NYC to Houston estimates

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amy128
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:44 pm
Location: Manhattan

NYC to Houston estimates

Postby amy128 » Sun Jun 26, 2005 5:00 pm

Hi everyone,

I've been reading the message boards here for a few weeks and I'd like to thank you all for the great advice. I'm moving from Manhattan to Houston, TX in August and have collected estimates from three movers. Now, I'm a bit confused as to how to evaluate the estimates and choose a mover--it seems that the only difference between them is the discount rate?

1. Whalen's (Allied)
I had them come for an estimate because they moved me from Virginia to NYC three years ago (they're my employer's contracted mover) and they did an impressive job. Chris Scheu, the estimator, seemed pretty professional, though he wouldn't give me a binding estimate. For my 1 BR apartment plus an office full of about 35 boxes of books, he estimated 5300 lbs, at a 55% discount, for $5275.

2. Wade Odell Wade (United)
The estimator, Dan Fox, got quite lost on the way to my place, but was pleasant enough. He did give me a rather convoluted explanation for why they "don't do" binding estimates, though. Even though I told him that my last move weighed 4900 lbs, and I've accumulated some furniture and quite a few books since then, he estimated 4800 lbs, at a 56% discount, for $4820.

3. Dahill (Mayflower)
Jay Medina, the estimator, was the most professional of the three, though he also gave me a non-binding estimate (could this be because none of them has seen my office?). He estimated 4975 lbs, at only 52% discount, for $5486.

I also called University Van Lines, because of their good recommendations on this site, but they wouldn't even come out to give me an estimate. The woman who answered the phone told me (quite rudely, actually) that they weren't going to Texas at the time I'm moving.

Any advice on which to pick? Can I go back to Dahill and ask for a better discount rate?

Thanks!
Amy

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

Re: NYC to Houston estimates

Postby Diane » Sun Jun 26, 2005 5:46 pm

Amy, is your employer paying for the move or giving you an allowance toward the cost of the move? Then I would go with Whalen (Allied) if I were you. You were satisfied with them before and they have a relationship with your employer, which almost always means better service. I have no idea why they wouldn't give you a binding estimate because usually Allied does give them--called TPG estimates for Total Price Guarantee.
Diane
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amy128
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:44 pm
Location: Manhattan

Re: NYC to Houston estimates

Postby amy128 » Sun Jun 26, 2005 6:36 pm

My (new) employer is giving me an allowance toward the move, which is less than all three estimates, but I guess that's life. Whalen's was the mover used by my soon-to-be former employer. I'm leaning toward going with them, but I'm going to ask about Allied's price guarantee first. Thanks, Diane!

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

Re: NYC to Houston estimates

Postby Diane » Sun Jun 26, 2005 9:22 pm

OK - I'm not sure that your former employer's clout will help with your present move, but it can't hurt. Also, I'm sorry that someone at University sounded rude on the phone--I would assume that they were just tremendously busy and the person could have been new. I'll try to find out what happened because I'm sure they don't want to come through that way to customers. I do know that right now, in the busy season, they are focusing on servicing their own shipments that are scheduled to be hauled by their own trucks so that they don't let people down that they've already booked.

Sometimes if they book a move like yours that will necessarily go into the Atlas van line system (because University doesn't go that far), the long-haul Atlas driver can't pick up the load on the scheduled day for one reason or another. For example, the long-haul driver's truck may fill up with other people's goods if they have more than anticipated.

Then University has to pick up the NY-area load in a small truck and bring it to its warehouse waiting for the long-haul driver. This has several disadvantages: (1) it ties up the University Van Lines truck so some other NY-area customer may be disappointed; (2) it increases the possibility of damage, because transfers are the point at which damage often occurs; (3) it lengthens the transit time for the NY-area customer because the waiting time in the warehouse has to be added in. The NY-area customer may be able to find another van line agent that can self-haul the load or put together a better deal, as you apparently did.

So, bottom line, by discouraging NY-area customers like you from booking such moves during the busy season, University Van Lines is actually trying to protect those customers as well as its other customers that are already booked.


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