any info on DC van lines, inc., for local move in MD?

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Lori N.

any info on DC van lines, inc., for local move in MD?

Postby Lori N. » Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:48 pm

We're moving only about 10 miles away within MD and, as many people are posting here, estimates vary wildly, from $85 on the 123movers scam site, to $165 for JK Moving.

One company that got good reviews (albeit only 2) on Angie's List is DC Van Lines, Inc. Moving and Storage. They quoted me $90 an hour over the phone and required no deposit/credit card to hold the date. Should I be suspicious of this? I did what your great article on finding a mover recommended and checked them out on Safersys, I found some problems but I don't know what they really mean and how serious they are:

1. the inspections field on Safersys showed 3 out of 4 drivers out of service, which is (duh) a 75% rate, and 1 out of 4 trucks out of service (calculating the rate shall be left as an exercise to the reader :)
2. Carrier safety rating is conditional and listed as a compliance review.
3. On the insurance page, all of their "authority" fields are inactive. Not even the common one is active. What does this mean and is it a big red flag?
Are these factors more important for a long distance than a local move? Does every "reputable" company have clean scores on everything?

Here's their info:

DC Van Lines Moving and Storage Co., Inc.
4611 TANGLEWOOD DRIVE
HYATTSVILLE, MD 20781
Phone: (301) 779-8021

USDOT 84245
MC 230018

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP!

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

Re: any info on DC van lines, inc., for local move in MD?

Postby MusicMom » Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:47 pm

I've seen their trucks around for years, and they look well-used, but not in a bad way. I've been meaning to look them up, but thought I'd wait until someone astually asked about them.

BBB report shows an original business start date of 1953, BBB member since 2000, and only 4 complaints in the last 3 years. They are actually in Hyattsville, should you want to go and check out their offices and trucks.

They have 9 trucks, which is OK for a company that only goes locally. The ones I've seen are all straight trucks, little 15-foot box trucks (a city delivery van) or a 23' moving truck.

Oh, this puts a black cloud over their reputation. They had their interstate license revoked in 2002, which is OK if they are only moving in the Metro area. But more scary is that their drivers have failed 3 of 4 inspections.

One instance of driving without glasses or hearing aid, one instance of not keeping the logs, and three failures in one stop for driving while disqualified (could have been the guys who were failed in the previous inspections). For the logbook violation, they were given a critical violation.

While all of this may just be gibberish to you, it kind of makes me wonder if they are really keeping things running smoothly on the mechanical side. But they appear to give good service, so it's your decision.

Lori N.

Re: any info on DC van lines, inc., for local move in MD?

Postby Lori N. » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:29 pm

Thanks for your reply Musicmom. We've tentatively booked Ace Relo, for about $145/hour. Lots more expensive than DC movers but a better reputation. It seems like many of the problems movers have in BBB and Safersys are more serious for interstate moves, where you have less control b/c your stuff is away from you for days or weeks, than local ones. So I guess it boils down to whether we're willing to risk a slightly sketchier service for significant cost savings. Anyone else with experience making this decision for a local move is welcome to advise...

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

Re: any info on DC van lines, inc., for local move in MD?

Postby MusicMom » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:28 am

OK. I'd love to hear your results.

Lori N.

Re: any info on DC van lines, inc., for local move in MD?

Postby Lori N. » Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:01 pm

Well, Ace Relocation has backed out on us before the move. You can see my new post about it or just read it here:

During the week of Aug. 13, I called Ace Relocation in Jessup and spoke to Erica at x1522. We arranged for her to come to our house on Aug. 22 to do an estimate on a local move within Maryland on August 31. At that time she reassured me that Ace would have availability for a move on Aug. 31. I later had to reschedule the estimate for Aug. 24. When rescheduling, Erica *again* assured me Ace would be available for a move 8/31.

Today Erica came and did the estimate and then called and told us Ace was unavailable. Apparently they ditched us for some big important military move that must be completed by the end of the month. We spent over a week expecting Ace to do our move and now we are 1 week from the move date and have had to find a new company.

Despite the good reviews, avoid Ace Relo or get your moving date in writing. Apparently their verbal promises cannot be taken at face value. We'll be using Beltway instead.

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

Re: any info on DC van lines, inc., for local move in MD?

Postby Diane » Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:33 pm

Not good. I'll make a note of it in my summary post. Another example of the "little guy" getting bumped in favor of a more lucrative national account or military move. Please do report back on your experience with Beltway.

This kind of confirms my previous feeling about using van line agents for local moves. I think it's fine if you have a big, fairly expensive move but if you're a little fish moving locally at the end of the month during the summer I think it may be safer to go with a local mover.


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