Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

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Tartbird
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 9:25 pm
Location: Moorpark, CA

Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Tartbird » Wed May 11, 2005 7:47 pm

Hi everyone!

We have now had three estimates in home from three different companies United, Allied and Mayflower. We are doing an intrastate move in CA. They will be moving our home items into a self storage unit one hour away. Our estimates are hourly.

One of the companies, Mayflower, said it gives you a binding not to exceed but then he said something about 10% leeway either way. What is that? I must have a different difinition of binding not to exceed!;o) He said "Well, if the truck gets stuck in traffic you have to pay that extra travel time." Is that how it works or is this shady?

All companies were basically in the same ballpark as far as weight of our stuff 12000 to 13000. But, two companies quoted based on 4 men and 9 and a half hours, versus Mayflower who quoted 3 men and 8 hours.

Also, the United agent has something in there about "Bridge or Ferry tolls" and charged $113. There are not a heck of a lot of bridges and ferry toll roads in S. CA.

Appreciate all your input!

Pam

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Nancy » Wed May 11, 2005 9:48 pm

The Mayflower guy is both right and wrong. Yes, you do pay for the actual travel time, which is then doubled for the round trip charge. Yes, you do pay if there is traffic. However, he needs to incorporate this into his quote. And ultimately you do get a GNTE. This 10% thing is crap. Did you get a chance to review the CMSA consumer advice? I posted it on another message you posted. www.thecmsa.org Definitely call their office for advice on these issues you mentioned.

As for the toll/ferry fees, huh??? If there is specifically a toll between your two homes, YOU would know that already. Yes, it is a valid fee. The salesman should reseach the specific route between your two homes, and it is valid to impose that charge IF you have such a situation on your route.

I've gotta say both sound strange to me. I'd reiterate to check with the CMSA office on the "10% leeway" and the "bridge or ferry tolls."

Tyrone
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2003 5:18 pm

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Tyrone » Thu May 12, 2005 10:46 am

Flat out tell them you will be choosing other movers, based on their inappropriate charges.
Dominus amotioni capitis e clunibus sum.

Tartbird
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 9:25 pm
Location: Moorpark, CA

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Tartbird » Thu May 12, 2005 11:08 am

Thank you you two! Do you think for 12,000 pounds it would be better to have four men instead of three? It seems logical to me since we are paying hourly to try to get the job done quicker, which equals more men on the job.


Pam

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Nancy » Thu May 12, 2005 11:17 am

I would definitely want four guys on it. Three men would take much longer to get it done.

Tartbird
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 9:25 pm
Location: Moorpark, CA

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Tartbird » Thu May 12, 2005 12:19 pm

Thanks Nancy, I agree. The Allied rep is saying load the truck one day and drive out and deliver the next. Is that normal? I think the positive is the guys are rested both days, and you don't have to panic about the storage place closing.

Pam

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Nancy » Thu May 12, 2005 12:23 pm

It does seem like a very long day for your size shipment to be loaded, driven one hour, and unloaded/stacked all on one day. Especially if you have the worry about the self storage facility closing before the unload is complete. I would agree that a two day move sounds better for all involved, especially if you run into a hot day in the summer time. The crew will be fresher, and you will be too! Even though you have movers doing all the heavy part, moving is taxing on the customer as well. Give yourself a break, and do the two day move.

Have they discussed you purchasing paper pads for your goods while in the mini storage? It will help protect your furniture when they stack it.

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Nancy » Thu May 12, 2005 12:26 pm

I forgot one point, have you researched the local agents quoting you? Are you comfortable putting their names here?

The reason for this is that you keep mentioning the van line names. While these guys are agents for the van lines, on a local move like yours, the liability is ENTIRELY the local agents. If you run into a major problem, that van line has no liability or recourse for you. don't want to scare you, just letting you know.

Tartbird
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 9:25 pm
Location: Moorpark, CA

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Tartbird » Thu May 12, 2005 1:00 pm

Hi Nancy,

I think I did mention one of the movers agent by name and no one had heard of them, which I believe one of you experts said can be a good thing! :lol: I will post them they are all in S. Calif. Ventura area. They all have satisfactory ratings with BBB. Which I know doesn't always matter.

Hilford Moving and Storage
Allied Agent
1595 So. Arundell Ave.
Ventura, CA 93003
805-642-0221
4 men-2 day move
12579 lbs- $2492.00 quote BNTE

Barrett Moving & Storage(bought out Award moving & Storage)
United Agent
2589 Calcite Circle
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
805-495-8444
4-men one day move
12000-13000 lbs-$2687.71 BNTE

Las Virgenes Van Lines
Mayflower Agent
420 E. Easy St. #3
Simi Valley, CA 93065
805-582-0557
3 men-one day move
12000 lbs-$1900. BNTE(but said something about 10% leeway??)

Most of them mentioned packing and if going to self storage we will need our own wrapping, or blankets. Hilford said just make the blankets available to the men and they will wrap the items when putting in storage.

So far I would have to say I think we will go with Hilford. We liked the salesman's demeanor, the print out is very clear and easy to read and detailed. The price was more than United at first but when United re-sent me some paperwork because it was a carbon copy thing he had to scratch out things on etc, it was very hard to read. The second one he sent was higher than Hilford. But we would have preferred Hilford anyway, even when we thought we were paying more with them.

Mayflower is supposed to e-mail me the quote this morning. I have yet to recieve it and he left nothing in writing with us yet, but he quoted $1900.

Thanks!
Pam

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Nancy » Thu May 12, 2005 1:12 pm

Pam,

Hilford does look good, also because they are your middle price. Barret is brand new, I'm familiar with the previous company. I can't even find a BBB report on them yet..... so we usually disapprove of businesses operating for a short time. However, since they purchased a company with a good reputation, I would be inclined to let that go in this situation. ... but then again, is this the same guy that had the possible bridge/ferry fee? That doesn't fit in my book. I admit I have mixed feelings on them.

I do know that Hilford and Las Virgenes are members of the CMSA. I like that because it shows their owners are committed to the industry and participating in the industry association.

You are on the right track!

East Coast Mover

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby East Coast Mover » Sat May 14, 2005 7:44 am

Remember the driver can only load so fast. So a 3 man crew would get your shipment LOADED in about the same time as a 4 man crew. So with a 4 man crew you would have a man basically on break the whole time your geting loaded. But the 4 man crew would definately get the load UNLOADED faster than a 3 man crew.

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

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Diane » Sat May 14, 2005 9:45 am

ECM - interesting. You seem to be saying that the driver is the only one who actually LOADS the truck. In other words, he stays in the truck arranging and stacking while the helpers pass him things from off the truck or put them just inside the door . . . right? I never knew that. That is the way that people have said Broadway Express works as well. The driver stays in the truck.

Fred0844

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Fred0844 » Sun May 15, 2005 3:56 am

Usually the driver is the one who loads the shipment into the truck and directs the helpers what to bring him from the house. The driver is also on one end of heavy or valuable furniture to try to decrease damage since he is the most experienced person. Local crews, like mine, are usually teams that always work to-gether. The long distance drivers usually have names and phone numbers of "professional" swampers in various cities to assist them. Sometimes, in the slow season, drivers help other drivers load or unload. This is a luxury you don't often get.

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

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Diane » Sun May 15, 2005 10:51 am

Fred, in the interest of improving my command of moving terminology, please tell me the difference between a "swamper" and a "lumper" and what a "belly-box" is (a term I saw in one of your other posts today). Thanks.

Fred0844

Re: Binding estimates not to exceed... unless....

Postby Fred0844 » Sun May 15, 2005 4:05 pm

Swamper, Lumper, Helper, same thing, just depends on where you are and what country you are in (remember, Canadian eh?).
Bellybox, I will send you a photo of one of my fleet trailers. Furniture vans are different from freight trailers. The trailer you see most of on the highways are freighters and are one long flat floor from front to back and are built to dock height for easy loading at manufacturers docks. Furniture vans (and there are 2 basic types) are built differently. The front section which sits over the drive axels of the tractor is called the kick or deck and is usually about 10' long to allow turning space. After the kick there is a 10" drop which creates more loading space inside the van. Remember space is money in our business. It also lowers the trailer closer to the ground to reduce the incline for loading. Those who have loaded a BE trailer will know how hard that height factor is on the people loading. To make space for equipment such as 16' ramps for loading, metal boxes are added under the main floor of the trailer or on the trailer's belly. They are also a great place for bicycles, ladders on the odd piece that doesn't make it in the main part of the trailer. Our trailers are all air ride suspension, and logistic tie-offs through out the trailer. The trailers also have multiple doors. On the curb side of the trailers there are doors on the kick, just off the kick and usually just before the tires at the rear, there is a set of barn (double) doors at the back and a set of barn doors about half way down the road side. Since the trailers can haul multiple shipments, we do not have to unload back to front. Also the trailers have dump valves which lower the air ride, putting the trailer on an angle making it easier to load cars from street level. The other type of trailer are drop frames where the trailer goes almost to ground level off the kick.
Diane, by the time I am finished with you, you will will start talking like us old bed bug haulers.


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