Small move question

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moving soon
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 3:51 pm

Small move question

Postby moving soon » Tue May 17, 2005 3:59 pm

I am shortly moving (in case you couldnt guess ;) - a small move likely under a 1000 pounds or so. i have narrowed it down to two movers for my move - northstar and hercules (the former in northern CA, the latter in LA) to move me to minnesota.

i guess i've noticed that nortstar is a lot busier and less flexible to my needs - they cancelled my confirmation once due to my asking a few clarification questions - but they have an A BBB rating, good federal rating and seem to be a more popular company. i like their product, but their kind of playing a heavy hand with me, and am not sure i like their tactics.

Hercules on the other hand, has been reasonable in addressing my questions and certainly more flexible in terms of times and availability. they have a B rating with the BBB, but also a good federal rating. basically, i like their customer service, but not as totally sold on their product.

1) has anyone had experiences (positive or negative - its so hard to find statements to the positive on any moving company) with either of these two firms?
2) any thoughts in general as to what people would do with similar options and in a similar scenario.

thanks

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

Re: Question

Postby Tyrone » Tue May 17, 2005 4:20 pm

You're not talking about the Northstar that is based in Van Nuys, are you? If so, keep looking... they charge by the cubic foot and there have seen some disturbing reports about them.
Dominus amotioni capitis e clunibus sum.

moving soon
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 3:51 pm

Re: Question

Postby moving soon » Tue May 17, 2005 4:24 pm

thanks for the note - this company is based in northridge ca and they are giving me a flat rate (under 1000#), but i'll make sure it's not one and the same.

consumer advocate
Posts: 1945
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:52 pm

Re: Question

Postby consumer advocate » Tue May 17, 2005 4:50 pm

It's important to ask them for their DOT number so we can verify who they actually are. If they don't want to give it to you or claim they don't know what it is that is reason enough to eliminate them as a possibility. Also, don't take the BBB too seriously. It is simply a business to which other businesses pay dues in exchange for a satisfactory rating. They are loathe to downgrade the rating of a paying member. An unsatisfactory rating or a low letter grade rating is reason to eliminate them because it's hard to be bad enough to get that from the BBB. But a satisfactory rating or higher letter grade rating MUST be corroborated with other positive information about a company. The BBB rating system is really not to be trusted. You should also do a search on this website for "Northstar" and "Hercules." Use the quotation marks. That should bring up any discussions on this forum about those companies. Like this one for example: http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2350

Fred0844

Re: Question

Postby Fred0844 » Tue May 17, 2005 5:12 pm

You might want to direct a post to Nancy or Michael, Ask about a dock to dock shipment. We do it in Canada on shipments as low as 300 lbs. but it must be from agent warehouse to agent warehouse. Pick up and delivery can be arranged at extra cost.

moving soon
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 3:51 pm

Re: Question

Postby moving soon » Tue May 17, 2005 5:21 pm

hmmm...thought i might have already posted this, but guess not

Northstar - ICC MC 237817, CAL T 182466
Hercules - ICC MC 427618, US DOT 997466

sounds like both have been panned on this site before, which i cant seeing being a good thing.

i guess the question is whether anyone has tried a SF to minnesota/midwest move before? and what they used or would recommend? i cant really use a dock-to-dock because 1) i'm really strapped on time, 2) the merchandise is going to my folks place in MN and i dont want them to have to schlep around picking my stuff up.

i considered FEdEx, UPS, etc before, but have heard horror stories about boxes not arriving and such - anyone have this experience or thoughts to share?

thanks for the replies - you guys really are a huge help

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

Re: Question

Postby Diane » Tue May 17, 2005 6:00 pm

Hi - do you have only boxes? If so, I would certainly recommend shipping them UPS, USPS, or FedEx rather than using a moving company. Don't use either Hercules or Northstar--much too risky.

moving soon
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 3:51 pm

Re: Question

Postby moving soon » Tue May 17, 2005 6:18 pm

thanks, will continue to further investigate that route.

as a quick question - has anyone been told that there is a 'pick-up window'? i was told at another place that they could only give me a 5 day pick-up time frame, which could only be narrowed down 24h in advance. this made no sense to me and sounded fairly suspicious. anyone else heard of this. the guy tried to pass it on like it was the norm in the industry.

MusicMom
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Question

Postby MusicMom » Tue May 17, 2005 6:19 pm

Also keep in mind that CA to Minnesota is a pretty long-distance move. For Hercules to send its one and only truck with your laod would mean they could not accept any jobs for about a week's time, give or take, whcih does not make sense for profit. They would have probably illegally brokererd out your job to someone else, or stuffed your small load into storage (free, of course :roll: ) until they had anough loads to make a long trip worthwhile.

moving soon
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Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 3:51 pm

Re: Question

Postby moving soon » Tue May 17, 2005 6:26 pm

i did inquire about that - i saw that on their federal listing. they *said* that they are now up to four trucks. but, regardless, your point is well taken. it certainly wouldnt be smart to otherwise expect them to honor their 16d delivery promise and likely my stuff, if it would show up would be on 'U move, WE steal' on some carrier as such.

thanks again for all the replies

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

Re: Question

Postby Diane » Tue May 17, 2005 6:45 pm

With a small shipment like yours, your choices are limited. If you have only boxes you can mail them as described above (if you can track the packages, I wouldn't worry about their being lost). If you have furniture as well as boxes, you can use one of the packaging companies like Wright Way in San Diego, Ship Smart, or Navis Small Moves. Wright Way has performed well for people but we are less sure about Ship Smart and Navis. You can do a search to see what has been said about them here.

Regarding a five-day pickup window, this is not unusual for moving companies at this time of year. The smaller your load, the less likely you are to get a firm pickup date. Broadway Express does give day-certain pickup dates but you have too little to make it feasible--they would have to charge you for a 10-foot minimum (which is about 5000 pounds), and you have only 1000 pounds. You could use ABF's mobile container service but your parents would have to go to an ABF terminal to pick the things up.

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Question

Postby MusicMom » Tue May 17, 2005 6:46 pm

If they had four trucks, it's very easy to update the DOT listing. But even four is not a lot to cover this kind of move. They'll say whatever they think you want to hear to get your business.

moving soon
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 3:51 pm

Re: Question

Postby moving soon » Tue May 17, 2005 6:57 pm

hmmm....yup, thanks for the tips

will have to throw down the white flag when it comes to music mom - Hercules has met his match :D

one question for diane - regarding the post services - do you have any feel for box destruction, stuff being broken, etc? that was another concern that i had. also, they drop all the boxes off at your address together or is it more variable in terms of drop-off?

i also checked the dock-to-dock sites and it just seems to be too difficult to coordinate in my case. and it seems like a lot of space for the limited number of items i have.

thanks for the note on the 5d pickup window.

thanks again, really appreciate the help.

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

Re: Question

Postby Diane » Tue May 17, 2005 7:07 pm

I don't know much about box destruction. If you have fragile things you might want to have them packed by a packaging service. With regard to delivery, when my son sent boxes via USPS media rate, they arrived on several different days. One person reported here that one of her media rate boxes never arrived and some of the others were dented in, but that could have been because of the way she packed them.

You have checked out dock-to-dock, but Wright Way, Ship Smart, Navis, etc. are different. They will pick up from and deliver to homes. It might be worth getting a quote from one such service.

I'm changing the title of this topic to "Small Move Question" since you're raising a lot of issues that might be of interest to other people with similar size shipments.

moving soon
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 3:51 pm

Re: Small move question

Postby moving soon » Tue May 17, 2005 7:24 pm

thanks for the reponse -

i did call the usps and ask about their media mail rate - which i was told was only and only for books. is this a different category than media rate?

am currently getting an estimate for the ship smart folks. did try one of the freight companies, but they also require you to pack and unpack the truck, which seems somewhat defeatest to me, since, well, i am paying money to have someone do that for me. they do however, come in reasonably close to the estimates i got from the movers, and promise a shorter delivery schedule.

thanks for changing the forum title, hopefully others will also have questions/ideas/thoughts.

best regards


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