Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

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Diane
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby Diane » Thu Oct 27, 2005 2:15 pm

This sticky explains that the cubic foot estimates favored by scammers should be avoided and that estimates for interstate moves should be based on weight.

Because the major van lines use various terms for Nonbinding, Binding, and Binding Not to Exceed/Guaranteed Not to Exceed estimates, I decided to make a list of those terms to help people understand them better. I will add to this list as I learn more. (The terms "Binding Not to Exceed" and "Guaranteed Not to Exceed" mean the same thing—your cost can go down if your weight is less than the estimate, but cannot go up if your weight is more. This is generally considered the best type of estimate for consumers to have. A Binding estimate where your cost is fixed regardless of the weight is next best.)

Note these important posts about estimates by two people employed in the legitimate moving industry:
11/18/04 - The "Not to Exceed" quote offered by any van line should be the first choice of any customer planning a move of any kind. - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2966

blue wrote:11/26/04 - Never use a non-binding quote if you don't have to. -
http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2989


VAN LINE TERMS FOR NONBINDING, BINDING, & BINDING NOT TO EXCEED ESTIMATES

1. Allied –

NonbindingNonbinding

Binding - TPG (Total Price Guarantee). I have also seen the terms "Guaranteed Price Pledge" and "Total Guaranteed Price" used in Allied’s paperwork and they both mean the same as TPG. In other words, both terms refer to Binding estimates.

NOTE: In 8/10 an Allied agent told me that the term "Guaranteed Price Pledge" is no longer used, although it may be on some old paperwork.

Binding Not to Exceed - TPG with GRR (Guaranteed Rate Reduction)

The TPG with GRR is the equivalent of a Binding Not to Exceed / Guaranteed Not to Exceed estimate, as noted above. An Allied sales rep has provided more information about it:
PMueller wrote:12/2/05 - The TPG/GRR estimate also indicates the rate per hundred pounds of the reduction on the TPG/GRR estimate that is provided so the consumer can see in advance what reduction will be made per each one hundred pounds. . . . The driver is aware when arriving to load a shipment that it is a TPG/GRR and that he must get the tare [empty] weight just prior to loading and immediately receive his gross weight after loading, at which time the agency is then able to adivse the customer of the difference in weight and price if any. If packing is performed by the agency, it is also included in the TPG/GRR. Which means the customer may have many possibilities for reductions, i.e. packing reduction and weight reduction, just packing reduction with no weight reduction, just weight reduction with no packing reduction. - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 8041#48041

Later on, she added the following information on Nonbinding estimates in the Allied system:
PMueller wrote: 8/10/07 - A non binding estimate to Allied is a UAS. You are charged based upon actual weight and services performed. This type of estimate is based off of the 400-N tariff as opposed to their TPG tariff for the other types of estimates. - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 5361#95361

She added that with Allied's Nonbinding and Binding Not to Exceed [TPG with GRR] estimates, the truck is weighed and the price depends on the weight. With a Binding [TPG] estimate, the truck may or may not be weighed, but the price does not go up or down with the weight.

Another person (apparently also an Allied rep) posted the following about the relationship between a TPG estimate and the 400N tariff:
8/29/04 - It should be very easy to convert a TPG price to a 400N. The TPG tarriff is a wholesale pricing system. Allied has a set price for the moving costs and the booking agent . . . sets their own "Service Management Fee" (SMF) [note: someone explained later that the SMF is in effect the sales rep's commission] and packing rates. In your case, [the agent] simply should adjust their SMF to mirror the 400 N cost. They should offer you the same NTE price as the TPG price. - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 0055#20055
-------------------------------------------------

2. Atlas –

NonbindingNonbinding

BindingBinding

Binding Not to Exceed - APP (Assured Price Protection) or TAPP (Total Assured Price Protection)
-------------------------------------------------

3. Bekins –

NonbindingNon-Guaranteed Price

BindingGuaranteed Price (also called No Excuse Price, or NEP). In 1/11, a Bekins sales rep emailed that "This is a pricing option we have at Bekins, that provides the customer with a true, fixed price quote. There are no surprise add-ons; any charges for stairs, long carries, even shuttles are absorbed by Bekins, and the customer does not pay anything additional. The only thing that could change is if the customer requests storage, an extra delivery, or waiting time (the costs of which are listed at the bottom of the quote). It’s a fixed price, so the shipment is not weighed." A sample NEP quote that he forwarded showed a line item for a "No Excuse Fee" (of $173.00 in that particular case).

Binding Not to Exceed - Not-to-Exceed Price. In 11/10, the same Bekins sales rep said that charges for stairs, long carries, and shuttle at destination can be added to this type of quote if applicable (but NOT to a No Excuse Price quote)

NOTE: Bekins uses a tariff that is different from the 400N tariff used by most other van lines. It is called the 412A tariff for COD shipments and the 400M tariff for corporate account shipments. The Bekins tariff allows for services like carrying items for long distances or up flights of stairs to be broken out and billed as additional services rather than being rolled into the transportation charge.
-------------------------------------------------

4. National –

Nonbinding - Non-binding

Binding - Guaranteed Price

Binding Not to Exceed - Customer Benefit Estimate - "Guaranteed price or actual charges, whichever is less"

Here's a PDF of an actual estimate - http://home.flash.net/~winfield/nat-est.PDF

http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 1262#91262
-------------------------------------------------

5. North American –

Nonbinding - NSO (Name Shipper Option)

Here is an explanation by a NAVL employee:
Nancy wrote:9/2/04 - Basically saying that the customer/shipper has the option to ship more or less than was estimated. We actually sell this contract a lot when people just aren't sure or specific on what items they are moving. They agree to pay 110% to get delivery, and are ultimately responsible for all actual weights and services on their move. They just do not have to pay more than 110% to get delivered. We invoice later. - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2520


Binding - GP (Guaranteed Price) I have also seen the term “Binding Price Proposal” used for a Binding quote. - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3992

Binding Not to Exceed - GNTE

NOTE: The above categories hold when a North American move is being quoted using the 400N tariff. In 2006, the van line introduced a different pricing structure similar to Allied's TPG. Under this "Pricelock" structure, the terms used for the various categories are as follows.

Nonbinding - Nonbinding

Binding - Pricelock

Binding Not to Exceed - Pricelock with GRR (Guaranteed Rate Reduction)
-------------------------------------------------

6. Paul Arpin –

Nonbinding - Nonbinding

Binding - Binding

Binding Not to Exceed - Accu-Quote

http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 2267#52267
-------------------------------------------------

7. Unigroup (United and Mayflower) –

:arrow: NOTE: United and Mayflower sales reps posted in 7/08 that the following terminology will be introduced for various types of estimates in October 2008. These are the new terms.

For United Van Lines

Nonbinding - Nonbinding

Binding - Straight Talk Price Assurance

Binding Not to Exceed - Straight Talk Price Assurance with weight allowance credit (also known as an Option W estimate).

For Mayflower Transit

Nonbinding - Nonbinding

Binding - On Point Price Certainty

Binding Not to Exceed - On Point Price Certainty with weight allowance credit (also known as an Option W estimate).

The pre-2008 terms for these categories of estimate were:

Nonbinding - Option A

Binding - Option B

Binding Not to Exceed - Option C. I have also seen this called a “Comparison” estimate, i.e. the actual weight is compared with the estimated weight and the customer pays the amount for the lower weight. One person reported that her Mayflower agent called it a "Binding or Less" estimate - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6590 Another person said that her United paperwork called it a "Bound Estimate -- Option C Comparison" - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7114

Someone who works for a Mayflower agent added this information about Unigroup tariffs (price lists) in 10/08:
GPP1 is the new GNTE tariff for Unigroup. If somebody gets this type of estimate, they are not charged extra for a destination shuttle. There is a factor in the estimate to account for it, kind of like how Unigroup used to charge for flights, long carries, etc. but no longer does. Under the GPP1 tariff, each move pays for a portion of a destination shuttle now in that tariff, so it's no longer an additional service on that tariff and that tariff only. The tariffs MT01 (Mayflower) / UVL1 (United) can only be used for Bnding (price can't go up or down) and Nonbinding estimates. They do not contain the factor and a destination shuttle is still an additional charge. As of 10/1/08, every Unigroup agent has to use the GPP1 tariff for GNTE estimates. The term "Option C" is no longer used for such estimates.

-------------------------------------------------

8. Wheaton -

Nonbinding - Total Non-Binding [Cost]. I have also seen the term "Estimated Cost of Service" used. Note that it is somewhat of a misnomer to call it a "Total Non-Binding [Cost]" because the final total cost can't possibly be known on a Nonbinding estimate.

Binding - Total Firm Binding [Cost]

Binding Not to Exceed - Total Option Binding [Cost]

See http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5886 and http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6439 for a discussion of these terms. Wheaton asks customers to actually write in the cost for the type of estimate they were given on the contract so there is no possibility of a misunderstanding, and I think this is a good idea.
Last edited by Diane on Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:50 pm, edited 21 times in total.

MusicMom
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby MusicMom » Thu Oct 27, 2005 3:41 pm

Thank you, Diane! I'd been having trouble keeping track of these terms.

Guest

Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby Guest » Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:02 pm

The following post has been modified by the site administrator to remove advertising:

:D good news!!!
I am the owner of <snip>. We are a worldwide relocation company. Have a look at our site at <snip>.
I have been in this business over 27 years. I have been on the board of governors for major van lines and also an agent for van lines within my carreer in the industry.
The best way to play it safe is..."ALWAYS GET A BINDING GUARANTEED PRICE BASED ON THE INVENTORY BEING SHIPPED".

THE WORST ESTIMATE IS A CUBIC FOOT PRICE ESTIMATE. ITS LITTERALY A VEGAS CRAP SHOOT! MOVING COMPANY OWNERS LAUGH AT HOW THEY WORK IT. ITS A SCAM AND THE SHIPPER WILL ALWAYS LOSE IF THATS THE MOVERS GOAL!

WHEN YOU RECEIVE A COMPLETED INVENTORY FROM YOUR ESTIMATOR THAT YOU AGREE IS CORRECT AND YOU CHECKED YOURSELF, YOUR IN HOUSE ESTIMATOR SHOULD GIVE YOU A BINDING PRICE AND NOT AN ESTIMATE. hE CAN GIVE YOU AN ESTIMATE WITHOUT EVEN COMING OUT.
iF YOU DO AN INVENTORY ON THE INTERNET AS YOU WOULD WITH MY COMPANY <snip>, WE WILL GIVE YOU A BINDING GUARANTEED PRICE THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE AS LONG AS THE SHIPPER DOESNT CHANGE THE SERVICES REQUESTED, OR ADD TO THE INVENTORY YOU ARE SHIPPING, ETC AFTER THE PRICE IS GIVEN...
AS LONG AS WE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IS GOING, WE KNOW THAT THE ARTICLES ARE THE CORRECT OR AVERAGE SIZE, THE ACCESS AT BOTH LOCATIONS ARE WHAT THEY ARE, WE WILL GIVE YOU A BINDING GUARANTEED PRICE THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE. WE DO THIS ON THE PHONE OR AT OUR WEBSITE, WE WILL ALWAYS CALL YOU BACK AND GO OVER THE ENTIRE INVENTORY, ZIP CODES AND LOCATIONS, SO THERE IS NO INFORMATION MISSING, AND WE BOTH HAVE IT 100% CORRECT.

WE WILL THEN PRICE YOUR MOVE BASED ON THE FOLLOWING:
WE WILL ASK YOU HOW MANY CARTONS YOU WOULD LIKE US TO INCLUDE IN THE PRICING OF THE INVENTORY 50, 75, 100, 200, ETC...WE WILL PRICE THE RELOCATION ACCORDINGLY AND IF AT THE TIME OF PICKUP YOUR CARTON COUNT IS MORE, YOU WILL KNOW THE ADDITIONAL CHARGES BEFORE WE COME OUT TO LOAD!

SIMPLE, EASY, STRESS FREE AND KNOWONE GETS HURT.
THIS IS THE WAY WE DO BUSINESS...NO SURPRIZES! WE ARE A MEMBER OF THE AMSA THE BEST ASSOCIATION IN THE WORLD!

BOB FREEDMAN
PRESIDENT
<snip>

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twalker
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby twalker » Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:15 pm

Hi Bob,

Please note that advertisements for moving services, or soliciting consumers are not permitted on MovingScam.com. Thanks!

Tim Walker
MovingScam.com

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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby twalker » Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:36 pm

Bob,

Out of curiosity I did a little digging and have some questions about your company. You say you've been in business over 27 years, however, I looked at your incorporation dates for both Florida as well as New York and I can't find anything to substantiate that. You incorporated in Florida on 12/21/2004, and you incorporated in New York on 4/19/2005. According to the DOT (safersys) you've had your DOT license (1323307) since 1/27/2005 and according to the FMCSA you've only had your MC license (509798) since 2/11/2005. Your web site is also new since the domain was registered on 2/3/2005.

You might also try a search here on the message boards for your company name. It doesn't look pretty.

Tim Walker
MovingScam.com

kelleyking

Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby kelleyking » Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:14 pm

Wow, I've had 2 or 3 people try to tell me cubic feet estimates are now legal.

Did this change for 2006?

I'm so nervous, I think I'll rent a truck and move myself. I'm afraid of these scams.

MusicMom
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby MusicMom » Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:38 pm

Wow, I've had 2 or 3 people try to tell me cubic feet estimates are now legal.

Did this change for 2006?

No, they just don't want you to pay attention to this site, so they can move you illegally and empty out your wallet.

You don't have to be completely scared off, if you read the article linked to at the top left of the page with the 8) you can learn how to avoid the bad guys.

Why don't you start a new thread in this forum, tell us where you're moving to and from, and when, and we'll help you find a good one?

Greyb

Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby Greyb » Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:04 am

OK, I need help here. I'm moving from NY to LA. I was completely hosed 7 yeas ago when I moved this way. I was charged by weight, which I couldn't verify unless I wanted to follow the truck to some obscure place etc.
So, this time I decided to go with the Cubic Feet method. At least this way I can measure it myself and have a good idea if I'm being scammed.

It seems to me that I can get scammed either way so the whole thing is a crap shoot. Am I wrong???? And can someone explain the tarrif thing? One of these estimates has a tarrif discount that knocks the price in half.
:shock: :shock:

MusicMom
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby MusicMom » Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:50 pm

The problem is that you CAN'T measure the Cubic Feet yourself. The movers will not let you into the truck with a tape measure. You will be busy in the old house, and once the truck is loaded, the door slams shut. The movers who measure by Cubic Feet also are not known for thier packing skills and tight tiers will more likely be haphazard piles (literally!) that cannot be measured. Problem three: Even if you got the actual measurement of the load, the mover can claim whatever they want and you have to pay because you signed the contract agreeing to do so. With a weight load backed up with certified tickets, you ahve a legal recourse to get the amount overcharged to you returned through due process. There is no such recourse for CF measurements. You have a legal right to request a re-weight of your load if you disagree with the measurement, but again, no such thing with CF. This iss why it is the preferred method of measurement by scammers, it is the loophole they need to steal more cash from you.

And again, it is ILLEGAL to charge this way for moves between states, even if you sign a contract agreeing to such a method.

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twalker
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby twalker » Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:14 pm

The other loophole is that it is still legal to charge by cubic feet on binding estimates since what's on the estimate is supposed to be what you pay. The problem with a binding estimate based on cubic feet is, as MM pointed out, the moving company is always going to tell you that you took up more space than what you told them you were moving, which un-binds the contract and they can charge you whatever they want.

Tim Walker
MovingScam.com

GreyB

Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby GreyB » Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:06 pm

So what I'm hearing is that I have to suck it up and pay per pound and follow these trucks all over town to a weigh station.

I'm finding that the weight estimates that I'm recieving are REALLY inaccurate. One guy came up with 1500 lbs. My load is more like 3500. When I measured the Cubic Feet my self, it comes out more accurate and I add in wrappings etc, and those estimators are coming very close to what I measured. I'm really torn here. I was severely hosed on that last cross country load because I wasnt able to follow them to these weigh stations.

I'm starting to think it would be more beneficial to hire a driver and load a U-Haul.

GreyB

Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby GreyB » Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:11 pm

I forgot to ask.........I can't seem to find why the Cubic Feet thing is illegal. Can someone please give me a brief overview or send me a link?

Thanks
GreyB :D

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twalker
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby twalker » Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:19 pm

So what I'm hearing is that I have to suck it up and pay per pound and follow these trucks all over town to a weigh station.


You don't have to suck it up. You can ignore our advice. Heck, I've only seen a few thousand complaints from consumers so my advice is probably only so good anyway.

Also, you should get a binding-not-to-exceed estimate. You'll know what the weight is shortly after pickup and if you feel like you want to dispute the weight then meet them at a different weigh station at the other end.

I'm finding that the weight estimates that I'm recieving are REALLY inaccurate.


Are you getting in-home estimates or are these phone/Internet estimates? Again, get a binding-not-to-exceed estimate. In that case the cost can go down but not up.

Can someone please give me a brief overview or send me a link?


Sure. It's on page 8 & 9 of this document:

http://www.movingscam.com/files/Highway ... nguage.pdf

In regards to the prior question, you'll notice that it's also illegal not to give an in-home estimate if the moving company is within 50 miles of the consumer unless the consumer signs a waiver stating that you don't want an in-home estimate (which would be way crazy).

Tim Walker
MovingScam.com

MusicMom
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby MusicMom » Fri Apr 07, 2006 8:53 pm

Note on that last statement of Tim's- Moving company reps that want to leave that loophole open will talk the customer out of an in-home estimate for whatever reason. At least two people have said that so far (but I don't think they used those companies).

GreyB

Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby GreyB » Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:20 am

Thank you all. I really appreciate all of this info.
To answer your question, Many of these estimates are in home. I've gotten a few bad ones via email and one rather accurate one over the phone. Oddly, I've only gotten one that was Binding, and it is overestimated by about 30% by my calculations (which are generous). It was one of the Cubic Feet ones.

Another one said Binding on the top but the rep hand wrote in that it wasn't. Thankfully, my partner is a lawyer and caught that. She doesn't believe that it's legal.


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