Moving to Albany, NY. Unhappy with Moving Company. Please Help!

Well, in just a few weeks, I should be moving from Las Cruces, NM to Albany, NY (well, the general area anyway.) The nice thing is that the company is paying the relocation costs. $4500 total for moving of household goods and car, and lots of other things (including the trip out there) that don’t count towards that cap. So I’m going through a second company that handles relocation, and I’m not having a problem with them either. The problem is with the one (supposed to have been two, I’m getting on that) moving company that has actually contacted me and done a site estimate. I have no confidence in them. I got a faxed copy of the estimate that’s difficult to read, but as far as I can tell the big numbers are:

Full Packing (I assume that means if I don’t want to pack a thing): $1890.80 But they don’t break these numbers down, so I have no idea what they’re basing the estimate on.

Transportation Charges: Either $2260.20 or $2760.20 not sure (again, badly printed and faxed.) Based on 4000 pounds worth of goods. I suppose I might have two tons of stuff in my house; I really doubt it.

Auto: $2195.00 ($1795.00 base, $400.00 oversize vehicle charge.) The first number seems high but still somewhat in line with estimates I had seen earlier in the year (honestly, I was expecting something closer to $1300.) But as for the oversize vehicle charge: I drive a 1995 Subaru Impreza L wagon. I told them I drive a 1995 Subaru Impreza L wagon. This thing is 14.5 feet long, 5.6 feet high, 4.6 feet wide (374 cubic feet) and weighs about 2800 pounds. They claim this thing is 643 cubic feet and weighs 4000 pounds.

Total (including other fees): $6492.

So, I don’t trust these people. I don’t see how it could possibly cost $1900 to pack my stuff, especially since I was planning to pack a lot of the stuff that can’t break myself (clothes, CDs, DVDs, books, putting electronics back in their boxes, etc.) Basically, I just want them to pack, at most, the dishes in the kitchen and the furniture and not even most of the furniture. Basically a love seat/armchair/end table/ottoman combination, one dining room table, a couple folding chairs, and maybe a treadmill. Depending on cubic and weight, maybe some of the bookcases, which are all prefab anyway. I was planning on abandoning a lot of stuff that can be bought fairly cheaply, like my ironing board and the aforementioned bookcases.

Honestly, I’d be happy with a “you pack we drive” arrangement or filling a POD or something like that. I can pack my house in a weekend; less if I start doing parts of it now at night. (Heck, most of the clothes that aren’t going in a suitcase are already in vacuum bags ready to go into a box or two.)

So, considering that I don’t like their estimate and don’t believe the numbers they’ve come up with, what can I do? I really don’t want to have to pay anything out of pocket for this move that won’t get reimbursed. It’d be easier (especially with the car) if I was by myself, but it’s both me and my fiancée (and the cat, can’t forget the cat) each with a car, neither of which it really makes sense to sell.

Is there any reason you’re avoiding the Pods-type places? FWIW UPack can give you an estimate over the phone (since all they really need to know is where, when, and how many cubes), I assume Pods does the same thing. You can always get another company to transport the car. If, as I understand, $4500 is the max for house+car it’s at least worth a phone call.

Well, the only reason I’m avoiding it is because I’m not sure how to set it up. I was told in the relocation materials that things like U-Haul (which is out due to distance) could be direct-billed but I’m not sure how. I’ll email my contact and see what could be set up, especially if I can give a reasonable number. The other problem is that I don’t know where we’ll be living yet (house-hunting trip this time next week) and I hate to stick things in storage for longer than I have to. And yes, I know that’d be an issue with a moving company as well.

Really, my major problem is that I feel like I’m getting scammed. There’s almost no information on how they determined any of these numbers and the car was just the nail in the coffin for the way I’m feeling. That I gave them everything they need to get an exact number for the car (well, close enough) and they miss it by twice the cubic feet and 1,000 pounds does not inspire confidence.

Moving companies for some reason are not really regulated so you have to be careful you aren’t with a shitty company. I can only say from my experience where they also had to bring our motorcycle is that if they say they are going to be there a certain date I would verify online if they are trustworthy and actually follow through. The person who did the estimate was super nice and that gave me a false sense of the company because the “owners” don’t really care once they have your things.

I know the mover said that for packing which I never purchased they charge for things like tape and watching them move the fragile things they go through a lot of tape.

The moving company we used didn’t show up with our stuff until 4 weeks after the date they promised. I had already started to buy things because we didn’t have anything except what we filled in our car, like computers, musical instruments, and jewelry. At one point I was calling them daily and getting the runaround. We weren’t sure if we should report our bike stolen because they wouldn’t say where our stuff was and when we could have it back. Anyways finally all of it showed up with literally half an hour notice, most of the furniture was damaged and a lot of boxes where stored on top of the bike. And they way underestimated the cost and demanded 3K on top of what we paid and held our stuff hostage until that was given. So that was cross country moving for us.

I have no answer, just wanted to say - welcome to the community! I believe my PMs are on if you want to chat about the area, otherwise, welcome from an Albany-ite.

Hey, when you get here, let me know – I’m in Schenectady – about 15 miles away.

FWIW, I’ve heard good things about Two Men and a Truck. And their name is awesome.

Hunh. And here I’d have thought you’d be unhappy with the moving company because they’re, y’know, moving you to goddamn Albany.

“Mighty nice little town, Albany. They’ve got the state capitol there, you know.”

Dude, for an actual job with an actual paycheck and actual benefits, I’d move just about anywhere. Especially if the company is paying for most of the relocation.

The good news is that my fiancee agrees about rather just packing stuff up ourselves and unpacking it at the other end. Doubly so when I’ve already had people, including my parents, promise they’ll help. So I’m definitely going to start making some phone calls here in a couple hours.

Oh, since some of you guys know the area: I think I’m meeting with a realtor or the like to look at apartments (and maybe some houses) a week from today, so it’s not like I’m on my own. But are there any parts of the area to avoid outright? And what’s it like making a 10-mile (I hope no further) commute down, say, I-90 or I-787 (and might I add, death to thruways and turnpikes, stupid East Coast) or across the river in the dead of winter?

Albany has pretty good commuting times. The major source of morning tie-ups are on I-87 (the Northway – no one calls it I-87) and Route 9, both coming down from Saratoga County to the north of the city. The Northway/Thruway interchange (Exit 24, where I-90 meets I-87) can be tied up, especially in the summer, when the track is running. But a bad delay there is maybe 10 minutes.

I have a 13 mile commute and it takes me about half an hour. That’s on surface street, however, when I take the Thruway, it’s about 15 miles and takes 20 minutes.

You’d probably know the areas to avoid at first glance. Arbor Hill in Albany is a no-no, but there are some very nice apartments in the city – 19th century buildings that are well kept up.

Winter driving is only a problem in a snowstorm. Luckily, most places of employment know that people willl be late, so you don’t have to rush. Traffic is just very slow, and it’s often better to stay off main highways (the problems with driving in snow is not so much the snow, but other drivers). It’s more of a problem if your commuting into Rensselaer County (east of the Hudson), since everything has to funnel through four bridges, so there are few alternate routes. If you live in Albany or Schenectady County, you’ll be fine. (Saratoga, as I mentioned, seems to have the most tie-ups even in good weather).

Okay. I’m hoping to be on the same side of the river as my job, but I can’t be sure of that. (Not cost-of-living or anything like that, but when there are two sites, all I can do is make an educated guess.) And sorry for any confusion since I’m using Albany for the entire area; I grew up believing that if there isn’t miles of desert between signs of human habitation they’re not really separate towns.

Well, Albany is part of the Capital District, which consists of the cities of Albany, Schenectady, Troy, and Saratoga Springs (though Saratoga is further away than the other three). The four counties involved are Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, and Saratoga. Rensselaer County (as well as Troy and Rensselaer) is on the east side of the Hudson; Saratoga is north of the Mohawk.

Albany County includes the suburban towns of Colonie (north of city), Bethlehem (southeast of city) and Guilderland (southwest of city). There are also the cites of Cohoes and Watervliet. There are various communities within the town as well as residential areas.

Any questions about areas, you can e-mail or PM me.

Hey, somebody had to go for the cheap joke, so I figured it might as well be me. I spent about five years in Troy, but never got particularly fond of Albany for some reason (though there are definitely some decent areas).

Ahhh, Troy…it seems the fours years I was there just wasn’t enough. I might be moving back there myself. I’m hoping to hear back before the end of the day today if I got a job at RPI.