Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

A forum for questions and information about packing, loading and other helpful tips (not related to researching or selecting moving companies).
GreyB

Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby GreyB » Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:28 am

Sorry to keep beating a dead horse but let me ask this. If I have a Binding Not To Exceed estimate (that I like), does it make a difference at that point whether I go per pound or CF?? Are there still drawbacks to either?
Thanks

MusicMom
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby MusicMom » Sat Apr 08, 2006 6:09 am

YES! CUBIC FOOT ESTIMATES ARE ILLEGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

BINDING ESTIMATES OF ANY TYPE ARE WORTHLESS IF WRITTEN BY A SCAMMER, WHICH ARE THE ONLY MOVING COMPANIES THAT USE CUBIC FOOT ESTIMATES!!!!!!!!!

I don't think there is any other way to say it.

If you took the time to measure all your boxes, take that cubic foot measurement you have and multiply it by 7 (unless you have unusually heavy things), and that is the approximate weight of your load. This is what the pros do.

Please don't be offended, but you are not a professional estimator, so you can't really be comparing these estimates to calculations that you have come up with.

Guest

Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby Guest » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:34 am

After reading this information it makes all moving companies look like scammers. I work for one and know that we personally do not pad the bills. The moving consultant (who has been doing this for 40 yrs) goes out to the origin address with a cube sheet and marks every last little item down on it and adds it up at the end. And yes we use this cube weight to figure out the estimated weight of the shipment. The customer receives a copy of this cube sheet. But the important thing is that we weigh all shipments that are not done under our local tariff (which is billed by hour not weight). We do not bill any house hold goods by cubed feet, only the actual weight! Most of the time the actual weight is less than the estimated weight, so our customers save money. I am sorry to hear that so many people have had problems with moving companies. If we opperated like that we would not be able to have a military contract, let alone keep satisfied customers who recommend us to friends and family. Thank you for hearing our side of the story and best of luck to all those in search of a fair deal!

MusicMom
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby MusicMom » Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:17 pm

That is the way it SHOULD be done, thanks! For others reading this, the problem is when the Cubic Foot measurement is left as is and used for the billing, instead of converting it to weight and backing it up with a weight ticket.

It should also be known that there is a legal loophole that many scammers are utilizing. Movers are allowed to estimate and bill by the Cubic Foot only if the estimate is a Binding one. Won't work for GNTE or Non-Binding estimates. The problem that is appearing is that once the house is loaded onto the truck, the foreman says there is a lot more stuff than the customer told them about, so the Binding Estiamte has been nullified, and now the bill is doubled or tripled. Many of the scammers are even putting into fine print the stiplulation that the Binding Estimate is only good if the customer gives them an accurate item count/description and sticks with it. In the end, it all comes down to semantics, and there's not a thing you can say about it in court.

If you are receiving a Binding Estimate measured in Cubic Feet, and no employee of the mover has come to your house, this is the gigantic red flag that your move will take a turn for the worse.

MusicMom
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby MusicMom » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:27 am

Read this thread to see an example of the loophole in use.

http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8080

Guest

Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby Guest » Wed May 03, 2006 12:14 am

GreyB,
You talk as if you are the expert. You know which estimates are close, and which ones are way off. If your cubic foot estimate is perfect, multiply it by a factor of 7 pounds. Now you are an expert at estimating weight too. Now take out the bathroom scale, and put everything you are moving on it, just to double check your figures. Then go ahead and book your move with that mover who insists on giving you an estimate based on cubes versus weight. You better pack all of your boxes yourself, and then load the truck yourself to make sure you take advantage of every cubic foot. You don't want to cheat yourself....afterall, you're the expert.

WildMeridian
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Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:43 pm
Location: Nevada

Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby WildMeridian » Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:16 pm

I need some help here. We moved from Georgia to Nevada last year and were very dissatisfied with the moving company. The company charged us by cubic foot and the move happened after this law went into effect. However, based on the language of the law, I'm not sure they violated the "letter of the law". So what I need is some help with the interpretation:

1. The company's representative is located in St. George, UT. Since this is more than 50 miles away from the origination, were they still required to get a written waiver from us for the physical inspection?

2. I don't have the contract in front of me, so I can't quote the exact verbiage, but it says something to the effect that the contracted price for the move is $5000, not including packing. Would this be considered a binding or a non-binding estimate?

3. I think this has already been answered, but I want to be perfectly clear about it -- are cubic foot estimates illegal for both binding and non-binding estimates, or are they only illegal for non-binding estimates?

I also need to know what information is legally required to be on the bill of lading.

Thanks!

WM

MusicMom
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby MusicMom » Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:58 pm

By saying the company's "representative" is in that city, you must be speaking about an agent for a major van line. That's fine, no need to name names unless you want. All movers (the reputable ones, anyway) will ge the Cubic Feet of your load, then multiply it by a number, 7 is the average. Somewhere along the line all the pros have found that the average Cubic Foot of household goods weighs 7 pounds. The estimate will contan both numbers. Can you check the paperwork to see if the quote WAS converted into pounds, or left as Cubic Feet? Merely mentioning the CF is not in itself an estimate based on CF.

If their office is more than 50 miles away, they do not need the written waiver. They need to waiver to explain why their salesperson cannot drive less than 50 miles to view the load to be moved.

Binding vs. non-binding will have to be answered by looking at the estimate again, we can't tell from what you've said.

CF estiamtes are legal if the estiamte if BINDING only. It's alegal loohole that some movers are using to quote "flat rate" moves. The load does not need to be weighed. I personally don't like these because you ahve to take the movers at their word that this is how much your load weighs. If it's easy to promise your load doesn't weigh more than 2,000 pounds, when it actually weighs 5,000 pounds, what's to say they can't say a 5,000 pound load weighs 8,000 and you willingly pay for it? I'd want to know exactly what I'm paying for. If the estiamte is Non-Binding or GNTE, then the load must be weighed, and there could be some fluctuation due to the weight.


You can get answers with more details, or if you come up with more questions, by reading the Your Rights And Responsibilities When You Move book, of which there's a link back on the Forum's Index, on the left side. Please write again if you have more questions.

Leesa
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby Leesa » Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:18 pm

Just a comment. I actually received a quote...online that was in cubic feet. And I told them that it was illegal and they actually e-mailed me back and told me it was not illegal! With exclaimation points! Then they wished me luck on my move. This was Air 1 Moving. At any rate, I didn't bother with the companies that gave online quotes.

consumer advocate
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby consumer advocate » Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:42 pm

Good! You did the right thing.

MusicMom
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby MusicMom » Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:44 am

If the estiamte said Binding Quote, they would ahve been right. Without those two words, you were right.

shelco0829

Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby shelco0829 » Tue Oct 03, 2006 12:49 pm

I was charged cubic foot just this year. I was told by the moving company that since it said cubic feet in the contract he can do it. Is this true. Not only did they charge me more than my estimate they lost a lot of my items. I moved from OR to FL.

farrah7031
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby farrah7031 » Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:54 pm

I think they CAN charge by cubic feet, but we advise people to never go with a mover that gives you an estimate based on it because, like you found out, it can easily be manipulated. Who did you move with? Where did you move from/to?

MusicMom
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Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby MusicMom » Tue Oct 03, 2006 2:35 pm

well, I believe that if it went to court, the movers would win, because you signed the contract agreeing to be billed by that. I'm not sure what the FMCSA's standpoint is regarding this exact situation, though. Maybe you should call the tipline and talk to them and file a complaint if needed. 1-888-DOT-SAFT.

Can you tell us (in a new topic) if anything bad happened during your move?

George S
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Location: San Diego California USA

Re: Why Cubic Feet Estimates Should Be Avoided

Postby George S » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:45 pm

One aspect I do not believe has been mention is the driver.
Does the driver have the incentive to load a tight truck when being paid by the cubic foot. Tight shipments have much less damage as well.

Drivers that have to move for companies selling cubic foot on Interstate moves are not paid well, especially on a compact / heavy shipment. This allows the company to undesell the competition at the drivers expense and as mentioned the consumer does not have the option of asking for a reweigh.

As a driver would you work for a company like this?
Not unless there is an issue not allowing you to move to a better job situation.
Drivers are in demand and I can't think of any reason one would stay in a bad situation for lesser money, can you? Most of us will even provide a truck for a good mover and I have done so, as long as the backround is clean and of quality.

George S
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