FINDING A MOVER
Question regarding choice of moving company
-> Other questionsJun 11, 17:57
Question by courante (Michael)
First I would like to say that your website is superb. I requested a quote and received several replies. I have also read many of the questions from other website visitors.
I am moving from Western Massachusetts (Northampton, MA) to Riverside, California. I have narrowed my choices down to three: Key Moving & Storage (a B rating on your SOUR system), Michael's Moving & Storage (http://www.michaelsmovers.com ) and Sitterly Movers (http://sitterlymovers.com/ )
I have not been able to find ratings on Michael's Movers, which is a Massachusetts company located near Boston, nor have I found any information, other than word-of-mouth about Sitterly Movers, which is local and an agent for Allied Van Lines.
The price difference is substantial, from $1100 - $2300 for my rather small move (40 cardboard boxes, a small desk, a bicycle and a snowboard), with the Allied Van Lines agent being at the high end and the other two at the low end.
What do I get for spending 100% more on my move, if I were to choose Sitterly Movers? Or better put, what might I lose if I choose one of the two low estimates? Only Sitterly will come to my place first to view what will be moved, the others said the move is small, so it is not necessary. One worry is that the company may show up for the move and then adjust my estimate (upward, no doubt).
The BBB ratings are a concern as well. Michael's Movers has had 19 complaints in the past 36 months of which 10 were resolved and 9 administratively closed, Key Movers has only had 5 complaints of which 3 were resolved. Michael's Movers has a longer history with the BBB though, being accredited since 1999. Sitterly Movers doesnt have anything on the BBB website other than something about the president being involved in a golf tournament!
Anything I am missing?
Thanks so much for your help!
Jun 12, 13:01
Answer by alexzehn (Alex Z.)
Well, your move does seem like a relatively small move, and although it was nice to have a visual estimate from Sitterly, I would not insist on having on-sites from all companies Ė itís just not really necessary.
Also, since your shipment would probably not exceed 1000-1500 lbs I would say it falls under minimum requirements of most compnies. Usually it stands at about 1000 lbs for smaller companies and 2000 lbs for big companies or van lines.
So judging from that I would say you got what it looks like the minimum price for a move from MA to CA that each company has in its tariff. What I would recommend you to do is call all those companies again and request a binding-guaranteed-fixed-flat price for your move (I think I didnít miss any of the variations of that thingÖ). Basically, they would guarantee that your price would not change, ever.
Then it is basically up to you to decide on the level of risk involved. If you go with Allied there is pretty good chance everything will go relatively smooth (traditionally, big van lines have higher rating as far as customer satisfaction goes). With the other guys there is a higher chance things will go wrong here and there, so thatís the explanation of price differences.
Hope that helps.Good luck with your move,
Alex Z. @ MovingAnswers.org Follow us on Twitter for valuable tips on making your move easier!
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Jun 13, 22:53
Comment by courante (Michael)
Thanks for the response! Your website is a great resource.
First, a concern that I have is that on your website, when I look at the thread for the question I asked, my email address is clearly visible, can you please omit my email address from public view? That is a sure way for me to start getting 100 spam emails daily.
I have now realized that my move is a bit larger, about 55 boxes. Also, I failed to mention that I am moving 3 guitars and a synthesizer keyboard, so these boxes would need to be handled carefully.
When you talk about things going wrong here & there, my only question is: does this include losing any of the material that is being moved?
I am flexible on time allowed for delivery and other details, I just dont want to actually have a box or one of my guitars go missing. Is there less of a chance of this happening with Allied Van Lines, I wonder?
Jun 15, 12:45
Comment by alexzehn (Alex Z.)
The only good piece of advise that I would allow myself to give you on that is to get insurance for the items you are worried about. MovingInsurance.com could be the best reference to do research about moving insurance, but in general, as far as moving goes, boxes do get lost from time to time.
If you are talking about some exceptionally valuable items that have relatively small weight (compared for example to a piece of furniture) then it might be a good idea to ship them with UPS, FedEx or other parcel services. It would cost, but you can track each individual shipment, so that would be the safest way to move expensive shipments.
Hopefully that helps you.