This isn't really a home repair question (I did post the
same question to misc.consumers and misc.legal.
moderated) but I thought someone here might be
able to pass on some info.
My friend is planning on moving from California back to
Michigan in the next year or so and called PODS to find
out the cost.
They want over $10,000 to move his stuff!
WTF?! I would think using PODS would be far more cheaper
then using a conventional moving company, as they're only
loading/unloading the pods and not physically handling
every single item the customer owns.
On the other hand, I remember reading that when using
a conventional moving company (United Van Lines, etc.)
one needs to be very careful and have a rock solid contract
that spells out everything in detail, as the moving company
will nickel and dime you death with hidden costs once they
have possession of your stuff.
Any advice and/or links to consumer help web sites related
to a cross country move that I can pass on to my friend?
On Sat, 20 Feb 2010 01:55:51 -0800 (PST), Ed Stasiak
Maybe that's how they get you, because people think it will be cheap.
What does a regular moving company like United or Mayflower want?
Hard to believe but maybe 10,000 is cheap after all. 27 years ago, I
paid 800 dollars just to move from NYC to Baltimore, 3 1/2 hours.
Prices have gone up and Cal/michingan is a lot farther. Plus the guy
who moved me would have changed a lot more if he had realized how much
I could squeeze into an apartment. (He quoted the price sight
unseen, becaue he had a move to Boston and wanted something to do on
the way back. I tried to tell him that I had a lot of stuff. He gave
me a list of big furniture and asked if I had it. I really didn't.
All I had big was a spinet piano and two lightweight warddrobes but I
had loads of other stuff. But he was a mentch. He never complained.
I tipped them 200 dollars)
How many rooms in your house? Are they and the closets stuffed or are
you into fin shway. (sp?)
I didn't see your post there, but this sounds like the kind of advice
given by someone who writes a weekly advice column and has to come up
with something to say. Sure, you should read the contract. Your
contract should list all the costs and there should be a sentence that
says, These are all the costs. I presume they fill out such a
contract and wait for you to sign it. Well, maybe they weigh the
truck before it is loaded and after it is loaded. I'm not sure**.
But I still don't see where nickel and diming will come in. So look
for a company with a good reputation., not just the national company
but the local affiliate, which is probably a separate company.
**That's how they did it when I moved a bunch of my mother's stuff to
Texas, but it was only a room or two and no one came out to estimate
it. Just the trucker who had a local guy to help load. So he weighed
his truck twice.
The only time we had trouble moving, there was some strike in
Pennsyvania, so they had to unload all our stuff in Ohio and wait
until they stopped shooting at the trucks in Pa. Why do strikes bring
out the criminal nature in so many people? There was extra damage
because of the extra unloading and loading. A corner of the washer
was crumpled and looked terrible but it still worked fine, and I think
one piece of furniture was scratched. I guess most contracts call for
them to repair damaged stuff, and they have was pencils in many colors
that they use to patch dents in wood.
I dunno and he doesn't either yet. I got an email from
him last night about the cost of PODS and figured I'd
try to get him some advice.
He's got a pretty big place but this move is precipitated
by a recent divorce, so I'm not sure how much stuff he
has left to move?
I've personally never had to use a moving company but
from what I remember reading years back, (probably on
the misc.consumers newsgroup) moving co's will scam
their customers with additional costs once your stuff is
loaded on their truck and you have no choice but to pay,
as either they'll hold you stuff "hostage" or dump it right
back on the driveway if you don't.
On Sat, 20 Feb 2010 02:53:53 -0800 (PST), Ed Stasiak
I've heard those horror stories too, but have never experienced
anything like it. My moves have gone rather smoothly, in fact. I've
had a few small things damaged but not enough to even bother with a
claim. My last move I had to drop the major company I'd chosen
because my new employer didn't want to pay up-front (no leverage).
They then suggested a local company that they've done business with
before. They were paying the bill, so I agreed. Worked out
flawlessly, in fact better than.
The key, IMO, is to READ THE PAPERWORK and investigate the moving
companies AT BOTH ENDS. You can also ask up-front for a guaranteed
not-to-exceed price and them make sure you got it. I found that the
major companies were more than happy to give this, but again READ THE
PAPERWORK *before* signing anything.
You can do google searches for the moving company at each end. Really
pissed people tend to spread the word. However, these people are not
always right, so read the specific accusations.
Did I mention, READ THE PAPERWORK?
Good luck to the mover.
On Sat, 20 Feb 2010 02:53:53 -0800 (PST), Ed Stasiak
He could buy an ocean cargo shipping container in CA for cheap,
instead of renting PODS. Makes for a nice shop/storage at the new
place. Various sizes from 10' (rare) to 40'. Transport by truck or
"Craters & Freighters specializes in packaging, crating, and shipping
items that are too heavy, oversized, and fragile for standard shipping
companies." * Have you friend check this site.
I've had three moves, using national companies. FL-NY 1989. NY-PA
1990. PA-NV 1995. Prices were between $10,000 and $19,000. (?)
National companies charge for the boxes an packing materials. One
company thought the could pack-up our kitchen in a day or so. It took
them closer to 4 days :-)
A local move across town five years ago cost me about $600.
With a national company I always take out "insurance"! Lost or broken
items were covered, so I was reimbursed.
You need to get a Yiddish dictionary:
Mentch translates literally to mean "man". But a good idiom for it might be
"standup guy". Yiddish is fading fast. I'm going to miss it.
Did you do a web search? From:
1. (literally) A human or person.
2. A person with integrity and concern for others.
3. A gentleman.
Etymology: Yiddish (mentsh), an honorable person, from German Mensch
Depending on exact locations, you are looking at about 2500 miles. I'd
expect a regular trucker would charge about $5000 to $6000 for the run.
One factor is distance, but other factors are the amount of freight moving
between points. For instance, moving freight fro NC to MA may be $3000, but
the return trip can be had for about half that.
About four years ago a friend moved to Florida, about 1200 miles and paid a
regular moving company about $10,000.
Yet another argument for doing a massive purge/garage sale, and only
moving the high-dollar and/or heirloom stuff, hopefully on your own in a
U-haul. Personally, I'd never move chipboard furniture, or any
mattresses over five years old, or anything that would be cheaper to
replace than move. I'd donate it to whatever local charity keeps the
warehouse of stuff for fire victims and abused women needing to set up
households, and take the deduction. But then again, I'm a bit of a pack
rat, and moving would be a good excuse to clear out the excess.
Of course, if the move is for a new job, and they are picking up the
tab, all bets are off. But even with that, I'd still move the valuable
or non-replaceable stuff myself. Heard too many tales over the years of
people realizing something was missing or broken, a month later.
aem sends, cringing at the thought of what moving out of this place (to
wherever) in a couple of years, is gonna be like....
Last time I had to do a long distance move, we used U-pack and it wasn't
anywhere near $10k (otherwise it would have been more economical to just
sell everything and buy new; at the time I didn't have anything
We drove the cars, because moving a car any significant distance tends
to cost at least $1K unless you have a friend with a car trailer to move
it for you.
Another option, if you only have one car, would just be renting a truck
with a car trailer, but keep in mind that both the trucks and trailers
tend to be garbage (doesn't matter what company) and at least U-Haul
*will not* have your reserved equipment when you go to pick it up (this
is a universal truth) so it will not be a pleasant experience. It will
likely be the least expensive option, however.
My one and only long distance move was about 6 years ago from CT to TX,
about 1,700 miles.
I did a U pack move, which made the most sense as my move included my
shop, forklift and truck and much of my stuff was palletized. Regular
residential movers aren't quite prepared to forklift 2,000# mills or
1,000# lathes, or to load 7,000# pickups and 6,000# forklifts into the
back of a 53' semi, but fortunately I am :) After loading and sending
the semi on it's way I had a day to wrap up and then fly down to be
ready to unload when the semi arrived.
The move cost about $6,000 which seems pretty reasonable since I had
100% use of the semi and driver for a full week, two days loading, three
days transit and two days unloading, and semis don't exactly get 50 MPG.
I did have an extra $100 cost on each end for a tile bed wrecker which I
used to load and unload the pickup and forklift, and a couple hundred
for a 24' box truck with lift gate which I used on the loading end to
get my palletized stuff from several locations to the semi where I
backed the trucks together and palette jacked the stuff across.
All told it was a remarkably smooth move for the odd lot of stuff, and
yes, the move did also include the usual dishes, china cabinet, bed,
My mother tried sold quite a bit, including our unabridged dictionary
that was almost a foot thick. I was 10 and I missed that thing until
I was 35 or 40 and bought one at a yard sale, for a dollar. (I didn't
really use it but I like having it.)
We had parties and there was a lot of liquor too, and in order to
avoid paying the moving cost, my mother decided to drink as much of it
as she could. After a while, she decided it wasn't a good idea for a
recent widow to be drinking as much as she could. So she moved it,
and some of it probably got moved 2 more times and then a few blocks
to my house. She stopped drinking before she became an alky.
It's a good excuse but are you sure you would do it? :)
In my only pro-move, an original oil was lost, not by anyone famous
but by an art college girl who had my apartment before I moved in.
Picture of a girl vaguely semi-nude. I liked it. :) I called the
moving company. I went back to NYC and asked the new tenants. I
finally found it about 5 years later, at my new house in my own
suitcase. I thought it was too big to fit and even after finding it,
I didn't remember putting it in there.
On Sat, 20 Feb 2010 08:08:36 -0500, "Ed Pawlowski"
My last move, less than two years ago, was about $9K from Ohio to
Alabama, (~650mi). Nine months before that, I moved from VT to Ohio
(about 600mi) and the cost was about $6K. $10K from CA to MI isn't
necessarily bad, but if I read it correctly this is only one POD. That
may be high.
Hmmm.. back in 2003 we moved my father-in-law from Ca to Mi and it was
only$3,000 with a moving company. He had a 3 bedroom condo and they
loaded and unloaded everything. I would get a couple of additional
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