NYC to Chicago move

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iMac
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:46 pm

NYC to Chicago move

Postby iMac » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:57 pm

Hello all. I am moving from NYC (Brooklyn) to Chicago (near downtown neighborhood, not the suburbs) Sept. 2 or so and have gotten quotes from several movers. If anyone has actual experience with these movers beyond what has already been posted here, please let me know. I will follow up this post with my actual moving experience, which I think this site is lacking in a bit, too many people asking for advice and not enough "these movers are awesome!"

I also have a tipping question for a long-distance move; do you tip both the loading crew and the unloading crew since they will be different, or do you only tip on one end?

I am moving a very large one-bedroom apartment (most often this space would be chopped up) and so I have much more furniture than most new yorkers.

Here is my estimate experience, noting that I got quotes for Aug. 31 and will end up going out a few days after that:

Called All Star after the recommendations here, and spoke with a really nice guy who told me that it wouldn't be worth their or my time and money to move me, as they focus on locals. He gave me some ballpark numbers and said if that proves competitive, then to give him a call back. Would be about $1000 more than my highest estimate.

I used a Wheaton agent to move out here from Ohio, so I got quotes from 2 different agents here in NYC. On my move out here I ended up in my own truck and not tagged onto another shipment as planned, so I had a very atypical long-distance move in that my stuff was only loaded and unloaded once. It was a flawless move.

The first Wheaton estimate was from Kal Kantchev. He was pretty good at tracking everything in my apt. and looking in the closets and cabinets for goods. Very business-like about the whole process. Estimated a weight of 3400lbs. Gave a discount of 52% and a non-binding estimate (including full replacement insurance) of $2980. Refused to give a binding or GNTE. Said that it was not good for either party and wouldn't budge on that estimate type.

Second Wheaton estimate was from Flatbush Moving's Dominic Liantonio. He didn't show to my first appointment, but was very persistent so I gave him another chance. Arrived on time the second time and was pretty slow with the estimate, offering too much chit-chat for my taste. Did do a thorough job of noting the apt.'s contents. Offered some articles about moving that were old, and a few reference notes/letters to read. Did mention this website. Gave me an estimated weight of 4000lbs, with a 63% discount for a non-binding estimate of $2382, which doesn't cover shuttles, which I will need. Asked why he wouldn't give a binding or GNTE and he said that he couldn't, I'd have to call the office and his brother would decide if they could do that. Has been persistent in follow-up calls, which I haven't returned as of yet.

Third estimate was from Moishe's. Despite the negativity posted on this board about them, they do have a clean BBB record, so I decided to give them a try. Joesph was my estimator, and he was the quickest and least thorough of all the estimators in terms of checking in closets, cabinets, etc. Gave me a weight of 4200lbs. and a 50% discount for a total of $2800 binding (NOT GNTE). This doesn't include moving insurance, which they have you buy separate from another company, and it also doesn't count shuttle costs at destination, which would be $150/hr transfer time. Since they have a location in Chicago they rated a bit better for me than for a move to another city. They require a 50% deposit on pick-up, which worries me a bit, since I don't think any of the other movers mentioned a deposit.

Last estimate was from Christopher Blank at Dahill Mayflower. I was a bit nervous that they have 2 BBB complaints (one not resolved to customer's satisfaction) as all other companies I considered have zero, but since there was good mention of them on this board, I decided to give them a shot. Mr. Blank was the only estimator to use an electronic machine to chart all the contents of my apt. His estimate took a long time, but he was very thorough. Did mention this website. A bit chatty, but seemed like a good guy and lives in the neighborhood. Gave me a weight of 3791lbs. and a 57% discount. Once I told him what a hard time I was having getting binding or GNTE estimates out of movers here, he gave me one instead of doing a non-binding, which is what he started out talking about. GNTE estimate is $3614, which includes a shuttle on both ends and full-replacement insurance.

So, I have followed up with Chris Blank, since I might have to store my things briefly as I have yet to land an apt., and he quickly called me back. I may follow up with Flatbush to see if they'll give me a GNTE. Also called Moishe's to follow up, but haven't talked with the estimator yet.

So, if you have any leanings on who I should choose, let me know. I am leaning towards Dahill, I have the best "gut" feeling for them, even though I am worried about all the transfer of my things and the mentioned possibility of a United van ending up with my stuff (they are linked the estimator told me). As mentioned above, I will follow-up with the outcome of my move to help others and respond to anyone's posts to this message.

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

Re: NYC to Chicago move

Postby Diane » Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:37 pm

Hi - I guess you saw the rave review of All Star that was posted at the end of this thread right before you posted - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2692 I agree with you that they couldn't be competitive in this case. Other than that, all I can add is that you shouldn't be worried if a United truck and driver hauls your things. As an overall van line, United has a better reputation than Mayflower. For example, on Epinions.com United has a 53% recommended rating vs. Mayflower's 35% (whatever that means). Interesting that Chris Blank mentioned this website.
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

iMac
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:46 pm

Re: NYC to Chicago move

Postby iMac » Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:05 pm

It looks like I will have to arrange for the movers come and pick up my stuff and store it for a couple or a few weeks as I haven't yet found a new apartment. I was told that you want to avoid this, but at this point I don't think I have a choice.

Does anyone have advice on choosing the right mover with the factor that they will store your stuff for awhile? (Brooklyn Wheaton agent) Flatbush's Domenic told me that I could come and see the warehouse myself, is this a must-do before handing your things over to movers?

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

Re: NYC to Chicago move

Postby Diane » Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:40 pm

Hi - I've seen Flatbush's warehouse and it's adequate; I don't think you have to go see it. Why are you leaning toward Flatbush? Did they finally give you a GNTE estimate that included a shuttle? My only thought would be that you should be sure that your estimates include all elements including shuttles (and storage, if possible) so that you're sure that you're comparing apples with apples with regard to price. A couple of people posted that they found errors in Dominic's estimates, so look at them carefully.

Have you ruled out Dahill? I don't think you should be worried about the 2 BBB complaints because they probably do many more moves than Flatbush. Also, have you considered storing your things on the Chicago end? People in the industry have said that it's sometimes good to have your things stored at destination because it can take time to get them delivered long-distance in the summer.

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

Re: NYC to Chicago move

Postby Tyrone » Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:06 pm

I think that if you are seriously considering a specific company then you definitely SHOULD visit their physical location if at all possible. You may see something, learn something, or have an interaction with the staff that will tip the scales one way or the other in deciding whether or not to use them.
Dominus amotioni capitis e clunibus sum.

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

Re: NYC to Chicago move

Postby Diane » Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:15 pm

I would agree, in general; I was just saying that there isn't anything creepy or freaky about Flatbush's warehouse. Flatbush is located in a mixed residential and commercial area of Bensonhurst not too far from Coney Island. The warehouse that I saw was a converted fire station. Possibly you could visit Dahill's warehouse on the way back so you would have a point of comparison.

iMac
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:46 pm

Re: NYC to Chicago move

Postby iMac » Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:36 am

Thanks for the advice. I would feel somewhat better seeing the place in person where my stuff will be stored, but I wasn't sure if that is normal procedure.

You are right about comparing the estimates, Flatbush's Dominic had said that he would work with me on the estimate the last time we spoke, but said that I had to know for sure if my things are going directly to storage before he could give me a new quote. Personally, I think that the GNTE from Mayflower agent Dahill will work out well.

As far as storing things at the destination point, I thought the same thing you mentioned, but was told that it's better to have the agent here store things because a. you have met with, checked the background and interacted with the agents from that office and b. they will have the control over your goods, instead of an unknown agent and warehouse on the destination side, which makes sense to me. There will be a time lag on delivery, but I think it won't be too bad since things are slowing down into Sept. and I have a free place to stay in the meantime, so it won't be an additional expense for me.

I'm making some calls today, and think that I have ruled out Moishe's due to arbitrary factors (50% deposit, not a well-known national company for interstate moves), but their 30 days of free storage is attractive compared to having to pay $200 -nearly $400 for others.

I'll keep you posted, thanks so much for the advice!

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

Re: NYC to Chicago move

Postby Diane » Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:21 am

OK, it seems as if you're on the right track. Just be sure not to automatically go with the lowest quote. With regard to the "30 days of free storage" with Moishe's, just a caution that sometimes this means that they will store your things in their warehouse until they have enough goods to fill a whole semi-trailer. In other words, the storage is more out of necessity for them than as a convenience for you. Just recently, for example, someone posted that Moishe's gave him an extremely high quote for a move from Jersey City to Pittsburgh, saying that otherwise it wouldn't be able to predict when the shipment would arrive. In other words, it looked as if they would have had to send a dedicated truck - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5604

iMac
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:46 pm

Re: NYC to Chicago move

Postby iMac » Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:04 pm

Just wanted to update. I stopped by the Dahill Mayflower warehouse/office in Brooklyn this morning to check out where my things will be stored. It was about a 15min. subway ride from where I live and in a mixed residential moving to warehouse area in the neighborhood of Sunset Park that was pretty nice. Bruce is the one in charge of the warehouse, and I called ahead the day before to check when I could stop by. He took me through a commercal storage room to get into one that held household goods so that I could see how they kept people's belongings separate. People's things are put in these big plywood storage lockers is best how I can describe it. All the areas I saw were clean, no garbage or pests around. Also noted some big names in the commercial storage section. I also was able to check out the shuttle trucks around the warehouse and watched a crew unloading goods while I walked by. The trucks looked clean and newer and all appeared on the up-and-up to me. So I have a GNTE signed estimate turned in to them and will update next month when my things are picked up and later delivered.

I actually went with the most expensive estimate because I wanted the security of a GNTE, and I felt like Moishe's binding estimate was too low to be true. Chris Blank also did a very thorough job of including all costs into the estimate so that I knew that nothing extra was going to pop-up, unless I have to keep my things in storage over 90 days, which I do not anticipate going over 1 month at the most. The non-binding extimates were a bit over half of his, and so I felt unsure about what I would actually end up paying in the end. I feel better knowing that if my costs are less I will pay less and I won't pay more than what is stated.

Here's hoping that all goes well.

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

Re: NYC to Chicago move

Postby Diane » Thu Aug 18, 2005 6:14 pm

Hi - I've talked with Bruce Keeler myself and thought he was very nice. I really like the way you have weighed the issues logically in making your decision. Please do come back and let us know how it goes because we'd like to have another review of Dahill.

iMac
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:46 pm

Re: NYC to Chicago move

Postby iMac » Wed Sep 14, 2005 5:41 pm

Hello again, I am pretty much done with the Dahill part of my move, so I thought that I'd post an update. The week of my scheduled pick-up I spoke with Chris Blank to go over things, and he let me know who my contacts would be for various questions, and the only bad thing I can say is that nobody mentioned to me that I owed money on the day of the pick-up. He hadn't mentioned that before to me, so I was a bit surprised, but it makes perfect sense since it was basiclly a local move (my stuff to their warehouse until I find a place in Chicago). So, I made sure to have the certified check ready for the amount quoted in the estimate on move day. The day before I checked in to the office and was told the crew would be there between 8 and 9am.

Well, the day of it was nearing 10am and no sign of them. I have not found nykers to be particularly punctual, so I wasn't too worried, but I was literally picking up the phone to call and check what the deal was when my buzzer rang and 2 of the crew showed up. They said that the truck was being weighed and that they were going to grab a cup of joe before it arrived. So, about 20 mins. later the truck arrived and the driver was pretty irate that his crew was mia. So, he went looking for them, and entertainment ensued when a sanitation truck wanted to get by and their shuttle was too wide and there was no one there to move it! About 15 or 20 mins. later they all showed back up. They didn't start working for another 15 mins. or so, and the driver had a bit of nyc attitude, which later seemed to clear up. So, they went about stickering and loading up everything, and were good guys.

They seemed to handle my stuff pretty well. They took a lunch break and finished up late in the afternoon. I had water and gatorade for them to drink, and gave them a good tip at the end (which I felt they earned and not the driver, who I didn't see really do a thing the whole day except sit around the truck). Overall, I would give Dahill a "B"; I am a pretty picky person and they could've been a bit more professional in the whole thing, but I didn't have anything to complain about.

I did pick up a good tip from a poster here and did my own box coding so that I will be sure to check them all on delivery. I did note the sticker numbers they used, but those are so small I really felt that my boxes being coded on all 4 sides will work more quickly to check that everything is accounted for on delivery. So, I will post once again once delivery happens to give the long-distance move a rating as well.


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