use, insurance info and the "Rights and Responsibilities" booklet.

I had another moving person come by on Saturday for an estimate (he didn't show up on Friday and I had to call him to reschedule) but he just took my info and said they would get back to me with a number. He didn't have any information on his company or moving in general and did not give me the "Rights and Responsibilities" book.

The third company will come by on Monday.

I wil decide on the 2nd and 3rd companies when I get their estimates but right now I'm wondering if I should consider Allegheny's Guarnteed Price or if they're just trying to rip me off.

Any insight is appreciated.

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

Re: Guaranteed Price Pledge

Postby Diane » Sun May 08, 2005 11:18 am

Hi - first, I think the sales rep not showing up and not calling you to explain is a red flag.

I assume you're moving interstate, since you're talking about delivery 4 days later. Good remarks have been made about Allegheny here, although no one has used them and come back to post. It is an Allied agent. Your estimate of $1784 to move 3000 pounds seems quite reasonable to me even if (as I assume) you aren't moving very far.

What you have seems to be a Total Price Guarantee (TPG) estimate. This is equivalent to a Binding estimate and my understanding is that in most cases Allied doesn't even weigh the truck if a person has a TPG estimate. You are correct that a straight TPG estimate does not allow for a refund; you pay the price stated--no more or no less. (I wouldn't worry about being charged more; in the two years I've been following this messageboard, I've never seen a case where a person had a Binding estimate and this happened. You yourself say that you'll be moving some of the things in your SUV. In my opinion, your price would increase only if you suddenly asked the company to move MANY more things than you had shown to the estimator.)

However, despite the fact that you have a TPG estimate, if the letters GRR (for Guaranteed Rate Reduction) appear anywhere on your estimate, this allows you to receive a refund if the actual weight falls below the estimated weight. Most salespeople in Allied use GRR. In other words, the GRR converts the TPG estimate to a Binding Not to Exceed estimate. I think you should ask your rep whether he/she will change your estimate to one with a GRR. This would mean that the company would (theoretically at least) have to weigh the truck so I don't know whether you will succeed in this, but it's worth a try.

I'll just add that I don't think there is likely to be a major cost difference between what you'll pay with a TPG and what you'll pay with a TPG with a GRR.

Finally, if you think you'll have substantially fewer things to move than you showed the estimator, I wouldn't hesitate to call him back and ask whether he can subtract those things from the estimate to reduce your TPG quote.

JC
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 8:48 pm

Re: Guaranteed Price Pledge

Postby JC » Sun May 08, 2005 3:02 pm

Thanks, Diane. I'm moving from Baltimore to Charlotte so it's about 450 miles.

The mover who did not show up to give me an estimate apologized and said he was stuck in traffic but did not have my phone number with him. I was a little irritated as I had rushed home from work to meet him but he did show up on time the next day for what it's worth.

The Allegheny guy wasn't all that friendly but did provide useful reading material. The thing that worries me is that at the bottom of the estimate it says:

"This Guaranteed Price Pledge is an estimate which is binding upon us and you. It applies only for the services ordered above, and the items to be moved as shown on the cube sheet. Any additional services or items required or requested, to be performed or shipped by the shipper, will be in addition to the total price. "

He also wrote in big letters, "*ONLY MOVING ITEMS ON CUBE SHEET*"

I used a different Allied agent a long time ago and even though they "guaranteed" my price, they demanded an extra $300-$400 when they arrived (I can't remember the exact amount). I argued with them and after calling the office they delivered my stuff without the extra money but later sent me a bill. When I spoke to them they said if I did not pay it they would report me to the credit bureau so I ended up paying it so as not to damage my credit.

I'm just not getting a good feel about any of the companies right now.

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

Re: Guaranteed Price Pledge

Postby Diane » Sun May 08, 2005 5:27 pm

Hi - that story about the Allied agent doesn't sound very good. Legally, moving companies have to protest the weight before the goods are loaded onto the truck, not while they are in transit. It sounds like they did something illegal and I don't blame you for being wary of using another Allied company. You have a smallish load and that could explain why the sales rep doesn't seem too interested. I experienced the same thing, so I know.

If you want to just thumb your nose and say bye-bye to all of them, go with Broadway Express for low cost and peace of mind. You have about 6-7 linear feet of goods. BE could move you for $1251 according to their interactive cost calculator at http://www.broadwayexpress.net/household.html (10 feet is their minimum charge). Then you would have to figure about another $300-$350 to pay the driver and one or two other helpers to help you load and unload. Having heard your story, that's what I would do if I were you.


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