question about specific items on Atlas estimate

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Anthony
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:36 am

question about specific items on Atlas estimate

Postby Anthony » Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:48 am

I'm moving from Philadelphia to Virginia and just got a non-binding estimate from Shannon Transport
(agent of Atlas). The estimate contained some items I didn't understand:

1. The "minimum weight" of 2100 lbs. was crossed out and replaced by "2160 lbs."
which was the same as my "estimated weight".

2. "Origin shuttle services - 2160 lbs." cost: $657.00

3. Under additional charges, "item 1506" cost: $850 (no other explanation appears)

4. a "BL Discount" of 62% that reduced the total bill from around $5500 to around $2500.

(I'm getting other estimates too and will probably move everything myself with a UHaul if I can manage
it. But it would still be nice to understand some of these charges on the estimate sheet.)

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

Re: question about specific items on Atlas estimate

Postby Tyrone » Sat Jun 18, 2005 1:24 pm

Tell them you will only accept a binding estimate, and that you prefer a
"guaranteed not to exceed" binding estimate.

Ask them to re-submit their bid based on this information.


Regarding the astronomical discount rates, 55-65% is certainly the normal everyday discounts. Movers intentionally set their official prices ("tariff" rates) absurdly high... then they try to lure in customers by offering massive "discounts" that are also absurdly high.

They might as well say "the move will cost you one hundred thousand dollars... but WAIT! Here's a handy dandy coupon good for ninety-seven thousand dollars off your move! Today Only! Act Now! Operators are standing by!"
Dominus amotioni capitis e clunibus sum.

Don't Shoot

Re: question about specific items on Atlas estimate

Postby Don't Shoot » Sat Jun 18, 2005 1:53 pm

Hold your fire!

1. The "minimum weight" of 2100 lbs. was crossed out and replaced by "2160 lbs." which was the same as my "estimated weight".

This is just telling you that 2160# is going to be the least amount of weight your shipment will be rated on, even though it should be the 2100# that sounds like it is the company policy...


2. "Origin shuttle services - 2160 lbs." cost: $657.00
The over-the-road truck cannot get close enough (subjective - but usually 300-400 ft.) of where the crew would have to load. A local bobtail truck will load the goods and then transfer the goods to the over-the-road truck. Are you in an apartment/condo complex? Loading out of a public storage?


3. Under additional charges, "item 1506" cost: $850 (no other explanation appears)

May be 3rd party services-appliance disconnection / reconnection - packing? I don't know about this one...I'd ask for clarification in writing.

4. a "BL Discount" of 62% that reduced the total bill from around $5500 to around $2500.

"BL" == bottom line - I agree with Tyrone that the full tariff pricing is stupid - I look at it like how they price jewelry - how the heck can they give such a huge discount and still make a profit? Cause the starting point is so ridiculous.

I further agree with Tyrone, get a binding or a binding not to exceed bid. Where I do disagree with Tyrone is on the not-to-exceed...these are useless in my humble opinion. Has anyone-ANYONE ever seen a not-to-exceed bid go down? I've been in the business and have met thousands of shippers and NEVER has one of their other not-to-exceeds gone down.

In my opinion a binding quote with a hyper-detailed inventory (the crux of the entire agreement) along with point-by-point line item costs is the only way to go. But just because it looks like a detailed inventory and bid, IT DOES NOT RELEIVE YOU of your duty to examine the documents closely and ensure that everything that should be included is included and visa versa. I think that a binding quote would have stronger legs in small claims court because it takes much of the speculation out of the agreement.

What do you think, Tyrone...?[/quote]

Anthony
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:36 am

Re: question about specific items on Atlas estimate

Postby Anthony » Mon Jun 20, 2005 2:23 pm

I asked Atlas for a binding quote and I'm still waiting to hear back from them...
I'm also getting quotes from (agents for) Bekins, Mayflower, United Van Lines, and Allied Van Lines.

Has anyone heard of "Countrywide Moving & Storage" owned & operated by JA Transportation Inc.,
MC# 410116-C, US DOT 960789? I couldn't find anything about them (good or bad) on this site.

Thanks!!!!

nohup
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 2:36 am

Re: question about specific items on Atlas estimate

Postby nohup » Mon Jun 20, 2005 2:58 pm

Just to make Don't Shoot's day... My BN2E estimate was reduced when I moved. I don't remember the exact amount, but I can look it up if you want :)
Doh! Aldo got me :(

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

Re: question about specific items on Atlas estimate

Postby Diane » Mon Jun 20, 2005 2:59 pm

Anthony,

That particular Countrywide (there is more than one) isn't licensed to do interstate moves. You can input its DOT license number under "Company Snapshot" on www.safersys.org to see this. Its interstate license was revoked in October 2004. Yet it is still advertising that it can do long-distance moves on its website at www.countrysidemovingandstorage.com, which is registered to Yaniv Zahavi in Plantation, FL (the owner is listed by the BBB as Jacob Amar). Coupons and phony testimonials on the website are other red flags. AVOID this company.

Anthony
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:36 am

Re: question about specific items on Atlas estimate

Postby Anthony » Mon Jun 20, 2005 4:06 pm

Thanks for the warning about Countrywide! Needless to say, they're off the list...

Atlas got back to me and said they would only give me a binding estimate
if the minimum weight were raised to 5000 lbs. (the non-binding estimate, based
on an in-home walkthrough, says 2160 lbs., which is probably about right given how little I have
in my apartment). Atlas also explained the $850 "item 1506" as a charge that was necessary
because they were "self-hauling" the move, since it was less than 400 miles.

Bekins estimated 3400 lbs., which was calculated (on their quote form) by multiplying
319 cubic feet by 7. This seemed fishy, especially since 319 x 7 = 2233.

Mayflower said at the outset that they had to charge based on a 6000 lb. minimum
because they couldn't split my shipment. (Because of this, I cancelled
the in-house appointment with them.) I'm still waiting to get more quotes from others.

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

Re: question about specific items on Atlas estimate

Postby Diane » Mon Jun 20, 2005 4:16 pm

Sinclair has a good review here.

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

Re: question about specific items on Atlas estimate

Postby Michael » Mon Jun 20, 2005 4:23 pm

Anthony,

The item 1506 as they posted it, isnt a required tariff charge. Its just their way of trying to make some extra money on such a small shipment. Perfectly legal. But I dont understand it. Why not just make your weight a higher minimum instead of adding that charge on. Since your move is a self haul, the company is just trying to make it worth their while. And if thats the case, why not just give you less of a discount. Makes you wonder in regards to what some companies do and think.

It would be interesting to see what the binding charges would be with a 62% discount. Might just be the same thing they are charging you now by throwing on the additional item 1506.

Your correct on the cube x 7. Makes you wonder.

I recently saw a local Mayflower agent quote a gentleman 8000 pounds for what was actually 3200. Just to make it worth their while.

And I see more not to exceeds go down or come in less, then I dont.

Best of luck,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget


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