Chicago to Seattle Move

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lbp
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:05 pm

Chicago to Seattle Move

Postby lbp » Thu Aug 18, 2005 6:07 pm

First, thank you to everyone for this excellent resource!

My husband and I are moving our 3 bedroom house from Oak Park, IL (Chicago suburb) to Seattle, WA sometime between the end of September and the middle of October. On the advice of other posts, I've obtained 4 quotes from Chicagoland agents of major van lines - Armstrong-United, Jackson-Allied, Nelson Westerberg-Atlas and Prager-North American. Sorting through what differentiates these folks from one another is the difficult part. While this is move #31 for me, I've never gone with a full service company (as an adult) and with furniture I care about. Would love some advice in how to choose or if someone has had direct experience.

Quote details:
All quotes include the packing of two pieces of artwork, all of the rest will by PBO.

Prager = 7000# at $5070 for an October move with $35K full value replacement coverage and $0 deductible. Quote is a binding, GNTE. If the move happens in the last week of September, the cost increases by about $500 because of peak timing.

Nelson Westerberg = 8000# at $5533 GNTE with $40K coverage, $0 deductible.

Armstrong = 7343 # at $5680 GNTE (verbal, not on estimate) with $40K coverage, $0 deductible.

Jackson = 8000# at $5999.99 GNTE with $50K coverage, $0 deductible.

:!: Two things happened of concern during the estimating process: First, the Jackson rep estimated 8400# and originally quoted $6800. When he heard that my other quote was at 7300 lbs and $5680 he started mucking around with his estimate, eventually bringing it down to 8000# at $5999, but didn't break out any of the charges except for the cost of the valuation coverage. This felt a little shady to me, but the guy put all the details in writing on the estimate - Guaranteed Rate Reduction of $32 CWT, Boxes and materials furnished and delivered, plastic wrapped furnishings, etc and offered (not in writing) $75 / day van storage if we need to delay delivery.

The Jackson guy then pointed out that my Armstrong estimate didn't include the words "binding" or "GTNE" despite the fact that their rep. told me it was. Another shady moment occured when I realized that she also hadn't signed the quote.

:?: One other issue was Prager said he couldn't guarantee the fuel surcharge percentage (13%) would hold for October, because of what's going on with gas prices. Is this normal?

No red flags went up with Nelson...this was my first choice until Prager came back $500 less today.

So I've been able to figure out two things that these companies differ on...boxes and delivery spread.

Boxes
Jackson is trying to woo me with free, new boxes delivered...is this worth an extra $500?!? Armstrong and Nelson both have free used box programs. Prager might have free new boxes in October, but as of now, not free and $50 for delivery. :?: Is it worth it to invest in new boxes? I'm packing everything myself, so I feel like the box might be the difference between the vanline being liable for broken items and me eating it. I'm confident in my packing ability, but they can always say the boxes I used weren't in good shape, right?

Delivery Spreads
The delivery spreads were about the same 5 to 14 days, but the way they each handle it is different. Jackson said I could pick any two days within the spread. Nelson said there is no reason why a moving company can't tell you on the day of the pick up when they will be delivering. Prager said that the Nelson guy is wrong, anything can happen and gave a 7 day spread. Armstrong just gave a straight 5 day delivery window. I guess in the end as long as we expect delivery to happen within the spread no matter what is said, we shouldn't be disappointed.

Is there anything I'm missing? Any questions I should still ask? Has anyone had direct experience with these agents?

Thanks so much!!

-lbp

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

Re: Chicago to Seattle Move

Postby Diane » Thu Aug 18, 2005 6:58 pm

Hi - since all the moverpros seem to have vanished, I'll have a whack at answering.
lbp wrote: :!: Two things happened of concern during the estimating process: First, the Jackson rep estimated 8400# and originally quoted $6800. When he heard that my other quote was at 7300 lbs and $5680 he started mucking around with his estimate, eventually bringing it down to 8000# at $5999 . . . The Jackson guy then pointed out that my Armstrong estimate didn't include the words "binding" or "GTNE" despite the fact that their rep. told me it was.

I would say that mucking around like this is probably par for the course. The Armstrong estimate should say Option C on it (for GNTE) or Option B (for Binding)--those are United's terms. My guess is that the Jackson guy probably knew that and was being a little devious in saying that the estimate should have had those other terms on it.
:?: One other issue was Prager said he couldn't guarantee the fuel surcharge percentage (13%) would hold for October, because of what's going on with gas prices. Is this normal?

Yes. The fuel surcharge percentage is updated periodically.
Jackson is trying to woo me with free, new boxes delivered...is this worth an extra $500?!?

In my opinion, no.
:?: Is it worth it to invest in new boxes? I'm packing everything myself, so I feel like the box might be the difference between the vanline being liable for broken items and me eating it. I'm confident in my packing ability, but they can always say the boxes I used weren't in good shape, right?

In my opinion, it's NOT worth it to invest in new boxes since the van line won't be responsible for anything that you packed anyway, UNLESS there is visible damage on the outside of the box and you mark "CRUSHED" next to the item number on the inventory list when you take delivery.
The delivery spreads were about the same 5 to 14 days, but the way they each handle it is different. Jackson said I could pick any two days within the spread. Nelson said there is no reason why a moving company can't tell you on the day of the pick up when they will be delivering. Prager said that the Nelson guy is wrong, anything can happen and gave a 7 day spread. Armstrong just gave a straight 5 day delivery window.

I would have to say that Nelson is all wet on this one. Anything CAN happen, and believe me, we've seen it all on this messageboard. I also think that Jackson is being overly optimistic in saying that you'll be able to pick one of two delivery days.

Armstrong has one review here and Jackson has one also. There were some glitches with both moves although they were basically OK. Nelson Westerberg and Prager have no reviews. I've heard good things about Prager so I guess my own inclination would be to give them a try. In October you'll have a very good chance of getting a good move just because there will be less traffic at that time.

Are all of the companies going to pick up your things and take them to a warehouse before transferring them to a long-haul truck? It would be good to ask about this. Sometimes companies can pick up your goods in the same truck they will be delivered in (desirable).

lbp
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:05 pm

Re: Chicago to Seattle Move

Postby lbp » Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:35 am

Thanks Diane!

Are all of the companies going to pick up your things and take them to a warehouse before transferring them to a long-haul truck?


No. All 4 companies said that there was no unloading of the goods involved. The driver may have 3 or 4 orders on the truck but they are loaded sequentially and then unloaded in reverse. The pick up driver is the long haul driver in this case, and will also be the delivery driver (unless there is an illness or shuttle involved).

We're in the process of getting the quotes updated based on the October move. The 3 besides Prager were quoted for Sept. 28th. I'll update this post as the move progresses.

Cheers,
lbp


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