Verdict: Dahill is fantabulous. Seriously.

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waverly
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 6:50 pm
Location: New York

Verdict: Dahill is fantabulous. Seriously.

Postby waverly » Sun Jun 26, 2005 1:22 pm

Hi all.

Wanted to update you all on the details of our move from Brooklyn to Seattle. For those of you who do not wish to read the whole, fawning post, take away this: if you are moving from NYC to the West Coast, Dahill (an agent of Mayflower) is fantastic. If you can get a driver named Earl Roman to be your driver, you are some of the luckiest people moving in the entire metro-area.

OK. Now for the rest of you...the ones who like the details.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we had estimates from Moishe's (eh, not the greatest, perhaps), North American (sketchy), and Dahill (agent of Mayflower.) We decided to use Dahill.

Our move was scheduled for Wednesday, June 8th. I called a couple of days prior to confirm that the movers were still coming over, and the woman I spoke with, Susan, said yes, absolutely, and that the movers would be on our street around 9am on the 8th.

The morning of the 8th, Susan called for a few last minute directions that she could give to the movers. A giant (holy cow! it was HUGE!) tractor trailer pulled up around 9:30 AM. The driver's name was Earl Roman. He was working with a local crew of two other guys from Brooklyn, one named Chris, the other guy's name escaped me. Earl gave us our weight ticket and explained that the axles all get weighed separately somehow.

This is what our weight ticket told us:
Steer Axle : 10420 lb
Drive Axle : 19480 lb
Trailer Axle : 16220 lb
Total Weight : 46120 lb

Earl and the crew proceeded to move our stuff. I have to say, they were very efficient and fast and thorough. It was extremely hot and humid in Brooklyn that day, so we made sure to give all the crew lots of bottles of water at frequent intervals. They moved all of our stuff out to the truck by 12:00 or so. I was surprised by how quickly the whole thing went. (To our credit, Earl did say he was impressed with how organized we were. Which made me happy, because nothing makes me happier than a "my, you're very organized" type of comment. Because I'm a geek.)

We asked Earl if we could go with him to watch the truck getting weighed. We were under the impression that he would go to the local weigh station at 23rd street and 3rd Ave, about a 15 minute walk away. Unfortunately, that weigh station was not in service, for some reason. Earl said he would go to Hackensack to have the truck weighed, and invited us along. We hesitated, because we don't have a car. If you live in NYC and don't have a car, it's a big pain in the butt to get back and forth between the outer boroughs and New Jersey. So we declined to go. Maybe this was a bad decision...but we figured, what the hell, we have a GNTE estimate, so the absolute worst that can happen is that they somehow lie on the weight and we pay no more than our original estimate (4500 lbs, $4643.22 and possible Seattle shuttle costs of $446.49. So we tipped Earl and his crew, and he left to weigh the truck.

Earl told us to call him on his cell phone in about an hour and a half, and he would tell us the final weight of our load, and give us a revised price.
We did. He answered right away and told us that our final weight was 2700 lbs. 2700 POUNDS!!! That's so light! OK, not light as a feather, but much, much, lighter than 4500 pounds. Our new, revised price was $3056.04 for the tractor trailer and $311.60 for the possible Seattle shuttle. (At this point, Earl still didn't know if he'd need the shuttle on the Seattle end or not.) So, with one phone call from Earl (who, by this time, we wanted to name our next cat after), we saved $1700-$2000.

Dahill has this cool function where you can go online and track your shipment as it travels. We used this function quite a bit. We knew Earl was going to pick up a few more things in New Jersey and Philadelphia before he headed out West and wouldn't actually start to go West until about June 11th.

On June 13th, Earl was in central Nebraska.
June 14th - Boise, Idaho. (There were wings on the truck!)

Later in the day, on June 14th, Earl called from southern Washington.
He said that he had a larger load to drop off on Mercer Island, but it might take him up to a week to get the necessary permit to drive onto Mercer with a tractor trailer. If it was going to take more than a day, he said he would offload that particular load to a warehouse, and bring us our stuff immediately (Thursday, June 16th, or Friday, June 17th).

On the night of Wednesday, June 15th, Earl called and said he would arrive at our place (in Seattle) on Thursday morning, around 10 or 11 AM.

He called again on Thursday morning to say he'd be here in hour or 45 minutes. He and his crew (one guy, named Don) arrived around 10am.
They did arrive in a United shuttle - I guess they couldn't get the tractor trailer down our street.

Once again, they unloaded our stuff within about 2 1/2 hours. They didn't drop anything. A few boxes had some damage, so I took pictures, just in case there was anything broken inside.

In New York, we had made out a checklist, that looked like this:
Box # Description Out (NY) In (Seattle)

We also made a list of our non-box stuff, like furniture, bedframe, mattress, trash can, etc.

We checked off all the boxes and furniture as Earl and Don brought them into the new apartment. I highly recommend doing this, as you will have SO MUCH STUFF when you move, you might not remember all the boxes that you have. If you create some sort of tracking system for yourself, it will be very helpful.

(Of course, Earl made a list, too. And before he left Brooklyn, I compared my list to his list to make sure they jived. His list was missing one table, which I pointed out, and which he quickly added to his list.)

So. Earl gave us the paperwork, we gave Earl the checks. Earl told us that we have 90 days to file a claim in case any of our stuff is broken (we got $25,000 worth of insurance).

We tipped Earl and Don, and once again were amazed at how fast and efficient they were (oh yeah, they put together our mattress frame and put the legs back on our sofa).

We opened our stuff. Much joy ensued. Everything was cool. Even in the few boxes that looked slightly crushed, everything was fine. Only two things were broken, and that was likely the result of shoddy packing on our part: a shotglass and a lampshade. All the big stuff (guitars, computer, lamps, tv, dvd player, stereo components, xbox, dishes, etc) made it JUST FINE.

So. If you have to move from NYC to Seattle, or the West Coast, here are some things to remember: 1) do your homework 2) movingscam.com is your friend 3) Dahill, (an agent of Mayflower) is great 4) Earl Roman, a driver for Mayflower, is fantastic, and you should request him to be your mover/driver if you can 5) pack your lampshades in bubble wrap, if you care about them.

I have to say: movingscam.com motivated me to research a lot of different movers and it was really stressful to find a good mover, but I'm so happy that I did. We were really surprised that everything seemed to go so smoothly. The movers showed up on time. They moved our stuff out quickly. They didn't break or drop anything. They were polite. They answered our questions. Our stuff showed up when it was supposed to. Things weren’t broken. All in all, it was a really good experience. I would absolutely, 100%, and without any reservation at all, recommend Dahill. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact me here.

Also, I will be sending thank you notes to Dahill, Mayflower, and Earl Roman. And I will ask Mayflower to put my letter about Earl's professionalism and utter awesomeness in his permanent file. Seriously. It was a good move.

Bye!

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

Re: Verdict: Dahill is fantabulous. Seriously.

Postby Diane » Sun Jun 26, 2005 3:14 pm

Hi - it's so nice to hear this. So Dahill's weight estimate by Jay Medina was on the high side and the estimates from Moishe's and Approved (NAVL) were actually closer. Well, that's OK, because you had your GNTE. The driver sounds great and your transit time was very short. Did you ever talk with Maria, who has been with the company for 32 years and is known as "the voice of Dahill"? I always get a kick out of her Brooklyn accent.

I'll mention this good report about Dahill when I update the Epinions review linked to below. Yours is the first review we have of the company.

On a side note, this was a really high GNTE estimate by Dahill - 4500 pounds vs. the actual weight of 2700 pounds. I am wondering whether the moverpros can tell me whether on occasion the estimator may estimate high to entice one of the better drivers to take the load. Another question along the same lines: someone posted on another thread that the better drivers don't like to take loads that have GNTE estimates - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3869 I am wondering whether, by giving either a high GNTE or a Nonbinding estimate, the sales rep may actually be trying to get a better driver for the customer. It may be not so much that the sales rep is unsure of his estimating skills as that he is trying to bamboozle the better drivers into taking the load. (This is a question, not an assertion. I just notice that people are having a VERY hard time getting GNTE estimates in the NY metro area and I'm wondering why that is.)
Diane
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waverly
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 6:50 pm
Location: New York

Re: Verdict: Dahill is fantabulous. Seriously.

Postby waverly » Sun Jun 26, 2005 10:03 pm

Hi again,

Just wanted to clarify that neither Earl nor any of his crew members harrassed us for tips at any time. They were all extremely polite and professional. (I don't think I mentioned that in the first post.)

Yes! I did speak to the lady with the Brooklyn accent. Classic.

I don't know why the original estimate was so high. Perhaps Dahill had been burned in the past with people not being completely honest about all the items they planned to move, and then going over their GNTE estimate? Or maybe it was the driver thing, too, I don't really know.

Earl mentioned that his other load (the bigger one going to Mercer Island) was about 15,000lbs, which completely dwarfed our load. I think (??) the other thing he had on the truck was a piano.

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

Re: Verdict: Dahill is fantabulous. Seriously.

Postby Diane » Sun Jun 26, 2005 10:08 pm

Thanks for the clarifications. Wouldn't you think they would have planned better so Earl didn't have to cool his heels for days waiting for the permit to get onto Mercer Island? Time is money, after all. I was kind of surprised by that.

crystal
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:57 am

Re: Verdict: Dahill is fantabulous. Seriously.

Postby crystal » Tue Oct 11, 2005 2:35 pm

I don't suppose anyone can find Earl Roman's ID number? I am booking with Dahill and they asked for it so they can request him. How would I go about it?

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

Re: Verdict: Dahill is fantabulous. Seriously.

Postby Diane » Tue Oct 11, 2005 2:50 pm

Crystal,

I think you could call Mayflower HQ to get it. I've done this with other van lines where I knew only the name of the driver, and they looked the name up on a master list on the computer. Dahill must know how to do this.


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