Need some advice

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Eric
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:10 pm
Location: Morrisville, NC

Need some advice

Postby Eric » Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:56 pm

We are hoping to move from the Detroit area to the Raleigh, NC area this summer for a new job. I am applying to the school district down there and would be responsible for my own moving costs. All American Relocation (Mayflower) out of Raleigh offers a discount on interstate moves for new teachers (http://www.movingservices.com/allamerican/). I have done quite a bit of research on All American and they seem reputiable.

My question is, if I booked a move through them, they obviously would not be sending one of their crews to Michigan for my move--they would contract with a local agent. Would there be any problem doing this or would I be better off looking for a local agent?

All American offers a 56% discount for teachers locating to Raleigh from out of state. Is this a good discount? I had a very good experience with an interstate move through an Allied agent in the Detorit area several years ago and would actually prefer to use them again--any strategies to getting them to offer a similar discount?

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twalker
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Re: Need some advice

Postby twalker » Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:15 pm

Hi Eric,

Believe it or not, a 56% discount is not only not out of the ordinary, but it isn't even that great. I would look to reputable moving companies around Detroit and have them give you in-home estimates. Don't mention the 56% discount offered by All American and see what they give you for a discount.

I can't say that I'm even aware of a scam company in Michigan (yet), so you'd be better off looking at companies there than trying to hire someone hundreds of miles away.

Just my two cents.

Tim Walker
MovingScam.com

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

Re: Need some advice

Postby Diane » Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:36 pm

Eric,

I agree with Tim. What you are describing is what is known as an "affiliation" deal in which members of a certain group such as teachers or medical students are offered a supposed "group discount" on moves. The way it works is that one van line agent--the one you investigated--gets authorized to book all these moves and then it uses agents of the same van line in other states to work with it to prepare and in some cases haul the load. The booking agent can make good money on this. The deal is completely legitimate, but whether it's in your best interest to take it is another matter.

The one bona fide perk that usually comes with these deals is free full replacement value coverage for your things, but you can purchase this with any mover. The discount levels offered are frequently lower than you could get on your own, as Tim said. Normal for this time of year is around 62%. Also, some of these affiliation deals focus on Nonbinding estimates where you have no ceiling on the price you can pay. We have seen such deals go wrong on this messageboard. You should always ask for a Guaranteed Not to Exceed estimate.

Do what Tim said--contact the Allied agent that moved you to MI and see what that agent can offer. If you post its name we may be able to give you some feedback.

Rick
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:59 pm

Re: Need some advice

Postby Rick » Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:37 pm

Eric,

Based on the the discount level you mentioned, I would guess that you have a fairly small shipment - probably less than 2500 lbs. If you have more than that, Tim's right. You can probably get a better deal looking locally.

Would you be moving under a contract carriage agreement that the school district has with All American? If so, there may be other provisions instead of just the linehaul discount that could make their offer more attractive. Things like valuation coverage, inconvenience or damage claim allowances, or more favorable Storage-in-Transit (SIT) rates if you needed to use their warehouse at destination.

Van line agents routinely "co-op" their national account or contract business with each other so it shouldn't be too much of a concern signing with an agent at your destination. All American may even schedule your move on one of their trucks, if possible. They have a decent sized hauling fleet.

If you like the Allied agent, contact them after obtaining a written estimate from AA and ask them if they can compete with it. There are several very good, very established companies in the Detroit market so you should be able to obtain several reliable estimates even if you don't like their response.

Good Luck!

Eric
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:10 pm
Location: Morrisville, NC

Re: Need some advice

Postby Eric » Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:22 pm

I don't think All American has any contract with the school district. Like I said, I will be completely on my own for relocation. The school district has a "relocation incentive package" that is only a list of local companies that offer various discounts to teachers (i.e., discounts on cell phones, bank accounts, mortgage fees). All American was the only moving company on the list and it said they offer a 56% discount to out-of-state teachers moving to Raleigh. It will be a fairly small move: 2 bedrooms, dining room, living room, and the typical household furnishings.

My previous interstate move was arranged by the company I worked for at the time so I wasn't involved in any of the details. This is the Allied agent they used:

Morse Moving & Storage, Inc.
10885 Textile Road
Belleville, MI 48111
http://www.morsemoving.com/about_us.htm

They were great... I was really amused by how carefully they padded and wraped my 25 year-old, beat-up, hand-me-down furniture! From pick up in Farmington Hills, MI to drop off in Rolling Meadows, IL was less than 24 hours.

What about packing? Is it worth it to have a mover pack for you or is it better to just do it yourself? I hate packing and my wife has a bad back and can't really lift too much, so I was leaning toward having the apartment professionally packed. Any thoughts or comments? On my move with Allied I wasn't high enough up on the corporate ladder to rate packing and I had to do it myself.

MusicMom
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Location: DC Metro

Re: Need some advice

Postby MusicMom » Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:00 am

What about packing? Is it worth it to have a mover pack for you or is it better to just do it yourself? I hate packing and my wife has a bad back and can't really lift too much, so I was leaning toward having the apartment professionally packed. Any thoughts or comments? On my move with Allied I wasn't high enough up on the corporate ladder to rate packing and I had to do it myself.


Packing adds to the price, but if half of your team is out of commission, it may be a good consideration. Also know that only items packed by the movers are covered in case of damage. P.B.O. (Packed By Owner) boxes are excluded. Of course, this only matters if your slightly-larger-than-before load is big enough to qualify for packing. I did not know there was a minimum size for pro packing.

Don't Shoot
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Need some advice

Postby Don't Shoot » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:52 am

Packing adds to the price, but if half of your team is out of commission, it may be a good consideration. Also know that only items packed by the movers are covered in case of damage. P.B.O. (Packed By Owner) boxes are excluded. Of course, this only matters if your slightly-larger-than-before load is big enough to qualify for packing. I did not know there was a minimum size for pro packing.


PBO boxes are not necessarily omitted from valuation coverage. If a box is damaged by mishandling, then it is covered as if it were a carrier packed box. Just keep the box and its broken contents in case the carrier wants pictures or to inspect it.

You can also pick and choose which items to have the carrier pack. If your wife has a bad back and cannot lift heavy items, consider having the books, dishes, and other heavy fragiles packed by the carrier. Then pack everything else yourself. That way you can have some of the weight lifted off your shoulders and not break the bank to do it. Typically, a full pack will add between 20-40% to the cost depending on how much you have and what type of carton the carrier will use to pack.

Here are your high ticket boxes: dishpack, mirror carton, wardrobe carton, and specialty wooden crates for table top glass, marble, etc. If you can limit the amount of those boxes that the carrier packs, your packing charges will be reduced by more than any other carton type. Book cartons are the least expensive.

PMueller
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:50 am
Location: Florida (Tampa Bay area)

Re: Need some advice

Postby PMueller » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:26 am

Eric - the Allied office you used in the past is an excellent provider. If you are moving within the next few months - I'm sure you can do better than a 56% discount (regardless of the weight you have).

In regards to packing concerns, it probably boils down to cost. Have the representatives estimate both ways for you. While protection of items you pack yourself is limited, you may want to consider only having the breakables, fragiles or expensive items professionally packed which is another option you can discuss with the representatives. The liability of items you pack yourself is outlined as: If there is no external damage to the carton-then there is no liability on the contents. However as Don't Shoot indicated if there is external damage to the carton liability extends to the contents. BUT! (Such a powerful little word) But, if there is external damage to a carton, I advise listing that on the inventory at time of delivery if possible and try to open and inspect those items immediately while the driver is still there so the inventories can be marked with your findings. It will help the claim process move more smoothly and as Don't Shoot advised, don't throw away the damaged carton or item until the carrier has inspected, if necessary.

I-95 mover

Re: Need some advice

Postby I-95 mover » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:37 am

Just so you guys no All American moves mostly military. So to them 56% is a big discount, especially during the summer. But we all no Eric can do better than that. However he better book now! With the expected tonnage this summer it wont be to much better.

Eric
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:10 pm
Location: Morrisville, NC

Re: Need some advice

Postby Eric » Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:46 am

Of course, this only matters if your slightly-larger-than-before load is big enough to qualify for packing. I did not know there was a minimum size for pro packing.


The packing had nothing to do with the size of my move. The company I worked for (who paid for the move) did not authorize packing services. If I had paid for it myself I'm sure Morse would have been more than happy to pack for me.

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

Re: Need some advice

Postby Diane » Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:56 pm

Eric, first of all, best wishes for getting your new job in Raleigh. One of our most seasoned volunteers ("Michael") lives there. He happens to be a big fan of Corrigan in your area (see thread below).

In case you don't know, you can use the Search button above to see what has been said about Morse Moving and other moving companies in your area. Input the name of the company (like "Morse Moving") in quotation marks if it has more than one word. People have made generally favorable remarks about Morse. Here is one thread with some information - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4385

It would be worth asking Morse if they are going to self-haul your shipment to NC using their own truck and driver (desirable). Also, they should give you a TPG (Total Price Guarantee) quote with GRR (Guaranteed Rate Reduction). A TPG is a Binding quote and the GRR notation means that it is a Binding Not to Exceed so your cost can go down if your weight is less than the estimate.

Guest

Re: Need some advice

Postby Guest » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:15 pm

Thanks for all the info... unfortunately every response generates even more questions for me!

1. The job in NC isn't a sure thing and it is unlikely I will know anything prior to late May. Is it possible to book a mover now on the condition that I get the job? I have a feeling it will be very expensive to move on short notice in the summer.

2. My brother moved from Farmington Hills, MI to St. Louis, MO back in 2000. It was an Atlas agent that moved him, but he cannot remember the name of the agent. He was really happy with his move and I would like to give them a call. Any ideas on which Atlas agent would cover Farmington Hills, MI?

3. Anyone familiar with Stevens Vanlines in Waterford, MI? I live right around the corner for them but there is no agent name on their signs, trucks, or yellow pages ad. I thought I might give them a call since they are so close, but I can't really find any info on that specific location. The web address in the phone book is the main Stevens website (www.stevenswolrdwide.com).

Eric
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:10 pm
Location: Morrisville, NC

Re: Need some advice

Postby Eric » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:17 pm

The above guest post is mine... I forgot to log in.

Rick
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:59 pm

Re: Need some advice

Postby Rick » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:51 pm

Eric,

You can book a move as far into the future as you want. Unfortunately, most estimates are only good for a limited amount of time - usually only 30 days if your targeted pick up dates occurs after May 15th. You could arrange your estimates now to decide on a carrier but most will have to re-estimate your move since the charges will likely increase because of peak period pricing. Historically the moving industry is the busiest between mid-May and the end of August.

DMS is probably the Atlas agent you are referring to. They are 14 miles from Farmington Hills.

DMS Moving Systems, Inc. (Agent# 0800) 13.55 Miles
Address: 7441 Haggerty Rd., Canton, MI 48187
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 87130, Canton, MI 48187-0130
Phone: (734) 207-8200 Toll-Free: (800) 521-5225 Fax: (734) 207-8209

The Stevens agency in your back yard is part of the Stevens Group of companies. Stevens is a financially stable, privately owned national van line (US DOT# 72029; MC #: 74681). The Waterford location is the largest of their six wholly owned branch offices located in Michigan and Ohio. About 30 over-the-road drivers operate out of this office. The quality of their service is as good as the other companies that you are considering. They have contracts with various school throughout the country.

As Diane indicated earlier, another good carrier is Corrigan Moving Systems, a United Van Lines agent. They have a branch office in Farmington Hills.

Corrigan Moving Systems Web Site
Address: 23923 Research Dr, Farmington Hills, MI 48335
Phone: (248) 471-4000

Eric
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:10 pm
Location: Morrisville, NC

Re: Need some advice

Postby Eric » Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:12 pm

I've contacted Stevens, DMS, Corrigan, and All American.

John from Stevens is the only one I've heard back from so far:

He said they won't know their summer rates until April 1st, but he gave me a ballpark over the phone of $1675. This was for 3500lbs which is their minimum for interstate moves. He advised waiting on the in home estimate until after April 1st. Packing would be 33% to 50% more and I would be able to get a more precise estimate once he came in to do the in home survey. He also said North Carolina is a fairly common trip for them--hopefully I would be able to get the same crew the entire way.

I am greateful for finding this site... I was going to call Modern Moving in Farmington Hills, but after reading about them on this site I won't. I have used them for two local moves and my mother has used them for one local move. We were both very happy with them, but this was a while ago (mine in 1997 and 2001 and my mom's in 1997). Apparently things have changed there. They used to be agents for American Red Ball but I notice no mention of that in their yellow pages ad or website (or on the American Red Ball website).


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