Moving company suggestions

Old Mar 29th, 2004, 11:02 AM
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yk
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Moving company suggestions

I have searched this board and found some rather old threads. Would like to seek advice from folks who have moved more recently. I am moving (1BR apt) from Philadelphia to Dallas, and looking at all the different moving companies is making my head spin. The only website that I could find that has customer reviews is epinions. Does anyone know of other websites out there with reviews? Has anyone ever heard of or used ISAAC's relocation service?
Are there any companies that you would recommend or that I should avoid?
Has anyone used the "you pack-they drive" companies?
Thank you for your help in advance.
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Old Mar 29th, 2004, 11:31 AM
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mms
 
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My dh was military for 20 years so moved a LOT. Each move was basically a guessing game as to how well the stuff was packed and moved. Even with a good company, each local office can vary dramatically. Our best move was when I requested a particular driver after a friend had a great move with him. So maybe ask around in your local area and see if there is a person who is really good. I wish i had more advice for you. We just moved earlier this month and are currently working on our claim
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Old Mar 29th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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I, too, have moved, many, many times. The few times I've had to find my own moving company, I've called three out of the phone book, usually major national ones like Mayflower (just an example--no endorsement). I've found they vary a lot by location, so one firm isn't reliably better than another. They each sent a rep who estimated the cost of my move. (Packing things yourself saves lots of money, but I would have them pack anything really fragile, as they're the experts.) Ask about: insurance coverage; packing materials (what will they use if they pack, can they make you a deal on them if you pack);can they move you on the dates you need; and make sure the estimate is guaranteed, so if they take longer than estimated, you pay only the original estimated amount and if they take less time, you pay less. Then choose the one with the best overall package of price and service, and read the contract carefully before you sign.
I tend to prefer the national chains because if something goes wrong, they tend to have more resources to help you.
Hope that helps a bit...good luck!
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Old Mar 29th, 2004, 01:17 PM
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weenie57
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I sure wish there was a good forum for relocating, having a relo in our new future... Anybody know of one?
 
Old Mar 29th, 2004, 01:49 PM
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mms
 
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Two good websites for relocating are www.neighborhoodscout.com and if you are wondering about schools, then try www.greatschools.net.

E gave lots of great details about moving. One thing we always do though is take the very sentimental and small valuable things with us...such as photo albums and family silver. In our 14 moves in 15 years of marriage we have learned a lot. One thing to definitely make sure of is to keep your renters insurance policy active! It should cover any loss/damage/missing items that the moving company shorts you on if you need to make a claim. Oh...and when they load your belongings they will notate the condition of each item...and they usually will say pieces are more scratched/marred than they are in order to cover themselves once the items are delivered...so be very careful and go over their inventory sheets and make sure that the condition of everything is accurate.
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Old Mar 29th, 2004, 02:06 PM
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I spent some time in my career moving corporations from old office to new office and find many of the tools I used as a pro worked for our personal moves. Get pen to paper (or pc) and you'll be amazed at all the things that just sort of "connect" in your head. When choosing a mover, I interview 3
national type companies and find the quotes to be very similar. who gives me the best customer service? Who will find my van when it doesn't arrive as promised and I need to call someone at 3AM? A good gut feeling can help here. I have learned from the pros how to pack and your mover will give you pamphlets of tips or you can go to a site like monstermoving.com for loads of useful tips. I would have the pros pack your TV and components,mirrors,artwork and ensure they are responsible for it. Pack the heirloom jewlery and such and take it with you. Back to the pen to paper idea:To start, I make a schedule backwards in other words, the new job starts on June 1st and work the plan backwards to the present date. 1st are you going a few weeks early to rent a place and return home to pack or going a week early after things are on their way-say starting a job,using temp. housing and storing at your destination until you find your new home? This answer is your foundation for upcoming decisions.
Using my info. and advice of suppliers out of my control
(phone,cable,internet,utilities etc.)
I can plug in dates or deadlines-such as
forward mail this date,new cable install appointment this date, power is turned on in our name on this date,etc.
The first thing I pack is called the
"the 1st 3 days box" 2 sleeping bags, coffee maker, filters, toliet paper,
pillows, granola, a couple of those
wipes containers (409,clorox and the like)2 sets of old silverware, army knife,soap, bath towels-you get the idea. I either take it in the car or ship it ahead of time to a friend or friendly landlord. In our case we have even shipped a box for the kitties with food,litter box etc.
(This was the one time the cars were in the van and we were flying and the movers were 3 days behind us.) Some people like to label there boxes by number and then make a quick note of what is in #1,and so forth. It's alot more fun than staring at a stack of
boxes and wondering "Now where is...?"
Clearly i.d. things like bed linens,
bath supplies, kitchen essentials as you will most likely want those first.
Make a schedule, have a plan, write everything in your head down and it will be much less stressful.
Hope this was of some help!
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Old Mar 29th, 2004, 02:20 PM
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yk....just curious as to which part of Dallas you are moving to..I am an Angelino but spend about half the year in Dallas.....Good luck with the move.
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Old Mar 29th, 2004, 02:28 PM
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These are a few basic stuff about how the moving companies operate... [At least the "classic" movers, not "you pack, they drive" ones.]

First, the base rate is set by the government (Interstate Commerce Commission). They look up the distance and the weight, and will give you a rate, which should be the same whichever companies you choose. There are extras like insurance, but the base rate is the same. They'll weigh the truck before pickup, and after. The actual amount will be determined then.

The large moving companies you find in the phone book (Mayflower, Atlas, etc) are usually local francisees. They are responsible for arranging the stuff, and sometimes the actual pickup at your place. Unless you have enough stuff to fill a whole 48-foot trailer, which is extremely unlikely, unless you have a huge mansion, they'll repack the trailer at their terminal, so that they can use the whole height of the trailer. [For household stuff, which is relatively light, volume is the determining factor FOR THE TRUCKER, but they charge you by the weight. They therefore must pack the truck all the way to the top. There's no way the household stuff can weigh >40,000lb, which a truck can legally carry.]

Anyways, the actual driver is usually a driver-operator that hooks up with the national chain. He/she (or often husband/wife) owns the truck and works for himself/herself. They will then drive the truck cross country to your destination, making several stops for other customers.

At your dropoff location, they will get local movers to unload the truck at your place. Truckers definitely have their own cellphones these days, and they may give you their number to call. Or you can call their broker (which may not be the moving company you thought you hired) to have them update you on the progress.

When I arranged for my move last year (from RI to TX), what I found is that the "name-brand" ones often can't arrange anything unless it's months ahead; but I found a no-name guy that can arrange with just about 2-3 weeks advance notice. In my opinion, the most important thing is how they wrap your large item stuff at your place. [They will charge more for large mirrors/glass tops, insured.] But unless you know that actual local franchisee and what movers they hire, there's little guarantee, whether you go with a name-brand one or not. Therefore, if someone says he/she has good luck getting Mayflower (for example) moving them from LA to NYC, it has little relevance for your PHL-DAL move, as you'll be talking about totally different franchisees and different drivers.
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Old Mar 29th, 2004, 03:26 PM
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Never heard of ISAAC's. I have used United Van Lines and was very pleased.
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Old Apr 14th, 2004, 05:20 AM
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Did you pick Isaac's? I got three quotes for our upcoming move and they were by far the cheapest and also the most helpful. I'm thinking of going with them, but I don't know anyone else who has used them.
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Old Apr 14th, 2004, 07:35 AM
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yk
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Hi keb-

Yes, I did pick Isaac's. I actually got even cheaper quotes from some other companies, but Isaac's price is still about 1/2 of the biggies (like Allied, United etc). I checked out Better Business Bureau and Isaac's is in good standing.

However, my move is not till end of this month. I will post a report when the move is all done.

Thank you to everyone who has given me their input.

Beachboi- we found a place near White Rock Lake. We wanted to be close enough to bike over there.
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Old Apr 14th, 2004, 08:02 AM
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I would suggest contacting your local Better Business Bureau and see if they have a list of moving companies that are BBB members. Also, if you are considering a specific company be sure to contact your local BBB and be sure there have been no complaints lodged against the company. You want a good price, but you also don't want cheap service. One poster mentioned that the large moving companies you find in the phone book (Mayflower, Atlas, etc) are usually local francisees, so you want to be sure the local franchise is reputable. An acquaintance picked a mover listed under Mayflower thinking they would be reputable. Items ended up missing and before the company's insurance covered her losses they went out of business. Lastly, be sure to check if the rate you are given is guaranteed or just an estimate. Many companies charge by weight. Some will deliberately underestimate the weight to tell you a cheaper rate, but the rate isn't guaranteed and you'll be responsible for paying more if it your shipment weighs more.
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Old Apr 14th, 2004, 08:47 AM
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lisatravels has made a good point about checking out BBB & about the guaranteed vs estimated price.

This all has been a steep learning curve for me. The Better Business Bureau contains quite a good amount of information: # of complaints, how old is the company, where it is based etc. You can get all this info online (free). Isaac's is a member of BBB. And as lisatravels said, the biggies have franchise "agent" companies in the local area, and I have also checked out these "agent" companies on the BBB website as well.

In terms of pricing, the various companies I have contacted all have somewhat different policies, so the best is to ask specific questions when you call. Some companies gave me a estimated quote based on the inventory list I supplied to them (without someone coming out to my place to look at it). Some sent an agent. Some offered me a guaranteed price.
I live a rather minimalistic life, so I believe all companies estimated too much for me. They are estimating me having 2500-3000 lbs, whereas I think I could possibly have <2000 lbs. Therefore, the guranteed price company will probably be more expensive vs the estimated ones (which will actually weigh the truck before and after loading). I also found out that some companies have a minimum charge for 2100 lbs while some have a minimum charge for 1000 lbs. Most of these don't apply to folks who have a family and a house, but for me with minimal belongings, it may make a difference.
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Old Apr 14th, 2004, 08:52 AM
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I also found out about a few "hidden" charges.
1. If you tell them you will pack everything yourself, and you end up with certain things unpacked, the company will be happy to pack it for you for a fee, which can be quite steep. (I was quoted $80 for a box of plates)

2. If your destination is not "tractor-trailer-friendly" (ie an apartment or condo which the tractor trailer cannot get to), the company will charge a "shuttle" charge. I was told that this costs several hundred dollars.
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