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. -
VAN LINE TERMS FOR NONBINDING, BINDING, & BINDING NOT TO EXCEED ESTIMATES
1. Allied –
Nonbinding – Nonbinding
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 –
Nonbinding – Nonbinding
Binding – Binding
Binding Not to Exceed - APP (Assured Price Protection) or TAPP (Total Assured Price Protection)
3. Bekins –
Nonbinding – Non-Guaranteed Price
Binding – Guaranteed 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) –
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.