Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Snowbird Shipping an Auto? Helpful info

It's that time of year again when many people move their autos to their winter headquarters.  For those first time movers some helpful hints may be beneficial.

Most companies provide door to door and terminal to terminal pricing, or a mixture of these.  Terminal to terminal is less expensive.  However, the terminals may not be convenient to your home.  When asking for pricing request both, and as specifically where the terminals are located.

Make sure that the transporter provides adequate insurance coverage.  Make sure it is replacement value coverage and find out the basis for determining the value of the auto and/or repairs if there is damage.
Find out if there are exclusions in the insurance such as custom after market interior items such as high end stereo,  One word of caution, be sure that you fully inspect the car before signing off on it at delivery.  Just as a household goods shipment. any damage must be notated so that the claim will be honored.  This is very important.

Many auto shppers will not allow personal items to be shipped in the auto.  If you do leave items in the auto, and the company allows this, be sure that their insurance will cover the replacement if items are lost or stolen. 

Here's one- do not leave your Easy Pass, in the auto.  We have had customers leave the pass in the auto, and they Easy Pass recorded charges during the trip across country.

Consumers Relocation arranges for hundreds of auto shipments each year. We can select from a number of different options, and assist you in evaluating each option that might be right for you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why Internet Estimates and Phone Surveys are a Poor Choice

Just the other day one of our customers, a member of a large association account, complained that she was overcharged.  She was on the West Coast and her things, a little furniture and 50 boxes, were in the Midwest.  She did not want to bother anyone at origin to allow the mover's estimator a chance to see the items, so she insisted on a phone survey based on a listing of items she provided.  We complied with her request although we told her we did not recommend this process of quoting off a list or on the phone. 

Well, when the items were loaded the piece count was accurate, but the 50 boxes were much heavier than standard boxes of the size and were self packed.  They were way over packed and therefore much heavier than an estimator would expect.  Had the estimator been able to physically see the boxes they would have known about this.  We did have a reweigh completed before delivery with the same weight as the original one.  Consequently, the charges were more than the customer expected.

This pitfall is experienced everyday when unwary customers get quotes off the internet.  All too often we hear "I got the quote off the internet and it sounds good to me".  Wrong don't do it.  We insist on physical surveys unless the customer is insisting on a phone quote or one off a list.  This is the only way you can get an accurate  estimate  of cost and required services to perform the move properly.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ayyyyy Matey it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Avast, me hearties!  Its my favorite day of  the year!! If you want to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day go to this site



Avoiding the Most Common MAJOR Mistakes When Moving

Our Consultants work very hard  to be sure every  customer's move goes well  and meets our customer's expectations!  But we seem to spend much of  our  time on a very small percentage of moves unraveling situations that could  have been avoided.
-You need to be at origin at the time of loading.  Other people should not be relied on.  Pay attention to the items that go onto  the  truck, and the inventory that the driver has taken.  The inventory with any comments on the  condition  of items becomes the documentation a claims manager will  look at if damage is  claimed.  You need to do a walk through after "everything has been  loaded" to  be sure everything that you want moved has been  loaded.  Its too late after the truck leaves.  

-Make sure you understand any document before you sign it.  Sounds basic but way to many people sign the order  for service without  reviewing load and delivery dates, or estimated charges. 

-Yes you should personally be at the delivery of your household goods managing that process.  The mover and their  crew  will do all  the work, but they need direction as  to where things go. Most importantly, notate any exceptions you see in the delivery such as any damage, any missing  items, or anything else.  Notate this on the inventory sheets or driver documentation that goes back  to the  van line. 

-Plan your trip to your new location to coincide with the  delivery dates outlined on  the order for service.  Do not rely on any verbal commitments for  dates.  The order for service is the  official  document for  the  move that  is used by all involved. 

-Make a contingency plan for late pickup or delivery during periods of high volume (summer) or poor weather(winter).  Late pick up or  delivery does not happen often, but.....

-Pay attention to your move- its YOUR move.  The movers supply the  labor, equipment, resources to make  it happen.  Like anything in life, you need to manage it.   

Friday, September 16, 2011

Vermont Pulls Together to Recover from Irene Flooding

If your not from Vermont you might be amazed how the communities have pulled togther to recover from the devastation of the flooding from Irene. There are a million stories about everyone volunteering to help their neighbors and local business'.  As a result the state is recovering remarkably fast!

Norwich University cadets worked an entire weekend to help local residences and business in Norwich, VT clean up the mess, move furniture from destroyed homes, rip our sheet rock and insulation. 

The local high school cross country team spent time helping The Garden Restaurant basically remove the entire interior the the building taking out equipment, spoiled food, walls, floors. 

Les and Dale Velte spent the weekend with at least 50 other volunteers to remove the contents and the interior of the Carlton's home in the center of town.  The owner of the Swiss Inn spent the day under the house ripping our insulation in the mud along with 2 volunteers that just walked in!

A roving group of local ski patrolers were moving around town randomly stopping in at peoples houses to help out.
One town was totally isolated, so the town folks used a bull dozer and put their own on/off ramp onto I91 to gain access to the outside world and called it the Hillbilly Highway.

Amy Olsen, CRS Account Manager,  is organizing a fund raiser with Jill Proudy in Jackson Hole, Wyoming to help Vermont.

Dora Putnam, CRS Consultant,  spends her free time manning a Free Store with things donated by local people for those who lost everything,.

Talking to one local business yesterday, the owners are in their late 60's and were planning to retire.  They lost their entire store with insurance that will not cover the entire loss.  Bev said I never thought I would be starting over at 69, but we are
The stories go on and on.  No one complained that "so and so" was not taking care of the situation!  Everyone just jumped in and started doing things to get it done!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Consumers Relocation attends SHRM Vermont conference

This week Amy Olsen and  Les Velte attended SHRM Vermont annual  conference and trade show.  Most of Vermont's largest employers, state, educational and  heath care companies attended this two day seminar.  This was the first time that CRS participated in the trade show portion of the conference and the reception was amazing!  We are very excited about our growing Vermont client base.  CRS is the only relocation company in Vermont, and most companies are very interested in keeping their relocation business in Vermont!  Much of our  business with Vermont companies entails moving employees and  new  hires into Vermont from all over the country and internationally.  Because of our in depth national footprint of movers in our network we are uniquely positioned to assist Vermont companies in moving employees into Vermont, as well of course as moving employees from any locations in the country and internationally.

Friday, September 2, 2011

So Many mixed signals- "Somewhere over the rainbow"?

It's hard to figure out what the housing market and moving business will see for the balance of this year, let alone 2012!  The disappointing jobs report today certainly indicates a stalled recovery in our segment.  The real estate market continues to show signs of weakness in the numbers of homes sold. 

Today's jobs report  indicates NO new jobs added in August.  Everyone was hoping to see at least 50,000 to 60,000 jobs added, and that would indicate a still weak economy.  But 0 jobs added what does that mean?

Pending home sales slipped by 1.3 % in July over last year.  We saw a little slow down in the end of July in new calls for moving in the last week of July and August was flat over last year for new initiated moves.  This was after a significant increase over last year through the middle of July for the year; particularly March through mid July. 

Existing home sales down 3.5% in July and up 21% on the year.  But, I heard that perhaps up to 40% of these are fore closers being sold.  That does not improve the number of newly initiated moves.

So its any one's guess.