Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Thomas

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christine
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:54 pm
Location: northern california

Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Thomas

Postby christine » Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:57 am

Could you all help me decide between these 3 movers? We want to sign something Thursday and I really value the opinions here. (Sorry this is so long, but I'm also posting info in case anyone reading this later could use it).

For those of you who didn't have hours to read my earlier posts, we are moving a 2BR apt across 95 miles in Bay Area traffic (sunnyvale to napa) on July 12. Got revised estimates based on our decision to do partial pack of Dishes/Glassware, Large Mirror, 2 Large Pictures and Queen Mattress/Box. Also told reps of items missing from their inventories, and advised of items we are adding to move that we initially weren’t taking (I know, Michael, very wishy-washy of me :lol: ). Here are the revised estimates:

Nor-Cal Moving (San Leandro, CA)
http://www.nor-calmoving.com/
Rep: Marty Pollex
Founded: 1982
DOT: 076235 (Allied)
PUC: 145636 (2003-1complaint, 2004-1complaint, 2005-0complaint)
BBB: Member, 5 complaints last 3 yrs (2 in past yr) (4 resolved); (1 refund, 2cust service, 2 billing/credit)
CMSA: Member (no complaints per prez)
Weight: 7,200lb
Hourly Charges (excl pack): 3men, 9.5hr x $130/hr (2.75hr load, 4.5hr drive(x2), 2.25hr unload) => $1,235
Inventory: 1027 cu. ft.
Packing Labor: 6- dishpack, 3- 1.5box, 2- 3.0box, 1- 4.5box, 2-mattress, 1- mirror => $164
Packing Labor: 2 men, 4hr x $95 per man hr => $380
Valuation: full value $25,000 (0deduct) => $200
Add’l: 5% Fuel -$62
Payment: credit card okay but do authorization when sign order for services
Total Estimate: $2,042
GNTE: $2,062

Ace Relocation (San Jose, CA)
http://www.acerelocation.com/locations/sanjose.html
Rep: Bill Terova
Founded: 1969
DOT: 125550 (Atlas#, Atlas Worldclass Commitment Award)
PUC: 188224 (no complaints last 3yrs)
BBB: Member, 1 complaint last 3 yrs (contract dispute, resolved)
CMSA: Member (no complaints per prez)
Weight: 6,926lb (rate 33.20) => $2,299.43
Inventory: 989.5 cu ft
Packing (material+labor): 6-dishpack, 2-mattress, 3-mirror => $520.75
Valuation: full value $31,167 (0 deduct) => $374
Add’l: Stairs $86.58, 4%IRS $91.98, 12% Fuel $275.93
Discount: 35%
Payment: Credit card ok; pay before unload
GNTE: $2,502.54

Thomas Transfer (Mountain View, CA)
http://www.thomastransfer.com/
Rep: Fred Osterlund
Founded: 1958
DOT: 125550 (Atlas#, Atlas Worldclass Commitment Award)
PUC: 63730 (no complaints last 3yrs)
BBB: Member (no complaints last 3 yrs)
CMSA: Member (no complaints per prez)
Weight: 7,900 lb, but used 8,000lb (rate 34.45) => $2,756
Inventory: 1,188 cu ft.
Packing (material+labor): 6-dishpack, 4- 4.5box, 2-mattress, 3-mirror => $608.25
Valuation: full value $39,500 (0 deduct) => $493.75
Add’l: 4%IRR ($110.24), 12% Fuel ($330.72)
Discount: 25%
Payment: Credit card ok; pay before unload
GNTE: $3,347.66

Weights: All 3 inventories now seem to have same furniture. I think discrepancies are on estimates re books (we have tons), plus apt is overstuffed so probably hard to see everything. Also, Nor-Cal rep asked to come back to redo estimate since I added xtra packing, but I didn’t have time so he revised based on earlier inventory sheet. His weight and inventory estimates are from original estimate.

Packing: Nor-Cal and Thomas reps said add’l packing requires pack 1 day, load/deliver another. I asked all 3 reps if we could pack July 11, then load/deliver next day July 12 as Thomas initially recommended. Nor-Cal will do it, but Ace says he’s sure they can pack, load and deliver all in one-day. I told him Thomas rep said dishpacks take 30-45min each to pack but he said shouldn’t take that long and definitely all be done July 12. Ace's estimate shows 4hrs to pack, 9.5hrs to load/deliver, so I thought Thomas's estimate seems more likely. Any feedback on what’s reasonable packing time for a dishpack?

Thomas asked if we could split load/pack a bit so they pack and load 80% of our stuff July 11, then load remainder and deliver July 12. Said would help them so their workers don’t do major overtime (which he then took off orig estimate). They’d wait to pack/load necessities like crib, mattress until July 12 morning so we have something to use night of July 11 (he’s been esp mindful of my desire to have minimal disruptions to baby’s room). Does this seem okay?

GNTE: All estimates are GNTE. Thomas rep explained GNTE on weight-based move is for weight, not packing. Actual weight less than estimate = lower price, higher than estimate = estimate price. Whereas actual packing less than estimate = lower price, higher than estimate = higher price. Does this sound right? Nor-Cal's estimate is hourly and rep said GNTE is for both hours and packing, so no increase even if actual pack is higher than the estimate. Only increase if add services.

Weight Rates: Thomas's estim weight was actually 7,900lb, but rep said it's automatically increased to 8,000lb in order to get lower rate for higher weights. But I noticed his 34.45 rate for 8,000lb is higher than 34.35 rate in original estimate of 7,700lb. Not a huge amount of money, but does this sound right?

Any More Thomas Transfer Info? : Not much info on these boards about them. Just noticed there’s another company w/ same name in Texas and Kansas (www.thomasunited.com). Other business looks to be started around same time as this Mt View company. Anyone know of a relationship?

Who to Choose? I think all 3 should be fine, but depending on answers to above, am leaning toward Thomas Transfer. Even though it's highest estimate, the rep has been consistently thorough and professional. I feel he’s been totally up-front and thoughtful about everything. I haven’t had any hesitations about his business practices, except for my (hopefully just novice) questions above.

Both reps at Ace and Nor-Cal have also been professional and very prompt at returning calls, etc. But I’m wary of Ace’s assurances that entire pack/move/deliver job can be done in 1 day. If it ends up going xtra day, will be very hard to get back and clean old apt before lease ends, esp if they don't arrive on scheduled delivery date. In contrast, Thomas’ rep said they never overbook so we’ll definitely get our crew the dates they promise. Also took a couple requests before I could get a faxed copy of estimate and inventory sheet from Ace. Then his revised estimate was a bit sloppy -- had wrong destination city (san jose) and move dates (June 18, don’t know where that came from).

Nor-Cal’s rep has been very professional except when I inquired about overnight storage charges (see earlier post). But could’ve just been a bad day as he’s been great before and since. His estimate seems kinda low, but I don’t know if it's alarmingly low? Another issue is having to charge credit card w/ order for services as I’d prefer to do at delivery.

Can anyone help w/ the above questions or guide me in selecting from these 3? Sorry I seem so paranoid, but I am(!). I’d just rather over-analyze now than deal w/ headaches later. Thanks so much for reading my crazy long posts and for any feedback! :)

Don't Shoot

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Th

Postby Don't Shoot » Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:27 am

Local Moves are those under 100 miles within the same state and are done on an hourly basis with double drive time.

Intrastate moves are those over 100 miles within the same state and are done on a weight / miles matrix call the Maximum 4 tariff.

It's true that 8000 lb. is a break point in the pricing.

I'd throw out the bidder who says they can pack, load, and deliver 7000-8000 in one day...long day, grumpy crew, grumpy you, high level of expectation that will probably go unrealized or leave you a little disappointed. Do it in two days: pack and load in one day, then deliver the next.

Here is a good formula for you to use to convert cubic feet to weight to man hours for local moves (with some common sense and only as a general guide - other factors go into the formula, but I've simplified it to help out):

cubic feet x 7 lb. = weight

weight / 350 lb. (two story to two story) = manhours of labor
/400 lb. (ground to ground) = manhours of labor

manhours / 8 = number of men needed to get the job done in eight hours.

Packing a dishpack (of dishes or lots of knick-knacks) should take 20-30 minutes; packing a mirror carton should take 10-15 minutes; packing a book carton should take 4-6 minutes; packing a 4.5 (knick-knacks) should take 10-15 minutes

I don't think that fuel charges are allowed for intrastate moves. All of your bids include them. I'd call the PUC and ask if MAX4 prohibits fuel surcharges on intrastates or locals. I think that local fuel charges may not be defined in the tariff.

I'd look carefully at the inventories (the most important document) to see where the 1000 lb. delta lies.

It's 226am so I hope this info helps and not hurts...

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

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Th

Postby Diane » Thu Jun 30, 2005 11:10 am

I agree with everything that DS says, and I'm especially impressed that he didn't automatically recommend the Allied agent. I particularly thank him for this very useful comment:
Don't Shoot wrote:cubic feet x 7 lb. = weight

weight / 350 lb. (two story to two story) = manhours of labor
/400 lb. (ground to ground) = manhours of labor

manhours / 8 = number of men needed to get the job done in eight hours.

Packing a dishpack (of dishes or lots of knick-knacks) should take 20-30 minutes; packing a mirror carton should take 10-15 minutes; packing a book carton should take 4-6 minutes; packing a 4.5 (knick-knacks) should take 10-15 minutes

I had been told by another moverpro that professionals can load 500 lbs./hour ground-to-ground and nonprofessionals like me can load 300 lbs./hour, but maybe 400 lbs./hour is more realistic.

Christine, I would take his suggestion of looking at the inventory to try to figure out where Thomas' extra 1000 pounds came from. Maybe the rep would adjust it downward. Also, people have said that if you have AAA, you can get free full replacement value coverage with Atlas, and many people posting here have gotten this perk when they asked for it. That could save you several hundred dollars.

Personally I would ask Thomas about the two things I just mentioned, but otherwise I think they sound great. Their having a 2004 World Class Commitment Award from Atlas is a VERY good sign. (I realize that Ace has it too.)

I just noticed that someone posting as "JimSmith" moved from SFO to New Hampshire with Nor-Cal (Allied) on June 9 - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4199 Even though it was an interstate move and different from yours, you could send him a PM to ask how it went. (Nor-Cal seems to have given him a GNTE rather than using the TPG tariff.)

christine
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:54 pm
Location: northern california

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Th

Postby christine » Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:11 pm

Thank you Diane and Don't Shoot for your very helpful suggestions!

I've decided to not use Ace and am now debating between Thomas and Nor-Cal. My mind's a bit fuzzy since baby woke up every 1-2 hrs last night, so please bear w/ me . . . I thought I read here that weight difference of 10% is fine, so since Thomas's actual weight estimate was 7,900 (he used 8,000 to get better rate), we're okay when comparing just Nor-Cal and Thomas, right? (sorry, i can't do math right now!).
If not, the furniture/items in both inventories look about same, and below's a breakdown of carton estimates. I think the 700lb difference is the books?

Nor-Cal
7,200lb
1,027 cu. ft.
5- dishpack
33- book box
16- 1.5 box
17- 3.0 box
8- 4.5 box
4- 6.0 box
1- mirror
9-10 wardrobe

Thomas
7,900lb
1,188 cu. ft.
6- dishpak
45- book box
6- 1.5 box
28- 3.0 box
15- 4.5 box
3- mirror
10- wardrobe

Also, since the total price would go down if actual weight is <8,000lb, do I need to ask Thomas to adjust the estimate downwards?

Nor-Cal also didn't list the 2 large pictures to be packed even though I asked to have that included for the revised estimate. So unless I have him revise estimate again (which I hate asking), looks like he'd be adding that as an add'l pack service, which would be about $100 more (mirror box packing is $23 each ($13 box + $10 pack)?

We do have AAA so I'll ask if we can get the full replacement value for free.

I'll call the PUC about the fuel surcharge and post their response.

Thank you! :)

christine
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:54 pm
Location: northern california

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Th

Postby christine » Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:18 pm

Diane wrote: I just noticed that someone posting as "JimSmith" moved from SFO to New Hampshire with Nor-Cal (Allied) on June 9 - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4199 Even though it was an interstate move and different from yours, you could send him a PM to ask how it went. (Nor-Cal seems to have given him a GNTE rather than using the TPG tariff.)

Thanks, Diane, I'll try PM'ing him. Never thought of that -- good idea! Also, here's the email I got from an acquaintance re Nor-Cal (her recommendation is why I contacted them to begin with):
"We just moved to El Dorado Hills from Sunnyvale and used Nor Cal Moving. We were very pleased with them. I believe they are affiliated with Allied Moving. They sent someone out to do a free estimate and the movers themselves were very careful with our stuff. They arrived on time, worked quickly and got everything packed onto the truck much faster than I thought they would."

Btw, I contacted the Atlas agents (Thomas and Ace) because my husband and I had a great experience with Atlas when we moved from LA to Sunnyvale (northern calif) 4 years ago. I'll post more info later about the move, but wanted to note that we used the Ace Long Beach agent (saw some mixed reviews on them here but we were very happy).

christine
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:54 pm
Location: northern california

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Th

Postby christine » Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:41 pm

Don't Shoot wrote:Local Moves are those under 100 miles within the same state and are done on an hourly basis with double drive time.

Intrastate moves are those over 100 miles within the same state and are done on a weight / miles matrix call the Maximum 4 tariff..

DS, thanks for raising this issue. I'd called the PUC for clarification on this. Here's the info I got: http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... highlight=

christine
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:54 pm
Location: northern california

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Th

Postby christine » Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:31 pm

Ok, so we're going w/ Thomas Transfer. Signing order for services tomorrow morning. I'm very happy w/ our decision so far and I'm so impressed w/ the rep, Fred Osterlund. Thank you everyone for all your help!! Will definitely post a review when done (and probably more questions pre-move!).

And here are answers to my earlier questions:

Valuation
Per Fred, AAA members do get free full value coverage on Atlas moves, but this is not interstate so it's only w/ Thomas. He reminded me it's optional to get the valuation and suggested I also check w/ homeowner/renter insurance to see if they have coverage, but we don't have renter's insur (bad, i know!). Asked if could do lower value for goods but he says can't as it's tied into weight estimate.

Thomas Transfer - Texas, Kansas
Fred said there's no affiliation w/ the Mountain View Thomas, and he noted that the Texas/Kansas company is a United, not Atlas company.

Fuel Surcharge: Spoke w/ Brian at PUC. Said there's nothing in the Max 4 Tariff that addresses fuel surcharges. PUC is satisfied as long as any such charges are addressed up front w/ the customer, which all 3 companies did with me.
Last edited by christine on Mon Jul 04, 2005 1:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Th

Postby Nancy » Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:36 pm

Good choice! I was going to post earlier about the valuation but have been busy today. He's totally right that something offered for a long distance Atlas move would be different for the in state moves.

Guest

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Thomas

Postby Guest » Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:18 pm

this site gets funds from the major van lines companies :idea:

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

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Thomas

Postby MusicMom » Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:49 pm

You have proof to go with that foot in your mouth?

Guest

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Thomas

Postby Guest » Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:10 pm

Is it painfull to hit the wright nerve?

Guest

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Thomas

Postby Guest » Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:25 pm

Oh, I forgot to tell you to get ready for interesting investigation on channel abc7 news.

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

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Thomas

Postby MusicMom » Mon Jan 01, 2007 12:45 am

ABC 7 in DC? About what? Does it involve Flat Rate? Will you tape it and send it to Consumer First Corp? Nobody will be there to see whatever it is being so secretly uncovered.

By "wright nerve", are you referring to a nerve inside one of the founders of aviation?

christine
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:54 pm
Location: northern california

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Thomas

Postby christine » Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:55 am

Wow, so it's been 3 years since I started this thread and only now that I'm moving again have I come back to realize I never updated on the move. Sorry. :oops:

Memory's fuzzy, but I do know we had a great experience w/ Thomas Transfer. The rep Fred was great as were the packer and the drivers. Don't remember the packer's name but he talked a lot and was friendly. One driver was named Frank Craft, IIRC the second was a newer guy. They were xtra careful w/ our things, esp a very fragile rocking chair. They really took their time, not slow, just careful with everything. Looking at my old receipts, looks like our weight came in at 6,520lb, final charge was $2,644.50.

I hope this is helpful for someone, even though the info's now old. Now I have to go back and re-read everything on this site and find another mover. Thanks again everyone for a great forum!

ps to the later posts: I'm not affiliated w/ the moving companies in any way, in fact, I'm suspicious of them all. If you read my old posts, you'll see I'm just a cautious, paranoid woman who over-researches everything. :)

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4665
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Pls Help Pick Calif Intrastate Mover: Nor-Cal, Ace or Thomas

Postby BigLeeCalif » Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:53 pm

So where are you moving this time Christine?
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain


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